The epic crossover is finally here! Well, the Shadow already appeared in BATMAN #253 and BATMAN #259 in the 70’s… but ignore the technicalities because the two of the biggest vigilantes in comics meet once more in BATMAN/SHADOW #1. The team-up of writers Steve Orlando and Scott Snyder brings forth a new murder mystery, which is accompanied by Riley Rossmo’s twisted noir-like art style.

READ: Don’t miss out on Scott Snyder’s ALL-STAR BATMAN! Take a look at our latest review from the ongoing series!

The Curious Case of Lamont Cranston in BATMAN/SHADOW #1

The first issue follows Batman as he investigates the murder of Lamont Cranston. The Dark Knight is later attacked at the crime scene by a mysterious cloaked figure known as the Shadow. After an exchange of fists and further detective work, Batman learns that the identity of the Shadow is a deceased man also named Lamont Cranston. So begins the murder mystery in BATMAN/SHADOW #1 as Batman goes undercover to find some answers. Yet everything seems to be out of the ordinary in the case of the Shadow.

BATMAN/SHADOW #1 page 9. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Will the Shadow Step into the Light?

Fans of the Shadow will rejoice as the vigilante throws in his famous line alongside the iconic costume and weapons. Rest easy if you’re unfamiliar with the Shadow, as this new series begins to explore the character. This is also Batman’s first encounter with the character — disregarding the past comics — so it’s interesting to see the detective be clueless like most of us. It’s important to highlight that the Shadow was a huge influence on Batman’s character, so it’s great to see the similarities of the two open on the pages.

Batman and the Shadow are expert in martial arts, striking fear in criminals and are fixated on darkness. Batman even appears to be caught off guard when the Shadow does the famous disappearing act on the detective. What’s also interesting is the various disguises the Shadow possesses, and this is something fans will appreciate when journeying along the pages. The elements of the character found in BATMAN/SHADOW #1 are sure to create a curiosity amongst new readers. So feel free to revisit the Shadow comics from Dynamite Entertainment!

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This first issue does a swell job introducing the Shadow but does leave us with plenty of questions. It’s no mystery that both crime fighters will join forces sooner or later. So, it’ll be interesting to see who or what will bring them together. As for now, it seems Batman’s pursuit of the mystery has him puzzled, as the Shadow seems to have the upper hand.

The Noir-like Art Style of BATMAN/SHADOW #1

Rossmo brings a sense of looming danger with his art style. Each character drawn in the panels has their own unique presence and expresses the right kind of emotions you would expect. This is beautifully captured in the first pages as we get a tour through the cells of certain Arkham inmates. What stands out is how Rossmo leads readers to action scenes. Batman chases the Shadow to a rooftop on their first encounter, which results in the confrontation seen below. Notice how Rossmo is able to create a nine-panel grid that details the fists and kicks while having the Cape Crusader at large in the background. The added touch of red, by colorist Ivan Plascencia, helps each action scenes pop. Furthermore, the noir-esque feel of the art style compliments the BATMAN/SHADOW #1’s mystery.

BATMAN/SHADOW #1
BATMAN/SHADOW #1 page 10. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The latest crossover found in BATMAN/SHADOW #1 will have old and new readers flipping through the pages. The first issue of the murder mystery is not only a great read but lifts plenty of eyebrows, thanks to the Shadow’s presence and the captivating art style. From the looks of the not-so-secretive art covers of the next issues, we can only speculate that great things are on the horizon.

BATMAN/SHADOW #1 By Steve Orlando, Scott Snyder, Riley Rossmo, & Ivan Plascencia
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
The ghostly presences of the Shadow builds towards a promising murder mystery in the latest Batman crossover. The noir-like art just adds to the action and looming danger that you won’t want to miss.
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“The Shadow Knows... hahahaha"
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