It’s a normal night in New Orleans and Jazz saxophonist Jack Boniface is playing his saxophone while admiring a beautiful woman who has become a regular to the jazz bar. After his set he flirts with her and she takes him home. There she drugs his drink and morphs into a vampire and bites him. Before she can kill him something frightens her off. He awakens the next evening weakened. Searching the house he finds multiple dead and decaying bodies in the attic. He flees but doesn’t call the police. That Night he returns to the bar and upon leaving finds a mysterious mask. He stumbles onto a murder in progress and puts on the mask to face the villain. Jack finds himself faster than normal and strangely driven by a desire to drive away evil. The villain flees with his unseen accomplice and Jack is seen by a female neighbor and vanishes into the darkness.
Art- David Lapham has great line work. Expressive eyes and faces and a knack for portraying the flow of battle, I am very impressed. The art is reason enough to own this issue
Mystery-We have little to no idea who Jack is besides his career, what was the creature that bit him? Is his new “hunger” for the night a by-product of the bite? Or something else? Is the mask just a simple costume piece or something else?
Villains- Ok Jack gets attacked by a vampire who has an attic full of dead bodies and later faces a cannibalistic serial killer? Dude this town is jacked up and in serious need of a superhero! These villains are pretty damn cool too for a first set of nemesis.
Cover- Good lord it’s awful, especially by modern standards. The cover has a washed out feel thanks in no small part because of all the light used. Something as simple as a darker cover would make the colors of the villain and hero pop and resulted in a eye catching cover. This has not aged well.
Rated R- Sorry, but regrettably this book is for older readers, mutilated bodies and vivid cannibalism that would be right at home in Hostel or Saw….from a 90’s comic? Yup, keep your kids away from this one guys!
A solid blast from the past, Shadowman doesn’t get nearly enough credit nowadays and it’s sad because here’s a superhero who broke conventions, he wasn’t a criminal, thug, or a black nerd. Jack Boniface Ladies and Gentlemen a unique Black Superhero who deserves love! 3/5