Shadowman and the Battle for New Stalingrad

This book takes place in an alternate Valiant universe, where the Soviets had been effective rulers since 1934.  I picked this up a few months ago when my local shop was having a 2 for 1 sale on back issues, along with an issue of Mother Panic.

Anyway, this alternate universe title was released in 2017, and is a neat concept.

IMG_20180914_223532The Cover

The cover features the titular Shadowman kneeling in the foreground.  The character is pale and dark, with an army of the dead behind him.  Behind that is the ruined head of the Statue of Liberty.  It’s a dark cover and foreshadows the hopelessness that the American people feel in this book.

The Art

The interior art is drawn by Robert Gill and coloured by Andrew Dalhouse.  The book looks good.  It is well drawn and detailed, and the colour work makes a lot of the story stand out.  The blend of artist and colourist really comes together when Shadowman first reveals his power in the issue.  The secondary story in the book is drawn by Juan Rose Ryp and is really well drawn.  It is a neat short story and the art doesn’t feel like it’s a tacked on story.

The Story

The story is set in the Stalinverse, an alternate universe of the Valiant imprint.  New Stalingrad is New York, and the book is set after the United States had been conquered by the Soviet Union.  The people of New York are resisting the occupying forces, and Shadowman is doing everything he can to not manifest his powers.  Finally, after watching friends and neighbours get cut down, he unleashes his power.  Soon the Soviets release X-O Manowar and Bloodshot to take him down.  Scott Bryan Wilson wrote a pretty good book.  As someone not familiar at all with the Valiant universe I was completely out to lunch with what was happening, but was still able to enjoy.

The second story is The Origin of Baba Yaga, and was written by Matt Kindt.  I really enjoyed this.  It felt like it added to the whole issue, and was fun and easy to get into.

If you’re familiar with the Shadowman character, this is going to be to your liking.  If not, this is likely not a great starting point.  Overall, the art is great, it’s well written, and has a great second story at the end.

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