In Review: The Shadow Vol. 3 #1

The Shadow Vol. 3 #1 is my introduction to The Shadow in comics.

Synopsis: For the better part of a century the Shadow’s sinister laughter brought the chill of fear to evil-doers – but in our modern times, the streets of Manhattan have gone largely silent. But he is not forgotten. Not by the people he’s saved. Mary Jerez, is one of those people. The Shadow saved her from a horrifying school shooting – Mary knows all too well what evil lurks in the hearts of men.  So when a horribly burnt man – incredibly strong and fierce, despite his terrible injuries- arrives under her care as a resident at the hospital – she believes she knows who he is, too. Is this mysterious man actually the Shadow – and with Mary’s help, will evil-doers again know what it means to fear his terrible justice?

Si Spurrier (X-Force, X-Men: Legacy, Judge Dredd) and Daniel HDR (Superman, Cyborg) bring the pulp icon into modern day in a tale full of deadly intrigue, gun-blazing action, and a study of the nature of evil!

Review: I’m an old-school fan of The Shadow. I’ve listened with rapt attention to the original radio show. That, in turn, inspired me to read some reprints of Walter B. Gibson’s stories, and to sit through the unfortunate attempts to bring the character to the screen. The Shadow Vol. 3 #1 is my introduction to The Shadow in comics.

While I appreciate allegory and deconstruction as much as the next English major, I feel I need to drop a truth bomb in return for the ones writer Si Spurrier had Mary Jerez drop on the readers. People who grasp allegory and deconstruction already don’t need them; people who don’t grasp allegory and deconstruction aren’t going to benefit from them anyway. Writers should continue to use those narrative devices for the sake of structural cohesion, but there’s no need to waste energy driving points home. Just tell well-crafted stories and let audiences absorb what they do or don’t absorb along the way. In short, while issue #1 is a solid start, Spurrier should be careful going forward. Otherwise, his POV character Mary could turn into an insufferably self-aware exposition machine.

Daniel HDR‘s art, which is obviously heavily inspired by The Shadow-derived Darkman, is visceral and spot on. Spurrier apparently had the same problem everyone else attempting to visually convey The Shadow has had. Mental invisibility through hypnosis presumably isn’t as sexy as literal invisibility. Therefore, he chose to composite The Shadow with his third cousin, twice removed — Darkman. This will allow him to overlay the hypnosis on the character in a more effective way for modern audiences, while giving the POV female lead a larger role in his origin. It will be interesting to see how this approach to the material plays out.


Si Spurrier


Daniel HDR


Brandon Peterson, Kenneth Rocafort, Michael Kaluta, Neal Adams, and Tyler Kirkham


Dynamite Entertainment

The Shadow Vol. 3 #1
  • Story, art
  • somewhat heavy-handed deconstruction and allegory
  • Story
  • Art
  • Lettering

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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