updated 8/14/15 because my spelling stinks or my grammar is terrible. Possibly both.
1 vs 1: is a contest of #1 issues. The rules are simple, since I make them up as I go along. So far the winner is the one that winds up on my pull list.
Winner: Dark Corridor (But you should still spend $1 to read The Shadow)
I have a soft spot for The Shadow. As a kid, My Mom would bring classic radio shows on tape for long car rides. I’m sure Mom was motivated to provide an alternative to the music I listened to (it didn’t matter if I had walkman because I would sing along). But there was more to her motivations than avoiding my music collection and my singing.
My parents grew up listening to these stories on the radio. It was a chance to connect to the stories and characters from their childhood, with their child. As far as parenting goes, that is pretty standard practice nowadays. But for them, they had other ways of connecting with their children that didn’t involve imaginative tales of adventure.
My enjoyment for The Shadow comics that I’ve read are all over the board. The Fires of Creation by Garth Ennis ranks up there with my all time favorites and as an amateur writer look at with envy. I can think of another that was a fun uncomplicated read and then there is the one that I’d probably not recommend. All of these comic books were published by Dynamite Entertainment.
This type of variability will either scare people away or draw people in. I’m definitely in the latter group.
The very last reason I picked this title up: It was $1.
All I knew about Dark Corridor is:
- A crime noir
- published by Image Comics
As I’ve been veering away from super hero comics, I’m finding an ample amount of crime and espionage stories to pick from. Still nowhere near as many are being published as Superhero titles, so I’m intrigued when new ones come out.
My history with the Shadow would make it hard for me to declare it the loser of this entirely made up contest that has no rules. (There was once a three way tie… still working on that post).
The Shadow was good. Definitely worth the price of admission. I found myself flipping back and forth between pages looking for hints and clues in the art. But each time, I came back with nothing.
Coincidentally, I did the same thing with Dark Corridor and each time found a nice surprise.
I found the premise of The Shadow’s plot interesting: a conspiracy within a guild of stage magicians pursuing more tangible dark arts, but the delivery was a little shaky. They’re always in their stage costumes.
The other thing that held back my enthusiasm for The Shadow was that nobody from the network of The Shadow’s allies appeared (at least that I noticed).
The Shadow did have a pretty great fight scene, and I liked how The Shadow reveals to the reader what is going on, which avoids the weirdness of the villain telling the hero the plot.
Rich Tommaso used some great writing devices in Dark Corridor. There are multiple plot lines but the characters in the two stories are connected. I’m assuming that each issue will build on this foundation to a larger plot. It’s tempting to say that the delivery of this larger plot is not sequential. But thinking about it, it was.
The artistic style for Dark Corridor resembles a Dick Tracy comic, which I find an unusual choice for a book that has some gruesome scenes. But it wasn’t a distraction from the plot.
Dark Corridor also used a succinct flash back. I’m not the biggest fan of flash back’s, but the second story in the first issue is a model for how I prefer writers to use them.
What Others Posting
The early reviews for both titles were all over the map. Both had some serious detractors. The theme’s for Dark Corridor‘s negative reviews were: 1) The two stories didn’t appear to be connected and 2) It moves slowly for the first issue.
My own observations are 1) The stories are connected and 2) It moves more quickly once the connection is made.
And one more 3) The ways in which the two stories connect are awesome.
Still the plot probably doesn’t move as fast when compared to a typical first issue of a superhero title.