Dynamite Comics’ look at The Shadow’s past continues; albeit through the looking-glass of his impact and interactions in other media. With that M.O in mind, it’s off to the radio station to catch up with the next episode of The Shadow serial featuring the vocal talents of a facsimile of the great Orson Wells.
For those that don’t know, Orson Wells was the voice over actor who possessed such a strong camber of tone, that he allegedly convinced parts of the US that aliens had arrived whilst performing the War of the Worlds radio drama. His voice was also synonymous of The Shadow, answering that famous question of the evil that lurks in the hearts of mind and echo-y laugh that disappears into the night.
Writer David Avallone continues this journey, where the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition starts to have an impact on the man or men behind the fedora and cape, as he struggles with what lies between the pit of his fears and the summit of his knowledge. However, in doing so Avallone is starting to run into familiar ground. Ok, I understand that each variation of The Shadow is under examination, but I am not sure how many issues of “gee, this isn’t supposed to be ; it’s so familiar but different; I am confused”, any series no matter how long or short can sustain. Maybe it is me, but I am beginning to worry that after the four issue run, the conclusion may just be that he leaves the Zone as mysteriously as he entered with very little explanation or satisfying end. If this does happen, the reader can’t really complain; it is The Twilight Zone after all and explanations are not always forthcoming.
Dave Acosta provides his usual workman like artwork, which may seem like an insult, but it isn’t. Acosta has a solid style which may not dazzle, but it is consistent for the most part. This issue features some of his better work, especially around the facial elements of Preston and his erstwhile Margo Lane. It’s a shame this level of quality isn’t maintain to the supporting characters, but Acosta’s panel structure does help move the story forward, with less detailed characters passing in a mini blur. Despite my usual preference for artist to ink their own work, maybe Acosta would benefit from another set of eyes checking the details that he misses. Colors by Omi Remalante is also of standard quality, not great, not bad, but just what you would from a Dynamite Comic.
I am a little concerned and a tad confused over the length of this min run. Taking the initial selling point, I honestly don’t see this idea lasting any more than an extended book, such as a one shot. The repetitive nature of elements of this story don’t help as I feel that I have already read part of this issue. Call me old-fashioned, but I like my characters to be in stories that impact them or propel them someplace. As such, I am having a hard time understanding the impact this series will have on The Shadow.
Writing – 3 Stars
Art – 3 Stars
Colors – 3 Stars