Comics / Comic Reviews / Marvel Comics

Shadowland #3

By Colin Andersen
September 1, 2010 - 22:38

I have decided that I don’t much like this Shadowland mini-series. In the hands of a capable writer, it really could have been an exciting book, but clearly Andy Diggle does not have the right hands for this job. I have never in my life read a comic book that seems to simultaneously move its plot so quickly and so slowly at the same time and it makes it almost a chore to read. It certainly does not help that nearly every twist and turn the story takes can be seen from miles away and, even if you couldn’t see the plot twists ahead of time, Marvel Comics’ own teasers all but spelled them out before the series started.


I’ll admit that I was never a follower of many of the characters that are prominently featured in Shadowland. I have always liked characters like Daredevil, Spider-Man, and Iron Fist, but rarely enough to read their respective books regularly. Having heard of the stellar quality of some of their own individual series in recent years, I decided to check out Shadowland and see if it might convince me to spend my hard-earned money on each title, but sadly it is doing the opposite. The plot seems to just be constantly repeating itself. How many times can we see some “street-level” characters confront Daredevil to try and talk to him, only to end up fighting him, running away, and then standing around and talking about it? Only three issues in and I am sick of it. There are some “shocks” that happen in this issue, but they have all already been outright told to us before or readers guessed them a long time ago. Sorry for SPOILERS, but if you did not expect Bullseye to come back sometime soon, then you probably have not been reading comics long or following the solicits for this book and its tie-ins. It doesn’t help that, even if these twists hadn’t been so easily guessed beforehand, that they would still be completely cliché and uninteresting. I suppose it is still possible that Diggle might have some clever twists to the formula in store for later issues that make all these decisions less generic, but somehow I doubt it. That doesn’t mean that I don’t seriously hope he does.

    One of the few areas that Diggle seems to handle well is in some of his characterizations. Iron Fist and Luke Cage seem spot on to me and, so far, I can absolutely see Moon Knight making some of the decisions that he has in response to Daredevil’s Shadowland prison. The book is at its best when these characters are at the forefront but there are just as many characters that seem off to me. Obviously, the most evident of these mis-characterized characters is Daredevil, though it is seeming less and less likely that Daredevil is even Matt Murdock anymore, but that’s another complaint on its own. The one that bothered me most was actually Ghost Rider, who finally makes a significant appearance. I haven’t read any of the latest Ghost Rider series so I don’t know what may have changed with this character, but I don’t remember him ever speaking the way he does here. I’m honestly not sure if it is even the normal Ghost Rider or some different iteration of him, but this hasn’t been clarified and, until it is, it will continue to bother me. Also, having the Punisher running around not as a Frankenstein monster with no character commenting on his being alive is a constant annoyance too.

    There are a lot of people out there that really don’t like penciller Billy Tan’s work. I’m not generally among those numbers, but his work is amazingly inconsistent here. Body sizes can change drastically from panel to panel and few of his panels ever seem to flow with each other. This results in some truly awkward body placement and some very strange poses for characters. It’s still not terrible, and there were some panels that I actually really liked, but it isn’t great either. If you weren’t a fan of his work before, this certainly won’t be the work that changes your mind.

    I’ve been giving this complaint to a lot of comics lately, but Shadowland really had some potential in its general concept, but its execution is severely lacking. I don’t think that I’ve read a comic book in a long time that has been so completely predictable in nearly every way in my fifteen years of reading comics. The plot of this series is quickly making its way into un-salvageable territory and that is not a good thing. Maybe, just maybe, Andy Diggle could throw some surprises into the latter half of the series, but that isn’t looking likely. My recommendation would be to wait for the trade paperback even if you really love these characters, if not to skip it entirely.

Rating: 4 /10

Last Updated: August 31, 2023 - 08:12

    RSS       Mobile       Contact        Advertising       Terms of Service    ComicBookBin

© Copyright 2002-2023, Toon Doctor Inc. - All rights Reserved. All other texts, images, characters and trademarks are copyright their respective owners. Use of material in this document (including reproduction, modification, distribution, electronic transmission or republication) without prior written permission is strictly prohibited. Toon Doctor ® is registered trademarks of Toon Doctor Inc. Privacy Policy