In Review: The Shadow: Year One #2

The covers: Four main choices to find the evil that lurks in the hearts of men. Cover A is by Matt Wagner. I was shockingly disappointed by the close-up of our title character. This looks nothing like Wagner’s work, more like Michael Kaluta. Cover B is by Alex Ross and it’s a terrific shot of the Shadow’s lair. I could explore this one room forever! Cover C is by Chris Samnee, with our title character in a stylish profile, his guns ready for action. Loving the art and the logo! I always love when the standard logo is redesigned by an artist. Cover D is by Howard Chaykin, showing this issue’s opening action sequence as the Shadow must save Margot Lane from falling. Chaykin is amazing. There are also a slew of variants, but I wasn’t sent them to review. Overall grades: A C-, B A, C A+, and D A+

The story: Picking up from last issue, Margot, who narrates this issue, is being threatened by two of Masseretti’s goons. The Shadow has made his first appearance in the city and his results with this pair are fast and final. Every bit of dialogue he gives is spectacular! Page 7 was perfection in the classic old school heroic sense. I loved Margot and panel three was absolutely thrilling! The result of this confrontation atop the building begins a gang wars and things begin to heat up. Matt Wagner has created a classy, magnificent and fierce tale! Overall grade: A+

The art: I’m liking the layouts by Wilfredo Torres, but I’d like just a little more detail, especially in characters’ faces: Page 9 – 11 have characters so simplistic they look like mannequins. Settings are also very sketchy, such as Page 16, panels one and two, and Page 17, panel one. A little more finish on these pages and panels would please me. That said, the final three pages are an absolute joy to rev up the hearts of any fan: they are gorgeous! Overall grade: B

The colors: Dynamic coloring by Brennan Wagner, especially on the Shadow’s reds and cold blue eyes! The coloring always helped make the time period believable and increased the action when it occurred. Overall grade: A+

The letters: The first seven pages are a testament to Simon Bowland’s skills: great sound effects, the Shadow’s powerful font and dialogue that’s italicized so I can “hear” the characters all the more clearly. Overall grade: A+

The final line: I feel as though I’m witnessing a classic comic in the making. This is a Shadow for the ages! Overall grade: A

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