The problem with taking an iconic figure out of his element and reinventing him is that there’s often too much of an attempt to keep as much of his past as possible when a clean slate may work far better. Although Batman Beyond keeps Bruce Wayne around, by shoving him into the Alfred role the series gives the new Batman room to flourish. The same can’t be said for The Shadow Now.
The first issue opens in present times where Lamont Crantson III returns from overseas after learning to halt the aging process and appear as a much younger man to take up his fight against crime once again. This means checking in on his intelligence network, donning his trademark costume, and even visiting and old enemy in prison.
Although Cranston’s return mirrors The Shadow’s return, no one (not even those within his organization) think it suspicious. The plot of someone deliberately setting traps and taunting a vigilante who hasn’t been seen in decades also seems problematic. Also troubling is the appearance of Margo Lane‘s granddaughter whose role is all to easy to guess.
Although I don’t mind someone taking the character of The Shadow and trying something new with him, writer David Liss refuses to wholeheartedly embraces the idea by keeping far too many of the classic trappings around to remind of us of better days (and comics) of our hero. The girl is even named Margo. Sigh. Hit-and-Miss.
[Dynamite Entertainment, $3.99]