Review: The Shadow #13 By Chris Roberson
A grisly string of random murders has left the authorities baffled, but The Shadow believes there is method to the killer’s madness. At each crime scene, eyewitnesses have spotted the spectral figure of a woman in white. Is “The Light” behind the murders, or a victim’s lost spirit? The Shadow must unravel the mystery before the killer strikes again!
A new chapter of The Shadow kicks off this week with the release of issue #13. New series writer Chris Roberson comes in to take the pulp legend into a new direction. Giovanni Timpano provides art, Fabricio Guerra handles colors, and Rob Steen rounds out the cast with lettering. So this a good change of pace for The Shadow or is the new direction a wrong turn?
The story opens in a hotel room where a prominent businessman is about to enjoy the company of three women of ill repute. A bright white glowing figure appears in the room. The feminine figure starts talking about the man being a “divine soul trapped in corruptible flesh.” The figure is clearly a moral crusader who is looking to judge those that are living a sinful life. The police investigate the grisly murder, the next in a long line of similarly themed murders. The Shadow’s cab driver is near the scene eavesdropping. He sends a tip in to The Shadow’s operator who then passes it along to the man himself. Once again Lamont Cranston must change his plans with Margo as he goes to the Cobalt Club to try and ease some information from the police commissioner. The next killing is about to go down, but The Shadow has been tipped off. Can he get there in time to stop the ethereal killer?
Roberson writes an apt first issue. He’s setting things up, so there’s a lot more Lamont than The Shadow. You can see how he’s going about the story but after the amazing way he handled The Shadow in the hit miniseries Masks, you’re left wishing there was a little more of the big man in the debut issue. Timpano’s art is hit and miss. There is a lot of good designs and background work, but there are a lot of times where characters are positioned in awkward of physically impossible situations. There’s a doctor pulling off a very Exorcist-like head turn. Guerra’s colors work really well with the glowing figure of the murderess.
Bottom Line: The Shadow #13 is a solid start for Roberson. We have an intriguing story at work with a mysterious killer who looks like a nun. You’re left wanting more Shadow, but Roberson handles Lamont well enough to keep you turning the page. It’s a good story that suffers a little from a few odd art choices. The next issue looks promising and I believe we’ll be running along smoothly in no time. 3.5/5