Comic Reviews: Deadpool, Swamp Thing, and Shadowman!
Deadpool is back, and with a brand new, shiny #1! Now I’ll be honest, I fell off the Deadpool train a few years back, but if the rest of the series keeps up the tone presented in this debut issue, I’ll be sticking around for the time being. Deadpool marks the comic writing debut of comedians Brain Posehn and Gerry Duggan, who thankfully do away with the multiple caption box Deadpool that was prevalent since his Daniel Way relaunch a few years back. With this streamlined approach, the character does lose his schizophrenic zaniness, but it definitely makes the issue an easier read.
Wade Wilson is called into action by S.H.I.E.L.D. to help them take out an interesting problem: someone has been resurrecting our presidents, and their zombiefied remains are causing havoc throughout the country. Not wanting to send out Captain America or another member of the Avengers, Deadpool is recruited under deal of receiving a hefty paycheck. Of course, things don’t go entirely as planned for the Merc with a Mouth when the first place he encounters is home to nearly all of our deceased presidents.
I’ve already mentioned Posehn and Duggan’s surprisingly solid script, but it’s worth noting again. These guys do a very good job setting up the plot and getting potential new (and lapsed) Deadpool readers up to speed. Not all of their jokes hit the mark, but when they do, they hit hard. The overarching plot of Deadpool wanting to be a legitimate hero is great, and his interactions with a certain Asgardian at the beginning of the book are very funny.
The other selling point for the book is the art by Tony Moore, of Walking Dead and Venom fame. I’m a huge Moore fan, and he delivers some of his best work here. His facial expressions are hilarious, especially on Deadpool. Moore does a phenomenal job showing Wade’s reactions to his surrounding even though his face is covered up. The splash page of all of the undead presidents towards the end has so many sight gags that it’s hard to take them all in on the first read through, and Moore’s work really shines in these moments.
Deadpool is a fun read that did it’s job: getting me to care about Wade Wilson again, and more importantly, want to pick up his series. Consider me on board for the foreseeable future.
Swamp Thing #14
“Rotworld: The Green Kingdom” continues in the latest issue of Scott Snyder and Yanick Paquette’s Swamp Thing. Picking up where #13 left off (and book ending last week’s Annual), part two of Swamp Thing’s journey through Rotworld reveals more about the location of Abigail Arcane, and sheds a little more light into what has happened to the world while Alec Holland was away. Snyder’s script fills us in on the plot details we need to know, but I felt this issue was a little slower paced than the previous one.
Of course, a slower paced issue isn’t a bad thing when you have artwork by Paquette. At this point there’s no reason to continue to sing the man’s praises, he’s just that good. Everything from his panel layouts to his horrific Rot creations are amazing, and continue to make this series a must-buy, even the slow issues. Despite taking it’s time this month, next issue promises a visit to my favorite fictional city: Gotham City. I can’t wait to see what horrors Snyder and Paquette unearth there.
Valiant Comics’ latest relaunched title is Shadowman. A cross between The Darkness and The Phantom, Shadowman is a supernatural protector who hunts demons and spirits in New Orleans. Passed from father to son, the legacy of the Shadowman exists to prevent the supernatural from completely taking over the mortal realm, no matter how grotesque or horrific they are.
Jack Bonniface fits the typical model for a young hero. Living in and out of foster homes since he was a kid, he’s been searching for information on his parents for years. All he has is a mysterious amulet that belongs to his father, which after learning that his parents were possible criminals, he throws out. Unfortunately for him, that amulet was preventing the powers of darkness from locating him, as well as the Shadowman entity. With the amulet gone, he horrors of the world come for Boniface, but not before he is transformed into the Shadowman!
While I’m not familiar with Shadowman, the preview images I saw of Patrick Zircher’s art drew me in, and I have to say: he can make horror look reeeeaallll purty. There’s some extremely disgusting stuff here, like a demon named “Mr. Twist” who has mutilated corpses hanging from his ceiling, or the creepy possessed cops who kidnap our hero. Justin Jordan, currently writing Team 7 and the upcoming The Legend Of Luther Strode, does a lot of creative world building in this issue. The legacy behind the Shadowman is a really interesting idea that I hope he plays around with more. While the book does drag a little in the middle, it at least gives us the main character in his superhero outfit in the first issue, which is more than I can say for a lot of first issues.
If you’re a fan of horror comics, The Darkness, or The Phantom (I mean, who doesn’t love Billy Zane?) then you should definitely pick this up. Valiant has been pumping out some quality books, and Shadowman keeps that tradition going.