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Th Shadow and Grendel crossover through DH and Dynamite!

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  • #16
    I didn't really like it, it was decent and much better than the regular series and Shadow NOW (which was a catastrophe), but overall it felt subpar compared to some older series and it dragged too long. Art didn't help much either. Matt's own art in the crossover worked much, much better, and I believe that any Shadow comic must heavily rely upon strong art (Kaluta, Barreto). Even when he's written well, it's the artwork that's got to lift the whole thing to another level (remember the fantastic panels of the Shadow out in the rain in the beginning issues of Shadow Strikes).

    There's a difference between the way Matt wrote the Shadow in Year One and Grendel & Shadow. In Year One I found him to be pretty one-dimensional, lacking the terryfing impact his presence should always have. In Grendel vs Shadow, I really felt that dread whenever Shadow appearred (mostly just before the action, when he's creeping up upon various criminals). Perhaps his work on Year One really warmed him up, he found his feet and it showed in the crossover.

    Only thing that annoyed me in the crossover is Margo Lane subplot. Lamont and Margo felt ooc, and the subplot itself led nowhere and was not in the service of the whole story. Such a digression could work in a regular series, where the writer could return to it and build it up in the course of many issues, but it felt out of place in a mini-series format. Luckily, that subplot took only a handful of pages, so it didn't hurt much.

    What we need now is a regular of the same quality to keep the Shadow strong. I certainly wish we could have another series like Shadow Strikes, which imo is still the best representation of the Shadow in comics. In their preparation, future writers should read more Gerard Jones and less Chaykin and Ennis. What Gerard did in his last three issues is more memorable than what Matt did in the 10 issues of Year One. If nothing else, when the last Shadow Masters tpb comes out, DE will finally reprint Shadow Strikes, and boy, oh boy... will I be happy about it

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    • #17
      Originally posted by pjerooo View Post
      . . . There's a difference between the way Matt wrote the Shadow in Year One and Grendel & Shadow. In Year One I found him to be pretty one-dimensional, lacking the terryfing impact his presence should always have. In Grendel vs Shadow, I really felt that dread whenever Shadow appearred (mostly just before the action, when he's creeping up upon various criminals). Perhaps his work on Year One really warmed him up, he found his feet and it showed in the crossover . . .
      Or maybe Wagner was purposely showing a Shadow who was different in Year One because he hadn't really assumed the identity just yet? It was called "Year One" for a reason, and I thought Wagner did an interesting job trying to show The Shadow becoming who he would eventually be.

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      • #18
        It might be, but I wasn't sold on it.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by MajorHoy View Post
          Or maybe Wagner was purposely showing a Shadow who was different in Year One because he hadn't really assumed the identity just yet? It was called "Year One" for a reason, and I thought Wagner did an interesting job trying to show The Shadow becoming who he would eventually be.
          I was a little concerned about the characterization in the early issues. Some of the "speeches" that the Shadow was dropping in his early battles against crooks seemed truly groan-inducing. But after a while I decided that was completely purposeful, as Wagner was trying to show the Shadow "finding his character". Sure enough, by the end of the series the dialogue seemed to be much closer to what we've come to expect from the Shadow's persona.

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