Shadowman: End Times #1
Written by Peter Milligan
Art by Valentine De Landro with Livesay
Colors by David Baron
Justin Jordan’s run of Shadowman spent much of its time world building, but there was a some lack in the exploration of the characters of the series. Since Peter Milligan has taken the helm, we have seen an increasing focus on the man versus self conflict (or in this case man versus an actual inner demon).
Shadowman: End Times picks up after the events of the main Shadowman series. Milligan is still exploring Jack’s turmoil with the loa inside him. However, it appears that Jack has a better hold and control on the loa. Through the loa Jack is learning more about his father and the history of the Shadowman loa. Milligan is using the loa as a plot device to both explore Jack’s role as a Shadowman and do a little world building through Josiah Boniface, Jack’s father.
The budding relationship between Alyssa and Jack is getting the attention it deserves. I felt Alyssa’s confession of love in past issues seemed to come out of nowhere, so it definitely deserves some more time on the pages. I still don’t fully buy it, as both sides seem to be hiding things from each other. The romance has just started, and Milligan proved he can work with characters in his debut arc in Shadowman, so I’ll stay my tongue for now.
De Landro has offered up an art style that is simple and relies heavily of the shadows and ink work to sell it. This story is a darker one, so his style works here. David Baron did colors on the preceding Shadowman issues, and the subdued tones of his work carry over to Shadowman: End Times. Shades of blues and purples are used heavily in the pages centering on Jack or his father, and gold-brown tones are used of those pages focused on either of their lovers. It works well to juxtapose the darker nature of the Shadowmen with the more hopeful natures of Jack’s mom and Alyssa.
This is a soft buy for me. If you have read through Milligan’s previous run on Shadowman then you would probably be interested in finding out more about the characters. For new readers, there may be points you don’t pick up on. The issue is good, but it is not heavily fueled on demon hunting and underworld battles. It’s a break to reflect further on the characters and spend some time with them.