The Shadow: Midnight in Moscow #1 (Dynamite)


Rating: 4/5 – Must Read Comic for Chaykin Fans!
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall.

The Shadow (a pulp hero with a great run on radio too) has had quite a run in comics with series from a variety of publishers for almost 75 years.  Until recently, DC was the name most associated with the character by modern comics reads, but that is being challenged by Dynamite who has done a great job of publishing Shadow comics by some top notch talent for the past couple of years.

This latest series is written and illustrated by Howard Chaykin, one of my favorite comics creators, so I have a somewhat biased view of this comic.  It’s by Chaykin and I have a predisposition to love pretty much anything the man does, in fact, it’s a good time to be a Chaykin fan with his recent Buck Rogers series from Hermes and the wonderful Satellite Sam from Image.  This story has the Shadow deciding to hang up his cloak, slouch hat and signature .45s right as the decade flips from 1949 to 1950.  But, it’s not quite that easy, is it ever?

The players and points of conflict are introduced slowly in this issue as we see the beginnings of what will ultimately be the threat that causes to the Shadow to come back from retirement.  Did we think for a second he’d stay retired?  Fairly common plot device, but I’ll gladly work with it as illustrated by Chaykin.  There are some gorgeous pages in this issue and it’s a must-read for Chaykin fans.  Even people standing around at a cocktail party, as drawn by Chaykin, is a symphony for my eyes. As a stand-alone Shadow story, the 1st issue drags a bit, but I’m sure this will read perfectly fine when collected into a trade paperback after the mini-series conclusion.  Highly recommended!

Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
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