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Shadowpact #4

Posted: Monday, August 21, 2006
By: Kevin T. Brown



“Blue Devil: A Night in the Life”

Writer: Bill Willingham
Artists: Steve Scott (p), Wayne Faucher (i)

Publisher: DC Comics


So you want to know what it's like being Daniel Cassidy, a.k.a. Blue Devil? This is the story for you. It's not all about beautiful babes and nights out on the town, you know. There are times when you actually need to battle a creature or two from Hell. It's a rough life, but, hey, someone has to do it, right?

Shadowpact is an ambitious book to say the least. A title comprised of many characters who, alone, couldn't carry a title on their own. However, it all works..., but only when you have all the characters in the book. This issue proves by just showcasing one character, this title loses what makes it unique and special.

For the most part, Bill Willingham has hit gold with this series, principally because he's also drawing it, but it's his ability to use characters that most would find to be challenging. His use of dialogue is also what keeps this series moving along. So, thankfully, it's his use of dialogue that really carries this issue. Unfortunately it's not quite enough. While it's interesting to see what a “day in the life” of Blue Devil is like, having it essentially boiled down to one long fight scene is disappointing. And it doesn't help matters much when a parody of characters from a James Bond movie is used as the villains/demons. It's just not original any more. The interaction between Blue Devil and his neighbors was more interesting than the entire fight scene.

Another somewhat disappointing aspect of this issue is the fact that Willingham did not draw it. That's not a knock on Steve Scott though, who does draw very well and did a good job on this story, I'm just more a fan of Willingham's art. Be that as it may, whenever Willingham does need a “fill-in,” Scott is perfect. He keeps that look of the book and does it very well. I definitely would not mind seeing his work on his “own” title at some point, as he has a nice clean line and knows how to tell a story.

Overall, this was an okay issue. Nothing really special, nor something I want to see more often, at least not until the book is more established. So, while for one issue it might be fun, and as long as this doesn't become the norm, Shadowpact will succeed. I like the way each character plays off one another as a group. Focusing on one character every so often obviously is something that helps in the long run, this issue is not really the way to go. I'd much rather not read a fight scene taken from the Hellboy movie or overused Bond villains. Shadowpact is better than that, as is Willingham.



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