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Shadowman Volume 4: Fear, Blood, and Shadows (Shadowman (Unnumbered)) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 20. Mai 2014

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  • Shadowman Volume 4: Fear, Blood, and Shadows (Shadowman (Unnumbered))
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3.0 von 5 Sternen Excellent Start... Then Everything Else Happened 19. Oktober 2016
Von zagain - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
My major complaint about the VEI Shadowman series has been that we don't know anything about the main character. The first three volumes focused primarily on Master Darque, the main enemy of Shadowman, as well as various other supporting characters and unresolved plot points. Jack Boniface (Shadowman) was almost an after thought. The reader knew little of his background; had no idea of what his powers were as Shadowman; and really, had no notion of what "the Shadowman" was beyond it being a "loa" that bonded with Jack when he was in "the Deadside" (a realm inhabited by the dead that was also left largely unexplained).

Peter Milligan took over the title with this volume which collects issues 13-16 of the ongoing series, and the initial chapter showed a tremendous amount of potential: the previously pleasant Jack is now experience blackouts which result in him assaulting various people. He severely injures or kills these people leaving him confused and scared. Jack wrestles with memories of his past of a regretful encounter with a bully while also fighting against the Shadowman loa that seems to have a mind of its own and a level of control that it begins to exert over Jack. Jack attempts to rid himself of the loa by meeting with a backwoods "mambo" who supposedly has the ability to separate the connection between the two. Unfortunately, her powers aren't quite strong enough to handle the Shadowman loa and she sends Jack on his way to wrestle with his problems alone.

Overall, a great start. After that, things devolve quickly. Alyssa, who had a seemingly sister-like connection to Jack, suddenly is interested in trying to force a love connection in order to "save" Jack; a new duo of "senior" abettors show up and decide Jack is too dangerous and needs to be taken out; Jack tries to apologize to the bully he crippled (after the scene is rehashed over and over and over); we get some new "Tremble" loa that wreaks havoc for months in New Orleans (although that isn't shown, just mentioned, and the abettors seem more focused on taking down the guy they are supposed to aid rather than confronting this supposed menace); and we get a "screaming whip" that can bring pain to the children of the African diaspora (that's emphasized twice); and Jack's dead father (who we saw in the Deadside in volume 1) evidently isn't dead. Honestly, the writing just falls apart after the first chapter. It's as if Milligan and Valiant knew that Shadowman needed to have a backstory and needed a new direction, and while they had a general plan of where things were going to go, they didn't have things fully thought out before they began to execute it. Or, maybe they did and it just didn't work out well.

The artwork on this volume is certainly very different from the first three volumes. It's much darker (both literally and figuratively), with heavy inks, and from panel to panel it sometimes toes the line between excellent and terrible. The colorist did a nice job in making the art stand out and also in helping to tell the story (which jumps around from flashback to real time, and from focus to focus quite quickly).

Unfortunately, this isn't great. It's probably 2.5 stars (graded on a curve, and I'm rounding up to 3 which is more than generous). The first chapter is the primary strength of the work.
1.0 von 5 Sternen A Weird Change Of Direction For The Book 31. März 2017
Von J. Del Arroz - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Shadowman Vol. 4

Shadowman, after the new X-O was the first read I had, and made me really interested in this universe as a whole rather than just one comic. The last couple issues of vol. 3 were really rough. I don't know what happened, they parted ways with the creative team I guess and had to fill in to keep something coming out, but it was a jarring transition to say the least. Justin Jordan set up a lot of universe, and left a ton open after his issues finished, really without a ton of direction, but a lot of ways I could have imagined it going.

I didn't imagine it getting super dark like this.

The story changed pretty abruptly, with Jack now dealing with some "past" he had where he was beating people to pulps, murdering people, even though he looked like a nice guy on the surface. Now I'm all for flawed characters (as evidenced in my Harbinger review) but this has pushed the main character to unlikable. And it doesn't make sense given the prior issues. The character got completely rewritten, he has zero confidence in anything he does, and he simply is not someone worth following or rooting for in this installment. The Abettors are suddenly bad too, with a replacement Dox who just wants to take down Shadowman. There's a villain monster that shows up... and I'm just not engaged with that story at all. Alyssa decides that to make Shadowman good again, he must fall in love with her, and there's a forced love plot that doesn't really get developed so much as it happens cuz the plot says it happens. No characterization. No emotion. Almost no action. A very bizarre storyline. The Darque storyline developing in issue 10 is pretty much dropped, though referenced in a couple spots I suppose because they felt they had to maintain some continuity. Shadowman seems to have lost his powers to some degree too, only to rediscover the dark side at the end. Don't even get me started on the weird showing up at a guy he crippled's house. I'm sorry to say, I don't think there's anything I like about the story. It's more coherent than the last couple issues of volume 3, but it's not something I really want to read.

Now onto the art. This is noir style art like I'd expect in an arty Ed Brubaker book or a Neil Gaiman dark fairy tale piece. It's a bit stiff, and though it looks cool and realistic quite often, it's an odd choice for Shadowman. It's good, it's just very wrong for this book, and with so little action in the script, having a "realism" art instead of something dynamic just slows that pace down even further. They seem to not be able to keep up the pace of a monthly comic and switch into multiple artists for the last couple of issues, the second time this has been done with Shadowman, which hurts the book's flow pretty badly.

Really disappointed. 2/10
5.0 von 5 Sternen Shadowman :Fear ,Blood ,and Shadows 17. März 2015
Von comicsyte95 - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
Jack Boniface is possessed by a voodoo loa making him a supernatural powerhouse that is armed by a mystical scythe.He has inherited this power like generations before him to combat the evil of Master Darque a villain who is supernatural evil personified.Without Boniface and the abettors ,human forces mystically armed,supernatural darkness from Darque and other evil forces would rule and life as humans know it would know true fear.

But that isn't the who story Jack may be a reluctant supernatural hero but the truth is Jack has his own personal demons.He has awaked many times in dark places.Blood,Vomit,bodies around him..battered and beaten he needs help.

His darker side makes him as much a danger to people around him then the help he represents.He hurts the people around him.Assaults over and over,He is dangerous.

The abettors are taxed to stop him even if it means Jacks death.One abettor female named Alyssa wants to stop without killing him but being on his side puts her on their bad side.Her solution is get the Shadowman Loa to stop possessing Jack so the abettors might loose interest in him.She will try to separate them by going to a mambo a voodoo priestess who might be able to do it she thinks

She does her work but isn't happy when she finds out the possessing Loa is An ancient cursed one.find out by reading this book is she successful in stopping the cursed Jack If not the abettors will kill Jack or will they......
1.0 von 5 Sternen Disappointing. 25. April 2017
Von Bryan - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
Picks where vol 2 left off for so you can skin vol 3 easily but still this volume is not worth it. The story is mediocre with forcing romance subplot. It's confusing too. It's unfortunately this series has been weak. Shadowman is one of fave Valiant characters...
5.0 von 5 Sternen ...and I'd sell my soul for total control. 3. Oktober 2014
Von Peter B. - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
Jack Boniface is battling his demons, not just the self imposed kind, these are real and inherited. Loa are wild exiled spirits and one of them, Umbria, had been bonded, by Darque's sister Sandria, to her lover and Jack's ancestor, Marius Boniface, the first Shadowman. Marius was able to, with the help of his love from Sandria, have some semblance of control over the Loa spirit and thus control his Shadowman persona. Even though Jack has been to the deadside and back, and faced Darque and other demons, perhaps the greatest battle is within himself, and if not for the faith of possibly the last person that cares for Jack, he may lose not just his sanity but his life. A crippled man from Jack's past also plays a major part which may help him control this spirit.

Shadowman Volume Four: Fear, Blood and Shadows contains issues#13-16, finds new direction with writer Peter Milligan, who is joined by artist Roberto de la Torre, and together they present a more darker and grittier continuation of Jack's origin as Shadowman, that I feel will become much more appreciated as the years go by. Milligan has expanded upon what has happened in past volumes to help further present Jack's struggle along the road that hopefully will one day see him successfully take on the mantle of the Shadowman. Jack has lost himself in a haze of memory blanks where people are turning up dead and it has gotten so far out of control that even the senior abettors believe him to be a lost cause, like others in the past who haven't found what it takes to control the bloodlust of the Loa spirit. They try to recruit junior member Alyssa, who has shared Jack's journey since his awakening, into helping them subdue Jack. Jack receives indirect help from Punk Mambo, a voodoo Priestess, who instructs him to find his inner peace, and direct help from a very confused Alyssa who believes that like his ancestor, Jack must also have love in his life to successfully control the Loa spirits.

I really enjoyed this story so much it deserves the five stars I am giving it, as Milligan has masterfully brought many loose ends together to finally see us arrive at the beginning of hopefully the very start of Jack's self control as Shadowman. Roberto de la Torre's artwork compliments the dark essence of this story of Jack's struggle beautifully. I stated that I believe that this volume will become more appreciated in time, and I believe this because we see the origins of not only of the inner struggle Jack has faced and will continue to face, but also of the connection he has with Alyssa, which I look forward to seeing evolve one way or another into the future. May this title soon find it's groove and move from strength to strength.
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