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Comic Review: The Shadow #5
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The Shadow #5The Shadow #5
Written by Garth Ennis
Art by Aaron Campbell
Colors by Carlos Lopez
Letters by Rob Steen
Covers by Alex Ross, Howard Chaykin, John Cassaday & Francesco Francavilla
Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: September 19, 2012
Cover Price: $3.99

The Shadow #5 is the penultimate chapter in the first arc of this title, and for me, it’s gone a little downhill since the begining. What started off really strong has kind of petered out a little. Bottom line, the story arc is a little messy and the book suffers for it.

Yes, Garth Ennis is a legend in the comic book business. But, even superstars can slip up now and then. I LOVED the first few issues of this title, it was everything that I wanted it to be. You had The Shadow fighting crime in 1930s New York City. You had ALL the trademark Shadow standards, and it was entertaining beyond reason. Then, Ennis decided to take The Shadow OUT of his element and into a globetrotting adventure ala Indiana Jones, and, it just didn’t work as well as the first few issues. What you’ve got now is a very confusing story, that really isn’t a SHADOW story. You could plop any pulp character in there and it would work just as well, and that’s a shame.

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Comic Review: The Shadow #4
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PS Hayes   |  @   |  
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The Shadow #4The Shadow #4
Written by Garth Ennis
Art by Aaron Campbell
Colors by Carlos Lopez
Letters by Rob Steen
Covers by Alex Ross, Howard Chaykin, John Cassaday & Sean Chen
Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: August 1, 2012
Cover Price: $3.99

The Shadow #8 is a MUST READ issue!!! That is, if you like awesome comics, which I’m guessing a lot of you do. I really think that I should warn you, though. This is NOT a comic book for younger readers. In fact, I’d say you should be at LEAST 30 to read this comic. Seriously.

Writer Garth Ennis delivers a knock-out issue, coming at you with guns (literally) blazing. In this issue he tells the story that Shadow fans have always wanted to read… as only he can tell it. Yes, some of us know the origin of The Shadow, but it’s never been told quite like this. It’s hard-edged, it’s hard-core, it’s magnificent. It’s comics like this that make you go to the comic store every week. It’s a great read, and not a short one, either. When reading this I was reminded of comics from the sixties, seventies, and even the eighties when word balloons took up more than half the panel. We really get a great sense of who both LaMont Cranston and The Shadow are in this issue, and both answers will surprise you. All in all, another gen from the creative team on this book.

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Comic Review: The Shadow #3
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PS Hayes   |  @   |  
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Dynamite Entertainment: The Shadow #3The Shadow #3
Written by Garth Ennis
Art by Aaron Campbell
Colors by Carlos Lopez
Letters by Rob Steen
The Shadow created by William B. Gibson
Covers by Alex Ross, Howard Chaykin, John Cassaday & Stephen Segovia
Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: June 20, 2012
Cover Price: $3.99

You know the great thing about The Shadow #3? IT’S ONLY THE THIRD ISSUE! It’s only the third issue and we’ve gotten SO much story!! I can’t really imagine how this title is going to read when it gets into the teens. So far each installment has been PACKED with information and storytelling, and this issue is no different.

Garth Ennis proves that this is definitely NOT your father’s Shadow. Or, actually, your grandfather’s Shadow. First off, a lot of times foreign enemies are portrayed as helpless stereotypes. Basically the Star Wars Stormtroopers of history. Not so, here. They are portrayed as cunning, smart, and perfectly capable of destroying the United States and whatever else they plan to conquer. That’s the first brilliant part of Ennis’ writing.

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Comic Review: The Shadow #2
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PS Hayes   |  @   |  
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The Shadow 2The Shadow #2
Written by Garth Ennis
Art by Aaron Campbell
Colors by Carlos Lopez
Letters by Rob Steen
Covers by Alex Ross, Howard Chaykin, John Cassaday, Jae Lee, and Ryan Sook
Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: May 16, 2012
Cover Price: $3.99

The Shadow #2 is, to put it bluntly, a mystery. But, a really FUN mystery. Filled with action and adventure, if you liked the first issue, you’ll love the second. It’s Garth Ennis and Aaron Campbell at their best.

I have to wonder what made Garth Ennis take this assignment? Does he have a love for the character? Did he want to prove something to himself by writing a licensed book? Did Nick from Dynamite throw tons of cash at him? Who am I to say? But whatever the reason, I’m sure glad he did. I can’t imagine anyone else writing this series. It’s not too over the top on blood and guts like a lot of Ennis books are, but I’m sure that’s because of the nature of the project. It does have enough edge to it to make it feel deadly serious, and not just another watered-down version of a pulp hero. The pacing is perfect, it speeds up when it needs to and slows down and gets into the heavy story beats when you need them. Something that I LOVED about this issue was that it’s SO full of story. This isn’t something you’re going to read in 5 minutes and forget about in 10. This is a comic that your actually going to get $4+ of entertainment out of.

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Comic Review: Dark Shadows #5
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PS Hayes   |  @   |  
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Dark Shadows 5Dark Shadows #5
Written by Mike Raicht
Art by Guiu Vilanova
Colors by Carlos Lopez
Letters by Troy Peteri
Cover by Francseco Francavilla
Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: May 9, 2012
Cover Price: $3.99

Dark Shadows #5 is very entertaining. In a lot of ways. You can take it seriously or not, but either way you’re going to enjoy it. It seems that main character Barnabas Collins doesn’t really WANT to be a vampire, which is interesting. I’m not an expert on vampires, but usually once people turn into them, they really seem to enjoy it.

Series writer Mike Raicht turns out a interesting story for this issue. While it’s fun for us, the reader, it’s no fun for any of the characters involved. There are a lot of what some people would call “soap opera” elements to comic story telling, but this title is a STRAIGHT-OUT soap opera, just with horror theme to it. It’s really nice to read a comic once in a while where there are NO super powers, no fights or super weapons, just good, solid drama and that’s what this comic is. Sure, there’s a vampire element to it, but Raicht really gets the reader invested in Barnabas Collins the MAN, not Barnabas Collins the VAMPIRE.

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