Shadowland Issue 4 of 5

By Vince

Hell’s Kitchen is coming apart and the gloves are off. Luke Cage and his allies have realized Matt Murdock is likely beyond their help and the only thing remaining is to take down the Daredevil. At the end of the last issue, it was revealed that Murdock is possessed by the Beast of the Hand, a powerful demon. The Punisher joined the heroes’ side, while Elektra showed up to help her former love resurrect Bullseye, further increasing Daredevil’s ranks. Issue 4 brings Shadowland to its breaking point.

Elektra’s true intentions are revealed and Wolverine even shows up. While it’s not uncommon for Wolverine to show up EVERYWHERE, he fits this story nicely; he has a long-running history with the Hand and has worked with Cage many times as a member of the New Avengers. Additionally, he serves as a solid indication that the heroes are serious about taking Daredevil down by any means necessary.

Once the fireworks start, it’s quite the spectacle. Cage and crew go in with a battle plan, and it’s a treat watching it play out. Of course, in comics, nothing ever goes according to plan and everything quickly breaks down into an all-out melee. These fight scenes are where Shadowland really shines; the art is a amazing and, more importantly, detailed. The environment, the debris, the fights going on in the background; there’s very little filler to be seen in the fight scenes.

The details are where Tann and the rest of the art team really step up. I absolutely love the panels from Daredevil’s perspective, drawn and colored the way he “sees” things. The bottom half of page 6 really caught my eye; it’s a scene with Luke Cage, Master Izo and Iron Fist talking to Wolverine. It’s laid out as a single panel of art, broken up into three separate panels, one for each character and their dialog, with Wolverine in the foreground, overlapping the other panels. It’s a very minor detail, but things like that are what take a good comic and make it a great one. I’ve read other comics with Tann’s art, such as New Avengers and Uncanny X-Men, but his work here will definitely have me looking for his name in the future.

Traditionally, the next-to-last issue of an event comic is the weakest, plot-wise. It’s purpose is just to set everything up for the climax, and that holds true for Shadowland. That being said, the “weakest” issue of this miniseries is still better than most anything else I’m reading. For an event that I was initially hardly interested in, I’m eagerly anticipating the finale.

Shadowland Issue 4 of 5
Marvel Comics
Story: Andy Diggle
Art: Billy Tann, Victor Olazaba, Guru eFx

Vince is the self-proclaimed “Massive Nerd.” His interests range from video games and comics to anime and Transformers collectibles.

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