Shaft: Imitation of Life #1

Writer: David Walker Artist: Dietrich Smith Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment Release Date: February 10, 2016 Cover Price: $3.99 Critic Reviews: 9
8.6Critic Rating
N/AUser Rating

After a high profile case that put him in the headlines, private detective John Shaft is looking for something low profile and easy that will keep him out of the spotlight and out of danger. Shaft takes a missing person case that proves to be more difficult than he initially thought. At the same time, he is hired to be a consultant on a low budget film that may or may not be based on his life, and proves to be as dangerous as any job he's ever had. But when there's danger all about, John Shaft is the cat that won't cop out - even if it means squaring off against sadistic gangsters that want him dead.

  • 9.6
    Comicsverse - markbouchard Feb 16, 2016

    John Shaft's inner monologue is nothing short of phenomenal. Through flashbacks and commentary, Shaft is portrayed with a depth that he has not enjoyed in years. The comic's narrative reveals itself through Shaft, who acts as both its protagonist and its narrator. This is reminiscent of many old detective stories, a fitting approach given that Shaft's work as a private investigator drives the plot of the book. Walker never disappoints. I'm in constant awe of his ability to maintain such consistently compelling stories with so much on his plate. Fresh off SHAFT: A COMPLICATED MAN, as well as a prose novel titled SHAFT'S REVENGE, in the midst of a CYBORG run, and the forthcoming POWER MAN AND IRON FIST series, it goes without saying that Walker is both busy and in-demand. Read Full Review

  • 9.3
    Outright Geekery - Amani Cooper Feb 9, 2016

    If you are uncomfortable with slander, then I don't suggest this book. If you are not okay with violence and blaxploitation, then don't read this book. However, this book is a decent read. From the cheesy mustaches to the ugly vests and turtlenecks, I guess Shaft gives a good portrayal of those old 70s movies (I didn't grow up then, so I wouldn't know). David Walker tells a good story. Throwing in flashbacks of Shaft's life helps to put his point across, Shaft's inner monster. Along with that was a lot of inner monologue. Detrich Smiths art is great. However, some of the panels from the fight scenes could be a bit more dynamic. I sure didn't see as many Afros as I expected, not that its bad. It just surprised me. Yes, this comic is a full of stereotypes, but they don't take much away from the story. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    ComicWow!TV - Bhavna Bakshi Feb 2, 2016

    All in all, this is a solid first issue. We have a strong protagonist who seems more than capable of moving the storyline forward. This is, finally, a PI story that stands out from all the rest. It has an awesome, almost noir feeling to it, so I would unquestionably recommend checking it out. You will most definitely not be disappointed. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Doom Rocket - Jarrod Jones Feb 11, 2016

    Once the action starts, however, that's when the sophistication of Smith'swork begins to deteriorate into a grotesque havoc. And maybethat's the point, that at the moment where John Shaft turns from anearnestprivate eye to avengefulurban warrior all the patience and diligence is removed from Smith's renderings to emphasize the skirmish. He makes violence look like violence as we know it in life: awkward, ugly, and mostly without a point. That's what makes a lurid yarn likeImitation of Life such essential reading. Itallows us to enjoy the uglier parts of life without ever once taking them for granted. Keep your eyes looking forward, but make damn sure to throw a glance over eachshoulder as you continue on your way. Read Full Review

  • 8.5
    AIPT - Robert Reed Feb 12, 2016

    With solid characterization and a unique look at 70s New York,Shaft: Imitation of Life#1 is a fantastic debut. David Walker's script allows for Shaft to be both a certified badass while being surprisingly vulnerable. Dietrich Smith and Alex Guimares give the book a fantastic swagger worthy of the character while also excelling at creating tension in the smaller character moments. If the future issues can further the plot as well as this issue develops its characters,Shaft: Imitation of Lifewill end up an excellent miniseries and entry into the Shaft mythos. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Project-Nerd - Pat Feb 8, 2016

    This was a great first issue for a comic, and I'm sure it'll gain a strong fan base over time through word-of-mouth. Shaft is back and he's packing heat, both on the pages and in his belt. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Comic Bastards - Patrick Self Feb 10, 2016

    Whatever Shaft's reasoning, be it boredom or cabin fever, the Imitation of Life is setup for a fantastic story. While the artwork was a little stagnant at times the story carries the load through Issue #1. With all the cultural conflicts naturally setup and David Walker's talent for contextualizing internal dialogue I expect this will be a series worthy of our attention. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Big Comic Page - Kieran Fisher Feb 11, 2016

    Overall, this is a brilliant start to the new run and I cant wait to see where it goes from here. Its laid the foundations for an excellent detective story to be built on, while introducing some extra conflicted facets to Shafts character that hints at something much deeper than initially meets the eye. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Project-Nerd - RW Adams Feb 24, 2016

    Make no mistake, this is not a comic for kids; this is a world of adults, bad choices, seedy underworlds and righteous fashion. Ernest Tidyman's creation is in good hands. Such good hands, in fact, that upon finishing the first issue I immediately wanted to go out and find Tidyman's novels, watch the films again, buy the action figure, andgrow an Afro. Read Full Review

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