Shanghai Red (Image) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Saturday, February 24th, 2024  

Shanghai Red


Apr 01, 2019 Issue #65 - Mitski and boygenius Bookmark and Share

Shanghai Red, written by Christopher Sebela, with art by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou and Joshua Hixson, is a bloody revenge story set in 19th century Portland. Red, the main character, has been shanghaiedkidnapped and forced to work on a ship for her freedomand she’s out to ruin those responsible.

You probably know what’s going to happen just on the basis of the plot overview, but part of the fun of these types of stories is finding out just how the protagonist gets from A to Z. Unfortunately, Shanghai feels a little half-baked. The characters aren’t given much time to develop, so the impact of the deaths and near-misses never feels as heavy as it should. There’s also a potentially very interesting subplot about Red’s gender identity, but it similarly feels unsatisfying.

The art, while arresting and appropriately pulpy, is sometimes too dark and muted to make out what’s happening during the action scenes. Both the illustration and the writing are perfectly capable throughout, but they never rise quite to the level they need to to make the story what it could be. (

Author rating: 6/10

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Average reader rating: 1,163/10


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