Comic Review: Shadowman (the Garth Ennis Run)

Published: July 6th, 2016 (this collected edition)
Written by: Garth Ennis, Paul Jenkins
Art by: Dennis Calero, Ashley Wood

Valiant Entertainment, 200 Pages


This collected edition is just called Shadowman without any extra subtitle to differentiate it from the general franchise. This collects Shadowman numbers 1 through 4 and Shadowman Presents: Deadside numbers 1 through 3. This is the run that was written by Garth Ennis (the mind behind Preacher) with art by Ashley Wood.

I’ve never read a Shadowman story but I vaguely remember the video games from back in the early ’00s. So this was my first experience with the character in a literary sense.

That being said, I’m not sure if this was a good jumping off point. It’s hard for me to tell if this is how all Shadowman comics are or if this is just Garth Ennis being Garth Ennis and trying to be artistic as fuck without giving me much to really care about from a narrative standpoint. While Preacher is a good example of Ennis style blending well with substance, this just lacked substance or at least any substance I cared about or could relate to.

As I got about a third of the way into this, I really didn’t want to keep reading it but I stuck around, hoping it would be worthwhile by the end and because I loved the art. Really, the art is the absolute high point of this book.

After reading this, I’m still not sure what Shadowman is or is supposed to be. But I’m going to do more research and try and find a better jumping off point.

And maybe this will make more sense if I have more context.

Rating: 4.5/10
Pairs well with: Other Shadowman collections (I assume) and Garth Ennis’ Preacher (which greatly exceeds this).

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