Review: The Shadow: Year One #3
Bear witness to the first time that The Shadow ever donned his costume in action! When mobsters meet in secret at a meatpacking warehouse, they become the unfortunate first criminals to see the Master of Men’s unsettling form. Will any survive the ensuing carnage to warn their master? Plus, Margo Lane and the debut of The Shadow’s ultimate nemesis!
The earliest days of The Shadow are explored yet again with this week’s release of The Shadow: Year One #3. The story is written by Matt Wagner with art from Wilfredo Torres. Brennan Wagner handles colors and Simon Bowland provides lettering. So is this Year One story still going strong or has the newness worn off?
An insurance broker has been kidnapped by some mobsters and taken to a meatpacking plant. The boss, the “Dandy Don,” has brought our low level bureaucrat to his warehouse to check on an insurance policy. The mobster we’ve seen in the previous two issues, “Big Gun” Massaretti, is continuing his war against all the other crime families. The Dandy Don is looking for the insurance broker to underwrite a policy to cover any and all damages the fight might do to his holdings. When the broker says he can’t do it, the Don takes his wrath out on a disloyal employee. He makes a point of telling the insurance broker he has known the guy his whole life, just imagine what he would do to the bureaucrat he just met. Things are looking pretty bad when The Shadow makes the scene. It’s our first time seeing our hero in his full costume. We saw him assemble it last issue, but now he’s in the iconic hat and coat. After recruiting the insurance broker as a new agent, The Shadow returns to his home and to his life as Lamont Cranston. Only when The Shadow returns, Margo Lane is there waiting for him. She confronts him and reveals that she knows about the super heroics he is up to as of late. When The Shadow finds out yet again he can’t hypnotize her, he is left with only a couple of options. What will he do? Who is the mysterious man revealed at the end? Is this the man The Shadow has been on the hunt for?
Wagner crafts another fantastic issue. The introduction of The Shadow during the scene at the meatpacking plant is handled wonderfully. It’s a truly fitting debut for the character in his iconic outfit. Wagner also presents an interesting mobster with the Dandy Don. He’s a great character that gets a few pages of exploration. The scene between Margo and Lamont are the real meat of the story though. This is the turning point in the relationship we’re used to seeing. This is where things change and we start to get closer and closer to seeing The Shadow we know and love. Torres’ art and Wagner’s colors are fantastic this issue. The previous two have been just as good, but the third time is the definitely the charm. The blood splatter on the word “Bang” is an amazing touch.
Bottom Line: The Shadow: Year One has reintroduced one of pulps most enduring heroes in a new and entertaining way. This issue gets us even closer to The Shadow we know, but there’s still a lot left to do and explore with the Year One theme. Wagner and company aim to please with this one 4.5/5