Valiant Comic Book Alphabet of Cool – B
Here’s the next feature in my (admittedly, foolhardy) endeavor to give a comic book alphabet of cool of all stuff related to Valiant Comics!
I just couldn’t bring myself to choosing Bloodshot. I just did not like Bloodshot all that much. Sorry, Kevin VanHook!!!
Instead, let’s talk about Jack Boniface, who first showed up in X-O Manowar #4, playing the sax in the background of a scene (Valiant was big on this – stressing the coherence of their shared universe) before we learn that he was bitten by some voodoo monster, turning him into…the Shadowman!!
How it worked was that at night, Jack would gain superstrength, but he would also get really aggressive, and feel the need to go out and fight people – he decided to direct that energy towards fighting bad guys. He lived in New Orleans.
This would, of course, cause problems for his daytime life (and occasionally, he would still be Shadowman during the day, but without the powers and the extra aggression, which would be an interesting scenario to find himself in).
He was created by Jim Shooter and David Lapham. Steve Englehart did some work on his first issue and Lapham did most of the writing for the first few issues, until Bob Hall took over the book as writer and artist, and handled the book for the rest of its 44 issue run.
One of the more interesting plots was when Shadowman learned that he was destined to die in 1999 – so this of course affected how he handled himself, knowing that he could not die until then, he tried more risky feats.
Since Jack was a musician, he sometimes encountered other musicians – the most famous example is when Aerosmith guest-starred.
The Shadowman was a title that was passed through generations to different people, and we sometimes saw flashbacks of older Shadowmen. After the series ended, Garth Ennis created a new Shadowman for a second volume of the series.