Valiant Entertainment 2021
Written by Cullen Bunn
Illustrated by Jon Davies-Hunt
Coloured by Jordie Bellaire
Lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles
The forces of darkness are awakening and they are hungry for life. Will Jack Boniface, feared by the forces of evil as the protector Shadowman, be able to save us all?
Well now this is interesting that’s for damn sure. First its been much too long since we’ve seen Jack and Shadowman and I couldn’t think of anyone better to tackle him than Cullen. The horror aspect of what he’s about and the deadside is going to be handled the way it should be and that excites me, even more so after having had the chance to read this. Plus the Loa of Death chasing Jack around is even better because while they aren’t friends the pairing does make for an interesting odd couple feel. There are so many different little moments that engage the reader making them think beyond what’s on the page as well as create a very different and unique angle to the depth and complexity of the storytelling. Jack thinks he works best alone but for now he’s got a shadow in Baron Samedi and this is where a lot of excitement comes from.
I am a huge fan of the way that this is being told. The story & plot development that we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information is presented exceptionally well. Just the way we see the story unfold and how natural and easy it is to follow and be this new reader friendly is amazing to me. The character development that we see is sensational. How we see them act and react to the situations and circumstances as well how they interact with each other alongside the dialogue and narration fleshes out the wide variety of characters. The pacing is superb and as it takes us through the pages revealing the story, the characters and the world they inhabit it really draws the reader in beautifully.
I love how we see this being structured and the layers within the story are beginning to play out. There are moments where we see unexpected revelations and it’s those that really makes things pop extremely well. How we see everything working together to create the story’s ebb & flow as well as move the story forward is sensational to see.
Oh the interiors here are beyond stunning. The linework is exquisite and how we see the varying weights and techniques being utilised to bring out this level and quality of detail work is astonishingly well rendered. How we see backgrounds being utilised, or not, within the composition of the panels to bring about the depth perception, sense of scale and the overall sense of size and scope of the story is outrageously good. The work is mindbogglingly brilliant and the creativity and imagination that we see is so far off the charts there’s not a category for how good it is. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a masters eye for storytelling. The colour work is heavenly to see. How the various hues and tones within the colours are being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work shows such an amazing eye for how colour should-could and does work.
This is the beginning of Shadowman’s next iteration and from what I can see it’s going to be something very amazing. With the Deadside being breached this issue and the veil between realms being stretched thin and in danger of breaking down it is going to take all that Jack and can do to keep things in check. I’m excited to see what is going to happen next and who else may be showing up and if the creatures from the Deadside keep going the way they do here then i’m not sure the threat they present is going to be full force as Jack fears.
With impeccably intelligent writing and mindbogglingly brilliant interiors this is going to be the years biggest hit.