Review: The Shadow: Year One #8
Now Bimonthly! In the aftermath of his sky-scraping battle with Big Gun Massaretti, Lamont Cranston hunts for the psychic super-villain who was puppet master to the belligerent mobster, the grotesque and mysterious Dr. Zorn. His pursuit takes him to all corners of the Big Apple, even as the NYPD are just beginning to hear reports of the dark-clad vigilante known only as The Shadow! Eisner Award winner Matt Wagner and artists Wildfredo Torres and Brennan Wagner bring the classic pulp hero’s fledgling adventures to life in this blazing hot ten-issue series.
The Shadow is back in action this month in the pages of The Shadow: Year One #8. The story is written by Matt Wagner with art by Wilfredo Torres. Brennan Wagner handles colors with Simon Bowland providing lettering. It’s been a few months since we’ve got to visit The Shadow’s early years, but was the wait worth it?
Big Gun Massaretti is dead and the criminal underworld is in turmoil. There’s a power vacuum and The Shadow hopes he can use it to his advantage. With that part of his mission out of the way, The Shadow is now ready to focus all of his attention on the mysterious and deadly Dr. Zorn. The search is on, and the villain is hiding in the most unlikely of places. Can The Shadow figure out the location of his prey in time? Which mobster will rise to power in the Massaretti-less underworld?
Wagner writes a tight and action-packed story. There’s a lot of ground covered this month and we turn another corner as The Shadow gets closer to completing the mission he’s set for himself. Wagner does a fantastic job of capturing Lamont/Shadow’s voice and presenting a story firmly and accurately set in the time period he’s using. Torres’ art fits really well with Wagner’s story. Torres makes things crisp, clean, and gives it a great 1940s vibe. The artist has a great eye for action and presents some really dynamic pages when it comes to The Shadow squaring off against mobsters. Bowland’s lettering works well with the big action too. The words become a part of the action itself. The younger Wagner’s colors are very bright and vibrant while still sticking with the overall historic setting.
Bottom Line: The Shadow: Year One is a great bit of pulp fun, though it is somewhat of an irregular ride. With only a few issues left, it will be interesting to see how Wagner and company tie the remaining threads together. 3.5/5
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