This October, fans can expect an additional Halloween treat in the form of batarangs and long red scarves. Writer Steve Orlando collaborates with Italian artist Giovanni Timpano on a follow-up to this year’s DC/Dynamite crossover, Batman/The Shadow, this time entitled The Shadow/Batman.
Even though the pair first collided back in the 1970’s when The Shadow had a run under the DC Comics flag, the critical acclaim of the first six-issue thematic arc (which is currently still running, with issue #4 coming out next week) offered a definitive introspective into both icons’ personalities. It should be no surprise, given Batman creators Bob Kane and Bill Finger took inspiration for both Batman and Bruce Wayne from The Shadow and his alter-ego, wealthy man about town, Lamont Cranston. One leads easily into the other in both modus operandi and backgrounds, but Orlando successfully explored and redefined the cores of these heroes and eagerly pens the continuation of that journey into the dark.
“Shadow/Batman continues to be a dream for me,” Orlando says, “working with two of the biggest icons of pulp fiction and pop culture history is and always will be an honor. To dig even deeper into the pasts and motivations of the characters, to craft villains and challenges that force them to redefine themselves and grow as the fascinating, obsessed, passionate people they are, is wonderful. In Batman/Shadow, Batman faced a truth he was afraid to comprehend. In Shadow/Batman, the Shadow is finally faced with a moment he’s avoided his entire life: the moment the Shadow does not know.”
Orlando is a seasoned award-winning comics writer whose credits include the 2015 IGN-award winning VIRGIL for Best Graphic Novel of 2015 and Eisner-nominated Outlaw Territory for Image Comics. He has also done work for DC Comics such as Justice League: Gods and Men, Batman and Robin, Eternal and Rebirth launches such as Supergirl, Justice League of America, and Batman/The Shadow.
Timpano, an artist who had pencilled The Shadow twice before, has a background with not just Dynamite Entertainment, but IDW and Zenoscope as well. Besides The Shadow, fans have been entertained by his work on Hellraiser, Grimm Fairy Tales, and G.I. Joe. Currently working on Eclipse with writer Zack Caplan, Timpano was in the middle of wrapping up the second chapter when he got emailed by Dynamite Executive Editor Joseph Rybandt on the possibility of a threepeat on the World’s Greatest Mystery.
“I have to admit I was a bit doubtful,” he says, “because I drew several stories of The Shadow, with several writers, so I was wondering if I would have been able to add something new and different from the previous times. I’m that type of artist who always needs a challenge, who doesn’t like to repeat himself. Then Joe told me that it was not just The Shadow, but The Shadow/Batman. And later, once I ready Steve Orlando’s idea for the story, all of my doubts vanished. We all know how important The Shadow was for Batman’s creation back in the day, and Steve has taken this connection between the two characters and transformed it into the very heart of this story.”
“Basically, this is my third time on The Shadow,” he adds, “and I feel as I’m founding my definitive version of the character.”
Acknowledging how drafting a sequel in any medium leads to comparison to the original, Dynamite Senior Editor Matt Idelson stresses that Shadow/Batman should not be thought of in that context.
“[I] think Shadow/Batman is not only a sequel, but an extension to Batman/The Shadow, and a powerful story on its on. Steve has so deftly avoided repeating anything from the prior series, creating something that is so fresh, so awesome, there won’t be a single reader that walks away disappointed. And Gio’s art is tremendous! He’s always known what he’s doing, but his work has grown and evolved so much work since his earlier Shadow work and I can’t think of another artist who would have fit this project so perfectly.”
Dynamite Entertainment CEO and Publisher Nick Barrucci offers nothing but praise at the amazing work of the current crossover event, which is the product of Steve Orlando, Batman writer Scott Snyder, and artist Riley Cossomo.
“With the popularity and success of the series, it was thrilling to receive the greenlight from our friends at DC for our new crossover, and has been nothing short of a pleasure. I cannot express enough what an honor it is to have the opportunity to publish two of the greatest characters to ever appear in comics, and I can’t wait for fans of both to experience the amazing story we’re going to tell.”
The solicitation for The Shadow/Batman #1 will be found in next month’s Diamond Comic Distributors’ August 2017 Previews Catalog with a scheduled October release date. It will also be made available on digital platforms through the following outlets:
- Google Play
- Dynamite Digital
- Dark Horse Digital