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The Shade #1 - Birthday Review

5

The first issue in the twelve issue series prepares us for a journey into the character's past, but not without setting up suspense first. Some spoilers below.

Someone wants The Shade dead, and they've hired out some serious muscle to get the job done.

The Good

The Shade is back and he's oozing more charm than ever before in this first issue of his self-titled mini series. If you have read the 'Starman' series from the mid '90's then you'll recognize that Robinson takes some aspects 'Shade's' character from that series and carries them over into this one. Aside from 'Shade's' relationship with Starman (which seems to be a theme attributed to his character), it is implied that he (Shade) is in love with Hope O'Dare, a character relevant to Robinson's 'Starman' series. In this first issue Robinson gets some help from Cully Hamner whose interiors are absolutely breathtaking. His boxy style, bold inks and attention to detail result in a gorgeous book.

Robinson definitely hints at some themes, characters and events that occurred or are relevant to his 'Starman' series, which makes sense. These moments are details that fans of the series will certainly appreciate, but they will by no means leave a new reader, unfamiliar with 'The Shade' at a loss.

William Von Hammer makes a rather exciting entrance into the book, fighting off meta-human Belgian assassins. You might recognize Von Hammer from Robinson's Action Comics series, and it will be interesting to see how his relationship with 'The Shade' unfolds.

The pacing in this issue is solid, revealing just enough to suck you in and leave you with a plethora of questions. Really beautiful book, well written with good structure.

The Bad

When Slade makes his appearance towards the end of the issue he's definitely one step ahead of Richard Swift and it was a little bit silly.

Other than that scene (which I totally laughed off) this was a very entertaining book.

The Verdict

New readers looking for a story that isn't totally entrenched in the new DC Universe should definitely give this maxiseries a shot. 'The Shade' is debonair, different, charismatic and interesting. The pacing in this book is solid, the art is absolutely breathtaking and the ending leaved you wanting more. I was impressed with this first issue and am anxiously looking forward to the next one.

13 Comments
Posted by batflasharrow96

Do you know if Jack Knight is still part of the DCU?

Posted by Sharkey

Oh I hope so, he was my favourite Starman!

Great review, I agree on all fronts. I have and read all the Starman omnibuses and this issue continues what I loved about the original series. :)

Posted by No_Name_

@batflasharrow96 said:

Do you know if Jack Knight is still part of the DCU?

I don't, but Mikaal is the current Starman.

Posted by GalacticPunt

Holy cow, this miniseries starts today? I need to get out to a comic store STAT.

P.S. I actually hope Jack Knight doesn't exist in current DC continuity. That way he is safe from being killed by Dan Didio in some future mega-event. I'd prefer it if readers can just enjoy his happy ending from the end of Starman #80.

Posted by doordoor123

@GalacticPunt said:

Holy cow, this miniseries starts today? I need to get out to a comic store STAT.

P.S. I actually hope Jack Knight doesn't exist in current DC continuity. That way he is safe from being killed by Dan Didio in some future mega-event. I'd prefer it if readers can just enjoy his happy ending from the end of Starman #80.

I think that should go with all characters.

Posted by Bluefox170

Sara, Y U NO like best part of book. ; ) Good market strategy towards both respective books in my opinion. How does Shade press on? This could be a way to introduce a power of his in Shade #2. Also a large majority of readers now know what you know who is all about and may even try that book as well.

Posted by CombatSpoon86

Wow James Robinson has done a great issue. It's been awhile. This will be perfect in trade for me.

Posted by Eyz

Well, the cover was already a hint enough of how good and gorgeous the book would turn out like.

Edited by No_Name_
Posted by tiocoy

I think this is the best series of the new 52 so far, the only one that really got me attached and wanting for more!! the art is great and it sure seems like Robinson really loves this character, because this previous JLA was awful. It brought me back to the starman days.

Posted by Gordo789

This book was phenomenal. Great writing, great art, and a completely brutal ending that has me clamoring for more. 5/5 for sure.

Posted by Boosterfold

Really want to get this one, and bummed that we're not. We're getting too much already.

Posted by talladegamatt

Wow! i'm not sure I was reading the same book after reading your review. I totally didn't get it. Since I've never read any books about Shade and I'm not familiar with the character, I was almost completely lost. I have no idea why it ended like it did and still know very little about what makes Shade Shade. Maybe this one is more of a fan favorite series, where you need to have followed the stories of the past before just picking this one up. I was expecting more of a New52-like reboot and was sorely mistaken. Of course since it isn't a part of the New 52, I probably shouldn't have expected that. I will say that the art was pretty nice but the story was lacking for me.