Comics Anonymous


So far I’ve been enjoying Garth Ennis take on The Shadow and with 2 issues of his 6-issue arc to come – it was interesting to see Dynamite release an Annual with a fresh creative team.  I picked this up on the hope that it’d still have the usual pulp-feel to it that Ennis has managed to capture and freshen up.

The Annual sees The Shadow/Lamont Cranston tormented by the dreams that surely our all knowing hero should be immune to.  Dreams that see a Dragon made of fire taking The Shadow head-on burning the world in it’s wake……that’s gotta unsettle the old sleep pattern for sure.  The wake-up call sees The Shadow head into the underworld of New York in search of more information as he beats it out of the criminals infesting the city.

Meanwhile a switch to Tibet sees some local orphans exert their strange willpower over some of the locals – glowing purple eyes seem to be the key here for identifying the bad guys and writer Tom Sniegoski skilfully builds a twisting mystery that seems fitting for this one-off tale.  The orphan’s power over the adults they choose seems to rise as we find out much more on the Tibetan rituals involving the eating of some pretty potent local plants.  This leads to their rebirth that instils a dark, evil power within them.

Their goal, to take the world by force and burn through anyone that gets in their way but they hadn’t counted on The Shadow appearing to throw a spanner in the works.  Their attempts to drag Margo Lane into their twisted plan and gain some leverage over The Shadow only serves to anger him and after a quick save of Margo he’s aiming for the evil head-on.

The story plays out with some pretty deep revelations as it seems that the Shadow knows the evil that lurks in the heart of men……….and kids – taking care of the evil and the local Tibetan plants that are the source of all the problems.   All in all a well structured and paced tale from Sniegoski with a dark and moody art from Dennis Calero that guides The Shadow through a shadowy tale……and the mysteries of the far east are in tune with our pulp characters origins.  There’s also another impressive cover from Alex Ross.



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