“We typically don’t know what we have until it’s lost” is a lesson that many of us heard growing up, and it’s one that Jack Boniface has to contend with in this issue of Shadowman. For years, he’s wanted to be rid of the Ioa, and in Issue #10, he is finally free from his curse, but everything always has a consequence of some sort.
Shadowman #10 takes a pause in the action to catch the reader up on what has been happening. It’s an issue that takes its time in setting up for the next chapter and also one that seems to be the climax of the story. The trouble that you often see from these types of stories is that they often don’t have much to them, if they aren’t executed correctly. Chapters that act as a setup can often be bogged down by exposition or just clumsy reveals of long-standing mysteries. Issue #10 is one of the exceptions, though. In this issue, we’re shown exactly what Jack has always wanted: a separation from the violent voodoo spirit that has been bound to his soul, but at the most inopportune moment.
The change of art caused me a little bit of whiplash at first reading, but as it was part of the story change, it helped to establish the different events that were happening. Nevertheless, it felt a little like a “too many cooks in the kitchen” scenario, with the abrupt change of art making the divergent art styles battle against one another. When this happens, the reader can end up judging the art instead of appreciating the story, and this issue is one that you’re going to want to pay attention to.
The highlight of this issue, of course, is Alyssa charging in to save the day, and when her magic just doesn’t cut it—especially when it comes to the necromancer, Sandria, who originally bound the Ioa to Jack’s family— she goes classic American magic with a gun. Obviously, it doesn’t work, but the fact that it was even an option was hilarious. “Magic must defeat magic,” as Uncle, from the Jackie Chan Adventures, used to say.
Honestly, it’s a very entertaining issue that makes you want to know more, and it’s one that will probably change Shadowman. As it stands, this Hulk and Banner scenario that Jack and the Ioa have together seems to be coming to an end and in a way that will forge a new path for the series.
Creative Team: Andy Diggle (writer), Renato Guedes and Eric Battle (artists), Ulises Arreola (colorist), Simon Bowland (letters), David Menchel (assistant editor), Karl Boellers (senior editor)
Publisher: Valiant Comics
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