Collective Consciousness Batman/The Shadow #1

by stephengervais on April 25, 2017

Welcome back to Collective Consciousness, our weekly article where the staff takes one comic and puts it under the microscope. This allows us, and you, faithful reader, to get a good idea of how the comic fares against a variety of opinions. This week we're taking a look at the first issue of a 6-part series, Batman/The Shadow #1 co-published by DC Comics and Dynamite Entertainment.
DC solicit: “Two of history's greatest vigilantes are reunited at last! Murder has come to Gotham City, and Lamont Cranston appears to be the culprit...but he's been dead for over fifty years! Batman will go to the ends of the Earth to unravel the mystery of Cranston's life, but the mysterious Shadow will do everything in his power to stop him from learning too much...”
Written by: Scott Snyder and Steve Orlando
Art by: Riley Rossmo
Publisher: DC Comics
Hussein Al-Wasiti
I really recommend this book to fans of the Shadow character, who I actually know nothing about. It hinges on some apparent supporting characters, which I can image would be fun from the point of view of a Shadow fan; seeing Batman travel around the world, meeting these characters was still fun, despite not knowing who they really were.
Written by Steve Orlando with a plot by Scott Snyder, Batman attempts to solve a murder apparently committed by the Shadow. Riley Rossmo's art is something I have a love/hate relationship with. I like it sometimes, while I absolutely despite it another time. To me, his art here falls into the good category. His characters don't look as stringy and floaty as they normally do, and it looked quite nice overall.
The story was intriguing but I felt like I was working against it to try and figure out what was going on. I really think people with a vague understanding of who the Shadow is should pick this up.

I'm not familiar with the character of the Shadow at all, but from this issue it seems that he is a character similar to The Doctor from Doctor Who.The first issue is really an introduction for those that are unfamiliar with the Shadow, as it walks back on any important history the writers feel you need to know. The book itself is really about Batman learning the mystery of the Shadow as he is solving the crime of the murder of an Arkham Asylum worker. The book itself was actually really interesting, however it was written partially be Scott Snyder, so part of me should definitely not be surprised. If you were on the fence for picking it up, I would recommend it.
Forrest Hollingsworth
This is halfway to a good issue. The opening is strong, the intrigue is high, both Batman and The Shadow are introduced in reasonable, cool ways. The art (Rossmo is a favorite of mine) is stellar as expected, Snyder knows how to plot a mystery and it seems like the issue will amount to something really interesting.
Then, partway through and kind of inexplicably – it falls apart. We’re dragged through a slow, laborious investigation of the Shadow’s character and motives for the remainder of the issue that could’ve been done in 1-2 pages. It doesn’t work. The art, design and general aesthetic do of course, this team is very talented, but the narrative falls apart – spending too much time on establishing an age old character that didn’t need it.
It’s a mixed bag of an issue, I might tune into the next issue but Snyder certainly knows how to write a much more concise, compelling issue than this and it’s a disappointment to not see that here. 


Our Score:


A Look Inside