"The Wild Hunt"
Writer: Bill Willingham
Artist: Cory Walker, Mike Atiyeh (colors)
Publisher: DC Comics
It was too good to last, wasnít it? Two issues. Just two issues of artwork that did not make the characters look downright kooky and itís back to the..., well..., back to the aforementioned kookiness. Six issues, three art teams, that is the going rate for this still relatively new ongoing series from DC. If not for the new Flash series (with four art teams in five issues), Shadowpact would be the record holder for most art-team changes in least number of issues. Then again, it did come close. Though Cory Walker replaces Steve Scott in this issue, this is Walkerís second issue of Shadowpact, the first being issue #3. On the bright side, with Mike Atiyeh continuing with the colors, their finished product manages to look somewhat similar to the mood and style of the previous issue (and the one before that).
The only thing that hasnít changed in all six issues is the writer, Bill Willingham, although even that carries on with the undulating movements that have plagued this series. Though nothing wrong, after the false start of the first arc and the steady improvements there on, I expected more here. Still, even at its lowest, this issue was better than the first two. The story here is told in two halves, one continuing from the Ragmanís fight from last issue, and the other a carry over plotline too, that of the new ownership of the Oblivion Bar.
Regarding Ragman, having taken down his attacker, he meets up with the Enchantress who reveals the mystery woman is Ms. Blue Moon, Killer for Hire. A quick spell, and Blue Moon is carted off by the authorities (the G.C.P.D.), but not before a second threat rises in the form of the Wild Huntsman and his hellhounds, jumbo sized dogs with that telltale arrowhead "hell" tail. Sending a signal to their teammates, the two try their best in battling the pooches from hell and their Lord of the Rings-reject Master. But before help can arrive (in the form of Blue Devil and Nightshade), both Ragman and Enchantress are defeated and transformed into hellhounds themselves.
Back in the Oblivion Bar and Inn (OBaI), Nightmaster is in "talks" with the new owner, Eddie Deacon. Fans of Batman: The Animated Series will recognize Eddie as Flippy, the same name that is used for his former "stage" profession. I am not sure, but I think I have seen Eddie even make a previous comic appearance or two, (once again, in one of the Bat-titles). Inspired by the Batman, Eddie had vowed to become a superhero. He didnít get quite there, but along the way, he did develop (or maybe just discover) telekinetic powers. Though not strong enough to fight crime, these powers are expansive enough to allow Eddie to multitask, as illustrated in both the previous issue and this one.
Reaching a stalemate, and then finally accepting the fact that Eddieís the new owner of the OBaI, Nightmaster works out some sort of temporary settlement. After all, the Shadowpact does need a headquarters. Just in time too as Blue Devil and Nightshade arrive with the still-stuck-in-dog-form Ragman and Enchantress.
Conclusion: The art, though a dampener, is good enough (or not bad enough) to take away from the general tone of the story. That said, I would like to have at least one complete Shadowpact story arc completed by the same art team.
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