(Published monthly by Acclaim Comics, words by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning, art by various)
Film and game tie-ins are usually a letdown, but this one seems different. For a start, the comic came first, inspiring Acclaim to bring out the Playstation game of the same name. With the game due for release any day now, it makes sense to re-launch the comic and grab more readers. It's a ploy that has worked, because I would never have picked this up if hadn't found out about it after reading an interview with the game's creators in the Official Playstation Magazine. Once I found out that Dan Abnett was writing I was motivated even further, remembering him on Marvel's Knights of the Pendragon series in my comic-reading youth of the early 90s.
The Shadowman is Mike Leroi, a cool, suave, witty type of guy. Look no further than his phone-in radio show (why has he got a phone-in radio show?) for evidence of his wit and wisdom. The fact that he's an undead monster assassin and has a voodoo mask uncomfortably implanted in his ribcage is beside the point, because he just looks pretty cool. In the same way that all 90s heroes look cool: long trenchcoat, bald head and sunglasses a la Morpheus from The Matrix, King Mob from The Invisibles and Spider Jerusalem from Transmetropolitan.
So, he looks good and he says some clever things, but how's the story? Actually, although it's nothing very new from where I'm standing, it's atmospheric and suspenseful enough to make me want to read more. The voodoo aspects are interestingly written and the artwork captures the mood superbly with unpleasant deeds that lurk at every turn of the page. The supporting cast is convincing, although it's a bit disappointing to see yet another feisty blonde in need of some macho assistance.
Overall, this is a good "first" issue and I will definitely be picking up the next ones. Whether I'll still be reading once I'm hooked up to the game is another matter!
http://www.acclaim.net/games/shadowman/index.html not much info on the comic, but here's a taster of the game
[Load time rating: you might find this link only takes you to Acclaim's home page and leaves you to make the remaining connections, so **]
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