It's the answer to the question that nobody has been asking! What happens when BATMAN meets The SHADOW?
Well according to this book; a fun mystery. Batman was an idea that was clearly heavily inspired by the Shadow (The Shadow predates Batman, by just under a decade) so this crossover makes a lot of sense.
I'm not going to pretend this was incredible but it was good fun. It entertained me more than I anticipated. Enough for me to grab the next issue. I find it interesting that this is a sneaky pilot for The Shadow's revival series coming to Dynamite soon. One way to get any character back in the public eye is to team him up with Batman, so here we are!
In the first half of the issue, Snyder and Orlando supply an emotional gut punch by showing the delightful daily routine of a worker at Arkham. He shows compassion and kindness to everyone he meets, he returns home to find a message on the answering machine from a woman asking him on a date. It's a good life and his future is bright. Until suddenly- he's murdered. This is the mystery Batman is investigating when he first encounters the Shadow.
In this issue, we have Batman going back to his roots. The mystery of the the murder and what it has to do with the Shadow is one that Batman feels he cannot solve alone. So we have a surprise return of Henri Ducard, one of the men who trained him.
I bought this issue as an avid Batfan and as someone who wanted to see what the Shadow was all about. This was not a full introduction to the character, at least not yet. It seems that this will only lead up to his solo series which is where we will get to know him on a more personal level. However, the issue did a solid job of intensifying my curiosity about the character!
If you are already keen on the Shadow and you already know the character then you are a few steps ahead of Bruce Wayne, and that's not a bad situation to be in! I think that fans of the Shadow will enjoy the book and will definitely be left wanting more by the end of this first issue!
Overall, as I mentioned, the mystery is fun and its not a bad start to this six-part cross-over. I'm grading this issue a B+ and I will be picking up the next issue.