Writer: Steve Orlando
Artist: Giovanni Timpano
Colors: Flavio Dispenza
Letterer: Taylor Esposito
Cover: David Finch
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Dynamite launches their sequel to DC Comic’s Batman/The Shadow, keeping Steve Orlando as the writer, but bringing on Giovanni Timpano to handle art.
Crossovers can sometimes be a bit lackluster, plugging in creative teams that aren’t normally working on the solo books, and telling stories that don’t have any real stakes. This in mind, I was hesitant to try this series from DC Comics, but it actually ended up being one of my favorite books they ran this summer. With Scott Snyder and Orlando writing, accompanied by Riley Rossmo’s heavily-stylized art, this sequel series has a high bar to get over.
Steve Orlando has written a good portion of DC’s major characters, and has had varying levels of success throughout. From what I’ve read, he seems to do well with the less established characters, giving them unique voices and personalities. When he writes the major characters, like Batman, he does seem to miss the mark. The storytelling itself is still great, but the characters seem “off” from how they’re usually presented. This issue, in particular, suffers from that. Even in the three pages The Shadow shows up, he doesn’t carry the same weight he normally does.
Timpano does an impressive job injecting the proper mood into the artwork. Deep shadows and creative layouts make the pages pop. The characters are spot on, and the action feels intense throughout the fight scenes. My only familiarity with Timpano is his creator-owned book Eclipse, which is a more grounded mystery, but it’s great to see he can handle the high-flying superhero action, as well.
This issue lays out an over-arching mystery of a puppet master killing and resurrecting people, but doesn’t reveal enough to hook the reader. The issue isn’t bad by any means, but it just doesn’t stack up well against the previous series so far. There are hints that some well-known public domain characters may be making appearances, which is intriguing, but the next issue will have to do some heavy lifting to keep me reading.