Shadow Master Series Volume 1 (Shadow Master Series Tp) Paperback – 6 Mar 2014
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
For the most part, the book holds up very well. The story and art feel very fresh and contemporary, even almost 30 years later. Both are fast-paced and dynamic. Sienkiewicz's style is so unique and distinctive, it doesn't feel dated at all. It stands out as its own thing today as much as it did when it originally came out. Similarly, Helfer's dialogue-driven script feels much more in tune with the comics are today, with an almost-complete absence of thought balloons and narrative captions. The dialogue and situations are funny, and feel like real people speaking. And the action is well-choreographed and exciting.
Rereading these stories for the first time in decades, they do feel more episodic than I had recalled, reflecting a time when comics were meant to be read as monthly serials, and were rarely collected to be read as one piece. So while there are elements that carry through the book, in a lot of ways it feels like a series of shorter stories strung together. I also felt that the main villain, the Light, was much less developed than I remembered, until I realized that while this book collects all six issues by Helfer and Sienkiewicz, it leaves out the Shadow Annual #1 (illustrated by Joe Orlando, not Sienkiewicz) which tells the background of the Light. That's frustrating, because without that, we are left with a story that feels incomplete. Because it is.
So kudos to Helfer and Sienkiewicz for creating a stylish comic that doesn't feel dated. A nod to the times in which it was published, for giving us a compilation that feels like six episodes of something instead of a complete, single book. And boo to Dynamite Comics, for leaving out a big chunk of the story.
If you're a fan of the character as presented and developed on original radio show I would say do not waste your money on this book. This has completely changed the concept of the Shadow from being a solitary investigator/avenger into some weird anti-crime spymaster.
I hate that I wasted money on this and I hate that I wasted time reading this.