The Shadow, as a pulp character, turned up fully formed.  Anything in his past was told as a flashback.  A bit of background here, a little bit there and a fair amount was left in the… shadows.  Dynamite is going to be exploring The Shadow’s Origins in The Shadow: Year One in 2013.  Getting into untold origins of a classic character can sometimes be a little on the risky side, but for this one, Dynamite has pulled Matt Wagner out of their hat.

Wagner, if you can remember back far enough, had a very memorable series with some Shadow influence in the fondly remembered Sandman Mystery Theater title for Vertigo, featuring the gas mask wearing version of the Golden Age Sandman.  He also recently wrote Green Hornet: Year One for Dynamite.

Dynamite’s been putting out some quality pulp revivals with the current Shadow and Spider comics.  This one looks interesting.

Official PR and some art follow:



October 13th, 2012, Mt. Laurel, NJ – Legendary comic book creator Matt (Mage, Grendel) Wagner takes on The Shadow in 2013 with The Shadow: Year One.  Much as he did with Dynamite’s Green Hornet: Year One, Matt plans to tell the definitive origin story of The Shadow, showing fans why the character has endured in popularity for so many years!  Look for Matt Wagner’s The Shadow: Year One in 2013!

THE SHADOW has long been one of my absolute favorite established characters and I’m thrilled to finally get the chance to contribute to his continuing adventures,” says Matt Wagner.  “I’m getting to help define The Shadow’s mysterious origins in a Year One story arc!  For all his published history in both the pulps and comics, as well as his radio adventures, there’s surprisingly no depiction of his very first adventures as the dark-clad Master of Men.  This series will explore the events that first drew Kent Allard/Lamont Cranston back to the States, how he began to assemble his vast network of agents and how he first adopted the famous black hat and cloak as his alter-ego’s disguise-secrets that, up until now…only The Shadow knew!”

“Matt’s a legend and it’s always great to work with him,” stated Dynamite Editor Joe Rybandt. “Everything about his work is infused with realism and authenticity, and his Shadow: Year One will raise the bar for pulps and their heroes.”

“I’ve known Matt for 30 years now, since he lived in Philadelphia and was working on Mage for Comico Comics.  I’ve mentioned this for years, that I repeatedly asked him if he would work on a comic with me as even at a young age, his scripts, art and ability to tell stories was some of the best I had seen.  I never would have thought that 25 years later we would start a relationship with Matt working together.  This is the third project with Matt, and it keeps getting better each time.  I’m proud to be working wtih Matt, and can’t wait for this new adventure to begin!” – States Dynamite President and Publisher Nick Barrucci


  1. Green Hornet: Year One was a really nice comic. I am totally down with Wagner taking on The Shadow. Dynamite has certainly been guilty of the variant cover nonsense, but they’ve been making some good books for quite a while now.


  2. Always a little sad to see talent wasted on yet another attempt to bring back the irrelevant heroes of the pulp era. Would have thought that the collapse of First Wave would have taught the publishers better, but here we are again.

  3. Johnny M, Dynamite has been publishing comics with pulp characters for a long while now. I presume they would have stopped if they weren’t satisfied with the results (in terms of profits, anyway). For what it’s worth, some of them are quite good (e.g., Matt Wagner’s Zorro and Green Hornet: Year One, as well as Dynamite’s Lone Ranger and John Carter/Dejah Thoris books).

    You may consider this a waste of talent, but many of us look forward to books with these characters. FIRST WAVE was a failure for numerous reasons, not the least of which is that the comics used to introduce the universe weren’t good. At least it resulted in a SHOWCASE PRESENTS reprint of Marvel’s Doc Savage series.

  4. Really happy to hear this. Green Hornet: Year One was incredible, and this sounds equally promising. Wagner on the Shadow is a dream project.

  5. There aren’t many things I’d rather see Wagner on. Mage III being the major one. (Nick… you know you want to publish Mage III. Just do it.)

  6. I dunno … The Shadow’s strength often comes from the mystery … why start trying to pull off his secrets with a Year One?

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