• Shadow Batman #1

    Released by: Dynamite Entertainment
    Released on: October 4th, 2017.
    Written by: Steve Orlando
    Illustrated by: Giovanni Timpano
    Purchase From Amazon

    It’s New Year’s Eve in New York City and the island of Manhattan is teaming with merrymakers and tourists alike. A man in a pig mask – you might know him as Professor Pyg - acts as the master of ceremonies while his similarly dressed underlings, his ‘dollotrons,’ wreak havoc with the crowd. Just before the clock strikes midnight the Caped Crusader jumps into the fray, takes the man out and puts a stop to the insanity. Robin shows up, unexpectedly, to jump in. When the fray subsides, Batman talks to Pyg – all he ever wanted was his toys back from the ‘Silent Seven.’

    Cut to a cemetery in Long Island… a figure dressed all in black save for a red scarf utters a single word as a casket is laid into the ground: “Margo…”

    Meanwhile, Pyg is now behind bars. He harasses the cops who shortly after stop talking. The Shadow shows up in Pyg’s cell, addressing him by his full name, Lazlo Valentin, and beating him pretty seriously. Why? Because he wants to know why he’s operating out of Gotham, why he’s come to New York. As The Shadow tries to read his mind, it backfires, he sees something he doesn’t like and escapes back into the darkness from whence he came.

    Back at Wayne Manor, Bruce ‘broods’ much to the dismay of Alfred. Bruce knows that former ward Damien is now operating out of a warehouse in New York City, unaware that Batman knows where he is and what he’s up to. Bruce heads down to the cave to hit the computer and do some research, try to figure out just what it really was that Pyg was up to the night before. There’s nothing for the last fifty years… until now. Was the death of James Moriarty, the leader of the Silent Seven, that took place half a century ago just a hoax? Back to Manhattan, to see Damian in that hidden room on that hidden floor. It’s an awkward conversation with son outsmarting father on many levels and it doesn’t end well.

    This first issue is much heavier on Batman than it is on The Shadow but all things in due time. Steve Orlando’s script does end on one hell of a cliffhanger, making us want to know what happens next – just as a good first issue should. The dialogue is well written, the mystery behind Pyg’s connection to the Silent Seven one worth exploring and what’s up with The Shadow? What exactly did he see that… frightened him? Is he even capable of feeling that emotion? Lots of questions yet to be answered. The script is smart, entertaining, fast paced and just generally solid. Giovanni Timpano’s artwork is, in a word, excellent. The colors by Flavio Dispenza are also great, these two work well together. Timpano’s Batman is fierce, angry, tough and just a little bit frightening. His take on The Shadow is also solid, those red eyes piercing out from under the brim of his hat, his unusually large nose protruding overtop the scarf. Both iconic figures cut a mean frame, and Timpano draws them well. David Finch's cover is the icing on the cake.