Shadowman #2: a Valiant Effort

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Guest Writer: Bryan Parke

This article was possible due to the gift of a review copy, QWERTY, and rolling natural 20s.

Reviewing Shadowman #2 has been a very interesting experience. I picked up the comic purely on the basis of the great looking and intriguing black and white cover, not knowing anything about the Shadowman character other than the voodoo theme.

I was not expecting a “traditional” super hero character set up! However the creative team have done a great job weaving the voodoo and magic themes into the fabric of the story and I found the plot to be engaging and intriguing; the Shadowman character and his interactions with the other protagonists and the bad guys make sense in context of the tale being told.

Cover of Shadowman issue #2 © Valiant

Cover of Shadowman issue #2 © Valiant

I enjoyed the art; the characters are well drawn, but I’m particularly drawn to the more fantastic elements such as the voodoo shrines and the wonderfully feral snarling zombies. The scenery backdrops of both New Orleans and the abandoned country church are sympathetic to their scenes; providing enough detail to provide context but without overpowering the scenes.

The big action set piece towards the end of the issue was great fun to read; the panels showing the facing off of Shadowman against the Godzilla-like Ziwanda are well drawn and the varying perspectives and angles depict the almost David and Goliath like conflict really well.

I have a single nagging feeling about the art (it’s not a complaint, merely a minor quibble); the “Shadowman” logo that appears on the character’s chest when Jack Boniface transforms into his super powered alter ego seems to jar with how the character is portrayed in the issue; the plot doesn’t feel like a necessarily traditional super hero story line, but that’s how the character appears with the logo. It just feels at odds with the plot, but to be fair, this could just be because I’m not familiar with the wider Shadowman back story.

Which leads into my final point; a bit of research enlightened me to Shadowman’s history both as a character and a comic title; he’s been around a long time and with that comes a wealth of lore and back story. The creative team have done a great job with Shadowman #2 in terms of allowing a new reader such as myself to engage in the story; enough context is provided to allow you to follow and the plot is both exciting and intriguing enough you are left wanting to know what happens next. A Valiant effort indeed!

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