Jack Boniface is searching for who he is as well as his place in the world. His father, whom he never knew, and his mother, who disappeared when he was young, have left him few clues. After returning to New Orleans though, Jack discovers the checkered police record history of his father, but when one of the greatest ever villains created to plague the heroes of the Valiant Universe threatens to return, Jack learns the true nature of his heritage...
One of the most popular original Valiant Comics characters is reintroduced to comics, and the new Valiant U, in grand style by writers Justin Jordan and Patrick Zircher, with Zircher also handling the artistic duties. Using the age old theme of the young man's journey to find himself and his place in the world, Jordan and Zircher craft a tale surrounding a young Jack Boniface and his sudden and violent introduction to the world of New Orleans based dark magic and it's protecting spirit: Shadowman.
Patrick Zircher manages to bring the first issue of the new adventures of Shadowman to a beautifully dread drenched life. Dark shadows, frightening supernatural beings, and one of the most interesting of the Valiant U's villains (don't want to spoil it for you) come to horrific life here under Zircher's artistic efforts. Zircher also manages to bring the mundane to excellently detailed and nuanced life as well, but being primarily a horror book (both in the original Valiant U and this one) the gory demonic rules the visuals.
What was so interesting about the magical elements of the original Valiant U were that they were based and easily defined as a sort of "Earth magic." Geomancers (soon to be making a reappearance in Archer and Armstrong) and evil beings, like the villain reintroduced here, could cross paths with a wide range of Valiant's heroes and not feel out of place, like most magical characters in the Marvel U do. Off to a great start in returning this element of the mysterious and magical to the Valiant U, Shadowman #1 not only brings this element to excellent life, it demonstrates the range of unified diversity that defines the Valiant Universe.