Review - Shadowman #1

Amulets, voodoo and shadows. The combination of the three was last seen seventeen years ago, when the original Shadowman comic ended a 43 issue run. Times have changed since then, but one thing remains the same: that a relaunch of the series with Shadowman #1 by Valiant Entertainment could work. And it does.

Shadowman #1 is written by Justin Jordan and Patrick Zircher, with art by Zircher, colors by Brian Reber and letters by Rob Steen and Dave Lanphear.

Josiah Boniface and Helene LeBreton are more than just a couple of young kids in love. Josiah just so happens to be one of the more recent incarnations of Shadowman, a hero of sorts similar to Spawn. That is until he sacrifices himself against Darque, the latest bringer of the dead seeking to take over the world and kill Shadowman in the process.

The pair has a son named Jack Boniface and he's the central character in the present. He knows very little about his parents and was raised in the foster care system. All he has as a memory of them is an amulet his mother gave him, which proves to be more valuable than even he realizes until it's a little too late. Add in a creature named Mr. Twist and the book quickly becomes crazy.

As far as first issues go, the pacing in Shadowman #1 is very well done. It does a great job of getting readers reacquainted with the character, establishing the stakes and then presenting an origin for the new Shadowman, as well as a villain. There are some points where the dialogue is really witty and others where it seems a little stilted, but it's not enough to detract from overall enjoyment of the book.

Mr. Twist is already proving to be one of the more interesting characters. He has sort of a devilish humor in him that accompanies his sermon-like dialogue. He's fairly terrifying (as evidenced by his latest scene of carnage) and the story makes him to be just a harbinger for other things to come. Watching him face off against Shadowman will be fun. Watching whatever it is above him face off will be even more exciting.

Zircher's art is up to the task of matching the story. Shadowman is depicted with an almost voodoo-like skull mask that reminds the reader that while technically, he is a hero, he's also something of another world. Mr. Twist is shown to be quite fond of gore and really taps into this fear of being invaded. The two characters are set to square off for some fantastic battles.

Just about everything Valiant Entertainment has been putting out recently has been rock solid and Shadowman #1 is no exception otherwise. It's a strong first issue that does everything right as far as first issues go. There's enough presented to get you hooked, but not enough where you know what's coming next. It's definitely worth checking out.

Shadowman #1 is in stores today with interiors below.