The Shadow: Year One #5 Review

The origins of this pulp icon continue to be explored, but does this mini-series really need to go any deeper?  Read on to find out.

The official description from Dynamite:

The Shadow pursues his crusade against crime, and Margo Lane struggles to fit into Lamont Cranston’s mysterious world. Meanwhile, Big Gun Massaretti’s senseless gang war disrupts the mobs of New York, prompting a daring heist that draws the Master of Men like a moth to flame. And finally, an intrepid reporter relentlessly pursues The Shadow’s secrets, closing in!

Early on in this creative team’s exploits they cemented the direct start (more or less) of this costumed vigilante, now we’re beginning to witness fruits from that labor.  More specifically they’ve taken an interest into the budding affections of Margo Lane.

Matt Wagner pens the script and might I say he does a tremendous job balancing all the varying pieces of this evolving puzzle.  We have villains making agreements, nightmares on the horizon and the slow growth of two characters that are destined to be reliant on each other.  It’s through the written word that the author conveys these elements and for the majority of the outing he succeeds with ease.  But there were one or two bits that came off a bit spotty.  Nevertheless the entirety of the script was more than up to the task at hand as it proved to a potent continuation lacking in unnecessary subterfuge.

The art by Wilfredo Torres continues to be a sparkling example of modern and historic representations of this property.  The way his pencil work blends distinct styles while embracing thematic elements that are simply out of this world leaves me in awe.  Similar to Cliff Chiang‘s work with Wonder Woman I have trouble envisioning someone else handling these renditions.  In short: if you’re going to buy this and you’re looking for a reason the illustrations should be enough.

The Shadow: Year One #5 is a delightful mixture that highlights the unique properties of this title, and with a sturdy team at the helm this is one adventure you should not miss.  Recommended.

4/5

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