God of Comics – The Shadow #6
The Shadow #6 (Dynamite Entertainment)
I’ve been writing comic reviews for almost six years now. I started doing smaller reviews of more comics, then shrank it down to more in-depth reviews of fewer comics. I found myself repeating the same things regarding the same comics, month after month, and I wanted to try and draw attention to comics that might not be getting it. I wanted to thank the people that were creating strong stories while not talking about the same titles.
The Spire, The Woods, Hacktivist, Coffin Hill, Clean Room, Hexed, and X-O Manowar were all titles that kept coming up again and again. Most recently, it’s been Injection and this title that keep getting brought up and I’m down to talking about three comics a week. I’m not sure if I can give a higher recommendation than that: out of every comic coming out, scouring release lists for stuff that looks cool, I keep coming back to The Shadow and Injection and telling everyone I can how good they are.
From God of Comics to Nerdcouver to the various podcasts and talk shows and stage shows I’ve been invited to, from radio to internet to television, I’m always looking for quality of concept and recommending things based on their internal integrity to the character and their core – the key structures of narrative. And this iteration of The Shadow nails that, cutting to the quick of the whole concept and giving us something new, something brilliant and eternal, miraculous and revolutionary.
Si Spurrier and Dan Watters have gotten to the DNA of what makes the Shadow and exposed that conceit to the modern world. They’ve taken a look at the construct of Leviathan on historical, philosophical, and biblical levels in a way that few people have ever dared to, and shown the corruptibility of symbols when they’re used as shorthand for actual understanding.
There’s a thing that some people talk about, how you need training and experience to understand any sort of wisdom. “Why couldn’t you just tell me?” a friend asked me, but how was I to tell her anything when she lacked the understanding for it? And that’s not to say I’m all-knowing, either; I can say with all frankness that same friend saved my life. Our strength as a species comes from sharing things, helping one another, making our worlds better.
The Shadow knows this but also sees how that societal structure can be corrupted through willful ignorance for the sake of greed or pride. Illustrating the idea of a villain that isn’t human but acts through humanity, an idea that works like a virus and creates evil that lurks in human hearts – how does one even make the attempt? It should be impossible but, month after month, Daniel HDR and Ricardo Jaime and Natalia Marques manage it.
This comic is Dynamite and possibly the medium at its very best: tackling something complex and visceral and real and making it entertaining, a story as deep as you want to take it. A tale you can read and forget or read and discuss, and you very much should be doing the latter. This comic has a lot to say about humanity and the modern world, where we are and where we’ve been and where we’re going.
Do not miss it.