AMERICAN GODS: SHADOWS #1 [Advance Review]

American Gods: Shadows #1 Cover
AMERICAN GODS: SHADOWS #1/ Story and Words by NEIL GAIMAN/ Script and Layouts by P. CRAIG RUSSELL/ Art by SCOTT HAMPTON, P. CRAIG RUSSELL & LOVERN KINDZIERSKI/ Letters by RICK PARKER/ Published by DARK HORSE COMICS

Shadow Moon was an idiot but he was also incredibly lucky. When he was sent to prison, his wife Laura didn’t abandon him and came to visit Shadow every day she could. His best friend, Robbie, promised Shadow a job a the gym that he owned – The Muscle Farm – once Shadow had done his time. And Shadow was big enough and scary-looking enough that nobody in prison messed with him. Not even the guards.

Prison taught Shadow one thing beyond patience – how to see trouble coming. And right before he was due to be released, he had a sense that a storm was brewing and bad things were about to happen. Unfortunately, he was right.

The good news is that the warden decided to release Shadow a few days early. The bad news is they decided to do this because Laura died in a car crash. It was then, after some difficulties with his flight being rerouted and bumped-up, that Shadow met the mysterious Mr. Wednesday – a man who knows far too much about Shadow and Laura and who stinks of the trouble Shadow was hoping to avoid.

Despite his hopes, Shadow will soon find himself in Mr. Wednesday’s employ. He will also be thrust into the deadly world of the supernatural, where the ghosts of the past can come back from the dead and a brewing war between gods both old and new is about to boil over.

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It’s been a while since I last reread American Gods but this first issue of Shadows made it seem like I was reading it again for the first time. P. Craig Russell has done a masterful job of adapting Neil Gaiman’s text into a graphic novel format. No surprise given his previous excellent efforts adapting Gaiman’s Coraline and The Graveyard Book!

Russell is not alone on the art duties, however, his own artistic contributions to this issue being reserved for the Somewhere In America sequence at the end of the issue. The main section of the book is illustrated by Harvey-winner Scott Hampton, with a dour aura befitting the story’s opening scenes. Both sections look fantastic. If this is indicative of the series to come, fans of the original novel will find this adaptation most agreeable.

Rating 5

American Gods: Shadows #1 will be available for purchase on March 15, 2017 from your local comic book store (Don’t know where that is? Here you go.) or digitally via Comixology.com.

About Matt Morrison

Matt has been writing about comics on-line since before the word "blogging" was coined. When he's not busy being the World's Finest Teen Librarian, he enjoys acting, role-playing, movie-riffing and sarcasm. He also writes for NoFlyingNoTights.com and MyGeekyGeekyWays.com. You can follow his adventures on Twitter, @GeekyGeekyWays.

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