Comics Anonymous

THE SHADOW #1 by G-Man

Following Dynamite Entertainments previous success in getting pulp characters like The Green Hornet, The Phantom & The Rocketeer back onto the pages of some mainstream comics…..I was intrigued to find out that the next title they’d be bringing out was The Shadow.


With Garth Ennis involved and having read his previous titles like Preacher, The Boys and Just a Pilgrim – I wasn’t sure of how his style would fit a 1930’s pulp character but he’s managed to pull it of – at least as far as I can tell in one issue.  The 6-part story “Fire of Creation” opens with a brief history of Japan’s part in the war ahead of an alliance with Germany before whisking us to New York City where we see The Shadow take on a mob on the docks ending in typical Ennis-like violence.

The plot thickens as a certain Lamont Cranston meets with the US military to discuss the recent goings-on and this is where we find out that 2 of the men killed on the docks were Japanese intelligence.  A twisting plot seems to be set up here but this meeting fades out and we close out the issue with a Lamont Cranston vs Margo Lane argument/debate.  It’s hard for Margo to out-think The Shadow as he knows everything…..and that brings with it a certain level of arrogance and know-it-all approach to the character.  That’s a slight change from how I know the character, having read previous incarnations and probably one of the few people to have enjoyed the 1994 film adaptation, but if anything that gives the character a fresh edge while still placing him in his usual 1930’s surroundings.

A bold start for Ennis with some solid artwork by Aaron Campbell who seems to pull in a mix of dark underworld sections of the city that remain out of sight with a contrasting hustle-n-bustle of city life during the day.  Almost mimicking the Shadow/Lamont Cranston character split and hopefully building on this more in issue #2 – if anything, my only grumble is that there’s not enough happening in this opener for me, although that may be down to my impatience and knowledge of the character already…..roll-on that next issue with more Ennis mastery, Campbell flare and some Alex Ross magic.

Keep an eye out for all those variant covers too – don’t just take my Alex Ross bias into account 😀


1 Comment so far
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Check out the colouring mistake in panel 4 page 20. Not quite the grounds for a major recall, but nice to notice. 🙂

Comment by James Lundy

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