With Shadowman #13 by Peter Milligan (Hellblazer) and Roberto De La Torre (Daredevil), Valiant promised not only an all-new arc, but an all-new beginning for Jack Boniface. Reading this book was creepy, atmospheric and simply amazing. If you had any reservations about the previous direction of the title, I’m fairly confident this new direction will have you excited for the future.
Milligan’s choice to begin this issue with both the reader and Jack Boniface in the dark about the exact nature of his current predicament is a great one. Jack wakes in an alleyway covered in blood, and we learn more about his history of violence and blackouts. This is the first step in what feels like a conscious and coordinated effort by the writer to introduce more mystery back into the title, especially after so much was revealed and laid out in the Master Darque mega-arc. Mystery and a sense of uncertainty is a key ingredient in the Shadowman series, and, especially with the reveal at the conclusion of the issue, Milligan has zeroed in on reintroducing that concept in full force.
It is a new beginning on the artistic side as well. Patrick Zircher is a fantastic artist, but I believe De La Torre may be a better fit for this title. The book is creepier, and a truer sense of New Orleans and its environs seeps through the pages and immerses you in that world. And the black-and-white penciled pages that the artist has used to represent the flashback scenes feel simple, fresh, and effective. After those pages, you appreciate the moody use of David Baron’s colors even more. David Baron simply shines in this book.
Perhaps more so than any other book Valiant publishes this month, Shadowman #13 is a book that needs to be experienced. My review simply can’t convey the feel of this book, and the promise that it holds. The book drops this Wednesday, the 4th. Check it out!
Chris Campbell is the co-host of the all-new Valiant Podcast and No Apologies
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