Comic Vine Review

26 Comments

Shadowman: End Times #1 Review

3

Jack Boniface's all-new mini-series explores his family's legacy with the Loa.

The Good

Valiant's Shadowman reboot has over a dozen issues, and if you've fallen behind (it's okay, I'm right there with you), there's an understandable amount of hesitation when it comes to jumping into an all-new mini-series about the character. However, if there's one thing writer Peter Milligan sets out to accomplish with this new issue, it's to make sure it's new reader friendly. Not only do we have one of Valiant's thorough recap pages, but the whole first chapter feelslike a first installment. Many of the pages are dedicated to reminding us who characters are, what has occurred, and, of course, the big premise for this series is saved for the very end. While Milligan takes the necessary steps to establish the supporting cast, this is first and foremost a character study of Jack Boniface and his relationship with the Loa. This issue doesn't do all that much to be particularly compelling -- perhaps because it has to address so many things -- but the final twist does have potential for an interesting direction.

A fair amount of artist Valentine De Landro and David Baron's coloring does a solid job establishing this book's unique world. Bold shades often spill throughout an entire panel, and the strong use of a specific color is a cool way of selling the tone of the scene. For example, the initial (and violent) twist is heavy with reds, but then blues begin to work their way in once the scene settles and cools down. Little touches like this really add more weight to these moments. De Landoro's characters are loaded with shading which, again, is a good style for the genre. Nothing here is "scary," but you can appreciate the effort that's made to embrace the book's horror-esque vibe.

The Bad

While I do enjoy a good amount of the artwork, a lot of the characters come off as especially rigid. Even when someone is getting struck or being knocked out a window, there's a lack of motion and force behind it. You can't help but feel like a lot of the moments are very static.

I'll be blunt: this is off to a pretty slow start. I don't mind slower pacing if it's done very well, but with this issue, it almost feels like Milligan plays it a little too safe by catering to new readers instead of also moving forward. And when we do finally get hit by a big development, it's countered by a line that came off as unnatural. It's almost like a villain shaking their fist and exclaiming, "I'll get you next time, hero! I swear it!"

The Verdict

When Valiant launches a premiere issue, expectations go up and understandably so. The publisher usually does an exceptional job grabbing my attention with its debut issues, but this one doesn't have quite the same amount of allure as the others do. Yes, it leaves me curious to see where it'll go next and it has mostly satisfying visuals, but heavy exposition and a slow set of developments prevent this one from truly pulling me into its fictional world. It's not a bad first chapter, but it doesn't pack the kind of punch we've come to expect from a first issue by Valiant, either.

26 Comments
Edited by CaptainMarvel4Ever

I have no idea how people have enough money to get obscure comics like this. I can barley afford to buy any Marvel books, let alone the stuff outside of DC and Marvel.

Looks cool though.

Posted by Extremis

Good review but I respectfully disagree. I enjoy good character work and Milligan delivers butt loads of it, something Jordan's run lacked IMO. The art isn't De La Torre, but it hits the right pitch for a horror book like this.

I also found that last line to be delightfully cheesy.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous
Posted by Fallschirmjager

Little too much exposition for someone who's read the entire series...but yeah. Its solid.

Posted by johnny_blaze

I will never understand your rating system. You gave ASM #1 five stars that was meh but you give Shadowman three stars? Valiant always knocks it out of the park. Come on smh.

Edited by k4tzm4n

@johnny_blaze said:

I will never understand your rating system. You gave ASM #1 five stars that was meh but you give Shadowman three stars? Valiant always knocks it out of the park. Come on smh.

This post is so full of wrong. I didn't give ASM #1 anything. Comic Vine isn't one person -- there's multiple reviewers and we don't all share the same opinion (also, it received 4 stars...). On top of that, Valiant has a damn good track record, but that hardly means an issue doesn't fail to impress every now and then (for the record, I've given Valiant countless 4s and even 5s, this is, I believe, my 2nd 3 star rating for one of their issues). So, "smh" right back at you.

@extremis said:

Good review but I respectfully disagree. I enjoy good character work and Milligan delivers butt loads of it, something Jordan's run lacked IMO. The art isn't De La Torre, but it hits the right pitch for a horror book like this.

I also found that last line to be delightfully cheesy.

I can understand that. I just hope the next chapter Milligan can focus on moving forward instead of playing catch-up for everyone, you know?

Ha.

@fallschirmjager said:

Little too much exposition for someone who's read the entire series...but yeah. Its solid.

Agreed, and I haven't even read all of the first volume!

Staff
Posted by CaptainMarvel4Ever

@captainmarvel4ever: because not everybody gets the big name Marvel and DC books

No, that's not the point I'm trying to make. I'm just wondering how everybody gets enough cash to buy so many comics. I can only afford like, 3 before I'm broke. I honestly don't know how people get enough money to buy this many comics, and then I wonder "If they have that much cash, then why are they spending that much on comics?"

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

@captainmarvel4ever: You said you didn't know how people could spend money on obscure comics, but some people only buy obscure comics. Also if you can't understand why someone would spend that much money on comics then your on the wrong website.

Posted by CaptainMarvel4Ever

@jonny_anonymous: I didn't mean it like that, what I meant was if you have that much cash wouldn't it make more sense to buy half as many comics, and spend the rest on something else/save it. I'm just trying to understand things better.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

@captainmarvel4ever: Save it for what? If you like comics then you're going to spend your money on comics.

Edited by CaptainMarvel4Ever

@jonny_anonymous: I meant like savings toward the bank. I guess lately I've been wondering if buying comics is morally correct. They cost a lot of money, and by memorizing so much from so many comics, I feel like I'm taking up brain space that may be put to better use. But at the same time I also know 1/3 of intelligence is made up of creativity, and comics open up a whole new world of fantasy and wonder, which could actually help us ascend our thoughts. It's all a lot to consider.

Also sorry to rope you into this, I've been more thinking aloud then conversing and I apologies. (I'm also sorry I'm using such odd words)

Posted by Billy Batson

@captainmarvel4ever:

Try buying them online. There are plenty of online retailers that sell comics cheaper.

BB

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

@captainmarvel4ever: Your over thinking it, just do what you enjoy and to hell with the rest.

Edited by CaptainMarvel4Ever
@jonny_anonymous said:

@captainmarvel4ever: Your over thinking it, just do what you enjoy and to hell with the rest.

Thinking that your over thinking something only leads to you creating your own problems, or worse, the problems of others.

Posted by Project_Worm

I have no idea how people have enough money to get obscure comics like this. I can barley afford to buy any Marvel books, let alone the stuff outside of DC and Marvel.

Looks cool though.

My friend only buys Valiant comics... So would it be impossible to believe other people buy stuff besides the Big Two?

Posted by CaptainMarvel4Ever

@project_worm: I feel like I'm heading for the exact conversation I had earlier to day on this page. Scroll up a bit and I think you'll see what I mean.

Posted by Project_Worm

@captainmarvel4ever: Heheh, fair enough, I guess what I meant is that just because your money is limited doesn't mean you have to go with the bigger names.

Edited by Ms-Lola

Okay, so I read this just now and as a brand spanking new reader of the character I can say I got the gist of this thing. There's only three books and I guess a lot has to be gotten across so I can forgive the extra wordage. I feel bad for Alyssa though. All that work and off he goes.

I'll get the rest of the series. I like the art and voodoo stuff is always interesting.

Posted by TimeLordScience

@jonny_anonymous: I meant like savings toward the bank. I guess lately I've been wondering if buying comics is morally correct. They cost a lot of money, and by memorizing so much from so many comics, I feel like I'm taking up brain space that may be put to better use. But at the same time I also know 1/3 of intelligence is made up of creativity, and comics open up a whole new world of fantasy and wonder, which could actually help us ascend our thoughts. It's all a lot to consider.

Also sorry to rope you into this, I've been more thinking aloud then conversing and I apologies. (I'm also sorry I'm using such odd words)

What in the world...

I only have one thing to say to that. Comics are art. Buying a comic is not a selfish act. You can read them online for free if you wanted to be selfish about it. Buying a comic is to support the artists and comic books as a medium.

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Posted by CaptainMarvel4Ever

@timelordscience: I mean morally correct because I could be putting that money into better things, like savings or charity. Not to mention reading them takes up brain space, which may be morally wrong as well.

Edited by TimeLordScience

@captainmarvel4ever: You wouldn't say buying a Shakespeare book and reading that is morally incorrect. There's no need to whip out a double standard.

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Posted by CaptainMarvel4Ever
Posted by TimeLordScience
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Posted by CaptainMarvel4Ever
Edited by TimeLordScience

@captainmarvel4ever: I'm trying to tell you that you wouldn't feel bad (an assumption, granted) about spending brain power reading a Shakespeare play, so why feel bad reading a good a comic.

Online
Edited by CaptainMarvel4Ever