Review: The Shadow #21
The Shadow’s search for the secret of the girasol has lead him from the concrete canyons of New York City, to the snowy wastes of Siberia, and now to the peaks of the Himalayas, the fabled Roof of the World. But will he find the answers he seeks there or only his own death?
The Shadow’s quest to uncover the mysteries of the girasol continue this month in The Shadow #21. The story is written by Chris Roberson with art by Giovanni Timpano. Fabricio Guerra handles colors with Rob Steen providing lettering. How does the Shadow’s search measure up this month?
The Shadow left New York, traveled through Siberia, and has now found himself at the Roof of the World. Up in the high altitude of the Himalayas, the air is thin and so is the patience of the city. Chinese and British forces are still stationed in Tibet and things are tense to say the least. A ruthless man from The Shadow’s days as Ying Ko has made himself a decorated officer of Chang Kai-Shek’s army. He may hold the answers The Shadow seeks. Meanwhile, soldiers are mysteriously bursting into flames. While some believe there are mystical causes, The Shadow knows otherwise. Not only does our hero have to find the answers he requires but he also has to deal out some justice. Does The Shadow get closer to the end of his quest? How are soldiers starting to burst into flames?
Roberson writes another solid issue. The Shadow becomes a background player for the majority of this issue. The story is framed by the soldier Shadow is tracking. Our hero pops in and out of the narrative, but it’s largely a look at things through the soldier’s eyes. Roberson has kept things mysterious throughout this arc by doing things like this, and it’s working really well so far. Timpano’s art fits perfectly with this story. He presents some impressive landscapes and crowd scenes as well as some great character work. There is one panel at the very end of the issue that is nothing short of spectacular. Guerra’s colors take on almost a painterly quality this month. The jump from bright, outdoor scenes to very dark indoor sequences provide a great contrast for the story.
Bottom Line: The Shadow continues to please. Roberson is keeping things very mysterious, but we’re starting to see what The Shadow’s goals are. Roberson has quickly turned The Shadow into some can’t miss pulp. 4/5