Comic Name: Shadowman (Volume 3)
Publisher: Valiant Comics
Writer: Justin Jordan/Patrick Zircher
Artist: Patrick Zircher/Lee Garbett/Stefano Gaudiano/Roberto De La Torre/Neil Edwards/Lewis LaRosa/Diego Bernard/Rocco Martellacci
# of Issues: 5
Release Date: 2013
Reprints Shadowman (3) #5-9 (March 2013-August 2013). Shadowman’s ancient enemy Darque is back and taken control of the Deadside. Forced to team with Baron Samedi, Shadowman must head to the Deadside to fight Darque in a final battle that will not only determine the fate of the world but the life of Jack Boniface’s friend and ally Dox who is Darque’s prisoner.
Written by Justin Jordan and Patrick Zircher, Shadowman 2: Darque Reckoning continues the Valiant Comics relaunch of the ’90s character. Following the events of Shadowman 1: Birth Rites, this volume collects the five part storyline. The volume features Valiant Comics’ homage month to video games with the 8-Bit Final Fantasy variant cover.
Shadowman isn’t my favorite Valiant character. I wasn’t a big Valiant reader in the ‘’90s but even then, I found the horror/voodoo-esque storylines of the comic rather pale in comparison to Marvel’s more forward horror comics (I can’t also say that the Shadow Man video game for N64 didn’t also taint my judgment).
This volume has the big showdown that the comic felt like it was missing in the first volume. I didn’t like the rather cheesy (and very ’90s) Mr. Twist and preferred the more nightmarish Darque as an enemy. I also liked Jack’s uneasy alliance with Baron Samedi who could also be explored more. The volume also features the rather interesting Dr. Mirage who spins off into her own series in 2014.
One thing I will say about Shadowman is that I do like the art. The character is pretty stylish and the look and quality of the artwork is quite goods. I just wish I was more invested in the characters and storyline. The book is handled by a number of artists and some are better than others (including lead artist/writer Patrick Zircher). I wish that the the comic would do more to establish a solid team instead of mixing it up.
Shadowman 1: Birth Rites was probably Valiant’s weakest collection in their big relaunch, but it still had its moments. Shadowman 2: Darque Reckoning does show some slight improvements, but I don’t know that it improved enough to save the comic which hasn’t been fairing as well as some of Valiant’s other titles. Shadowman 2: Darque Reckoning is followed by Shadowman 3: Deadside Blues.
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