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Review: Shadowland: Power Man #1

The best of the Shadowland tie-ins so far.

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A new Power Man arises from the spectre of Shadowland, but his appearence isn't too pleasing to the Hand nor the Heroes for Hire.

The Good

Before anything else, I need to say that the monologue Van Lente gave a newly pimped-out Cottonmouth had to be some of the funniest dialogue I've read in some time. Actually, he keeps the comedy and drama in a pretty skillful balance. I also enjoyed how he was able to make the Hero for Hire concept actually speak to the times, with this new guy listing his services on Craig's List and his home life embodying the complexities of modern families. I was also really getting into the Yojimbo-subtext of this wild card intruding into a feudal blood feud between the Hand and the "costumes" while being allied with neither. The lingering mysteries of how Power Man III got his K'un L'un training, as well as the source of his bad blood with Luke Cage, are sharp enough hooks to make me want to come back.

The Bad

Maybe he had to do this under a tight deadline or maybe his style didn't mesh with the inker and colorist he got on this, but Asrar's art wasn't as impressive here as it was on that Young Avengers Siege tie-in special he did a few months back. Looking back over it again, it might be a case of the later, because everything that impressed before is still there except the crisp linework and rendering I was so amazed by there.  I hope this gets remedied soon, because I really think he's one of the best talents on the rise, right now.

The Verdict - 4/5

Honestly, the notion of introducing a new Power Man interested me about as much the prospect of somebody introducing a new Razorback, so the fact that Van Lente and Asrar actually make this debut as good as it was is doubly-accomplished. I've really been surprised with the quality of all these Shadowland tie-ins, so far, and this is actually the best of the bunch.