Monday, July 13, 2015

The SHADOW: Midnight in Moscow - A Review

Midnight in Moscow


Howard Chaynim

A Review

I grew up too late.  Radio drama was all but done during my childhood.  Television (albeit, black and white) was all the rage.  Except for one local radio station that chose to rebroadcast classic radio drama from previous decades on Saturday nights.  And when they did, I would head to my bedroom and turn on my small table radio and listen to those tales of old.  As you might guess, one of my favorites was the Shadow.  Those opening lines still echo through my head:

Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?
The Shadow knows!

I was caught - I still am captivated by the Shadow - whether it be on Radio, on the big screen, in a book, or as a graphic novel.  I was, thus, pleased when Dynamite Comics was issuing a new graphic novel featuring The Shadow and his crew of agents, including the ever present Margo Lane.  

The story offered by Howard Chaynim and the editors at Dynamite Comics held this reader's attention as the characters moved from New York to London to Paris to Moscow. The story takes place in the months following World War II - and with the nuclear bombs being developed by nations around the world, it is not surprising that the story's villain will not want to change the world's political landscape by destroying its major cities.  The Shadow must find and stop the coming crisis, if he is able. Not a page was wasted on unneeded and unwanted backstory - the story moved along nicely through the six parts that were brought together to create a roughly 160 page novel.  The characters were well developed and interesting to follow.  The inclusion of the raw script as an epilog to the book added additional value to the volume.

My biggest, and only, disappointment was the artwork.  The backgrounds created for the various cities and settings were well done.  However, the character drawings all seemed bloated - as if their faces were inflated or filled with water. Even the ever fit Lamont Cranston's (aka The Shadow) face made him seem like it was time for a serious diet.  Did the bloated faces reduce the value of the story - NO; but it did diminish this reader's enjoyment of the book - thus, a four-star rather than a five-star review.

For the reader looking for a story with an international theme starring classic characters, this newest addition to the Shadow's list of adventures might just fill the bill.  It did for me.
This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review.  The opinions expressed are my own.


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