Shadowman (comics)

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Shadowman
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
David Lapham
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 David Lapham. 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]

Original Valiant continuity[edit]

Shadowman debuted in 1992 as a flagship title in the Valiant Universe. After one year in publication, Shadowman was selling over 100,000 comics books a month. Shadowman would go on to guest star in a number of Valiant comics, fighting alongside other heroes in the Valiant Universe, most notably "Unity" and "Unity 2000".

Acclaim continuity[edit]

Shadowman eventually sold more than 5 million copies in total before Acclaim Entertainment bought Valiant for $65 million in 1996 and started a new Shadowman series under Acclaim Comics. Acclaim also published Shadowman video games. In preparation for the leap to video games a new 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 a similar manner to the original iteration, the hero fought alongside other characters in the Acclaim Comics Universe, notably Unity 2000.

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, 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. 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.

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.[citation needed] Shadowman and all other Valiant properties were sold to Valiant Entertainment.[6]

Powers[edit]

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.

Valiant 2012[edit]

Possessee's hosted to the Shadow Loa have a great many expanded upon abilities. The natural physical enhancements & psychological reinforcements that come with being Busou Kobalamin's host remain paramount, but are also complemented by a host of other powers which accommodate them. Such as necromancy, afterlife traversal, shadow & darkness manipulation on top of mastery over the deadside and it's monstrous denizens.

In other media[edit]

Film[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.[7] 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.[8]

Web series[edit]

Shadowman appears in the web series Ninjak vs. the Valiant Universe, portrayed by Damion Poitier.

Video games[edit]

In 1999, Shadow Man was released on the Nintendo 64, PlayStation, Dreamcast, and PC. 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.[citation needed] Nintendo released a Shadow Man themed limited edition N64 console.[citation needed]

Music[edit]

In 2015, heavy metal band A Sound of Thunder released a concept album entitled Tales from the Deadside based on Shadowman. The album was released on compact disc, vinyl, and digital formats. The album features original artwork by 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]

Original Valiant[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. In October 2021 Valiant Entertainment published Shadowman Classic Omnibus Volume 1 hardcover:

  • Shadowman (TPB, 1994) (collects Shadowman (1992) #1-3, and 6)
  • Valiant Masters: Shadowman Vol. 1: Spirits Within (collects Shadowman (1992) #0-7)
  • Shadowman Classic Omnibus Volume 1 (collecting SHADOWMAN (1992) #0–24, THE SECOND LIFE OF DOCTOR MIRAGE #5, SECRET WEAPONS (1993) #1–2, and DARQUE PASSAGES, along with 20+ pages of rarely seen art and extras)

Acclaim Comics[edit]

The 1997 series from Acclaim Comics was collected by Valiant Entertainment in July 2016, reprinting Shadowman Vol. 2 issues #1–4 by writer Garth Ennis & artist Ashley Wood, and the unfinished 4-part limited series Shadowman: Deadside (1999) issues #1-3 by writer Paul Jenkins, with art by Wood and Dennis Calero.

  • Shadowman by Garth Ennis & Ashley Wood (collecting Shadowman (1997) #1–4, along with Shadowman: Deadside (1999) #1–3 and featuring never before seen sketches, designs and process art)

Valiant Comics 2012[edit]

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)

References[edit]

  1. ^ AndyS (2010-11-14). "All Things VALIANT: Foreign Valiants - German Shadowman Vol. 3 #1". Allthingsvaliant.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2014-04-13.
  2. ^ AndyS (2010-11-14). "All Things VALIANT: Foreign Valiants - Italian Shadowman Vol. 3 #1". Allthingsvaliant.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2014-04-13.
  3. ^ AndyS (2011-02-15). "All Things VALIANT: Ads - Chinese Shadowman". Allthingsvaliant.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2014-04-13.
  4. ^ AndyS (2011-02-15). "All Things VALIANT: Ads - Chinese Valiant Comics". Allthingsvaliant.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2014-04-13.
  5. ^ AndyS (2010-06-26). "All Things VALIANT: Shadowman Day in New Orleans". Allthingsvaliant.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2014-04-13.
  6. ^ Carrie, Stephanie (May 16, 2012). "Valiant Comics: Two Students Did Not Want to See Their Favorite Comic Book Brand Die. So They Bought the Company". L.A. Weekly. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  7. ^ "The Shadow Meets the Ice". IGN. 27 August 1999. Retrieved 2014-04-13.
  8. ^ "Reginald Hudlin to Direct Valiant's Supernatural Superhero Movie 'Shadowman' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. June 13, 2017. Retrieved 13 June 2017.

External links[edit]