American Gods: Shadows #3 is the latest issue of Dark Horse Comics’ adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s novel American Gods, adapted by P. Craig Russell and illustrated by Scott Hampton and Walter Simonson. This issue faithfully adapts chapter 3 and about half of chapter 4. In this issue, Shadow encounters his dead wife in his hotel room and travels with Wednesday to Chicago to meet Czernobog and the Zorya sisters.
Like last month’s issue, my main problem with this series is that it’s not really doing anything new or interesting with the material. It’s really just a carbon copy of the chapters from the book, just with some pretty artwork. Which is fine, and would be completely acceptable if this wasn’t being released at the same time the STARZ adaptation of the novel is airing. It’s hard to get excited over something that’s not doing anything interesting with the material it’s based on while you’ve got another adaptation really flexing its muscles and expanding on the source material in fun, interesting, and unexpected ways.
Without comparing this adaptation with the TV adaptation, it’s fine. The text is mostly lifted straight from the book and the artwork is still really well drawn. This issue ends with the beginning of Shadow and Czernobog’s checkers’ match, which seems like an odd place to end. I think the problem stems from them covering more than one chapter in the issue, but not being able to reach the end of the fourth chapter, so they have to manufacture a cliffhanger in the middle of a chapter, and it doesn’t really work.
But I’m really nitpicking this. It’s still enjoyable and it’s nice to have visualizations based purely on what’s in the novel (as opposed to the TV show which often reinterprets things, which is also fine.) So on the one hand, I’m glad that the comic is sticking nearly exactly to the novel. I just think its release schedule is inopportune since it’s sort of competing with the TV show which is doing more interesting things.
I give American Gods: Shadows #3 three and a half wands out of five.