REVIEW: ‘Shadowman,’ Issue #2

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Shadowman #2

Shadowman #2 is published by Valiant. It’s written by horror expert Cullen Bunn with art by Jon Davis-Hunt, colors by Jordie Bellaire, and letters by Clayton Cowles. Following the explosive first issue, Jack fights to keep the dead side from infecting the living world!

Shadowman #2 has a strong opening moment of hitchhiking terror to set the pace of this second issue, depicting a hitchhiking-heist gone wrong with the intended victims turning out to be a demon-possessed family. Meanwhile, Baron Samedi and Jack wander across an abandoned desert town, attempting to decipher the imbalance they sense between worlds. The impurity and imbalance in the world strike Jack as being orchestrated by something unknown. With no fingers to point yet, he wanders the wasteland until finding the source of the ghosts that float past him and the towering blight feeding off innocent lives.

This issue packs a ferocious combination of action, horror, and a thickening plot that has sunken its mangled teeth into me. While Jack’s shadow loa allows him to be devoid of fear, it’s completely handed off to the reader while Jack’s reality is snapping between the living and dead side. Equal amounts of scythe-swinging-savagery counterbalance the horrific monsters and their lust for depraved acts. The plot begins to thicken like a lump in our throats; this issue is left off in a suspenseful limbo with a mysterious figure lurking in the shadows, watching Jack.

Bunn’s ability to deliver suspense, terror, and action are world-class, in my opinion. In addition, the ability to write a character with grit and attitude to combat that tumult is impressive. It isn’t just Jack’s inability to feel fear that gives him the heart to fight, and Bunn makes that perfectly clear. The dialogue between Jack and Baron Samedi feels conversational and comfortable while also being unique, which is a plus. Still, it’s Jack’s narration in every panel that leads the reader into a sense of impending doom as he addresses the evil surrounding him.

Davis-Hunt delivers a spectacular performance in this issue. There is not one moment in this issue where the reader can feel at ease because of how intense each panel feels. Even in the moments where nothing is jumping out at us, both the reader and the characters in the story feel like they’re looking over their shoulder for some indescribable monolith to peer its ungodly head around the corner. The pencils are filled with emotion and, paired with Bellaire’s intoxicating dose of colors, this issue serves as a lasting example of fine art. With the name Shadowman, you might assume the art would be indefinitely dark or obscure, but Bellaire delivers vibrant and energetic moments by dowsing the page in frenzied colors to demonstrate the ghastly situations the character are in properly.

Shadowman #2 is a perfectly paced story that’s giving us enough room to squirm in our seats but not enough room to feel comfortable, and all we can do is face the horrors of the dead side head-on. We’re witnessing the layers of the plot slowly reveal then turn to ash with every foe Jack dissects. Furthermore, I feel as though we finally see a better in-depth look into the mind of Shadowman. This is, in my opinion, the best book on the stands and a certified page-turner.

Shadowman #2 is available wherever comics are sold now.

Shadowman #2
5

TL;DR

Shadowman #2 is a perfectly paced story that’s giving us enough room to squirm in our seats but not enough room to feel comfortable, and all we can do is face the horrors of the dead side head-on. We’re witnessing the layers of the plot slowly reveal then turn to ash with every foe Jack dissects. Furthermore, I feel as though we finally see a better in-depth look into the mind of Shadowman. This is, in my opinion, the best book on the stands and a certified page-turner.