Review: Shadowman #6 by Justin Jordan, Patrick Zircher, Lee Garbett, and Neil Edwards

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Review: Shadowman #6

Published by Valiant Entertainment

Written by Justin Jordan

Art by Patrick Zircher, Lee Garbett, and Neil Edwards

Coloured by Brian Reber and Guy Major

The Plot

Baron Samedi’s disciple is praying to him as both he and Darque watch him (this is the disciple who attacked the Brethren in the previous issue).  Darque and Baron Samedi decide to make an agreement as the latter manages to make his way back to Earth from Deadside.  Meanwhile in Central City, New Orleans, some people are making soma (good dreams strained from nightmares) by kidnapping and using kids to make them.  However, Shadowman is able to find them and he and Alyssa rescue the children despite Shadowman’s difficulty in restraining himself from killing them.  Over at Dox’s lab, Shan sneaks in to speak with him (she’s the lady from the last issue who can see dead people).  Dox is reluctant to speak to her much less help her, but she has some information (from some pretty reliable sources) about what is currently happening with Darque.  In the meantime, Alyssa and Jack go to the cemetery in order to try and get some closure with Alafair (his favorite waitress).  However, Baron Samedi approaches and after a fight and raising the dead he has a surprising revelation for them.

The Breakdown

The relationship between Baron Samedi and Master Darque actually put Darque over for me a little bit.  Baron Samedi doesn’t show him any respect or fear, but his revelation at the end does put that into question.  In fact I’m starting to look forward to the re-emergence of Darque because it’s going to have some interesting ramifications.  I was glad to see them interacting more in the real world in this issue.  I enjoy some of the Deadside sequences, but I’m glad to see his adventures aren’t restricted to it.  It’s kind of like Aquaman for me, I don’t mind the odd underwater adventure, but I prefer most of his stories to be told on the surface.  It was also interesting to see how Jack is affected when he is Shadowman, which was shown while confronting the kidnappers.  I’m also curious to see what he’ll be able to do when he has more practice at being Shadowman.  The scene with Shan and Dox was also good as her abilities did bring some interesting knowledge to the table.  Even though it wasn’t totally his fault, I liked how Jack was repentant about Alafair’s death.  Jordan brings out these moments in him that shows he’s very compassionate and I think that this nature will make him a better Shadowman.  With the character of Shan, I also enjoyed that they introduced another minority character into the book.  Aside from Dox, the characters are all minorities and this is great to see.  There’s no clichés and they are multidimensional characters.  Speaking of which, Alyssa is continuing to become one of my favorite characters.  She isn’t batting her eyelashes and sighing at Jack, she’s all business and she knows the bigger picture.  It’s just so refreshing to see a good strong female character.  The artwork was a shared duty this month, but it didn’t derail me as I thought it might.  Garbett is a chameleon, initially I had some trouble pinpointing his pages especially considering how different his work looked over in X-O Manowar.  I enjoy how he can maintain such a consistent look in whatever book that he’s on.  The colours were solid once again and I noticed that this could bring a consistent look with different artists.  Overall, this was another solid issue.

BUT…

I do prefer a fill-in artist for an entire issue rather than having it split up amongst different ones.  Last week it wasn’t as noticeable over in Harbinger when I was reading the digital copy, but I definitely noticed it more when I read it on print.  It wasn’t a major problem for me this week, but it is a preference overall.  This was more of a gripe last issue (but it did carry onto this issue), I didn’t like Alafair getting killed.  I thought she was going to be a long-term supporting character that had the ability to ground him.  Obviously I was wrong, but it seems like she had a dual role this issue so I’m going to see where that goes.

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

Buy It.  There have been some recent twists that have made me even more interested to see what’s going to happen in the upcoming months.  The story is moving along at a good pace and I enjoy the characterizations.  Good job to the creative team.

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