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The Shadow - The Death Of Margo Lane #4

    Ian Jane

  • Shadow, The - The Death Of Margo Lane #4

    Shadow, The - The Death Of Margo Lane #4
    Released by: Dynamite Entertainment
    Released on: September 7th, 2016.
    Written And Illustrated by: Matt Wagner
    Purchase From Amazon

    This penultimate issue of The Shadow: The Death Or Margo Lane opens with a scene where The Shadow - as Lamont Cranston - pays a visit to the home of a man named Doctor Roy Tam. He apologizes for interrupting the dinner that his wife was about to make him, but he needs his assistance. He tells Tam that lately he feels unfocused, and they talk over tea about how he fears innocent lives may be lost because of his distraction. Roy reminds him that his agents know the risk involved in their service, and then they discuss how the act of stillness can result in invisibility… or the illusion thereof. Tam brings this up because he knows that in order to pull that off, great concentration would be required - and to The Shadow, this is 'child's play.' They talk about why The Shadow does what he does, why the world needs someone who will operate outside the law to see that proper justice is served. The Shadow is stalwart in his convictions here, proving to Tam that he's not lacking in drive or confidence and leading him to proclaim him 'fit to lead.'

    From there, The Shadow pays a visit to Harbor Master Abner Schmidt, who somehow manages to afford a fancy penthouse on a worker's salary. The Shadow… knows… that he's on the take, that he's letting The Tongs move in and out of the port for a cut and so when he arrives he plugs him for information about The Rising Dawn. The ship was not bound for Asia like most of the Tongs' vessels, it was instead a floating sanctuary for the Red Empress, a way for her to avoid capture by hiding her away in international waters. After he gets the information that he needs, things go south, and fast, but once he has what he needs The Shadow has Miles fly him out to where he understands the boat to be resting. A few short minutes and one parachute later and he's landed on the deck and ready to take justice to The Red Empress herself…

    As this mini-series draws to a close, Wagner's story is obviously starting to wrap things up. Some of the threads that, earlier in the run, didn't quite seem to add up are now being worked into the bigger picture and it's pretty fun to see it happen. As is typical with Wagner's writing, there's great attention paid to period detail. This is evident in his artwork as well but pay attention to the dialogue, the cadence to the way certain characters speak and some of the terms and the slang that they use as they converse. It fits in the era in which he's placed the story and we're all better off for it. Some of the 'updated' stories involving The Shadow have been great (thank you Chaykin and Baker, long may you reign!) but there's absolutely nothing wrong with a more traditional take on the character. And who better than Wagner to give us that?

    The artwork has been gorgeous from the first page of the first issue (Hell, even prior to this run it was gorgeous in the Shadow/Grendel crossover). There's lots of fantastic art deco penciling, some amazing panel layouts and a lot of shadowy, atmospheric compositions that do a great job of portraying all of the action and the drama and the suspense inherent in the story with style. Brennan Wagner's coloring work complements the artwork beautifully as well. If you've even a passing interest in the character or just appreciate Matt Wagner's work in any capacity, you'd be crazy not to check this out.

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