Review: The Shadow: Year One #9

Review of: The Shadow: Year One #9
Product by:
Matt Wagner

The Shadow: Year One #9

Reviewed by:
On May 21, 2014
Last modified:May 21, 2014


This series has been touch and go overall, but this issue is just all around great.

In pursuit of his enemy, The Shadow and Margo Lane must uncover the mysterious secrets of Chinatown, an area of the city that seems suddenly cloaked in a miasma of dread. As the intrepid Reporter inches ever closer to discovering The Shadow’s own secrets, the black-cloaked Master of Darkness finally comes face-to-face with his long-time nemesis-Dr. Zorn! Eisner Award-winning writer Matt Wagner and artists Wilfredo Torres and Brennan Wagner bring this exciting expose of The Shadow’s first adventures closer and closer to its thrilling conclusion.

The penultimate installment of The Shadow’s earliest adventure hits stores this week with the release of The Shadow: Year One #9. The story is written by Matt Wagner with art by Wilfredo Torres. Brennan Wagner handles colors and Simon Bowland rounds things out with lettering. The Shadow: Year One has been something of a roller coaster ride in every sense of the term, but how is it now that The Shadow is closing in on his prey?

The Shadow and his new companion Margo Lane have deduced that something strange is going on in Chinatown and that is the likely hiding place of the villainous Dr. Zorn. The Shadow sends Margo into Chinatown to investigate, but that’s going nowhere. With the gangland conflict between the Luppino Mob and the Tongs of Chinatown looming, The Shadow uses the opportunity to set his plan in motion. Our hero tries to kill two birds with one stone, but when he comes face-to-face with his long-time enemy, he may find the tables have turned and he is the one enclosed in a trap. Can The Shadow stop the evil Dr. Zorn? Will he be able to relinquish Zorn’s control over the city’s gangs?

Wagner writes a fast-paced, action-packed, and all-around great issue. This is one of the better installments in the 10-part series. We’re really getting into The Shadow being the hero we all know and love. He has put the puzzle together and enacted his plan. He may be rushing into something and being a little too headstrong, but he’s quickly becoming the character we’re more familiar with. Zorn proves a very worthy foe for our budding crime fighter to top it all off. Torres may present his best work for the series as well. There is some beautiful line and character work, and The Shadow strikes some iconic-like poses in almost every panel he is in. Torres presents some great action and gunplay in the issue’s final scenes. The younger Wagner’s colors are bright and bold. The bright reds, golds, and greens in Chinatown makes for some brilliant imagery.

Bottom Line: The Shadow: Year One is building up to a big finale. This series has been touch and go overall, but this issue is just all around great. Hopefully Wagner and company can really bring it home. 4/5


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