Review - Noir #1

"You know each other? How delightful."

Shadows are those things that can often creep around behind us, doing everything they can to stay right with us and follow us everywhere. They can be scary and that fear can drive people to stop doing whatever it is they're doing. When they're applied to a crime-fighting playboy, they tend to take on a different feeling. The Shadow is a character who uses the association with shadows to make his life easier, even if he teams up with an enemy of the law such as Black Canary in Noir #1 from Dynamite Entertainment.

The issue is written by Victor Gischler, illustrated by Andrea Mutti, colored by Vladimir Popov and lettered by Rob Steen.

Thieves have a tendency to either be extremely loyal or extremely mistrusting. The Black Sparrow falls into the latter category. She's hired to steal the Moon Stone, an artifact that is a much bigger deal than she realizes at the time. She's a smart thief though, keeping it for herself until someone else is hired to steal it from her. In order to get it back, she strikes a rather uneasy alliance with The Shadow.

Gischler's story has some intrigue to it. Black Sparrow is very cavalier in her lifestyle, willing to risk it all at a moment's notice if it serves her. She held her own against the thieves coming after her and didn't think twice about proposing a deal to The Shadow via hostage. The Shadow maintains his sterling reputation as a man of the law, despite striking the deal that will pair him with Black Sparrow. His motivation for partnering with her involves taking down organized crime, but their entire pairing seems a little awkward as it plays out. What's more is that their mission is seemingly resolved after the first issue, so it will be interesting to see how their paths cross and intersect down the road.

The illustrations by Mutti are a mixed bag. There are some panels that look very defined and carry the atmosphere of the world the characters inhabit. There are other panels though where the characters appear to lack detail. She does a great job illustrating The Shadow himself, but Black Sparrow seems to tout the same expression throughout the entire book (it's almost a pout). There are a few action scenes that Mutti handles well where the bullets fly. There are an appropriate number of characters in the shadows as well, which is only fitting in a book that feature's their namesake as his crime-fighting alias.

The Shadow is a character with a very storied history. "Teaming" him up with Black Sparrow and Miss Fury is very interesting and could lead to some very fun storylines. It's a relationship that's been touched on quite frequently with Batman and Catwoman, as one is on the "good" side of the law and the other the "bad" side. The first issue resolved the reason for The Shadow working with Black Canary, but inserting Miss Fury into the mix ensures that there will be more events that bring them all together. It's a little uneven, but Noir #1 does offer a fresh take on rather classic characters.

Noir #1 is in stores November 13 with interiors below.