Key books – Shadowman #8 The Intro of Master Darque
I plan on highlighting some of my favorite Valiant books and moments for you to enjoy in my The Best of Valiant series. So please enjoy my first offering.
The are many Key books in the Valiant Universe, but one of my favorites has to be Shadowman #8. The main reason why this book is so great……. it features the big reveal of one of the most important and coolest characters in Valiant Universe, Master Darque.
Now the first inclusion of Master Darque in a Valiant book is actually Shadowman #7, he is in the back n a limo, he is unseen, but speaks in the book. In Shadowman #8 we get our first shots of ole Pinky. We first see his hand holding a newspaper reporting about the “Blood Runners”, which of course he has caused.
And then we quickly learn just what Master Darque is about. He states that 27 people are going to die. Clemenceau (his “right hand man”) seems unsure about the proposed deaths, and Darque coldly replies “Does that disturb you Clemenceau?”. This is the first look we get into the character and mind of Darque. 27 people dying for his needs mean nothing to him. But it is the way he states it, so matter of fact that really set the tone for the character.
The next image that stood out to me of Darque is a silhouette of him in one of the pictures Devon took at the graveyard. Even the small image of him, looking on as the dug up the bodies is chilling.
Up next is when the action explodes.
Jack tells his junkie friend that he needs a fix so they set up a meet with the supplier at a dark warehouse…….. I wonder what is going to happen…….
Jack gets there and we see…… Darque!
Darque’s reaction to Jack, not ask questions, not share his evil plan to take over the world, not a long, drawn out monologue…. Just a simple instruction, “kill it”.
A dramatic action sequence takes place including instructions from Darque to Clemenceau to get in the car and run down Jack. No matter that many of Darque’s minions are in the way, the instructions are to run them all down to get Jack. Of course this happens, but during the drive Clemenceau becomes a “Blood Runner” but he dies without getting Jack.
Then we get to the REAL good part of the book. Master Darque takes center stage. Darque has some of his men bring back the body of Clemenceau to a table. Next a truly creepy scene takes place. Darque brings a girl over to the body of Clemenceau dumps some powder on him the slices the girls throat….. (mad props to the artist Yvel Guichet, the inker John Dixon, and the colorist Carol VanHook for this scene)
Then the we really see the power of Darque. Clemenceau rises! Zombie time! A GREAT end to a GREAT book.
Shadowman #8 is one of my favorite Valiant books, great action, Blood Runners, and most importantly…….. Darque!