Shadowman #11 is a product that feels, to me, as if it could have used another issue or a double sized special to give the story room to stretch out and feel more complete. All of the story beats are hit, I believe all of the plot lines were tied up, but it feels too rushed. It is a shame, because up to this point the series had been excellent and unique and a must read on my list.
SHADOWMAN #11 wraps up the Rag and Bone storyline, but seems like it needed more. IN BOLD, summarize what I thought of the issue and why I think the reader may be interested.
In a mystical plane, Jack Boniface stands off against Sandria, the twin sister of Master Darque, in defiance of her plan to open the mystical Lyceum. Will he succeed? Find out in Shadowman #11 from Valiant Entertainment, on store shelves now.
Writer: Andy Diggle
Artist: Renato Guedes & Eric Battle
Colors: Ulises Arreola
Letters: Simon Bowland
Cover: Tonci Zonjic
Publisher: Valiant Entertainment
Release Date: January 16th, 2019
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in SHADOWMAN: Jack Boniface has discovered much about the nature of the Loa bound to him and its origins with his ancestors. Now he has been attempting to stop Sandria from resurrecting her twin brother Master Darque and gaining access to the mystic museum known as the Lyceum. In the process, she has separated the Loa from its imprisonment within Jack Boniface. The rules have changed, but what does this mean for the Shadowman?
STEP INTO THE RING!
In an attempt to weaken and stop Shadowman, Sandria has broken the connection between the Loa and Jack Boniface. As they battle, Jack and the Lao show a defense which Sandria had not expected. She threatens them with another binding, only to have Jack surprise her, he accepts the Loa voluntarily, and that changes the nature of the beast. He attacks and strikes her with the Ring of Solomon, trapping her within. Instantly he is transported to the chamber that holds the remains of Nicodemo Darque. His companion and lover, Alyssa Myles, arrives, only a little battered from her battle with living skeletons. They quickly discover that, with Sandria trapped in the ring, the resting place of her brother’s bones is falling apart. Grabbing his remains at the last moment, the ground opens up beneath them and they fall. Jack, however, has a trick up his sleeve. He opens up a portal allowing them to fall into the Deadlands and another which takes them home, on the other side of the world. He and the Shadow Loa have a new agreement, and with the new agreement comes a change in powers. He is now Shadowman because he wishes to be, not because he is forced to be. There is no time to explore his new abilities, as they rush the remains of Nicodemo to Copeland, who plans on storing them within a specially designed bank, one which was built with the express purpose of destroying Master Darque. As Copeland prepares to destroy Darques remains, he tells Jack and Alyssa they will need to assist in using a device to focus and amplify their life forces, using them to destroy Darques. After placing wired helmets to their heads, Copeland prepares to strike the button and destroy Master Darque.
Instead of destroying Darque, an electrical surge is sent through the pair, knocking them unconscious. You see, Copeland was not really Copeland, but Nil in Copeland’s body. As he gloats over the unconscious pair, in walks Devereaux. Taking the Ring of Solomon from Jack’s face, he uses it to banish our heroes to the world in the ring, Solomon’s Prison of Monster. There, they find answers to their current predicament, an old foe, and a chance to possibly still save the day.
THERE WAS A LITTLE MAN WHO WASN’T THERE…
This issue seems to be a conclusion to the current run by Andy Diggle (2000 AD, The Loser) and he goes out with a bang. He ties up a lot of plotlines and wipes several slates clean for any future creative teams while leaving a hint of what may be coming. His script is, as always, tight and entertaining, with several OMG moments throughout. That said, the pacing of the issue is fast, I mean really fast. There is enough going on here to have stretched into two issues, and I feel as if maybe it needed to. We defeat Sandria Darque within the first two pages, leaving a hollow “what the…” feel to the sequence. There feels as if there is a lot of housekeeping and hitting the beats here, so much, that it reads rushed.
The artwork by Renato Guedes (Superman, Wolverine) is on hand when the story is in our world. It is wonderfully expressive and beautiful. Every page and panel is a lesson in art and could stand on their own and great works. Here, however, they must stand with Diggle’s script. The problem under the beauty arises when transitioning from one panel to another or from one scene to another. There are some gaps which fail to translate from one section to another. It, at times, makes for a disjointed reading experience leaving a lot for your mind’s eye to fill in. It is a shame because it adds to the sense that the issue was possibly rushed.
Eric Battle (Aquaman, The Harvester) handles the work for the other realms, particularly the Deadlands and the Prison of Monsters. His is a more traditional comic book style and it lays a clear line between the two settings. It is a much more cartoonish style, as opposed to Guedes’ realistic style, but it relays the story well and there is not any real doubt as I read exactly what is happening.
BOTTOM LINE: A BREAKNECK, ENTERTAINING PACE, BUT WITH ISSUES
Shadowman #11 is a product that feels, to me, as if it could have used another issue or a double sized special to give the story room to stretch out and feel more complete. All of the story beats are hit, I believe all of the plot lines were tied up, but it feels too rushed. It is a shame because up to this point the series had been excellent and unique and a must read on my list.
SHADOWMAN #11 wraps up the Rag and Bone storyline but seems like it needed more. IN BOLD, summarize what I thought of the issue and why I think the reader may be interested.