Review: The Shadow/Batman #1
By Philip Schweier
Sep 27, 2017 - 10:32
Publisher(s): Dynamite Entertainment
Writer(s): Steve Orlando
Artist(s): Giovanni Timpano
Colourist(s): Flavio Dispenza
Letterer(s): Taylor Esposito
Cover Artist(s): David Finch; Ethan Van Sciver, Jason Wright; Alex Ross; Dustin Nguyen; Brandon Peterson; Bill Sienkiewicz; Howard Porter, Hi-Fi
Pyg is a rather new addition to Batman’s rogues gallery. I’m not even sure if he’s so much a Batman villain as he is a response to Damian Wayne as the newest Robin. But Pyg is offered here in the debut issue of another teaming of the Dark Knight and the Master of Darkness. Whether Pyg continues to be the villain of the piece remains to be seen.
But seemingly, Damian may be the opponent du jour, as Batman tracks him down to a hidden lair in Manhattan where the kid all to easily bests his own father. This raises the question as to whether it is truthfully Bruce Wayne underneath the mask.
As for The Shadow’s role in the story, that remains to be seen, as he invades Pyg’s cell intent on interrogating him, but chooses instead to back away in fear. This also leads me to question if it is indeed The Shadow – and convinces me that Scott Snyder interpretation of The Shadow and my own are polar opposites.
Of course, this is not without a series of red flags. I believe The Shadow to be a product of his time, and the concept works best when set in the 1930s. Would one bring the Lone Ranger into modern times? Or Sherlock Ho – never mind. By bringing The Shadow into present day, his ninja-like abilities are mere copies of Batman’s skills, and under the scrutiny of modern surveillance, The Shadow just seems implausible (or a rehash of the Phantom Stranger).
One bone I appreciate them throwing us the funeral of Margo Lane. She was a socialite when she joined The Shadow in 1942, so for the sake of argument, let’s say she was 22 at the time. That would make her 97 today. At that age, she has no role to play in The Shadow’s adventures. Her recent appearance in DC’s Batman The Shadow series was, at best, misplaced.
Giovanni Timpano’s artwork is fine as always. He’s illustrated The Shadow for Dynamite before, but to my knowledge this is his first crack at Batman. I had no doubts he could pull it off, and he did not disappoint.
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