Review: Shadowman #2 by Justin Jordan & Patrick Zircher (Valiant)
by Joe Smith on December 9, 2012

Review:  Shadowman #2

Published by Valiant Entertainment

Written by Justin Jordan and Patrick Zircher

Art by Patrick Zircher

Coloured by Brian Reber

The Plot

Shadowman is facing off against the two possessed officers that shot him (Jack) in the previous issue with some assistance from Dox and Alyssa.  Dox also provides an interesting explanation about magic and its uses.  Shadowman is able to determine where the source of the monster is, but is unable to stop it.  Dox also makes a similar discovery, but has more success in detaining it.  Over at Lorenzo Veroni’s Made to Order Suits, Mr. Twist is getting an outfit together while debating current events with Mr. Devereaux.  Mr. Twist explains what he must do in order to gain more power just as one of his creatures returns to him (from just fighting Shadowman).  Jack has a nightmare and wakes up to find that everything is seemingly back to normal.  In Lyceum, Darque is planning on making his move, which goes as far back as the beginning of the first issue (20 years).  He also communicates a plan with Mr. Twist.  Alyssa seeks out Jack and utilizes some creative means to get him to accompany her to Dox’s house.  Dox tries to tell Jack everything he needs to know, but is interrupted in an untimely manner.

The Breakdown

Damn this was another fine looking issue.  Zircher put another great artistic issue, which was the highlight of this comic.  Some scenes were especially impressive such as the nightmare sequence.  It was surreal and haunting and a strong assist goes out to Reber with some of these sequences as well.  Shadowman handled himself quite well in this issue despite being very under-powered, which makes me anxious to see what all he can do.  There is a lot of exposition in this issue, but it didn’t feel like it while reading it.  There was a good balance throughout the issue, which helped to pack in a lot of subplots and ideas.  Alyssa became more interesting this issue as well and I want to see more of the dynamics between her and Jack.  I really enjoyed Dox’s explanation about magic because it did help to simplify it.  Magic is one of those things where the rules and whatnot differ from writer to writer so I appreciated the explanation.  Jack got some good screen time and the supporting cast got some time to grow as well.  The cliffhanger made me say “Damn you Jordan and Zircher and screw the horses you rode in on,” because I want to see what happens right now (I actually only said “damn,” I just added the other stuff to make it sound more dramatic).  With the cliffhanger I am glad to see that this comic isn’t doing any decompressed storytelling and is getting right into things.  Another solid installment by Valiant.

BUT…

There are a lot of questions that I still have moving forward, but I’m confident that they’ll be answered in good time so it’s not even a criticism for me at this point.  Okay, this is going to sound really nitpicky and perhaps even weird, but there was one problem that I had with this comic.  The ink on the book (or the paper) smelled kind of weird.  It kind of grabbed my attention away early on because it was so strong.  This didn’t detract from the issue overall as I noticed it less after a couple of minutes.  It wasn’t there in the first issue so perhaps it’s just an isolated thing.

Buy It, Borrow It, Shelf Read It, or Ignore It?

Buy It.  However, I wouldn’t recommend this title for younger audiences as there is some graphic violence and the content is really dark.  I am simply amazed at the creative teams that Valiant has put together for each title.  Jordan, Zircher, and Reber look like an all-star team and they make Shadowman feel like an event in itself.  It’s only the second issue and I’m already committed for the long haul and it’s officially on my pull-list.



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