Once again, Batman faces off against The Shadow, because it’s a cliché in such team-ups that the heroes must fight each other to stand-still before uniting against a common enemy. In this case, t6hat enemy is the Stag, a foe of The Shadow’s from the old days. I’ve read many of his pulp adventures, but I do not recall the Stag.
And as part of this story, we are provided insight into The Shadow’s backstory: an immortal being who has gone by many names, until seeking redemption in the eastern retreat known as Shambala. A little bit of Howard Chaykin’s 1986 mini-series, a little bit of the movie, and references to DC Comics’ 12-issue run of The Shadow back in the early 1970s.
Shadow fans may take issue with such liberties, and addendums to the character. He is one of my top three fictional heroes, but when his adventures move into present day, I tend to forgive a lot.
There’s an old story, about when Ray Liotta was cast as Shoeloess Joe Jackson for the movie Field of Dreams. Jackson was left-handed, and Liotta volunteered to learn to bat left-handed to add authenticity to the film. But the director didn’t feel it was necessary due to one simple fact: Shoeless Joe Jackson was dead.
So when you take such liberties with a character, in this case re-setting The Shadow in modern times, many restrictions are automatically removed, and verisimilitude becomes much more flexible. Not so flexible that a very aged Margot Lane spends her nights lounging about in evening gowns smoking from extended cigarette holders. Such characteristics paint her as a blend of Miss Haversham, Holly Golightly, and Lovey Howell. Methinks at this time, Margot would be more than a hundred of years old, and most likely as dead as Shoeless Joe.
And liberties are also taken with Batman’s backstory. Dr. Leslie Tompkins seems rather young, to be the woman who comforted young Bruce Wayne the night his parents were slain. In this issue she seems as youthful as Morena Baccarin.