Review: The Shadow/Green Hornet: Dark Nights #4
Scientist Nikola Tesla’s new Death-Ray is in Shiwan Khan’s hands! But for it to become fully operational, Khan must access the massive power contained in The Shadow’s own Girasol, uncovering its secret origin(s) in the process! It’s life-or-death for Tesla, President Roosevelt, and for New York as The Shadow, The Green Hornet and Kato descend on the City, prepared to incur the fury of Khan
The penultimate issue of The Shadow/Green Hornet Dark Nights hits this week. The Shadow and The Green Hornet are racing against the clock to stop Shiwan Khan from destroying America’s budding military industrial complex to help Hitler keep the good ol’ US of A out of his way. Issue #4 is written by Michael Uslan with art from Keith Burns. Tony Avina handles colors with Rob Steen providing lettering. With only one issue left, how are things shaping up for our heroes?
Things are looking bleak. Khan has Nikola Tesla, the death-ray, and the Girasol. To help motivate Tesla to do what he wants, Khan has also kidnapped President Franklin Roosevelt. With no options, Tesla finishes the death-ray and helps Khan get the Girasol ready for weaponization. As Khan is revealing his evil plans through monologue, we learn the Girasol’s origins. It started out as a fire opal in the mines of Mexico in the 1500s. The Xinca Indians turned it into a sacred idol, using it as a jewel in one of their idol’s eye sockets. The Shadow is trying to rally the troops while Khan puts the final steps of his plan into motion. Everyone is told to converge on The Shadow’s secret headquarters for a meeting. You know things are bad when The Shadow calls all his agents in. At Grand Central Station Britt Reid is arriving just in time for the big meeting. He and Kato race to the secret headquarters where The Shadow is laying out his plans. When The Green Hornet shoots down The Shadow’s plans, things start to take a different direction. The stage is set for the final showdown and The Green Hornet, Kato, and The Shadow are ready. Can the trio stop Khan in time? Will the megalomaniacal fiend have the upper hand on The Shadow with the Girasol?
Uslan writes another thrilling issue. This is pure, old school pulp at its finest. The Shadow and The Green Hornet are finally together as heroes and things get kicked up a notch as the showdown with Khan begins. The only problem with the series is that at times it feels like things are really just being set up and there’s not much to do for a lot of the characters. This issue more than any other really brings the suspense and action though. Burns’ art has been a perfect fit for the series. The artist really has an eye for detail and that comes across in the way this historical period is presented. Not only are the backgrounds and settings great, the character work is top notch. Burns’ heavy lines and more stylistic approach to some things really makes for a great Shadow. Avina’s colors really elevate the art and just makes it feel very pulp. It’s bright and just as stylized as the art.
Bottom Line: The Shadow/Green Hornet Dark Nights is a great bit of pulp. The story is solid, we get good depictions of the heroic characters, and it looks like we’re in for an exciting conclusion. The only real negative is that characters feel shortchanged at times. It’s a tight series, but there’s room for more exploration. 3.5/5