Shadowman (comics)

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Shadowman issue 1 comic book cover by Valiant Comics.jpg
Artwork from Shadowman #1 (November 2012)
Art by Patrick Zircher
Publication information
PublisherValiant Comics
First appearanceAs Jack Boniface:
X-O Manowar #4 (May 1992)

As Shadowman:
Shadowman #1 (May 1992)
Created byJim Shooter
Steve Englehart
Mike Manley
In-story information
Alter egoJack Dominique Boniface
Team affiliationsSecret Weapons
PartnershipsArcher & Armstrong
Notable aliasesShadowman
AbilitiesWhen the Darque Power fills Jack Boniface, he has the following abilities:
  • Reduced fear
  • Seeing in darkness
  • Regeneration
  • Gliding
  • Enhanced strength
  • Enhanced endurance
  • Enhanced reflexes
  • Other voodoo powers

Shadowman is a fictional superhero who appears in comic books published by Valiant Comics. The character debuted in Shadowman #1 (May 1992), created by writers Jim Shooter and Steve Englehart, and artist Mike Manley. Shadowman appears in his own series and video games, as well as numerous other Valiant comics.

Shadowman is a lineage and four characters have taken up the mantle thus far in the comics and video games. The series protagonist is Jack Boniface.

Since his introduction, Shadowman has been a key character in the Valiant Universe and has sold over 5.3 million copies to date, with 80 issues published. Shadowman comics have been translated into a number of languages, including German,[1] Italian,[2] Spanish, Norwegian, Filipino and Chinese,[3][4] among others. New Orleans mayor Sidney Barthelemy officially proclaimed January 17, 1993 as “Shadowman Day.”[5]

Publication history[edit]

Shadowman debuted in 1992 as a flagship title in the Valiant Universe and became one of the industry’s most popular comic books. After one year in publication, Shadowman was selling over 100,000 comics books a month. By its second year, Shadowman was outselling long-standing industry stalwarts from Marvel Comics and DC Comics.

Shadowman continued strongly with sales in the hundreds of thousands of books per month (ultimately selling more than 5 million copies altogether) until 1996 when Acclaim Entertainment, which bought Valiant for $65 million, started a new Shadowman series under the Acclaim Comics banner. Acclaim focused on adapting Shadowman for video games. In preparation for the leap to video games a new more action oriented Shadowman took up the mask in comics. The second series of comics (spelled Shadow Man) featured the iteration of Shadowman that would gain huge popularity in the successful Shadow Man video game franchise.

In 1999, Shadow Man was released on the Nintendo 64, PlayStation, Dreamcast, and PC formats to a positive critical and commercial response. Acclaim launched a third Shadowman comic book series in conjunction with the sequel to the first successful Shadow Man video game. A sequel, entitled Shadow Man: 2econd Coming, was released in 2002 as a PlayStation 2 exclusive. In all the Shadow Man franchise has sold over 2 million copies and grossed close to 100 million dollars in revenue. Nintendo released a special Shadow Man themed limited edition N64 console that has become a sought after collectible. In 2006, a campaign was begun by fans to make the Shadow Man series of games available for download on the Nintendo Wii system.

People who have worked on Shadowman characters and storylines include Marvel Comics Editor-in Chief Joe Quesada, former Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter, Sin City co-director Frank Miller, Garth Ennis, Rob Liefeld, Barry Windsor-Smith, Jamie Delano, Steve Ditko, David Lapham, Rags Morales, Fabian Nicieza, Jim Starlin, Bob Layton, Jimmy Palmiotti, Walt Simonson and Ashley Wood among many others. With issue seven Bob Hall took over writing chores and continued as the primary writer on the book until the first "Shadowman" run ended with issue 43. As of issue ten he took over penciling the book as well.

Over 80 Shadowman comics have been published to date, selling more than 5 million copies. Shadowman also guest starred in a number of Valiant comics, most notably "Unity" and "Unity 2000". Acclaim shut down all comic book publishing in 2002 in anticipation of a bankruptcy filing of its parent company after suffering heavy losses from its licensed sports video games. Valiant Entertainment are the current owners of the Valiant catalog.[citation needed]

Shadowman has had his likeness transferred to many other mediums in addition to comic books and video games, including trading cards, posters, apparel, jewelry, lithographs, high end collectibles and more.[citation needed]


Classic Valiant[edit]

As Shadowman, Jack possesses paranormal strength, endurance, agility, and reflexes, night vision, regenerative healing, gliding capabilities, depleted fear, and other voodoo powers.

In other media[edit]


In 1999, Acclaim Entertainment was approached by rapper/actor Ice Cube with a pitch to make a feature film. Acclaim declined this offer, as they were focused on the success of the video game franchise.[6] In June 2017, it was reported that Valiant Entertainment had hired Reginald Hudlin to direct a film adaptation, and also co-write the screenplay with Adam Simon.[7]

Web series[edit]

Video games[edit]


In 2015, heavy metal band A Sound of Thunder released a concept album entitled Tales from the Deadside based on Shadowman. The lyrics and narration summarize the entire Shadowman (2012) comic book series from Valiant Entertainment plus the Shadowman: End Times mini-series. The album was released on compact disc, vinyl, and digital formats. The album features original artwork by notable Shadowman series comic creators Bob Hall and Roberto de la Torre. A limited 7 inch vinyl picture disc for album tracks "Tower of Souls" and "Punk Mambo" was also released in 2015.

Collected editions[edit]

The 1992 series was first collected in 1994 as a trade paperback, reprinting issues #1-3, and 6. In 2013, Valiant Entertainment collected the early issues in a hardcover under the Valiant Masters banner:

  • Shadowman (TPB, 1994) (collects Shadowman (1992) #1-3, and 6)
  • Valiant Masters: Shadowman Vol. 1: Spirits Within (collects Shadowman (1992) #0-7)

The 2012 relaunch of the series has been collected into several volumes:

  • Shadowman Vol. 1: Birth Rites (collects Shadowman (2012) #1-4)
  • Shadowman Vol. 2: Darque Reckoning (collects Shadowman (2012) #5-9)
  • Shadowman Vol. 3: Deadside Blues (collects Shadowman (2012) #0, 10-12)
  • Shadowman Vol. 4: Fear, Blood and Shadows (collects Shadowman (2012) #13-16)
  • Shadowman: End Times (collects Shadowman: End Times (2014) #1-3)


  1. ^ AndyS (2010-11-14). "All Things VALIANT: Foreign Valiants - German Shadowman Vol. 3 #1". Retrieved 2014-04-13.
  2. ^ AndyS (2010-11-14). "All Things VALIANT: Foreign Valiants - Italian Shadowman Vol. 3 #1". Retrieved 2014-04-13.
  3. ^ AndyS (2011-02-15). "All Things VALIANT: Ads - Chinese Shadowman". Retrieved 2014-04-13.
  4. ^ AndyS (2011-02-15). "All Things VALIANT: Ads - Chinese Valiant Comics". Retrieved 2014-04-13.
  5. ^ AndyS (2010-06-26). "All Things VALIANT: Shadowman Day in New Orleans". Retrieved 2014-04-13.
  6. ^ "The Shadow Meets the Ice". IGN. Retrieved 2014-04-13.
  7. ^ "Reginald Hudlin to Direct Valiant's Supernatural Superhero Movie 'Shadowman' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. June 13, 2017. Retrieved 13 June 2017.

External links[edit]

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