If you've been reading this series then you will like the way this issue picks up right where we left off, with The Shade having uncovered his great-grandson Dudley's "unsavory conduct" -- Dudley had gotten his hands dirty by getting deeply involved in some masonic cabal. What really struck me was the way that The Shade held a conversation with these mysterious Egyptian Gods that tower above him -- no matter how awesome and all powerful they seem, the Shade still never loses his charismatic charm. He keeps his cool one hundred percent of the time.
I love how Robinson is bringing the events we saw from the start of the first issue full circle by bringing them back and referencing them in this issue. In the very first few pages, for example, we see a reference to the flashback where The Shade was in Paris in the late 19th century. I remember asking myself "why is this important," and now it is all becoming more and more clear. There's another reference to the opening scene of the series; in the beginning we saw Deathstroke trying to kill The Shade, and only now do we discover who was behind that plot. Writing a story this way, and trickling out information gradually is what makes everything so interesting. You have this broad story and all these different events being connected in this one moment -- it makes keeping up with this series from the first issue up to now really worthwhile.
How powerful are the Gods? We definitely see just how powerful they are in this issue. I think Robinson takes a queue from folklore, mythology and history -- you can't contain a power greater than yourself. Look at the atomic bomb, for example. Humanity cannot control or contain a force far stronger than they are, and you can sort of draw a comparison between that theme to events and moments throughout history. I thought that was really interesting.
I am not crazy about Frazier Irving's art, but I think his style really complimented this issue. Particularly the way he illustrated the Shade when he is "fading." That's exactly how I picture it in my mind, so it was great to see it executed that way in this book. Although it was sometimes difficult to tell Dudley and The Shade apart, I think that the way Irving used colors to distinguish between the two characters really helped make things clear.
I realize they are supposed to be related, but there are moments where I was not able to tell Dudley apart from the Shade. Apart from some of those moments, I really don't have any complaints.
Although 2/3's of this issue is a lot of talking, it doesn't drag. I like the heavy dialogue in The Shade; it feels like a chess game. The reader will constantly wonder who will win the battle of wits between these two characters. It's an interesting story that leaves readers with an enormous cliff-hanger at the end. I am definitely looking forward to the next issue, and if you have been reading this series, so will you.