Shadowman #14 is the second issue from the new creative team of Peter Milligan and Roberto De La Torre. Shadowman #13 was a return to quality on the title, and this issue continues the trend. Jack Boniface finds himself unable to control the LOA and it’s causing big problems for him and those he encounters.
Shadowman isn’t very attached to the rest of the Valiant Universe and I kind of enjoy that. It doesn’t have the same superohero vibe the rest of the titles have, although Boniface’s current interactions with the Loa are reminiscent of Moon Knight and Khonshu from Charlie Huston’s run on the character. Shadowman has more of a supernatural/noir vibe and Milligan understands that section of the Valiant Universe well.
Milligan has brought Shadowman back from the depths, especially after the directionless couple of issues preceding him. Milligan throws in quite a few different plot threads in this issue, especially concerning the Loa, giving it some characterization and a driving purpose for its actions as of late. The Loa’s desires coupled with Jack’s insecurities and shortcomings make this an entertaining issue. Not only is Jack battling the Loa, but now he must face opposition from Alyssa and the Abettors. Shadowman has become a fairly large barrel of monkeys in a very good way. Each of the plot threads are balanced and coincide well with each other. Milligan is doing a great job of pushing the story forward on each front without sacrificing understanding from the reader or the pace of the issue.
Roberto De La Torre’s art is very gritty, suiting the book well. His art style helps the book in its tone and mood, allowing for the colorist, David Baron, to shine through in quite a few panels by highlighting reds and greens against dark backgrounds. It is nice having De La Torre be the sole artist on the book, and not jumping around to different artists, which can be jarring to the immersive experience of a single issue.
Shadowman is back to being a book you can pick up and enjoy. None of the characters feel hollow and each of them has a driving motivation. The eventual conflict that will erupt is going to be glorious. I hope this team stays on the book for a while because I’m enjoying their expansion of the Shadowman mythos and their handling of the characters.