I have a confession, I’m not a big fan of Garth Ennis. His work, while well respected, has tended to represent the things that I don’t like about comics. Even so, I was willing to give his new series, THE SHADOW, a chance because out of fondness for the character. I read the DC series back in the eighties and I’ve always enjoyed the old time radio drama, but I was pretty skeptical about the author. Thankfully, I was surprised by this book.
The story opens with a voice-over, narrating the Rape of Nanking, China by Imperial Japanese forces and leads into the classic Shadow monologue, “I know what evil lurks in the hearts of men.” From there, the book follows the Shadow as he butchers gangsters and sets up what I assume will be the first story arc. The art by Aaron Campbell was high quality, consistent with other Dynamite titles, and the writing was surprisingly crisp and unpretentious.
Dynamite Entertainment is the king of modernizing old properties for comics. They’ve had tremendous success with The Lone Ranger, Zorro and Voltron among others, and I have high hopes that this series will be of similar quality. As I mentioned above, Ennis is one of those writers that I tend to avoid, but I am planning on staying on THE SHADOW for at least the first story arc and hopefully longer.
If you haven’t already, check it out next week. There are multiple covers by John Cassaday, Alex Ross, Howard Chaykin and Jae Lee. I opted for the Ross cover, but all of the above were spectacular. Good reading.