The Shadow

The Shadow #1

by Alan Rapp on August 17, 2017

in Comics

The Shadow #1 comic reviewWriters Simon Spurrier and Dan Watters are not the first who have attempted to update The Shadow and bring the vigilante into a more modern storyline. It’s a problematic decision as the world of the Shadow, including the age in which he was born and prospered, is very much tied to the core of the character. The first issue gives us stories of the Shadow, a legend half-forgotten. Our narrator is not either Lamont Cranston nor Margo Lane. The later doesn’t appear in the issue (which, aside from flashbacks, may be true of the former as well).

Instead The Shadow #1 is told from the perspective of a nurse relating the legend of the vigilante to a burn patient who she believes to be the vigilante who once saved her life. Could this broken man truly be the Shadow? While that’s a question the series will have to decide on, for this first issue the answer doesn’t really mater. All that does is that nurse Mary Jerez believes the unnamed patient to be the Shadow.

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Batman/The Shadow #1

by Alan Rapp on May 18, 2017

in Comics

Batman/The Shadow #1 comic reviewThe death of a descendant of Lamont Cranston, a well-respected orderly at Arkham Asylum, leads Batman down a rabbit hole. Encountering an odd shadowy creature at the crime scene, Batman goes back to the beginning investigating Cranston, his network of informants, and even talking with the man’s closest ally Margo Lane.

There are several questions posed in this first issue. How is Lamont Crantson still alive and spry enough to go toe-to-toe with the Batman? Why has he returned after all these years simply to kill his own descendant? Who is the Shadow’s new master? I’m always up for a Bat-story where our hero’s detective skills are highlighted, and I curious to see where Batman’s journey takes him from here.

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The Shadow: The Death of Margo Lane #5

by Alan Rapp on October 24, 2016

in Comics

The Shadow: The Death of Margo Lane #5The five-issue mini-series comes to a conclusion with a twist that isn’t going to be that big of a surprise to readers. Finally face-to-face with Zhu Khanum, the daughter of Shiwan Khan, the Shadow‘s attempt at vengeance for Margo Lane‘s death is stalled when the daughter of the Shadow’s greatest enemy reveals Margo is alive. Brainwashed as Zhu Khanum’s loyal soldier, Margo attacks The Shadow with ferocity.

Although the Shadow is able to stop Margo and remove much of Shiwan Khan’s programming, the mini-series ends on a dour note as the villain escapes capture and Margo’s choice to leave Lamont given the emotional and psychological scars left from her time with Zhu Khanum.

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The Shadow: The Death of Margo Lane #4

by Alan Rapp on September 27, 2016

in Comics

The Shadow: The Death of Margo Lane #4Following the loss of Margo Lane, the Shadow begins to feel untethered without his companion’s council. After paying a visit to one his most loyal soldiers, Dr. Tam, Lamont feels steady enough to continue his search for he illusive Red Empress. Despite losing control at one point while scaring the information he needs out of a witness, the Shadow is able to finally find the secret mobile lair of his enemy.

Parachuting onto the boat in the dead of night, the Shadow makes his way into the inner sanctum and finally comes face-to-face with the Red Empress who knows far more about the Shadow than he could ever have suspected. Setting up the final showdown between the pair in next month’s final issue of the five-issue mini-series, writer/artist Matt Wanger reveals the identity of the Shadow’s new nemesis to be Zhu Khanum, the daughter of Shiwan Khan.

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The Shadow: The Death of Margo Lane #2

by Alan Rapp on July 22, 2016

in Comics

The Shadow: The Death of Margo Lane #2The Shadow: The Death of Margo Lane #2 delivers on its title as the Shadow is able to narrowly escape a trap set by the Red Empress. Unaware of the danger, or that the Shadow has already made it out safely, Margo Lane runs straight into a building about the explode and to her (less than definite) doom.

The fact that Margo dies off-panel is suggestive. Did she make it out? Was she skirted away by agents of the Red Empress? Or was she injured or trapped beneath the rubble and won’t be found until later in the series? Even with the public manner of her death and the title of the comic I’m guessing there’s still at least a 50-50 chance writer/artist Matt Wagner has a trick up his sleeve.

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