Bewitched with gritty urban magic and a fantastic espionage flair, Vault Comics is conjuring up Shadow Service, a spellbinding new paranormal crime series apparating into comic shops on August 19 — and SYFY WIRE has an exclusive sneak peek at the premiere issue alongside comments from its veteran writer, Cavan Scott (Doctor Who, Star Wars Adventures: Tales From Vader's Castle).
This new creator-owned series offers a cocktail of spycraft versus witchcraft that's been the culmination of Scott's lifelong obsession with espionage and horror movies. Penned by Scott, the "black ops meets black magic" project showcases striking artwork by Corin Howell (Dark Red, Ghostbusters), colors courtesy of Triona Farrell (Black Widow, Future Foundation) and lettering by Deron Bennett of Andworld Design.
Shadow Service tells the story of Gina Meyers, a witch-turned-private-detective who has been using her magical prowess for good deeds on the rough streets of London. But her latest case brings her to the attention of a mysterious organization called Section 26, a secret intelligence service formed to thwart supernatural threats, a service known internally as MI-666.
"It feels I’ve been gestating this particular story all my life," Scott tells SYFY WIRE. "Ever since I was a kid I was fascinated with the idea of combining two of my biggest obsessions, James Bond and monsters. I came up with the team of this book — MI666 — years ago and have had various attempts to get it all to come together, but it never really worked, until I came up with the idea late last year of a new central character, Gina Meyer, a young witch who is using her powers as a private investigator on the streets of London. She was the catalyst who brought all the characters together. Shadow Service is the result."
Scott and Howell's tale delves deep into Gina’s past, to the day when she first used her powers and how her life fell apart from that day forward.
"When we join her she’s working a case, bringing centuries-old witchcraft bang up to date with a nailgun and a shitty footprint," he explains. "She’s tracking down a missing person for one of her clients, a gang enforcer known as Gideon Quill who she doesn’t realize also has fingers in the supernatural world. And if that wasn’t bad enough, she’s also being tracked by a shady team of investigators who may or may not have magic on their side."
Some of the story's touchstones and inspirations come from Scott's great affection for espionage flicks and fright films.
"Bond definitely, and spy films of both ends of the spectrum, from Mission: Impossible to Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy," he recalls. "And I also dip into my love of supernatural horror, although this is just the tip of a particularly bloody iceberg if such a thing even exists. Things are only going to get darker!"
Corin Howell's illustrations support Scott's original vision for the project and enhance the storyline through every provocative panel.
"Corin’s art blows me away page after page," he admits. "The care she is pouring into these pages is insane. And it's fair to say that she’s an even bigger horror fan than me. She’s definitely pushing me to expand the horror content. I knew we were going to have demons, but had no idea how awesome the demons would be, or the incredible occult architecture that makes up MI666’s secret headquarters.
"She is rising to every challenge we set her, whether that’s preternatural assassination attempts, uncanny car chases, or possessed agents. She’s constantly inspiring me to go bigger and better with every issue. It’s one of the most rewarding partnerships I’ve had."
Vault Comics' Shadow Service #1 arrives on August 19. Check out our six-page preview in the full gallery below!