Did you read the last issue of The Shadow? It was on sale for the grand price of a dollar, and while the comic certainly justified that price, it would have been harder to give the same recommendation if The Shadow Vol. 2 #1 were a full priced comic.
The same cannot be said for the second issue.
The Shadow Vol. 2 #2 is a much stronger comic. Giovani Timpano‘s art work is, frankly, a step above the last issue, and his layouts during the opening scene where The Shadow is wandering a graveyard are simply wonderful. Cullen Bunn has really found his feet with the second issue, and maybe that’s because he is no longer constrained with trying to recap The Shadow Vol. 2 #0 issue from a year prior to the release of The Shadow Vol. 2 #1, because it certainly feels as if he is more comfortable behind the reigns of The Shadow with this offering.
With The Shadow Vol. 2 #2, Cullen Bunn is exploring the fascination with life after death, and just how desperate some people can be to gather knowledge that may be best left unknown. The story is focused on a cabal of magicians desperate to procure knowledge from the land beyond life, and Cullen Bunn is beginning to weave an ever more interesting tale about the lengths people will go to in order to get a man’s secret. Although he hasn’t made a solid appearance in the series so far, the story is centered around the legendary Harry Houdini, and that when he died he was able to return to the land of the living with a secret, but rumour has it that nobody knows what the secret is. Nobody, that is except The Shadow.
The Shadow knows!
This issue follows the masked vigilante as he continues to track down the cabal of magicians intent on learning the secrets from beyond the grave, and there is a glimpse offered of a deadly assassin that will no doubt come to plague The Shadow in the issues to come. This issue is decidedly less action heavy than the first, but is stronger because of it. The creative team have more space to tell the story with The Shadow Vol. 2 #2 without the need to fill readers in on the previous happenings, and the second issue (yes, technically it’s the third) in the series shines because of the space afforded to them.
The last issue, I recommended you buy it if you were half interested in the synopsis and the character; for a dollar, you really couldn’t go wrong. This issue, however, is a great comic book in it’s own right. It’s not quite a standalone issue in that reading The Shadow Vol. 2 #1 may be advantageous to your enjoyment, but it’s certainly not required. Compared to the prior issue, this is head and shoulders above it, and if the series continues on this trajectory then now is the time to hop on board.
Story: Cullen Bunn Art: Giovanni Timpano
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
Dynamite Entertainment provided Graphic Policy a FREE copy for review.