• Twilight Zone The Shadow #2

    Twilight Zone The Shadow #2
    Released by: Dynamite Entertainment
    Released on: May 18th, 2016.
    Written by: David Avallone
    Illustrated by: Dave Acosta
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    Hot on the heels of the first issue (reviewed here), this second installment of Twilight Zone The Shadow beings in Manhattan on October 24h, 1937. Here Mrs. Madge Minafer preps a man named Preston for the voice work he’s expected to do on the latest radio broadcast of The Shadow – The Temple Bells Of Neban! When, at the end of the episode the announcer reads the disclaimer stating that the characters in the story are fictitious, he gets a bit of a glare from Preston. Because Preston is The Shadow. But he’s not Lamont Cranston.

    He tries to explain this to Madge, that he doesn’t remember being Preston until forty-five minutes ago, but when they get into the dressing room they’re addressed as ‘The Shadow and Margo Lane’ by the photographer waiting there. It’s to be for promotional purposes but it’s unusual – he dresses up and notes that his real hate is much bigger than the one they’ve given him for the shoot.

    Once the photographer splits, he once again tries to explain things to Madge, but it’s tough to explain things when you’re not one hundred percent sure yourself what is going on. They head out into the streets, he doesn’t take the costume off, and she hopes to find a copy of the magazine that the stories for The Shadow are based off of. They find the latest issue, his visage is on the front and he knows the story told in the copy because he lived it first-hand. He remembers everything that The Shadow has lived through, but nothing of Preston’s life. He tells her his name is Kent Allred, he tells her of his past as a pilot, how he grew to like the killing in the war and how he eventually became The Shadow.

    Madge starts to believe him, that The Shadow is real, that Margo is real… it makes her a bit jealous, that last bit. But why has he arrived in this alternate world, and how is it going to play out when he attempts to stop a thief in action?

    Twists and turns and twists and turns, that’s what we get in this second issue and it’s a fine read. Avallone’s story does a great job of working in elements of The Shadow’s pop culture past, the radio show and magazine being obvious examples, and he’s pretty cool how he weaves these elements into the plot. The element of bizarre happenings and strange mystery required in any and every Twilight Zone story is here too. This is an interesting mix with nicely written dialogue and some pretty engrossing exposition by way of the dialogue that occurs between Preston and Madge. The last few pages, that we won’t spoil here, end things on a pretty intriguing note, ensuring that anyone who has enjoyed things this far will come back for the third installment to see where this goes. Dave Acosta does a fine job on the artwork, drawing Preston as ‘himself’ an in his costume quite well (the hat stays small, appropriately enough!) and relaying action nicely in the last few pages. Good coloring here too. All in all, this is a fun genre mashup worth checking out, particularly if you have an affinity for pulp style adventure stories.