Comic Book Review: Shadowman #7
The very first individual to be bound to the vicious shadow loa, who would have thought this is where we would find ourselves in this new ongoing? If you want answers like these, the best place to go is the very beginning. Everything about this story arc has been a delight to me as a big Shadowman fan. With a hero so shrouded in mystery, it means everything to slowly unlock all of those doors which have held Jack back.
This issue took me back so fast. I was prepared for a lot of things, but the minute this issue got going? It was nothing but reveal after the next which led to us finally learning the name of the shadow loa and the exact reason why this one in particular was cast out of the pantheon. Of course it would be awesome to actually see that moment, but there’s only so much time you can give to this journey in discovery. It mattered more that we were able to understand just what motivates the shadow loa, and what it takes to be in sync with it. The first host for the shadow loa was without a doubt the most important host to be introduced to. You would never truly understand how important it is to know the person who becomes the Shadowman until this moment. I enjoyed how the focus was on the concept of control. Everything we thought we knew about this loa was instantly changed when accepting that all the problems that do come with this one is because of the person who takes it as the host. What you see the loa as, and what you use it for make a big difference in the result you get when that power is unleashed. The way I would describe this moment for the first host was re-addressing the importance of the person behind the mask.
Giving a voice to the loa as well was an excellent decision. To know that the roles they take on whether willingly or unwilling adds so much to a story where we needed to draw a line in the sand between the way this individual became the Shadowman, and how everyone else after did. All of this made sense of the reason why the loa lacks an active voice, why it lacks proper thinking, and why answers had to come from the past instead of from the loa itself. The reveal was jaw-dropping, and should hopefully lead to some big changes down the road for Jack.
There’s one thing you have to appreciate most about the Shadowman after everything we have seen from the predecessors in this story arc. That being the reality that we never knew a thing about what the Shadowman can do. The strength, the rage, those were only scraping the surface of what Jack should have been capable of. To learn that there are more supernatural abilities that come with the loa, it makes you anxious to see what happens when Jack is able to accomplish these things for himself. Till then, it was a thrilling scene to see what Standing Wolf could accomplish himself with full control of the shadow loa.
With each period of time involving a different artist, it was good to see that Renato Guedes would remain from start to finish of this tour through West Africa in 40,000 B.C.. As I said last month, he was very fitting to this setting when a painted style matches the tribal theme. For this issue, what jumped out most was the excitement in the visuals of newly revealed powers the loa possesses. The way the loa manipulated shadows was perfect when the concept of voodoo is tied so closely to the loas. Nothing creates a scare better than grabby shadows, which in turn created the most authentic expressions of fear from the tribesman Standing Wolf dealt with. What Standing Wolf looked like as the Shadowman was pretty cool, even for being the most simplistic of designs. The only true difference was the painted markings of the loa, but this was at the same time unique to the way that Standing Wolf acquired that power in contrast to others. With that said, I enjoyed the colors most of all. There was a clashing of warm and cold colors, but it worked so well in favor of these two opposing forces. One who thrived in fire, and the other who thrived in the darkness of shadows.
The true shall set you free. Those are words you hope take form from the events of this story arc. Shadowman #7 gave us all the answers we could have wanted about the shadow loa and much more. I don’t think I could feel any more invested than I was for these issues where there was nothing between us and exploration of what it really means to be bound to the loa.