And, result they do! In the second installment of Matt Wagner’s lush triptych, Grendel vs. The Shadow, these vastly contradictory characters meet in violent opposition in battles that leave them both licking their wounds and reevaluating their opponents.
Lamont Cranston has never missed a shot. Grendel has never been disarmed before. But, before this first meeting is over, each will find themselves tested by the other . . . both in and out of their masks.
It’s said that no bad guy ever sees himself as the villain in their own story, and it’s a testament to Matt Wagner’s writing skills that rather then selecting a hero and a villain in this piece, he allows each to be both. Grendel finds himself entranced by this new challenge, and his flamboyance over it starts to seep into his already too public life. Cranston is so set upon his challenge that he doesn’t see the chinks in his own armor, in the person of Margot Lane, beset with her own secrets.
And, it’s this compelling need in both of them that is leading to a showdown in the Shadow’s sanctum . . . in the final issue next.
“Peased to meet you, Mister Rose. I understand your book is garnering quite a lot of attention.”
“Yes, well . . . you know what they say –'Either write things worth reading or do things worth the writing.' But . . . I do believe we’ve met before!”
“Really? I don’t recall—“
“Oh, yes . . . I never forget a face! I’d say there wasn’t a shadow of a doubt!”
Verdict: FIVE Fallen Mob Dynasties out of Five