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Thread: The Shadow # 7

  1. #1
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    Default The Shadow # 7

    I didn't have much to say about the previous issue (which ended the China-based arc). Other than getting to see the Shadow give his trademark laugh, the conclusion seemed a little...blah.

    But the current issue (#7) is different. I've never been very comfortable with the mystic powers used by DE's Shadow and the plot tease that he was going back to the temple where he got them in the first place did not please me. But I was wrong. The story went a different way than I expected and felt more like the pulp version of the Shadow than anything in the prior issues. The Shadow's realization near the end about "an ordinary man" was worth the price of admission. This issue has rekindled my interest in this series! Keep it up!
    "Age is not defined by years, but by regrets....I'm an old man now." --The Fighting Yank

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tulku View Post
    I didn't have much to say about the previous issue (which ended the China-based arc). Other than getting to see the Shadow give his trademark laugh, the conclusion seemed a little...blah.

    But the current issue (#7) is different. I've never been very comfortable with the mystic powers used by DE's Shadow and the plot tease that he was going back to the temple where he got them in the first place did not please me. But I was wrong. The story went a different way than I expected and felt more like the pulp version of the Shadow than anything in the prior issues. The Shadow's realization near the end about "an ordinary man" was worth the price of admission. This issue has rekindled my interest in this series! Keep it up!
    A ray of hope! Haven't read this issue as of yet, but I was hoping against hope when I read the teaser synopsis for the issue that Victor Gischler was going to find a way to bring The Shadow back into line with his non-mystic pulp novel roots while coming up with a reason, in-continuity with the previous arc, for dispensing with the mystical/psychic powers. I'll update my comments after I read the issue.

  3. #3

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    Sorry but it won't feel like The Shadow if he has no powers. Still I am hoping the new writer can work on making him more heroic and less.... unhinged/borderline sociopathic.

  4. #4
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    Well, as they say, that's what makes horse races. I find the concept of the Shadow with super powers to be far less interesting: The Shadow faces evil, but otherwise baseline, humans. He has mystical powers that the baseline baddies don't. He beats the baddies. No fooling. Of course he does. He has an edge.

    On the other hand: The Shadow is a baseline human. He confronts evil people. Who will win? Now THAT is suspense.

    But, as I say, different taste for different folk.
    "Age is not defined by years, but by regrets....I'm an old man now." --The Fighting Yank

  5. #5
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    Now that I've read it, I have mixed feelings. I give a thumbs-up to Jack Herbert's artwork in this issue (not sure if he's supposed to be the new permanent artist, or was just on for this one issue). As a single-issue story, I suppose it serves to ease the transition from Ennis' Shadow to Gischler's Shadow, yet at the same time, despite the plot of this issue, I didn't get the impression that Gischler was dispensing with the mind-clouding powers permanently -- perhaps just reducing the total array of mystical abilities that Ennis gave his Shadow.

    There seemed to be some internal inconsistencies in this story. First of all, this Shadow is so dependent on his mystic abilities that without them he's unable to stop a simple mugging-in-progress? Huh? WTF?

    Second, after he discovers he's lost these powers, he flies to Tibet, only to discover the monastery has been burned, and all the old masters killed (or so it would seem). Yet while he can't get a mystic "read" on anyone's mind any more, he still has the ability to un-cloud the minds of the British military men that Red Raja had clouded. Why did Cranston lose his powers when the monastery was destroyed, but Red Raja, who also studied with the old masters, did not? Red Raja isn't able to "read" Cranston, but he can still read others, and cloud their minds. And by the end of the issue, it appears that Cranston hasn't completely lost his powers either, just had them somewhat reduced.

    The other strange aspect of this story was that we get far too much insight into what makes Cranston tick. We know too many of his thoughts, along with his vulnerabilities. The running thought-commentary by Cranston is completely out of place in a Shadow story. Ennis had already started this to some extent, but this knowing of everything going on in the Shadow's head is just completely stripping the character of his mysterioso, which is a huge part of what makes the character work, and distinguishes him from say, Batman.

    Some characters just work much better when we don't know every detail about their background and inner motivations, like The Spectre, The Phantom Stranger, and yes, The Shadow. Hell, even Wolverine was much more interesting back in the day when we didn't know every little detail of his background and history.
    Last edited by positronic; 11-17-2012 at 12:37 AM.

  6. #6
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    My impression when I first read it is that he only failed to stop the mugger only because he was so startled by the inability to read the guy. And that was an indication that he was becoming overly reliant on the powers. And that tied into the point of the issue--that when push comes to shove he needs to make the judgment whether he has his mystic powers or not.

    Of course, they never really explained why he could not read the guy. With the Red Raja, I assumed it was because they were both trained by the same old masters--so they are incapable of reading each other. As you say, he does still seem to have his mystic powers to some extent, such as clearing the cloudy minds of the Brits.

    So maybe it is going to be one of those powers of convenience: when the plot requires it he can do it, and, when the plot requires it, he can't.

    I agree I don't like knowing the Shadow's thoughts, but we didn't have a whole lot of characters capable of explaining necessary plot points this time. After all, somebody has to tell us poor readers what is going on!!
    "Age is not defined by years, but by regrets....I'm an old man now." --The Fighting Yank

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tulku View Post
    Of course, they never really explained why he could not read the guy. With the Red Raja, I assumed it was because they were both trained by the same old masters--so they are incapable of reading each other. As you say, he does still seem to have his mystic powers to some extent, such as clearing the cloudy minds of the Brits.
    I thought that Cranston's discovery of the old monastery destroyed and the old masters killed WAS supposed to explain his loss of powers, i.e. the mystic powers were not simply a learned ability, but were somehow being "channeled" through the old masters themselves. But as I said, the loss of mystic powers was inconsistent. Perhaps we were meant to think that the moment the Shadow discovered his lack of mystical abilities coincided with the destruction of the monastery and killing of the masters?
    Last edited by positronic; 11-18-2012 at 11:40 PM.

  8. #8
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    [QUOTE=positronic;26535]I give a thumbs-up to Jack Herbert's artwork in this issue (not sure if he's supposed to be the new permanent artist, or was just on for this one issue). QUOTE]

    The art was fantastic. Hebert is one of my favorites based on his work in Kirby Genesis. I really Nunes work on the colors as well. I would really like to see Herbert continue. If not, maybe he will be the artist for the Green Hornet relaunch.

  9. #9
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    [QUOTE=Britt68;26557]
    Quote Originally Posted by positronic View Post
    I give a thumbs-up to Jack Herbert's artwork in this issue (not sure if he's supposed to be the new permanent artist, or was just on for this one issue). QUOTE]

    The art was fantastic. Hebert is one of my favorites based on his work in Kirby Genesis. I really Nunes work on the colors as well. I would really like to see Herbert continue. If not, maybe he will be the artist for the Green Hornet relaunch.
    I wish they'd let him replace Alex Ross on MASKS after #1. Ah, well.

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