Rating: 4.5/5 – Matt Wagner Continues to Serve Up Classic Shadow
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall
What evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow Knows! The weed of crime bears bitter fruit! Classic quotes from The Shadow and Matt Wagner hits them all in this issue. That may be reductive for some, but I was loving it. I think Matt Wagner has a real knack for writing (and drawing) The Shadow. I’ve really enjoyed how he has handled this classic pulp hero over the years and the first issue of this latest series is no exception. In and amongst the familiar quotes and characters he introduces a new villain, The Red Empress, who is only teased at in this issue but who could end up being every bit of the threat that Shiwan Khan once was.
Wagner’s page layouts and panel compositions were a visual feast throughout this issue. Very moody and pulp-inspired with great use of blacks and a nicely subdued color palette by Wagner’s son Brennan, who makes good use of red as the main highlighting color breaking up the browns and greys. Margo is classically beautiful and The Shadow is imposing as he wields his twin .45s.
If you’re a fan of The Shadow, you probably already know about Wagner’s work on the character. If you liked his previous work with the character as much as I did, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this series as well. If you’ve never read the Shadow before, this is as good a place to start as any, due to the craft Wagner puts into the story and art. There are certainly a few things you’d want to catch up on, like the Shadow’s operatives and his ability to “cloud men’s minds”, but that is easily remedied by taking a few minutes and reading the Wikipedia page on The Shadow. Thank you, internet! Now you have everything you need to know to jump in and enjoy this comic. Go on, give it a try! I’ll be here for the rest of the series… I need to see how The Shadow gets out of the jam he’s left in on the last page!
Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
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