SHADOWMAN: END TIMES # 3
Written by Peter Milligan
Art by Valentine De Landro, Livesay, David Baron & Allen Passalaque
Lettering by Dave Lanphear
This will be a spoiler free review.
It is the final confrontation between father and son … and both seem crazed. See how far Jack goes in this incarnation of Shadowman.
De Landro does a good job here. Good atmosphere with his art. There is some nice detail but it is still very simple. Livesay’s inks help bring life to De Landro while Baron and Passalaque’s colors really give it texture and feel to the story. And while the battles are good in this, the emotion on panel was very striking. The last few pages were especially striking as we had the showdown between father and son.
De Landro and crew give us some solid work. Yet, backgrounds were definitely lacking this issue, which kind of took away from the landscape of the Deadside and some of the story in general. Still, it was a good effort by this team.
The writing is very up and down this issue. There are some great things that Milligan accomplishes in this issue. The paranoia from Jack felt almost palpable. Milligan really does a great job of building up Jack and Josiah in their final confrontation. And while we have some Alyssa and Punk Mambo, Milligan never lets the focus stray from Jack and Josiah too long. The dialogue was very good and emotional and fit the story.
Yet … the ending is by far one of the most frustrating I have read in some time. And while yes, I do see the story points that got Jack to the point he is at the end of the issue, I am not particular happy by it and the set up for him to cross this line just seems too … contrived. I am not saying that Milligan did not build it up with his arc in the ongoing and in these earlier issues .. but man … that still feel like quite a turn there. Does the ending make sense in terms of the story Milligan is telling? Yes. Does it feel like Milligan took some interesting liberties with Jack to get there? YES.
Going back to what was done before and compared to what is done now … I freely admit that Shadowman had drastically changed. And while I have welcomed Milligan after his first arc, the end of this arc has made me want to bang my head against the wall. In all the time that Jack Boniface was Shadowman before this … THIS ENDING JUST FEELS WRONG. Again … it makes sense with what Milligan is doing with the over all persona of Jack since the story began. Hell … it kind of spits in the face of what Milligan himself did in his first arc.
And while I can conceive how he got there, the events of the ending are just insane. The Jack that started the series sure as hell wasn’t here at the end of it. And it just makes me said.
The story is decent. The art is good. But both can definitely have room for improvement. And while I applaud the overall emotion and tension of the issue, the ending just makes my blood boil. Can I say this is a good book? Yes. Do I like the ending of it? NO! Am I glad there are still dangling plots to pick up? YES! Did this issue make me feel sorry for Jack? It did at first … then the ending took it away. It ends the story but still leaves you with a HUGE cliffhanger. Yet, while I am interesting in the dangling plots, my faith in Shadowman has plummeted.
I give Shadowman: End Times # 3 a 3 out of 5. Good story. Good art. Great Emotion. A WTF Ending.