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Batman/The Shadow #3

by John White on June 28, 2017

Story By: Scott Snyder & Steve Orlando
Script: Steve Orlando
Artist: Riley Rossmo
Colorist: Ivan Plascencia

Gotham’s best and its worst come face to face with their noir counterparts in this week’s issue of the Batman/Shadow crossover. As was explained in the last issue, The Stag’s goal in life is to undo any of the good that The Shadow creates, and since the combined efforts of Batman and the Shadow seem to be too much for it to handle, The Stag turns to the only ally that could possibly turn this to its favor. Without a moment to lose, the Joker has entered the fray and his mania may be just thing needed to end the Stag and the Shadow’s centuries old stalemate.  

Deep beneath the waves of Gotham harbor, The Shadow lays chained and under the careful eye of one Alfred Pennyworth, planning his next move as Batman moves closer to what he hopes will be a final confrontation with The Stag. Although Batman was quick to dismiss his claims of tutelage and the evil that lurks in the hearts of men, Alfred is not. The former soldier, turned butler, has first hand seen the true evils of humanity and after a bit of discussion, and one vanishing pistol, begins to believe The Shadows claims. He know that Batman will stop at nothing to stop The Stag, now that lives have been lost, but by the end of the issue he also comes to believe that only with The Shadow’s help will he be triumphant.
Elsewhere in Gotham, the Joker and The Stag discuss the finer points of killing and begin their work towards a mutually beneficial partnership. Although their common goal remains a mystery, what is clear is that although one is the picture of control and the other is the perfect example of madness taking the reins there is common ground between the two. Both recognize in each other they same insatiable killer instinct that corrupts their own being. Once their partnership is established not even the untimely intervention of Batman can stop them. Even with reinforced ankles, the Dark Night proves no match for “the honest signal” and the Clown Prince of Crime.  Will they see their plan of destructions and death realized or will The Shadow find a way to stop them?

In an issue that is mostly dialogue driven, it helps to be written by two of the best in the industry. Scott Snyder and Steve Orlando use this issue to reveal the motivations behind both The Shadow and The Stag. Where The Shadow is blunt and demanding The Stag is subtle and prefers to let the Joker join him of his own volition. In this issue they make it clear that as different Batman is from the Joker, so too is The Shadow from The Stag. The art by Riley Rossmo is fantastic, and now where is this more evident than in a spectacular single page spread that turns The Shadows cloak into the faces of his many protégés. As we near the halfway point of this limited series, it is clear that all of the creators are at the top of their game. As enjoyable as the first three issues have been, I’m sure the next will only be better.

Our Score:


A Look Inside