• Shadow, The Volume 3 #3

    Shadow, The Volume 3 #3
    Released by: Dynamite Entertainment
    Released on: October 25th, 2017.
    Written by: Si Spurrier, Dan Watters
    Illustrated by: Daniel Hdr
    Purchase From Amazon

    Picking up where issue two left off, Mary is trying to track down Myra Reldon with no luck. She’s been let go from her job, her social media account are gone or locked down and she’s not having any luck contacting her. So she goes ‘old school’ and finds her apartment, heads over there and knocks on the door. The bum in the hallway sucking back something out of a brown paper bag tells her ‘She ain’t here.’ He also tells her she’s in a bad neighborhood. Mary, no fool, decides to split, ignoring come ons from guys on the street, pretending to be on her cell phone so she doesn’t have to make eye contact with anyone.

    Then Mary calls her sister Luisa, waking her out of bed even though it’s after ten. They know that the guy who tried to kill Mary gets out the psychiatric hospital soon, this makes them nervous. Luisa’s been trying to get info on the ‘heknows.com’ website but hasn’t been able to get past the encryption. It does seem to have inspired people though, to put on a clock and a mask and head out there to ‘clean up the neighborhood.’ This proves a double edged sword for Mary when suddenly a gang of men dressed in Shadow-esque attire come up to her, call her a ‘goddamned wetback’ and start harassing her. It doesn’t look good until an old man comes up to them and accuses them of ‘wearing his skin.’

    It seems that some of the miscreants in the neighborhood, like the bum in the apartment hallway, may in fact by The Shadow’s agents. They’ve been keeping tabs on Mary and have shown up just in time to save her. They’re less than pleased that The Shadow’s message and motives have been turned into a tool for white nationalists and racists. One of the group just so happens to be Myra – she wants to know why Mary’s been following her. Myra tells her how she was fired and warns Mary to stay out of it but she’s not taking no for an answer. Myra hands her a red scarf and instructs her to ‘give it to him’ and by ‘him’ she means the man that she’s been treating in the hospital, the man that Mary suspects is in fact The Shadow.

    The next day at work Mary injects the man with some Epinephrine and asks him more about Worthy Delaney. It’s then that was flashback to 1944. The Shadow has been tied up by a German spy ring that he’s just exposed, and they intend to reveal his face in public – it doesn’t end well, but it puts The Shadow in touch with a teenaged boy named Jerry.

    We’ll leave it at that, no sense in spoiling what comes afterwards, but let it suffice to say that it’s pretty neat where writers Si Spurrier and Dan Watters are taking the story. The plot deftly weaves in modern American problems with those from the country’s past, but never resorts to preaching or beating the reader over the head with politics. It’s important, however, that The Shadow remain a force for justice and if that means taking out the racist trash now and then, either directly or through his minions, then so be it. It’s always okay to punch Nazis. More importantly than that, however, the book entertains. We’ve got a solid mystery here, we want to know what Myra’s part is in all of this, we want to know what’s going to happen with the man in the hospital under Mary’s care and the man getting out of the mental institution that tried to kill her. We want to know how The Shadow’s influence is going to work its way across the current American landscape and what will happens to those who have twisted his image and message once he’s well enough to take care of that problem. There’s a lot going on here, and it’s pretty interesting stuff.

    As to the artwork? Daniel Hdr’s penciling is really strong. There’s nice detail here not just in the modern day scenes but in the flashback sequences as well. There’s a nice sense of movement to the action scenes and good detail in both the foreground of each panel and the background as well. Bonus points for including an Einstürzende Neubauten reference. Natalia Marques does a nice job with the coloring here as well. All of this is to say that this third volume of Dynamite’s The Shadow is a book that looks as good as it reads. Recommended!