DC Cross Focuses on Harley Quinn and Talia in Shadow Wars Zone 1

As the bloody crossover event ‘Shadow War’ neared its end, a large-scale special anthology appeared shadow war zone #1 explores the broader impact of Deathstroke’s revenge against Talia al Ghul and the League of Shadows on the DC Universe. Written and illustrated by an impressive roster of comic book authors at the height of their creative power, One Shot features four different stories on the fringes of the crossover’s primary conflict. While shadow war zone It provides a nice sequel to the crossover storyline before its explosive climax, and the creative teams have also done a good job making their own stories relatively accessible to readers who might not have caught up with the ninja-fueled DCU showdown.


“Shadow War” lead writer Joshua Williamson and artist Otto Schmidt take a point in the opening story, exploring the ramifications of the cross on Black Canary as it faces its own threat to conquer. Black Canary was working directly with Deathstroke in Pages Deathstroke, Inc.I quietly hope that redemption is possible even for the likes of Slade Wilson. With Deathstroke fully embracing his villainous side, Dinah Lance confronting her own disappointment and guilt, Williamson and Schmidt make the most beautiful story in the anthology.


Writer Nadia Shammas and artist Sweeney Poe focus on Talia and her family, through one of the collection’s most thoughtful and reflective stories. Talia’s upbringing is shown, giving the character a weaker and more terrifying side than the usual immoral images the character has recently received. There is almost a surreal, dreamlike quality to Boo’s artwork as unseen details from Talia’s past emerge. The writing of Deacon’s texts provides a welcome respite and an introspective interlude from the explosive action that dominates the event.

This follows the most exciting story in the anthology, with writer Ed Bryson and pencil writer Mike Bowden joined by Enker Marc Morales and colorist Antonio Fabella in a story that explores Clownhunter’s fledgling partnership with Ghost-Maker. Created as a more lethal twist on the familiar Batman and Robin dynamic, the creative team demonstrated this new dynamic duo while working against a small army of ninjas, joined by a black spider. Perhaps the lightest stories in the anthology, Brisson and Bowden brings plenty of escape fun to those who come to this special event looking for some superhero versus ninja action.


The Closing Anthology is a short story by Stephanie Phillips and Ann Molina, with the association of shadows haunting Harley Quinn for her brief tenure with Deathstroke’s Secret Society of Super-Villains. The story largely feels like a natural extension of Phillips’ work on the Harley Quinn mainline series, as Phillips still masterfully blends screwball comedy with the chaotic action of the superhero. Maulina is a tough co-op match for Phillips, giving a true action-adventure feel to the artwork as Harley escapes, evades and punishes a group of ninjas who seek her out.


Shadow War was a sloppy battle for the DCU’s darkest corners, with Batman and Robin caught in the middle of a vicious conflict sweeping across the globe. With this special anthology, the story takes the time and space to breathe a little and highlight the characters who are most closely related and how they react to the devastating brawl. This special offers a powerful quartet of independent stories, each offering its own view on the broader implications of the crossover before its big ending while also serving as a fascinating story window into the many overlooked characters in the DCU.



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