Shadowman #1 Review

by James Caudill on April 28, 2021


“Nothing ruins a demonic ritual like uninvited guests.”--Baron Samedi

Writer--Cullen Bunn

Artist--Jon Davis-Hunt

Colorist: Jordie Bellaire

Letterer--Clayton Cowles



You know how sometimes the Previews book comes out and you flip through and you find some amazing titles that you are really excited about? Then you just kind of toss the book aside and you miss something that could be really good? That is what has happened to me with Shadowman #1 by Cullen Bunn and Jon Davis-Hunt. I wasn’t fully aware that this book was dropping this month and I am not very familiar with the character of Shadowman at all! That is certainly changing after this issue. 


I’m not as familiar with Valiant Comics as I am Image, Dark Horse, Boom!, and others. I even know more about Aftershock and Mad Cave than I do Valiant and those folks are newer to the scene. I just really haven’t explored the mythos of Valiant Comics. So, after I read the interview of Jon Davis-Hunt in the back of the issue, I realized the Shadowman is a long lasting character for Valiant and really crucial to their success as a company. Created by Jim Shooter (long time Stan Lee protege) and Steve Englehart (need I say more) so now I am very intrigued by this character. I’m going to have to dig in a little more on the character of Shadowman but this first issue is a jumping on point and I would recommend it. 


Cullen Bunn is a really good writer for these kind of horror and superheroic type books. For instance, I really enjoyed his Moon Knight run over at Marvel a few years back he brought the horror element to that book as well. Bunn weaves a really tight story here introducing us to Jack Boniface a.k.a.Shadwoman and the King of Death, Baron Samedi. Shadowman is sent to a house party that isn’t exactly focused on socializing. When the “deadside” runs amok, Shadowman saves the day, but obviously there were casualties. Bunn really does a great job in this book of blending the superhero nature of Shadowman with that horror element. Fells kind of like a John Constantine story if I’m being honest. Just that little touch of horror in there to tell the tale. Bunn has proven over the years that he is a great writer for those kinds of stories. 


Jon Davis-Hunt talks in his interview in the back of the book about how he was able to modernize Shadowman in this comic. I’m really digging the look that Davis-Hunt is going for with Shadowman and Jack. Jack, the “human” form, has a very athletic build but Shadowman has more of an agility build and the juxtaposition is jarring but in a really positive way. Looking back through some old pages with Shadowman, the athletic build is the norm. But, I’m really digging this updated look. A superhero doesn’t have to be all athletic and really buff. You can have some agility in there and, in fact, many times you need it especially in horror stories, so I think this is going to be a very positive look for Shadowman going forward. I'm sure that the new look Shadowman is going to play that up in future stories. 


Jordie Bellaire  on colors. Do I really have to say anything more than Jordie Bellaire? Everything that Bellaire colors is just truly magnificent and I love her work. Of course, I am most familiar with her realistic work in Moon Knight but every other book I pick up from her is just beautiful. I really like that Bellaire brings the right color palette to this story. Where things should “pop” it certainly does. But where everything needs to be muted...that happens as well. I really enjoy looking at this book. 


Not knowing much, okay, anything about Shadowman coming into this book, I have to say that I am intrigued. The creative team has my attention going forward with this book.

Our Score:


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