In Review: The Shadow/Batman #4

The Shadow/Batman #4 retread old ground with tired levels of deconstruction. Damien is the only character maintaining forward momentum.

Synopsis: The Silent Seven have infiltrated the very heart of modern society. Their every move is hidden, and there is no move their opponents can make in secret. That includes Batman and the Shadow. When one of the Seven invades Wayne Manor, a horrifying revelation casts Batman’s entire mission in doubt. The only one that can save him? The Shadow. But can the Master of Men liberate both Wayne Manor and the Dark Knight’s mind without losing his own?

Review: The Shadow/Batman #4 is a transition issue setting up the final showdowns. Frankly, Damien is the only character I have sympathy for at this point.

Lamont Cranston and Bruce Wayne spend so much time wallowing in their respective existential crises that they effectively bait the traps their enemies set for them with their own hands. There was a time when the Damaged Hero As Mirror Of The Villain trope was avant-garde. Now, it’s just tedious.

The cliched lack of women is also tedious. Shiwan Khan even brings up Margo Lane’s death to goad and demoralize Cranston. Khan says, “With your iconic woman dead in the ground…” Granted, villains are going to objectify the hero’s loved ones. Unfortunately, the trope has seeped below the surface level villain monologue into the internal logic.

On the upside, there was some excellent world building involving Wayne Manor, and there was a marvelous character beat involving Alfred. Additionally, Giovanni Timpano‘s art is extremely strong throughout. However, the visual highlight of the issue was Damien’s confrontation with his grandfather. I especially liked how Timpano conveyed Damien’s movement and the absolutely lyrical way he allowed the audience to see Ra’s al Ghul’s approach reflected in his grandson’s sword.

The Shadow/Batman #4 retread old ground with tired levels of deconstruction. Damien is the only character maintaining forward momentum.

Written by

Steve Orlando

Art by

Giovanni Timpano

Published by


The Shadow/Batman #4
  • Art, Character Beats
  • Tired Tropes
  • Story
  • Art
  • Lettering
  • Cover

Raissa Devereux became a life-long genre fan at the age of four when she first saw The Wizard of Oz at a screening at Arizona State University. Years later, she graduated from A.S.U. as an English major, History minor, Whovian, and Trekkie. Now a Florida transplant, she loves the opportunity Sci-Fi Pulse has given her to further explore space travel, time travel, masked heroes, gothic castles, and good yarns.
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