Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Review - Shadowman/Rae Sremmurd One-Shot (@ValiantComics)


"We're artists, man. Not bed movers. What the hell kind of life is this?"

Rae Sremmurd have already got a few hits under their belt, but that doesn't mean they're planning to let up anytime soon. Their ability to make hits and win crowds wasn't given to them and Shadowman Rae Sremmurd One-Shot from Valiant Comics offers an interesting twist on their success. The issue is written by Eliot Rahal, illustrated by Renator Guedes and lettered by Dave Lanphear.

Before they were dominating the music charts and selling out stages worldwide, Slim Jxmmi and Swag Lee were just a pair of talented, but otherwise ordinary, brothers...until a twist of fate delivered them fame and wealth beyond their wildest imagination. Now, years later as hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd, the brothers are bound for New Orleans...and an otherworldly encounter with the supernatural guardian called Shadowman, the lone line of the defense between our world and the Deadside that lies beyond...

There are a lot of stories in history about artists doing whatever it takes to make it big and Rahal emphasizes that in Shadowman Rae Sremmurd One-Shot. The script is written in a way that characterizes Slim Jxmmi and Swag Lee as two kids aspiring to be big and it seems as if Rahal really knows what makes them tick. The two main characters seem extremely likely and ambitious--so much so that their quest for fame sets the underpinning of the crossover with Shadowman. Rahal also knows what makes Shadowman such a powerful character in the Valiant universe, giving him plenty of opportunity to flex his muscle and fight off some Deadsiders. One minor complaint about the issue is that three-fourths of it feels like set-up; Rahal has to pace it somewhat erratically to make it work with Shadowman making an appearance.

Guedes' artistic approach is rather sublime in its simplicity. The work's surreal qualities add an ethereal sense to the book that Guedes leans on effectively to convey the two disparate worlds. Slim Jxmmi and Swag lee are rendered pretty true to their real-life counterparts and, as a matter of fact, all the characters look extremely realistic and lifelike. Shadowman is also illustrated to enforce the notion that he's more than capable of fighting against any manner of undead being. The way the book is colored is also very unique in that Guedes does an excellent job of emphasizing the world of major musicians juxtaposed against the Deadside.

Shadowman Rae Sremmurd One-Shot is a great crossover that plays up the tried and true story of the quest for fame. Rae Srummerd have definitely fought tooth and nail to become as big as they have, but introducing them to Shadowman offers a fun twist on their ascension to stardom. Rahal knows how to make the script move well, giving readers blunt dialogue and an interesting presentation of "facts." Guedes' artwork is phenomenal and really helps establish the tone for the duo's journey to become prolific performers. Shadowman Rae Sremmurd One-Shot is a crossover that seems superfluous, but it actually works really well when it's all said and done.

Shadowman Rae Sremmurd One-Shot is available now.


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