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The Shadow, Volume 1: The Fire of Creation

(The Shadow-Dynamite Comics #1)

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  332 ratings  ·  57 reviews
Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows! In the storyline 'The Fire Of Creation', it's 1938 and The Shadow returns in a tale of blazing action and deadly intrigue, as a night of carnage on the New York waterfront plunges the mysterious vigilante into a conspiracy involving the fate of the world itself. As storm clouds gather across the globe, Ameri ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published November 20th 2012 by Dynamite Entertainment (first published April 18th 2012)
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3.60  · 
Rating details
 ·  332 ratings  ·  57 reviews

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Jul 01, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: comix

"Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows... "

The Shadow has been around for a long, long time. As a pulp novel character, a radio serial, a crappy movie starring Alec Baldwin (hence the use of Kat’s Hollywood banner), and as a Saturday cartoon character with: the Silhouettes, a cute bunch of East Side ragamuffins doing his leg work for him and a talking otter, Shady. *

Now it’s Garth Ennis’ turn to spin this character. And…

Kent Allard aka Lamont Cranston aka The Shadow so
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018, hoopla
Garth Ennis's version of the Shadow takes two of his strengths, writing World War II comics and the Punisher and combines them. Taking place in China in 1938 right in the midst of some of the worst atrocities mankind has known (Japan's takeover of China), the Shadow does his patriotic duty to hunt down some uranium before a foreign power can get a hold of it. Ennis brings in just enough pulpy goodness to the book to keep it interesting. His version of The Shadow is something of a bastard.

Alex Ro
Jul 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was so close to being a 5. It has over the top action, intrigue, and a Shadow that is mystical (some versions of The Shadow have less mystical powers to point of being just a dude with a gun). The problem is that, for a Shadow comic, there is actually very little Shadow here. He changes into the shadow maybe once per issue, and sometimes for just a few panels. This actually works a little bit, because he is so unstoppable and mysterious that a little goes a long way. I would have liked it b ...more
Sam Quixote
Jun 21, 2015 rated it it was ok
Garth Ennis attempts to revitalise the Golden Age superhero, The Shadow, in The Fires of Creation… and doesn’t quite pull it off.

Wealthy man-about-town, Lamont Cranston, is secretly The Shadow, a dude with a cape, a scarf, hat and a red ring, with two guns, who shoots bad guys! He’s also got powers over death and… he might also BE death? I don’t know jack about this character and Ennis doesn’t do any origin-type explaining, so who knows?

Set in 1938, The Shadow targets the Kondo brothers, men w
Quentin Wallace
Mar 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a much darker and more violent take on the Shadow than usual. Well, he's always been pretty dark and violent, but this takes things to a new level.

Set in 1938 right at the dawn of WWII, the Shadow gets mixed up in political intrigue when uranium is discovered in Japanese occupied China. The Shadow finds himself in the middle of Japanese, German, Russian, and Chinese factions all at once. We also get a glimpse at the dark background of the Shadow, such as the time he killed literally hund
Kite Johnson
Jan 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
In the first volume of The Shadow ongoing comic from Dynamite, we of course get to know who The Shadow is and what he does. For those that do not, The Shadow stops criminals with psychic powers and a couple of .45 automatics. He can see a little into the future and read the evil in men’s minds, and if necessary, force them to do his bidding. But in learning about The Shadow, we have to learn more about the man underneath, and that is exactly what Garth Ennis does with Lamont Cranston. It is in t ...more
Aug 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
This isn't a perfect book by any means. Garth Ennis' version of Lamont Cranston isn't the dilettante playboy we'd expect, and his version of the Shadow, while mysterious and spooky, has some powers that the Shadow simply hasn't had before. He also doesn't appear quite as much as he should. Visually, The Shadow is missing the long cloak he's known for and sports a short cape instead. Many of the charcters faces seem sketchy and occasionally unrecognizable. However, if you can get past that, Ennis ...more
Apr 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Wow that was really good. I remember vaguely trying this when it first came out and losing interest but damn, I really want to read more now! Very cool! Very noir! Very recommended.
Michael Emond
Jun 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
There's not much I didn't love about this book. In reviewing other Shadow books I have lamented that I love the IDEA of the character more than the stories that have used him as a character. I get glimpses of the stories I want but they don't always satisfy me for various reasons. Well, this one finally did it. This is the Shadow I wanted and had envisioned in my mind. He is like a violent Dr. Who - with powers beyond normal man, always in control and always sure of himself.

Ennis does a masterf
Feb 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
To call this “fun” doesn’t seem to fit the tone (probably of anything by Garth Ennis), but this book is as pulpy and adventurous as a Shadow story should be. Aaron Campbell uses a high-texture, high-contrast style similar to Francesco Francavilla, which suits the tone well. Surprisingly, The Shadow quickly leaves the waterfront and casinos where I expected to find him and starts tracking a covert Japanese expedition through China. Even more surprisingly, it doesn’t feel like a “yellow menace” ra ...more
Christian Petrie
Mar 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: comic
Sometimes when an old character is brought back, changes are made that make you question do they get the concept of the character. With this collection of the Dynamite The Shadow comics, this is not the case.

For those not familiar, The Shadow was an early crime fighter. You could say the prototype of Batman. A vigilante who can cloud men's mind to get the upper hand on them. My first exposure to him was listening to the old radio serials with Orson Wells as The Shadow.

The story line in this col
May 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Haven't read a Shadow book or comic in awhile and this was a refreshing new/old experience. Updated to a more adult oriented book, this was an awesome read. Let's see, could this have been done any better? I just don't think so. Garth Ennis wrote it. The art style is dark and gritty, perfect for The Shadow. Alex Ross covers on each issue of the collected graphic novel. I just don't think you could ask for more. This take place during WW2 when the Japanese forces are attempting to secure Uranium ...more
Vittorio Rainone
Sep 27, 2017 rated it liked it
L'ombra è un individuo incappucciato che riesce sempre a far strage di criminali, l'ombra se ne infischia delle buone maniere di alcuni supereroi più moderni, l'ombra fa parlare i morti e riesce ad allucinare i vivi. Il suo alter ego è un avventuriero dalle origini oscure, che si trova invischiato con i servizi segreti. Un fumetto che si prende i suoi tempi, che appoggia su un personaggio da golden age e magari non brilla per originalità, ma ha una struttura solida e godibile. Insomma, una delle ...more
Al Gritten
This was a pretty good story, but does not line up with my memories of the The Shadow. Granted it has been many, many years since I read the Shadow and my memories dim somewhat but this version of the Shadow is much more bloodthirsty than I remember him. Ennis' Shadow draws on the darkness in his heart, as the character always has, but in this story he is not much different from those he is fighting. There are extra pages of art and some of that is amazing. I love the Shadow but this iteration i ...more
Nov 01, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: graphic-novels
I have always found Garth Ennis to be very hit or miss, and this one was definitely a miss for me.

From the "Cranston has whatever powers I need him to have" to Ennis's usual shenanigans of being over-the-top transgressive for the sake of shock value, I felt that the plot was only vaguely interesting, the characterization was shallow, and the whole thing seemed purposed to change a hero with a dark side into a genocidal psychopath. Highly disappointing.
May 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Interesting take on the character. Ennis has really brought out the "dark" side of Cranston. I will want to read it again right away to see what I may have missed and probably did miss. Lot of fun. Enjoyed it especially after I saw the movie that was made earlier. This is much darker and less comical than that.
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Shadow Knows!

I enjoyed reading this volume featuring the adventures of the Shadow, the forerunner to Batman. The Shadow must stop a man who may change the ride of World War 2 as it's in the early stages.
Everything from the attitudes and clothing of the period is accurate. Kudos to Garth Ennis for making a fantastic Shadow story.
Max Washington
Jun 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing raw, so powerful.....Garth is insane lol!....many shocking moments.....and what a brilliant character....I think I read that The Shadow was an influence on the creation of Batman.....a hero who is scarier than the villains lol!.........lots of historical stuff that shocked me in this book........great artwork and writing....
John Shaw
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
No one is more pleased
than I about the
return of The Shadow
to prominence in the comics world.
In the hands of modern masters
like Ennis,
The Shadow is given the respect he
In this tale The Shadow
fights against Imperial Japan and their
war machine.
A rollicking adventure
taking us back to the
days of high adventure
Clever, fun and exciting.
Sep 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
Great update to the character. Feels like a solid continuation but it does lack any background for those who may be unfamiliar with the persona. As a long time fan of the pulps, this felt right at home.
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
Garth Ennis captures the essence of The Shadow and weaves a tale of intrigue and suspense that will keep you on the edge of your seat till you turn the final page. Too Bad He only wrote the first six issues of this series.
Sep 18, 2013 rated it liked it
There are always risks inherent in revisiting a classic character specifically with contemporary audiences in mind. Sometimes it works very well, feeling as authentic a take on the old that a learned reader can’t quite tell the difference between those days of old and the modern incarnation. Other times, the classic hero is shackled with traits that, while they may add something new to the archetype, don’t quite ring true against the vast library of adventures in his distant past. I don’t expect ...more
May 12, 2016 rated it did not like it
This is the book that finally convinced me that Garth Ennis is almost certainly a terrible person who says "SJW" a lot. I should have figured this out a long time ago, and I had my suspicions, but this is conclusive proof. It's also a terrible book.

Let's start with the smallest sin first: this entire project is absolutely inessential. No one was clamoring for a revival of The Shadow.

These are the things that I knew about The Shadow before I read this book: He knows what evil lurks in the hearts
Dec 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels, pulp
Writer Garth Ennis and artist Aaron Campbell bring the classic pulp character the Shadow to graphic life in the pages of this graphic novel, collecting the first six issues of the monthly series from Dynamite Comics. In it, the Shadow and "friend and companion" Margo Lane accompany a US government intelligence trip to China to prevent Japan from obtaining a supply of a potentially devastating material. And, of course, violence ensues.

Over the decades since his creation, the Shadow has been prese
Peter Schott
Jan 02, 2013 rated it liked it
The Fire of Creation by Garth Ennis is a novel based on The Shadow pulp novels from the 1930’s. The Shadow is a vigilante, dealing justice to criminals who escape traditional justice. The Shadow here borrows heavily from the radio series. He has the power to “cloud men’s minds” and has an alter ego of Lamont Cranston. He travels with Margo Lane, a prominent character in the radio series, though not as prominent in the pulps. This Shadow is also very willing to deal death to evildoers, probably a ...more
Jun 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
"The Shadow knows..."

The most famous line of the most famous character from the pulp era explains his appeal. The Shadow knows. He's seen it all. He understands and recognizes evil, including that which lies in his own heart. And he's committed to justice--not out of some penance, but because, who else besides him can do it?

I've always been fascinated by this character since seeing him played by Alec Baldwin in the 1994 movie--an intimidating, scary figure who stirs the same sort of wonder as Ba
***Dave Hill
Nov 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: illustrated
Garth Ennis does a fine Shadow, wielding cynical righteousness, craftiness, and willingness to bathe in blood as both writer and in the life of his protagonist here. Ennis' Cranston is a driven psychopath, but one so resolutely and mercilessly just that it's impossible to dismiss or mock him. He manages not just the usual tricks of clouding minds, but tells the future, controls the spirits of the newly dead to his bidding, and generally speaking frightens the wiggins out of a reluctant but equal ...more
Dec 01, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: digital, comics
The latest comic book incarnation of The Shadow comes from Dynamite. The first story, The Fire of Creation, was written by Garth Ennis with art by Aaron Campbell. Ennis has had a string of hit series for both the major publishers as well as his recently concluded series, The Boys, for Dynamite. Aaron Campbell is a new name to me but he seems to have worked mainly on other Dynamite titles such as Green Hornet and Sherlock Holmes.

Set sometime in the 1930s, Lamont Cranston is working with US Milita
Jim McGrath
Garth Ennis writes a war story that guest stars The Shadow, which is a very Garth Ennis thing to do. I'm not totally familiar with The Shadow's history or his major stories (I mainly know Alec Baldwin and Orson Welles in terms of context), but it did seem unusual to take the character out of the city and to focus more on Lamont Cranston using his wealth, his intelligence, his network, and whatever it is The Shadow does to get what he wants done done. I think it was a smart move to get away from ...more
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Ennis began his comic-writing career in 1989 with the series Troubled Souls. Appearing in the short-lived but critically-acclaimed British anthology Crisis and illustrated by McCrea, it told the story of a young, apolitical Protestant man caught up by fate in the violence of the Irish 'Troubles'. It spawned a sequel, For a Few Troubles More, a broad Belfast-based comedy featuring two supporting ch ...more

Other books in the series

The Shadow-Dynamite Comics (8 books)
  • The Shadow: Year One
  • The Shadow Volume 2: Revolution
  • The Shadow/Green Hornet: Dark Nights
  • The Shadow Volume 3
  • The Shadow Volume 4: Bitter Fruit
  • Masks Volume 1
  • Masks, Volume 2