WHEN BATMAN shares space with Superman, there’s a whole darkness-and-light thing going on that always makes for dramatic tension. When Batman shares space with The Shadow, it’s all darkness all the time, and dramatic tension characterizes even their lighter moments together! But darkness may be the only weapon available against a ruthless and evil organization that’s been secretly running the world for centuries, as we shall see over the course of six issues in Dynamite Comics’ promising new crossover series, The Shadow/Batman.
THE FUN BEGINS on New Year’s Eve, as Batman and Robin (the angry, 13-year-old Damian Wayne version) descend on the Shadow’s turf in New York City in pursuit of Lazlo Valentin, a.k.a. Professor Pyg, who is up to something awful that will turn out to have its roots in a much larger plot. It’s The Shadow who figures out that last part, and we can see uncharacteristic fear and confusion in his eyes when he reads Pyg’s mind and learns that an old foe has resurfaced with a fresh plan for mayhem.
And herein lies the element that’s got me so excited for this series, for the ancient evil in question is one pulled from the pages of the Shadow’s original pulp stories published back in the ’30s. I’ll leave it to you to uncover its name for yourself, but let’s just say that the battle taking-shape here is likely to have global implications.
The script by Steve Orlando (Justice League of America) is a vivid trip to the deep end of the pool, heavy on references that’ll make you glad to have Google, and filled with the sort of hard-boiled dialogue this pulpy story deserves. Overall, it’s a treat for serious readers, and both the artwork and color are outstanding. Though the story is set in a world of shadows, somehow, shadows have never seemed more colorful than they do here.
A terrific first issue. I can’t wait to see where this series goes next!
The Shadow/Batman #1
Published October 4, 2017
Print and Digital
Writer: Steve Orlando
Art: Giovanni Timpano
Colorist: Flavio Dispenza
Color; 33 pages; Age Rating: 12+ Only