Like death itself he carries a scythe

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

For those of you who struggle to remember what happened in the last issue, fear not! It appears Baron Samedi’s recaps will be a regular thing. For those of you who do remember I am sure you will be aware that previously Jack Boniface, Shadowman, ended up in a town overrun with evil. Jack won out but he’s now on the trail of more information about the mysterious ‘mistress’ who seems to be orchestrating events.

Jack gets into quite a bit of trouble in this issue as he searches for those answers. It’s not going well when one of his prime leads is dead however it does lead to a nice shoutout to Punk Mambo’s recent(ish) book as we get a returning character.

We switch between the first part of his investigation and the current precarious situation he finds himself in. The exposition never feels laboured however and the mystery is now getting more of my interest than perhaps it did last issue. It feels like the plot is developing and starting to feel as if it’s the key to the book.

It’s also really nice that we’re getting some continuity with previous books, it makes Shadowman feel a bit more integrated into the overall universe.

There are some nice moments in the art, especially when Jack is reunited with his scythe, the black and white is very striking. The whisps of black coming off Jack as Shadowman also add to the drama and make his supernatural side seem that bit more alive. The demons that are being used by the bad guy in this issue (The Pallbearer) are also suitably well realised. I also really liked one panel of a fly on the eye of a dead woman… that sounds morbid but it’s a really clever way of showing death as a creepy thing without being out and out gory.

Not to say there isn’t also gore aplenty for those of us that like that sort of thing. 

There is a moment involving the Shadow Loa that I am not sure how I feel about. Seeing it never feels quite right as it never feels like it lives up to the legend? It makes sense within the plot but at the same time it feels a bit like a poker player tipping his hand to keep you interested in the game. Which I already was.

Overall this felt a stronger issue than the previous one in many ways. There’s a heck of a reveal at the end which again I’m not sure how I feel about in the wider scheme of the mythology, but I am intrigued. I like this run of Shadowman so far and I hope that we get more of this kind of plot building.

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