SHADOWPACT No. 18
"Separations": Part Two of "Darkness and Light"
|Asst. Editor:||Stephanie Buscema|
|Cover Art:||Tom Derenick & Wayne Faucher
Colored by Mike Atiyeh
For those of you concerned for the safety of Warlock's Daughter at the end of the previous issue, you've been given a momentary reprieve. The [Enchantress] shows up just in time to cock block this Protégé character, leaving "Devon" to find another snack for his buddy the Sun King.
Over in the Nightshade Dimension, [Nightmaster], [Ragman], and [Nightshade] get into a little spat with a few walking corpses who insist that the three heroes partake of the "Unbound"...whatever that is.
Meanwhile, the Gotham cops have requested the assistance of [the Detective Chimp] and Enchantress in making a connection between a mysterious murder (remember ol' Corkscrew Eyeball from last issue?) and a series of disappearances of minor witch wannabes. The corpse has a mystic stink to it, so the game is afoot.
At the same time, Protégé has returned to the Oblivion Bar to pick up Warlock's Daughter and take her home to his swingin' bachelor pad, which he has been running sort of like the Playboy Mansion if Hugh Heffner were in league with unclean, demonic forces. Oh wait...he is! Zing! Also, Devon has taken to walking around looking like [Danzig] from Aqua Teen Hunger Force.1 Doc Gotham shows up to totally ruin everything, however, and Protégé gets this clever idea to use Warlock's Daughter—totally mesmerized now—to recruit Shadowpact to the cause of offing his pops.
Wow. Doug Braithwaite is out already? I figured he'd stay for a couple of issues at least. Well...Tom Derenick is a perfectly serviceable artist. That, and—as I believe I mentioned in the comments on issue 17—I've kinda gotten used to the big lug over the course of the series, so I've no significant objection here. It also provides a nice continuity for bridging Bill Willingham's run and Matthew Sturges's, though if it was going to shake out this way, I'd just as soon have seen Derenick pencil the previous issue, as well, so that the flip in artistic style wouldn't have been there to jar things up right at the start.
I haven't yet quite formulated an opinion on this installment. Splitting up the members of Shadowpact has forced Sturges to send his narrative bouncing frantically back and forth between parallel plot threads, and it can all seem like a bit too much at times...but then again, it coheres well, narratively. For the moment, however, I cannot claim to be invested in the predicament of the three Shadowpact members stuck in the Nightshade dimension. I want to know where this is headed, but it isn't quite developing with the urgency I would like. Then again, this plotline offers up the sole action sequence in this installment, and it does feature a severed head and a senses-shattering kick to the face by Ragman.2
All that being said, this issue suffers from at least one insurmountable problem: no friggin' Blue Devil! Sturges! I'm coming for you, Sturges! Lock your doors, man!
This page last updated 19 October 2007.
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