Alyssa Myles goes on an excursion into the New Orleans swampland to investigate some mystical goings-on. This results in her encountering a massive demon feeding on those lost in the wilderness. She uses a last spell which summons Shadowman back from the Deadside. However, he is weak and may be unable to defeat the demon. Plus, the Loa have a vested interest in the Shadowman’s return, and it may not coincide with his well-being.
This return of the Shadowman is brought to life through an entertaining and action-packed issue which establishes the character well for new readers while being wildly entertaining.
While there are a lot of references to past Shadowman stories, in particular his most recent series before disappearing in the Deadside, it doesn’t ever become so bogged-down in his history as to completely alienate a newcomer like myself. What it does reference is summarized succinctly and clear enough to bring a reader up to speed on what this character is about.
It’s still mired in traditional superhero tropes, so clarity is something of a sliding scale. Jack, the Shadowman, has his guilts, his hang-ups, and he sees the Shadow Loa which gives him his powers as a curse more than a superpower.
All told, the badass self-starter, Alyssa, almost steals the comic, especially when she calls Jack out on his bull. Plus, the pseudo-antagonistic Baron Samedi seems like an entertaining foil for Jack.
None of this is to say that Jack isn’t a promising lead. The fact that he views his powers as a curse seems far more justified than whenever Spider-Man or Cyborg lament their abilities. Jack has lost control of his powers, and it has ended with people dead. This is more of a mystical Hulk-type situation than an emo Spider-Man phase.
Stephen Segovia’s brings excellent artwork to the comic book. Each panel is dynamic and dripping with depth and detail. The Shdaowman himself, the demons, and the Baron all look great. Action and emotion are displayed well. Ulises Arreola’s color art is as gorgeous as ever and contributes to the depth and variety in each panel.
Shadowman #1 is a stellar new start for the Valiant character. The opening is interesting, the characters are engaging, and the art team give some great work. Andy Diggle’s revival of this character looks promising. This one gets a recommendation. Check it out.
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