Shadowman #13 (Valiant)


Rating: 4.5/5 – Everything you thought you knew has changed…for the better.

The new creative team, writer Peter Milligan and artist Roberto de la Torre, have taken everything and turned it upside-down and sideways with issue #13.  But here’s the trick, they’ve done it in a way that acknowledges everything that went before and how the new status quo fits right in with the past perceptions of who Jack Boniface was.

We get new insights into Jack’s childhood, the Boniface family’s relationship with the Shadowman Loa, and the relationship between the Abettors and Jack/Shadowman in this kick-off to a new arc that is re-tooling the book from one of my least favorite Valiant titles (though still a decent read) into what could be one of my favorite comics overall.

The art by de la Torre is a crucial part of this transformation.  It’s so different from the “comic book standard” art we had been seeing up to this point.  The new art is so moody and fits the updated story like a hand in a well-worn glove.  The art & story mesh perfectly to blend into an issue that’s the best issue of the series so far, a GREAT jumping on point for new readers, and one of the best issues that the new Valiant has put out to date.

I like different.  Different is good.  When a book stands out from the other 140 or so comics I read every month and tells a story that grabs me, that is what elevates it into one of my “top of the stack” books.  Shadowman #13 did that.  Now I need to see it holding to this standard for a while.

Reviewed by: Bob Bretall – Covering the full spectrum of comics culture

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