It’s Tuesday, which means it’s time for another new edition of Kickin’ It Old School, our weekly column in which we look to the past and review books from the original Valiant universe! This week, I’ll be discussing Shadowman #3

Shadowman #3

Published in July 1992
Written by Faye Perozich
Penciled by Mark Moretti
Inked by Charles Barnett III
Colored by Dave Chlystek and Mark Csaszar
Lettered by Joe Albelo and Jade
Edited by D. David Perlin


Emil Sosa is a bad man who black mails a child pornographer for a monthly protection fee and a young child, who he fries with his unexplained powers. Jack decides that he must take him down at the same time that Sosa decides that he wants the challenge of killing Shadowman. He bates Shadowman, they fight, and Sosa knocks Jack unconscious and captures him. Jack is released by Sosa’s maid, who is tired of seeing him kill children. He rescues the little girl that Sosa was going to kill next but, in the process of trying to kill Sosa, the girl is recaptured and used by Sosa to draw Jack out. Jack shows a lack of concern for the girl’s life, gets the upper hand on Sosa, and throws him through a window. Later on, Jack is surprised to find out that Sosa is still alive, although incapacitated for the moment. When his maid points out that the road to recovery will he long for the little girl, Jack is unconcerned and satisfied with having taken Sosa out of commission.


I felt that this issue was pretty weak, particularly after how great the last two issues were. Next month is the beginning of Unity, and this feels like a placeholder. Faye Perozich cowrote the last issue with Jim Shooter, but this is the first one that he’s had no involvement in, and it shows. Nothing about Sosa was ever explained. Where did his powers come from? What benefit does he get from frying people? Why the little children? This was a bad guy for Shadowman to battle, but there was no substance to him.  Jack’s kill was also lame. He throws Sosa through a window, except he’s only shown going part way through. Why are we supposed to believe this killed Sosa and why didn’t Jack bother to follow up?

The art was also a notch down from the previous two. It wasn’t bad by any means, but David Lapham drew the first two books and they were amazing. They heavily utilized light, color, angles, etc., to heighten everything about the story. In this issue, the art is fine, but is missing all of those elements that made it great in the first two. I’m hoping that the lower quality is just because it’s the month before Unity begins and they didn’t want to get anything more substantial under way.

Kickin’ It Old School: Shadowman #1

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