If last issue of Shadowman was a tense build up to war, this issue is a mixture of medieval court intrigue and political thriller, which is a welcome change of pace for the superhero horror title.
That’s not to say that what Andy Diggle, Renato Guedes, Eric Battle, Ulises Arreola, & Simon Bowland isn’t a horror story. However, by twisting and turning the formula a bit, the story thrives and flies.
[**Minor spoilers ahead!]
Jack and Alyssa have arrived at the home of Sandria Darque, the sister of Jack’s greatest enemy. They find a civil and welcoming court. However, there are threats around every corner that may cost our heroes their lives…
Diggle’s script is full of thrilling twists and turns that would be welcome in the some of the best spy stories, with a lot of it reminding me of a cold war thriller. However, he never loses sight of the horror roots of Shadowman, with a few truly scary twists, and some unnerving interactions with Mistress Darque’s followers and courtesans. It’s a fun ride of a story.
The art is top notch. Guedes and Battle split chores, with Guedes taking the real world, and Battle depicting some of the realms of magic present in the story. Guedes continues to give us great painted work, with a lot of tension and dread. Battle’s pages are simply scary, with one particular reveal absolutely shocking me.
Arreola’s colors fill the story with so much atmosphere. The issue hinges on the mood and without Arreola’s colors I don’t think it would be nearly as successful.
Shadowman continues to be the best title in Valiant’s staple, and is worth it month after month.
Shadowman #9 is available now from Valiant Comics.