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Shadowman Volume 2: Darque Reckoning (2013)

by Justin Jordan(Favorite Author)
3.45 of 5 Votes: 2
1939346053 (ISBN13: 9781939346056)
Valiant Entertainment, LLC
review 1: Reprints Shadowman (3) #5-9 (March 2013-August 2013). Shadowman’s ancient enemy Darque is back and taken control of the Deadside. Forced to team with Baron Samedi, Shadowman must head to the Deadside to fight Darque in a final battle that will not only determine the fate of the world but the life of Jack Boniface’s friend and ally Dox who is Darque’s prisoner.Written by Justin Jordan and Patrick Zircher, Shadowman 2: Darque Reckoning continues the Valiant Comics relaunch of the ’90s character. Following the events of Shadowman 1: Birth Rites, this volume collects the five part storyline.Shadowman isn’t my favorite Valiant character. I wasn’t a big Valiant reader in the ‘’90s but even then, I found the horror/voodoo-esque storylines of the comic rather... more pale in comparison to Marvel’s more forward horror comics (I can’t also say that the Shadow Man video game for N64 didn’t also taint my judgment).This volume has the big showdown that the comic felt like it was missing in the first volume. I didn’t like the rather cheesy (and very ’90s) Mr. Twist and preferred the more nightmarish Darque as an enemy. I also liked Jack’s uneasy alliance with Baron Samedi who could also be explored more. The volume also features the rather interesting Dr. Mirage who spins off into her own series in 2014.One thing I will say about Shadowman is that I do like the art. The character is pretty stylish and the look and quality of the artwork is quite goods. I just wish I was more invested in the characters and storyline. The book is handled by a number of artists and some are better than others (including lead artist/writer Patrick Zircher). I wish that the the comic would do more to establish a solid team instead of mixing it up.Shadowman 1: Birth Rites was probably Valiant’s weakest collection in their big relaunch, but it still had its moments. Shadowman 2: Darque Reckoning does show some slight improvements, but I don’t know that it improved enough to save the comic which hasn’t been fairing as well as some of Valiant’s other titles. Shadowman 2: Darque Reckoning is followed by Shadowman 3: Deadside Blues.
review 2: I was better engaged by this volume than the first. With the stage set, we're allowed deeper into the world of Shadowman, and his mysterious nemesis, Mr. Darque. The Deadside as a setting becomes vastly more interesting, and we are introduced to a handful of new characters, including Baron Semedi, his acolyte Saturday and the re-imagining of the classic Valiant character, Dr. Mirage. Jordan seems to have found his comfort zone with the book, with even pacing, and well constructed dialogue that helps give insight and valuable character growth even in the midst of battle. Jack himself still feels like a bit of a blank slate, and I don't have a very strong feel for his character, but everyone around him is well realized and dynamic. The artists change a little too much in this book, which is always frustrating for me. After settling into Zircher's pencils, he leaves the book leaving Neil Edwards and Lee Garbett in his place. These two gentlemen are immensely talented, but the inconsistencies are annoying. Scenes in the Deadside end up looking gorgeous and stylized, while scenes in the real world end up looking uninspired by comparison. The only other issues here are a few lettering oversights that confused the story, if only for a few panels. Otherwise, Shadowman is pretty awesome, and I plan on keeping up with the character. less
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Continues to be the best of the new line from Valiant.
I did enjoy this more than the first volume.
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