The initial story arc from Valiant’s re-launch of Shadowman breathed new life into this classic ’90s character, and writer Justin Jordan and artist Patrick Zircher did a great job of establishing a new mythos that they could build the character on. They also developed a stellar supporting cast for Jack Boniface to play off of, which offered readers another reason to care about what happens inside the pages of this book. With issue #6, writer Justin Jordan is really starting to find his rhythm on this book as he heads into the second story arc.
WRITTEN BY: Justin Jordan
ART BY: Patrick Zircher, Neil Edwards, and Lee Garbett
RELEASE: Out Now
Justin Jordan has established all the major key players and has developed enough compelling plot points to leave readers hungry for more. Jordan does a great job at establishing Master Darque as truly freightening character that keeps readers on the edge of their seats whenever he takes center stage. Justin Jordan is laying some solid groundwork for the future here, and that alone is a reason to keep coming back for more.
Unfortunately the art in this issue doesn’t do the writing justice. The use of multiple artists in this issue, hinders its ability to properly convey Jordan’s story. Artist Patrick Zircher pages in this issue were nothing short of brilliant, and it proves that he was born to draw this book. His artwork is dark and expressive, which is exactly what a book like “Shadowman” needs to be a cut above the rest. Zircher’s opening scene with Master Darque here is what they need to use as a benchmark for all future “Shadowman” art.
After Zircher’s pages, the art switches back and forth between Neil Edwards and Lee Garbett and quickly goes off the rails. The fill in artists cannot match the tone that Zircher has previously set for the book, so it looks and feels rushed. Artist Neil Edwards maybe an adequate superhero artist, but here in the pages of “Shadowman” he simply feels like a fish out of water. The artist on “Shadowman” should be able to convey the dark and haunting tone of the story and Edwards simply doesn’t cut it. The other pages of the book are drawn by Lee Garbett, who did an amazing job on the second arc of Valiant’s X-O Manowar, but his simplistic style looks a bit awkward inside the pages of a horror book. With three artists that all have drastically different styles working on one issue, the transition from page to page becomes muddy. The end result is that the artistic changes are too drastic and end up negatively impacting the audiences’ ability to fully immerse themselves into the story.
Now that the creative team has a few issues under their belt, “Shadowman” is destined to either sink or swim in its second story arc. While issue #6 of “Shadowman” may falter at certain points artistically, Justin Jordan is still developing a strong story that needs horror fans will enjoy.
Reviewed by – Big J