If you’re familiar with The Shadow from pulp magazines or radio dramas of yesteryear, you know the basic premise: a vigilante fighting crime using other agents, his wit, and a ninja-like stealth (or hypnotic ability, in the radio shows) that allowed him to get up close to criminals and teach them that “the weed of crime bears bitter fruit.” If you’re only familiar with one format or the other, the story can get a bit discombobulated.
In radio, The Shadow is, in reality, Lamont Cranston, “wealthy young man about town.” In the magazines, he is Kent Allard, a WWI aviator who faked his own death to come fight crime in the States, and Cranston is a separate character, although Allard impersonates him whenever he is abroad. When you unravel the whole Shadow universe, it can get a little confusing.
Enter The Twilight Zone, where “a little confusing” is about as much of an understatement as you can make, and where the “reality” of these characters’ intertwining storylines becomes even murkier when it encroaches on our reality (read: the “real world”).
I’m admittedly not a huge fan of Dave Acosta’s art, but his work in this title is solid if not awe-inspiring. I wish the art was more representational of the original pulp and comic art to pay more respect to the roots of the story. Davis Avallone’s story is a mystery within a mystery, intriguing enough and with an ending to hook you into the next issue. This promises to be a fun storyline for fans of The Shadow!
The Twilight Zone: The Shadow #1 (of 4), writer: DAVID AVALLONE, artist: DAVE ACOSTA, colors: OMI REMALANTE, letters: TAYLOR ESPOSITO, cover art: FRANCESCO FRANCAVILLA.
Review by Robb McKinney.