by R.C. Samo
How can Shadowman get any better than it already has been? By breaking issue 12 into three separate stories, of course. Valiant’s voodoo based hero was resurrected one year ago and instantly became one of their best books.
In the first story, Deadside Blue, written by Ales Knot and art by Cafu, Jack Boniface, the current incarnation of Shadowman, is fighting his way through the Deadside and must find the Mendacem Stone. A stone that gives every Shadowman clarity, but if used for evil (which they always are) resurrects various nefarious creatures. Now Jack must venture through the Deadside to seek the stone his father once possessed with the help of a talking monkey in a top hat. He can obtain the stone if only he can clear his head. That sounds easier said than done when facing a fiery dragon.
The second story, Lucky Charm, by Christopher Sebela and Matthew Southworth, ventures in the world of the living as Shadowman encounters drug dealers testing out the product on kidnapped youth. Freddy, the drug pusher with a conscience, is the only one who has seen the voodoo hero and remained at large. Now, as his pay is getting lighter for all his troubles in dealing SOMA, Freddy must figure out if he should remain in the underbelly of society or try to elevate himself to upstanding citizen.
The final story, Blackout, by Duffy Doudreau and Diego Bernard, blurs the lines between this world and the next, as an anomaly allows for quite the mishaps; or what Sebela refers to in the story as, “The world’s worst paranormal performance artist.”
Now Jack and Alyssa must find out who is creating these anomalies and question everyone who was ever involved with his father or other incarnations of the Shadowman in order to save the city.
Valiant has been able to tell three great 9-page stories in one issue that some publishers couldn’t tell in a 12 book story arc. Each artist and writer are able to capture the essence of Shadowman without deviating from the core of the character. Not enough can be said about the talent roster that Valiant has and in that, this weeks Shadowman is the hands down pick of the week.