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The Shade #11 - The Bad Librarians Review

4

The series takes a step closer to its end the the penultimate issue of THE SHADE.

The Good

This issue is so deep and so thought provoking and oh, so very interesting. I've fallen in love with the Shade. The language, humor, dialogue -- everything about the way he's written in this issue is just superb. I really, really enjoyed seeing the complexities of his character come to the surface in this issue.

We've known from the very start that this was to be a 12-issue series, so to see issue #11 feel like one step closer to the end is kind of a bittersweet feeling. First, I'm definitely sad being so close to the end of this series. However, I do think that it's important to recognize the way Robinson is closing out this book. It feels one step closer to the end of the issue. You get a sense of closure reading this issue that I feel is really important to the overall story. While it doesn't feel like the end of the series, it does feel like the end of an arc.

There's a great moment towards the end of the issue where The Shade reflects on himself for a moment. He outlines his flaws and goes over the things he's learned along his journey. You get a sense that this was a very important story for him -- and this moment of self realization is just perfect. This is as important story to the Shade as it was for any fan of his character. It's a story that provided a lot of growth and evolution for the Shade and I'm glad his character was given the opportunity.

The Bad

I'm not going to lie and say that the art in this issue didn't bother me because it absolutely did. Here's the thing about the last few issues of THE SHADE: they've been a little bit complex, even for someone who has been reading and reviewing every single issue. Robinson has been dealing with big concepts and big character development for The Shade. He's forced the character to take a good, hard and long look at himself and analyze himself from within. There are a lot of abstract concepts he is dealing with in this issue, and that's why I have such a problem with the abstractness of Frazer Irving's art in this issue. I think it makes things harder to understand.

The Verdict

This is going to be such a great book once its collected. It will be interesting to see what the reading experience is like when you are moving from one artistic style to the next, and it's definitely something I am looking forward to. While I can't say that the art in this issue was my favorite in this series, I will say that this is one of the best written issues of THE SHADE thus far. It feels like the perfect penultimate issue, the way it closes up the final arc but doesn't quite give the reader closure on the series as a whole. I definitely recommend that new readers start this series from the beginning -- it's really worth it.

9 Comments
Posted by Mandrewgora

love this book but I really just can not get into the art.

Posted by longbowhunter

Not my favorite issue, but good nonetheless. I'm gonna miss this book when it's gone. Let me take a moment to thank James Robinson for giving all us Starman fans another trip with an old friend. Thank you! I'm glad this is ending with a tales of times past story, as they are always my favorite.

Posted by JonesDeini

@longbowhunter said:

Not my favorite issue, but good nonetheless. I'm gonna miss this book when it's gone. Let me take a moment to thank James Robinson for giving all us Starman fans another trip with an old friend. Thank you! I'm glad this is ending with a tales of times past story, as they are always my favorite.

Man I'm just a sucker for Irving's art. Have been in love with it since the first time I saw it on Batman:ROBW. Definitely think he was the right artist for this closing arc. That being said I'd be the first to admit he isn't for everybody. I recently got Robinson's Starman Omnibus Vol.1 this year as a graduation gift for myself and it made me love The Shade all the more.

Posted by Sharkey

Great issue and I liked the nod to several popular British heroes, the Beaumont scene in particular cracked me up. 
 
The only gripe I had was the mystery magic-user in the hoodie, can anyone identify him?

Posted by johnny_spam

It's going to be such a shame when this book ends loved the cameo with Knight and Squire, beautiful art by Irving.

Posted by mrtrickster

this has been a great run, I wish it's not over after next issue

Posted by Whiskeyjack

I'd love it if Sara had knocked a star off the review just so James would have something to amusingly gripe about on the next podcast. Because we know Tony would have given it a 5 :)

Edited by JamesDRobinson

Thanks guys. For the record the guy with the hoodie is Sunny Jim who I created at the same time as Beaumont in that issue of Superman where Mon-El flies around the world meeting international heroes. It's where Von Hammer and La Sangre first appeared too. Thanks again. Have a great weekend.

Posted by EthanFantastic

The writing in this series alone could let anyone overlook the art. Irving's isn't my favorite, but it sometimes seems fitting.