Valiant Entertainment 2016
Written by Jody Houser & Rafer Roberts
Illustrated by Robert Gill
Coloured by Michael Spicer
Lettered by Dave Sharpe
A blood sacrifice is made, a war looms, and the Deadside?rises! In the synapse-shattering world of the future, witness the dawn of the dead's greatest hero and the fate of a young girl who may be humanity's only hope! As Rai leads a revolutionary insurrection against the forces of New Japan, the legendary hero called Shadowman returns to fight another day in the year 4001 A.D.!
Alright this is pretty good here. I like that this focuses upon a city that was built so it could be protected from Father’s sight. This kind of gives us the scope on a different level of how long Father’s been a tyrant and held people in fear. Still sound more like Harada every time I read about this era.
There are great aspects of what Jody and Rafer do here. Setting up a new Shadowman, or Shadowoman as the case may be is wonderfully done. This is a character who doesn’t get the love and attention they’ve deserved since Valiant made it’s comeback. That they also seem to have reverted the leaders here into the whole, greedy liars of deception much like Father himself is rather interesting. Without fear of Father they’ve regained the desire for power, to control and have lost sight of the original purpose of the city. Complacency has made them re-emerge as those that put them there in the first place which kind of makes the circle complete really. A very interesting take on things for darn sure.
Robert & Michael's work on the interiors here is wonderful. I love the kind of old school Japanese style with the ruins of the city’s past and the look of their future lifestyle. It’s really this amalgamation of so much and while almost haphazard it has this cohesiveness to it that’s brilliant. The attention to detail is marvelous, the angles and we perspectives and inspired and the creativity in the “Deadside” for these creatures is delightful. The flow of the story and everything we see makes this feel like a much larger issue than 22 pages and that’s incredible.
Kaia, Jardon and Kym yeah they are the center of this story, well Kaia more so. The characterization and the focus on how they've grown up, manipulated into believing and the actions taken here are just so well executed. The writing is strong, compelling and gripping and quite honestly completely not like anything I had been expecting. So I’m all for this becoming a new ongoing series in the Rai world and watching things keep developing and evolving and coming to Father’s attention once again. The awakening of what is considered good and evil as a catalyst for what’s to come couldn’t have been handled any better.
Valiant has this way of keeping their properties so intertwined without things feeling like they are overdone or forced. Kudos all around for making me think that this is a part of that larger world but a complete separate entity that wants to grow and thrive as well.