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Review: Shadowman #4

SM2018_004_COVER-A_ZONJICFor years, Jack Boniface believed that he knew the true story of the Shadowman loa – the true story of the curse inside him. He was wrong.

For the first time, Jack Boniface is about to discover the long-hidden history of the supernatural power that became his birthright… Unmoored in time and space, the loa is about to reveal its untold dimensions…and now, the last defender of the wall between our realm and the Deadside is falling backwards through the astral void, finding himself face to face with his forebears across the centuries – from the paranoia-addled alleyways of 1940s New York to the fire-scorched plantations of the Civil War…all the way back to the primeval height of the African savannah in 40,000 B.C.!

The fourth issue of Shadowman is both a continuation of the previous issue’s surprise ending that left us with the dead body of Jack Boniface, and a standalone story set before the USA joined the Second World War that focuses on Jack’s grandfather. In doing this we get a near perfect blend of a comic that is the perfect jumping on point for those who want to give the series a shot as well as a compelling read for those who had to pick their jaw up after the third issue. Andy Diggle takes what could easily be a story used to fluff out an arc simply for the trade paperback and weaves it into an arc as an essential piece of the puzzle. It’s something that’s seldom done as effectively as it is here as Jack Boniface’s spirit becomes a passenger in his ancestor’s body, and subsequently proceeds to act as narrator for the duration of the book. It’s a simple touch, but oh so effective.

Artistically, Shawn Martinborough and Stephen Segovia adopt an Art Deco style that perfectly suits the time period and noir style pulp-hero feeling of the story. The lines are thick and chunky, and the comic is heavily steeped in deep blues, solid blacks and shades of grey, all of which add to the feeling that you’re being immersed in the shadowy worlds that the Shadowman of 1940 inhabits in New York.

If this is the style of story that we’re going to get with this arc, with Jack bouncing through various historical Shadowmen (and the cover certainly indicates this is the case) then I’m even more excited to see where Diggle takes the Shadowman.

Story: Andy Diggle Art: Shawn Martinborough and Stephen Segovia
Colors: Jose Villarrubia Letters: Simon Bowland
Story: 8.8 Art: 9 Overall: 8.9 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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