Valiant Entertainment 2018
Written by Andy Diggle
Illustrated by Stephen Segovia & Adam Pollina
Coloured by Ulises Arreola & David Baron
Lettered by Simon Bowland
After finding his way back home, Jack has come face-to-face with an old adversary who has taken up residence in New Orleans -- the deadly loa, Baron Samedi. In an attempt to rid the spirit from his home, Jack and his closest friend and ally, Alyssa Myles, fought against the Baron’s minions --a fight that ended with Jack being dragged back into the Deadside…
I have no idea why we had to wait so long for this series but then again good things come to those who wait right. Well and the stars had to align just right so this creative team were all free at the same time to devout to making it the best they could. Which is exactly what they’ve done and to see Jack back from the Deadside trying to put the remnants of his life together and finally get over all the anger issues he’s got well that isn’t an easy thing.
Andy is so utterly sensational when it comes what he’s capable of doing with a story. The way he not only structures the book and weaves into that the characters, the plot and story development not to mention the characterisation and it’s bloody well marvellous. So seeing Jack back in the Deadside where he’s been lured by Baron Samedi is bittersweet and I do hope that Andy won’t rely on this very often though I know Samedi wanted him there and his Scythe was there and it also lends us to some interesting encounters now as well.
Now while Jack’s ongoing adventures in his literal hell we’ve got Alyssa facing her own. These senior Abettor’s well they are pieces of work now aren’t they though it wouldn’t be right if one of them weren’t. Though honestly I am a little surprised at who decided to be what here as the characterisation that we see unfolds and compensate much really is apparently because wow is this one a runaround Sue. One minute all bluster and bluff then scared to the point of pissing himself and back again to bluff and bluster I haven’t see this many faces on someone since I stopped watching the news.
The guys do some incredible work on the interiors here as well. The whole mood and ambiance of the Deadside is amazingly well executed. From the tone in the colours and the gradation of them to the boldness of the blacks make it come alive for us. The attention to detail and how we see the varying weights of the linework manipulated so create those soft subtle moments inside the bold ones really is a thing of beauty. The utilisation of page layouts, too many wow moments to mention, and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels shows off that amazing eye for storytelling that we’ve come to expect. How the backgrounds are utilised help to expand the moment, to startle and almost frighten the reader exceptionally well.
With Alyssa fighting back and trying once more to get through to Jack it’s really Baron Samedi who at this stage holds all the cards. He is much more powerful than anyone would’ve given him credit for though honestly he’s been used to fight the Valiant Universe and we know how dangerous he can be. The two are opposing forces of the same coin and so long as one exists the other will as well, which is my takeaway so use that as you will.
A perfect blending of the occult/supernatural with action/adventure to create a gripping story of Jack trying to find his place in this world. PS this is what Superstition on SyFy wishes it were!