• Shadow, The Volume 3 #1

    Shadow, The Volume 3 #1
    Released by: Dynamite Entertainment
    Released on: August 9th, 2017.
    Written by: Si Spurrier, Dan Watters
    Illustrated by: Daniel Hdr
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    The first issue of Dynamite Entertainment’s third series to star The Shadow opens in a hospital. Here a soon to be doctor interning in the hospital named Mary Jerez treats a patient. As she does, she tells the patient about the time that she met ‘him’ and how it was a formative experience. She tells us how, in high school, she had a crush on her biology professor, how her school life was fairly ordinary until two students showed up with assault rifles and opened fire. It was then that she heard that laugh as those twin .45’s opened up and saw that justice was served.

    And then we see her patient, a man covered head to toe in burn marks, unable to talk. She keeps talking, noting how The Shadow has been out there serving justice since the 1930s and yet no one seems to know anything about him, and yet everyone knows what he does. We see through her flashbacks how he confronted the school shooters, called them powerless, laughed at them, told them how he understood – after all, he knows what evil lurks in the hearts of man. After he took them out, he disappeared as quickly as he appeared, vanishing just before the SWAT team showed up. One of the shooters was left dead, the other went insane.

    She sets up a TV for her patient – nothing is worse than silence – but after turning it on and watching the news, no, there are things worse than silence. “I think the world got sick” she tells him, but The Shadow seems to be immune. So where has he been since she saw him in high school ten years ago? And then the patient speaks…

    What a great first issue! This takes a really unorthodox approach to reintroducing The Shadow to a modern day audience (and in a modern day setting, no less). Everything in this first issue is told from the doctor’s point of view, but it’s interesting and at times quite chilling to relive her experiences through the flashback scenes. Working modern events into the storyline gives it some unexpected punch. It’s clear that writers Si Spurrier and Dan Watters aren’t messing around here, willing and able to take the character into some decidedly dark territory. It works well and by the time you’ve flipped through the last few pages, you definitely want more – the mark of a good first issue, right? It seems to tie into The Shadow’s past, and it should given how rich a history the character has, but exactly how it’ll do that remains to be seen, obviously.

    Daniel Hdr’s artwork, with coloring from Natalia Marques, is solid. The scenes that open the story in the hospital are calm but interesting – we see Mary from the patient’s point of view as she talks and talks and talks. Once the flashback takes us to the school shooting, things open up in terms of the scope and how the action is portrayed, panels crossing pages for a ‘bigger feel,’ the colors taking on a sepia tone look to ensure that we know they’re taking place in the past. The Shadow himself is drawn as mysteriously as he should be, a creature whose black overcoat almost seems like some sort of supernatural being itself – this works well. Bring on issue #2!