Review: The Shadow #14
The Shadow is on the hunt for a serial murderer in the darkened streets of New York. But what is the connection between these killings and the shining woman known only as “The Light”? Meanwhile, a nun named Sister Esclarmonde, a newcomer to the city, tries to ease the suffering of the sick and dying at a local hospital. But does she know more about the unfolding mysteries than she will admit?
The Shadow continues his battle against the Light in the new arc from writer Chris Roberson. Giovanni Timpano provides art, Fabricio Guerra handles colors, and Rob Steen tackles letters. Roberson started the new era of The Shadow off strong last month, so does this issue keep up the pace?
The story opens with a look to the past and the origins of our mysterious murderess known as The Light. We see a small girl who is living in horrible conditions. Through it all, she still is able to see the good and the beautiful in her surroundings. While going to fetch water for her father, she is stopped by a mysterious Frenchman who offers her the chance to be more. He lays out the opportunity but tells her the choice is ultimately hers. Cut back to The Shadow trying to stop The Light from killing an innocent man. The Lights says that the man’s soul is stained and that she is on a sacred mission which The Shadow can’t stop. The Shadow tries to stop her, but she’s just too good. She’s just as skilled as he is. The Shadow actually gets injured. He isn’t able to stop her, but he is able to keep the intended victim from dying. From there The Shadow escapes to regroup and figure out who The Light is. He makes the call to his agents and has everyone on the lookout. He knows that if he can’t stop her quickly, the body count will continue to grow. The victim is under police protection at the hospital, but that may have just made The Light’s job a lot easier. Can The Shadow find his new nemesis in time? Can the police actually protect the man already marked for death?
Roberson writes a great issue. We get a brief glimpse at our femme fatales origins and how she came to be the blinding white light of death we see now. She is a near perfect mirror image of The Shadow. Where The Shadow started off as a Westerner learning the mystical ways of the East, she is from Southeast Asia and taken in by a westerner. We see The Shadow physically hurt and even a little shaken. We don’t see that happen to The Shadow. This new threat is a type he doesn’t run across often. Giovanni Timpano’s art is solid. The opening pages of our antagonist’s origins are fantastic. It’s laid out like an old scrapbook with black and white pictures. The rest of the issue features some great designs when The Light is lunging at The Shadow. Sometimes though the character’s faces seem too smooth and their features lack distinction. Guerra’s colors are top notch. The bright, glowing Light is handled perfectly.
Bottom Line: The Shadow has found himself facing off against a threat that is just as talented as he is. Roberson has crafted a fantastic new foil for The Shadow and really started off his run with a bang. This issue feels very cinematic and amps up the action and drama for our hero. Roberson’s Shadow is a must read 4/5