Review: Shadowman #7
The horrors of the Deadside have spilled over into the world of the living, led by the embodiment of terror leading the forces of darkness that Shadowman, Punk Mambo and the new Abettors are forced to confront. As the battle rages all over the world bringing in heroes of the Valiant Universe hoping to stop the tide, the supernatural protectors must prepare to make their stand.
Shadowman #7 was a really fun read. Structurally, it’s a lot of internal narration over a 20 odd page fight scene. There’s always a chance when a comic is built like this that it’ll be either really good or over really quickly as you read the narration and kinda skip over the art (I’ve done it before, much to my own dismay), but Cullen Bunn and Pedro Andreo‘s story and art is worth digesting slowly.
Letterer Clayton Cowls gets a tip of the hat for where he’s placed the narration. His choices accentuate the flow of the comic and along with Jordie Bellaire‘s moody colouring add a smoothness to the proceedings. You’re never lost in the action, and the lack of dialogue actually works to add a sense of danger and overwhelming odds for our heroes – because when have you ever seen a comic character not go at least partially Spider-Man and start making some kind of commentary as the fists are flying? By eschewing that, Bunn ups the stakes considerably in a subtle way.
I’ve said it before, and at the risk of sounding like I’m noting more than a record on repeat, Shadowman is by far and wide the best thing Valiant is currently publishing, and for my money it’s also among the top echelon of comics that are on the racks at the moment.
The art in Shadowman #7 tells most of the story, and once again I found myself genuinely impressed by how dynamic Pedro Andreo’s work is. Keep your eye on this one, because he’s (hopefully) going to be huge. His layouts and line weights balance so well with how Bellaire brings life (And unlife) to the pages. There’s a lot of violence in the book, and it’s amongst this backdrop that the bursts of bright pink and hot yellow stand out so effectively during the action.
Now in the third chapter of The Deadside War, Shadowman #7 takes everything that the series has been building toward and just lays it out in one solid conflict. The narration is brilliant – short, sharp bursts of oddly poignant moments from Shadowman as he talks about the conflict and the hopelessness of it. The Deadside War was never going to be a typical comic story, and this issue reinforces just how good of a grasp Bunn has on the character. The series is utterly fantastic.
Story: Cullen Bunn Art: Pedro Andreo
Colors: Jordie Bellaire Letters: Clayton Cowles
Story: 9.7 Art: 9.9 Overall: 9.8 Recommendation: Buy
Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review