"This is the story of a symbol. It's the symbol of death, and also symbol of a secret association, exclusively female, that extols the benefits of violent punishment for all guilty parties: ""mourning for mourning, a child for a child""! Everyone thought that the SHI association had disappeared forever. But it's just started showing signs of... death once again by carrying out an attack on a family member of a highly controversial English magnate of the arms industry, Lionel Barrington. This tragic event will lead us right back to the very beginnings of the SHI association, halfway through the 19th century, right at the heart of London town as it builds up to the first World Exhibition... At the beginning, there was anger..."
During the 1851 Great Exhibition in London, two women's lives become irrevocably intertwined when they both fall victim to a nefarious underground fraternity of ex-soldiers from England's upper crust who have sworn their lives to defending the British Empire—as well as their own decadent lifestyles. In this first volume, young rebel Jennifer Winterfield and the mysterious Kitamakura from Japan forge an unlikely alliance along with Jennifer's doctor uncle and a street urchin named Pickles. Together they lay the groundwork for a criminal organization that will go on to sow terror in the hearts of the colonialists and industrialists who tried to put them down.
In the second volume of this four-part story arc, we learn more details about how the secret society "Shi" was formed by two women sworn to vengeance against the men and institutions that oppress and violate them. In a present-day storyline, we learn more about the the investigation into the terrorist attack against the family of the CEO of the arms company S.V.P.P.B and about Lakshmi Shankar, the MI5 inspector who shows up promising to stop the network of "avenging mothers" before they strike again.
In the third book of the series, the Glorious Eries develop their plan to win England back its colonies and they find themselves collaborating with a powerful and surprising ally. Jennifer Winterfield and Kita let the world believe they are dead so that they can begin plotting their revenge with the help of Kita's sensei, a Japanese tattoo artist with mystical powers who lives in a houseboat on the Thames. Meanwhile, Pickles the street urchin gets her hopes up that Jennifer might adopt her, but destiny has other plans.
In this final volume, Kita and Jay plot their ultimate revenge against the "Glorious Eries," the secret cabal of Royalists that's seeking to take back the newly independent American colonies with the covert help of Queen Victoria herself. Meanwhile, the ruthless police commissioner Kurb is on their trail and finds unexpected and unwitting help from the street urchin Pickles. Jay's family continues to come apart but her estranged mother makes one last attempt to reach out to her. Everything is set in motion now: can anyone change the course of events, or is it too late?
SHI, vol 1 is written by Zidrou, with artwork by Homs. An attack against a present day weapons manufacturer traces back to Great Britain in 1851, where a peculiar Japanese woman appears on the first Great Exhibition. I liked this book. It definitely has an innovative idea and subject matter. The dialogue is also very good, Zidrou clearly has a great talent for language. The story flows along at a steady speed, although it takes a... En lire plus