Illustrated by: Jon Davis-Hunt
Written by: Cullen Bunn
“A brand-new horror series! From the New York Times bestselling master of horror Cullen Bunn (Venom) and bone-chilling artist Jon Davis-Hunt (Clean Room) comes a shocking supernatural odyssey. The forces of darkness are awakening and they are hungry for life. Will Jack Boniface, feared by the forces of evil as the protector Shadowman, be able to save us all?”
Shadowman #1 introduces us to Jack Boniface, a New Orleans musician who wields immense power (and responsibility, of course) through his connection to an ancient spirit, called a loa. It’s a fantastic set up to something a little different than what we’re used to seeing… except that none of that is relevant at all in the rest of the issue. We never see Jack play a note, or even touch an instrument. He may use his powers, but they’re no different than having any other magical weapon, and he never really mentions this loa in any meaningful way. He does interact with other loas, which is nice to see, but even then, all they do is drive the story along. They’re interesting, but we just get a glance at them and then move on.
Being a first issue, I understand the need to tease. And that works well here, I do want more. I love the setting. I love the New Orleans vibe. I love the two worlds collide story. But there’s not much to love in the details of those things. Whatever is it he’s fighting could be any generic bad guy. Whatever powers he has could be any magic weapon. And the conflict of this issue could be almost any conflict. None of that matters to what happens, which is kind of a let down. Such a great setting should shine through everything, not just cover the pages. I want more of that.
All that aside, Shadowman is still a solid B comic. It’s good enough, I’d just like the idea behind everything to be more important to it all. That art is nice, especially if you enjoy the toothy, gory monster vibe. The story could use a little work, but I’m onboard with the set up enough to give it a few more issues. I just really hope they feel a little less generic – I want more of this world and these characters, and everything that makes them something new and different.
Great Introduction to Something Different
Shadowman #1 is actually a pretty straightforward story, but the unique setting and unusual characters carry the book and leave us wanting more.