Just a few days after we learned that Dynamite Entertainment had done the impossible and secured the rights to reprint Howard Chaykin's legendary The Shadow: Blood and Judgement in a new graphic novel edition, the publisher dropped another pulp bomb on us Monday morning: Garth Ennis will write an all-new The Shadow series for Dynamite. Debuting in April, the book will be drawn by Aaron Campbell (Dynamite's The Complete Dracula, Green Hornet: Year One) and feature cover artwork by the usual suspects: Alex Ross, John Cassaday, Jae Lee and, of course, Howard Chaykin. But unlike Chaykin's radical interpretation of The Shadow, the new Ennis series will be set in the 1930s.
News of this project will come as most welcome to fans of Ennis' work with The Punisher, another distinctly dark avenger of the night whom the writer forever redefined in the landmark The Punisher MAX series for Marvel's mature readers imprint, MAX Comics. Equipped with a character as dramatic and, frankly, cool as the pulp anti-hero the Shadow, it's natural to expect another ultraviolent epic along similar lines, set against that variously gritty and opulent world of the pre-war period.
"The Shadow is probably the last established character I like that I haven't gotten around to writing yet, certainly on this side of the Atlantic," said writer Garth Ennis in a press release. "It makes a kind of bloody, bullet-riddled sense: I always had a feeling our paths would cross sooner or later."
More from Dynamite's press release:
In the first issue of the ONGOING SERIES, 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, American Military Intelligence meets with a certain Lamont Cranston, determined to beat a host of spies and assassins to the greatest prize of all... but what that might be, only the Shadow knows. Be sure to get The Shadow #1 in April 2012!
"The Shadow is an awesome character in an awesome time," adds artist Aaron Campbell. "I mean what's not to like? You have the old school mystique of eastern mysticism wrapped up with a badass gunslinger!"
"Garth is a writer who was born to write The Shadow," states Dynamite Entertainment President and Publisher Nick Barrucci. "Not since Howard Chaykin's acclaimed mini-series have I been this excited for a Shadow series. Garth will take The Shadow to a new level, and Aaron will compliment his scripts well. I cannot wait for fans to see Garth's take on the character!"
Garth Ennis is a Northern Irish comics writer, best known for his immensely successful revival of Marvel Comics' Punisher franchise and the DC/Vertigo series Preacher, co-created with artist Steve Dillon.
His work is characterized by extreme violence, black humor, profanity, an interest in male friendship, an antagonistic relationship with organized religion, and irreverence towards superheroes. Frequent artistic collaborators include Steve Dillon, Glenn Fabry, Carlos Ezquerra and John McCrea. Garth Ennis' current work includes Dynamite's hit series The Boys.
The Shadow is a collection of serialized dramas, originally in pulp magazines, then on 1930s radio and then in a wide variety of media, that follow the exploits of the title character, a crime-fighting vigilante in the pulps, which carried over to the airwaves as a "wealthy, young man about town" with psychic powers. One of the most famous pulp heroes of the 20th century, The Shadow has also been featured in comic books, comic strips and at least five motion pictures.