PRE-ORDER: 'Until My Knuckles Bleed' by Victor Santos

REVIEW: 'Shadowman' #4 by Cullen Bunn, Jon Davis-Hunt, and Jordie Bellaire

Shadowman comes to London chasing the latest blight to creep into our world. Deathside continues to make inroads as long as this world delves into its own cruelty attracting more intrusions. His effort might be in vain.

SHADOWMAN #4

Writer: Cullen Bunn

Artist: Jon Davis-Hunt, Jordie Bellaire

Letters: Clayton Cowles

Publisher: Valiant Comics

Release Date: July 28, 2021

Cover Price: $3.99

Masters of Horror Cullen Bunn and Jon Davis-Hunt bring Shadowman's descent into the darkness of London.

What's your darkest secret worth?

Danger is a drug and it's deep in the veins of mankind. Shadowman's on a quest to find the source of his hallucinations and Jack has less control than he once thought. The worst has happened...Deadside has arrived!

Score:

★★★★☆ (4/5)

'Shadowman' has been an exciting and gruesome series so far with Shadowman playing whack-a-mole with the Deadside as it attempts to enter our world. A new attack in London leads to an unexpected confrontation that changes his mission altogether. 

Part of Cullen Bunn's genius is how he sets up a scene. The opening of 'Shadowman' #4 is a tense menacing piece of suspense that escalates introducing the issue's antagonist. A pleasant day in London. A hooded figure. Women pushing baby carriages down the sidewalk. The figure approaches. Instantly, the women begin to be visibly ill. Soon everyone in the vicinity is overcome with toxic nausea induced by a drug overdose. The figure is revealed to be a demon basking in his influence of pain and suffering as some sort of supernatural drug dealer. It's one hell of an opening. 

It's this incident that brings Shadowman and Baron Samedi to London. Despite his best efforts, Shadowman can't completely keep the Deadside at bay. This latest escapee is an example of another breach into our world and Shadowman has to shut this one down too and hopefully get some answers as well. Bunn's eerie script puts Shadowman in the clutches of another agent of the Deadside but it's the philosophical questions he raises that illuminate the issue. The Deadside is lured and attracted to the blight we as humans have created for ourselves. The strife, violence, cruelty, are all things we create without a hand from any supernatural source. It's catnip to the Deadside, the miseries are plentiful as are opportunities to invade our world through them. 

Jon Davis-Hunt and Jordie Bellaire continue to do extraordinary art and issue four may be the pinnacle of their powers. The sequence of Shadowman tripping on that same drug is a psychedelic burst of color and design. It's so well composed with so much going on you just have to take it all in and linger on every panel. Clayton Cowles's lettering is just as vital in telling the story with character-specific speech bubbles that have an eerie flair all their own. 

'Shadowman' #4 brings Shadowman to a stark realization as he continues to be the stopgap against the Deadside from entering our world. It is an intoxicatingly eerie chapter with some of the best art you'll see this week or any week in comics. 

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