Thus far, the relaunch of Valiant Entertainment has been focused on the super-heroic. We've been given the likes of the cosmic, space-opera that is XO Manowar. The angst-filled, mutant storyline that is Harbinger. We've had the government conspiracy/action series Bloodshot. And then there is the wry commentary/sit-com that is Archer And Armstrong.
Valiant's next regular series follows a darker character, that tied in to both super-heroic and the supernatural. Shadowman. This was one of the prior Valiant's more popular characters who had several series and a video-game. Apparently, the city of New Orleans - which is where the story takes place - designated January 17th as Shadowman Day.
Will this new series get its own holiday?
Shadowman - Issue 1
Maybe. This is a decent relaunch of the character. There is an interesting set-up of the lead, Jack Boniface, and why he is at this place in his life. He has a career, of sorts, but otherwise he's utterly directionless. He has no understanding of where he came from even though the reader has seen something fairly tragic.
The creative team takes its time with this story. Boniface is in no hurry, much like the city he lives in. Things unfold slowly, which has been a hallmark of this Valiant universe relaunch. Things have been more natural ... as natural as any of these stories could be.
The story is OK. The creative team went with the mostly passive, confused hero and this requires some patience by the reader. We're used to getting a lot of information quickly (often poorly) so as to make comics accessible by new readers.
There's lots of mystery to be revealed, as well. Maybe it will even have good payouts. Assuming readers stick around. They probably will because Boniface is sympathetic and the dialogue seems to be quality. It seems like there is a lot of potential here.
And it has a good look. Many of the new Valiant comics have a similar look. It's unclear if this is deliberate or a happy accident but seeing the way this books have been going, it's probably the former. The colors are rich and layouts are clever.
Score: 8 out of 10