It's October again, ladies and gentlemen. Halloween is close upon us, and that means seasonal issues of many different comic series. This particular issue of Shadowman is in honor of the spooky holiday and it makes sense considering the material of the book dealing with spirits, devils, and the like. I know there are quite a few people out there who believe Shadowman to be the weakest of the Valiant series, and I think that has a whole lot to do with it not being as connected to the Valiant universe as the other titles. I believe most people are intrigued by how well the other Valiant books build worlds around their title character, and subsequently turned each of those individual worlds into one big universe by slowly inserting other characters from other Valiant books. Shadowman is more of a standalone series at the moment, but I kind of like it that way until it finds a better foothold and has a good reason to be connected to the rest of the Valiant universe.
This particular issue wasn't best I've read. It's more of a filler issue than anything, and while it can be fun, it really falters in plot and story. There's no real threat and most of the jokes feel really forced and wrong in the Shadowman environment. It's not completely terrible, but the point is you could skip over this issue completely and it wouldn't be a big deal. I did like the inclusion of Dr. Mirage as she may be a fun love interest later down the line, but that was the only upside of the issue. I know the book is on two filler issues until Peter Milligan comes on board with #14, but Jim Zub could have provided us with a more entertaining one and done.
The art is okay. It fits the book, but the whole issue felt really freaking dark. Everything looks muddled up and it was just annoying to look at most of the time. I feel like the colorist could have made the book a lot more bright and colorful considering the playfulness of the issue, but it wasn't at all. It's not unbearable, but, for me, I could have done with a different artist and colorist on this issue.
Overall, this issue isn't something I would waste any time on. It's not necessary to the overall narrative in the book thus far, and it's not that entertaining of a story. For it to be a "Halloween Spooktacular," it could have been much darker and creepy in tone, but it's nowhere near that. Honestly it doesn't really even capture the feeling of Halloween, it's just happens to be set during the particular holiday. Here's looking towards Peter Milligan hopping on the book in a couple months and giving it some direction.