My prior knowledge of the Shadow comes almost entirely from Alec Baldwin’s often overlooked movie turn from 1994, which I still think was actually quite good but the opportunity to take a look at this series (which were joining quite late in the run, sorry) was too good to pass up.
This title sets out to tell the tale of how the Shadow became established, filling in the gap between his return from the orient and his preeminence as a crime fighter, supported by his network of informants and agents.
We join proceedings with the Shadow’s agent-cum-love-interest Margo Lane having been rumbled by mob boss Joe Massaretti and about to be disposed of in a very 1920s sort of way.
What ensues is a timeless scene featuring a plane, tommy guns, one liners from the shadows as well as damsels in distress, rescue, revenge and romance.
The second half of the issue deals with some more exposition, telling us more about the Shadow’s origins than I’d previously known and really setting us up for the end game that’s been gradually built up over the run.
The artwork captures the period style of the title perfectly, with skyscrapers, suits and slinky red dresses all in evidence and the contrast between the grimy underworld and the 1920s glamour stamped out with the use of muted tones, highlighted by the muzzle flashes of guns and the Shadow’s red scarf, blowing in the wind.
The combination of effective artwork and an almost surprisingly engaging story (given the relatively well worn tropes on display) makes this a series well worth getting into. I might have to go back and buy the earlier issues myself.
The writer of this piece was: Chris Napier
You can also find Chris on Twitter.