Dynamite Entertainment and the creative team of Matt Wagner and Wilfredo Torres finally bring me a Shadow book that I can really appreciate. I have always been a fan of the character, but I think that I was a bigger fan of what he represented and how he looked rather than the actual stories. Of course, I loved the Alec Baldwin movie back in the nineties, but that guy has completely lost his mind now, and I don’t really get as much enjoyment from it anymore. But The Shadow: Year One sort of puts me back into the world that attracted me to him in the first place. And that’s what I appreciate the most. In the aftermath of Lamont’s scrap with the big bad, Massaretti, he now searches for the man who was pulling the strings of the mobster. His search takes him all over New York just as the police are starting to hear ghost stories of the masked vigilante known as “The Shadow”. Unfortunately, this guy isn’t going to be easy to find, but he may yet be right under our noses.
The first thing that I noticed about this series, was the art. It’s really fitting, and I want to make sure that I give credit where credit is due on that. I don’t usually get into the pulp genre, and it has a lot to do with the art styles that are chosen for it, but I think that this particular style helps to separate this book from the norm. Of course, whenever I see Alex Ross draw the covers to these books, my interest is always piqued, but Wilfredo Torres really should get all of the credit. I honestly wasn’t even interested in reviewing the book until I cracked it open. I’m usually more loyal to a writer than I am to an artist, but not in this case. Answer me this, when a creative team changes on a book, what is the first thing that you notice? It doesn’t look the same, right? That completely takes me out of the story. So at that point the writer doesn’t matter as much. Sorry, all you writers out there. For example, I love Jonathan Hickman, but I couldn’t keep up with all of the artist changes in Avengers. So I Dropped it. I’d rather there be a ten issue series like this, and be able to know that it will feel the same throughout its entirety, than be sucked into an ongoing series that has no identity. And I’ll probably stop reading Thor: God of Thunder once Esad Ribic officially leaves.
Now for the script, it feels very familiar in the vein of this kind of hero. And who better to deliver than an Eisner Award-winning talents of Matt Wagner? Like I stated earlier, I’m not usually a fan of the pulp genre, but Wagner’s script for this issue makes me want to pick up the back issues. I jumped in here at eight. I’m sure that I’ll be here for the rest of the series.
I’m glad that I gave this book a chance, and I hope that I’ve convinced you to do the same, if you haven’t been on board already. I’m curious to find out how a story like this can end. This will be a first for me, but I doubt that it will be my last.
Writer: Matt Wagner Artist: Wilfredo Torres Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment Price: $3.99 Release Date: 4/2/14