Comic Vine Review


The Shade #1 - Birthday


The first issue in the twelve issue series prepares us for a journey into the character's past, but not without setting up suspense first. Some spoilers below.

Someone wants The Shade dead, and they've hired out some serious muscle to get the job done.

The Good

The Shade is back and he's oozing more charm than ever before in this first issue of his self-titled mini series. If you have read the 'Starman' series from the mid '90's then you'll recognize that Robinson takes some aspects 'Shade's' character from that series and carries them over into this one. Aside from 'Shade's' relationship with Starman (which seems to be a theme attributed to his character), it is implied that he (Shade) is in love with Hope O'Dare, a character relevant to Robinson's 'Starman' series. In this first issue Robinson gets some help from Cully Hamner whose interiors are absolutely breathtaking. His boxy style, bold inks and attention to detail result in a gorgeous book.

Robinson definitely hints at some themes, characters and events that occurred or are relevant to his 'Starman' series, which makes sense. These moments are details that fans of the series will certainly appreciate, but they will by no means leave a new reader, unfamiliar with 'The Shade' at a loss.

William Von Hammer makes a rather exciting entrance into the book, fighting off meta-human Belgian assassins. You might recognize Von Hammer from Robinson's Action Comics series, and it will be interesting to see how his relationship with 'The Shade' unfolds.

The pacing in this issue is solid, revealing just enough to suck you in and leave you with a plethora of questions. Really beautiful book, well written with good structure.

The Bad

When Slade makes his appearance towards the end of the issue he's definitely one step ahead of Richard Swift and it was a little bit silly.

Other than that scene (which I totally laughed off) this was a very entertaining book.

The Verdict

New readers looking for a story that isn't totally entrenched in the new DC Universe should definitely give this maxiseries a shot. 'The Shade' is debonair, different, charismatic and interesting. The pacing in this book is solid, the art is absolutely breathtaking and the ending leaved you wanting more. I was impressed with this first issue and am anxiously looking forward to the next one.