Not the best of the Shadow…
The Shadow: Midnight in Moscow by Howard Chaykin
Classic Shadow villain Benedict Stark, aka The Prince of Evil aka Mr. Remorse returns to battle the Shadow once again. As a foe, Stark lasted four issues of the original pulp magazines:
- "The Prince of Evil"
- "Murder Genius"
- "The Man Who Died Twice"
- "The Devil's Paymaster"
He was finally destroyed at the end of The Devil’s Paymaster. A thermite bomb with which he planned to destroy the Shadow and his agents blew him to bits. This story would have had to take place prior to this.
I am of mixed feeling about this graphic novel. I didn’t really like the artwork. The depiction of the female crook and Margo Lane manages to look hideous at times. The Shadow looks a lot like Dick Tracy. Too much jaw and not enough emphasis on the nose, which is the Shadow’s signature feature.
Then there is the actual storyline. (SPOILER ALERT) Benedict Stark was a major villain for the Shadow and seems to be more of a supporting character in this book. The Stark of the original magazines would have been in the thick of the matter.
The major plot revolves around a Stark associative named Dixie Teagarden. She works with Saint John Upchurch and uses her sex to force Dr. Simon Thorpe to cooperate. The plan seems to be to blow up the Kremlin with a nuclear device and blame it on the USA. There will also be a nuclear explosion in Manhattan when a missile from Russia reaches the city. If the Shadow cannot stop it, war is inevitable.
The one good thing about this is the surprising way the Shadow punishes Dixie Teagarden. That is a refreshing end to what I call a subpar plot.
I will give this one three stars only…
Quoth the Raven…