- There's a million dreams in the Big Easy. But now its worst nightmare is about to come true. As the forces of darkness prepare to claim New Orleans as their own, Jack Boniface must embrace the legacy he was born to uphold. As
Shadowman, Jack is about to become the only thing that stands between his city and an army of unspeakable monstrosities from beyond the night. But is the mantle of Shadowman a blessing, or a curse? And what is the true cost of his otherworldly power?
- From rising star Justin Jordan (The Strange Talent of Luther Strode) and comics superstar Patrick Zircher (Captain America, Hulk), this volume collects
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Shadowman, Volume 1: Birth Rites based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Shadowman is another of the newly released Valiant TPB, part of the re-imagining of the Valiant Universe from the 1990's. Disclaimer - I was a big Valiant fans then, and have been buying all their material now. I was especially a big Shadowman fan, it was probably one of my top three or four comics books in the 90s. I had high expectations when I started this series. Shadowman (1990s version) was probably one of the constantly good books that Valiant put out. But I found that when I started reading this TPB, I felt something...lacking. The story was okay, but it didn't really go anywhere. The characters were never really explored - I never got a real feel about any of the people in the book. The artwork was good (and fit the "dark" tone of the book quite well, but it still felt somehow incomplete. Like the story was only being half told. Perhaps that what the authors wanted, but I wanted a voodoo/mystical story that I could get into, and that would be fun to read. I felt like the authors were throwing all this stuff at us, hoping something would stick (which we would enjoy). Instead the book just read as sort of a mess. It wasn't bad, and it did have some funny lines, but I felt like it left more questions that it answered. This is not necessarily a bad thing, especially if that can be used to draw you into the book, but I never felt invested in the characters, so I never felt like I really cared what happened next. Of all the new Valiant books, I would say Shadowman is the weakest. I hope the next story arc picks up somewhat, but at this point I would say read it only if you really want to read all the Valiant titles.
Like Valiant Entertainment, Shadowman is back and even better than before. Lots of people have a fondness for the previous Shadowman comics, written by Bob Hall and Ashley Wood, and they won't be let down by what the new incarnation of Shadowman is offering. This really is the book to pick up for new readers especially, as this is the _very beginning_ of this era's Shadowman saga. Fans new and old will be pleased to see that the writers are taking time to establish this 'side' of the Valiant Universe, and to get the mood and feeling of the comic and setting just right. For one, this is the first time that magic/voodoo has been introduced to the new universe, and Justin Jordan and Patrick Zircher (who is himself a serious hot name in comics currently) are making sure to be certain that it's presented in a way that makes sense, and looks good on the page. The establishment of the setting has been done well. We see a little New Orleans, which was a major component of the original Shadowman series, and we see a lot of the Deadside, which is the domain of the Shadowman. We see voodoo museums and spiritual safehouses, as well as more real-life settings. Trust me, you wouldn't believe the things that happen in car parks these days. The art throughout this entire first book is amazing all round. Every single page has had care lavished on it and the Deadside panels especially really, really make an impression, and the setting itself it a very interesting take on the 'space' that the Deadside physically occupies. Zircher really has done a stellar job on this comic and the only word to describe the way it looks on paper is 'amazing'. The major characters are quickly introduced, and we see characters from the protagonist's background, his supporting cast, his opposition AND the story's major antagonist all within this first book. For new readers, it's important that they know this isn't a typical 'superhero' comic, and Shadowman's supporting cast aren't necessarily all buffed up muscle heroes and buxom power babes. Far from it in fact. They are however, interesting in their unique characterisation and their particular skills that they bring to Shadowman's aid are in no doubt vital to the success of Earth's new protector of the living. The first antagonist that appears during this story arc isn't a typical Batman 'crazy type that takes hostages to lure the hero into the lair' and is far more interesting, dangerous, and clever than that. As for the character itself... You'd have to see it to believe it. The series' major antagonist appears in this book too - All I'll say is that "He's back, and much badder than before." This character is without a shadow of a doubt not only going to be creating some serious problems for the Shadowman, but is also going to be a big-time MAJOR character that will have a significant effect on the entire Valiant Universe in the future. Like I mentioned at the start of the review, the Valiant company relaunched last year and have come back stronger than they've ever been before. Likewise, the same can be said for the comics themselves. For people that may have loved previous Shadowman comics, I really think that they'll be pleased with the way that the new Shadowman comic is treating its heritage with respect and will enjoy the direction that the comic is headed; For NEW READERS of Shadowman, it's really important to note that the comic is FULLY ACCESSIBLE. As someone who's read every Shadowman comic prior to the 2012 re-launch, there hasn't been a *single* reference to characters, events, settings or anything else that a new reader wouldn't understand having not read previous comics from the old series. This Shadowman comic is being written completely from scratch, doesn't expect you to know *anything* about Shadowman or any previous Shadowman comic, and EVERYTHING that you need to know about this comic is right here in the pages for you to enjoy. As a long-time Shadowman reader myself, I'm really happy with the new comic. I think the new Shadowman design is cool, I find all the characters in the story entertaining, goodies and baddies alike, the art is fantastic and I can see that the story is building up steam and getting set to go to big places in the future. Whether you're buying the comics monthly or reading the paperback collections like this one, I think that Shadowman is going to be a very, very good comic to follow.