Dynamite Entertainment 2015
Written by Cullen Bunn
Illustrated by Giovanni Timpano
Coloured by Marco Lesko
Previously in the Shadow!* Secrets of the Shadow's past were revealed as the Dark Avenger met Master Magician Harry Houdini! The Shadow infiltrated a sanctum of an esoteric society of murderous magicians who were hellbent on escaping the ultimate trap--death itself! In order to thwart their plans, all of the Shadow’s skills were tested as he evaded twisted traps and solved spellbinding puzzles. Now, the sect have again turned their maleficent focus once again towards The Shadow!
It takes a lot to keep the Shadow alive and well in today’s world, he’s such an iconic character who most only know in name only. So keeping his legend alive and telling fresh innovative stories can be somewhat tricky but Cullen is a very talented writer and what he’s able to bring to this first issue makes me excited for this series. Giovanni and Marco also bring their A-Game to this series as well as the interiors they really have managed to bring the characters to life nicely and are more than adept at showcasing the action sequences as well.
Mr. Carlini is dying and his doctor wants to administer treatment but he refuses and as he leaves a rather impressive assortment of magicians are waiting. Theatrical to say the least and more than a bit full of themselves and yet their plan involving the dying Mr. Carlini, a stage magician himself, is supposed to help them from beyond the grave so that Houdini isn’t the only one who find answers from the dead.
Meanwhile the Shadow is in Florida at a circus asking questions trying to find the Society of United Magicians. He does manage to catch up with his quarry Stefan Fitzwig or also known as the Great Fitzwig when he’s fleeing from the circus. I like this to be honest because while Ftizwig isn’t a big player in the Cabal he knows more than the others are comfortable with and wanted him to commit suicide. So what answers can he give the Shadow on their current whereabouts?
I liked the flashback so we see the relationship between the Shadow and Houdini and that he even knows what the secret Harry took to the grave. It really does build upon what we saw in the Shadow/Harry Houdini mini-series which if you haven’t read you really should it’s quite spectacular.
We do get to see the beginning of what the Society is trying to undertake and the methods they have chosen to undertake. I have to appreciate the irony of trying to use a seance performed by a charlatan being used by such great and talented magicians only to be interrupted by the Shadow. Still there’s more going on here than meets the eye and I have to say the story development and plot advancement is the kind of thing that will ignite excitement in the character for those who pick this up for the first time or have followed his adventures for years.
Dynamite is the home for heroes no one else knows what to do with. This really is a crazy good time with an interesting plot and plenty of action, twists and turns to keep you guessing as to what will happen next.