Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Shadowman: End Times Issue 1 Review


Review By
Patrick Scattergood

Written By
Peter Milligan

Art By
Valentine De Landro
Livesay
David Baron

Lettering By
Dave Lanphear

Cover By
Giuseppe Camuncoli
Jeff Dekal
David Mack

Published By
Valiant

Genre
Horror, Action

Synopsis

Jack never knew his father.  But the orphan was possessed by the same wicked loa - an exile from the voodoo pantheon - that has bonded with generations of his ancestors.  Jack inherited his father's legacy of the night...and became the Shadowman.

Although the loa grants its hosts tremendous power for good, it charges an evil price, and corrupts a mans soul.

Virtually no one could help Jack control the loa.  Not the Abettors, a magical order sworn to train and aid the Shadowman, who tried to kill Jack for being dangerously unfit for the job.  And not Punk Mambo, a charismatic voodoo priestess raised in posh UK boarding schools on a steady diet of Sid Vicious.  But Alyssa could.  The junior Abettor who helped train Jack fell in love with him, and together their love calmed Jack's inner turmoil, and allowed him to tame the loa's struggle to break him.

For now...

Review

The 'Shadowman' stories that Valiant have been putting out recently have had a steady flow of quality twists and turns throughout the series.

This three part mini series focuses in on another part of that work with Jack as the Shadowman.  I must admit that when I read that there would be a three issue story, I wasn't sure how it would match up to the actual series itself.  

Knowing that this is Valiant, I need not have worried in the slightest.  The methodical pacing of this, the first issue of the three, really works to it's advantage.  You get the back story, you get to know the characters and it does a brilliant job of building the tension up to the revelation at the end of the issue.  With the flow here so spot on, Peter Milligan has done a fantastic job of making a first issue that not only grabs you in from the very beginning but also makes you want to grab issue two as soon as you possibly can.

Art wise, what we have here really helps to accentuate the feeling of dread and general creepiness that the writing creates.  It made me think of the old horror movies that I grew up watching in the evenings.  The panel work really flows to such a degree that you really can't take your eyes off the art.  The gothic nature of the art really does a stand up job of giving the characters multiple layers that the writing had set in motion.  If the art is going to stay at this level then I will definitely be picking up the other issues of this story.

If you have been reading the 'Shadowman' series thus far, then you are going to be very impressed with this spin off.  They keep the atmosphere and the creepiness of the series as well as giving the readers some new information about the popular title as well as being easy for the new fans to get in to.  The best thing about this release is that even if you haven't read any of the other series, you will still be instantly gripped in.

Well worth picking up.

Story 8/10
Art 8/10
Cover 9/10
Recommended 8/10

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