Review: Shadowman #4
The opening arc of Shadowman has kept my interests pretty high. As a reader, we have a Shadowman book where the protagonist can let loose and dive right into the heart of the evil around him. We’ve seen in this series that the Deadside, which is as it sounds, is trying to use the Earth as its own power battery and there are powerful creatures escaping to the Earth. And rightfully so, we’ve seen Shadowman step up and take out whatever threat has arisen. The first three issues have been very enjoyable. Is Shadowman #4 going to hit like the previous three?
Another thing has escaped the Deadside. This is something that spreads a hallucinogenic experience to those it comes in contact with. Its effect is that of a very violent drug trip and that leads Shadowman and Samedi to track it to a crackhouse on the streets of London. Shadowman falls victim and comes face-to-face with his biggest threat; the Deadside is taking on a physical form and has let itself known to Shadowman. After overcoming the effects, Shadowman dispatches his foe but knows something far bigger and sinister now walks the world. He thinks he understands the relationship between the Deadside and the Earth and how he must deal with it.
To me, there was a lot to unravel with this issue. The villain of this issue was downright creepy and what it caused in its wake was really disturbing stuff. People imagining their babies are spawning into grotesque creatures or people hurting themselves because of what they think they see. I thought the way the fight between it and Shadowman went down was interesting. It wasn’t much of a fight but an invitation to see the true culprit. There’s something really interesting building within the pages of Shadowman and writer Cullen Bunn basically makes it sound like the series is going on hiatus to set up some other machinations within the Valiant universe. That part is a really big letdown, as this book has been great for every issue. Jon Davis-Hunt continues illustrating the creepiest, sickest villains around and with Jordie Bellaire and Clayton Cowles, have continued to put out one of the better-looking books around.
I think that one key element has been that we see a lot with this series how normal folks have reacted or been treated by the Deadside beings and it really helps ratchet up the threats that Shadowman faces. And Shadowman, while being a hero, isn’t quite a superhero with this take. I hope when the book returns, it’s with this same creative team. They have done no wrongs on Shadowman and honestly, you can argue it’s the best we’ve gotten with the character in many years. Let’s hope that the publishing break isn’t a big one because whether it’s the entire four issues or just this fourth one, these stories are setting up something and should not be forgotten about.
Story: Cullen Bunn Art: Jon Davis-Hunt
Colors: Jordie Bellaire Letters: Clayton Cowles
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy
Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review