Shadowman (2012) #1 Review

Shadowman#1 cover
Shadowman #1 by Patrick Zircher and Justin Jordan

There’s a million dreams in the Big Easy. But now its worst nightmare is about to come true. As the forces of darkness prepare to claim New Orleans as their own, Jack Boniface must embrace the legacy he was born to uphold. As Shadowman, Jack is about to become the only thing that stands between his city and an army of unspeakable monstrosities from beyond the night. But is the mantle of Shadowman a blessing or a curse? And what is the true cost of his otherworldly power? The rebirth of a Valiant icon starts right here, when Shadowman strikes this November!


Shadowman#1 2Twenty years ago Shadowman/Josiah Boniface seemingly dies while saving the world from master Darque. In the present Josiah’s son Jack Boniface works at a local museum in New Orleans. Here he learns about his parents criminal past and discards a medallion passed down from them to him. Without the medallion he is sensed by both good and evil magic users in the area.

Elsewhere a demon called Mr. Twist stages a massacre and takes control of two police officers who then seek out Jack. The demons try to kill him but he manifests the Shadowman powers both saving and changing his life irrevocably!

The Good

Shadowman#1 5Cover- That is one very gorgeous cover! Strong line work mixed in with bod inc and bright colors.

Grotesque- Oh my god that massacre was gruesome and the monster created from the flesh and parts? Damn! that thing “Mr. Twist” is a vile revolting thing that would be right at home in Resident evil. I like it! Kudos on the design!

Art-Patrick Zircher is on art duty and everything is very visually pleasing, well proportioned  people and grotesque monsters make this a very good looking package.

Costume design- As I mentioned previously when I talked about the old costumes in the lead up to the series premier I love the more practical approach that this new costume injects into the shadowman lore. Pouches and a belt akin to Batman’s utility, all black helps him to blend into the shadows etc. I really dig the redesign! Honestly it’s already my favorite Shadowman costume in the history of the character.

Continuity- The old is new again is all I can say as I turn each page in this book. Jack Boniface (Original) has become Jack Boniface (New), his once dead father Josiah has become his predecessor in the shadowman line and he also got a well needed makeover!  Oh and did old readers see that Deadside is back in circulation and the original Shadowman mask was hanging on the museum wall? Frickin sweet!  My Shadowman fanboy is very well fed indeed!

Shadowman- Ok so a big part of the new mythology is that Shadowman is the host for this ethereal shadow being with whom it shares a symbiotic bond. Also a huge fan of the listing of Jack Boniface’s ancestry, Maxim St. James is now one of his ancestors! God I’m in love with Shadowman all over again.

The Bad

Jack Boniface- I may just be me but I didn’t feel a connection with this new Jack the way I connected with the original Jack in the very first issue.  It could be the fact that I’m now older than I was with the original and what I demand from my protagonist but there was a clear disconnect between me and Jack.

Ongoing– I know this is the new standard set by Bendis back when he launched Ultimate Spider-man but that last page made me cringe that it was all over….but wait a minute is that good or bad that I was enjoying it so much I hated that it wasn’t a self contained issue instead of ongoing? Hmmmm

The Ugly

This is an instant classic! For fans of the original series this is a welcome relaunch. For new valiant fans or new readers in general this is an solid enough investment with great art and a cool introduction to both the setting, titular character, villain and mythology! A must read for Black Superhero fans! 3/5

stars- 3


I'm a Caribbean born Lecturer, Multidisciplinary specialist/Androgogue/Philosophical Pedagogue; with backgrounds in Philosophy, Social Studies and Geography; founder/CEO of World of Black Heroes, freelance writer and all around comic book geek. I enjoy a good book, video games, movies and most of all fatherhood. Written credits include work for where my writing inspired the music compiliation "Kindah" available in multiple languages on Itunes, The Caribbean Journal of Education, The University of the west indies, Comicvine, Independent comics etc.

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