Tuesday, July 2, 2013

1st Impression: SHADOWMAN # 8 Review

Written by Justin Jordon
Art by Roberto Del La Torre, Neil Edwards, Lewis LaRosa, Matt Ryan & Brian Reber
Valiant Comics

                We open with souls in the Deadside being devoured by a soul being devoured by a group of Eaters while another soul, a little girl with a rabbit, hides from them thanks to Jaunty.  Master Darque ends up explaining  to a trapped Dox what he does with the souls … turning them to Eaters. 

                Back on Earth, Shadowman, Alyssa & Baron Samedi talk over whether or not to go to the Deadside to save Dox.  Baron Samedi says that going to the Deadside is NOT and option but after a quick flashback of Jack bonding with Dox; Jack decides that whether he likes it or not, Baron Samedi and him are going to the Deadside to save Dox and fight Master Darque.

                When they arrive, they figure out that Darque had created a pillar of souls for energy to cross over to the living world. Shadowman and Baron Samedi decide to fight Master Darque head on. Meanwhile, Darque gloats to Dox about his victory as Jack appears .. . only to fall to Darque’s trap.


                The art in this issue was pretty good. The art between De La Torre, Edwards & LaRosa are fairly similar enough that it does not distract from the flow of the story … unlike in previous issues. Their dark pencils work really well. Particularly, De La Torre’s pencils really have a nice grip on the darkness of the book. The horror aspects are well rendered with Reber’s wonderful darker tones and shadows with all the greys.

                The people looked distinct and the opening scenes with the girl and the rabbit were very well rendered and gripping. While some of the art on Earth was pretty good, a couple panels seemed a bit lighter than others. I am not sure if it was due to pencils, inks or colors. Still, the backgrounds in the issue were okay. The Deadside is dark but got a bit more expansive this issue.  Overall, this was fairly good art this issue.


                Jordon does a good job this issue in terms of pacing, dialogue and emotional moments.  While I really did like Jack saying he wants to save Dox cause he’s like family … I do wish we had seen more of it before this issue between Dox and Jack. We saw it between Alyssa and Jack before but not Dox and Jack. That definitely hurt the emotion of what Jordon was doing but still, it was pulled off well in execution.

                The way Darque plans to break though was actually very smartly written. And I really enjoyed the dialogue between Dox and Darque. There is almost some kind of respect between Darque and Dox.  Jack is continuing to really get a hang of his responsibilities as Shadowman and the power at his command. His approach to getting Baron Samedi’s help was definitely great development of his character.  Overall, there was some good emotional moments but some of the weight missing. Otherwise, Jordon does a good job.


                While there is a lack of precedence between Dox & Jack, the emotional power of Jack wanting to save him still shined through. The issue was paced well. The art was getting better. There is still room for improvement.  Yet, This book is doing better again.


                I give Shadowman # 8 an  8 out of 10.

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