Whilst known for many a catchphrase, “Once more into the breach”, is not originally synonymous with The Shadow. Yet it is that exact feeling that this new series from Dynamite Entertainment creates.
Using their mostly successful “fish out of water” editorial mandate, this new series sees a severely injured man, a retelling of a past meeting and the evils that lurk in the hearts of today’s men.
British writer Si Spurrier, may be best known for his work on Marvel books, but this book shows that there is more to his writing than the merry mutants. Here, he is joined by Dan Watters. As always, issue one is all set up, which is to be expected. Spurrier and Watters set the table and then they start adding the pieces of a cordon bleu dinner service one by one, leading to the cliff hanger ending. At times, the dialogue is a tad preachy as it tries to force in issues from the real world into the comic world. Initially, this sounds like a great idea but it may end up dating the book. Still, regardless of how the book is viewed in the future, the inclusion of the real world is a brave choice.
For The Shadow to work there needs to be a couple of constants and I am not talking about the pair of .45’s. You need the hat and the blood-red scarf. Oh, and in addition they need to swirl through the panels creating the illusion of movement which in turn is difficult for a character that is not known for being seen. Up to the plate steps, Daniel HDR who delivers art that switches from the pacey past to the one panel structure of the present. With the more action paced past shining through, it is easy to discount the present. To do so, would be a disservice as the present is where the thrust of the story takes place. HDR art is complimented throughout by the colors of Natalia Marques. As this is Dynamite, there are variant covers to choose from ranging from Kenneth Rocafort, Neal Adams and Shadow guru Mike Kaluta.
The Shadow has had an illustrious career from a number of publishers. Don’t forget, he actually pre-dates Batman. Dynamite has started this new volume with a less than knowing Shadow, which should help give this long-standing vigilante some knew life.
Writing – 3.5 Stars
Art -3.5 Stars
Colors – 3.5 Stars.
Writing by; Si Spurrier & Dan Watters
Art by; Daniel Hdr
Colors by; Natalia Marques
Covers by; Kenneth Rocafort, Mike Kaluta & Triona Farrell, Brandon Peterson, Neal Adams; Tyler Kirkham with Romulo Fajardo
Published by; Dynamite Entertainment