Review: The Shadow #20
The Shadow ventures beyond the Iron Curtain, deep into the heart of the Soviet Union, seeking clues to a mystery that reaches back into his own mysterious past, and which threatens to destroy the man he has become.
The new arc of The Shadow rolls on this week in the pages of The Shadow #20. The issue is written by Chris Roberson with art by Giovanni Timpano. Fabricio Guerra handles colors with Rob Steen providing lettering. The Shadow is on a new globe-trotting adventure to face some unknown threat from his past, but is The Shadow’s journey one you should tag along for?
The Shadow has traveled to Russia to search for clues to the new mystery that is reaching back into his own secret past. To find what he needs, The Shadow must infiltrate a Russian labor camp to speak with a man he once knew in another life. The Dark Eagle, the fearless and fearsome American who worked with the Tsar before WWI, has returned and he needs to know about “The White Tiger.” Failing to seek the answers he needs, The Shadow must turn to another familiar face who is much more dangerous. Can The Shadow find that which he seeks? Why has our hero ventured behind the Iron Curtain?
Roberson writes a fantastic issue. There isn’t a huge fight scene or action piece, but the character work and story development offered in this issue is more than enough to keep readers turning the page. When you throw out words like Seventh Star and Girasol, you have Shadow fans’ attention. Roberson seeds a few clues as to what the mystery is, but we still don’t know what the threat is or who may be responsible. The Shadow has to up his detective game. Giovanni’s art is solid. He gets to play with characters and emotions with the Russian work camps. He does a good job of illustrating the hardships and suffering without going too over the top. The character work with The Shadow is particular great. The way the artist illustrates the actual shadows is a nice touch as well. Guerra’s colors are more subdued with the wide, snowy landscapes of Russia. Things still look a little too slick at times, but that’s a minor complaint.
Bottom Line: Roberson proves that not every issue has to have gun battles and explosions, sometimes you can have quieter issues of The Shadow hunting down clues. The arc started out a little slow, but Roberson starts to pull you in to the wider mystery this month. You can’t help but like where things are (possibly) going. 4/5