The Shadow has been around, in one form or another, since 1930. A vigilante with the power to cloud men’s minds, a skill he picked up during his time in the Far East. Over the years different writers have added pieces to the character’s past, but with Dynamite Entertainment’s new series writer Matt Wagner and artist Wilfredo Torres delve into the origins of the character that have been largely shrouded in mystery for more than 80 years.
After a few panels of the mysterious Cambodian warrior Ying Ko, the series starts off in earnest with Lamont Cranston’s return to New York after several years abroad. The comic also introduces Margo Lane (and here Wagner takes a page out of Frank Miller‘s handbook making The Shadow’s faithful companion a high-priced whore for a New York gangster).
We also get The Shadow’s first appearance, and several mentions of how much Cranston has changed. The most interesting of these is Margo, who knew the man before his travels, mentioning that Lamont seems taller which could mean either he is more imposing or the man calling himself Lamont Cranston isn’t the same man she met two years before.
It’s always a risky proposition to peek behind the curtain of a character like The Shadow. I’m not really on-board with the changes Wagner makes to Margo (although their arguably better than the ones the movie decided the make). I trust that Wagner will give us glimpses of the man’s past in the Far East, but not tread too far into the mystery that surrounds him. It seems much of the comic, if we can use this first issue as a guide, will deal with The Shadow setting up shop in New York, his relationship with Margo, and providing us a look at his early days in his crusade against crime. Worth a look.
[Dynamite Entertainment, $3.99]