The Shadow #5
Written by Garth Ennis
Art by Aaron Campbell
Colors by Carlos Lopez
Letters by Rob Steen
Covers by Alex Ross, Howard Chaykin, John Cassaday & Francesco Francavilla
Release Date: September 19, 2012
Cover Price: $3.99
The Shadow #5 is the penultimate chapter in the first arc of this title, and for me, it’s gone a little downhill since the begining. What started off really strong has kind of petered out a little. Bottom line, the story arc is a little messy and the book suffers for it.
Yes, Garth Ennis is a legend in the comic book business. But, even superstars can slip up now and then. I LOVED the first few issues of this title, it was everything that I wanted it to be. You had The Shadow fighting crime in 1930s New York City. You had ALL the trademark Shadow standards, and it was entertaining beyond reason. Then, Ennis decided to take The Shadow OUT of his element and into a globetrotting adventure ala Indiana Jones, and, it just didn’t work as well as the first few issues. What you’ve got now is a very confusing story, that really isn’t a SHADOW story. You could plop any pulp character in there and it would work just as well, and that’s a shame.
What I DID love about The Shadow #5 was Aaron Campbell‘s art. He is a master at creating mood on the comic page. Even though The Shadow is out of his element in this issue, Campbell makes sure to keep the eerie mood of the character and his world, and that helps this issue a lot. I hope that once this arc is over, Campbell is allowed to go back to drawing the setting of New York in the ’30s, because NO ONE can render that place and time like he can. Honestly, if it was any other artist on this, I don’t know if I’d have finished this issue.
I have to say, I was very disappointed in The Shadow #5. It should have been great, but ended up being sub-par at best. I’m not giving up on the title by any means, as my love for the character goes well beyond a couple of bad issues, but I really hope that they get back to the roots of the character and tell some good, solid, Shadow fighting crime stories.