Written by Andrea L. Molinari, Roberto X. Molinari
Art by Jess Hara, Kyle Huston
Letters by DC Hopkins
Published by the Black Caravan Imprint of Scout Comics
Prof. Lawrence Miller (a.k.a. The Shepherd) and his companions are wandering in the Seam, the transitioning place between this world and whatever comes next. While traveling, they stumble on a particular district of the Seam that functions a hospital of sorts for the souls of warriors who have died in combat. It appears that they have come to a peculiar version of Operation Phantom Fury, the 2nd Battle of Fallujah (November 2004). But this is the afterlife… and things aren’t always what they seem. Enjoy the first issue of this NON-STOP! title followed by the entire story collected soon after in one volume.
To preface this, I have not gotten to read any of the other of The Shepherd stories thus far, but that will have to change after reading this. A story about shepherding lost souls into the afterlife has always been an intriguing one to me. So many different religions and cultures have different beliefs on what happens after death and what an afterlife looks like. To me, the story of the soul between life and afterlife is what has the most potential for an interesting development. The Shepherd nails this concept and puts forth more “what ifs” into the story of the soul.
In this NON-STOP! title, we get a taste of the full volume that will be coming from Black Caravan. With three generations from the same family wandering through The Seam – an area between life and afterlife – we see a team coming together to help other lost souls find their way to healing and eventually to the afterlife. This happens all because Lawrence loses his son, Val, to a drug overdose and follows him into the afterlife due to his overwhelming grief and fear that Val is in terrible distress. Along the way they have found Lawrence’s father, creating this full shepherding team prior to the start of the issue.
I really enjoyed the execution of this concept and how one soul can influence the surroundings of The Seam, sending them into a war zone such as Faluja. Both styles of art fit the appeal of what this afterlife-like place would have to look like, whether it be the more “generic” afterlife feel or the battlefield being felt by a lost soul that The Shepherd and his family have wandered into.
I sometimes found it harder to follow dialog between the many different soldiers for a few pages, but did not find this to be a hindrance to the storytelling as we progressed from there. The fact that this type of story could tackle almost any genre (as they encounter different souls and their many diverse situations in The Seam) has me excited to dive more into the world of The Shepherd and help these souls move on.
This very emotional tale of the horrors a soul might go through and need help resolving is perfect for fans of stories about questions surrounding our souls, the afterlife, and who we are on judgement day.
The Shepherd: Path of Souls #1 will be out in shops 9/8/21 with the full volume trade paperback coming out in November!
Cover A (JUN211757):
Cover B (JUN211758) 10 copy incentive: