Review: The Shadow Now #5
The Shadow and Khan begin their endgames as a grudge match, 80 years in the making, enters its final stages. The gang war the Shadow has created threatens to spiral out of control, even as Khan’s manipulation of the underworld threatens to send New York spiraling into chaos. Meanwhile, the Shadow’s hastily-assembled network begins to show its weaknesses and Khan’s granddaughter moves in for the kill. It’s plot and counter-plot in the penultimate issue of the pulp showdown.
The penultimate installment of the story bringing The Shadow to the present hits this week in the pages of The Shadow Now #5. The story is written by David Liss with art by Colton Worley. Simon Bowland rounds out the cast with lettering. The Shadow has been up against the ropes for the majority of the series, but it looks like he’s just been playing possum. How are things looking for the pulp hero now that his showdown with Khan is on the horizon?
The Shadow and Margo have regrouped after a few run-ins with thugs working in the service of Khan, and now the hero that has recently returned to New York is ready to initiate his plan. After being backed into a corner and injured both physically and resource wise, The Shadow is ready to strike Khan where it hurts the most- his pocket. The Shadow has been orchestrating a citywide gang war playing both sides against each other and now Khan’s plans descend into chaos. The aged villain is losing control of his pawns, he’s losing money, and his granddaughter is getting tired of his style. Plans have to be fast-tracked while Khan still has his resources. Has The Shadow done enough to put Khan out of business? As chaos reigns, can The Shadow stop his arch enemy once and for all?
Liss writes a very dramatic and layered issue. A lot of things have been building up over the past four issues, and now we start to see things paying off. This series has been a slow burn in a lot of respects, but the fires have truly been stoked as we reach what appears to be an action-packed finale. Worley’s art looks slightly different from the previous issues. Thing were very realistic, almost fumetti or heavily computer generated, but now it takes on an almost painted quality. It still looks nearly photorealistic in places, but it seems the color pallet has been changed up slightly to make things a little darker and more grounded.
Bottom Line: The Shadow Now has been building and building for months, but this issue is where things really pay off and build up what is sure to be an epic showdown between The Shadow and Khan. Liss has made a very layered story that feels like a TV show in some ways, but he still proves there’s a place for The Shadow in the modern world. 4/5
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