General DC

Review: Shadowman/Rae Sremmurd #1

SM_RS_001_COVER-A_GUEDESThe comics crossover event of 2017! Valiant’s superhero icon meets Rae Sremmurd, the multiplatinum hip-hop superstars behind the #1 hit “Black Beatles,” for an unforgettable showdown at the crossroads of life and death!

Before they were dominating the music charts and selling out stages worldwide, Slim Jxmmi and Swae Lee were just a pair of talented, but otherwise ordinary, brothers…until a twist of fate delivered them fame and wealth beyond their wildest imagination. Now, years later as hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd, the brothers are bound for New Orleans…and an otherworldly encounter with the supernatural guardian called Shadowman, the lone line of the defense between our world and the Deadside that lies beyond…

In the interest of fairness, I wanted to let you know that I’m not a hip hop fan. In fact hip hop is one of the last genres of music I would ever willingly listen to, coming out ahead of dance music (and all its incessant variations). No, give me a metal band any day of the week (or a Disney soundtrack – don’t judge me). I tell you this so you’ll understand that when I opened this comic I did so without any frame of reference for who Rae Sremmurd actually are – indeed, up until I read the above preview text above I had no idea this was a crossover, I had assumed that Rae Sremmurd were Valiant characters, and this was just a one shot story.

Anyway.

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The comic, written by Eliot Rahal with some wonderfully painted artwork courtesy of Renato Guedes, is more than enjoyable if you, like me, are utterly oblivious to who Rae Sremmurd are. I’d imagine that it’d be more so if you’re a fan of both Valiant and the hip hop  duo.

The basis for the story is an age-old music story fable, and is set out within the first few pages; that of selling your soul for rock ‘n’ roll (or musical greatness, but rock ‘n’ roll sounds better). Although you can probably tell where the story heads with this being a Shadowman comic, the visual journey is utterly fantastic to witness – the double page spread above is one of the many great looking pieces of art that make up this otherwise predictable comic.

Unfortunately, as great as the artwork is in this comic, the story doesn’t quite measure up to the visuals. However I think that’s more of a result of the constraints of the nature of a oneshot crossover story than any shortcomings on Rahal’s behalf as he gives each character a distinct voice within the comic – including the surprising and unexpected guest star that will leave non Valiant fans befuddled. For all that, the comic is still very enjoyable; although I assume fans of Rae Sremmurd will enjoy the issue, those who follow both the musical duo and Valiant – specifically Shadowman – will get the most from this issue.

Although Shadowman Rae Sremmurd #1 is a fun diversion it doesn’t add a whole lot to Shadowman’s story post Rapture, so whether this is a must buy is up to you – but the art more than justifies you reading this book.

Story: Eliot Rahal Art: Renato Guedes
Story: 7.0 Art: 10 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Read

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review