I’m actually a fan of holiday themed issues here and there in the comic world; obviously if you hit up every holiday I’ll take a pass, but otherwise I actually enjoy it since it reflects our own world in that way. I’m glad to see that comics have focused in on Halloween as of late since the genre lends itself to the holiday so well and with that we have the first ever Halloween edition of Shadowman… totally want that mask cover! With the departure of Justin Jordan on the last issue and the fact that this is a themed issue with a one-time creative team, it’s hard not to call this issue what it is… filler. Now that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s just not the high quality we’ve come to expect from Shadowman.
The story is simple; Jack is back in the land of the living and basically has nothing. He heads to his apartment for a shower and finds out that he’s been evicted. I paused at this scene because it seemed a bit too much like Peter Parker’s life than Jack Boniface’s; that and the events of the past issues seemed to happen in a relatively short span of time so I don’t know why he’s be locked out already. At this point we’ve already meet some “Brahs” that are on the party wagon. Jack sees some Djab spirit creatures and decides to stop them since all they do is cause trouble. They possess two of the three Brahs and begin dicking around. Eventually Dr. Mirage gets involved and you can pretty much guess the rest.
For me there was too much time spent with the Brah’s and establishing that they are drunken dickheads. I got it on the first page and was satisfied with their introduction. They’re mayhem was cut very short because of this and basically Mirage swoops in and saves the day in nothing flat. I really think there was a missed opportunity to establish more of a connection between Shadowman and Mirage, but it was over as quickly as it began.
The art is decent; parts of it I really liked and other parts not so much. The Djab looked like big insecty creatures and there was nothing too inspired about their design. Shadowman on the other hand looked really cool especially his eyes that were all-white, but still looked like normal eyeballs. It’s hard to explain, but there was detail to them rather than the solid white “comic book” look that they usually have. There was a huge splash page of the parade, but rather than looking like a party it was lifeless and void of personality. The people in the parade were all lined up in perfect rows which didn’t scream New Orleans to me. Like the story it had its ups and downs.
For an issue that’s supposed to be a bump and a skip before the next creative team takes over, it did its job. It also toned down the drama and intensity of the series which is something I think it needed after the last eleven issues (I’m counting the zero issue). If you’re a fan of the series than it’s worth checking out and sticking with until the next issue, but if you are a new reader I don’t think this represents what Shadowman is all about at its core, this was more surface level. I would check back on the next issue since it’s going to be very different in style and theme.
Writer: Jim Zub Artist: Miguel Sepulveda Publisher: Valiant Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 10/2/13