Written by: Cullen Bunn, Art by: Jon Davis-Hunt, Colours by: Jordie Bellaire.
Jack Boniface is a musician from New Orleans. He has a power passed down through his lineage, through a voodoo spirit called Shadow Loa. He is one of only a few people who can protect the Earth against the evils from the Deadside (another realm). His alter ego gives him reduced fear, enhanced strength, endurance, and reflexes, as well as other voodoo powers. He is….Shadowman.
After stopping a cult at the Martinique party from sacrificing themselves, Jack/Shadowman is tasked with the job of hunting down the remaining ghouls before they tear the veil even more, and the Deadside spills over to our world. His journey takes him to Arizona. How many of these Blights are there? Can Samedi be trusted? Is he just doing the bidding of someone without even knowing it?
Every week I count my blessings that I get to read books in advance. Some of the books I’ve read I’ve not enjoyed much, and others I can’t help but praise. I’ve throughout enjoyed the Valiant universe from what I’ve read so far, and I’m still very new to it. This series is no different. Now I know there’s a great team on it, so the chances that the first issue was a fluke was slim, and I can confirm that it wasn’t. Cullen Bunn has hooked me in this horror/adventure of a character that I had no prior knowledge of. Despite this, I don’t feel like I’m being talked down to due to my lack of historical understanding. He is able to reinforce the characters abilities without making it sound repetitive. We also get some great writing here that I would say verges on poetic, in a very dark way: “Flesh rotting, the veil rotting right along with it.” Beautifully descriptive in such a macabre manner. Just proving that Valiant have picked the right person to write this book.
I’m also really enjoying the relationship between Shadowman and Baron Samedi. Neither we nor Jack fully understand if Samedi is here to help or hinder, or if he’s in it for personal gain. Either way their dynamic is both funny and enjoyable, coming across like a buddy cop partnership without the trust for each other. Although still early on in the series it’s being set up as an interesting relationship, which could prove to be more interesting as we go on.
The artwork by Jon Davis-Hunt and colours by Jordie Bellaire are fantastic, just like the first issue. I especially love the colours, or rather lack of, to make it seem darker and to fit with the horror tones of the story. Add to that the wonderful designs for the ghosts and blights, which like most things in this series, are hauntingly beautiful.
Overall I’ve been very impressed with the detail from both writing and artwork. I personally would love to see more from Baron Samedi, but I get the feeling that will be a problem for Jack later on down the line. For a series that just 2 months ago I wasn’t aware of, this has made a big impact on me. I cannot recommend this series enough for those who enjoy the dark twisted mind of someone who can also craft an incredible tale. It has got me looking into the backlog of the character for more good stories.
Shadowman issue 2 will be released on 26th May from your local comic shop, as well as comixology