“ 39 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away…”
― Matthew 24:38-39
On February 9th, 2017, Valiant Entertainment announced that their summer comic event would be titled Rapture, and Valiant Editor-in-Chief Warren Simons expanded on this announcement by stating;
“Rapture is our biggest and most harrowing exploration of the Shadowman mythology to date… …The return of Jack Boniface is the just first step in a series of major developments that will be coming for Shadowman over the next year, and Rapture will officially begin his long-awaited return to the forefront of the Valiant Universe.”
Only three and a half months later, this coming week on May 24th, 2017, Valiant Entertainment will make good on that promise with the release of Rapture #1 written by Matt Kindt. As (likely) expected, the fate of the world hangs in the balance and a team of heroes must save the world. While this premise may not be the most original concept in comic book history, Kindt creates a character driven story that takes readers on a mystical and spiritually compelling journey into an unexplored mythology that shares close ties with our own biblical history; yet, with a significant amount of creative freedom. Rapture is interesting, and promises to greatly expand on what is known of Tama the Geomancer and Shadowman (aka The Magpie). Furthermore, large (previously unseen) portions of the Deadside are shown, which adds to the ever-expanding future potential and possibilities of the Valiant Universe.
Spanish artist Carlos Alberto Fernandez Urbano (aka CAFU) beautifully illustrates each panel and page with his ever brilliant blend of clean, crisp lines (executing perfect proportions) with a phenomenal layering of grey tones to create a lifelike texture and feel to each character and background setting. CAFU has worked for Marvel and DC in the past; however, Valiant Entertainment clearly made the correct choice to sign him on as an exclusive artist for Valiant. CAFU creates first-rate cover art; however, it is his interior pages that are consistently amongst the finest and most professional in the comic book industry today.
Colorist Andrew Dalhouse brings life to CAFU’s work. Dalhouse understands the Valiant Universe having worked on multiple titles spanning several years with the publisher. As a result, he is able to completely capture the fantasy and magic of The Deadside with small colored details such as the blue/grey fog slightly above the ground in the Putrified Forrest, the mystical glow from within the High Tree, and the purples and blues used to create an out-worldly appearance of minor characters such as Bingle Mara and T.A.D.D.. The green glow of Amy’s eyes and the matching green and golden blending of color to create directional lighting effects are perfect examples of how much Dalhouse brings to the title.
Rapture #1 is a visually brilliant, colorful, and magical experience that builds upon our own mythology and expands it with creative finesse. It blends history and religion with science and magic, and returns Shadowman once again to the forefront of the Valiant Universe.