Early Review: Shadowman #1
It’s been a few years since we’ve had a Shadowman book and we probably would have had this one last year if the pandemic had not changed the publishing approach for Valiant. With Shadowman #1, Valiant has Cullen Bunn, who is no stranger to their universe, having written the very excellent Punk Mambo mini-series from a few years back and also Roku. Valiant has stated that this book will be more of a horror book than a superhero title. It sounds just like the kind of book I like from Bunn.
Shadowman #1 opens by establishing who Shadowman is. He fights the evil of the Deadside, which is sort of a halfway point of the afterlife. Something big and bad has broken through to our world and in good fashion, is defeated and sent back to where it has come from. From there, we get more action as a fancy party is to play host for a more gruesome event for Shadowman.
In the past, Valiant’s first issues would always hook me on a book. Lately, it’s not as easy, as I have disliked a few books here and there. One of those was Roku, which was also written by Bunn. My hopes going into Shadowman was it would harkon back to a feeling I used to get with their books and I can say that this was a first issue that did not disappoint. I liked that it did read as a single issue story. And going off the second part of the book, it definitely felt like something from the realm of horror. While I wasn’t blown away by the dialogue, much of the story is pushed along by Shadowman’s inner dialogue, which is nicely done. Add in that it’s a good jumping-on spot for the character, and it feels like this could be one of the better books to come out of 2021.
Jon Davis-Hunt brings the art and his Shadowman just looks so awesome. Seriously, the way he looks in his suit/costume is fantastic. He manages to draw lots of disgusting things throughout the first issue. All I can say is I hope he’s on Shadowman for a long time because he’s definitely got a really detailed style and with colorist Jordie Bellaire on this book with him, it could be one of the best-looking Shadowman books we’ve gotten. I thought the lettering by Cowles was a nice cherry on top of everything else with Shadowman.
I think Shadowman #1 is just what the Valiant fan base needs. Maybe they don’t love books like Savage and maybe X-O Manowar left them a bit grumpy but I feel this feels like a natural progression of who Shadowman is. The writing is there and the art is there. And if nothing else, it left me feeling like a publisher could draw me in hard with a really good first issue.
Story: Cullen Bunn Art: Jon Davis-Hunt
Colors: Jordie Bellaire Letters: Clayton Cowles
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0
Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review