Saturday, January 14, 2017



[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

WRITER: David Avallone
ART: Dave Acosta
COLORS: Omi Remalante
LETTERS: Taylor Esposito
COVER: Francesco Francavilla
VARIANT COVER: Francesco Francavilla
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S.

Rated T+

Chapter One: “Shadow of a Doubt”

“The Twilight Zone” was an American television series that was broadcast on the CBS television network for five seasons from 1959 to 1964.  Created by writer-producer Rod Serling, “The Twilight Zone” employed an anthology format, with each episode being unrelated to any other episode of the series.  The series told stories in multiple genres, from drama, psychological thriller, and suspense to horror, fantasy, and science fiction.  Episodes often had a moral and/or an ending that presented a macabre resolution or an unexpected twist.

The Shadow is a fictional character that began life as a mysterious radio narrator.  He debuted on July 31, 1930 and was the host of the radio program, “Detective Story Hour,” which was designed to promote Detective Story Magazine from Street and Smith Publications.  Listeners of that program began asking newsstand agents for copies of “The Shadow's detective magazine,” assuming one existed, which it did not.

Street and Smith hired writer Walter B. Gibson to create a character concept that fit The Shadow's name and voice and to also write a story featuring him.  The first issue of The Shadow Magazine went on sale on April 1, 1931.  The Shadow would go on to be one of the most famous fictional characters of the twentieth century, starring in a long-running pulp magazine series, comic books, and newspaper comic strips, as well as in films, movie serials, and television series.

For the past decade, Dynamite Entertainment has had the license to produced comic books featuring The Shadow.  There have not been many comic books based on “The Twilight Zone,” but Dynamite apparently now has the license for that.  The result is a new comic book, crossover miniseries, The Twilight Zone: The Shadow (or Twilight Zone The Shadow).  It is written by David Avallone; drawn by Dave Acosta; colored by Omi Remalante; and lettered by Taylor Esposito.

The Twilight Zone: The Shadow #1 (“Shadow of a Doubt”) opens in October 1938 in Yaphank, New York.  It is 'round midnight at “Camp Siegfried,” and The Shadow is there to bust a cap in some American Nazi ass.  In the aftermath, however, Lamont Cranston finds himself in a situation in which what he believes to be is not.  Everything seems familiar, but this is the Twilight Zone.

Honestly, The Twilight Zone: The Shadow has potential.  It isn't good, or bad, or even mediocre.  It is like a still developing dream, more so than it is a story, but that's the Twilight Zone for you when it comes to dream-like.  Artist Dave Acosta is good at storytelling here, although his compositions are not refined.  From a skills point of view, Acosta is in that (ahem) twilight zone between self-published, POD comics, wannabe professional artist and a small press anthology cartoonist.  But I guess Dynamite finds his page-rate convenient.

Writer David Avallone has a good kernel of a story, but the 20 pages this first issue offers are not enough to really get a feel for what he is doing.  Like I said earlier, there is potential here.  The Twilight Zone: The Shadow could end up being something nice.

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

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