• Shadow, The Volume 3 #2

    Shadow, The Volume 3 #2
    Released by: Dynamite Entertainment
    Released on: September 13th, 2017.
    Written by: Si Spurrier, Dan Watters
    Illustrated by: Daniel Hdr
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    The second issue of this latest series following the exploits of The Shadow opens in a massive old home. An old man declares ‘It’s him!’ as his heavily armed guards prepare for war. That sinister laughter we all know rings out through the halls as a mysterious figure in a black coat and hat gives chase, seemingly impervious to the onslaught of bullets fired his way. The toughest of the guards tries to kill The Shadow by pushing him into the fireplace and beating him with a brick. It’s as good a plan as any, but he falls prey to The Shadow’s ring and once he’s under his spell is told to ‘sit’ and ‘wait.’ The dark avenger heads to the roof where the old man is trying to escape. As the old man tells him ‘This isn’t your world anymore!’ the building crumbles.

    Footage of this escape winds up on the news and we’re told that the police have yet to reveal any details of the case that took place in upstate New York. At a press conference the President himself is asked for details, if there are any ties to his administration. Despite the fact that this particular rumor comes from ‘a reliable source’ one of the reporters who asks about is escorted out of the room and the press officer denies it all as conspiracy theory nonsense.

    Cut to the hospital from the first issue where Mary Jerez starts to wonder if the burn victim she’s been treating for the last few weeks might be related to the fire. The timing works. The man in the bed can’t remember anything, so Mary’s going to try recovered memory therapy with him, even if it’s more than a little unorthodox and definitely against the rules.

    We flashback to 1929 where The Shadow wages his war on crime, taking out mobsters and criminals aplenty. When a hit at a brothel/speakeasy leaves a few people trapped in a room, one of the prostitutes having to try to keep her infant child safe, he butts in and reminds them all that the weed of crime bears bitter fruit. Relieved that she and her week old baby are safe, the prostitute asks The Shadow to name the boy – The Shadow chooses the name Worthy and requests that she raise him to make sure that he is.

    The session ends. Mary and her sister Luisa head to the gym after work. They finish up and talk about Mary’s predicament, and that masked assailant and it’s then that Mary realizes how big this is getting…

    This second issue builds nicely off of the impressive first chapter in this new saga. We get some welcome background information on Mary’s patient that answers a few questions and solid plot development that asks a few more. There’s a nice mix of action and intrigue here, the opening scene at the mansion in particular is very tense as is the flashback scene but there’s more to these sequences than just action for action’s sake. The story cleverly ties them into the main narrative and into Mary’s plight giving all of this material purpose. At the same time, Mary, who is clearly our central protagonist at this point, is well written and believable enough. We’re starting to get to know her, her family, her methods and yes, her growing obsession with that man in black. Daniel Hdr’s artwork, colored by Natalia Marques, works well alongside the script from Si Spurrier and Dan Watters. There’s good detail, a nice flow to the action scenes, and good line work. The colors bring it to live well, resulting in a book that looks as good as it reads.