GRENDEL VS. THE SHADOW #1 Review

Do fanboys or fangirls really need to know about this comic book? Read on to find out.

The official description from Dark Horse:

Sparks fly and bullets blaze when the original Grendel, Hunter Rose, is transported to 1930s New York and faces off with the original dark-night avenger, the Shadow! Two pulp-noir icons go head to head in this three-issue prestige-format series written and drawn by legendary Grendel creator Matt Wagner.

Grendel vs. The Shadow 1_Preview PageOh what a wonderful idea for a crossover this turned out to be, and we’re only one issue into it. Normally I’m not in favor of shenanigans that mix titles unnecessarily, so right off the bat this creative team has an uphill battle with me. But if they’re talented enough that won’t be a problem and that’s the case for this engaging release.

Matt Wagner pens the script and the seasoned author knows his character well as he pits him against the underworld of the 1930s. When Grendel goes about the matter at hand, his attempt at a power grab, we’re also treated with a quick course revolving around The Shadow. In a time just before the end of Prohibition, the scribe effortlessly concocts a believable intersection with winning dialogue to boot. It can be said that this turned out to be a text heavy affair, but that doesn’t mean that it was boring by any stretch of the imagination.

If the written word was not enough to win over an audience, then feast your eyes on the impressive illustrations contained within these pages. Matt Wagner pulls double duty for this pulp themed tale, and the results are downright impressive. Add in the careful assertion of color by Brennan Wagner and the entire outing builds a display that’s made of the right stuff. Though there were instances where facial renditions came off a bit inconsistent.

Grendel vs. The Shadow #1 turned out to be a very good start to what looks to be a rather interesting mini-series. I have no idea if this crossover will continue to be at this level throughout but the first round got me excited. Recommended.

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