Tag Archives: Patrick Zircher and Justin Jordan

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) #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


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!

Summary

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


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