Review: Shadowman #3
Published by Valiant Entertainment
Written by Justin Jordan & Patrick Zircher
Art by Patrick Zircher
Coloured by Brian Reber
Mr. Twist is attacking Dox’s Safehouse and Jack is unable to morph into Shadowman because he doesn’t know how to do so yet. Dox holds Mr. Twist off while Jack and Alyssa make their escape into Deadside. Jack runs into a talking monkey named Jaunty who serves as his guide in Deadside. Meanwhile Dox is held hostage by Mr. Twist and Mr. Devereaux who find something useful on his body. Back in Deadside, Alyssa is getting by ghosts (that kind of resemble the Third Army) while Jack meets an unexpected ally. Jack is provided with a choice, save himself and return to the living or accept his legacy as Shadowman and rescue Alyssa. Alyssa is in bad shape, but fortunately, Shadowman shows up to save her. In the meantime, Mr. Twist and Darque discuss their plans, which now include Dox.
This issue may seem a bit slow, but I’m glad that Shadowman didn’t have a showdown with Mr. Twist yet (speaking of which I was glad to see him put Devereaux in his place). It’s already been established that he’s not nearly at full-power yet and he would most likely get wiped out by Mr. Twist. Then he would escape and then learn more about the power that he wields. Afterwards Shadowman would become more powerful and then successfully face off against Mr. Twist. With new heroes/characters this has been becoming a pretty typical formula so I’m glad that these two characters didn’t face off yet. The one thing that I really appreciate with this book thus far is how a good deal of the characters introduced thus far are ethnic minorities. I’ll probably touch on this more in the future. The scenes in Deadside were slow and surreal and I was glad that it was introduced early on in this series. Deadside was mentioned in the first issue and it helps to push the series forward by learning more about the mythology behind Shadowman. Alyssa is also a strong character. The odds are way against her in Deadside and yet she fought with everything she had. I always like reading good strong female characters that don’t immediately go into damsel in distress mode. Jack’s meeting in Deadside was well executed and the choice that spun out of it was a good scene. It’ll put a different spin on his character as he won’t be the reluctant hero so much and he showed that he has an inherently heroic nature by going back for Alyssa. The next issue is going to be really action-heavy so it’s good to see some series build-up before this happens as it’ll give the upcoming confrontation more substance. The art team killed it again this issue. Reber must be given a lot of credit for giving Deadside such a great look. The cover was excellent and the interiors were beautiful as always. Visually, Jack had more range this issue as did Alyssa. Well done. This doesn’t have anything to do with the story, but I was stoked to see the double page teaser for the upcoming Harbinger/Bloodshot crossover.
I’m not really that excited for the return of Master Darque. I assume he was a pretty big deal in the old series and he did have a brief, but important appearance in the first issue. I’m sure that he’ll become more of a character soon, but for now he just feels like the generic evil character for me. I’m not saying the character sucks I’m just not anticipating it as of yet.
Buy It, Borrow It, Shelf Read It, or Ignore It?
Buy It. This is another great series by Valiant. The story is paced very well, but the highlight of this book (for me at least) is the artistic team. This is the best looking monthly title out there. The characterization is good and the story pacing is very good. I hope that this title strays from creating traditional arcs and focuses upon great issue by issue stories. The only reason I’m mentioning this is because of the announcement of an all-new arc starting with the fifth issue. The arc format used by the Big Two generally drive me nuts, but I have faith that this series will continue to utilize its own formula to create great comics.