Two out of three isn’t too bad is it? Shadowman #12 featured three complete tales by Ales Kot, Christopher Sebela, Duffy Boudreau, and Neil Dvorak. It would have been nice if all three were exciting, but that just was not the case. If they were trying to show off this cadre of rising stars before Peter Milligan and Roberto De La Torre take over, it really could have been done better.
The special short story starring Jaunty the Deadside monkey by Neil Dvorak was the highlight of the three tales. CAFU really made this story look grim. Everything from his faded coloring to the fine lines which allowed for greater detail looked excellent. This one had more characterization than the other three and at least had some dark humor. Getting an idea of what makes Jack so angry carrying that attitude which tends to get him into trouble. That’s not to say Blackout didn’t show this side of Jack. It at least showed Jack in more of his element trying to handle these strings of anomalies. That tale was the closest to something normal which is why it really could have been an issue all on its own.
Lucky Charm was the most disappointing of the stories, it really was dull and sadly that one was the longest tale. This one didn’t even have a focus on Shadowman and there was no reason to care about this guy it’s centered around. It was all just to make some point about who Shadowman is against, and yet you feel that you might have been more satisfied with the other two alone.
Overall I think that these stories would have been much better on their own. As three separate tales in the same book, you were left wanting more from the Blackout and Deadside Blues stories. They were entertaining and had a focus that didn’t bore you. With that said, it’s not too much to expect from these stories given that they are just small tales before the new story arch begins. Wouldn’t entirely invest in this issue unless you’re that big of a fan of Shadowman, but definitely look forward to Peter Milligan and Roberto De La Torre taking over soon.