Shadowman Issue 2 Review: Voodoo Chile

There may have to be a reconsideration for how voodoo is described in ‘Shadowman.’ The loa by tradition is a god and gods need worshippers. How this works in Jack Boniface’s world is that people are controlled or manipulated to be vehicles for the god to gain power. Here loas can be corrupted. Baron Samedi who owns the Deadside takes away Jack’s staff, rendering his ability to control his loa limited at best. What’s worse is that Jack is in the middle of striking Samedi knowing that he’s inhabited the body of his friend Alyssa. And that’s how issue two starts.

Going into the second issue Jack and Alyssa quickly figure out that Samedi has a definitive stronghold in New Orleans and that he’s preparing for a major takeover. Meanwhile, in the shadows is a group that is readying itself to be on the right side of history when Master Darque comes back. Who is Master Darque? In the early days of the Valiant universe he’s known to be the nemesis of nearly everyone and had his own title. Eventually he gets killed by Aric of Dacia, AKA, X-O Manowar. Now Darque is the main villain of Shadowman. As a necromancer and master of the dark arts he is literally the embodiment of evil as his body is tattooed with what he’s learned over the centuries. Still, with all these gods and dark cosmic energies battling to take control, the heart of this issue is Jack and Alyssa.

Human beings are trying to keep this world together. Yes, Jack has an unruly loa, who feeds on negative energy. But this comic-book works best when people are trying to figure out their world. Alyssa has been practicing low magic to help her community and just as Jack returns from the Deadside, Samedi’s pet monster and a group of skeletal zombies show up. They’re battling for the souls of their community. The poisoning of the water, the mind control, there’s a message that relates to Flint, Michigan and people turning a blind eye to what’s happening in their community. In Jack’s New Orleans, the water supply has been contaminated giving Baron Samedi more worshippers. But they’re not really loyal to Samedi, instead their sacrifice is being used as a conduit to bring him permanently to the Liveside.

In the end this comic is about people. Jack barely has time to get himself together before he’s thrown into another life-threatening situation. Which may be the main problem as to why he cannot control his loa. Jack never gets the chance to figure out how it works or what its purpose is. He’s continually functioning on how to control rather than understand how this god works. After all you can’t control a god. More importantly, there’s room for this storyline to grow. You want Jack to get himself together and find out the history of his birthright. There’s still much for him to do.

About Donna-Lyn Washington 632 Articles
Donna-lyn Washington has a M.A. in English from Brooklyn College. She is currently teaching at Kingsborough Community College where her love of comics and pop culture play key parts in helping her students move forward in their academic careers. As a senior writer for ReviewFix she has been able to explore a variety of worlds through comics, film and television and has met some interesting writers and artists along the way. Donna-lyn does a weekly podcast reviewing indie comics and has also contributed entries to the 'Encyclopedia of Black Comics,’ the academic anthology ‘Critical Insights: Frank Yerby’ and is the editor for the upcoming book, ‘Conversations With: John Jennings.’

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