Shadowman Book Two

Shadowman Book Two
Shadowman Book Two review
  • North American Publisher / ISBN: Valiant - 978-1-68215-426-7
  • Volume No.: 2
  • Release date: 2022
  • UPC: 9781682154267
  • Contains adult content?: no
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: no
  • Positive minority portrayal?: yes
  • CATEGORIES: Supernatural

The Deadside contains evil monsters, and is separated from Earth by a dimensional veil, which is wearing thin in places known as blights. Baron Samedi has pointed this out to Shadowman, whose duty it is to protect Earth from the Deadside, and in Book One they toured the world rectifying blights and eventually discovering that the Deadside, personified by an attractive woman, intends to engulf Earth. However, Shadowman is hopeful. “I might be able to broker peace instead of bloodshed”, he claims, “blessings instead of blights”.

His efforts to do just that occupy this concluding volume of Cullen Bunn’s run on Shadowman, which is an improvement on Book One. That was held together by impressive art provided by Jon Davis-Hunt, absent here, so the expectation would be a downturn, but Bunn ups his game, although picking up on all the nuances requires having read earlier incarnations of Shadowman.

The improvement is due to Bunn switching from formula. Longtime Shadowman readers will be happy with the guest stars and returning villains, while newcomers will pick up on their heavyweight nature. There are still enough monsters to satisfy the hardened horror fan, but with a greater purpose than going from place to place slaughtering them.

Artist Pedro Andreo’s style differs considerably from Davis-Hunt’s accomplished Book One, but is equally viable, just looser and more ethereal rather than fixed in black ink. As drawn by Andreo, Jack is more sculpted as Shadowman, his face more skeletal, and his hair wilder, seeping darkness. It’s more suited to the chaos generated.

Some of the supporting characters, especially the new Abettors, are too randomly introduced, but having defined Shadowman’s passage at the start, Bunn drags him through the horrors to the end in style. It’s one hell of a recovery.