ShadowmanThe events of Shadowman: End Times have received all kinds of comments both from fans and haters of the character and the series, and with good reason. For many readers of old school Valiant – and even those who are somewhat new to the characters – End Times seems to have destroyed what many loved about Jack and company, and may have rushed certain story elements – such as the romantic involvement of Jack and Alyssa – to change how we view the characters. But why? What could Peter Milligan have in mind for Jack and the future of Shadowman? Welcome to the first installment of Out of my mind with, the future of Shadowman.

If you’d like to read our thoughts on Shadowman: End Times, make sure to read our review of Shadowman: End Times #3, the last few pages of which gave me the idea for this article. If you haven’t read the issue yet, I recommend you pick it up. SPOILERS AHEAD!

At first, I wondered what the series title could be. End times, but for who? The first issue certainly gave me the idea that Josiah Boniface, father of Jack Boniface, the current Shadowman, would either disappear or be killed, but the events that transpired throughout the rest of the series, and onto issue 3 gave the real answer – that this was not only the end for Josiah, but for everything we knew about Jack and everything that had been established throughout the regular series.

  • Josiah is dead
  • Jack and Alyssa are no more
  • Jack is no longer in control of the loa
  • Darque is back!

Of particular importance here are the last two pages of this issue, where we get to see Master Darque take complete and utter control of Jack, who is broken and lost after murdering his father. In these pages, Darque tells Jack that he will teach him to control his loa, and that the old shadow is dead, and a new shadow begins. So where will this take the characters?

It’s no secret that while Shadowman has huge potential, the series has suffered in terms of quality, and the sales have reflected that. Valiant would obviously not purposely ruin these characters, but somewhere along the way something went wrong, and the only way to fix things, is to completely reboot the characters.

The next big news cycle for Valiant will probably come in a few weeks during San Diego Comic Con, where we hope to hear Valiant’s plans for the rest of the year, and onto 2015 so this is all pure speculation. I foresee a Master Darque miniseries taking place immediately following the events of The Death Defying Dr. Mirage due the main character of the book traveling to the Deadside. Whether Darque or Jack will make an appearance remains to be seen, but it would make sense to tie the books together.

What would happen in a Master Darque book is beyond me to speculate, though a few ideas do come to mind, but it would set Darque up as a major villain in the Valiant universe, along the lines of Dr. Silk in the Unity/Rai tie ins we saw recently. Dr. Silk is the key here, as we learned in Unity that he was one of the scientist who worked on the original Unity team which included a female Shadowman. The seeds have been planted!

So how would setting Darque as the new “big bad” help Jack?

Poor Jack, now just a peon in Darque’s crazy games, could be redeemed by saving the universe and sending Darque back to the Deadside – or the Voodoo Lands, or wherever “dead” characters go. Could he join Unity? Maybe, but only temporarily. After his redemption, Jack would need to come to grips with what he’s done, and with his time with Darque. If Darque is truly successful in helping Jack take control of the loa, then a new mini or ongoing series is possible, but what if he can’t?

Having Jack, or another possessor of the loa as a new villain wouldn’t be such a bad thing would it?

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