Review: The Shadow: Year One #6
In the aftermath of a daring armored-car hijacking, Police Inspector Cardona first hears rumors of a mysterious, black clad vigilante whose merciless vendetta is accompanied by a spine-chilling laugh. Despite his most ferocious attempts, The Shadow is frustrated by his continual inability to locate mob boss, Big Gun Massaretti. Equally aggravated by his arrogant inability to value her input, The Shadow’s fledgling agent, Margo Lane, endeavors to locate her former paramour on her own. This hit series continues, for the first time ever, to unveil The Shadow’s deepest secrets as imagined by Eisner Award-winning author, Matt Wagner.
The earliest days of The Shadow are explored again this week in the pages of The Shadow: Year One #6. The 10-part series is written by Matt Wagner with art by Wilfredo Torres. Brennan Wagner handles colors with Simon Bowland tackling lettering. It’s been a solid series so far, but does it keep building steam as we start to reach the end?
After the attempted armored-car hijacking last issue, police inspector Cardona has one of the men in custody. They’re working him over for answers regarding the mob boss, but the suspect reveals Massaretti wasn’t the one that threw a wrench in the plans. The Shadow was the one that derailed things at the hijacking. The police get their first report on The Shadow, but it’s a hard pill to swallow. Meanwhile, The Shadow is working the streets trying to find the location of Massarertti so he can get to the bottom of the otherworldly force that’s using Massaretti as a puppet. Both are shielded from The Shadows sight, but he’s started working over some of Massaretti’s men for answers. With nothing but his fists and guns able to get anything out of anyone, The Shadow is finding his search for Massaretti and the outside presence effecting him a difficult task. The Shadow may have run into a dead end, but Margo finds something that could break the case wide open…or lead to her death! Will The Shadow piece things together in time? Can he swoop in and save Margo a second time?
Wagner writes a strong issue. This one is all about The Shadow trying to find answers but coming up a little short. There’s some plot development and a few characters are moved into different places for what comes next. The issue also includes some of the best action of the series so far. Torres art is great. It has an old school pulp edge that really sells the time period and the characters in the story. The action is handled very well too. The fight between The Shadow and some of the mob goons is nothing less than thrilling. There are some great visuals in there as well. The Shadow standing over the men with his cape spread wide is just an awesome image. The younger Wagner’s colors really compliment Torres’ work. Things are bright and The Shadow’s ring glows a beautiful red, but there’s not much shadow work with The Shadow.
Bottom Line: The Shadow: Year One is a great Shadow story, but it feels a little draggy in places. Things are unfolding at a slower pace, which allows for some great character exploration, but it feels like The Shadow is a little too outmatched. This is his early years, so that feeling of taking a while to figure it out works in places. With four issues to go, things may start feeling tighter. 3.5/5