Comic Book Review: Shadowman #2
A new chapter for Jack Boniface has finally begun as he now reintegrated into his version of a normal life, and starts taking charge of his fate once again. As I said in my review of the first issue, this was the exploration of the supernatural side to the Valiant Universe that we have been missing out on. Simply taking a trip to the Deadside in other ongoings isn’t enough when you can go for the full experience like Jack and Alyssa now are in New Orleans.
It was a big twist at the end of the first issue that Baron Samedi of all people now wields the shadow scythe. This worked because there was no way you could follow the misadventures of Jack as the Magpie and not ask what happened to his signature weapon all this time. After a twist like that, even better was how they followed up from this when Jack almost finds himself about to hurt Alyssa. That was a true test right there in what the future holds for their relationship. It’s clearly never going to be like it was before, but now was a great time to address what will be a process for them to get to something manageable for being allys. Throughout this issue, the focus on their dynamic was very engaging. It made a big difference that Alyssa has a stronger drive to fight the good fight with some very resourceful magic on hand. So far it is refreshing to have someone else who can use magic without running to Punk Mambo who for the most part seems to be working with MI-6 on the side now.
For the second issue, it was the right move that they decided it was more important to dive into the state of New Orleans. If the balance here has been thrown off, this was the time for us to get some examples. I’m not sure whether to call this enemy new or returning, but either way they made an impression through their abuse of magic. It was a tough pill to swallow understanding what some of these people do in order for the sake of power and control.
As for the enemies brought forth by Baron Samedi? I found that easier to grasp with the understanding that someone had to step in during the time that Jack was gone. It makes sense that Samedi would have this opportunity to finally spread his influence into the mortal plane. Who would really stand in his way? Not Jack, and certainly not Alyssa who is but a former Abettor. Jack and Alyssa’s reaction to figuring things out for themselves was exciting since there is no-nonsense from either of them when they get down to business. When it came to Jack getting back to basics being the Shadowman, it was a good feeling to be reminded of how formidable he can be in battle. The sheer strength, even without the scythe was a thrill to see in action.
Everything about this story visually feels welcoming again to Shadowman’s world. Still there is this sense of joy when being able to once again see Jack’s face, and the transformation he takes on when he becomes the Shadowman. When he became the Magpie, we were denied of everything the resembled who he was before. I actually like the changes to his attire as well since returning. The approach meets us halfway between the superhero look and something casual. Definitely more fitting as well when both Jack and Alyssa are doing more groundwork in contrast to before. Speaking of Alyssa, her use of magic is refreshing as well. When you think of magic and mambo, you would usually picture Punk Mambo hurling vials and using trinkets. However, there’s more of a traditional use of magic from Alyssa that is unique of course for the signs she weaves with her hands and the ones that form through her sigils.
If the first issue didn’t fully grab you, I would hope that Shadowman #2 did. By the end of this issue we are left with a very good idea as to what this story has to offer us moving forward. The enemies have been established, as well as the obstacles they will have to face if they want to stop them.