Review – Shadowman #1
Written by Cullen Bunn
Art by Jon Davis-Hunt
Colours by Jordie Bellaire
Letters by Clayton Cowles
Cover A by Jon Davis-Hunt
Cover B by Rod Reis
Cover C horror movie homage variant by Dave Johnson
Pre-order variant cover by Tony Moore
1:250 variant cover by Jeff Dekal
Let’s jump into our preview of the Valiant Comics new title Shadowman #1! The masters of comic horror Cullen Bunn and Jon Davis-Hunt present a terrifying tale that is unlike anything else you will read in 2021 Jack Boniface, aka Shadowman. Boniface is linked to his family’s Shadow Loa, a voodoo spirit that endows him with immense powers and gifts. working with the Voodoo god Baron Samedi to keep the worlds of the dead separate from ours.
Boniface first appeared in Valiant’s X-O Manowar 4 back in May 1992. Within a year of getting his own title, this contender was punching above some of the heavyweights from Marvel and DC with over 80 issues selling over 5 million copies worldwide.
The issue starts in New Orleans with a fast-paced fight between Shadowman and a monster from the Deadside, that’s been killing people for a week. As they fight you can see sliced up bodies floating in tubes wearing masquerade masks. The monster is dispatched but as it dies it begs for Boniface’s help to “Find her! Help her” she is not ready for the horrors of this world”
Baron Samedi pop’s up and takes Shadowman to a mansion on the outskirts of the city where a wealthy widow is holding a closed-door masked ball. As rich party guests cavort in an “Eyes Wide Shut” style upstairs we quickly find out that downstairs Elsbeth Martinique is hosting a ritual to break the veil between the Deadside and earth. I’ll stop the story there to make sure you get this one ordered as it will sell out!
There’s enough happening in this issue to keep you intrigued. The character of Samedi seems to be a trickster, possibly playing both sides against each other and I can’t wait till May to see what happens in issue 2. The writing draws the reader in with minimal overlong speech bubbles instead focussing your eye on the dark images on the panels.
The premier issue keeps the characters tight with only two key characters introduced. For new readers to this character, this will help them get to know the character before introducing wider arcs. I won’t say much more without spoiling the issue! But who is the ghostly woman with black eyes following our hero?
Davis-Hunt’s visceral style of blood and gore shows why he was chosen for this story. The blood and viscera ooze from the panels and the attention really stands out for the Horror Comic genre! The tone is dark, keeping with the 90s origin of the comic and is not suitable for younger readers.
Without giving much away I also loved the ritual scene it reminded me of the first issue from 2000AD’s 1990s series Zenith so that’s no bad thing.
BGCP Sneak Peak
The BGCP team have early access to share the first four pages of Shadowman and they are stunning with hints of Sandman, Constantine and Hellboy mixed in. The limited print covers will surely start to become a collector favourite with the Tony Moore version my personal favourite!
If you want to order this please contact your local comic book store and ask if they can get you one of the variants, but do it quickly as they are expected to run out by early April!
There is also a 4K remastered version of the classic Shadowman game due for release in April from Nightdrive studios on GOG, Steam and EPIC.
If you enjoyed our Review of Shadowman #1 then let us know in the comments.
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