Overview

The Shadow #1

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The Shadow #1

Credits

  • Words: Garth Ennis
  • Art: Aaron Campbell
  • Colors: Carlos Lopez
  • Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Apr 18, 2012

"Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?  The Shadow knows!"

A famous pulp hero, and one of the character inspirations for the better known Batman, returns this week in a hail of gunfire and vengeance.  Brought back to life through the words of Garth Ennis, The Shadow is a thoughtful and faithful adaptation that breathes the pulp era through and through.  Ennis makes no attempt to recreate The Shadow, or his alter ego Lamont Cranston, for the common era.  Instead, the black fedora and cloak sporting vigilante continues to unapologetically lay waste to villain and criminal alike, while similarly laying his lover down for “other” physical exertions. 

The Shadow harkens back to a much simpler and more direct way of hero storytelling that is often left behind in modern comics.  The line between good and evil is blatantly clear, while The Shadow’s methods of handling such dastardly villains is, likewise, cut and dry.  Ennis makes no attempt to humanize or turn his villains into relatable characters, nor should he.  The Shadow is firmly grounded in the pulp tone of the 1930s, where there was no question how a vigilante should handle the criminal population.

The Shadow’s activities are not merely limited to nightly escapades, however.  Lamont Cranston, the playboy alter ego of the hero, is just as anti-crime as his cloaked decoy.  Surrounding Cranston is a vast array of allies and leading ladies who similarly embody defined character roles, without ever becoming stale.  The cast of The Shadow, from low-level thug, to Japanese intelligence officer, to The Shadow himself, all work together to create a book full of distinct, memorable, and fun characters.

Above all else, Garth Ennis’ new Shadow title is fun.  Without hesitation, Ennis tosses readers back into the 1930s, where defined pulp characters live out their nights fighting crime, and their days lounging about with their companions and a nice cup of coffee.  The clearly stated line between good and evil only adds to the enjoyment, where it is clear that good will eventually win the day. 

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