Writer : Garth Ennis, Paul Jenkins
Artist : Ashley Wood
Color Art: Atomic Paintbrush
Letterer: Dave Lanphear, Chris Eliopoulos
Cover Artist Ashley Wood
Before I start this review I must confess I know very little about the Valiant comic line aside from Bloodshot and a new title I have yet to read (Generation Zero) but if the rest of the titles are as good as Bloodshot them I am in for a treat!
By the time you finish reading this review my vast knowledge will stun you haha.
Valiant Readers teach me your secret!
Although I may not know Valiant, I do know Garth Ennis so let me begin by telling you about him.
Garth Ennis is a Northern Irish born American comic writer. Although best known for his Vertigo series Preacher (with Artist Steve Dillon), Ennis is prolific and the quality of his work speaks for itself- The Boys, War Stories, Red Rover Charlie, Crossed, The Punisher, Bloody Mary, Streets of Glory, The Shadow, Red Team, Pride& Joy, Battlefields to name just a few. This man is a legit comic writing God! His work is GOLD and in case you have not figured it out yet – I am a huge FAN! Someday I hope to get his autograph on one of my Ennis comics as a keepsake.
“Boy, if Garth Ennis had created a religion, I would sure like to be a part of that. It just makes sense, the way he tackles things in it. It’s really heavy stuff and it’s incredibly well written.” James Marsden
The Shadowman is an entity that can move between the “deadside” (land of the dead, limbo, Hades, or whatever you want to call it) and the world of the living. The Shadowman acts as a kind of defender of the living, protecting them from those evil souls who might escape from the deadside” and invade the land of the living. Apparently there is no single Shadowman, but rather a series of people who assume the mantle of Shadowman. When one dies, another must take his place. Voodoo Queen Nettie is the entity it seems responsible for recruiting/creating the Shadowmen. In this case the story begins with the death of the former Shadowman, Jack Boniface and we discover Nettie has her sights set on a young African American college student, who as a result of a car accident in which his family is killed, ends up comatose, straddling both deadside and life. It is in this state that Nettie finds him and decides to use him as the next Shadowman.
Tommy Lee Jones Bones(no relation to the actor!) and his outlaw crew, escapees from THE DEADSIDE, have come to New Orleans to set up shop and stir up trouble, but the Shadowman, along with Nettie and his colleague Jaunty (a gigantic snake with an Irish brogue and skull for a head) have other ideas.
I really enjoy this novel – the premise, the story and the art grabbed me from the beginning and did not let go. Despite the graphic ultra-violence there is timely comic relief (a la DC’s Main Man, Lobo). The repeated references to the Dukes of Hazard are priceless. It would not be overstating it to say that I am now on a quest to learn more about the valiant universe and the ‘Shadowman” in particular.
Garth Ennis always delivers! Did I mention how good the artwork is? Credit to Ashley Woods. The characters are truly horrifying – both In behavior and appearance (I’M INLOVE)
This needs to be on my TV! Netflix, are you listening?
Garth Ennis 4 part Shadowman ( DarkSide) is a must read. This collection is dark, violent and insanely good with characters that jump of the page with murderous intent .
Grab a copy!
Quick Shout out to Mr Paul Jenkins such amazing talent!