Advanced Review: Shadowman #1
The most anticipated book since the initial rebirth of the Valiant Universe hits stands this week! But is all the hype surrounding the return of Shadowman truly worth it?
While other companies may rely on movie marketing to propel their fanbase, Valiant has dedicated itself to acquiring the best creative talents in the business and teaming them with the hottest characters of the nineties. These precise pairings have created some of the best "new" comics on the shelves, and in turn, established a whirlwind of excitement throughout the comics industry!
Now, Valiant has brought back one of the most popular characters they have ever created -- Shadowman!
This debut issue is not only as enigmatic and outstanding as the originals, it is also a very heart felt homage by both Patrick Zircher and Justin Jordan. Taking the base roots of the original character and mixing them with their own creative seed, this superb duo has crafted a tale that pays tribute to what Jim Shooter, Steve Englehart and David Lapham did and in the same breath -- surpasses it!
Jack Boniface is still the main character for this "new and improved" version, but he is slightly different from what fans will remember. Gone is the long flowing mane of tangled hair and the saxophone is nowhere to be seen, but this younger version doesn't require the iconic look, he has something far better at his disposal -- the creative team!
Jordan and Zircher have created an engrossing look at the world of magic and mayhem in the Valiant Universe. This is an aspect that has been missing from the "Summer of Valiant" and it is a welcome change. Fans of the original series will no doubt recognize some of the old haunts and especially the diabolical Master Darque, but it is the changes that truly make this book an instant fan favorite. From the explosive opening sequence where demons swirl around every corner to the eventual rise of the new Shadowman, you are enthralled by every aspect of this book! The intrigue of Jack's parents past and the creation of the sadistic Mr. Twist alone are enough to have you on the edge of your seat. But, it is the character of Jack himself that will hold sway over you throughout the book! Jack is a "lost soul" who has filled his life acquiring skills in order to make himself useful in a world that he was left alone in. He is vulnerable and yet, strong willed enough to survive on his own, never knowing the truth about his parents nor the talisman he wears around his neck. And when something horrific befalls him, is it his attackers that are the the true threat or is it the voice calling to him from the shadows that will bring his downfall?
This book will draw you in and ensnare you in the horrifically brutal world that Jordan and Zircher have created. It is fresh and rich in characterization, a book that is easy to get into and extremely hard to put down! Nothing outshines the pure talent that drives this book!
On a personal note, I must thank both Justin Jordan and Patrick Zircher for handling this book with such reverence and scope. Shadowman was always my favorite Valiant character and I am proud to say that he is once again! Thank you both for an amazing book and especially for putting the original mask in the museum scene -- classy!
So, to answer the original question -- is Shadowman worth all the hype? Most definitely! Add this one to your collection and hold on tight, the Valiant Universe is about to get the doors blown off!
Be bold, be daring, be -- Valiant!