The Shadow #1 (2017)

I love OTR (Old Time Radio) shows. When I was young, I would fall asleep most nights listening to shows like The Shadow on local radio. Now I listen via podcast, although I still tend to listen at night (in fact, it’s playing in the background as I write this). The “golden age” of radio was a different era, one that rarely translates well when modern productions get a hold of it. That’s a big part of why I’ve never read any of the modern comic book adaptations of those classic characters.

The newest series of The Shadow that Dynamite has put out seems to be taking a very different approach. The story takes place in the modern era. It is so current, in fact, that the television references news from only a few short months ago. Is this a reboot? A time travel story? It wouldn’t be unheard of to have a new Shadow taking up the mantle of their ancestor (that’s how Green Hornet came to be, although that’s a very different story for another day.) From the point of view of the young medical student describing her high school encounter with the mysterious Shadow, the story is none of those.  Apparently, the Shadow never stop operating. He’s continued gang busting and spy catching since the 1930’s, before disappearing 10 years ago, the day he saved the life the young girl who would be our narrator.

It’s an interesting idea. If I said I wasn’t a bit leery of how this is going to unfold, I’d be lying. At the same time, I’m curious to see the path writers Si Spurrier and Dan Watters are taking us down. Daniel HDR’s art is very good, but there are really only a handful of panels, showing us the 1930’s Shadow, that I found really engaging. Likewise with Natalie Marques’ coloring. That being said, this issue was pretty straight forward, not really giving either of them a lot of anything to engage us with. Little more than exposition and setup of things to come, the issue felt a lot like a Free Comic Book Day #0 preview. I’m going to hang on for a few issues and see where this goes. With luck, things will pick up and I will love this series, and perhaps pick up some of Dynamite’s older Shadow stories.

For now, I can only justify giving this a 2.5 out of 5, with the hope that now that the story has been set up (and it IS an interesting set up, but I won’t spoil it for you here), we can get down to business with this great character.

You can find Dynamite Entertainment online or on Facebook

Geek-o-Rama received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments and opinions are those of the individual reviewer.

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