Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Review - Shadowman #5

Sadly, Mr. Twist is no more. Of course, nothing is ever final in comics, which means all may not be lost. In the present though, Shadowman #5 from Valiant Comics pits Shadowman against a new foe. A few foes to be exact.

The issue is written by Justin Jordan and Patrick Zircher, illustrated by Zircher, Lee Garbett, Stefano Gaudiano and Roberto Delatorre, with colors by Brian Reber and letters by Rob Steen.

Jack Boniface is still coming to grips with his newfound role as Shadowman. Darque is roaming the Deadside with Jaunty, looking for Baron Samedi. Darque's Brethren are fighting to regroup and regain their previous luster. And Dr. Shan Fong is at a prison seeking to find answers to the death of a girl, answers that lead to more questions.

That's a lot going on in the fifth issue of the series. That's also part of the problem, as Jordan and Zircher are juggling quite a few storylines simultaneously. Not all of them are directly related to one another however, which makes the book feel exceptionally ambitious. This isn't to say that things won't get wrapped up, but as it stands the series is starting to get a little crushed under its own weight. All of the different action doesn't really allow Jack to grow as Shadowman, with the issue relying instead on a rather cliche event to motivate him to act.

The art is actually quite strong, despite the variety of artists on the book. None of it matches the sheer vileness of Mr. Twist illustrated, but it all works together well and keeps the story moving. The Deadside is an empty void with a truly dangerous being roaming it, while the action panels help keep up with the action. The last page is actually quite chilling, despite being a little on the dark side.

Shadowman #5 continues Jack's new role as a hero. He doesn't really get much of a natural setting to grow, instead being forced to rely on some scripted and cliche events to mature. Darque is lingering as someone who will need to be reckoned with when the times come, although, if that time isn't sooner than later then the story may continue to lose steam.

Shadowman #5 is available now with interiors below.




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