REVIEW: BATMAN/THE SHADOW #1 AUTHOR: Bill "Jett" Ramey (Follow @BATMANONFILM)
DATE: April 26, 2017
SYNOPSIS: Two of history’s greatest vigilantes are reunited at last! Murder has come to Gotham City, and Lamont Cranston appears to be the culprit…but he’s been dead for over fifty years! Batman will go to the ends of the Earth to unravel the mystery of Cranston’s life, but the mysterious Shadow will do everything in his power to stop him from learning too much…
The superstar team of writers Scott Snyder and Steve Orlando and artist Riley Rossmo brings you a dark and twisty modern noir like nothing you’ve seen before, with a brand-new villain unlike any either hero has faced! This is the unmissable crime series of 2017, so get on board now! Co-published with Dynamite.
I’ve been waiting for this big time ever since it was announced!
As someone who prefers more “grounded” Batman stories – and ones that feature a noirish Batman that tip the hat to the pulps that influenced the creation of “The Bat-Man” – my excitement and anticipation for this miniseries has been sky-high.
I was a fan of DC’s “First Wave Universe” from a few years back (and sad to see it quickly get canceled by DC), so I figured that a pairing of The Batman and The Shadow – the latter of which had a huge influence on the creation of the former back in 1939 – was going to be something that I was going to dig.
So, I just got finished reading (and then re-reading twice) the first issue of the highly anticipated (for me, at least) BATMAN/THE SHADOW #1 from DC Comics and Dynamite.
I wasn’t disappointed.
Issue #1 serves as a set-up story. It opens with Bruce Wayne visiting one of his former teachers, Henri Ducard, hoping to secure his former mentor’s aid in solving Batman’s latest case – one in which The Dark Knight Detective “can’t unravel.”
The case involves a murder, two Lamont Cranstons (for real), and a mysterious, decades-old – ahem – “shadow” organization headed by someone known only as “The Master.”
As one would expect, absolutely nothing is resolved in this issue – and that’s a good thing! The “old world” of The Shadow and New York colliding with the current RETBIRTH (kinda-sorta) version of Batman and Gotham is very cool and does not come off forced. I don’t think that writers Scott Snyder and Steve Orlando were going for the standard “The two heroes meet up, fight, and then team-up to take down the BIG villain” sort of story which we’ve seen many times before. I know it’s only been one issue, but I figure that they've got something different and more clever coming.
As far as the artwork, let me say that Riley Rossmo’s artwork is not only fantastic, but fits this story like a glove. I don’t know if this is what they were going for (probably not), but I got a BATMAN: YEAR ONE vibe while reading (looking at?) this issue.
All in all, I was very happy and entertained with this issue. But, only The Shadow knows if that will continue going forward. - Bill "Jett" Ramey
A life-long Batman fan, Bill "Jett" Ramey
is the founder of BATMAN-ON-FILM.COM.
He likes Elvis, Rock-N-Roll,
The University of Texas, cold beer,
Dallas Cowboys Football, and of course...
He resides in the GREAT state of TEXAS with his lovely wife, three kids, and two Boston Terriers.