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With the sad-but-planned end of Koyama Press, Ben Sears finds a welcome new home at Fantagraphics for his middle grade Double + series. With Young Shadow, Sears expands his Double + world, stepping away from Plus Man and taking us to Bolt City, where Young Shadow patrols the night, fighting against the corruption and cruelty of adults (especially when it comes to mistreated dogs). It is a wonderful distillation of what makes superheroes appealing, where the seemingly powerless can stand up against the injustice of society, and is handled in a way that is neither cynical nor cloying. It shows a range of influences beyond the classic Western superhero, too, employing elements of bandes dessinées, manga (there’s a lot of Tezuka going on here), and indie comics. The result is a charming, fun (and funny) adventure tale with a strong moral centre. And I haven’t even touched on Sears’ art, which just goes from strength to strength. Here he has abandoned traditional colour palettes, adopting instead a black and mustard yellow scheme, and it works a treat in his depiction of night in Bolt City. And speaking of Bolt City, Spears’ depiction of the layered, crowded town makes it feel like a lived in place, almost a character in its own right. It’s rounded, worn buildings are ever-present, each a unique eye-catching design. Honestly, it’s a kids book, but there’s plenty here for the adult reader to enjoy.