Tag Archives: shadowman

Review: Book Of Shadows #1

Book of Shadows #1

Shadowman. Eternal Warrior. Punk Mambo. Doctor Mirage. The supernatural protectors of the Valiant Universe unite for the very first time to stand against a terrifying ancient threat: Exarch Fane. No one is safe as the fearsome foe has his cold hands on the Book of Shadows.

Master of horror Cullen Bunn and bone-chilling artist Vicente Cifuentes present Book Of Shadows, a supernatural event that forms a brand-new team in the Valiant Universe… but will they be enough to stop Fane’s wrath?

Continuing on from Cullen Bunn‘s brilliant run writing Shadowman comes the first issue of Book Of Shadows. I’ll admit to be very excited about this one not only because Bunn’s run on Shadowman is one of my favourite things to have come from Valiant recently (in fact, I don’t think there has been a bad run on Shadowman since 2012, if I’m honest), but also because of the inclusion of the Eternal Warrior – one of my favourite comic book characters across all publishers.

The story itself centres on the invasion of our world by demons following what has been written in the Book Of Shadows; fairly straight-forward stuff, yes, but it’s the way in which Bunn has framed the script that will keep you hooked. The narration boxes add more to the action than you would expect seeing as how they’re at times often unrelated to the goings on with the page’s art. Book Of Shadows #1 features art by Vicenty Cifuentes, colours by Nick Filardi and lettering provided by the ever-reliable Dave Sharpe; a creative team who unite to pull off a comic that plays on Bunn’s horror elements without shying away from some of the more traditional heroic images as characters do their thing within the pages.

As the debut issue of an event/miniseries book, this can be read alone; Bunn has structured the opening so that (assuming you have a passing knowledge of Shadowman) you’ll be more than able to enjoy the book (even if you don’t have a passing knowledge, you can still enjoy the book, in all honesty) – but it’s when this is read as the culmination of Bunn’s Shadowman run that it really comes together. Little plot hints and previous threads, character relationships all build upon what we’ve read before and they make sense.

Book Of Shadows is only the first issue, and while I can’t help but compare it to the earlier story Book Of Death because of the name, the new series is already starting to pull itself away from anything the Valiant universe seen yet. With this creative team at the helm, Book Of Shadows has earned its place as one of the series I’m most excited to read over the next few months.

Writer: Cullen Bunn Artist: Vicente Cifuentes
Colourist: Nick Filardi Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Story: 9.1 Art: 8.9 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.


Purchase: Zeus ComicsTFAWcomiXology/Kindle

Preview: Shadowman #8

Shadowman #8

Written by CULLEN BUNN
Art by PEDRO ANDREO
Colors by JORDIE BELLAIRE
Letters by CLAYTON COWLES
Cover A by JON DAVIS-HUNT
Horror Movie Homage Variant Cover by CLAUDIA IANICELLO
Pre-order Cover by MICO SUAYAN
On sale April 13th | 32 pages, full color | $3.99 US | T+

Shadowman, with the assistance of Punk Mambo and the Abettors, fights to stop Deadside as the blights get closer to covering all of Earth. Valiant’s mightiest heroes are caught up in her wake. Can Shadowman exorcise Deadside back to her dimension or will the blights change the landscape of the Valiant Universe forever?

Shadowman #8

Review: Shadowman #8

Shadowman #8

Deadside’s blights have spread far and wide across the land of the living, infecting the Earth with a terrible darkness. Shadowman, Punk Mambo, and the all-new Abettors must seek answers in the unlikeliest of places but will even they be able to recruit enough power to stop Deadside’s hostile takeover? The fate of the entire Earth rests in their shadowy hands in Shadowman #8!

The conclusion to The Deadside War is here, and much like he has done for the entire the story thus far, writer Cullen Bunn has defied what you would typically expect from a larger event-type story that Valiant had billed this as. Where the previous issue was a lot of narration over some fantastic action sequences, this issue has some cracking sequential story telling in conjunction with everything the previous issue had (which also featured some great story telling).

Artist Pedro Andreo, with an assist by Alvardo De Miguel, and colourist Jordie Bellaire are (perhaps unsurprisingly at this point) on top form. Shadowman #8 looks absolutely gorgeous. There’s an otherwordly quality to how the pages comes at you, and I can’t quite put my finger on whether it’s the line work and layouts or Bellaire’s vibrant colours. Not for a panel did I lose sight of the sheer amount of magical power being thrown about in this issue, and yet the story is still very intimate. Clayton Cowles lettering adds another punch to the proceedings as he varies the text, style and colour of the bubbles between characters.

This volume of Shadowman has been a true example of why sometimes it’s best to let a creative team breath between arcs; the entire eight issues have been utterly captivating. I tip my hat to Bunn and his co-conspirators; this has been my favorite Shadowman story yet.

At the end of the day, the final chapter of The Deadside War did what I had hoped it would, and took everything that Bunn had been building and wraps almost all of it up brilliantly. I say almost everything, because there’s the deliberate loose ends that will be chased in the next arc – Book Of Shadows – and I’m looking forward to that even more than I was before I read this issue. For my money, Cullen Bunn’s Shadowman has earned its place as one of Valiant’s top books since the relaunch a decade ago.

Story: Cullen Bunn Art: Pedro Andreo Art Assist: Alvardo De Miguel
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


Purchase: comiXology/Kindle  Zeus ComicsTFAW

Preview: Shadowman #8

Shadowman #8

Written by CULLEN BUNN
Art by PEDRO ANDREO
Colors by JORDIE BELLAIRE
Letters by CLAYTON COWLES
Cover A by JON DAVIS-HUNT
Horror Movie Homage Variant Cover by CLAUDIA IANICELLO
Pre-order Cover by MICO SUAYAN
On sale April 13th | 32 pages, full color | $3.99 US | T+

Shadowman, with the assistance of Punk Mambo and the Abettors, fights to stop Deadside as the blights get closer to covering all of Earth. Valiant’s mightiest heroes are caught up in her wake. Can Shadowman exorcise Deadside back to her dimension or will the blights change the landscape of the Valiant Universe forever?

Shadowman #8

Review: Shadowman #7

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


Purchase: comiXology/Kindle – Zeus ComicsTFAW

Preview: Shadowman #7

Shadowman #7

Written by CULLEN BUNN
Art by JON DAVIS-HUNT
Colors by JORDIE BELLAIRE
Letters by CLAYTON COWLES
Cover A by JON DAVIS-HUNT
Horror Movie Homage Variant Cover by DAN BRERETON
Pre-order Cover by CHRISTIAN WARD
On sale March 16th | 32 pages, full color | $3.99 US | T+

The world has been invaded. The Deadside spills through. Shadowman, Punk Mambo, Alyssa and the Arbettors struggle to keep the horrors of the Deadside at bay, but are they in a losing battle?

Shadowman #7

Preview: Shadowman #7

Shadowman #7

Written by CULLEN BUNN
Art by JON DAVIS-HUNT
Colors by JORDIE BELLAIRE
Letters by CLAYTON COWLES
Cover A by JON DAVIS-HUNT
Horror Movie Homage Variant Cover by DAN BRERETON
Pre-order Cover by CHRISTIAN WARD
On sale March 16th | 32 pages, full color | $3.99 US | T+

The world has been invaded. The Deadside spills through. Shadowman, Punk Mambo, Alyssa and the Arbettors struggle to keep the horrors of the Deadside at bay, but are they in a losing battle?

Shadowman #7

Valiant announces X-O Manowar Unconquered, Bloodshot Unleashed, and Book of Shadows

The Year of Valiant, continues as the publisher has announced three brand-new titles!

ShadowmanPunk MamboEternal WarriorDoctor Mirage. And [CLASSIFIED]. The supernatural protectors of the Valiant Universe unite for the very first time to stand against a terrifying ancient threat. No one is safe as Exarch Fane has his cold hands on the Book of Shadows. From the master of horror Cullen Bunn and rising star artist Riccardo LatinaBook of Sadows is a supernatural event that forms a brand-new team in the Valiant Universe… but will they be enough to stop Exarch Fane’s wrath? The all-new team arrives this July.

Book of Shadows
Promo Art by Riccardo Latina & Nick Filardi

When living weapons break out of a top-secret facility, the nanite-infused supersoldier Bloodshot must journey across the United States to stop these twisted and lethal creations from unleashing more bloodshed and devastation on the neglected small towns and forgotten corners of the country. Will Bloodshot need to kill all of them… or can some of them be redeemed just like he was? From Ringo Award-nominated writer Deniz Camp and acclaimed artist Jon Davis-Hunt comes Bloodshot Unleashed, the popular character’s first mature readers story that truly lives up to its name. The mayhem begins this September.

Bloodshot Unleashed
Promo Art by Jon-Davis Hunt

Aric of Dacia is X-O Manowar, a relentless and brave warrior torn from the past who wields the most powerful sentient armor in the universe. When X-O’s latest battle brings him into uncharted cosmic territory, he encounters a powerful enemy that will rip open old wounds and force Aric into treacherous, uncertain waters. Fan-favorite co-writers Becky Cloonan and Michael W. Conrad are joined by blockbuster artist Liam Sharp to present X-O Manowar Unconquered, a gripping sci-fi epic that embraces the beloved character’s history while challenging him in a whole new way. X-O’s next battle begins this November.

X-O Manowar Unconquered
Promo Art by Liam Sharp

Review: Shadowman #6

Shadowman #6

The next chapter of the critically acclaimed Shadowman series has arrived! With the epic event Deadside War poised to sweep across the Valiant Universe, Shadowman is going to need some help to take the fight to the Deadside. As the battle begins to heat up, only the new group of Abettors and the fan-favorite Punk Mambo herself can stand against the impending war alongside Shadowman. But will they be enough? 

Shadowman #6 opens right where the previous issue ends, with Shadowman trying to talk his way out of the seemingly invitable war between the Deadside and the live side. This approach to the conflict is something we’ve rarely seen (or at least something I’ve rarely seen) when it comes to comics, and so with Cullen Bunn‘s approach to the story there’s oddly more tension with the attempted diplomacy than I’d have expected.

I’ve said it before, and it’s still true, but Shadowman – written by Bunn, with art by Pedro Andreo and colors by Jordie Bellaire – 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 being published right now.

When it comes to the art in Shadowman #6, I found myself genuinely impressed by how dynamic Pedro Andreo’s work was. He layouts and line weights are interesting, and I’m low key obsessed with how Shadowman’s face has taken on more of an unnatural skull-like visage with the overly pronounced cheekbones, which gives the hero more of an otherworldly sense about him. Compounding on this otherworldly sense, though, is Jordie Bellaire’s colouring. She elevates already compelling artwork to the next level with a mostly low key colour palette of muted greys, and murky shadows infusing the other backgrounds. It’s amongst this backdrop that the bursts of colour stand out so effectively.

The second part of The Deadside War reinforces the stakes that Shadowman is facing, and reintroduces a couple of familiar faces that readers will recognize from earlier volumes of Shadowman published since Valiant’s relaunch in 2012 (that it was ten years ago is slightly blowing my mind, I won’t lie). Bunn pulls on threads that make the comic feel much more connected to the Valiant universe than we’ve seen in awhile as more than a few of the miniseries released could have existed in their own world. That Shadowman is bucking this trend with a story that, we’re told, will have huge implications for the publisher’s comics as a whole whilst still being a fantastic read for anybody who picks the comics up has me feeling really excited for what comes next.

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


Purchase: comiXology/Kindle – Zeus ComicsTFAW

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Until My Knuckles Bleed #1

Wednesdays (and Tuesdays) are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in

Each week our contributors choose what they can’t wait to read this week or just sounds interesting. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look at!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this week.

Baloney & Friends: Dream Big! (First Second) – The series is goofy fun that kids will love and parents can enjoy.

Batman: Knight #2 (DC Comics) – The first issue was interesting but not exciting. This though has us interested in seeing what’s next. Bruce has moved on from Gotham hanging out in Paris where he meets a burglar who shows him a thing or two.

Chronophage (Humanoids) – A single mother’s past is being rewritten and the mysterious man she met isn’t who he says he is.

Fictionauts #1 (Red 5 Comics) – A team must preserve the balance between reality and imagination which feels like that’s just open to a lot of potential fun.

G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero Saturday Morning Adventures #1 (IDW Publishing) – We have fond memories of watching G.I. Joe growing up and we’ll admit nostalgia has us excited to check out this series that picks up on the original cartoon.

Iron Fist #1 (Marvel) – New Iron Fist? We’re listening…

Lion & Eagle #1 (AfterShock) – Garth Ennis and P.J. Holden doing a war comic. Nuff said.

Maniac of New York: The Bronx is Burning #3 (AfterShock) – The series has been an amazing take on the slasher film genre grounding it in what it’d be like if it happened in our reality.

Mother Russia Winter Special (Comics Experience) – We remember this series from WAY back when and we’re always excited to see something new that takes war comics and delivers a zombie mix. Add in this is a silent issue and we’re excited to check it out.

The Princess Who Saved Her Friends (BOOM! Studios) – This graphic novel for kids is fantastic. As backers of the Kickstarter, we’ve had it for a while and that means a lot of repeat reads.

Putin’s Russia: The Rise of a Dictator (Drawn & Quarterly) – This one should be interesting to read to see how even handed it is and considering current news.

Quad #1 (Behemoth) – A solar storm has destroyed all technology and four generations later a mechnaic takes a job that’s a bit odd. It’s never really simple.

Shadowman #6 (Valiant) – The series has been consistently solid and the “Deadside War” feels like it’s going to be a major storyline for the Valiant Universe.

Until My Knuckles Bleed #1 (Behemoth) – We’re fans of Victor Santos and a series about a retired hero now a bouncer is an intriguing debut.

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