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The Shadow, Volume One: The Fire of Creation

(The Shadow Dynamite Comics #1)

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  397 ratings  ·  68 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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Average rating 3.63  · 
Rating details
 ·  397 ratings  ·  68 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: hoopla, 2018
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
Alain Gutierrez
Apr 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Good and entertaining read on the classic pulp character from violent comic book maestro Garth Ennis. The Shadow faces off against an evil Japanese general who is after some valuable uranium to make an evil death ray machine. Great, mindless fun, with some humor here and there, like most of Ennis' work.
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.
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.
Mar 18, 2016 rated it liked it
I was never that familiar with The Shadow, other than knowing that he was a character from the old pulp magazines and radio shows. This was definitely a fun graphic novel, but I'm not sure if The Shadow is always so violent and gory, or if that's the influence of writer Garth Ennis (Preacher, Punisher, Hellblazer, etc.) I look forward to exploring the heart of Lamont Cranston in future stories.
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
Will Fleming
Dec 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
The Shadow is one of those characters who I think is great in concept, but terribly under-used, and frequently not well executed. I mean, he's a proto-Batman/Punisher with some magic powers and a cool outfit, you'd think somebody would figure out how to make that work! The Alec Baldwin film was... not great. And the original radio serials are interesting as a historical artifact but it's not a medium that's aged well.

So this was a pleasant surprise! It's a fun, adventurous, tightly written take
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
Jamie Jonas
May 11, 2020 rated it liked it
I suppose this is average for today's graphic novels (aka comic books), but this one seems just INCREDIBLY full of violence, plus some profanity and vulgarity to top it off. The war-themed story may be reasonably good, but again, the level of violence seems almost to swallow up the plot and the characters as well. The persona of the Shadow is a fascinating creation, taken on its own terms, but I'm not sure about this interpretation. All told, I'm giving a three-star rating more for the outstandi ...more
Juho Pohjalainen
May 29, 2019 rated it liked it
You could say that The Shadow was always at least a bit of a hypocrite, with how readily he gunned down men he deemed evil, yet claiming to serve the side of justice. But Ennis outright turning him into this sort of a psychopath was still rather on the nose for me. It's not the worst thing he's written, but all the dark and gore wear down on me sooner rather than later just the same. Likewise, not the worst introduction to The Shadow, but also very far from the best.

Two and a half stars.
Ashe Catlin
Mar 30, 2020 rated it liked it
I love Garth Ennis's Punisher stuff but this was far too wordy for me, I know there is a lot of philosophy with the Shadow but holy hell do they go on.

This is one of those stories where the hero is tasked with saving the world, this time it's from a bunch of evil Asians. Which only gets more confusing when they're all draw them same, so you can't tell who is who. Except for the fat one, they have no distinguishing features. That goes for everyone in this apart Margo Lane again because she is bl
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.
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.
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....
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.
Ross Vincent
Feb 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
What evil lurks in the hearts of the man?
The Shadow knows....

And this time, he knows that the future holds when a rare element is found in the heart of Japanese occupied China. The Germans want it..the Communist want it. The Americans want it. And the Japanese have it - as well as having the attention of Lamont Cranston and his gal pal, Margo Lane.
Rubin Carpenter
Mar 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Garth Ennis brings a story worthy of The Shadow
He's 10 steps ahead of the villains
he takes down
A master manipulator guiding his foes to their just reward and finishing them off with a harvest from the fruit of their dark labors. And enhanced with beautiful artwork awesome
An Awesome Read !
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.
Howard Simpson
A decent read

The art serves the characters poorly. I could barely tell who was Asian. Characters are drawn inconsistently making it hard to follow. Margo’s sniping every issue,became tired very quickly
Jul 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Good action
Good world building
Nice plot threads
The Shadow is kind of an ass
That works
Good read
try it

oh, oh great artwork
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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
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