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Advanced Review: Shadowman #0

Justin Jordan and his motley crew of artists, has created an enthralling, sickly sweet and chilling tale that gives fans a definitive origin to the most powerful creature in the Valiant Universe — Master Darque!

Known as the biggest, baddest villain to ever cast a shadow across the Valiant Universe, Master Darque is one of the most dramatic characters created in the past twenty years. Now, with the twisted imagination of Justin Jordan, modern readers can be enthralled once again by a tale that showcases the brutal birth of this destructive character.

From birth to “death”, Jordan and his fantastic artistic team will fascinate you with Master Darque’s origin, a wickedly jarring tale of witchcraft and the hell that parents can render upon their children. It showcases the deconstruction of innocence, the betrayal of loved ones and the forging of true evil through desperate measures. It is the pinnacle of characterization, an enthralling tale that lulls you in with the false hope of a happy ending, that maybe just maybe, all could turn out differently. But, alas, this is an origin tale of true evil and true evil cannot begin without a fall from grace!

Utterly breathtaking, Justin Jordan has truly surpassed everything he has done so far for the Shadowman mythos. This is the new high water mark for the series and I, for one, cannot wait to see what comes next!

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Review: Age Of Apocalypse #1

Ripping from the pages of Rick Remender’s Uncanny X-Force, comes a new tale of everyone’s favorite alternate timeline — Age Of Apocalypse!

The 90’s are back in full swing and I am loving it! Set a decade after the events of the original A.O.A. storyline that rocked the mutant world, this timeline is far worse off than we have ever seen! Weapon Omega has inherited the Apocalypse seed and now Wolverine is far more tyrannical than Apocalypse ever was! Mutantkind has finally won over mankind and the war amongst themselves has become more vicious than anyone could have imagined. A caste system has emerged and every mutant is now judged worthy or unworthy of even the most common rights. As the dystopian cities crumble even further and mutant eats mutant, it is the perfect time for the all human rebellion to begin. One that will be led by — The X-Terminated!

Although the “kick-off” storyline to this book was originally helmed by fan fave Rick Remender in the pages of Uncanny X-Force, David Lapham brings a depth to the story that makes this a completely engrossing read! Told from the first person perspective of Harper Simmons, a reporter from the Marvel 616 that was teleported to the A.O.A., we get to see and hear all the horrific deeds from the angle of an outsider; someone who can compare the atrocities to events in his own world. It is that same perspective that can allow casual readers of the new series to feel vested in the story and stay focused on what is unfolding before them. And what unfolds is astonishing!

The X-Terminated crew are some of the coolest looking characters that have come out in a long time! Normal humans that only rely on their strength of will, extensive training, weapons and guile to bring the fight for freedom to their mutant oppressors — this team is completely bad ass! But it’s not just the creation of cool characters that moves the story to new heights, it is the focus on detail, the melding of classic A.O.A. characters and situations and the overall richness of story that Lapham brings to the table. Combined with , one of my favorite artists, Roberto de La Torre’s brutally aggressive art, this book will be an instant fan favorite. And speaking of de La Torre’s art, it was a complete joy to see him render Daredevil again, or should I say Keeper Murdock!

This is a great book with a completely shocking reveal at the end! If you haven’t read the original A.O.A. stories, or especially Uncanny X-Force #19.1, you may become lost with all the content within the book. But there is enough action and intrigue woven in that you can probably work your way through with out a hitch. 

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