Review: ‘Shadowman’ #2

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The debut issue of the Shadowman re-launch from Valiant was quite impressive. The creative team of Justin Jordan and Patrick Zircher delivered a quality first issue and did a great job of incorporating the Shadowman mythos, building a strong supporting cast and delivering some fantastic action sequences. “Shadowman” #2 keeps up the quality and consistency from issue #1, which will tighten the hold that this series has on its readers.

WRITTEN BY: Justin Jordan & Patrick Zircher
ART BY: Patrick Zircher
PUBLISHER: Valiant
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE: December 5th, 2012

This issue kicks into high gear immediately in the opening pages with Shadowman battling two of Mr. Twist’s minions. Afterwards, he’s whisked away by his supporting cast of Alyssa Myles and Dox where he learns about his new powers. There are also some solid flashback sequences of Jack in the orphanage, and another where Master Darque prepares for his journey to earth. These flashbacks not only work as expository narrative devices, but offer clues as to what we can expect in the future of the series.

Justin Jordan and Zircher are doing a fantastic job with Jack Boniface’s character, making us really feel for him and his supporting cast. Together, the team has crafted a story shrouded in mystery and rich in suspense that also emphasizes character development. Elements of the Shadowman mythos are revealed slowly and each new development is intriguing enough to keep you turning page after page. There is also a slow build up to the arrival of Master Darque and the inevitable showdown between him and Shadowman, which is a refreshing change of pace. The creative team are slowly bringing this book to a boil rather than plunging readers into another tepid battle royale.

Patrick Zircher is doing some phenomenal work on the art duties. His style is simple, expressive and insanely gruesome all at the same time. Zircher’s work simply brings the characters to life, and in the case of new villain Mr. Twist, his art conveys how vile ad disgusting the Shadowman world really is. Zircher is showing tremendous progression since his early days working for Marvel (“Iron Man”, “New Warriors”) and DC (“Nightwing”). Zircher is a diamond in the rough waiting for a moment to shine.

Valiant has approached their line of books with the simple idea that great writing combined great art will make a great comic book series. Seems like a pretty simple concept, and Shadowman is a shining example that it works. If you dig “Animal Man”, “The Walking Dead”, or even” Swamp Thing”, you’ll enjoy the dark embrace that “Shadowman” offers. Jordan and Zircher’s “Shadowman” is another top notch title from Valiant.

4.5/5 Skulls