Gotta pop your collar when dealing with the Deadside

Publisher: Valiant
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Jon Davis-Hunt
Colourist: Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: Clayton Cowles

Remember what happened in Shadowman #1? Not to worry if you don’t as Baron Samedi is here to give you a rundown of what happened in his own unique style. Basically there was an evil party at a mansion and monsters escaped. It’s up to Jack Boniface aka Shadowman to track them down and keep the balance of the veil between their world and ours. 

There are tears in the veil and none more so than in Enoch, Arizona a town teetering on the edge of this world and the Deadside. Which means monsters, ghosts and all the other Deadside things Jack deals with.

There’s a lot of talking between Jack and Baron Samedi, whose motives remain unclear (What is he getting out of this? What does he want? What’s his game?) which clues us into the things going on. Baron Samedi is pretty much playing the supernatural M to Jack;s supernatural 007. Although with less benign and altruistic motives.

The real poetry of the writing lies in Jack’s thoughts as they go across the page as he lets us in on how he perceives the world. That’s one of the more interesting aspects of this issue. It fleshes Jack out a bit.

The Deadside elements – the sacrificed ghosts, the feel of something deeper and darker going on are well realised in the writing and the art. The art really comes in to it’s own with the gore and monstrous representations. The switch of sweet faces of zombie slaves is especially nice. You know if that’s your sort of thing. 

And screaming ghosts, we all love a screaming ghost.

Jack makes hard choices and we get a real sense of that here. There’s also the hints of the larger plot as the mysterious woman is still about and, well, being mysterious. Who is she and what’s her goal? 

The writing, art and lettering are all solid. We’ve still got questions and it’s strange to see Jack outside his traditional stomping ground, but as the veil tears all over he’s got a heck of a job ahead.

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