Review: Shadowman #3
“After years of purgatorial exile, Jack Boniface – the newly returned Shadowman – is back in the one place he thought he’d left behind for good: the damned dimension known as Deadside! His mission? To recover a lost relic of the Shadowman legacy that could redefine the eternal balance of power between the living and the dead. If he fails, the vengeful voodoo god called Baron Samedi will exact a terrible toll on the souls of humanity… But – back among the monsters, back among the cursed – can Jack stand resolutely against evil incarnate without succumbing to the call of the literal demons within himself?”
I’ve been really enjoying this series thus far, which I’m somewhat surprised at seeing as how I’ve had minimal exposure to the character over the past few years. Despite owning the entire 2012 relaunch, I’ve never actually read all of it (the downside to obsessive collecting, I suppose). Shadowman #3 finds our hero full of impotent rage as he discovers that, once again, he is trapped within the Deadside with only one option to return to the land of the living; stealing the Shadow Scythe back from Baron Samedi.
What follows is a fairly standard, albeit well presented, distract and steal story as Shadowman’s ally in our world offers him a chance to steal back the Scythe that will return him to full power. The dialogue between Alyssa and the newly arrived Abettors, the group/cult/whatever that assist the Shadowman, is a particular highlight and balances the Deadside sequences remarkably well as we dip back and forth between the two in a fluidly orchestrated dance through the comic’s music (incidentally, I was listening to Ghost’s BC album while reading this comic. It was an interesting combination, to say the least).
Although I wouldn’t suggest avoiding the previous two issues in the series and starting to read Shadowman with the third issue, it is possible for you to pick up the gist of what’s going on with the events depicted here in conjunction with the recap page. The creative team have produced a comic where musical tones permeate every facet of the art and dialogue, often in very subtle ways, and the song carries you along through the pages to the conclusion in a way that doesn’t allow for any external distractions. Shadowman #3 is a creepy and atmospheric issue with colourful musical undertones that swirl together into a cacophony of emotional brilliance (forgive the constant musical references; the album I’ve been listening to along with the 90’s era Shadowman I read as part of the Unity crossover left me with an impression).
Although it’s not a perfect comic, it is still very enjoyable.
Story: Andy Diggle Art: Stephen Segovia with Adam Polina
Colours: Ulises Arreola and David Baron Letters: Simon Bowland
Story: 8.3 Art: 8.8 Overall: 8.6 Recommendation: Buy
Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review