The Shadow: Year One #1
Written by Matt Wagner
Art by Wilfredo Torres
Colors by Brennan Wagner
Letters by Simon Bowland
Covers by Matt Wagner, Alex Ross, Chris Samnee & Howard Chaykin
Release Date: February 20, 2013
Cover Price: $3.99
The Shadow Year One #1 is the first part of the untold origin of The Shadow. Kind of. What I was expecting and what this book delivered are two VERY different things.
Author Matt Wagner is legendary in the comic book business, and rightfully so. His list of credentials are WAY too long for me to list here, and let’s face it, you know who he is. Thankfully, he’s his awesome self writing this book. When I first hear about this series, I pictured something much different. I was looking for a great story about how LaMont Cranston BECAME The Shadow: his training, his reasons for doing so, etc., sort of like a Batman Begins type story for this character. Instead, what we have is a Batman Year One type story. Cranston returns home from abroad to New York, and that’s where the book starts. It’s about him becoming the masked vigilante hero that we all know and love.
The story has got some great trademark Shadow beats to it. We see Margo Lane and what she was doing before she hooked up with The Shadow, besides the criminal element, we’ve got a nosy reporter lurking around trying to figure out just what is going on with LaMont Cranston, and of course, the looming threat of the The Great Depression. I love love LOVE the way this book is written. It’s completely entertaining, genuine and gives us just enough suspense to get the audience counting the days until the next issue comes out.
Another great component to this book is artist Wilfredo Torres. He’s got a fantastic art style that really fits this book. It’s a clean style, even though he draws a fantastic dirty, grubby, 1920s New York city. Most of the book takes place in places that the well to do dwell. Enormous mansions, high class apartments, and clubs, but there is also a couple of back alley/rooftop scenes that Torres renders beautifully. He can draw action and conversation panels very well, and make them both equally exciting.
There’s nothing not to love about this comic book! I applaud Dynamite for handling this book so well and bringing on exceptional talent for this very important mini series. It seems to be no coincidence that Nicky, Joe, and the boys are pouring extra love into the pulp characters that are part of Dynamite’s stable of characters. Pick this up!