Review: The Shadow Now #2
The Shadow Network is in tatters, Lamont Cranston lies near death, and Shiwan Khan is on the rise, but it’s a mistake to count out the Shadow! From the ashes of his ruined life, Cranston begins to rebuild all he has lost. Meanwhile, Khan expands his own reach, and a major new player in the Shadow continuity is revealed. It’s the Shadow like you’ve never seen him before!
The Shadow is facing a threat in the present day as the second issue of The Shadow Now hits comic book stands this week. The story taking the pulp icon that is Lamont Cranston/The Shadow and putting him in our time is written by David Liss with art by Colton Worley. Rob Steen handles lettering. The first issue set some interesting ideas, but how does the second installment follow up?
Last month we saw The Shadow return to New York after decades spent in the Far East rejuvenating himself. Thanks to some meditation and regeneration techniques he learned in the Eastern temples of Shambhala, Lamont Cranston has survived into modern times looking as youthful and full of energy as he was in the 1930s. He has set up a large Shadow Network to carry on his legacy. It has been infiltrated by Shiwan Khan, and now Lamont has been stripped of his wealth and everything else he had. After being shot and left for dead, and with no one left to help him other than the granddaughter of Margo Lane, Lamont must try to recover and still take the fight to Khan before his nefarious plan can be completed. Holed up in a horrible, little hotel in Brooklyn, Lamont and Margo Forsythe must stay a step ahead of Khan’s new gangland connections while trying to rebuild their network. Can The Shadow still strike fear in evil men’s heart in the modern age? Can his old school methods defeat Khan’s new school plans?
Liss writes a strong issue. Last month set everything up, so now we get to explore Lamont in the modern day and the struggles he endures. Khan has adapted to the times well and even has a few tricks up his sleeves. Lamont is left completely broken in more ways than one, and must rebuild himself and his network or allies. Liss set up very large organizations in the first issue and completely destroys them and strips The Shadow back down to basics this month. Worley’s presents some visually stunning art. There are some beautiful pages, but there are plenty of times where it looks too photo referenced and almost digitally Alex Ross/fumetti in places, for lack of a better way to say that. It works overall though. You have regular Shadow series with very pulp art and this is a modern Shadow with some extremely modern art. I see what they’re going for, but it takes some time to get used to in many places.
Bottom Line: The Shadow Now has a very intriguing concept, but it’s taking some time to get rolling. This issue starts to find its feet so hopefully Liss starts to find his groove and starts to flesh out some of the ideas presented within. If you’re a big Shadow fan this is definitely worth checking out. Liss shows that there’s still a place for the character in the modern world. 3.5/5
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