Comic Name: Shadowman (Volume 3)
Publisher: Valiant Comics
Writer: Justin Jordan/Patrick Zircher
Artist: Patrick Zircher
# of Issues: 4
Release Date: 2013
Reprints Shadowman (3) #1-4 (November 2012-February 2013). Jack Boniface lost his father Josiah at a young age and his mother to disease. When Jack returns to New Orleans and learns that his father and mother were considered criminals, Jack feels his life was a lie. Jack discovers that Jack’s parents were keeping another secret. Jack’s father was Shadowman, and Jack is following in his father’s footsteps whether he likes it or not. Jack is finding his powers and facing off against Darque’s agent Mr. Twist…but underestimating Jack Boniface could be Darque’s downfall.
Written by Justin Jordan and Patrick Zircher with illustrations by Patrick Zircher, Shadowman 1: Birth Rites is the part of the new Valiant relaunch. Like most of the new Valiant line, the comic was received well by critics and fans.
I have enjoyed the relaunch of Valiant, but I have to admit that Shadowman is my least favorite of the titles. It isn’t because it is a bad comic, but it is the comic that feels most like a Marvel or DC comic. The characters, the situations, and the look of the comic just doesn’t jump out at me to keep me involved.
The story for Shadowman is the main reason for the tepid response. It just feels extremely basic and unlike the modernized versions of the series like Harbinger and X-O Manowar, Shadowman still feels like it is stuck in the ’90s. The Deadside, Mr. Twist, and Darque just feel like throwback concepts, and they didn’t age well. Add to it the problem that the whole “New Orleans voodoo” angle has been played out so many times; it just does not feel new and edgy like the rest of the relaunch Valiant. Instead, it just feels like Shadowman could be part of Ghost Rider’s Midnight Sons.
I do have to say that I like Patrick Zircher’s art. He has good composition and style. He was stuck with the designs from the ’90s, but he did manage to make the character flashy and different…I just wish he had more room for his own design since I do like his art.
Shadowman 1: Birth Rites isn’t a bad book, but I also find that it isn’t a special book. I have liked all of Valiant’s line, and I do recommend seeking them out…I just wouldn’t recommend Shadowman being your first stop in the journey. Shadowman 1: Birth Rites is followed by Shadowman 2: Darque Reckoning.
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