Advance Review: ‘Shadowman’ #1 Is A Dark And Terrifying Return

by Tony Thornley

After over a year away from the spotlight, one of Valiant Entertainment’s top heroes returns. The character has taken a backseat for a while, and now Jack Boniface returns in Shadowman #1!

This new volume is a big part of Valiant’s soft relaunch, along with the already in progress X-O Manowar, and the upcoming Ninjak and Harbinger. All four titles show promise, with big names in superheroes giving each character a new spin. For Shadowman it’s horror masters Cullen Bunn and Jon Davis-Hunt, alongside two of the best in the business, color artist Jordie Bellaire and letterer Clayton Cowles.

Monsters are beginning to cross from the Deadside into our world. Jack Boniface is the only thing that stands between them and the citizens of Earth. However, he quickly begins to realize that things may not be as they seem. The Deadside might need protection from invaders from Earth!

Right off the bat, this is one of the most visually striking comics to come out in the past year. Hunt’s eye for horror is incredible, and he puts it all on the page, from the unsettling monsters, haunting supernatural beings, to Jack himself, with Bellaire bringing it to surreal life with her color art. Shadowman isn’t a superheroic figure here, which is an interesting visual choice. His ragged appearance, as well the new design of his scythe, creates a distinct visual for this volume of the series.

Otherwise, this is an interesting new set-up for the character. While Bunn grounds the story in Shadowman’s classic voodoo-magic roots, the broader set-up feels bigger. It calls back to the first relaunched story arc of the franchise. This isn’t a small supernatural book. This is a story of a sinister and horrifying threat to our world.

Jack Boniface’s trials are just beginning. It’s shaping up to be a fun read.

Shadowman #1 is available April 28th from Valiant Entertainment.

Overview

The issue provides an interesting set-up, a terrifying problem, and a great starting point for new readers. It captures the spirit of the franchise, but also blazes its own trail. This is the start of the Valiant universe’s new era, and I’m excited to see where it goes next.

Overall
8/10
8/10
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