Review: The Shadow Now #4
Uneasy alliances abound as Khan, pursing his own dangerous endgame, places the assassination of the Shadow in Batu’s hands. As Batu bristles under her grandfather’s watchful eye, she forms a dangerous partnership with a local gang leader who claims to have the key to defeating the Shadow. Meanwhile, the Shadow draws both the Russian and Vietnamese mafias into his orbit, preparing to turn rivals into deadly enemies. Long-plotted schemes come to fruition as the Shadow moves to defeat his greatest enemy!
The Shadow that we all know and love from the past is facing off against his greatest enemy, and his enemy’s granddaughter, in the present day as the fourth issue of The Shadow Now. The series is written by David Liss with art by Colton Worley and letters by Rob Steen. With only two issues left, how are things starting to play out for our hero?
The Shadow and Margo (yes, the other Margo Lane’s granddaughter) are still on the run. Khan destroyed The Shadow’s network in the first issue and since then our hero has been against the ropes and he tries to heal up and rebuild his resources. Currently holed up in the final safe house, Lamont and Margo talk about how the chess pieces are currently situated on the board. Lamont thinks that Khan is overconfident since The Shadow has been playing weak, and that’s exactly where Khan needs to be. Margo and Lamont both go off on their own missions as they make sure the board is in their favor. Meanwhile, Khan’s granddaughter is proving to be quite the effective little psychopath. She has a plan to bring The Shadow to an end, and now she has to see if it will work. How will the final battle between The Shadow and the Khan’s go down? Is our hero the one that is overconfident?
Liss writes an issue that serves as the turning point for the series. With two installments left, we’re supposed to see that the endgame has begun. Early in the story Lamont uses a chess analogy to talk about his plans to Margo. The story that follows is largely just the point of his analogy- they need to move pieces around. It telegraphs the end, but it’s a solid story nonetheless. Worley’s photorealistic, almost fumetti, art grows on you. I can really appreciate the contrast he’s presenting with the old pulp Shadow and this new, computer rendered looking fellow that’s wearing the same fedora and coat. This issue feels a lot smoother and has a tighter layout than the previous issues.
Bottom Line: The Shadow Now proves that the titular hero still has a place in the modern world, but things just seem to be moving a little slow. Lamont has planned and maneuvered for four issues, so hopefully the traps are sprung and the battle truly begins in the final issues. 3/5