Shadowman (2018) Volume 1: Fear of the Dark

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 May 2018

Member Reviews

Shdowman has returned. There is much to like about this book. A very strong female lead moves the story along swiftly and ups the emotional investment in reading the story. I didn't like how they have changed Shadowman's predicament from it's original storyline. That doesn't mean it isn't good, it just takes some getting used to. Worth a read.
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While I've been enjoying the Shadowman reboot, the number of issues and the overall pacing of the series has been getting to me. Only 3-4 issues per trade paperback leaves me feeling short-changed, and only so much can happen in each collection, which slows down whatever the impending conflagration/face-off/show-down is.
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Set in New Orleans, we follow Alyssa and Jack as they essentially try to save NO from a darkness that has fallen over it. Alyssa is a mambo, a high voodoo priestess, and trained to help the Shadowman, a Loa (voodoo spirit) who is currently bound to Jack. They both are trying to keep Jack on this side of the realm, figure out how to control the Shadowman and understand the mysteries that surround the spirit, and try to keep other spirits from corrupting the people of NO.

The artwork is beautiful and has a dark, muted color tone that shows the darkness that has fallen on New Orleans. Some bright coloring is used during fight scenes or when interacting with other spirits. 

The plot over is very interesting, but I had zero idea what was going on. This seems to be a reboot of a character, so with zero prior knowledge of characters/world and no knowledge of the voodoo practice, I was lost. I had to look up things to make more sense of words used, which helped. 

Overall, decent comic if the subject interests you. Not happy that this volume only collects 3 issues.
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'Shadowman Vol. 1: Fear of the Dark' written by Andy Diggle with art by Stephen Segovia brings the return of a strange hero, but this time with a new person wearing the mantle.

The story starts with Alyssa Myles looking for a guide in to swamp country.  Her cartomancy leads her to a huge monster, but also to a man lost and buried out there.   He is Jack Boniface and he has been missing and struggling in another world.  He is back now and with Alyssa by his side, he will face the dangers of our world and beyond.

I was vaguely familiar with this character.  I really enjoyed this story.  The art was also quite good.   My review copy had a rough version of issue #3, but I was able to follow along, and I enjoyed the ride.

I received a review copy of this graphic novel from Valiant Entertainment, Diamond Book Distributors, and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you for allowing me to review this graphic novel.
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Jack Boniface was trapped on the Deadside until he was called home by Alyssa, who may or may not have been happy to see him while she was being chased by some sort of demonic thing in the swamp. This is apparently a return to the Shadowman roots, acknowledging that previous incarnations also fought shadows without achieving ultimate success, as is evident if you look around on a sunny day. The damned things are everywhere! Anyway, this is the sixth Shadowman, and this one, like the original, has no space between Shadow and Man.

Jack doesn’t know what his loa is (really, do any of us?), but Alyssa became a Mambo because she had nothing else to do during the five years that Jack was messing around in Deadside. Now they’re running around New Orleans looking for Samedi, who is eating souls for breakfast. And there’s still the swamp monster that needs battling.

And then, damnitall, Jack gets trapped on the Deadside again and Alyssa has to get him out again. Just is just a big old circle, in’it? But Jack needs to get his Shadow Scythe back from Baron Semedi before he can do much of anything. Turns out you can get anything from Semedi by giving him porn, which makes him just an average guy.

Much of this volume is spent establishing (or reestablishing) Jack and Alyssa as characters. Diggle serves up a fair amount of action, but given the depth he brings to his other work, I was a bit disappointed that there wasn’t more substance here. Maybe future volumes will be stronger. This one entertains and amuses, but it doesn’t absorb.
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Shadowman is back! It's been a long time since Shadowman had a solo series with Valiant. So I think I had some high expectations for this book because I've really enjoyed the character in the past. This was a chance to bring him back to the fore and have a little more magic in the Valiant universe. As much as I wanted to like this book, Diggle's writing didn't really work for me. I want to say it is a combination of the dialogue and the story itself that left me feeling a little blah on this volume.

Among the things I enjoyed are Stephen Segovia's art, the use of the Abettors, and at least one bad guy from Jack's past. Segovia's art is wonderful. It's different from some of the previous incarnations of Jack, but I felt like it added to his personality. The demons and such that he encounters are awful and terrific at the same time. The Abettors, for those that don't know, are a group connected with Shadowman and tried to help Jack as he emerged into his new role. Their appearance here feels like it adds more to the previous series by filling in some history and such. Baron Samedi is great. He works well as a tempter and, given the background of the character, he is a perfect villain.

While this isn't my favorite Shadowman book to date, I am excited to get more stories featuring the character and would definitely pick up the next volume.
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Shadowman (2018) is a timely and updated telling of the character that should resonant well with today's market. We have long been overdue for African-American comic book characters that are capable of blurring the line between good and evil. Shadowman is not your traditional hero, he is very much an anti-hero. Well written and drawn. A really good book.
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Valiant just won't be told about putting half-finished books out as review files – here you don't even get three full issues, with the fourth unfinished and leaving you hanging, as this is only a three-parter in the first place.  It seemed a suitably dramatic, if derivative, bit of hokum – with a lot of backstory you'd be wise to have knowledge of beforehand – but I can't mark the book highly, as I only saw a portion of it.

UPDATE = I finally managed courtesy of the publishers to see all three parts of this section of the arc in finished form.  What I said about unready files being dumped on netgalley reviewers because they think they can get away with it still stands.  However, I'll grudgingly upgrade this from a two to a three - the heroes are a bit too dumb (at least their big bad makes them out to be so) and too much of the mythos is buried in previous arcs, but this isn't that bad.
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Wonderfully illustrated and very interesting story. Love something supernatural and a touch creepy. Great read.
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I have had mixed feelings about Shadowman in the past. The series started off strong, and then took a turn into a less enjoyable stretch. This reemergence of Shadowman left me with positive feelings. The struggle between the human and inhuman sides of the character came off as more real this time. The relationships between the characters was well done. The supernatural elements added up for me. Overall I am looking forward to reading the next volume in this series.
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I've seen so many good graphic novels get put on Netgalley, but I hardly ever request them. The first ones I ever requested were The Damned Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 by Cullen Bunn. It was a weird experience, having to squint to read the text, and having to zoom in on the images so you could look at the illustrations in all of their glorious detail, but it was still enjoyable. So now, whenever I see a graphic novel that looks interesting, I request it.

Orphaned as a child and raised on the margins of society, Jack Boniface never knew his place in the world. Until he discovered it waiting for him… in a darkness far older than the reign of men…

Unbeknownst to him, Jack was fated to become the next in a long lineage of Shadowmen – mortals bound to violent voodoo spirits of immense power – that could safeguard our world against incursions from realms beyond. For years, he struggled to control the loa’s murderous urges – a battle he eventually lost. But now, after years of self-imposed exile, the man once known as Shadowman is returning home to sharpen the weapon within…and unleash a reckoning on the evils of our world that will soon send shockwaves through heaven and hell alike…

Collecting SHADOWMAN (2018) #1–3

I didn't know this before I requested Shadowman, but it was a 'thing' before? Like... it's already a story, it's already been a graphic novel/comic book series, and when I found this out, THIS particular graphic novel made a little bit more sense. I got the feeling - when reading it - that I was missing something. And now that I know that it's a storyline that has been done before, I got the feeling that I should have read a bit of background on Shadowman before starting this graphic novel.

The beginning of this graphic novel jumps straight into the action of there being other dimensions and there was very little backstory - hence my thoughts on how the reader should maybe be familiar with the story of Shadowman prior to reading this?

A big part of the graphic novel's appeal to me was the concept of the world of voodoo magic. I don't think that I have read a novel/graphic novel that deals with this type of magic, so it was interesting to explore this as a reader, and learn a little about voodoo. I googled the term 'voodoo magic' to see what came up, and I learnt that voodoo is a transactional type of magic. It's a give AND take kind that was born of necessity from people who were enslaved, oppressed and forbidden to worship their own gods. I googled this AFTER reading Shadowman, but it was clear to me that Diggle had obviously done his homework on the magic and tried to steer the whole concept of the graphic novel away from mainstream ideas of voodoo.

When looking at the illustrations, it is AMAZING! There are so many vibrant colours that grasp you and pull you into the world. Even though it was on my phone, I spent a good few minutes looking at each panel to take in all of the detail that we were being shown. So props to Stephen Segovia and Ulises Arreola for creating magnificent pieces of work.

However, the one downside to this graphic novel was that it looked unfinished. Now, I know that this is the publishers fault and not Diggles or the illustrators. Or it might have even been a problem with Netgalley's formatting team. But I looked on Goodreads to see if anyone else had had this problem, and it turned out that everyone who had downloaded it from Netgalley, had the same problem I did. When I say unfinished, I mean that the third issue of the graphic novel had no colour, no text and seemed to lack the last few pages. Issue one and issue two were perfect. Everything was intact. But issue three was just... nothing... Just blank panels.

Shadowman Vol. 1 definitely encouraged me to read more supernatural graphic novels and to branch out. It's well-written, and exciting, with a mix of magic and horror. However, the thing that let this graphic novel down (not including it being unfinished) was the fact that I needed more backstory. I know that Shadowman has been done before, but you you still have to cater for new audiences (like me), and how are these new audiences supposed to enjoy the story if they don't understand what's going on?

So in the next volume, I do hope that a bit more backstory is added for new audiences' benefit, and if I see this volume in Waterstones at any point, I'm going to have to read the last issue so that I can find out what happened at the end!

Disclaimer: this was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review
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I enjoyed the first two issues in this volume a lot. I like the voodoo elements of the story and thought that the plotting and characters were strong. It will definitely be something that I look out for in the future.
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When I first saw the name Shadowman, I imediately thought back too the Playstation game back in the day. I sadly never got to finnish it, nor was I aware of the comics it came from. I am sure this is a comic set in the same world as the original, I am just not sure where all these new people all come from. If thos was a reboot, I would have liked some sort of small explanation as to what has gone before. This small omittance might put of potential new fans of from buying into it. I am gratefull I got to revisit old memories of the original. I thank Netgally and all people involved for giving me an oppertunity to read this before the release.
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Loved it! This is the first I've read or heard about Shadowman, but I can tell you it certainly won't be the last! As a huge fan of all genres of graphic novels, I tend to read quite a bit of them.... Which means that I often read very similar story lines. But I found this story to not only be full of action and have intriguing characters,  but also a unique story. I can't wait to read on!

A huge thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for sending me a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I truly appreciate it!
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I have not read a lot from Valiant and never this character, but I've enjoyed Diggle's writing before and thought I'd give it a try. Diggle and Segovia have crafted a fast-moving, action driven superhero story with a magic backdrop. There's some definite backstory here, but I didn't have any trouble catching up. The main character, Shadowman, spent the last five years trapped in a Voodoo version of the underworld. When this collection opens, he just manages to break free, although not at full power. He finds his former girlfriend has taken up the job of protecting the world from Demons and spends much of the rest of the volume playing catch-up and trying to reclaim his full power. 

It's a fun read and while I wouldn't necessarily suggest it to readers of titles with stronger supernatural flavors (Hellboy, etc.) I do think fans of the recent Doctor Strange titles from Marvel would enjoy this. Good stuff.
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Shadowman Volume 1 (2018) - Fear of the Dark written by Anthony Diggle with art by Stephen Segovia is a quick paced re-introduction of one of Valiant’s more interesting characters. Possessed by a demonic loa/spirit, Jack Boniface was last seen in the Deadside, a dark mirror of our world where demons rule. We find him returning to New Orleans and once again to the Deadside to confront a big bad whose plans are only hinted at in this slim volume. The book earns top marks for settings and its supporting cast. There’s a rich world and story to be explored. The main character shows promise, though his internal struggle is reminiscent of Marvel’s Hulk. Still, for those seeking a comic filled with the supernatural, Shadowman’s return is welcome. The art, both pencils and colors, serve the story well, and there are several strong images throughout the story.

Review provided in exchange for copy provided by NetGalley.
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I picked this up without being familiar at all with Shadowman or his comics universe, and with that considered I enjoyed this a great deal and felt like it did a great job of being a first volume of a new run while also continuing to build on what apparently came before. I didn't feel lost, and it kept me informed without having to give me maid and butler dialogue, either. The art is really solid and enjoyable. The story and feel of the book is very Hellblazer-esque in a very good way. I really want to continue following this story and also to go back and pick up the previous runs of the comics as well because I suspect I've been missing out.
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Wow. This was amazing. I loved the illustrations, it worked so well with the story. The story in itself was original and great to read. I cannot wait for the next volume
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As a fan of supernatural horror and voodoo mythos, I was glad to see this title on NetGalley. Some of you probably remember Jack Boniface - Shadowman. He's been on hiatus since 2014 and now he returns to the front lines of the Valiant Universe to protect the world of the living from the supernatural forces that seek to do it harm. 

The writing team is superb - Andy Diggle is an excellent writer who worked with franchises like James Bond or Daredevil in the past. I had high hopes for the renewal of the series. I'm happy to say that newest incarnation of the Shadowman is excellent.

Jack used to be an ordinary guy who found himself bound to a powerful voodoo entity.  He was dragged into a world of unimaginable weirdness and finished as an automaton serving the needs of a malevolent force. In the new arc of the story, he's brought back to the land of living by Alyssa. During Jack's absence, New Orleans became strongly influenced by the voodoo deity Baron Samedi. Baron Samedi is portrayed as a mercurial trickster, and it suits him well. It makes him terrifying. Stakes are raised high and the storyline is brilliant and strong. jack and Alyssa make one hell of a team - his super abilities and her magic compliment each other. Together, they're able to stand up to supernatural beings. There's a scene where they devastate a horde of zombies - it's almost cinematic.

A big part of the book’s appeal for me is the world of voodoo, It seems Diggle wants to dig into this misrepresented religion in a way that hasn’t been explored in the previous Shadowman books. Voodoo is transactional, give and take, born of necessity from people who were enslaved, oppressed, and forbidden to worship their own gods. Upon reading the book I feel that Diggle's done all the research needed and steers away from Hollywood / mainstream misrepresentation of this colorful and dark tradition. 

The art is simply stunning - sharp lines and vibrant colors do the trick. Once you know the story by heart, you can still admire the panels. Yes, this book is a thing of dark beauty. Stephen Segovia and Ulises Arreloa are a dream team. 

Shadowman vol. 1 roused my appetite for more supernatural drama.  It's well written, exciting, and action-packed book with a mix of magic and horror. A must-read for fans of voodoo and graphic novels.

I can't wait to see where the stories go from, shocking ending of this volume.

I received the book from NetGalley
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This graphic novel was a good start to the series. I found myself to be mostly captivated by the art style. The art style has a resemblance to that of the Walking Dead, but has it's own soul to it. Magic exists in this world, which I found it a bit difficult to believe as there isn't too much backstory, but I went along with it after a bit. As this is the start, characters will obviously leave much to be desired. I would wish for more backstory or more fleshing out of characters in the future. I also wish I was able to get more into the story as I felt at times that I had no idea why things were happening. Overall, this was a very intriguing and solid start to a new graphic novel series. 

I received this ARC from NetGalley for free in exchange for my completely honest review.
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