The first issue did a great job introducing both The Shade and Von Hammer; and we get the impression that these two characters will be working closely together throughout the remainder of the twelve issue series.
I absolutely love how Robinson merges the stories of the two characters in this issue; the transition is perfect and not at all jarring or erratic. It's a great way to bring them together. The writer also uses the final scene in the first issue to explain exactly what The Shade's powers are, which, if you're unfamiliar with the character is pretty helpful. Allowing the reader to learn about the Shade and his powers through the story's events is far more interesting than simply telling the reader, and Robinson does this. We get an idea and a feel for the character, his power set and his moral compass through the dialogue. Not everything is spelled out for the reader. This is a great example of solid storytelling.
There are three pages of solid dialogue between The Shade and Hope, and you can see the enormous discrepancies between the two characters; they are virtually polar opposites. It's really nice that Robinson took the time to lay out the relationship between the two characters for the readers, and the dialogue between them doesn't feel at all forced. I often think comic writers shy away from discussing the human relationships between characters in their books, and I think it's great that the writer spent this much time saying goodbye. Von Hammer is a really fun character; definitely not as charming as James Bond, but he definitely wants to be. The dialogue in this issue is solid, and the interactions between The Shade and Von Hammer are a lot of fun. Cully Hamner does an incredible job with the art in this issue, too; and it's awesome to see him on this book; his style matches the story perfectly.
There is really nothing bad about this issue. It's got everything you would want in a book: romance, action, and what is gearing up to be a very fun adventure.
Definitely one of the better books coming out of DC Comics, lately. If you're looking for a shallow read, this is probably not for you. Robinson has returned to The Shade, breathing life into the character who is unique from any other in the DC Universe, and I couldn't think of a better person to take the reigns of the character in his ongoing twelve issue series. The story is off to a fantastic start, and this issue is the beginning of what I expect to be a riveting adventure. The language and dialogue in this book is fantastic; and Shade stands out as a completely charming, debonaire character. He's a unique individual, stuck in the 19th Century and it's awesome. This issue isn't only about characterization, either; there's plenty of magic and action in the book as well. Hamner is also the perfect person to draw this issue and his style matches the story incredibly well. Definitely a fun book. Although I recommend getting the first issue, if you want to start with issue #2 it will be easy to follow along.