Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Shadow: Year One #1

For a variety of reasons, I recently fell behind in reading the latest issues of The Shadow being published by Dynamite.

I finally corrected the oversight, and I (mostly) enjoyed the stories, although I'd be the first to admit that these stories don't "feel" like the pulp character.

Oh, The Shadow is still the dark avenger who readily deals death to evildoers, and he still has the ability to cloud men's minds. The problem is, in focusing on his alter ego as Lamont Cranston, the character seems - well, ordinary.

He seems to spend a lot of time bedding his main agent, Margo Lane, perhaps in an attempt to make the series more "adult."

But my love of the original stories keeps me hanging on, and there's enough of the pulp hero to keep my interest.

This Shadow: Year One series holds a great deal of promise, and some danger as well.

The promise belongs to series writer Matt Wagner, who's long since proven himself to be an excellent writer - and as the cover shows, he's also an outstanding artist.

The interior art is by Wilfredo Torres, and it's quite good, if a bit flat (perhaps because of the muted colors).

The danger in the series is in revealing too many secrets behind the character. The Shadow works best as a man of mystery, and I think it's best if we don't know all there is to know about the character.

This story takes us back to 1929, when The Shadow decides to set up base in New York. It's a bit of a slow start, but the series is loaded with promise.

I have great faith that Wagner will deliver on that promise. But as always, we'll have to wait and see. (I'll resist the urge to say, "Only the Shadow knows.")

Grade: A-


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