Monday, December 10, 2012

The Shadow: The Fire of Creation - A Reveiw

A Review

Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? ...
    The Shadow Knows!  …
The weed of crime bears bitter fruit...
    Crime does not pay...
          the Shadow Knows.      (Internet Archives)

I first met The Shadow in 1966 as a Junior in high school and, even then, I was listening to reruns on San Francisco’s KGO radio late on Saturday nights.  To find the latest reincarnation in a 2012 graphic novel was a real pleasure.

The story begins in the middle of World War II, after a brief historical review, the action starts on the New York City’s waterfront - but before it is over it moves to the Far East where The Shadow, Margo Lane, and their compatriots, forced to sort through a group of Japanese, traitors, and military soldiers, to find the mysterious substance that the Japanese are trying to smuggle back to Japan.

The story is an interesting one, rooted in history.  The graphics are colorful and well done.  The characters are a bit more violent than I remember from those early days, but certainly no more so than the typical crime story found on our TV sets weekly.  Perhaps more importantly, the story is believable to the extent that the Shadow himself is believable.  The artwork appears to emulate that found in comics from the 40’s and 50’s.

I expect any follower of The Shadow from its earlier history in radio, print (be it pulp fiction, comics, or other media), or movies, will  enjoy this new serial.  It may also be true of those who are looking to explore the history of comics.  I expect that the reader will, as did this reviewer, look forward to future episodes in this series.  I hope they are released in the near future.
This review is based on a free electronic copy of this book provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review.  The opinions expressed are mine alone.  

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