During last year’s Shortboxtober event at my LCS, I grabbed a number of comic books that DC published featuring The Shadow in the late 1980s. I managed to find most of the Howard Chaykin series as well as these two issues of the book by Andrew Helfer and Kyle Baker. I’m going to see if I can find the rest of the Chaykin series at the con next weekend before I decide to read it (because that’s a limited series and I have most of it), but decided to see what the ongoing was like.
I’m really only familiar with The Shadow from the Alec Baldwin film of the early Nineties, which I remember enjoying but have not seen since it first came out on video. Here, it seems that he appears in the comic only when it’s time for him to enact some sort of vengeance and much of the story is devoted to the criminals he’s going after or people he’s working with. And parts of this were hard to follow because I was buying the second and third parts of a storyline of a comic that was nearly a year into its run. Usually, I can pick up a book and figure out what is going on pretty quickly, but this was harder.
But the artwork more than made up for it. I have little to know experience with Kyle Baker’s artwork beyond his Who’s Who profile of The Joker, but this is really good. I imagine that this was “edgy” for 1988 or at least different, and it definitely stands out from the typical superhero fare of the time. Baker also uses DC’s Baxter paper format to his advantage and he and colorist Tom Ziuko lay on the dark tones and blacks as skillfully as George Perez did in the first couple of issues of the New Teen Titans book in 1984.
I’m curious about the rest of this series. For all I know, this is a standout storyline and I might be disappointed, but I am pretty sure I’m going to be able to find the rest of the 18 issues and annuals at a good price.
Keep, Sell, Donate, or Trash?