Review: Shadowman #9

SM2018_009_COVER-B_GRANTEvery family has skeletons in their closet…but these ones are ready to kill!

As Jack Boniface and Alyssa Miles hunt for the remains of Master Darque, their search brings them to the enchanted home of his sorceress sister – none other than Sandria Darque herself! Face to unearthly face with the sorceress responsible for binding his fate to that of the deadly shadow loa, Jack now stands at a crossroads… Will he achieve his greatest desire and free himself from the monster within?

Shadowman #9 begins to tie a lot of threads together that Andy Diggle has been letting dangle ever since he first took on the series. Whether it’s the early interactions between Jack and the Brethren, Jack’s journey through the history of the Shadowman or the growing threat of Master Darque, if you’ve been with the series for the past eight issues, you’re going to start to see a lot of things begin to come together. That’s not to say that new readers will be out in the cold – Diggle has still written a very compelling comic, and one that anybody can hop into. But he certainly is rewarding those who’ve been around the block with ol’ Jack Boniface.

The overwhelming impression the last issue left on me was just how special the art was… well for the most part that’s true again. The art, by Renato Guedes, remains fantastic; blending a touch of the classical styles into a comic book script that compliments the mystical nature of the character. It’s undoubtedly the highlight of this issue, and watching how Guedes moves the story along was worth my price of admission alone. However, Guedes isn’t the sole artist this time around; the superbly named Eric Battle takes charge for a few interspersed pages (coloured by Ulises Arreola), and the effect is almost jarring. Battle and Arreola make a great pairing, but the team isn’t as complementary to Guedes’ style as one would hope.

There’s a touch more development when it comes to the plot with this issue than last, and once again the comic is visually spectacular. I said it last month and I’ll say it again – some of the pages here should make non-comics folks rethink their definition of fine art.  I’ve every intention of adding this to my collection on release day, because Shadowman #9 is another brilliant addition to the Valiant library – and is once again one of the best visual experiences I’ve had in comics.

Story: Andy Diggle Art: Renato Guedes and Eric Battle
Colors: Ulises Arreola Letters: Simon Bowland
Story: 8.2 Art: 8.8 Overall: 8.6 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review