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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

BLOOD: Review - 'The Shadow: Fires of Creation' TPB scores

Bowie V. Ibarra

I'm not going to sit here and tell you I'm the end-all be-all of 'The Shadow' knowledge.  Truth is I was drawn in by the cover of one of their most recent issues featuring his pursuit of another vigilante called 'The Light'.  I really enjoyed that story arc and decided that since the comics weren't in that deep yet that I'd catch up with the trade paperbacks of the series.  The TPB for the first six issues of 'The Shadow' rebirth through Dynamite Comics was already available and I picked it up.  I'm glad I did.  I had already enjoyed TPBs from Dynamite that include The Spider and Masks, so I felt I couldn't lose with this one.

Briefly, (and if I got this wrong, let me know), in this comic story told by the noted comic writer Garth Ennis, The Shadow is the altar ego of a rich socialite named Lamont Cranston, who once led a life by the name of Kent Allard on the Shanghai waterfront, forming a little piece of the criminal pie of the city.  But its intimated that after a few years, Allard disappeared.  Years later, a bizarre purge of the criminal underworld of Shanghai occurred, with the big time crooks being massacred effectively and en masse.  A survivor claims to have seen a dude named Lamont Cranston years later in New York and found the same trail of dead when he was around.  The survivor claims Allard went off to a place in the Himalayas to be trained and purged of his sins to be sent out to the world to be a scourge against evil.

In this book, Cranston is recruited to return to the far east to fight against a sinister plot by Imperial Japan during the 1930s to develop a 'Death Ray'.  It's was an exciting read that I enjoyed.

Garth Ennis is a gritty writer known for his 'The Boys' and 'Jennifer Blood' series from Dynamite, as well as work on 'Preacher' and 'Punisher' comics from DC Vertigo and Marvel.  Having had experience with vigilante types before, Ennis brings a gritty historical drama to the page as Cranston tries to beat the antagonists to the minerals that will help create the death ray.

Alex Ross, the super-popular and brilliant comic artist, brings his talents to the covers of the books, while Aaron Campbell takes care of the interior to illustrate Ennis' brutal story.

The fun of a TPB also comes in all the extras.  Even though I missed all the comics, the book includes every alternate cover in a gallery in the back.  It also includes sketches and the first script of the comic for the illustrator.

All I know is I might be a 'noob' when it comes to 'The Shadow' adventures and history, but I'm certainly not going anywhere.  I loved it! 

With 'The Shadow' being one of the original inspirations for some of the most popular superheroes around today including Batman, it certainly meets my broad appreciation for comic book history.  And it definitely meets my standard for ruthless superhero and defender of good at all cost.  'The Shadow' comic book series from Dynamite Comics fills my need for a great crime-fighting action/adventure story, and I look forward to more.

And, yes, I've already put together a pretty sweet 'The Shadow' costume.

'The weed of crime bears bitter fruit.  Crime does not pay.  The Shadow knows!'

The TPB of 'The Shadow: Fires of Creation' is approved, and highly recommended for new readers.

And if you like superhero stories, check out these south Texas superhero stories as well from   Codename: La Lechusa, Room 26 and the Army of Xulhutdul, and Tejano Star and the Vengeance of Chaplain Skull.  Get a copy today via paperback or kindle today.

Bowie V. Ibarra (1975- present) was born and raised in Uvalde, Texas, to a school principal and a book keeper. He has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting and a Master of Arts in Theatre History.
Network with Bowie at his official website,

1 comment:

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