I'm rooting for Valiant. I like their enthusiasm and I like their branding. I like that the company was revived by Valiant fans, who are dedicated to producing quality material. I also like trade paperback collections that are $9.99, which was the perfect price point for me to pick up their first Shadowman volume. I read X-O Manowar every month, and I tried out the first issues of Bloodshot (too military and needlessly violent for my tastes) and Shadowman. Shadowman #1 was frustrating because the hero didn't turn up until the final page of the book, and the first issue failed to tell a whole story. I feel like a first issue should reveal the hero, his powers and motivations, and give me some sort of complete beginning, middle, and end, so that I can get an understanding of what I'll be buying into on a monthly basis. Shadowman, while sporting competent writing by Justin Jordan and appealing art by Patrick Zircher, was good enough to intrigue me, despite not delivering what I'm looking for in a single issue. I kind of knew then that I'd be picking up the trade.
The positives? The supporting cast is strong, as is the villain, Master Darque, who turned out to be my favorite part of the book. The downside is that as an introduction to Shadowman himself, it leaves a lot to be desired. He's not as three-dimensional as the two characters who assist him, and his powers are ill-defined and nebulous (at least in this first outing). If you already have a taste for mystical superheroes there's a good possibility you'll find the little mysteries of Shadowman's world more involving than I did, and I recognize that my indifference here may be chalked up to my own personal taste and not that the comic itself is bad, per se, because it's not. Shadowman is a perfectly acceptable action comic that just didn't get its hooks in me in the way that I'd hoped. Your mileage may vary.