Review: Batman/The Shadow #2

by Sharna Jahangir
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“Batman/Shadow,” Part Two


Writers: Steve Orlando, Scott Snyder

Artist: Riley Rossmo

Colorist: Ivan Plascencia


Part two of Batman/The Shadow issue is gorgeous. There’s still time to pick up #1 and catch up. I’ve always loved team-ups with Batman, the Dynamic Duo (Batman and Robin), the Dysfunctional Duo (Batman and Jason Todd), and the one he trusts the most (Batman and Superman). This team up is interesting. Batman is known to be the epitome of human mental and physical fitness, at times it’s hard to remember that he is fully human. The Shadow carries amazing abilities such as eerie voice-throwing and mastered stealth that pull him apart from the average human as well. In part two, Bruce is trying to find the killer who murdered an Arkham employee. The series falls into a thriller genre, opening with a murder from the first issue, and The Shadow is attempting to steer Batman into the correct direction. He sees all.

The Shadow repeats Batman’s name a few times. Bruce values his secret identity and protects it more than anything, and so for a character to repeat this name, who isn’t a family or a close friend, it places the power over Bruce:

Are you so sure, Bruce?

Not this killer, Bruce.

It’s something oddly intimate. Orlando and Snyder do something interesting here, by showing that The Shadow knows Bruce Wayne, us as readers immediately create a connection and bond between the two characters. After all, how many people in Batman’s life know his secret identity and not form a strong relationship with him (including evil, toxic relationships). In addition, The Shadow is a character that kills, they’re both vigilantes, but killing is a major difference. It feels as if their relationship is going to be a slow burn. It’ll take a few tries to gain Batman’s complete trust, and the Shadow does not accomplish this by the end of this issue.

The Shadow: Only a fool trusts his eyes.

Batman: I trust my mind. It got me to you.

Batman is struggling to come to terms that he is incorrect. Orlando shows us a weakness of Bruce, and this isn’t the first time his stubbornness or refusal to accept facts have gotten in the way. The Shadow is an ally, but not the type Bruce is used to. The Shadow wants to challenge Bruce, and have him question his methods. Is it to possibly to make him a better, stronger fighter? Most characters are keen to follow his orders and suggestions, but I rarely see someone challenging his plans.

We are also having to learn a new character, and the way the writers and artists draw out the Shadow’s backstory, it keeps your eyes locked to the pages. Riley Rossmo’s line-art is compelling, attention to shading, muscle form, and the background are gorgeous.  Ivan Plascencia is a gifted colorist. He uses dull tones to keep a darker narrative. It mimics a Gotham City essence capturing the thriller/detective genre. The major colors that pop are red and blue, and they’re always at opposite ends of each panel. The art demonstrates the tension between Bats and the Shadow, and it’s hard to pull your eyes away.


This is another brilliant comic series. I’ve been addicted to crime dramas since I was a child, so this is a treat for me. I really want to know the person/people behind the murders, and why. I’m also intrigued to see this relationship develop because chemistry with Batman is always an interesting time. With amazing writers and artist behind this series, I’m sure it’ll continue to be an astounding story. I won’t give out a big spoiler, but the last panel art is a piece! A strong representation of evil.

Images courtesy of DC Entertainment

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