Monday, October 17, 2011

The Shade #1 (of 12)

Writer James Robinson's work has been a bit erratic for me lately. I am a huge fan of his work on the Starman series, and he did a lot of good work before that - but his recent efforts on Justice League left me cold.

How good, then, to see him back to form in this 12-issue series devoted to The Shade, the former criminal and now defender of Opal City.

The Shade is a classy (and classic) character - an immortal who is a bit jaded by life but still filled with passions, including his love for the woman in his life (and what a breath of fresh air she is), his city and his friends.

The story opens with a leisurely discussion with the new Starman, who escaped from the last incarnation of the JLA.

We meet the key people in The Shade's life, but before things get too tedious, we get a blast of action and a surprise ending. What more could you ask?

The art is by Cully Hamner, and he's an excellent choice, being a master of shading and using inks to control the mood and tempo of the story - excellent work all around.

We'll see if the creative team can keep this series from becoming too dark - but the title character is one of the more interesting figures in DC's stable, when he's handled properly - and so far, no worries there.

Grade: A-


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