Johnny Bullet
DC Comics
Review: Batman/The Shadow #4
By Philip Schweier

July 26, 2017 - 04:42

Publisher(s): DC Comics
Writer(s): Scott Snyder and Steve Orlando
Artist(s): Riley Rossmo
Colourist(s): Ivan Plascencia
Letterer(s): Clem Robins
Cover Artist(s): Riley Rossma; Tim Sale, Brennan Wagner, Steve Epting

Batman and The Shadow first met face-to-face back in 1973, reminding new generations of comic book readers of the impact the Master of Darkness had on the creation of the Caped Crusader. Forty years later, the two meet once more, and while the story started out with much promise, by issue #4 it has descended into the common cliché to which most team-ups fall victim.

Start with heroes with opposing philosophies. Have them battle, each believing the other to be the bad guy. While distracted, this allows a greater evil to grow, usually represented by the union of the heroes’ worst enemies. This usually leads to the heroes trading opponents, enabling the good guys to win because the bad guys don’t know how to fight anyone else.

And so it happens: Batman, the Joker, The Shadow, the Stag. Who? Yeah, I don’t know him either, and I have read most of the original Shadow novels.

The artwork is stylish, and I’ve heard many Shadow fans say it’s not to their liking. I don’t mind it, I think it works. It seems as if Rossma is trying to channel a small amount of Mike Kaluta. I don’t mind that because it’s not so pervasive that it falls into the realm of cheap imitation.

I’d expected the series to run four issues, and would have been happy with that. But it appears to be running six. More is better, but not if it’s more of the super-hero team-up clichés we’ve seen for several generations.

Rating: 5/10

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