Monday, June 6, 2011

Flashpoint: Secret Seven #1 (of 3)

My pal James recently mentioned to me that he's not a fan of detailed art. I told him he was going to hate this review.

I decided I wasn't going to pick up too many of the Flashpoint spinoff titles, but I couldn't pass Secret Seven up for two reasons: it's (mostly) drawn by George Perez and it features Shade the Changing Man.

I've raved about Perez's artwork in the past, and he just seems to keep getting better. With this issue he gets to tackle all kinds of strange images, but despite the amazing amount of detail, he keeps the story powerful, clear and easy to follow.

The story, written by Peter Milligan, introduces us to two key characters: Rac Shade, who has (apparently) been returned to his other-dimensional home (for mysterious reasons), and The Enchantress, a mystic figure who's searching for Shade for reasons of her own.

The issue mostly sets up the story, but it's a good start, and I'll be back for the rest of the series - though I'm not sure Perez will be there. The last five pages were handled by Fernando Blanco, who also did the layouts for 3/4 of the issue, with Scott Koblish providing the inks.

Getting back to Shade, I was a big fan of the character when legendary artist Steve Ditko created him in the '70s. We saw eight terrific issues before the character disappeared in the so-called "DC Implosion," a sad fate for a character with terrific potential - I thought it was Ditko's best work since his days at Marvel in the '60s.

Shade was brought back as a Vertigo character under Milligan, but I didn't pick up that series because it was obvious from a quick scan that it wasn't the same character.

Here Milligan seems to be trying to bridge the gap between the two characters (the original and the Vertigo version), and so far it's very interesting. The title also has a fun mystery going over the indentities of (and the fates of) the Secret Seven.

And look at that cover - Shade hovering over a crowd of hundreds of terror-filled faces. Is that enough detail for you, James? (Insert smiley face here.)

Grade: A-


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