Comic Book Review: Shadow #2
Once again it feels good to have a Shadow book to look forward to each month. There have been other stories, but none that were the genuine article. Here we have a man who might be the Shadow and that is just the first mystery on top of wondering what the deal is with this burn patient. Experiencing this through someone who has encountered the Shadow and was rescued by him makes things interesting where you want to know how far a person like her would be willing to go to show appreciation. That is if Mary’s hunch is right about who she is helping.
Considering we are working up to a point of discovery, the start to this issue felt just right as a treat to readers. I figured that Mary’s story wouldn’t be the only one we explore from the Shadow’s past. This one served as another example of how badass he can be when dealing with the corrupt. There’s no slap on the wrist, and he surely doesn’t go easy on you if you are coming at him with killer intent. Of course this moment also has more to do with what might have actually put the Shadow in this bed and without his memory. Now the other scene from the past was fascinating for the point in time and the people involved. Luckily what seemed like a random memory from him drew some strong connections to what is going on in the present. Both events made a difference in showing him doing what he does best.
Getting back to Mary and our mystery patient, I like that she’s so engaged with someone who may or may not be the Shadow. All signs point to this being the big guy, but at the same time it couldn’t just based off of what we knew happened the last time the Shadow was in action. Either way its interesting to what methods she would rely on to help someone recover their memory. It certainly wouldn’t be anything magical like the Shadow’s ring, so you had to wonder how experienced she is to accomplish something through her skills as a nurse. That aside, getting more into her personal life didn’t hurt either. The fact that w could follow Mary and her sister Luisa into an investigation of their own about a Shadow fan-site that could connect to her patient shook things up. If there wasn’t an urgency to make sure that this guy is who people think he is, now a fire has been lit to get those answers sooner than later.
It also goes without saying that there’s something to appreciate about a character like Mary who is very aware of the world around her. I don’t think we get enough of characters like her who are in-tune with things that affect you through politics and so forth.
Another issue with solid work from this art team. For a story where the Shadow isn’t presently in action, we are getting more than our fair share of activity from him still. Seeing as though this new volume of the Shadow acts as one that a new reader can jump into, the art team captured him in moments where he could really show how he handles evil. The first issue was just dealing with some idiot kids. This however showed what the Shadow does when there is less restraint from him. He makes you fear him, you’re lucky if he makes your end swift, and muscle means very little when he can get in your head with ease. Very good use of warm colors during that first glimpse of a past memory. Natalia Marques made a great choice in creating flames without too much aid of the pencils to subtract from the flow. The second memory had a different atmosphere though more grounded for the human interaction. Together they got things just right between the pale overlapping to emphasize a flashback, and creating a convincing setting of 1929. With that said, the focus put on Mary was engaging when understanding the kind of simple life she lives outside of work. You could at the very least see that her experience with the Shadow made her someone who cares about her physicality.
Overall I enjoyed the use of the polka dot style to the artwork. For a modern story it gives this a classic look to it that is more fitting when dealing with the Shadow.
After the events of Shadow #2, the mystery behind Mary’s burn patient is becoming clearer with everyone seeming to be on the same train of thought about the vanished vigilante. Considering the setting of his story, I’m glad that they have found a way to properly play into the legend of the Shadow. He is someone to be both feared and praised, for better or for worse with current circumstances.