Marvel Shadows and Light #1: Review

Feb 1997
?, John Paul Leon

Story Name:

The Spoon Job

Review & Comments

4 stars

Marvel Shadows and Light #1 Review by (May 3, 2023)

Review: An attempt at lending class to the usual comic book fare by presenting it in a black and white format, recalling the Warren horror magazines of the 1960s and 70s and even Marvel’s own 1970s B&W titles

The Wolverine and Captain Marvel stories are nicely written (the former a bit more creative than the latter) but feature unattractive art (the latter a bit more than the former). 

The Dracula story has the most lucid art but the story is quite dark and lacks any resolution at the end. 

And the Dr. Strange tale is just an enigmatic offering with mediocre art where Strange seems to resemble Fu Manchu and the kid is out of proportion. Yet this prompted another three issues so the experiment must have been successful in Marvel’s eyes.

Comments: First story written by John Paul Leon and Leone Cimpellin

Dracula story: Blade next appears in BLADE (1998) and he does not mention escaping from captivity in Castle Dracula. 

Captain Marvel story titled “Prisoners of the Red Ghost” in the table of contents and “Trio of Terror” in the story itself.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Marvel Shadows and Light #1 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

A Hydra chemist has developed a means of injecting poison that overcomes a victim’s healing abilities so they try to test it on Wolverine. A gang of agents ambush Logan at an outdoor market, shooting him full of holes. The chemist injects him but Logan jumps up and cuts down the gun agents while the chemist flees to the subway. Logan pursues him through the underground system until the chemist manages to trick Logan into missing the train. At the airport booking a flight to St. Thomas, the chemist discovers he lost his meds in the battle; if Wolverine finds it, he has the chemist’s name, address and access to the antidote. He calls home…and Logan answers….

“Into the Tomb” 3.5/5
Writer: James Felder. Pencils: Jose Ladronn. Inks: Juan Vlasco. Letters: Richard Starkings.
Synopsis: Seeking to learn if Dracula is alive again, Blade travels to a village in Eastern Europe intending to go to Castle Dracula. He finds all the villagers dead, impaled on huge stakes with only a priest, Father Nicolas, alive. The priest warns him to leave but, seeing his determination, chooses to accompany him to the castle. There they find the corpses of a band of villagers who sought to destroy Dracula. The men are attacked by two of Dracula’s brides and kill them after a battle. But there is a third bride who appears to be Blade’s long-dead mother; they struggle and Blade is seriously injured; Father Nicolas ministers to him and places his cross around Blade’s neck. The priest is then decapitated by Dracula and revived so that the zombie snatches his cross back. Dracula appears and promises a gruesome death to Blade. And the tomb is closed again….

“Prisoners of the Red Ghost/Trio of Terror” 3.5/5
Writer: John Rozum. Art: Wilfred Santiago. Letters: Richard Starkings.
Synopsis: Captain Marvel is trapped in the Negative Zone while the Red Ghost has Rick Jones a prisoner in his lab on the Blue Area of the Moon. Red Ghost is trying to duplicate the Nega-Bands so that he can free his allies Annihilus and Blastaar from the Negative Zone and conquer Earth. Mar-Vell battles the two villains aboard Annihilus’ ship while Red Ghost succeeds in duplicating the bands. RG clicks them together and is transported to the Negative Zone (where he is clobbered by Blastaar), which sends Mar-Vell to the Moon so he can free Rick. He then returns to t eh Zone to confront the Ghost who turns intangible…making his Nega-Bands fall to the floor. Mar-Vell picks one up and destroys it, trapping Red Ghost in the Zone with his sorely disappointed allies. Rick returns to Earth as Mar-Vell destroys the last remaining fake Bands….

“Strange Reflections” 2.5/5
Writer: Michael Golden. Pencils: Michael Golden. Inks: John Beatty, Al Milgrom. Letters: Richard Starkings.
Synopsis: A largely wordless story contrasts Doctor Strange battling various occult fiends in a mystic land with a little boy watching television all day. At the end, Strange defeats his foes and appears as the boy’s reflection on the TV screen after he has turned it off.

Pin-Up: Captain Marvel, Doctor Strange by Tony S. Daniel (back cover)

John Paul Leon
John Paul Leon
Tony S. Daniel (Cover Penciler)
Tony S. Daniel (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Richard Starkings.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

> Marvel Shadows and Light: Book info and issue index

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