DC’s The Shade

Issues 1-3

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In December of 2011, DC Comics started a one year run of a comic called The Shade. I have all 12 in my pile of unread comics, so I decided to take a swing at them. I started with issues 1-3, and I really liked them.

In the beginning, readers are introduced to the Shade, a man who works his power through shadows. He used to be a criminal, but now he is mildly good. He is in love with a cop named Hope, and his life seems pretty good.

But someone is trying to kill him. They send Deathstroke after him, and Les Diaboliques after a man (Will Von Hammer) who is trying to find out information about the Shade. Deathstroke kills a copy of the Shade, but the real one can’t die, as shadow runs through his veins, not blood.

The Shade meets up with Von Hammer in Hamburg, Germany to fight off Bête-Noir, a group lead by another shadow creature. Von Hammer and the Shade are successful. Von Hammer tells the Shade that there is someone named Caldecott trying to kill him. Also, Von Hammer has been hired to find out if there is any of the Shade’s blood stored anywhere, which is why he is being attacked. The Shade wishes him luck and heads to see Diablo Blacksmith in Australia.

Diablo Blacksmith and the Shade are not friends, but Diablo helps the Shade anyways. The Shade knows that he has to get through Mangar-Kunjer-Kunja to get to Caldecott. Diablo tells the Shade that he has to use Dreamtime to get past him. The Shade doesn’t seem to understand, and so heads to Alice Springs, where Caldecott’s house waits for him.

Mangar-Kunjer-Kunja is the lizard god who created humans, and Shade has to gain his trust or defeat him to get to Caldecott. He chooses the latter. Even though the Shade keeps telling the god that he isn’t there to harm Caldecott, his fighting makes Mangar not believe him. So the Shade realizes that the only way to get past him is to stop fighting, and offer peace.

The Shade, instead of attacking with shadow, creates a giant shadow swan to show that he means no harm, and Mangar-Kunjer-Kunja let’s him in. Once the Shade is inside, he finds Caldecott, a weak old man. When Caldecott sees the Shade, his one word reaction surprised me, “grandfather,” and the issue ends.

So far, I’m really liking these. Personally, I like reading comics after they have all come out so the suspense doesn’t kill me. At the same time, I can understand why they keep comics full of suspense – it keeps us coming back. But that’s all for now, Fangirls! Read on.

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