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The Shadow: Blood and Judgment
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The Shadow: Blood and Judgment

(The Shadow: Blood & Judgment #1-4)

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  283 ratings  ·  43 reviews
The laugh had vanished... the mocking, sinister laugh that signalled doom for the petty souls whose wrongdoing stained the world. It was gone, lost in the night that echoed it. Now, one by one, his friends and operatives are being ruthlessly murdered. Someone is trying to draw him out. Thirty-five years later, it is time for him to return. Full description
Paperback, 120 pages
Published October 30th 2012 by Dynamite Entertainment (first published December 1st 1987)
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Average rating 3.63  · 
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 ·  283 ratings  ·  43 reviews

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Jan 28, 2022 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Genius often times messes things up.

When I watch American football, I frequently ridicule a coaching move because it was a little too fancy and failed miserably. I’m an old school football fan, I prefer a solid running game only peppered with some passes, ball and time controlled, stay in bounds with a vicious and relentless defense. A coach who calls plays that gets a little too cute and I’m calling him out. Of course, when a creative, innovative play WORKS, his genius and boldness are met with
Jan 29, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics, 2021, the-shadow
The Shadow a lethal two gun carrying vigilante from the Thirties and forties makes his return in the eigthies when somebody is killing his surviving paladins (people the Shadow worked with mosty after saving their lives from doom.
Howard Chaykin draws this menacing figure for an mature audience mostly because of some gore when it comes to violence. This series was in 4 parts upon release and did not rekindle any fanhood for the Shadow. It became a standalone sadly.
That said the Shadow does belong
Juho Pohjalainen
So The Shadow's gone away for a while and his agents have all gotten old... and then he returns, in the (then) present day, ready for new adventures. Could've been good. I liked this interpretation of his backstory, and where he'd learned all that cool stuff he could do, so there was that.

The rest of it wasn't nearly as good as it could have been, though. The story was a hot mess in terms of pacing and writing and villains, the old guard didn't have nearly enough to do, and the new generation wa
May 12, 2016 rated it did not like it
Managed to make it 3/4 of the way through before deciding I had to shelve this one. Let me start by saying I really enjoy The Shadow. I like more of the modern take but have also read some stories from decades back that were good as well. Going into this, I knew that others had either a love or hate view of the story. It's not the violence or the UZIs that bother me. This isn't a "That's not MY Batman" type if issue I have with this. In fact, going in, I tried to think of this as a sort of Elsew ...more
Nov 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some books or Graphic Novels you buy and read because of the Writer and/or the artist.
I have to confess, that's not the case for me when it comes to The Shadow. I buy them simply because I love the character so darn much!
Which is not to say that I don't enjoy the writing or the art, I also happen to be a long-time Howard Chaykin fan. But I have to admit that The Shadow is a guilty pleasure that I find very difficult to pass up.
'Updating' a classic character into the (then) modern age made for an ok story when first printed, I guess, but it's been done so often and so much better since that it's a pale imitation even if it is original. ...more
This is so incredibly stupid that I'm angry that I'm still going to read the second half. If he were to write the perfect book from here to the end -by divine intervention- it would still be turd altogether. The whole sci-fi angle is so bad that it would be an honor if I called it nerdy. I don't have the proper level of insults for the concept and the story and dialogue stink too. What the hell was he thinking? The introduction lets you know that he was writing it his way or not at all which sho ...more
Zachary King
This one didn't knock me out. The pacing is a mess, since the villain's scheme isn't even referenced until the end of the third issue (of four). The art is neat, Chaykin doing his usual fine work, but especially for a Shadow novice like myself this was not a gripping read. When it comes to dollar bin comics, you win some, and you lose some. ...more
Abbas Saleem Khan
Dec 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, 2020
I read this as a 10 year old. This is not the comic that anyone should sell a 10 year old but nonetheless I loved it then. I love it today. It's great. It's one of the best comics from the late 1980s explosion in sequential storytelling.

There is no one else who is more perfect to handle The Shadow than Howard Chaykin.
Roman Stadtler
This was highly entertaining, no matter what many reviewers below say! I think one problem for many other reviewers is Chaykin's style; he's innovative, highly stylized, and he's famous for not dumbing down his stories. He says in the great interview in the back of the book how the first issue/part one is intentionally a bit confusing - and it certainly is - because he wanted to mislead the reader so we won't see the big payoff/revelation coming. It was, perhaps, too misleading, 'cause after the ...more
Apr 28, 2017 rated it it was ok
Okay I'm going to be honest here, I didn't understand much of what happened in this book. Sure there's things happening but I'm not sure if it was the art, the wtiting or a combination of the two but I found this to be an incomprehensible reading experience.

So I've never read The Shadow, but he has been a character that has fascinated me in recent years (plus I'm an absolute sucker for pulp fiction) but I'm not sure if this story did anything to sway me. He (along with some other supporting cha
It's interesting re-reading this after so long--and as a digital comic via Comixology no less. Despite the seminal place this holds in my history as a comics reader, i's clear now I had no idea what I was encountering when I was a teenager. I doubt I understood it it either for it's formal experimentation or for its more "mature" themes. It is very much of the 1980s, audacious enough to send its hero into a new wave club where he poses as a punk rock singer, shameless enough not to be even remot ...more
Alex Sarll
The Shadow is the vigilante Batman wants to be when he grows up. Howard Chaykin is a writer/artist I've really been getting into lately, with a hyperkinetic pulp style, all square-jawed, raised-eyebrowed heroes and slinky femmes fatales. This meeting of the two is often held to be the finest example of either, but didn't wholly work for me. Yes, when the Shadow is in action, it's excellent - in particular, the way his speech is depicted on the page, and his terrifying laugh becomes part of the l ...more
Howard Simpson
Sep 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great update

I was introduced to the Shadow with DC’s O’Neil and Kaluta comic books. This update by Chaykin feels like it is the same character. His agents have aged and that is dealt with and that is addressed in the story, since Lamont Cranston has not aged one bit.

His reappearance into modern society ties very much into his origin, which is recounted here and is integral to the story. It’s not unnecessary exposition.

A very interesting and enjoyable tale that is well told and drawn.
Dec 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of coolest comics ever. Imagine a pulp story from the 80s and you get this. After disappearance of more than 50 years, Shadow returns in blaze of glory, Uzi wielding angel of death, avenging deaths of his colleagues. True, the series may be a bit tough to swallow for newcomers. But intriguing plotting made it up. Add that to sympathetic Chaykin's art, grotesque violence, and always healthy and welcome dose of sexism and black humor, rife with 80s pop culture references. As I said, cool! ...more
Paul Spence
Mar 24, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics, crime-noir, pulp
Blood and Judgement proved very divisive when first published in 1986 as Howard Chaykin took the essence of the violent vigilante dispensing retribution from the original 1930s pulp novels and transferred him to the 1980s.

So where’s the Shadow been since he disappeared in 1949? Chaykin has a surprising answer for that, incorporates the Shadow’s origin, and moves events at a cracking pace. He even features the Shadow’s 1940s crew of assistants, now all elderly, but in a largely respectful fashion
Jer Clarke
A fascinating dive into 1930’s misogyny transplanted into an edgy 80’s comic book adaptation.

Picked up this trade paperback of the 4 issue initial 80’s run of The Shadow because it was in a dollar bin and the cover promised it was “The controversial mini-series in one complete volume”. I love a good cheap AF trade and the fact that it seems to have been printed in 1987 caught my attention.

It’s a DC series but oh so dark and violent and filled with sex and S&M themes. The whole series came befo
Linnea Gelland
Jun 06, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I just don't get it.

The artwork is kind of messy, and could well work in a run-down grimy setting, but I don't know, it's all a little too angular for my personal taste.

As Howard Chaykin himself said in an interview at the end of the series: "The Shadow himself is not very interesting to me, but the people around him are". That explains a lot. The Shadow, whoever he really is, is just a somewhat heroic vessel, too shallow to even be problematic in the way he treats his co-workers (or 'subjects',
Rubin Carpenter
Oct 05, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was a disappointment I have fond memories of the shadow of the late 80s though I started later with the series and the "seven deadly finns" storyline maybe it's going back now at a more mature age and seeing this through different eyes or this hasn't aged very well
reflecting the times certainly when high violence & mature themes were not the norm
But it's novelty has certainly been worn down here reading it by 21st century standards
I love some of Howard Chaykin' s stuff but this goes nowh
Sep 30, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chaykin (like Matt Wagner) goes with Pulp Heroes like Frank Miller with Daredevil and Walter Simonson with Thor.

Chaykin adds sex and lurid violence to the old-fashioned pulp with this comic. It's a 30s chauvinist character brought to the 80s (influenced by Black Kiss, Watchmen, etc.). It's a bit regressive in some ways. It's all style (straight lines and square jaws and overproduced special effects). It's got crowded and gauche panel work that is sometimes still endearing.
Matt Reid
There’s a lot of hype about this book. Had an interest in the character so thought I’d give it a go. It’s reminiscent of many of the gritty 80s comics so if you’re into them you’ll like this. I’ve not read a lot of the shadow but much like (but less so) the Garth Ennis book it feels like it’s not really about the shadow. This was better but still looking for a proper Shadow story so will keep looking.
Kevin Dumcum
Oct 10, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
Taken on its own, and ignoring everything you know about The Shadow, the first three issues (of four) are interesting, telling the pre-1930s origin of The Shadow as a means to bring him into the 1980s. Turns out, though, he is not a likable character at all. The fourth issue is a mess. The villain’s motivation is stupid, the means by which he tries to carry it out are implausible. Throw in an unnecessary mid-80s AIDS element, and what could have been a great book just falls flat.
Jan 10, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
9 times out of 10 Chaykin is creator whose work I hate. Hate his squarey art and his ooo-everything-is-so-mystic writing.
But I love The Shadow. So why not give this one a chance?
I should've not. Again everything is so squarey and mystic but this time even the story telling mixed up piece of stupid shit.
Kevin Mann
Oct 18, 2012 rated it it was ok
Honestly, in fairness, i have to give this 2 reviews. One review looking at it with 1980s mindset & reflective of those times (which i lived through, so i get all the references Chaykin crams in) and, Two, one review looking at it from 2014 "how does it rate vs. Other Shadow epics?" mindset. This would be a 3 and a half star book at the time it was made, it hits all the hot culture buttons of late-1980s America, so there is that going for it, if you are a teenager in 1987, in that it is OF IT'S ...more
Nov 29, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic_novels
Astonishingly violent, and some of the panels are just a big ole mess. Compares poorly to my memory of American Flagg, but now i'm mistrusting my memories: Weird to look back at comics from twenty-five years ago. I wonder if I would have loved them back then.

Anyway, it is set in the present (at least, though the "present" of the late eighties), and all of the Shadow's/Lamont Cranston's cronies are aged while he remains young and vital. Which is a nice touch, but isn't really explored at great de
Feb 12, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is not intelligent, deep stuff. It's pulp writing for the 1980s, and all that entails. It's hard to even remember now what I liked about Chaykin (though I suspect it has something to do with scantily-clad women and my age at the time), because his writing's stiff, his dialogue pretty unworkable, and his art only a step past standard superhero fare. Having said all that, he's a sound choice for resurrecting The Shadow, and it's a fun story. Nothing highbrow, just blood, broads and unwavering ...more
Mar 09, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I first read this back in the 80's, this was pretty groundbreaking stuff. Another 'mature readers' book that was aimed at the older fan and was appreciated for that. Violent, sexual and over the top it maintained Chaykins reputation as a groundbreaking creator.
Reading it now, it almost feels a little like a museum piece, another exhibit of the Dark Age. It's still a good read of sorts, and you can appreciate the effort Chaykin made to update the character and cast, but now it feels like it
Apr 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novel
The perfect update, an incredible tale taking the legend of The Shadow and bringing it into modern times. The classic masked avenger of the golden pulp era brought forward and reimagined to the changed world he left behind. The series is titled 'Blood and Judgement' and does not disappoint. The Shadow and his new agents, teamed with some of the old Night Corps, taken on a depraved criminal from the past. ...more
Jason G
Re-read this one recently. Nice art, although it seems the hero looks an awful lot like Reuben Flagg. The story itself is pretty thin, but it was a good introduction to The Shadow as a character because much of this goes over the origin of the main character. A good bit of background on the original magazine and radio shows is included.
Mike Kowalczyk
Oct 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic! Not very familiar with all the players but still found it a great read from comics legend. The series was apparently controversial in 1987, a time when we all lived in fear of nukes and AIDS. He brought a pulp-era character back from the publishing dead with a story laced with all the trappings of a Chaykin story we have come to love.
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Howard Victor Chaykin is an American comic book artist and writer.

Other books in the series

The Shadow: Blood & Judgment (4 books)
  • The Shadow: Blood & Judgment (Dynamite) #1
  • The Shadow: Blood & Judgment (Dynamite) #2
  • The Shadow: Blood & Judgment (Dynamite) #3
  • The Shadow: Blood & Judgment (Dynamite) #4

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