Comic Review: The Shadow #23

The Shadow #23
Created by Walter B. Gibson
Written by Chris Roberson
Art by Giovanni Timpano
Colors by Fabricio Guerro
Letters by Rob Steen
Covers by Alex Ross, Dean Motter
Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: March 19, 2014
Cover Price: $3.99

Dynamite’s The Shadow is a retelling of the Walter B. Gibson stories best known from radio plays that starred, among others, Orson Wells. As a comic the stories take on a new life. I was a fan of the radio programs so I asked to see what this new Shadow might be. The cover art by Alex Ross is spectacular, invoking the period and sensibility of the 1930s around the start of WWII. I found the heavy-handedness of the line art by Giovanni Timpano to be evocative of the older comics I have seen like Sgt. Rock books from the ’70s.

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Comic Review: The Shadow 1941: Hilter’s Astrologer

The Shadow 1941: Hilter’s Astrologer
Written by Denny O’Neil
Illustrated by Michael Kaluta
Colored by Mark Chiarello, Nick Jainschigg, John Wellington
Lettered by Phil Felix
Re-Mastered by Mike Kelleher
Cover by Michael Kaluta
Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: December 10, 2013
Cover Price: $19.99

Re-mastered from a 1988 graphic novel, The Shadow 1941 finds The Shadow and his network of resources trying to save a young woman, and the world, from the malevolent Nazi threat! As the mystery of this woman’s connection to the Nazi war-machine unravels, Lamont Cranson must stop at nothing to save this woman, because doing so will also avert a cataclysmic turn in the war.

While the actual book was written in 1988, Michael Kaluta’s art feels like it came from the pulp-pages of a 1940s book. The tone of the art sets the mood for the noir-world of The Shadow. I don’t know how this is possible, but the artwork captures the same feel of the old-time Shadow radio program. Katula’s ability shines in these pages.

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Comic Review: The Shadow #12
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The Shadow #12
Written by Victor Gischler
Art by Giovanni Timpano
Color by Ivan Nunes
Letters by Rob Steen
Covers by Alex Ross, Sean Chen, Tim Bradstreet and Francesco Francavilla
Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: April 24, 2013
Cover Price: $3.99

The Shadow #12 is yet another great entry in Dynamite Entertainment‘s pulp hero dynasty. What this company has done with near 100 year old heroes and mystery men is simply amazing. It also doesn’t hurt that they have a fantastic creative team for this book, either.

Victor Gischler goes above and beyond this issue. First off, his dialogue between LaMont Cranston and Magot Lane is straight out of a 1930’s movie. Cranston is high and aloof and Lane is the hopelessly in love girlfriend that’s trying to get him to spend at least ONE uninterupted dinner. From there, Gischler takes The Shadow right into “super hero” mode, which is fantastic. The Shadow’s inner monologues are fun, but sort of creepy. You’re still not sure exactly WHAT kind of hero that he is, and that’s really entertaining for the reader.

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Comic Review: The Shadow: Year One #1
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The Shadow: Year One #1
Written by Matt Wagner
Art by Wilfredo Torres
Colors by Brennan Wagner
Letters by Simon Bowland
Covers by Matt Wagner, Alex Ross, Chris Samnee & Howard Chaykin
Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: February 20, 2013
Cover Price: $3.99

The Shadow Year One #1 is the first part of the untold origin of The Shadow. Kind of. What I was expecting and what this book delivered are two VERY different things.

Author Matt Wagner is legendary in the comic book business, and rightfully so. His list of credentials are WAY too long for me to list here, and let’s face it, you know who he is. Thankfully, he’s his awesome self writing this book. When I first hear about this series, I pictured something much different. I was looking for a great story about how LaMont Cranston BECAME The Shadow: his training, his reasons for doing so, etc., sort of like a Batman Begins type story for this character. Instead, what we have is a Batman Year One type story. Cranston returns home from abroad to New York, and that’s where the book starts. It’s about him becoming the masked vigilante hero that we all know and love.

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Comic Review: The Shadow Special #1
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The Shadow Special #1
Written by Scott Beatty
Art by Ronan Cliquet
Colors by Mat Lopes
Letters by Rob Steen
Cover by Alex Ross
Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: December 26, 2012
Cover Price: $4.99

The Shadow Special #1 is a really fun read. It’s not life-changing or Earth-shattering; it’s just a fun book to read. And what more can you ask for?

Scott Beatty turns in a very entertaining story, that delves into the past of LaMont Cranston and his life before becoming The Shadow. It’s part mystery, all action-adventure, and reminds me of a comic that I would’ve read about 10 years ago, but in a GOOD way. It’s fun from start to finish, and there’s some GREAT period stuff in this issue. It’s also very adult in nature. Now, I don’t mean it’s full of nudity and cursing, but the subject matter is very dark and might not be suitable for younger readers. That being said, this is a great book to check out if you want to start reading The Shadow. It’s a taste of what you get every month in Shadow comics, so rather than pick up an issue of the monthly title, give this a try and see if it’s something that you’d like to read.

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