Shadowman #8 ADVANCE REVIEW: stunning, horrific art highlights the conclusion of the Deadside war


Written by: Cullen Bunn, Art by: Pedro Andreo, Colours by: Jordie Bellaire, Letters by: Clayton Cowles.


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.


Jack and the Abettors travel to the Deadside, hoping to be able to deal with her personified version once and for all, before the two worlds are merged. However, with only Jack and a handful of people fighting something more powerful than an ordinary Loa, and with no gods to help them, how much of a chance do they really have? Even if they can do it, what could the consequences be for Jack and his relationship to the gods and the Deadside; will he ever be a priest for both worlds, or doomed to be the warrior?


The Harbinger might have the privilege of being one of the first releases by Valliant, and Bloodshot got the first cinematic treatment (unfortunately very underwhelming; see my POP review of the film), however Shadowman is still the number 1 pick for me at the moment when it comes to Valiant titles. Bunn and the team have created a wonderful fantasy-action-adventure-horror tale that just keeps getting better with each issue. The character growth is exponential and it has some emotional moments that we can all relate to, like when Jack had a crisis of faith. Both arcs have been an emotional ride that showcase how Bunn crafts an amazing story around some truly horrific scenes.



We again see both Aric (X-O Manowar) and Bloodshot cameo in this book, which just creates the feel of the Valiant universe as a whole. As a new reader to Valiant, this is something I’m looking forward to seeing more, as long as it’s done the right way (again unfortunately the latest issue of The Harbinger didn’t quite hit the mark for me, see my POP review of that issue for more details). By having them both cameo in this issue, the focus isn’t taken away from the main characters and story, but just adds depth to the Valiant world, so I’m grateful for how well executed that was done.


What transpires within this issue, although cliché, could actually change the dynamic of the series going forward. How has the Deadside war strained Jack's relationship with Baron Samedi and the Deadside itself? These repercussions could make for an intriguing arc if they are given any time. I think it would be disappointing to now explore these avenues, as it could again create great growth for Jack so he doesn’t have to rely too much on external interference. With that in mind, I’m confident in Bunn’s ability to deliver an intense follow-up to this event.


The only thing to let this issue down was a few panels towards the end of the book. Between Pedro Andreo’s art and Jordie Bellaire’s colours, it was difficult to see the actions that were taking place. Similar to the panel above, but a lot less defined in the latter panels, it’s difficult to make out the inks of the figures, and the overwhelming amount of blue doesn’t help. This is only in 4 panels in the entire book, so it’s very limited, but it did take me out of the moment briefly and unfortunately.


Overall, another stunning issue from the team to close out a great arc in the Shadowman series. I cannot wait to see where we go from here.


Shadowman issue 8 will be released from Valiant comics on the 13th of April from your Local Comic Shop as well as comixology


 

Andrew Carr was blessed to grow up watching the animated series of Batman, X-Men, and his favorite, Spider-Man.This started his dive into the comics world, which resulted in meeting his amazing cosplaying wife Imogen. They live in England with their Sinister Six dogs.

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