blurred_view's Flashpoint: Secret Seven #1 - Part One: Hunter's Moone review

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    Are you a fan of Shade the Changing Man? Do you really even know who Shade the Changing Man is? If your answer is no to these questions, Secret Seven is probably not worth your time. 
    For the record, my answer to the first question was "no" and to the second "...sorta?" 
    This issue takes place after the events of Flashpoint's first issue where Cyborg assembles various heroes, including Shade the Changing Man, to discuss taking on Aquaman and Wonder Woman. Shade allegedly cracks from the stress of the situation, leading to a reunion with his people and the responsibilities he has left behind. Readers are quickly dumped into Shade's world, and it is a jarring experience for those unfamiliar with it. This issue does offer some explanations, but those explanations fall short of what is needed to be prepared for the sheer strangeness of Shade's mythos. There is also a very retro feel to the art, which is not due to this simply being illustrated by George Perez but to being just another part of Shade's world. 
    The amount of mystery in this story doesn't help it feel anymore welcoming to readers either. There is the mystery of what happened to the original Secret Seven. Suicide or murder? But on top of that, this issue doesn't introduce us to the current Secret Seven. 
    DC have made a very strange choice with this tie-in. Here we have this book focusing mostly on the Flashpoint version of Shade the Changing Man, a character most DC readers haven't a clue about the regular version. No doubt there are confused readers out there believing Shade is a character unique to the Flashpoint universe. Is this really the best way to reintroduce Shade to readers? It doesn't seem so. Oh, many people will read this because of Flashpoint, but it seems more will be turned off by it than turned on to the character. This is far from what readers of Flashpoint would reasonably expect from a tie-in book. 
    But no, this is not a bad book. Peter Milligan and George Perez a very good job with the story. It's just that this story is really not for everyone. It's a story that presumes prior knowledge and attachment to not only Shade but even to Enchantress. For those who qualify, this is a pretty good issue. 
    Most probably do not qualify, though. This is not recommended reading for the general Flashpoint audience. It seems to have a very loose bearing on the main Flashpoint story and assumes you come in with the right mindset for Shade the Changing Man. Give this tie-in a pass unless it genuinely piques your curiosity.

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