By Justin McCarty
The Shadow knows! The newest Shadow story puts The Shadow in present day up against a mysterious evil called The Leviathan. We don’t get much about the Leviathan in this issue but what we do get is promising. I was excited to see a new Shadow story; I’m a huge fan! This book is a great start to a new Shadow series.
There is an immediate sense that this book has something to say. The Shadow is about passing judgment on evil doers, and through this book, Si Spurrier and Dan Watters will pass judgment on privilege and the popular media.They want to make a statement about the current world we live in.
Daniel’s line art is crisp. The composition keeps the reader focused on the right information and helps to move the plot along. There is very little text on the pages featuring The Shadow in action leaving the art room to breathe. The hospital room’s feeling of being a cell or keeping the patient trapped is likely not an accident. The structured layout of the book is purposeful. It’s a 2x4 grid and just like the hospital room it feels limiting, but that makes the splash pages and action stand out more. I almost missed the silhouette of The Shadow by the bed on the last page; however, still a really nice touch.
Natalia Marques’ colors are not overly saturated setting the right mood and tone. The desaturated flashbacks are very good at distinguishing past from present as well.
The lettering is subtle when it needs to be and stands out when it needs to take the storytelling reigns. The font is never distracting and contributes to the tone of the story. The laugh is so important to the feel of The Shadow, it’s also a plot point in this story, and here it is menacing. The Shadow’s speech balloons are usually white text on a black fill and that is the same for this book. That effect really gives you the sense of his creepy tone of voice. No need to mess with that formula.
This first issue is really an introductory chapter in this story. We are introduced to our point-of-view character, a chatty nurse doing nurse things on a patient as she talks about her encounter with the chilling title character. We get to learn about her relationship to The Shadow and why we should care about her. We are then introduced to the mysterious hero’s past crime fighting and his violent form of justice and judgment. We are then introduced to the world this story is set in. A world consumed with the superficial. Finally, we are introduced to the mystery of who this burn victim is. The plot is well paced but does slow down at times to allow for the previously mentioned commentary on the world in which we live.
The Shadow knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men because of the darkness within his own heart. Pick this book up if you haven’t yet.
The Shadow v3 #1
Writers: Si Spurrier & Dan Watters
Artist: Daniel HDR
Color: Natalia Marques
Letters: Simon Bowland
Editor: Joseph Rybrant & Anthony Marques
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment