A seismic shift to the Valiant Universe is coming. By this time next week, Jack Boniface will have returned after a brief hiatus within the pages of Shadowman #5. Horror mastermind Cullen Bunn is returning to the series with artist Pedro Andreo (Bloodshot), and ComicBook.com has the inside scoop of not only what fans can expect from the return of Valiant's flagship horror hero, but from the Deadside War arc, Valiant's first such event of the year.
As Bunn tells us, this war—between the realm we humans inhabit and the Deadside, where the souls of the deceased rule—was something he wanted to tell since he started writing the first issue.
"The way the story will be told changed along the way," Bunn says. "There were many discussions about the best way for everything to play out. I think readers will enjoy what happens here, but the delivery is something that took even me by surprise. In the writing of the story, I'm doing some very different things with this book, especially issues 7 and 8. You'll see what I mean when those issues come along. So, yes, an ending, and pretty much the one I expected, but also a beginning of some very big things."
As seen in the closing moments of Shadowman #4 from Bunn and Jon Davis-Hunt, it's revealed Boniface aims to combine the Deadside and Earth into one singular realm, because he believes everyone involved can live in harmony. Bunn adds that it may not be the hero's best choice, but one of the only options for the issue at hand.
"I've found in recent years that, when desperate times strike, sometimes wild plans surface. Sometimes, those plans cement as the 'only option" very quickly,' the writer posits. "We throw everything we've got at them. We convince ourselves that we're doing the only thing that could possibly be right. And sometimes we fall on our faces. When that happens, we must pick ourselves up, pick the bits of gravel out of our faces, and try again. If we're lucky, something from our failed plan might illuminate a more successful follow-up."
As for Valiant fans hoping this is a true event, Bunn does add there will be some big surprises in store. Not only will the Abettors, Alyssa, and Punk Mambo return to aid the eponymous anti-hero in the Deadside War, but many others will inevitably make an appearance.
ComicBook.com has gotten an advanced peek at Shadowman #5, and we feel Andreo's line-art is an exceptional match for the story at hand. In fact, the artist tells us the editors he worked with at Valiant encouraged him to push the pedal to the metal and go forward full steam ahead."This is just the beginning," Andrea warns. "Wait until you see the next issues!"
In addition to catching up with all of Shadowman's previous comics, Andreo says he and Bunn spoke at length about the certain kinds of horror they wanted to tell in this arc.0comments
"Cullen's been a huge support from the beginning and he's always super clear with the references and visual horror he wants me to depict and that has been helpful," Andreo adds. "We didn't have any marathons, because I'm a scaredy-cat when it comes to horror
movies! [laughs] I just can't stand them. But there are definitely winks to comics, movies, and other horror stuff in Shadowman!"
Shadowman #5 hits the shelves at your local comic store on Wednesday, January 19th.