Shadowman/Rae Sremmurd #1
Writer: Eliot Rahal
Artist: Renato Guedes
Letterer: Dave Lanphear
A review by Josh Rose
Shadowman has been back for sometime now thanks to Ninjak and Rapture, but this is the first comic in a while with his name on the front. Shadowman/Rae Sremmurd #1 isn’t as much a Valiant book, as it is a book about two musicians who’ve bought into the crossroad loa’s trap like many other musicians in delta blues music mythology. It just happens to feature Shadowman and Doctor Mirage.
Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi are the two parts of Rae Sremmurd. Before they become big international hip-hop stars we see them working in a mattress factory until they make a deal with a certain crossroads loa in exchange for their souls. Five years later the loa comes to collect the debt right in front of their lawyer. The lawyer then recruits Doctor Mirage and Shadowman to retrieve their souls.
I really like how this issue builds on the existing mythology of Louisiana Voodoo in the Valiant Universe by adding in the crossroads. Several blues musicians from the south had their skills, success, and sometimes deaths attributed to “selling their soul to the devil”. It only seems fitting that Rae Sremmurd would also follow this path. Eliot Rahal has some fun poking at the mythology of the world of the dead. We have a loa that has a penchant for giving aspiring musicians their hearts’ desires, so why wouldn’t he have the ferryman from the cover of a Led Zeppelin album crossing the mythological river Styx?
Renato Guedes’ art in Shadowman/Rae Sremmurd #1 is so much fun. Not only is it done in a watercolor style, but also we get to see Shadowman fight hundreds of demons. The use of watercolor gives the art an almost distorted and swimming look, which is very fitting for a book about the supernatural and afterlife.
Buy it! Shadowman/Rae Sremmurd #1 is not only a beautiful book; it’s a beautiful homage to Rae Sremmurd’s hometown roots and influences. It doesn’t go deep into the mythology of the Valiant Universe or particularly deep into any mythology for that matter. It’s just a great, fun read for fans of Rae Sremmurd and/or Shadowman. Perfect for old and new readers alike.