This is "When We Meet," a feature about spotlighting team-ups that I find peculiar, interesting or otherwise worth sharing with you all.
Today, we look at the delightfully bizarre team-up of Aerosmith with Shadowman in Shadowman #19 (by Bob Hall and John Dixon). They KILL STEVEN TYLER, PEOPLE!
In case you are unfamiliar with Shadowman, the character was introduced in the early 1990s as part of Valiant's big Unity crossover. Jack Boniface was a successful New Orleans saxophone player (but not successful enough to land a record deal just yet). He eventually meets a mysterious woman who drugs him and now he is compelled to fight crime at night. When he is out at night, he has enhanced strength and speed. He takes on the name Shadowman. His arch-rival was a necromancer named Master Darque, who was always trying to get Jack to serve him.
In case you are unfamiliar with Aerosmith, they are a very popular rock band, so shut up, you know who Aerosmith is.
Bob Hall was writing and penciling Shadowman during this period. The book (along with most of Valiant's line) was very popular in 1993. They were outselling most DC titles (and many Marvel titles) at the time in the direct market.
The issue opens with Aerosmith performing in New Orleans. They jam a little bit with Jack during sound check, as he knows a couple of members of the group from a long time ago...
The issue opens with the introduction of a crazed fan who is obsessed with Aerosmith and Steven Tyler. Master Darque approaches this unstable young man and cuts a deal with him. He will give him Steven Tyler's voice if he gets a lock of Tyler's hair.
The fan attacks Steven in his dressing room, but Tyler beats him up. A few undead servants of Masque attack, though, and they hold an Aerosmith fan hostage and Tyler has to trade his hair for her life...
There is a clever bit when someone asks Darque if this will work and he explains that it will because the fan believes it and so does Tyler once Jack warns him of the hair likely being part of a voodoo thing.
So later, during a show, the spell is cast and Tyler loses his voice to the crazed fan...
Tyler is compelled to seek out the fan (which is all part of a Darque trap). Jack turns into Shadowman and tries to stop him, but the crazed Tyler can't be stopped. The rest of the band heads out to find their lead singer...
Once they all confront Darque, Darque continues the spell and actually KILLS STEVEN TYLER!!
He will reverse it, but only if Jack agrees to serve him. He obviously agrees, and Tyler lives, man!
Now Jack has to figure out how to get out of this mess.
That was a really well handled crossover by Hall. His likenesses were excellent, the story was interesting and he gave the band some worthwhile things to do.
Okay, that's it for this installment of this feature! I know you all have suggestions for future installments, so be sure to let me know by e-mailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org!