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American Gods: Shadows #1
Kareem Ali 4.5

American Gods: Shadows #1


  • The good

    Intriguing story line with great character development.

  • The bad

    Slows down a bit when Mr. Wednesday is introduced

  • The ugly

  • American Gods: Shadows #1 is the first issue of the adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s classic fantasy novel. This issue opens up following Shadow Moon, an inmate counting down his final days in prison before returning home. Shadow believes the only good thing he got from being in prison was the sense of relief that came with not having to worry about being caught. And despite the chaos around him, he kept his focus by counting down the days and thinking of what he would do with his wife. Yet as he got closer to his release date he became more paranoid about his release even if he couldn’t explain it. Others were warning him about a coming storm and that it would be safer to remain inside.


    Sadly, Shadow’s world is turned upside down a few days before he’s scheduled to be released when his wife dies. He’s granted an early release so he can attend the funeral. After having a hard time switching airline tickets, Shadow is finally seated next to a mysterious man named Mr. Wednesday. Mr. Wednesday talks to Shadow as if he knows everything about his life. And he tells Shadow that he arranged this meeting in order to offer him a job unlike any other job. Who is Mr. Wednesday and what does he really want with Shadow Moon?

    American Gods: Shadows #1
    With the upcoming TV show based on the novel, American Gods is back in the mainstream with renewed interest. So I was glad when Dark Horse announced an adaptation and couldn’t wait to get my hands on the first issue. And it doesn’t disappoint. The pacing is smooth and if you like character-driven stories that pull you inside an interesting world then this is right up your alley.


    It’s easy to become immersed in Shadow Moon’s world with the way his story unfolds. Yeah he’s in prison but it doesn’t feel like a generic prison story. That’s due to his focus on life outside of it and the ways he tries to avoid getting into even more trouble while in it. So it’s easy to care about him being reunited with his family while passing the time when he’s in prison. It’s also entertaining because there’s that foreboding feeling that something was going to pop off sooner rather than later. The storm was coming.


    When Shadow received the news about his wife I felt it too. The initial part of his journey to get back home was as touching as it was eye-opening in seeing how his entire world, and understanding of it, was gone. Yet due to the excellent writing this only felt like the beginning of the storm because there were bigger forces at work. So for a little while it felt like the momentum was lost when Shadow met Mr. Wednesday. It’s not that this part wasn’t intriguing but the back and forth between the two didn’t feel as sharp. I won’t give anything away but thankfully it didn’t take too long for things to move forward.

    American Gods: Shadows #1
    The last sequence in this issue really takes things to the next level in the Dark Red Room. It’s only a few pages and there’s no backstory for either character but it’s a great introduction to what’s really behind the scenes in American Gods. It’s a bold start to understanding how their powers work. And now I can’t wait to see more of what’s in store in this series.




    American Gods #1 is an excellent start to the series combining strong character development with an intriguing story line. Shadow Moon’s journey is just starting and the writing makes me care about every step of that journey. Mr. Wednesday’s introduction is good overall but not as impressive as the start of the issue. However, the conclusion is spectacular and I’m looking forward to seeing how next issue builds on this.


    Release Date: 3/15/17
    Writer: Neil Gaiman, P. Craig Russell
    Artist: Scott Hampton
  • Rating ( 9.4 )
  • Total score 9.4

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