Writers Scott Snyder of All Star Batman and Steve Orlando of Midnighter & Apollo will team with artist Riley Rossmo of Constantine: The Hellblazer for a new Batman/Shadow Crossover being released by DC Comics/Dynamite Comics in April. More details at DC Comics
Matt Wagner of Grendel, Trinity, Mage, Legends of The Dark Knight, The Spirit, Sandman Mystery Theatre & The Shadow Year One will be writing and illustrating a new Shadow miniseries with his son, Brandon Wagner, on colors. It is scheduled to launch on 6/1/2016. More Details at Newsarama
(NOTE: This is the third part of a review pulp novel. You can read the first part here and the second part here.)
The impact of hitting the wall had knocked the breath out of the Black Hat. He felt dizzy and struggled to get up from the hard pavement. He was relieved to find his hat and pistols nearby, and quickly reclaimed them.
“Tonight the city will lose its champion,” screeched the Astrologer. “I have seen it in the stars!”
With a snap of his fingers, the Astrologer directed his robot to dispatch the Black Hat. The robot moved in for the kill. The Black Hat fired his .45 pistols at the oncoming monster.
The Black Hat took deep breaths and made deadly shots. He remembered his martial arts training in the lost Tibetan city of Mahananagar. He remembered lovely, innocent Joyce, and how happy he was before he lost her in the Great War.
And he remembered reading The Shadow One Shot 2014: Agents of the Shadow.
Chapter 8: Thinking about The Shadow One Shot 2014: Agents of the Shadow
The comic is written by Michael Moreci, with illustrations by the team of Anthony Marques, Moritat, and Dev Madan. Andre Szymanowicz provides colors. In the story, a new, unknown criminal leader has taken control of the city’s gangs. The Shadow attempts to stop the villain, but is apparently killed in an explosion. The Shadow’s agents, who have previously depended on their leader to deliver justice, are forced to work on their own to bring down the mysterious villain.
Readers unfamiliar with the Shadow’s pulp adventures might be slightly confused about the identities and roles of the various characters like Margo Lane and Shrevvy, but Moreci’s story educates new readers quickly and delivers an exciting adventure.
The art team is fantastic. Marques, Moritat, Madan, and Szymanowicz render the pulp world of the Shadow in a slightly cartoonish style that nicely establishes the characters, period, and action of the story. The art for The Shadow One Shot 2014: Agents of the Shadow is beautiful to look at, and the story is highly entertaining.
Chapter 9: Coup de Grâce
The Black Hat’s shots had their effect. Dark fluid poured forth from the robot, and the robot’s motions became awkward. The robot soon stopped moving.
The Astrologer screamed in anger and ran toward his automaton, cursing as he pulled out wires and transistors from his creation. The Black Hat moved closer to confront the villain, but a sudden explosion knocked him off his feet.
Getting up from the pavement, he could smell the burning metal of the robot and feel the intense heat from the fire in front of him. At his feet was a singed hat that presumably belonged to the Astrologer, but there was no sign of his foe. The Black Hat could see no body, and was unsure whether his enemy had been killed in the explosion, but for the sake of his city he hoped that the Astrologer was indeed dead.
The Black Hat heard the sound of approaching police sirens, and knew that he must head back to the mansion. Azu would have healing herbs ready for him. And a big stack of comics.
Grendel vs The Shadow #1 by Matt Wagner
This week, Matt Wagner merges the past and present of his career in one book. First he returns to his signature creation, Grendel. Since his debut in 1983, Grendel has assumed many identities, yet, the most recognizable remains the original: Hunter Rose. More recently, Wagner has been working on some of Dynamite’s pulp titles (his Zorro series in particular is worth reading). Last year, saw the launch of his Shadow: Year One title. Thus, Wagner comes to this book possessing a familiarity with both characters.
Wagner skips through the set up fairly quickly. Rose is a rich, successful author, who also pursues a secret life of crime. When we first meet him, he is hearing out two treasure hunters who have uncovered a rare mystical object. After the men have departed, Rose inadvertently unleashes the object’s powers, transporting him back in time to the early 1930s. After a brief moment of initial shock, Rose, adjusts fairly easily to his new circumstances. This change of eras does not frightened him; in fact it invigorates him. At the end of the day, the Grendel identity is not about gaining new wealth, but the thrill that comes with criminal activity—the sport of it, if you will. Soon, Grendel is leaping from rooftops embracing the challenge of conquering a whole new era.
This almost gleeful exuberance is a fitting contrast to the somber, single-minded nature of The Shadow. Lamont Cranston is a humorless shell of an individual, existing only as much as is necessary for furthering the anti-crime campaign of The Shadow. The Shadow is driven by a sense of duty, which trumps all other concerns. His primary method is the use of force to overpower the enemy. For his part, Grendel shares The Shadow’s brutality, yet at the same time, often displays a certain elegance. They are both ruthless individuals with very different outlooks on life.
As is to be expected, Wagner’s art is stellar throughout. His page layouts are stylish, while his action sequences are dynamic. Taken as a whole, this series is off to an exciting start.