I've been enjoying SHADOWMAN a lot thus far, but up until now, it has never really felt like a horror book. Despite the dark themes and supernatural elements, the book is surprisingly lighthearted at times and really, really, fun (I miss you dearly, Mr. Twist). This issue slaps that impression square in the face and proves it wrong. It's a dark and foreboding issue, and that's exactly what this villain deserves.
Writer Justin Jordan's origin story for the classic villain is nothing short of gripping and every key moment had me captivated. There are brief moments of joy thrown into the mix and, while they may bring a smile to your face and fill you with some degree of joy at the time, it only helps to build the suspense because there's such a dark cloud lingering over this story. We know it's all going to go horribly downhill, and when it finally does, it does not disappoint at all.
Jordan's script is brought to life by truly stunning artwork. There's a lot of people lending their talents to fill these pages and thankfully we never hit a jarring transition. Sure, the difference is noticeable, but it's immediately counter-acted by how impressive and absorbing each panel is. From the infants' haunting eyes on the opening page to a graphic and shocking twist near the end, this entire issue has incredibly remarkable artwork. That poor, poor bunny... it's likely going to haunt my dreams tonight.
Call me generous, but I thought this was a phenomenal origin story.
Even if you haven't been following along in the series, this is an issue you can pick up and enjoy as a standalone. And if you're searching for a solid horror story, you should rush to your local shop right now. Engrossing, twisted and eerily gorgeous, this is an origin story that does Shadowman's villain total justice. It's a stellar story with equally impressive visuals and I absolutely recommend it.