Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Shadowman #3 (Classic Valiant)

Ugh, crap. I guess I had to come back to this Shadowman series sooner or later! *sigh* Gone is the good Shadow Man series, after a scant six issues. I hardly knew ye...

Jack Boniface is full of newfound exhilaration in his new role as Shadowman, beating up the crooked people of New Orleans' nightlife, but unfortunately for him, degenerate gangster, pedophile, child Po-Very Bad Thing-er and literal soul-sucker Emil Sosa has taken a sick fancy in Shadowman, and is intent on hunting him down...

This is an issue that has a villain into some horrendous stuff, and I don't know how to feel about this being in a comic. On one hand, having the hero confront such a dark real world issue is kinda commendable, and in the right hands, it can show maturity (althugh it's basically window dressing here), but on the other hand, this isn't the kind of bleak real-life subject that I want to read about in comic books. I'm not saying all comics need to be super rainbow happy fun, but some stuff might be too grim to use.

Main character Jack Boniface continues to be a dullard. I just don't find him interesting. He has no character, and he's a dime-a-dozen vigilante. Also, I am seriously getting annoyed by Classic Valiant's constant piss-yellow narration boxes! Pick a different colour, you lazy bums! Jack's baby-blue Shadowman costume is still sucky, but his mask is very cool and fitting!...It gets destroyed next issue and is replaced by a sucky one. Dammit!...

Emil Sosa is an ok villain. His soul-sucking powers are courtesy of his being a Harbinger (the Valiant universe's equivalent to mutants), but thankfully this issue doesn't say that. Not that this helps much, as there's still no legit magic in the Shadowman series, which is infuriating.

There are many dumb moments this issue, such as when Jack saves a captive girl from Sosa's house, walks her out onto the grounds...and leaves her alone so he can go find Sosa! IDIOT! But it's ok, as this plantation just seems like a regular home, with no guards and just Sosa...But Jack doesn't know that, and the little girl is still caught while he's Sosa. Holy crap, you suck at this, Jack! Michael LeRoi is the real Shadow Man! Dr. Facilier is better at being a Shadow Man than Jack Boniface, and he was a bad guy!

Another nonsensical aspect is why Sosa's maids have never called the police, even though they're regularly forced to dispose of violently murdered bodies by their twisted employer. Seriously, pretend to dispose of whoever Sosa's just killed, leaving it on the grounds, then call the cops when he's out, or if they're feeling really confident, leave the corpse exactly where it is and smashed a vase against the back of Sosa's head, or something like that. Nettie explains that he's got the maids' kids locked up somewhere, as insurance, but Sosa seems to be a pretty lone wolf. Again, conk 'im on the head and phone 911! The cops'll find your kids! Either way, it's better than them being locked up in a sex offender's secret dungeon somewhere!

The ending is hilariously abrupt! Jack and Sosa fight for a few panels, Jack wins quickly, then it instantly cuts to Jack talking to Nettie the next day, where he's saying "Man, Sosa sure was a maniac. I'm glad he's dead" Wow! Could you be any more blase abrupt than that?!

One scene in particular is just plain baffling! It's at the start, when Jack is in a bar, seeing an old guy being harassed by bookies. They drag the guy into a bathroom, and Jack follows, sticking a crowbar in the door handle. The next panel, the thugs are running out, terrified, and it was easy enough to figure out what had happened...But then I saw the time tag! Jack goes into the bathroom to confront the thugs at 9:06 PM, and they run out at 9:45 PM! What the hell was Jack doing in there for 39 minutes?! After that long, why did no-one call the police, or force their way in to see if Jack was ok? What must the bar patrons/staff think of the guy who locks himself in a bathroom with violent gangsters for nearly an hour? Stupid comic! And worse still, when the gangsters escape the bathroom, one of them says "Finally! I thought that bolt would never give!". Uh, dude, did you try lifting it up?! That line would make sense if the crowbar was on the opposite side of the door, but it isn't! Stupid comic!

The art is pretty good, as is the cover. The logo box though, Jeezu Christos! Bright green?! And other issues in the series have logo box either tomato red, baby blue, orange, or juane yellow, etc! This is supposed to be a horror series!

On one final note, Shadowman is not worthy of a day of celebration in New Orleans in my opinion. It's a city that deserves a better comic...

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