Ian Melton reported from ECCC:
For their second panel of ECCC, Editor-in-Chief Warren Simmons and Marketing Vice President Hunter Gorrison, in what we now know was his last panel with Valiant, took to the stage in Seattle to talk about Shadowman. Being given the same launch week as X-O Manowar under Matt Kindt used last year, Valiant has big, long-term plans for their only “legacy character”. To that end, Simmons and Gorrison discussed what makes Shadowman unique and a great challenger as a character.
Simmons went through a checklist in his mind, telling the audience that Shadowman is “a character with a lot of challenges… in a good way, though.” He is one of Valiant’s few legacy characters, and the only one to have a monthly ongoing title. He is also one of the few of characters in Valiant’s line that wears a mask. The last unique trait, though, is the one Simmons warned makes him hard to write, and that is that he is a character who works in and utilizes magic:
“Story-wise, magic can be a giant McGuffin, and it can be something as an editor you really have to watch and make sure it is used right in a story. Magic can be very unwieldy, and all writers use it differently.”
Gorrison and Simmons discussed that since Shadowman’s last series wrapped the character has been jumping around, showing up in a mini-series he shared with Ninjak, and in the new Bloodshot Salvation. While he works well as a guest star and supporting character, behind the scenes Valiant has been preparing to roll Shadowman back out as a monthly ongoing character, and Simmons approached Andy Diggle to give Shadowman a new series.
With Stephen Segovia, Diggle is relaunching Shadowman, and while respecting what has come before has come up with a multi-year approach that gives Jack Boniface a new approach. The new series will feature main covers by Tonci Zonjic, variant covers by Dave Johnson and many others, and character designs by Greg Smallwood. Simmons brought artist Stephen Segovia on the book because “he is a beautiful storyteller who is able to convey easily what is going on.”
The first arc will open up with Jack Boniface / Shadowman returning after five years trapped in the Deadside to reunite with his companion Alyssa, who has been defending New Orleans without him. Diggle is rebuilding the supporting cast around Shadowman and will bring in his main villain Master Darque in October. Shadowman’s first arc is ‘Fear the Darque’, and #4 will be a new arc ‘Dead and Gone’ with three new characters introduced including the 1940s Shadowman. Shawn Martinbough will be on art with issue #4, with Renato Guedes on issue #6 showing where the Loa comes from. Issue #8 in October will see Master Darque return.
The extent of Shadowman’s legacy will come to the front during the second arc with the Shadowman of 1940 coming and the Shadowman of 4 million BC with Renato Guedes painting the Shadowman of 4 million BC. In particular, Simmons noted that Master Darque and Shadowman have been going back and forth as adversaries for 10 lifetimes, and that Diggle came up with a unique take on this relationship, and maybe an end for it. Pre-order Edition bundles for Shadowman will continue with the next bundle being for issues #4-11 with Hannah Fisher on covers.
The current arc of Bloodshot starting in Bloodshot Salvation #6, ‘The Book of the Dead’, will feature Bloodshot in the Deadside with Shadowman and Ninjak guest starring. #7 will be in stores next week.
Also there is movement on the Shadowman movie front with J. Michael Straczynski writing the screenplay and writer Reginald Hudlin attached to direct.
And as a quick aside, there will be more of the character Savage to come.