Seraph’s Sanctions: SHADOWMAN/RAE SREMMURD #1

Writer: Eliot Rahal
Art: Renato Guedes
Colors: Renato Guedes
Letterer: Dave Lanphear
Publisher: VALIANT COMICS (October 2017)

This review WILL contain SPOILERS. You have been warned.

The Breakdown:

It seems like a trickster comes for musicians to take their souls. When hip hop act Rae Sremmurd seeming have signed their souls away for the fame and power they currently have, the trickster comes to claim them 5 years later. And it is up to Shadowman and an old friend to save the hip hop duo.

The Bad:

The only thing off from this issue was Doctor Mirage’s lack of knowledge for parts of the deadside. Well, not for the lack of knowledge, but the way it seemed to sound. It gave an impression of Dr. Mirage never having gone to the Deadside when she did. The first false note in an otherwise flawless performance.

The Moment of the Issue:

Shadowman clearly was kicking all the ass & I do like that Jack seems to have gotten back into the swing of heroics.

The Good:

Guedes art is simply superb. It is beautiful. Nicely detailed. A nice hyper realistic style while still promoting the best parts of sequential art … how art marries with the story to give readers an experience. Guedes captures all of the characters well as well as bring life to our hip hop duo, our heroes and our villain. Our villain is very sly and nice looking, thanks to Guedes. Meanwhile, Shadowman just looked epic. While I am not a fan of his current look, I do appreciate how absolutely badass Jack looks in his current digs. The action was good and I do enjoy Guedes rendition of Shadowman and Mirage. Some fine art on display here.

Meanwhile, we get a solid tale from Rahal. We get a strong introduction to our hip hop duel and a pseudo how they got famous with the classic sign over your soul bit. Yet, Rahal makes it simple and gripping. Our main baddie, “the Devil”, was entertaining in and of himself. Rahal does give the character a charm that does suck people to him… like Rae Sremmurd. Rahal does a good job of giving each main character some time to shine as well as bring back Shadowman to the realm of the heroes following the events of the recently finished “Rapture” miniseries. Shadowman is back and he’s not taking crap, yet Rahal does make sure to show softer sides of Jack; particularly with his interaction with Mirage. They have worked together in the past and Jack even calls her a friend, which is quite different from his Magpie issue from over a year ago. And while we do have hip hop represented, Rahal does throw in references to rock bands like Styx and Led Zeppelin. The musical references are appreciated and Rahal weaves this tale well. It is a complete story. Mirage is actually pretty important in bringing Shadowman and does an ok job assisting the others. The dialogue was relatable and engaging. Rahal does have a strong grasp of the characters and makes the story work well.

The Verdict:

Shadowman/Rae Sremmurd #1 was a nice one shot that brought readers along for a ride about a hip hop group that wanted to make it, made it … at the cost of their souls and how they got those souls back. The story was pretty good, with a solid climax. We got pretty good character work from Rahal alongside his strong script. It feels like a complete story that wasn’t too slow or too fast. Guedes is an artistic master as this issue illustrates well. The panels are full of detail and the realistic style is engaging to the reader. Overall, a pretty good one shot.