We finally have the pulp team-up of the decade and the most obvious pun as The Shadow plunges into the world of H.P Lovecraft in Dynamite’s one-shot The Shadow Over Innsmouth.
To be honest if this wasn’t The Shadow, or if it didn’t have this delicious title, I’d be running way from it as it’s written by Ron Marz; an average at best writer of things like Silver Surfer and Green Lantern. It’s not that Marz is a bad writer, it’s just that a dozen other writers could turn out the quality of work he has. There are however worse out there and Marz at least tried to turn out something entertaining in the works I’ve read of his in the past, which isn’t saying much I know but I wasn’t expecting much beyond a wee bit of harmless entertainment while half watching the Commonwealth Games.
The story itself starts off with Margo Lane telling in flashback the story of her stumbling across some of Lovecraft’s fish-people monster demons, the Deep Ones, and of course she does this while in heels in the dark.
There’s a lot of exposition in the first few pages of this book and also, it’s utterly essential for any Lovecraft fan picking this up to be familiar with The Shadow, whereas the Lovecraft material is explained for all but we get pages of people talking, spouting exposition and leaden dialogue, flashbacks and more talking. Eventually we get to some action involving The Shadow who decides to investigate Innsmouth and stumbles across some Deep Ones who happen to be armed with rifles and shotguns.
After this it gets a bit Scooby Doo, as The Shadow/Lamont Cranston leaves Margo in Innsmouth so he can return to New York, and she stumbles across the Deep Ones, who are, well, bootleggers and would have gotten away with it if it weren’t for that pesky Margo.
Margo is then threatened with being shot through the head by Alan Moore. Seriously, this is Moore.
I imagine this is a nod towards Moore’s Neonomicon but it’s the only surprising thing that pops up in this lightweight comic that could have done much more with the idea than trot out a lightweight Scooby Doo plot with some astonishingly awful dialogue. Ivan Rodriguez’s art is functional though he’s more comfortable drawing The Shadow than the horror material.
The Shadow Over Innsmouth is the sort of comic that if I’d bought a hard copy from a shop would now be sitting in my box of comics to be sold if I ever got my arse back into retail but because I bought it on Comixology I’m doomed to be reminded of it whenever I stumble across it. It’s not an awful comic, it’s just predictable and tedious apart from the bizarre Alan Moore cameo. If you’re a Shadow or Lovecraft completest then this is for you, otherwise don’t bother.