Vol 1: The Cauldron of Life, illustrated by Justin Greenwood, colored by Daniela Miwa
Shahidah is a scholar who hails from the House of Wisdom in Baghdad, and she finds herself in Wales searching for the Cauldron of Annwn, one of the Thirteen Treasures of the world, and an object said to give eternal live. But Shahidah is not alone in her quest. Following close behind her, led by one of her fellow scholars, is the forces of Margul Khan. If the Margul gets ahold of eternal life, he is sure to conquer the known world! Shahidah uses her quick wits, and sometimes impressive fighting skills, to track down the mystery of this supposedly mythological item.
This is a fun adventure story with a young Muslim woman main character who solves archaeological mysteries like Indiana Jones. There is, however, a disappointing lack of characterization between the two female leads, which was sort of skipped over in favor of the history and lore of what Shahidah was tracking down. In the single issues of this comic series, there are essays included by the author and illustrator to give some illumination to their inspiration for pieces of this story. These weren't included in the trade paperback (a decision made by Image, not the creative team), and it is detrimental to the story and as proof that the creative team know things and did their research.
One bright point that helped make this title super enjoyable is the art. I, personally, enjoyed the dark, heavy outlines, and the coloring is fantastic. There are a lot of action sequences between Shahidah’s fighting and spelunking, and I thought the illustrations were beautifully fluid and gave a lot of life to the story.
Sara's Rating: 7/10
Suitability Level: Grades 9-12
Publication Date: January 25, 2022
ISBN: 9781534320536 (Paperback)
Tags: Rating: 7/10, Suitability: High School, Comicbooks, Action Adventure, Historical Fiction, Image Comics
I've been reading manga and comicbooks for years. Now, I write reviews and other helpful things for School Librarians, teachers, parents, and students.
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