The final showdown!
At long last, Shadowman is unbound…and it couldn’t have come at a worse time! Finally free from the Boniface lineage after generations of torment, the loa that once shared its gifts with Jack Boniface must now be convinced to join his cause willingly…or else the Brethren will lay waste to everything Jack holds dear!
Whenever a series ends prematurely – whether that’s due to a lack of sales, or not – there’s always the fear that the story won’t end as well as was originally planned if the number of issues allotted are shaved down. While I’m not sure if that’s the case here, there is a lot of story packed into the pages of Shadowman #11 than there has been in the last couple of issues. This has the effect of giving the comic a very retro feel; comics from the 90’s and before always seem to pack a lot of dialogue and text within the pages in comparison to more modern offerings.
Whilst I’m a fan of older comic
s, where Shadowman #11 stumbles is a lack of clarity in some sequences as the scenes transition – the art, while astonishingly brilliant to look at, doesn’t always have the backgrounds necessary to indicate a transition without narrative explanation. Unfortunately, his left me reeling a couple of times during my read through wondering if I’d missed a page, or a text box, or if I needed more caffeine.
That being said, the issue’s pacing is relentless, and hits you with one development after another – it’s the kind of comic that feels like it’s absolutely worth the money you’re spending on the book, even with the occasional stumble.
Andy Diggle closes out his time with Shadowman on a high after taking the character on a journey full of revelations and character growth as he fleshed out the mythology and history of Jack Boniface and the shadow loa. It was a successful run, and one capped off with an explosive and action fueled issue that ties up enough loose ends that you’re not left with a sense that too much is dangling in the ether waiting for a resolution that’ll probably never come, but rather with anticipation for Shadowman’s next stage.
As has been mentioned already the art by Renato Guedes and Eric Battle is spectacular, although the comic would have been stronger had there been a few more backgrounds used during scene changes or passages of time. For the most part, though, there’s very little to bemoan in regards to the artistic offering here, and credit for that should also be given to Ulises Arreola‘s colouring that goes a little way toward helping the eye follow the story breaks if you pay attention to the background colours.
As a conclusion to an eleven issue run, this is a strong comic. Diggle puts a cherry on top of a run that’s added a lot to Shadowman’s lore whilst wrapping up the story satisfactorily. Although you’re not likely to buy this issue if you haven’t at least read the final arc, you can at least rest assured that once you’ve caught up, this is a really solid cap to a brilliant run. I’m looking forward to seeing what Andy Diggle has in store for us next.
Story: Andy Diggle Art: Renato Guedes with Eric Battle
Colours: Ulises Arreola Letters: Simon Bowland
Story: 8.8 Art: 8.1 Overall: 8.2 Recommendation: Buy
Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review