Synopsis: There is a crossroads where people have bartered with the devil for their heart’s desire. Everyone who signs the deal knows the price: their souls. So when struggling rappers meet a man who can give them the life they are working so hard to achieve, they sign. Five years later, the devil comes for what is due. Mirage & Shadowman travel to the deadside to rescue the now internationally famous Rae Sremmurd. The trip is perilous, and the puns are many. Who knew the price of fame would be this high?
Review: Sitcoms for years have done guest appearances by celebrities. They are usually cheesy and rely heavily on the shock of the sudden appearance. Going into this issue of Shadowman, I braced myself for this reality. It never came true. Using the framework of musicians selling their souls for fame & fortune isn’t remotely new, but when it is done in a fun way, it normally works. The issue, while dealing with devils and damnation, doesn’t take itself too seriously. The banter between Shadowman and Mirage is hilarious, and it really cements just how fantastically ludicrous the diabolical plan of their enemy is. It also adds to the visual jokes of the issue.
This issue has a smoky almost hazy quality to it. Seeing Charon the boatman conjures images the story of greek myth, but once we know that this Charon is from Led Zepplin, the joke becomes tangible. Vivid images of vans with epic heavy metal artwork is evoked, and the issue is enhanced by it. Finally, the penultimate battle where we see Mirage and Shadowman fight the loa is set in a demonic amphitheatre. Let that sink in. It is a visual joke, and it works on every level.
Going into this issue, I had little faith that I would be entertained. I was proven wrong, and I am thankful for it.