Tag Archives: Justin Jordan and Patrick Zircher

Shadowman (2012) #9 Review

Shadowman2012#9 (4)

The final showdown between Shadowman and Master Darque has finally arrived…but those that Jack Boniface holds dearest will be the ones who suffer the most brutal blows of all.

Trapped in the Deadside with his powers at an all-time low, Jack is about to suffer a devastating betrayal as Master Darque’s ultimate plan stands revealed. Now, with the Brethren on the verge of wiping out the last of the Abettors in New Orleans, and the Deadside threatening to explode into our world, Jack will have to call on everything he’s got to stop them…or lose it all trying.

The final battle foretold since issue #1 happens here…but there will be no victory, just survival, when Master Darque leaves his mark on Shadowman #9 – in stores August 7th!

 The Good

Cover- Black, grey and red are the dominant colors and all the shades in between them combine to make a very somber cover for this month’s Shadowman. Master Darque also gets the spotlight once more this time holding Shadoman’s sickle which drips with blood. Not very detailed but I like it. Shadowman2012#9 (1)

Action- The action scenes flowed well despite the inconsistency in art.

Villain- Ladies and gentlemen Master Darque the deep existential villain who I have fallen in love with is here in all his misguided glory. This issue Darque reveals his plan is not to conquer the world so much as gather enough power to remake the universe by deposing what he calls an evil “god”. I can see how he arrived at that definition of god when you consider that he and his sister were born just to be his father’s instruments of power.  I can see Darque questioning why a god who is supposed to be all good would allow that and countless other things to happen.  I like Darque!

Colors- Brian Reber is on color duty and he’s the star of the show. His colors bring life to the inconsistent art. Dazzling arcane magic, luminescent eyes etc it all looks damn good!

Black Hero- The New Jack Boniface saves the word and Alyssa is…..here.

The Bad

Inconsistency- This issue could have packed quite the emotional punch but didn’t, thanks in no small part to the weak a$$ artwork. Now don’t get me wrong the action was adequate but especially that last page didn’t have the desired effect because the art could not convey facial features and/or emotions at all.

Shadowman2012#9 (2)Superhero- Jack Boniface is cool but nine issues in who he is in the sea of all this supernatural hero stuff is just plain lost. This is not a book like Quantum and Woody the original Batwing or Ultimate Comics Spider-man where there are actual well fleshed out multidimensional human beings who happen to be thrown into extra ordinary situations with a side of superheroics thrown in for good measure. Shadowman has failed on the fundamental level of creating a connection between the reader and the hero. Shadowman #0 made me care more about Master Darque in one issue than I care about Jack in nine. This is something the writers will seriously need to deal with going forward. Its great to have a superhero book on the shelves but that connection that this book is missing is what keeps readers hook for months on end if not for a lifetime.

Supporting Cast- The death of Dox could have been handled allot better. Here is a character who serves the same role as Giles did to Buffy (And there are so many parallels to be drawn between Buff and the New Shadowman I might add) but the connection between Jack and Dox was never established making that death while heroic kind of hollow on the emotional front.

The Ugly

This issue is the climax of apparently everything since issue #1 problem is for me personally things have moved way too fast. Characterization was compressed or none existent and our villain turned out to be more likeable and relatable than our hero. Emotions were also hollow. Despite this however we got sweet action, glorious colors and still loads of potential. Here’s hoping this book gets better and not worst. 2.5/5

stars- 2.5


Shadowman (2012) #5 Review

 

Shadowman #5

Shadowman #5

ALL-NEW ARC! The coming of Master Darque is upon us. Jack Boniface has just been to Hell and back. After surviving the horrors of the Deadside, Jack is taking his new abilities to the limit and discovering more about the legacy of the Shadowman with each passing night. But what if he wasn’t the only thing that managed to escape back to Earth? Something dark has arrived in New Orleans, leaving death and madness in its black wake. What’s more, the city’s deadliest cartel assassin is after Jack, and he refuses to die – literally!

Summary

A worshipper of Baron Samedi assassinates members of the “Gatherers”. In a diner Alyssa and Jack evade an assassination attempt but a waitress is killed in the crossfire. Dr Mirage is introduced while Jack Boniface learns of the Shadowman line. In the deadside Master Darque proposes an alliance with Baron Samedi.


The Good

Cover- Nifty image of Master Darque with his pale white skin and eyes blaring at us while the tattoos on his skin and the glyphs of the background glow with eerie light; it stands out on the comic stand like few others this week!  The use of the color red must also be commended as it enhanced the overall package like you would never believe.

Black Hero-Jack Boniface and Alyssa are our dynamic duo thought the latter gets very little panel time this month.

Action- This issue opened with a huge bang as bodies are pumped full of lead and blood splashed across the floor. Good times!

Mystery- Who is this new villain and what is his connection to Baron Samedi? Who is Baron Samedi?

Interior Art- Patrick Zircher, Lee Garbett, Stefano Gaudiano and Roberto Delatorre combine to make this a stunning issue with a variety of styles.

Valiant- So the new Dr. Mirage made her debut this month, that’s apparently a big deal, so if you’re a fan, you’re in luck!

The Bad

Art- Having so many artists on one book may not be suitable for all readers since a few have radically different styles than the others.

Villain- I’m still waiting for this new rendition of Master Darque to fill me with the dread the original did. He’s supposed to be the great and terrible thing, but the shoe has not dropped just yet.

The Ugly

I like this book surely, it’s the only thing I’m reading from Valiant but it’s not quite where I know it could be and not as accessible or as thrilling as it should be. Overall though I must say it’s still one of the better books with a black lead on the shelves 3/5

stars- 3


Shadowman (2012) #4 Review

Shadowman #4

Shadowman #4

All hell breaks loose. Shadowman and the monstrous Mr. Twist battle to the death! Everything is at stake for Jack, Dox, and Alyssa – and for the world as they know it – because if Twist succeeds, then Master Darque will walk the earth once more.

The GoodShadowman #4 (4)

Cover- This month we get the depiction of Shadowman being attacked by denizens of the dead side on an orange, yellow and brown background. Honestly it looks awesome! The alternate cover with an eviscerated Mr. Twist is equally cool!

Action- The highpoint of the issue was the battle between Shadowman/Jack Boniface and Mr. Twist; bloody, eviscerating, macabre magical mayhem. This is the stuff memorable comics are made of.

Potential- Our two heroes Alyssa and Jack Boniface/Shadowman have what seems to be the hint of a potential relationship with the mutual attraction and saving of lives thing.

Villains- Some may not like how a secret cabal is controlling everything from behind the scenes but I loved it!  Since the first issue the big bad has been Darque but here we see the other villains and realize while they may not be as powerful as Darque, but they wield tremendous resources in: Politics, Shipbuilding, commercial fishing, Oil Refining and Petrochemicals. I can’t wait to see how they factor into the bigger picture.Shadowman #4 (6)

Art- This is the very best work Zircher has given us on this series so far! The action was fast paced and hectic yet the art kept up and delivered big time! The magic portals shine in their hues of blue and white. The well proportioned features of the human characters while the pulsating meat sack of Mr Twist and the howling hungry spirits trapped in dead side are all simply perfect; the arcane symbols in their tones of yellow and orange are also worthy of mention and note.

Black Heroes- We get Shadowman/Jack Boniface and Alyssa mistress of the blue flame. Not the book with the most black superheroes but one of the very best this month.

None Issue- Another thing I adore about this series it completely ignores the ethnicity of its hero and makes Jack as a result makes Shadowman (2012) less about being a black superhero book and just a straight up superhero book. I’m starting to see the appeal of writing a black superhero in an ethnicity neutral manner; it certainly broadens the potential appeal of said hero exponentially.

The Bad

Villain- I’m sorry but I’m still waiting for Zircher and Jordan to sell this “big bad” to me. I don’t see him as a palpable enough threat to warrant half the excitement Zircher and Jordan are expecting. They need to work on the threat level and revealing more about Darque and where he has been since his fight with Josiah Boniface before he will ever be taken seriously.

The Ugly

Finally a worthy pay off for all my investment since 2012. Shadowman (2013) #4 is a step in the right direction for a series just finding its legs but with still so much room to grow.  4/5 Stars

stars- 4


Shadowman (2012) #3 Review

Shadowman #3

Shadowman #3

Shadowman’s first clash with the minions of Master Darque is about to cross the border between worlds and spill into the terrifying way station between our reality and the next… Welcome to the uncanny dominion known as Deadside!

Trapped in the Deadside with no hope of rescue, Jack Boniface is on the run from the otherworldly horrors that dwell there. Meanwhile, his new friends and allies are at the mercy of Mr. Twist, whose plan to restore Master Darque is very nearly complete. But Jack is about to find help from some very strange and very unexpected sources… Could a light from Jack’s past could still be shining in the depths of the Deadside’s darkness?

 

Summary

Mr. Twist is destroying Dox’s mansion as he tries to kill Jack Boniface. Lucky for Jack, Alyssa manages to take him to the dark side while Doz stays behind to give them time to escape.

In dead side Jack and Alyssa are separated. Jack is taken to face an echo of his father as shadowman who gives him a choice of remaining free of the Shadow Loa and returning home to a normal life, resulting In Alyssa’s certain death. Jack chooses to embrace his destiny as Shadowman to save Alyssa.

Back in the real world Mr. Twist informs master Darque that Dox may hold the key in opening a door from earth to Dead side setting him free to destroy the world.

The Good

Cover- Alyssa and Jack take center stage on this one ladies and gents while Mr. Twist, the denizens of dark Side are relegated to background status. The Colors by Brian Reber are near perfect on Alyssa’s milk chocolate skin tone.

Shadowman Legacy- I’m very interested in seeing more of the other Shadowmen before Jack and Josiah. There is so much potential for the stories that could be told there it’s not funny.Shadowman#3 (7)

Fan Service- Deadside making a huge comeback is a huge nod to those who played, owned or know of the acclaim era of Shadowman. Mike Leroi I still remember you my brutha!

Black Heroes- This issue we have Josiah Boniface/Shadowman, Jack Boniface/Shadowman and Alyssa mistress of the cold flame. Good times ahead if this book manages to remain going for years to come, so much can be done with this band.

Tension- This issue had a pervading sense of heightened tension as Jack and Alyssa fled from Twist and then Jack raced to save Alyssa in deadside. Kudos on ramping things up Justin Jordan and Patrick Zircher!

Art- For the most part Patrick Zircher’s art is visually pleasing especially in action heavy scenes and when rendering any of the Shadowmen.

The Bad

Inconsistency- The art looks good at first glance but fails to impress when placed under a microscope. Page thirteen is a prime example. Dox is pinned on an X shaped cross, his head is painstakingly detailed and colored then as you look at his chest and legs it becomes less detailed and almost blends into the background. Shadowman#3 (2)Minor nitpick considering this book is arguably one of the best looking “Indy” books outside of DC and Marvel but this lack of consistency constantly holds them back from being in the same bracket as their mainstream counterparts.

Master Darque- Sorry guys but you’ve not sold this villain just yet. Sure Mr. Twist is scary and all but it doesn’t fill me with dread thinking of his master being free from “prison” in deadside. Perhaps they should take a gander at Buffy Season 5 at how Joss made Glory a god trapped in a human prison seem like a world ending threat without us ever witnessing said power. Darque just doesn’t have the same effect, and I’m saying that having read (and own) the entire Shadowman run (Original, Acclaim) and this and having witnessed the power of the original master Darque (I wonder if his sister will show up in this new series?) New readers must be wondering what’s the big deal?   Zircher and Jordan need to sell me the threat to add tension for this eventual escape. Right now I’m not feeling it at all!

The Ugly

Still a way off from must buy status but Shadowman continues to radiate the dark places of the Valiant Universe! 3.5/5

stars- 3.5


Shadowman (2012) #2 Review

SHADOWMAN #2 (1)

Shadowman #2 by Patrick Zircher and Justin Jordan

Shadowman’s first night on the job may just be his last. Jack Boniface has become the next Shadowman, which would be great if he had any idea what he was doing. But he doesn’t and he’s out of time. Master Darque has dispatched the terrifying Mr. Twist to destroy Jack and the demonic creature is tearing through half of the Big Easy in search of his prey. If the Abettors – the mysterious organization that’s spent hundreds of years protecting New Orleans – can reach Jack first, he’s got an outside shot at making it through the night. Find out if he’ll live to see tomorrow when the return of the legendary Shadowman continues this December!

 

Summary

Jack Boniface now possessed by the Shadow Loa (Spirit) faces off with the demon possessed police of last issue now joined by Dox and Alyssa. They defeat the officers and capture one of the creatures while another escapes back to Mr Twist. The next morning Alyssa seeks out Jack for his own protection and takes him back to Dox.  Here they examine the captured creature and Mr. Twist teleports right in.

The Good

Magic- The opening sequence narrated by Dox gives us a bit of insight into how magic works or will work in the series

Art-Patrick Zircher’s art shines at least for the majority of the issue.

Jack Boniface- It was cool getting a brief glimpse into the mind and past of our hero.

SHADOWMAN #2 (5)Cover-A mighty fine illustration of Shadowman literally tearing through the demon possessed police of last issue (and this one). The colors are a bit subdued but match the tone of the book itself. The other cover is mostly black with a noir like vibe and a hint of green. I actually prefer this version to the standard.

Black Heroes- Since January 2013 is about Black Superwomen I can easily say Alyssa is a fine addition to the ranks. Hopefully she won’t die soon…or ever!  And it’s pretty cool Jack Boniface is not only back but staring in his own ongoing series again. How cool is that? Tres Cool!

Action- Fights, blood, bullets yup this one had a nice bit of action to compliment the story elements.

Villain- Master Darque seems like a really nasty piece of work. Last issue we saw him (in the past) use Jack’s father Josiah to cross over to the Darkside. Now we realize he has survived the “should have been fatal” injury to the chest. In this new world he has learned ancient and terrible magic from the demonic natives and now plans to return to the real world with said power to reign down death and destruction on creation itself. To this end he has created Mr. Twist and set him to the task from the outside of Darkside.

Digital exclusives- The all ink digital exclusive content was heaven sent since I’m such a huge fan of the no colors vibe! These babies are simply gorgeous and even better than the colored pages!

The Bad

Art- There is a certain unevenness to the panels and pages in this issue. Not everything has the same level of detail or polish giving the book, at least a few sections a rushed feel.

The Ugly

I’m intrigued by the dark and somber world that Patrick Zircher and Justin Jordan are creating. Shadowman is a recommended book with a good balance of action, characterization, great art and loads of potential!  3.5/5

stars- 3.5


Valiant Comic’s Shadowman: The New Design

There have been a number of designs for the new Shadowman or those who have held the mantle over the years. Now that Valiant has provided us a detailed sketch of the redesign we believe it’s time to revisit the looks of old before we dive into the new and improved digs for 2012.

Blue boy

First up was the original costume. A Pure blue body suit- it covered Jack Boniface from neck to toes for complete identity protection. Old Jacky even pulled his hair back into a ponytail for a very conventional superhero look with the Shadowman symbol em-blazed on the chest. Unfortunately for Jack this suit had no other benefits as it caught flame, got torn etc on numerous occasions. Eventually Jack moved on from the “superhero” motif and took on a more practical look.

The Shadowman

The Dirty Biker Look. What can be said about wearing civies before Luke Cage made it popular? Classic! This is how I remember Jack Boniface. Leather Jacket, black shirt with the Shadowman emblem and his hair just everywhere. By the time Jack took to wearing this one he had grown pretty confident in his abilities and knew the limitations of his powers. Again the suit offered no additional protection and he occasional wore this one with and without the jacket. Still my favorite Jack Boniface look!

Zombie Assasin look

When Acclaim took over Mike Leroi became shadowman and he also had two distinctive looks. The first was this “Zombie assassin” duds. The mask of shadows was literally affixed to his chest by way of magic in a grim and horror movie kinda way. Mike often wore his shades and simply a pair of jeans. Nothing fancy just work clothes. This is still to this day the most popular shadowman look thanks to the videogames, but not one of my favorites.

Michael Leroi-Shadowman

The Shadowmask look was very striking and my favorite Mike Leroi look though it never got the airplay that any other costume on our list has. This one came about after he was “freed’ from the mask that was attached to his chest. He still maintained a connection to the mask of shadows and was virtually immortal at the time. This one was still the pair of jeans but added gauntlets, tattoos and the shadowmask for a very striking visual that I’m hoping will show up in this new series somewhere (toes and fingers crossed)

That brings us to the re-imagined Jack Boniface and his new all black all business costume. Gone is the Mask of Shadows of yore in it’s place is a Dr. Voodoo inspired white skull face paint, a padded bodysuit that covers right up to the neck, pouches for an assortment of gadgets and weapons reminiscent of Batman’s utility belt and my favorite new toy, the collapseable Sengese Blade. Now this bad boy I can’t wait to see in action!  Baton, Blade and battlestaff modes already have my fanboy heart racing at the possibilities. Hands down this is the most practical approach to fighting demons and criminals of the bunch. I love it!

Expect more as it breaks as we gear up for the November return of Shadowman from Valiant Comics!


Shadowman #1 Preview

The next epic expansion of the Valiant Universe starts this November in a new ongoing series by comics superstar Patrick Zircher (Captain America, Thor: Ages of Thunder) and Harvey Award nominee Justin Jordan (The Strange Talent of Luther Strode, Team 7)!

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!

Story by: Justin Jordan, Patrick Zircher
Art by: Patrick Zircher
Cover by: Patrick Zircher, Dave Johnson, Bill Sienkiewicz
Publisher: Valiant Entertainment
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: Wed, November 7th, 2012
[Source: CBR]

Shadowman #1- The Sketches

As we gear up for the return of Shadowman no doubt more than a few of you have been wondering who are Patrick Zircher and Justin Jordan? Tonight we shed some light on Patrick Zircher a man who’s talent you can’t hep but take notice off. I’m also including his gorgeous art in it’s plain ink format so you can gush over what will no doubt  be a damn fine looking book come November!

Patrick Zirker is an industry veteran in the art word working on an assortment of titles for quite a while now. Titles include: Cable & Deadpool, Thunderbolts (the original series), The New Warriors (Original series), Star Trek: Early Voyages, Nightwing (Original series), The Green Hornet, Iron Man, Hulk, Terror Inc., Vampirella, The Immortal Iron Fist, Black Panther (The Priest run), Spiderman Noir and Black Panther: Man Without Fear. Don’t you worry BH fans the art department is in good hands!


Patrick Zircher talks “Shining Light” on Shadowman

Courtesy of MTV Geek

Geek: Of all of the early Valiant heroes, in spite of the supernatural elements around him, Jack was still a very street level kind of character. To what extent will the new Shadowman embody that?

Zircher: Less street. Even in his appearance we’ve moved away from a leather jacket for a costume. Fantastic things happen to Jack, crazy, powerful forces come into play.

Geek: Jack Boniface was also a really idiosyncratic character at the time–a jazz saxophonist who really would have rather not bothered with the whole dark vigilante thing. Are you looking to bring back some of that ambivalence to the character?

Zircher: Not quite. In the classic series, it took Jack a long time to get the head of steam that made him feel being Shadowman mattered to him. Becoming Shadowman changes Jack’s life. He can’t ignore it.

New Shadowman

Geek: Tell us about your take on Jack Boniface.

Zircher: Jack Boniface is the foundation for the series, our hero. But becoming Shadowman changes everything for him. Not unlike getting bit by a radioactive spider.

Geek: Could you talk about the new design of the character? What were some of the things you guys wanted to hold over from the original look?

Zircher: We wanted to get closer to the early look without losing a menacing, macabre feel; that, and a guy who punches monsters in the mouth ought to have decent fighting togs.

Read the Whole Interview below.

[Source: MTVGEEK]


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