Note: Valiant‘s dark hero Shadowman is stepping out into the limelight this year with his new series and with our astounding array of redesigns for Shadowman: In A New Light. We’re proud to show you the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners for our contest, but before I do I wanted to personally thank guest judge Patrick “Patch” Zircher, co-writer/artist of the Shadowman comi series, and the P:R staff that stepped up to judge this. Also thanks to Hunter Gorinson and the Valiant staff for helping to make this happen, and for supplying the prizes to our winners. Now… on to the winners! – Chris A.
First Place Winner: Tony Aros!
Score: 51.5 out of 60
Vito: 8.5. I really like this one. The connected cape is something I’ve never seen before, unless it was on a character called the Flying Squirrel. Here, it gives the character a bit of a personality, and, if you really think about it, it extends the character’s shadow. That’s a smart touch. It’s probably the element that makes this stand out the most because without it, I don’t think the design would be as strong.
Chris: 8. The glowing emblem on this really appeals to me, but I feel as it maybe instead of being a waist-piece it should’ve been enlarged for the entire chest. I love the haunting look of this — but I would’ve loved to see Tony turn in a version with the top of the head open to show Jack’s hair.
Jon: 10. Sleek and ominous but still obviously human, I like the impression the lines on the torso give of an undercape. This definitely feels like the lead character in a book, or at least a key character – I keep picturing this as one of Morrison’s international Batmans.
Joel: 8. The glider-cape creates kind of a dumpy silhouette, doesn’t it? Squint your eyes, and this guy looks like a tiny-headed frog. I’m all the more perplexed by that choice because everything else in this design seems so well considered. All those curving seams and panels in the suit are beautifully balanced, and the mask is a great mix of expressively human and unsettlingly other.
Glen: 8.5. See, I didn’t like this at first. A character called Shadowman is all about the silhouette, and that? Is one goofy, Dark Ooompa-Loompa lookin’ silhouette. And yet it kind of feeds into the the overall effect, intensified by the face-paint, which is DAMN creepy. Not scary, but SERIOUSLY disquieting and alien. Well done.
Patch: 8.5. This is a cool look, Tony. You did a fine job. His mask makes his face similar to his enemy Master Darque and may not be a youthful enough look for Shadowman but I do like this. The few things I’d tweak? Maybe bring the black up higher on the back of the head, add a black skull-like ‘nose’ and the traditional logo on the belt.
Second Place Winner: Ha Huy Hoang!
Ha Huy Hoang
Score: 49 out of 60
Joel: 9. This is the strongest shadow-emblem of the the contest. I love the rhythm of the positive and negative space between the figure’s legs, the shadow, and the light, and how they all break down to a pattern of harlequin-style lozenges. I think this little passage of patterning has at least as much to do as the animated-style with making this design look lighter and more trickstery than most of the other submissions. Well, that and the spats. Always expect repartee from a man in spats. The only part of this design that I question are the circular cloak clasps. They distract a bit from the emblem and, in the smaller image, make it look like the shadow-man is holding pom-poms.
Vito: 8. I really like it, but the tails-as-cape is throwing me off a little. I like all of the elements as they appear together…it gives him an interesting silhouette, but that silhouette doesn’t match the chest emblem. It’s not an important beat to hit, but it would have been a nice touch.
Chris: 8. Wow. I knew this would be a top entry when it first came into the P:R inbox. Hoang’s delivered a more dapper Shadowman here with Shadowman’s emblem becoming a segue into a tuxedo-looking affair. I could easily see this sauntering through the shadows of New Orleans. My only qualms with the design is the drastic redesign of the Sengese Blade and the extraneous flaps on the sides of the mask itself.
Jon: 9. I love just about everything involved in this design, it’s stylish and unified and distinct. It’s iconic. My only concern is a thematic one – I always feel that when you have a character whose gimmick is that they’re battling against supernatural or alien forces, they should show a little skin. I feel that it’s important to display a little human flesh, some mortal vulnerability, something to note the hero’s humanity in contrast to the enemy’s inhumanity. BUT all that being said, one of my favorites, this one.
Glen: 7.5. The length of the cape and the length of the jacket seem to be competing with one another, not working in concert, and the emblem, on such a nattily dressed figure, goes to a whole argyle place that seems incongruous. +0.5 for the spats, though, because: Spats.
Patch: 7.5. This is absolutely a charming illustration, Ha Huy. The mask and chest ‘pop’ out of the black. Still, the costume has a very pulp-era feel and it is operatic, with a certain ‘gentleman’ like personality with the tails and spats. It could work with a past Shadowman– but it doesn’t give a feeling for a contemporary current one.
Third Place Winner: Nick Wali!
Score: 47.5out of 60
Joel: 8. I don’t know if this guy is Shadowman or not, but I sure like the cut of his jib. Rock that scarf and ascot, buddy!
Vito: 9. Probably my favorite in the contest because it’s so out of left field. The ascot is in the shape of the emblem! The scarf is a great contrasting color (orange, against the blacks and blues). The only thing I don’t like is the mask…it’s almost too plain. But otherwise, I think Nick hits a home run! If Morrison ever plans on doing another Doom Patrol run, he should call Nick up immediately!
Joel: Wait, where is the emblem?
Vito: It’s sorta in the ascot. Mostly in the shape. I like it as an abstraction of the original.
Chris: 7. Great character design… but is it a great Shadowman design? I feel like Nick Wali came out swinging and gave us an excellent character, but besides the vaguely familiar mask none of this screams Jack Boniface, Xero or any Shadowman I know. Still, great design.
Jon: 8. Loving this one a lot, it’s great to see a completely unexpected take on the character. Ties into a lot of Shadowman’s core themes as a book, it’s a lot of fun, definitely a design that would stand out in a crossover event or team roster.
Glen: 7.5. Bold, and very appealing on account of it. I’d never imagined the character taken in a “capering dandy” direction, but Wali clearly has. The color scheme don’t read “Shadowman” to me, however; it feels like an extra twist that takes it too far.
Patch: 8. A drawing to be proud of Nick. I like how the blank mask contrasts with the detail elsewhere. This looks like an 18th century take on the character. The benefit of a modern Shadowman is it works with the ‘lineage concept’ and it distinguishes him from fantasy ghosts, spirits, and demons. This is, however, our best shot at getting Shadowman on the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen!