Review of Shadowland: Blood on the Streets #2 (8.0/10)

by Sep 30, 2010Ongoing Reviews4 comments

Cover to Shadowland: Blood on the Streets #2

Antony Johnston’s Shadowland: Blood on the Streets, with art by Wellinton Alves, continues to be the most enjoyable of the Shadowland tie-ins, by a wide margin. This issue delivers great pacing, enjoyable character work, and a clever detective story at its core.

The story picks up where last issue’s cliff-hanger left off: with a violent encounter between Paladin and the Shroud. They’ve been showing up in the same places twice and the time has come for both to find out why.

Before we learn the truth, the action cuts to Misty Knight who’s trying to get into the Medical Examiner’s Office to sneak a peak at the corpse of Mikey Fortunado. This scene is quite humorous as Misty Knight cleverly plays the race card to great effect. Obviously, in less competent hands, this could have been awkward, but here it comes across as something Misty would absolutely do when the ends really do justify the means.

What Misty learns from studying Mikey Fortunado’s corpse leads her to conclude that the Hand is not, in fact, responsible for his death. This notion is confirmed when she gets a visit from some Hand ninjas who claim not to be responsible for the recent string of deaths. They also ask her to stop investigating.

Panel from Shadowland: Blood on the Streets #2, by Antony Johnston and Wellinton Alves

Meanwhile, The Shroud and Paladin keep throwing punches while the confusion settles and each of them learns about the other’s connection to Mikey Fortunado. Silver Sable is the only character who has yet to be introduced to any of the other three main characters, but I’m expecting this to happen next issue. For now, we get to see her dealing with the consequences of having the man she was instructed to capture show up dead.

Wellinton Alves’s art is nice and clean and absolutely to my liking. It’s not hyper-realistic in the way I usually prefer my Daredevil, for instance, but it’s in no way cartoony either. In fact, I find it to be quite elegant with a nice amount of detail and all faces are appropriately expressive.

This mini is shaping up to be a very entertaining whodunnit that I think will be able to stand alone very well. I’m a big fan of Johnston’s natural-sounding dialogue and layered, character-driven plot.


  1. Antony Johnston

    Thanks for the kind words, Christine! 🙂 Glad you’re enjoying it — and yes, rest assured you’ll be seeing a lot more of Silver Sable in the remaining issues. The pieces are all moving into place…

  2. The Uranian

    Man, you get the actual writer of the thing to post here
    you’re such a badass, Christine. I’m going to vote for you.

  3. AP

    I’m also a big fan of Blood On The Streets, and I’m not just saying that because Antony posts here every now and again! 😉 I’m totally hooked. I have my problems with Shadowland as a whole, but Blood On The Streets is definitely one of the best things that has come out of this event. A very solid read indeed.

  4. Aaron K

    You know what would have made this issue even better? An afro! 😉 Other than that, my criticism isn’t aimed at this miniseries — it happily continues to please — but at its connection to the other stories being told in other books.

    The timing between the various SHADOWLAND tie-ins is starting to come apart. The ninjas who confront Misty declare that the Hand do not kill: they are seeking the true killers to uphold the Hand’s reputation with the citizenry. At this point, post-SHADOWLAND #2, that seems a little silly. Matt lifted the ban on killing in Misty’s presence! Matt ordered his ninjas to kill Misty herself (and her super hero friends) just a few hours/days ago. They’re killing folks in DAUGHTERS OF THE SHADOW (perhaps against orders, but with Matt’s implicit approval); they killed a whole mess of drug dealers and assorted criminals in POWER MAN; they killed lots of folks in BULLSEYE. Really, their “message” to Misty should be a sword through the head. All evidence points to Matt being firmly under the sway of the Beast at this point. It would be strange to suppose that post-battle royale, he has lifted the death sentence on his former friends.

    Such problems are to be expected given that the events of SHADOWLAND take place over a relatively short period of time, and yet the involved characters are managing to get a heck of a lot done in that time. After the post-fight debriefing in SHADOWLAND #3, apparently everyone went back to business as usual. (This is a big problem for Colleen: she learned that Matt was the Beast and *then* went to join him!) I don’t have a problem with time seeming to move slowly, but I do have a problem with a set of events of out of which I cannot make a coherent timeline.


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