The Off the Road, Part Two of Five: A Pale Afternoon wiki last edited by pikahyper on 04/04/13 01:04AM View full history

Shade takes a break from his road trip and falls into a dream that is a trip all its own, as he returns to Meta and his childhood in a journey back to the womb and beyond. "The Road" part 2.

Shade continues to be haunted by what's happening around him and decides the only way to confront the hallucinations that seem to be appearing of his childhood is to dream and go back to the past and fight what's trying to destroy him as a child. So Shade dreams, and goes on a journey meeting himself at various ages...first as a small boy on the day he was going to get his new parents, then when he's ten years old and writes a poem entitled "A Pale Afternoon" which alludes to the events that would happen years later in the ditch (the memory Shade is trying to regain) and finally he meets his eighteen year old self.

His eighteen year old self believes to be eating some hallucinogenic herbs and Mellu believes she's dreaming but Shade talks with them, tells them some of their future and horrifies his younger self when he tells him that he no longer writes poetry. He also tells Mellu that he'll never stop loving her, even though he'll fall in love with someone new (Kathy). Shade's younger self tells him what he believes is in that ditch but Shade doesn't believe it, believe that it could be nothing but Madness...

Shade's history pre-Milligan is also woven into the story as being something Shade dreamed when he was in the Area of Madness, a combination of real events and Deetkosian (a nod to the character's creator, Steve Ditko) mythology. At last Shade decides it's time to escape the Madness of his dream and uses his love of Kathy to pull him back but when he arrives at her side she is old and wrinkled and informs she has awaited his return for forty-five years...

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