REVIEW: The Twilight Zone: The Shadow #1 (of 4)

Dynamite continues its trend of mashing up differing properties with this one, at least at first glance, making a modicum of sense.

Following a successful mission dealing with Nazi’s, The Shadow and Margo are having a discussion/argument over his tactics in this latest mission to de-weed the world of bitter fruit.  A sudden howitzer attack overturns the car leaving Shevy and his passengers unconscious.  Lamont Cranston duly awakes, not back in the sanctum as he assumes, but unbeknownst  to him, he awakes in The Twilight Zone where he is confronted by The Shadow himself.   From here, Cranston’s world is made up of the similar and the dissimilar, the same but not the same, with the confusion Cranston suffers only fun if the reader has an extensive knowledge of his past and his opal ring wearing, cloak and fedora hat-stand of an alter ego.

Writer David Avallone has a history of taking a property and looking at it through a different lens, with his work on issues of Legenderry Vampirella and a couple of Altered States books.  Here, he gets a crack at deconstructing The Shadow and the various identities that make up the enigmatic hero.  It’s a brave move, with Avallone counting on the readers knowledge to help propel the emotions of the story.  The dialogue is fine, capturing an element of pulpy style, though it can come across a tad like exposition as if Avallone has tried to bring new reader to The Shadow up to speed.

The art is handled by Dynamite veteran Dave Acosta.  Now I have seen Acosta’s work previously and I have mentioned a woodenness to some of the poses he puts his characters in.  Looking at this book, with the number of conversation panels higher than the number of action panels, Acosta’s style doesn’t seem to detract in the same way it has done previously.  Still, camera angles in panels could be better, but overall, there seems an easy flow to the pencils throughout the book.  The same can be said of the colors by Omi Remalante, whose work add to the ease of reading.  Francesco Francavilla provides a cover that conveys the idea of the book well, if in a simple manner.

I am a Shadow fan and as such, I enjoyed the “world is not as it was” element of this book.  With so much of The Shadow’s world being about mysticism I am a little unsure of the need to incorporate The Twilight Zone element to act as the deus ex machina.  Still, with a piece of Shadow history about to make an appearance next issue, my curiosity has definitely been piqued.

STORY BY David Avallone
ART BY Dave Acosta
COVER BY Francesco Francavilla
PUBLISHER Dynamite Entertainment

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