• Shadow, The Volume 3 #5

    Shadow, The Volume 3 #5
    Released by: Dynamite Entertainment
    Released on: December 20th, 2017.
    Written by: Si Spurrier, Dan Watters
    Illustrated by: Daniel Hdr
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    Picking up where the last issue left off, we open up this fifth issue with a news cast covering the recent Shadow inspired attacks wherein self-style vigilantes clad in black coats with red scarves take the law into their own hands. Mary calls her sister Luisa, who as we now know, was one of those vigilantes, to check in on her. She may be tucked away in a hospital recuperating but she’s’ had time to dig around online and found out that the ‘heknows.com’ website that’s been behind all of this has been taken off line, and then put back up online five minutes later on the dark web.

    Mary finishes her phone call and the heads to the police station where she meets with the man who almost killed her, one of those same vigilantes. They talk – mostly about his therapy – but also about what The Shadow showed him. When this comes up, he freaks out, mumbling about ‘leviathan’ and ‘teeth.’ He complains that something is slithering his head, he wants it out. He’s clearly not well in the head yet, even if his release is being discussed.

    Mary’s next stop is the hospital. She insists on seeing that burned man that she knows is The Shadow. He’s in rough shape, but he has enough in him to do that weird mind-meld thing that he does, at which point Mary sees another story from his past. We see him meet up with Myra for the first time since she and the other operatives believed him to be dead, we see the World Trade Center buildings fall and we see the efforts of American imperialism make a difference around the world – at first, a positive difference, but then things change.

    ‘Allies became enemies and the people stopped paying attention.’

    And Worthy Delaney’s part in all of this? Quite sinful. While The Shadow rested, the world around him changed. Cutting out the tumor isn’t as easy as it once was. The war moved from the streets to the screen where he couldn’t follow it. The Shadow no longer knows.

    And then the lights go off and the special ops show up, guns blazing.

    Heavy stuff! Si Spurrier and Dan Watters are not messing around, channeling into current events in very clever and poignant ways to bring a character that’s been around the better part of a century into the modern era without missing a beat. They’re doing a great job of reestablishing The Shadow as a force for justice while at the same time pointing out just how different the world is from the one that he once knew. And of course, there are problems with his return – there’s an adjustment period here, a learning curve it would seem. Mary is his lifeline in many ways, more so than his tried and true operatives, and the story is doing a good job of creating a relationship between the two of them to help us better appreciate what each one brings to the other.

    Daniel Hdr remains quite strong, with plenty of detail in both the foregrounds and the backgrounds of each panel. He’s at his best when drawing The Shadow, who is portrayed here as an eerie, supernatural force rather than a man in a black coat and red scarf. The imagery is powerful, creepy and wonderful. He shows a knack for action scenes and draws the supporting characters well.

    This book has been great since the first issue, and it continues to improve. It’s smart, challenging, exciting and unique.