It’s Monday, 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 #4
Published in August 1992
Story by David Lapham and Jim Shooter
Written by Jim Shooter with Faye Perozich
Penciled by David Lapham
Inked by Tom Ryder
Colored by Jorge Gonzalez with Knob Row
Background Inks by Maria Beccari
Lettered by George Roberts
Edited by Don Perli
Shadowman is lead to a portal into the Lost Land. Once he’s there, he doesn’t have a clue what’s going on, since he’s the only Valiant character that wasn’t brought into the team against Erica Pierce. First, he saves one of the “dinosaur jockeys” from falling debris. Once he sees Solar, he figures that’s a good place to go for answers. He convinces a soldier who’s riding a pterodactyl to help him get to the tower where Solar is headed to face Erica.
As Shadowman is fighting his way through dinosaurs, Solar and Erica are having a showdown. Just when Solar is about to take down Pierce, Shadowman jumps in to stop him, getting fried in the process. The distraction allows Erica’s trap to work and Solar is transported away. Erica meets with the woman who brought Shadowman to the tower, commending her for following her instincts. She is allowed to visit Shadowman, who is in the med-center being reconstructed.
I may have been underwhelmed by the last issue of Shadowman, but it’s right back to the highest quality with this issue! The intro segment really set the tone, with Jack witnessing an abusive husband talking his way out of trouble with the police. As the man drags his wife back inside to smack her around, Shadowman intervenes and threatens to burn the guys if it ever happens again. Very vigilante, aggressive stuff! It was also an important scene to have right before removing Shadowman from his element by joining him into the Unity storyline.
I liked the approach of his interactions with events. In all the madness going on, how would he know who is good and who is bad? His instinct is to protect the weak, and Solar’s team is certainly not weak. On top of that, we get to look at one of Erica’s soldiers as an aid to our protagonist, breaking the black and white notion of good versus evil. Elya, the woman who helps Jack, is just trying to do what is right, and from her perspective, it’s serving Erica Pierce, the Mothergod.
David Lapham is definitely one of the top artists at Valiant at this time. Since we’re seeing characters crossing over between all the titles, there’s likely to be some inconsistency to the look of the characters. I think that Lapham has them all looking their best. Erica has probably been the most inconsistently drawn, and I like David’s take in this book. Jorge Gonzalez’s coloring continues to be a driving factor in the beauty of these books, as well.
Originally from ValiantCentral.com