The Shadow #23 – Marvel and DC have mostly forgotten how to do story-centered, agenda free comics. Thank goodness (except for the price tag) for companies like Dynamite and IDW. Each month, The Shadow delivers a heapin’ helpin’ of 1930s pulpy goodness and blazin’ firearms. In this issue, an unnamed Russian WWI vet makes it to America after a life of mercenary fighting. Most of the story is from his point of view, as he works his way across New York City relating his previous life of murder and larceny. He moves up the social ladder by killing the person beneath him. The Shadow doesn’t show up until the end of the story, just in time to deal out some social justice with his twin .45s. Turns out they knew each other in the past. The Shadow’s story had a happier conclusion.
Too bad this title is cancelled in two issues ... it’s a treat to read every month, thanks to writer Chris Roberson. The man does not phone in his work and obviously has the same love for pulp heroes that I do.
Legenderry #3 – Writer Bill Willingham has given readers a few new concepts to chew on in his time. This is quite an eclectic mix—a steampunk adventure featuring new old versions of the Phantom, Green Hornet, Vampirella and the Six Million (here, Thousand) Dollar Man. It’s sort of a head-scratching idea, but multi-talented Willingham has it all under control. Here, Vampirella and the Green Hornet have put femme fatale Magna Spadarossa on a dirigible to protect her from the evil forces pursuing her. While having dinner at the Captain’s Table, she meets the delightful Steve Austin and his pal Oscar Goldman. When she is later attacked, Austin straps on his new $6000 arm and legs and protects her from the attacking reprobates. Willingham is obviously having fun bringing a new twist to these classic characters and takes readers along for the ride.