Comic Review: The Shadow: The Death of Margo Lane TPB (Dynamite)

Dynamite’s new Shadow trade is a collection of 5 single comics, entitled The Death of Margo Lane. It’s written and illustrated by Matt Wagner, with colors by Brennan Wagner. The […]

Dynamite’s new Shadow trade is a collection of 5 single comics, entitled The Death of Margo Lane.

It’s written and illustrated by Matt Wagner, with colors by Brennan Wagner.

The setup is this: The Shadow involves himself in the takedown of a Chinese gang run by The Red Empress.

As the story unfolds, Lamont Cranston (the Shadow’s secret identity) and Margo Lane track the Red Empress’ trail from New York City to somewhere in China. There, the trail runs cold, so they board a ship back to the States. However, trouble breaks out on the ocean liner, and both Cranston and Lane face possible death. And who knows that they were traveling on that ship?

Matt Wagner plays it right in this miniseries; the atmosphere is shady, the dialogue is plausible as 1940’s speech; the automobiles, planes, and clothes also look authentic to the period. He paces the story fairly well, with plot points occurring at the right intervals, and there’s some interesting fight scenes throughout the story. It’s not dull, and the villains are nasty!!

The visual aspect of the book is reminiscent of ‘old style’ art; for the most part, this works in favor of the mood of the story. There are no strange camera angles, or wild special effects, just a retro “shoot ’em up” mixed with some suspense, set amid the shadows (sorry) and streetlights of the big city. I found that the story could have been more compressed here and there… occasionally a scene would run several pages when it really ‘should’ have been over and done in a page or two. But that’s a minor quibble, just like the typos that snuck into the lettering on a few pages.

A fun read for fans of the Shadow!

Added bonus: an illustrated prose story that originally ran in Shadow issue #100.

Dynamite  The Shadow: The Death of Margo Lane TP  $24.99 for 146 pages of content. Rated Teen +

Alan Spinney

About Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words… the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let’s see!!