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The Shade #8 - Times Past: 1901, Family Ties, Part II Review5
by Sara 'Babs' Lima on
The Shade takes readers back to the Victorian Era and introduces us to a young Albert Caldecott.
It's such a reward to come so far and to finally get a grasp on Albert Caldecott's character, the Shade's grandson who we saw at the beginning of this series on his deathbed. Not only is it great to see his story fleshed out, but it's such a great story. Robinson definitely delivers a fantastic issue with THE SHADE #8. Not only is his rich dialogue entertaining; it is also bound to capture you and delight you at every turn. It's also a plus to see an artist like Jill Thompson on this issue. In an interview, Robinson had stated that he had hand selected his artists for the different era's and locations that the Shade would be traveling throughout this series; having Thompson capture the character in Victorian London and Paris is absolutely perfect. Not only is the character brilliantly executed by Robinson's story, but the tone, mood, essence of the characters are captured by Thompson's work on the issue as well. Her talent compliments Robinson's language perfectly, and will leave you in awe and wanting more.
Beautifully written issue with gorgeous art by Thompson. Great pacing, mood, tone and more. You will not want this issue to end.
Nothing bad here. This is a fantastic issue.
If you've been with The Shade since the start you will feel rewarded with this issue. You'll recognize Caldecott's character who appeared at the start of the series; and we learn a lot more about him in this issue. Not only does Caldecott, the Shade's grandson, become more familiar with this issue; but so does the Shade. At the very end of the story, the final line in the book, The Shade reveals that he cannot remember whether he "cried" when he discovered his wife had passed away. It's a moment that really makes me wonder whether he (The Shade) had detached himself from humanity because really, he isn't human. He's something of an ageless, eternal being; and therefore cannot relate to people and the rest of society. Perhaps this is why he did not mourn his wife's passing, because he felt nothing for her.
The language in this issue is beautiful. Robinson really captures Victorian Europe through his dialogue, setting the stage for Thompson's breathtaking pencils. The vibrant colors in the issue helps to deliver an upbeat sort of tone, as well. Not recommended for new readers, although it technically does work as a stand alone story; I think readers that have been following the series from the start will feel rewarded.