In Review: Shaman Kane Issues 1 & 2 by David Broughton


Shaman Kane Issues 1 and 2

Created by David Broughton
£3.50 each – 24 pages – Black & White and Colour interiors

‘Who is Shaman Kane?

Shaman Kane - Who is Shaman Kane?

The Story: Shaman Kane is a gadget carrying bounty hunter who goes where he is needed. Hard as nails and with a couple of supernatural abilities in his arsenal, he goes up against the mystical and monstrous in space.

The two issues released so far have him fight Vampire Lords, Zombies, bikers, a dog called Zoltan (a ‘hound’ perhaps?) and creatures from other dimensions. He does so with a ghostly side-kick and an artificial intelligence embedded in his space ship. He bashes heads in and off all over the galaxy. The story takes us on Space Liners, ice planets, desert biker/zombie bars and creepy graveyards.

Shaman Kane - Battling Zombies

Shaman Kane – Battling Zombies

The Review – Dave Broughton has created an unashamed bash ’em up sci-fi action comic. It is a great read and has a superb grasp of action and mood. You can see 2000AD, which David quotes as a huge influence, writ large across the stories and the art style. Which not really that surprising, since David has also worked on the 2000AD fan comic Zarjaz.

Each story plants it’s feet solidly in the horror genre homage. For example we see characters appear called Macready and Windows in the The Thing-inspired story “Ice Station Zeebar”.  These winks and nods are not intrusive but are done with wit and add a little extra something to the stories. Even the space ship has a big tip of the hat to the design of the ship in the TV series Firefly.

Shaman Jane Rain guest stars in Shaman Kane #2

Shaman Jane Rain guest stars in Shaman Kane #2

Each issue has three stories, two in black and white and one in colour. The art reminds me a little of Paul Grist crossed with some Carlos Ezquerra with his line style and action sequences. You can see the influence of UK weekly comics in both David’s art style and the grittiness of the writing style. The designs are mostly great but to me the Shaman’s have a little too much of Strontium Dog in their uniforms and gadgets – but that is a very small niggle.

Shaman Kane - Creepy Villains

Dave has a great grasp on the creepy and grotesque. For example, in a time that it seems that every other small press comic has zombies in it, David keeps their appearances both fresh and tense. Shaman Kane has interesting and inventive ways of despatching them and carries a ‘Melee Morph Unit’ that is essentially a staff that forms into all different kinds of weapons on command.

The stories on first inspection seem to be one-offs and fairly basic in design but by the mid-point in Issue 2, I began to notice the larger arcs that the reader is being drawn into. The Zombie outbreak seems to have a foot in a larger mystery. David doesn’t throw this in your face but it is done through a subtle build of character, back story and history.

A page from the Shaman Kane story "Poltergeist Problems", featured in Shaman Kane #1

A page from the Shaman Kane story “Poltergeist Problems”, featured in Shaman Kane #1

This comes as highly recommended from me. It has the spark of an early 2000AD or Tornado story and doesn’t take itself too seriously. There are some excellently realised moments throughout and it rattles on at quite a pace! There are already two issues out and I look forward to seeing the third.

• You can grab a copy at David’s website or catch up on what David is doing over at his blog (I can’t wait to see his A.B.C. Warriors story!)

Many thanks for reading.

Categories: 2000AD, British Comics, Reviews

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