The Shadow No. 6, the finale of Garth Ennis’ run, starts in the second-most metal way possible:
Then the Shadow humiliates a CIA man, blows up half an army, and routs the enemy. Then it ends in the No. 1 most metal way possible.
But I can’t help but be a little disappointed in this. The Shadow uses his ability to “see fate” (which Ennis just gave him) to predict that Kondo will be in the wrong place at the wrong time, five years in the future. The Shadow I know would never let a villain run that long. There are basically three fitting ends to a Shadow villain:
- Killed in collapse of headquarters/explosion of machinery.
- Driven to madness, falls of a cliff/building.
- Under the Master’s guns.
This is a nerd curse: The need to define things not just as “good” or “bad,” but “right” or “wrong.” Overall, I’m going to give the Garth Ennis run a solid B.
Shadow No. 6 is followed up by Shadow Annual No. 1, which is possibly the most disappointing Shadow comic book story done in the last 40 years. The Master faces down three children, possessed by an ancient evil, who have mind-control and pyrokinetic powers.
The writer again uses the “see fate” power, with the Shadow referring to himself as an “agent of fate.” The “see fate” power is a pretty radical departure for the Shadow, and takes him way out of his wheelhouse. The Shadow has always had an element of the supernatural, but it’s always more of a “one step beyond” variety. The concept doesn’t hold up under this level of practical magic.
The next issue blurb says the Shadow’s power fails him while stopping a mugging, and he travels to the Far East to reconnect with his old masters. “As always, the Shadow faces danger … but he must also look within himself.”
I haven’t read it, so it might be phenomenal. But it’s certainly the worst-sounding idea for a Shadow story since the Archie Comics Shadow series. Sigh.