REVIEW: BATMAN/THE SHADOW #5
Author: Ryan Lower (Follow @LOWER_RYAN)
Date: August 26, 2017

SYNOPSIS: The Stag and The Joker have kidnapped the Shadow’s greatest allies and are preparing to enter Shamba-La. It’s Batman and the Shadow’s last stand -- if they don’t stop the evil duo from entering Shamba-La, it will mean an eternity of darkness in a world ruled by crime!

BATMAN/THE SHADOW is an interesting little project. What started out as a weird combination of similar-yet-different heroes, has turned into a satisfying, and eerie penultimate issue with high stakes, great story and creepy art. In other words, it's good.

In this week's issue #5, Batman is reeling from the fallout of last month's fight where he was viciously stabbed by The Stag (Joker played a pretty heavy role in thodr fisticuffs as well). What follows is Alfred performing yet another medical miracle, and Bruce saying so much by saying so little: “Not yet.” The two allies (for now) take a trip to “A Dark Place,” where The Shadow surprisingly seems hesitant on going. Inside this creepy cave, another fight ensues which takes a supernatural turn to Shamba-La.

That description may sound a little too sci-fi for your liking, but believe me when I say writers Scott Snyder and Steve Orlando make sense of it. I was hesitant on starting this series but their character work and pacing is on-point. Each issue, we've progressed toward something with excellent banter between Batman and The Shadow. Once The Joker came into the picture, this series took off. He's creepy, funny and has a plan. It's classic Joker. The Stag is an intriguing villain, and works. I understand he's the driving force for the plot and can enjoy that aspect even though he's not my usual type of villain.

The art from Riley Rossmo fits perfectly with this noir/supernatural tale. Each panel has some great detail to the characters and settings, adding a mood that is different from any other Bat-book DC is offering right now. I also can appreciate the coloring here, which only adds to the moody settings. Rossmo is on my radar now for future titles.

Overall, a great lead up to next month's finale. Batman and The Shadow have entered a new, dangerous world that now inhabits The Joker.

That should put a smile on your face. - Ryan Lower

GRADE: A

A lifelong Batman fan, Ryan Lower grew up in the midwest
reading, watching, dreaming of The Dark Knight.
His favorite Batman stories are
THE LONG HALLOWEEN, THE DARK KNIGHT
and anything from
BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES.
He currently resides in his own Batcave in Chicago.
Follow him on Twitter @LOWER_RYAN.


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