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Review: American Gods: Shadows #1

Posted by Jessica Uelmen on March 19, 2017

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The Breakdown

Writer P. Craig Russell adapts Neil Gaiman’s beloved novel American Gods in comic form. Art by Scott Hampton. Published by Dark Horse Comics.

Elevator Pitch

Mythology and realism collide as the gods of old and new battle for the worship of mortals. Gaiman’s tale is a classic, drawing you in and refusing to let you go until you’ve consumed the last page. American Gods: Shadows #1 will leave you yearning for more.

The Verdict

Whether you’ve read American Gods or not, American Gods: Shadows #1 proves to be just as captivating as the novel. Hampton’s art is dark and gritty, perfectly matching the tone of the original’s tone. This eerie adaptation is a must-read.

The Whole Story

Unbeknownst to the world of mortals, the gods of old fight for relevancy against the gods of new. Nobody is more familiar with this supernatural battle than ex-convict Shadow Moon. After his release from prison and the unfortunate demise of his wife, Shadow’s future is fraught with uncertainty. He accepts employment with the mysterious Mr. Wednesday, tasked as chauffeur, bodyguard, and gofer. Their partnership is a bizarre journey through the heart of Americana — just perhaps not the Americana you’re used to seeing.

It’s easy to be wary when favorite stories are retold in new formats. After all, there’s a world you’ve created in your head, and it’s easy for another’s interpretation to contradict it. However, the world Hampton draws is a dead-ringer for all the highlights of American Gods as interpreted in my mind’s eye. You’ll likely think the same thing. It’s enough to wonder if everyone sees the same image on the page, or if Hampton’s channeled some power allowing us to see our own versions realized.

First published in 2001, American Gods appears to now be reaching peak visibility. Between this comic adaptation and the forthcoming Starz series, our shadowy protagonist has never been more in the spotlight. It will be interesting to compare the two adaptations in time, but for now American Gods: Shadows is a series to keep up with.

The Details

American Gods: Shadows #1 is available now from your favorite local comic book retailer. You can also purchase digitally from Dark Horse directly, or support Nerdy Show by purchasing from Amazon.

 

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About Jessica Uelmen

Jess is just your average cat-herding, world-traveling, tech-loving otaku. She'll brazenly defend her love of Harry Potter and Sailor Moon to any who challenge it, and can usually be found under a stack of unread books and graphic novels.

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