Today, we are jumping right into Valiant’s third issue for their series titled, Book of Shadows. Especially, since this our first time looking at the title, but we may return to the previous issues one day. However, for readers joining us now, let us quickly bring everyone and newcomers up to speed. So, with only three issues in, things seem to be only getting worse for our ragtag group of heroes. Currently, the story’s villain, Fane, has the upper the hand with team split up having attempted to divide and conquer. Anyway, with this quick introduction out of the way, let us begin with the book’s actual review!
- Artist: Vicente Cifuentes
- Lettering: Dave Sharpe
- Writer: Cullen Bunn
- Colorist: Nick Filardi
- Cover Artists: Rafael Albuquerque (Cover A), David Romero (Cover B), Travis Escarfullery (Cover C), & Kelly Jones (Pre-order Variant)
- Editors: Lysa Hawkins & Cody White (Editing Assistant)
Let them try. I offered them mercy. I offered them a chance at survival. They slapped my hand aside. Now…I offer them only the ungodly truth of my machinations.” -Fane
Presently, Doctor Mirage and Eternal Warrior have managed to infiltrate Fane’s stronghold. Here readers get a chance to learn about Eternal Warrior and his experience from traveling through the veil. From what Eternal Warrior said in those panels, I could easily feel the pain that was being on conveyed. Whereas, once inside the location, our heroes discover that Fane’s henchmen have been transcribing the Book of Shadows. Immediately, Eternal Warrior is looking to fight the henchmen, but Doctor Mirage suggests they should wait to see what happens. So, I am thinking that the Book of Shadows is the key to vanquishing Fane, or trapping him somewhere else.
Then transitioning over to Shadowman, Punk Mambo, and Persephone, things went from bad to worse for them. Currently, this group of mystical heroes are trying their best against all odds, but it is not working. Watching the team attempt to clear out the demons and only to fail, gave me the sense of pure chaos. Additionally, there is a solid character moment where Persephone cracks after believing she is a monster when she is not. So, I am hoping that Persephone will be able to stop Fane once she can accept her present self. Especially, since Persephone seems very relatable, as I think everyone has difficulties when trying to let go of their past.
In regards to the artwork, Vicente Cifuentest and Nick Filardi do a fantastic job as always. The action, expressions, and coloring are easy to understand, so readers will not be confused as to where characters are. Surprisingly, one of the things I have come to truly enjoy was seeing Nick Filardi’s use of colors. Specifically, since artists have their own color palettes that helps them standout, I look to appreciate their individual styles. Especially, in some of the more chaotic crowd scenes that are present within this issue. As a result, I think their combine efforts helped me to follow the action and the panels with ease. In addition, I believe having ‘easy to follow’ formats like this issue, helps to draw in newcomers onto particular titles.
Overall, Book of Shadows has gotten me interested in reading issue four when it comes out next month. Currently, I am curious to know how our heroes will get out of this situation since everything feels hopeless. Additionally, I have some theories and expectations on what could happen, which I hinted at in the review. However, I am uncertain if any of the ones I mentioned will be addressed, as the story progresses. So, I hope the next issue will start showing where the series’ plot is advancing towards in the coming future. Nevertheless, I can say that Book of Shadows has me intrigued to continue reading the series on a month-to-month basis.