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Andy Diggle Talks Shadowman along with an Exclusive Preview of Shadowman #5

Shadowman is back in his own solo series at Valiant and Andy Diggle is in charge writing! The series is a perfect jumping on point for new readers but also has a lot for long time fans of the character as Diggle explores past lives.

We chat with Diggle about the series and have an exclusive look at Shadowman #5 out July 18th!

Graphic Policy: How did you come on board to write Shadowman and who is the character to you? How familiar with the character were you before?

Andy Diggle: The short answer is, they asked! I’d actually been invited to write something else for Valiant previously, but in the end I decided I wasn’t the right guy for that particular job. But when Shadowman came up, I jumped at the chance. I hadn’t read the original ‘90s run, but I could see what it could be – which elements were core to the character, which elements to jettison, and which new elements to bring in. It just seemed so rich with potential. Shadowman had taken a pretty crooked path by the time I got my hands on him, and I wanted to dust him off and put him back on his feet. Make him a hero again. And I knew I wanted to put voodoo lore back at the centre of the book. Voodoo makes him unique, but somehow it had been lost or diluted along the way.

GP: Do you approach writing Shadowman differently than any of the other characters you’ve handled over the years? Has the voodoo element been an interesting aspect to research?

AD: It’s been fascinating. Voodoo is a rich and complex folk religion and oral tradition, with a great deal of regional variation. So I’ve tried to be respectful of that, while embracing the fact that this is a supernatural action comic, not a history textbook. For me, research is a source of inspiration; a springboard for ideas rather than something to be constrained by.

GP: The fourth issue takes us back to  explore the loa’s history, and that of the Shadowman mantle. You’re essentially creating a new mythology here – do you feel any pressure? How do you even start something like that?

GP: We’re really just showing brief snippets of past Shadowmen’s lives – each of them could easily sustain an ongoing series of their own. It’s an education for Jack Boniface, finding out that his predecessors found different ways of dealing with the burden of the shadow loa. Jack’s always been struggling against that burden, and I’d like to see him embrace it as a force for good in the world.

GP: The third issue saw Jack Boniface ending up dead at the hands of (presumably) Baron Samedi, but this being Shadowman and the Deadside, I’m sure there’s more to the death than initially meets the eye. How do you go about avoiding the “Comic Book Death” trope that so many fans claim to be fatigued with?

AD: Travelling to and from the realm of the dead is literally part of Shadowman’s core concept. He guards us from the Deadside, and the ghosts and spirits of the dead have been a part of his world since the very first issue. So it’s not like we’re coming out of nowhere with this. Jack’s voyage through the astral realm to the past lives of his predecessors isn’t accidental. He was sent there, for reasons he will only later come to understand.

GP: When exploring the past incarnations of Shadowman, which was the one you wanted to spend more time with? Any plans for a spin off featuring on or more of those characters?

AD: Marius Boniface – the “first” Shadowman – was the one I couldn’t wait to get ahold of. We learned that Sandria Darque first bound the shadow loa to him in 1865, but what happened next? I was curious about what that would do to their relationship moving forward. How did Marius feel about becoming Shadowman? Did he stay with Sandria? How did he die? It raises all sorts of questions, and we can’t answer all of them in one issue.

GP: You’re working with a lot of great artists on this series; does that impact the way you write your scripts if you want to play to one artist’s strength over another?

AD: I’ve been incredibly lucky to work with such great artists. It always helps to know who’ll be drawing which story, so I can play to their strengths. Fortunately they each have multiple strengths! Stephen Segovia is a master of dynamic action, Shawn Martinbrough literally wrote the book on noir comics, Doug Braithwaite brings a wonderfully soulful, emotional depth to the characters, and Renato Guedes is bringing a beautifully lush, painterly style to the ancient origins of the loa.

GP: The series as a whole has been quite easy for new fans to pick up whilst still building on his previous appearances. How difficult was, or is, that to achieve?

AD: It was planned as a fresh start, but I didn’t want to just throw away the past continuity and start afresh. Ultimately it’s about redeeming Jack and giving him some hope for a better future. All you really need to know is that this guy has a powerful voodoo spirit bound inside him, and he was lost in the land of the dead for a while. Now he’s back!

GP: Dead And Gone has been billed as a new jumping on point for fans. What, if anything, do new readers need to know when they pick up Shadowman #4?

AD: Jack Boniface’s soul has been cast adrift in time. As he falls, he’ll grab onto the past lives of his predecessors and get a glimpse of how they handled being Shadowman.

GP: One of the strengths of the Valiant Universe is that each series can work on their own and are new reader friendly and also come together to build a richer experience. Has it differed for you working in this comic universe than others?

AD: It’s certainly more narratively coherent that some universes I’ve worked in in the past. Valiant editorial have a great sense of story, and they communicate well, so everyone’s on the same page. I can ask specific continuity questions and get specific answers. That gives me a good, solid foundation to build a story on. And ultimately that’s all I really care about. Is it good?

GP: Thanks so much for chatting!


SHADOWMAN (2018) #5

Written by ANDY DIGGLE
Art by DOUG BRAITHWAITE
Cover A by TONCI ZONJIC
Cover B by DAVID MACK
Interlocking Variant by DAVID LAFUENTE
Shadowman Icon Variant by DOUG BRAITHWAITE

“DEAD AND GONE” – PART 2! At last – the untold tale of Marius Boniface…the first Shadowman!

As roving gangs ravage the landscape of post-Civil War America, there’s little hope and even fewer chances of escape for those caught in their clutches…except in the shadows! Enter: Marius Boniface – first bearer of the Shadowman loa and Jack Boniface’s own great-great-great grandfather! But as the sun sets, the Shadowman’s coming will lead to more than just a rebellion… Unstuck in time, Jack is about to come face-to-face with the first to bear his curse, and will finally learn the truth about the Shadowman legacy’s connection to his family’s doomed bloodline!

Superstar artist Doug Braithwaite (X-O MANOWAR, Justice) joins writer extraordinaire Andy Diggle (Green Arrow: Year One) for a must-read moment in the history of Valiant’s supernatural icon!

$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On Sale JULY 18th (FOC – 6/25/18)

Revew: Bloodshot Salvation #10

BSS_010_COVER-A_ROCAFORTTwo thousand years in the future – in the year 4001 A.D. – the man once known as Ray Garrison is no more…but the microscopic nanites inside him live on. Enter Bloodshot 4001 – a strange, gunslinging echo of Bloodshot’s mind, body, and soul that is now more machine than man. But when our century’s Bloodshot finds himself delivered to the dawn of the 41st century with one last mission to fulfill, two Valiant legends will finally come face to face…just as the secret revelation that binds them together across the ages will forever reshape Bloodshot’s place at the center of the Valiant Universe!

The beginning of the end is here as Bloodshot Salvation enters into the final arc for the series, in which Bloodshot has been sent to the year 4002 A.D. in order to kill somebody to save his daughter’s life after having made a bargain with Baron Samedi (whom you may recognize from the current Shadowman series). Now, with Bloodshot’s daughter, Jesse, returned from the Deadside to the present aged around eight years from when she entered, Magic and Jesse have a much different problem to focus on beyond Bloodshot’s disappearance: Jesse’s rapid aging, and what that could mean going forward.

As for Bloodshot, his mission in the future boils down to finding a contact, and find the person whose life he traded for Jesse’s amongst the ruins of New Japan (see 4001 A.D. for the reasons why there are ruins of New Japan on Earth). Jeff Lemire kicks off his swan song in style, evidenced by the absurdity of Bloodshot fighting dinosaurs with a sword; it shouldn’t work, but it does (and is a personal highlight for me). Although a lot of that would be due to Doug Braithwaite’s wonderfully clean lines coupled with Jordie Bellaire’s colouring work. The scenes set in the future have a vibrantly desolate feel, with the art jumping from the page and threatening to smack the life from you in an over enthusiastic moment of glee; whereas the scenes set in the present have a deep sense of foreboding as Braithwaite draws in an appropriately claustrophobic manner, and Bellaire uses a sterile colour pallet of blues and greys to convey the military headquarters of G.A.T.E.

This obvious dichotomy in colour schemes and spaciousness within the comic help the reader to easily differentiate between the two time zones, but leave the question hanging of who is really more alone; Bloodshot and Bloodhound stranded thousands of years in the future, or Magic and Jesse who face an uncertain future together?

Although this is a new arc, and as such technically a new jumping on point, the story is a heavy continuation of the series thus far and may push away readers who are starting with this issue. That being said, I really enjoyed reading this comic – and would highly recommend you start reading from the beginning if you choose to do so. Even as the series winds to a close, Bloodshot Salvation shows every sign of going out on a high note.

Story: Jeff Lemire Artist: Doug Braithwaite
Colourist: Jordie Bellaire Letterer: Simon Bowland

Story: 8.8 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.2 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Bloodshot Salvation #10

BLOODSHOT SALVATION #10

Written by JEFF LEMIRE
Art by DOUG BRAITHWAITE
Cover A by KENNETH ROCAFORT (APR181859)
Cover B by RENATO GUEDES (APR181860)
Bloodshot Icon Variant by KIM JUNG GI (APR181861)
Pre-Order Edition by RYAN BODENHEIM (JUL172248)
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On Sale JUNE 13th

ALL-NEW ARC! ALL-NEW JUMPING-ON POINT! “THE BOOK OF REVELATIONS” – PART ONE!

Two thousand years in the future – in the year 4001 A.D. – the man once known as Ray Garrison is no more…but the microscopic nanites inside him live on. Enter Bloodshot 4001 – a strange, gunslinging echo of Bloodshot’s mind, body, and soul that is now more machine than man. But when our century’s Bloodshot finds himself delivered to the dawn of the 41st century with one last mission to fulfill, two Valiant legends will finally come face to face…just as the secret revelation that binds them together across the ages will forever reshape Bloodshot’s place at the center of the Valiant Universe!

From superstar writer Jeff Lemire (The Terrifics, Black Hammer) and artistic powerhouse Doug Braithwaite (X-O MANOWAR, Journey into Mystery), Valiant’s Eisner Award-nominated superhero saga goes back to the far, far future for the ultimate meeting of man and machine
at the crossroads of tomorrow and today!

Shadowman #5 Sets the Past Ablaze with Andy Diggle & Doug Braithwaite – In Stores This July!

Valiant has released a first look at Shadowman (2018) #5, the next jaw-dropping installment of the powerful ongoing series of 2018 and the second chapter of “Dead and Gone!” On July 18th, renowned writer Andy Diggle teams up with sensational artist Doug Braithwaite to expose Jack Boniface to the deeper truths behind the Shadowman legacy – and to the violent lives of his long-dead ancestors!

As slave catchers roam the scorched landscape in the closing days of the Civil War, there is little hope and even fewer chances of escape… except in the shadows! Enter: Marius Boniface, first bearer of the Shadowman loa and Jack Boniface’s own great-great-great grandfather! But as the sun sets, the Shadowman’s coming will lead to more than just a rebellion. Unstuck in time, Jack is about to come face-to-face with the first to bear his curse, and will finally learn the truth about the Shadowman legacy’s connection to his family’s doomed bloodline!

Featuring covers by Tonci ZonjicDavid MackDavid Lafuente, and Doug Braithwaite!

Valiant Reveals Go Beyond With Four New Series Launching Out of Harbinger Wars 2

Valiant has announced “Beyond” – a new wave of series that will carry the publisher onward toward 2019! Born from the aftermath of Harbinger Wars 2, the most ambitious crossover event ever attempted by Valiant, Beyond will round out the end of 2018 and drive forward into the New Year with an invigorating slate of exciting new stories, both from returning talent and rising stars alike:

  • Faith: Dreamside #1 by Jody Houser and MJ Kim in September 2018
  • Bloodshot Rising Spirit #1 by Lonnie Nadler, Zac Thompson, and Ken Lashley in November 2018
  • Livewire #1 by Vita Ayala and Raúl Allén with Patricia Martín in December 2018
  • Incursion #1 by Andy Diggle and Doug Braithwaite in February 2019

Complete details are below:

FAITH: DREAMSIDE #1

Written by JODY HOUSER
Art by MJ KIM
Cover by MARGUERITE SAUVAGE

ALL-NEW SERIES! FAITH ENTERS A REALM PREVIOUSLY UNSEEN!

Even before Faith “Zephyr” Herbert gained the power of flight, joined the Harbinger Renegades, and soared through the skies of Los Angeles, deep down she was always a hero at heart. But what’s a hero to do in the face of a foe that exists only in nightmares? Face them head-on, of course! To protect the dreams of her teammate, Animalia, Faith must venture into a fantastical new realm the likes of which the Valiant Universe has never seen… and she’ll need some help from the world’s premiere parapsychologist, Dr. Mirage, to make it back with her subconscious mind still intact!

This fall, uncover the secrets of the Dreamside as writer extraordinaire Jody Houser (FAITH, Star Wars: Thrawn) and rising star MJ Kim (FAITH’S WINTER WONDERLAND SPECIAL #1) continue the adventures of the high-flying icon Nerdist called “a superhero done right!”

LIMITED SERIES | BEGINNING SEPTEMBER 2018

BLOODSHOT RISING SPIRIT #1

Written by LONNIE NADLER & ZAC THOMPSON
Art by KEN LASHLEY
Cover by FELIPE MASSAFERA

NEW ONGOING SERIES! DISCOVER THE TRUE ORIGIN OF VALIANT’S MOST UNRELENTING HERO!

Before a weapon is deployed in battle, it must be designed, refined, field-tested. Bloodshot was no exception.

In the early days of the private military contractor Project Rising Spirit, the nanite-infused super-soldier who would one day become their most violent and valuable asset was a resource to be mined – and it was up to one enterprising employee, the “Memory Weaver,” to ensure he did what he was told. But a memory is a tricky thing…and the man Bloodshot used to be won’t let go of his past so easily…

Critically acclaimed writing duo Lonnie Nadler and Zac Thompson (Cable) team up with distinguished artist Ken Lashley (Black Panther) to open a door once closed and reveal answers to questions that Bloodshot himself would never think to ask!

ONGOING SERIES | BEGINNING NOVEMBER 2018

LIVEWIRE #1

Written by VITA AYALA
Art by RAÚL ALLÉN with PATRICIA MARTÍN
Cover by KHARY RANDOLPH

ALL-NEW SERIES! FOR THE FIRST TIME, LIVEWIRE TAKES CENTER STAGE!

Once, Amanda McKee, the technopathic psiot known as Livewire, knew her purpose. She wielded her machine-manipulating powers to benefit the HARBINGER Foundation…until the true depths of her mentor’s cruelty were revealed. She brought UNITY to the world’s most formidable superpowered beings…until a battle between team members dissolved the group for good. She gave hope and guidance to a ragtag band of SECRET WEAPONS…until the U.S. government marked them for death and set her down a path of no return. Now, in the wake of the worst disaster the country’s ever faced – one that was directly caused by her hand – Livewire must decide for herself what kind of hero she will be…if she’ll be one at all.

From rising star Vita Ayala (Supergirl) and astounding artists Raúl Allén and Patricia Martín (SECRET WEAPONS) comes an electrifying new series that will launch the Valiant Universe into a new age of champions!

LIMITED SERIES | BEGINNING DECEMBER 2018

INCURSION #1

Written by ANDY DIGGLE
Art by DOUG BRAITHWAITE
Teaser Image by JEFFREY VEREGGE

AN ALL-NEW EVENT BEGINS!

Beyond the margins of human reason, there lies a realm known as the Deadside – where the souls of the dearly departed linger, and where gruesome terrors lie in wait to strike out at us from the dark. But our Deadside isn’t the only deadly dimension of its kind, and another – belonging to an alien world – is about to collide with Earth’s. With the very nature of our reality at stake, who will stand against the tide of unearthly terrors at our doorstep?

From celebrated writer Andy Diggle (SHADOWMAN) and legendary artist Doug Braithwaite (X-O MANOWAR) comes a story that will rock the Valiant Universe across multiple dimensions!

LIMITED EVENT SERIES | BEGINNING FEBRUARY 2019

Bloodshot Salvation #12 – Jeff Lemire & Doug Braithwaite Command the Finale to Valiant’s Critically Acclaimed Masterpiece This August!

Valiant has released aspecial first look at Bloodshot Salvation #12, the astonishing finale to one of the most seminal and groundbreaking series that Valiant has ever published! On August 8thNew York Times best-selling writer Jeff Lemire and incredible artist Doug Braithwaite bring “The Book of Revelations” to a startling, unprecedented denouement, as Ray Garrison grapples with the core of his being… and the being his legacy will one day birth in millennia to come!

Bloodshot has traveled from the depths of the Deadside to the far-flung future of 4002 A.D. to save his daughter’s life… and spare her the murderous inheritance of the nanites that flow through both their veins. Now, stranded at the crossroads of the 41st century with one last mission between them and freedom, the question will finally be answered: Was it all for naught?

Featuring covers by Kenneth RocafortRenato Guedes, and comics legend MD Bright!

Andy Diggle & Shawn Martinbrough Launch “Dead and Gone” in Shadowman (2018) #4 – In Stores June 20th!

Valiant is proud to reveal your first look at a selection of lettered pages from Shadowman (2018) #4, the start of a BRAND-NEW ARC and NEW JUMPING-ON POINT in this POWERFUL ONGOING SERIES! On June 20th, renowned writer Andy Diggle and distinguished artist Shawn Martinbrough launch the next thrilling story arc, “Dead and Gone,” as they investigate the seedy underbelly of a bygone age and uncover the secrets of Jack Boniface’s long-forgotten ancestor, Max Boniface – the Shadowman of 1940s New York!

For years, Jack Boniface believed 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.!

In the shock-inducing aftermath of “Fear of the Dark,” master storyteller Andy Diggle will lead a rotating cast of superstar artists – beginning with Shawn Martinbrough and continuing with Doug Braithwaite and Renato Guedes – to reveal the full scope and power of the Shadowman mythos…and how three of its forgotten champions stoked its earliest embers…with a legend-fueled odyssey into eons past as “Dead and Gone” tells all!

Andy Diggle & Shawn Martinbrough Travel to 1940 in Shadowman (2018) #4 – In Stores June!

Valiant has released a first look at Shadowman (2018) #4, the beginning of an ALL-NEW ARC and NEW JUMPING-ON POINT in the POWERFUL ONGOING SERIES of 2018! On June 20th, incredible artist Shawn Martinbrough joins acclaimed writer Andy Diggle to kick off “DEAD AND GONE,” as today’s Shadowman meets one of the many loa-ridden ancestors who came before him! The issue features art by Doug Braithwaite and Renato Guedes.

For 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.!

In the shock-inducing aftermath of “FEAR OF THE DARK,” the series continues to reveal the full scope and power of the Shadowman mythos…and how three of its forgotten champions stoked its earliest embers…with a legend-fueled odyssey into eons past as “DEAD AND GONE” tells all!

Featuring covers by Tonci ZonjicDavid Mack, David Lafuente, and Dave Johnson!

Valiant Presents X-O Manowar Compendium One, 800+ Pages this August

Valiant has announced X-O Manowar Compendium One – a MASSIVE, 800+ PAGE COLLECTION of the chart-topping, award-winning series that relaunched the Valiant Universe, released for the very first time in a value-priced softcover format!

On August 22nd, go back to where the war began with this first, gigantic volume in a value-priced paperback series that collects the complete adventures of Valiant’s armored Visigoth, starting with the first two years of Aric of Dacia’s journey from barbarian prince to superpowered protector in X-O Manowar (2012) #1–29, Unity (2013) #1–4, and Armor Hunters #1–4!

Beginning with award-winning and critically beloved runs by New York Times best-selling writers Robert Venditti and Matt Kindt, and featuring incredible art by Eisner Award winner Cary NordDoug BraithwaiteLee Garbett, Diego BernardTrevor Hairsine, and more, a celebrated, star-studded cast of Valiant’s biggest talents comes together right here for one of the best-selling and longest-running superhero series of the modern era!

Born under the oppressive thumb of the Roman Empire, Aric of Dacia learned warfare at an early age. It was amid such violence that he was abducted by an alien race known as The Vine. Forced into slavery, he survived where others perished. His escape would come from bonding with a weapon of immeasurable power: the X-O Manowar armor. With it, he returned to Earth…only to find himself stranded in the modern day. The Vine destroyed Aric’s world. Now he will give them war.

 

X-O Manowar Compendium One is a breathtaking entry point into one of the most celebrated superhero universes in comics!

Bloodshot Salvation #10 Travels to the 41st Century with Jeff Lemire & Doug Braithwaite!

Valiant is proud to present your first look inside Bloodshot Salvation #10 – the FIRST ISSUE of “THE BOOK OF REVELATIONS,” A SHOCK-INDUCING JUMPING-ON POINT from writer Jeff Lemire and dazzling artist Doug Braithwaite! On June 13th, the creative team that brought the Bloodshot of 4001 A.D. to life returns to the 41st century once again, as Ray Garrison’s salvation-seeking odyssey to secure his daughter’s safety reaches forward – and past the point of no return!

Two thousand years in the future – in the year 4002 A.D. – the man once known as Ray Garrison is no more…but the microscopic nanites inside him live on. Enter Bloodshot 4001 – a strange, gunslinging echo of Bloodshot’s mind, body, and soul that is now more machine than man. But when our century’s Bloodshot finds himself delivered to the dawn of the 41st century with one last mission to fulfill, two Valiant legends will finally come face to face…just as the secret revelation that binds them together across the ages will forever reshape Bloodshot’s place at the center of the Valiant Universe!

Featuring covers by Kenneth Rocafort, Renato Guedes, and Kim Jung Gi!

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