Tag Archives: Shade

This Week: Origin of the Shade, Digital Flash(back) “Nobody Dies” & Impulse: Ghosts of the Past

The Shade #12The final issue of The Shade arrives in stores this week.

The Source has a preview and commentary from writer James Robinson, artist Gene Ha, and editor Wil Moss.

Once a normal family man with a wife and two children living in London, Richard Swift was forced against his will into a life of the supernatural. What mistake did he make that would be his undoing and send him down a path of no return? Don’t miss this special issue of the critically acclaimed series that explored The Shade’s mysterious origins!

I expect it’ll be a bit more sophisticated than the Golden-Age explanation of his powers…

Seriously, I’ve been enjoying this series. It’s the kind of thing that could have (more) easily been done without the New 52, and I’m glad that they went through with it anyway, even if it required a few changes.

In the digital realm, ComiXology is adding The Flash #54-55 and Impulse #15-16 to their back-issue catalog.

Flash #54: Free-Fall in Scarlet!Flash #54, “Nobody Dies” frequently shows up in lists of favorite single-issue stories from the Wally West series. It’s the one where Wally West watches a flight attendant get sucked out of an airplane and decides he’s going to jump out after her even though he can’t fly. CSBG featured the story in its “Almost Hidden” series, and Comics Bulletin has Messner-Loebs’ remarks on the story.

Flash #55 is a War of the Gods tie-in issue, and features the Flash racing against both Mercury and Hermes. (In the DCU at the time, the Greek and Roman pantheons were separate.) Also, IIRC, Wally and friends play Dungeons and Dragons.

Impulse #16: Ghosts of the PastImpulse #15 concludes the “Faith and Trust” two-parter in which Bart’s friend Carol finds her family caught in the middle of a double heist by the Trickster and White Lightning. Impulse #16 is one of the more powerful issues of the series. Max Mercury’s relationship to Helen Claiborne is revealed, along with a secret shame from Max’s past. These three issues together were among the most serious of the Mark Waid/Humberto Ramos run (though there’s always room for humor when the Trickster is around). Not surprisingly, the next few issues were all broad comedy.

Flash (1987-2009) on ComiXology
Impulse on ComiXology

Jay Garrick Cameo Pulled from The Shade

Bleeding Cool posts a page of original art from The Shade #4 found on Albert Moy. The page didn’t appear in the book, though, because it featured the Golden Age Flash and Starman.

As I understand it, James Robinson and the various artists have been working on this series since before the relaunch, and have had to make a few changes along the way in order to fit into the New 52.

DC Comics: Pulling (or is that Polling?) the New 52

So, the DC reboot* is upon us, and it’s time to make some decisions:

  • What new series should I buy?
  • Should I stick with print, or go digital?

I’ll tackle the second question later. For now, here are the books I was looking at when the New 52 was first announced, and what I’m looking at now.



As with Action, it was the creative team that got me excited about the fifth relaunch in as many years. (Seriously, DC, pick a direction and stick with it.) And as with Action, every interview, every announcement since then has chipped away a little more at my interest. But then Francis Manpul posts a new piece of artwork, and I feel like can’t possibly pass it up. TENTATIVE YES.

And yes, that’s a sad verdict for someone who’s spent the last 15 years running a Flash fan site, but it is what it is.

Justice League Dark

Love the concept, hate the title. I had high hopes for this when it was announced, but the execution of Flashpoint: Secret Seven, by the same writer and featuring many of the same characters, has me worried. TENTATIVE YES.

Demon Knights

The complete opposite of Action Comics. When I first read about it, I thought, “Hmm, that sounds sort of interesting, but I just don’t know.” But everything I’ve heard about it makes me more interested. DEFINITE YES.

Regarding Demon Knights and Justice League Dark, it seems that the Matt Wagner/Amy Reeder Vertigo series has made me a fan of Madame Xanadu. Who would have expected that?

Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E.

I really liked the Seven Soldiers version of the Frankenstein monster, and the idea of him as a sci-fi secret agent sounds like a lot of fun. Plus the Flashpoint: Frankenstein and the Creatures of the Unknown miniseries was enjoyable (despite a dip in the middle issue), so I’m on board for this one. DEFINITE YES.

Resurrection Man

I keep meaning to read the articles about this, but somehow keep forgetting to come back to them when I have time. So I still don’t know a whole lot about it, but the concept is interesting enough to make it a TENTATIVE YES.

The Shade

Announced as part of the second wave of new titles, the 12-issue miniseries launches in October. I like the character, especially the modern interpretation, and I really enjoyed the 4-issue miniseries James Robinson did back in the 1990s, so I’m on board for this one as well. DEFINITE YES.

Considered, but Skipping

Action Comics

Grant Morrison brings Superman back to his roots. Sounded great at the time, but the more I’ve heard about the actual direction, the less interested I’ve gotten. PASS.

Teen Titans

I’ve been burned too many times, and I think what I really liked about the series was the Wolfman/Perez dynamic, which I’ve come to realize is never going to exist again. I actually think it’s a good thing that they’re taking the book in a new direction, even though it’s clearly not for me. PASS.

Hawk & Dove

As fond as my memories are of the series 20 years ago…I just can’t. PASS.


I liked his solo series back in the day, but between my changing taste and the emphasis on ultra-violence, I don’t have any interest in the new version. PASS.

(OK, except for the issue where he destroys the 405 freeway. I live in LA and commute on that damn thing. It’s a revenge fantasy.)

In Summary…

So that’s my DC Comics pull list for September. 5 comics out of 52 (plus The Shade) may not sound like much, but considering I was only reading one DC proper title before Flashpoint, it’s actually a pretty big increase.

Edited to add: For context, this brings the DC Universe back up to 50% of my active pull list. The rest is 1 Vertigo (The Unwritten), 3 BOOM! (Elric, Farscape & Darkwing Duck, at least until Farscape & Darkwing Duck end in a couple of months), 1 Dynamite (Wheel of Time) and 1 Aspen (Lady Mechanika). Mostly sci-fi/fantasy, with the closest to a traditional superhero being Darkwing Duck.

How about you? What are you planning to pick up?

*Of course it’s a reboot. They’re resetting the system, with some things altered and others preserved. They installed a service pack, and now they’re rebooting. People use the term reboot to mean starting over completely from the beginning, but if we’re going to use the computer metaphor properly, that would be a wipe-and-reinstall.

The Shade – 12-Issue Miniseries Launches in October

DC has started releasing information about its October comics this week, including several miniseries launching in the second month of the DC relaunch.  Among them: James Robinson’s 12-issue miniseries featuring The Shade, as reported by CBR.

The Shade is probably more associated with Starman these days, but he started life as a Golden-Age Flash villain, one of the trio whose place in DC history was later secured by appearing in Flash of Two Worlds.

Even though he only made one appearance in the Golden Age (as compared to the many tines Jay Garrick fought the Thinker or Fiddler), the Shade is the oldest Flash villain to survive it. The only older themed/named villain, the Threat (All-Flash #2), was a one-off who died in his first appearance and never returned.

1:10 Variant cover by CULLY HAMNER
On sale OCTOBER 12 * 1 of 12, 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US * RATED T+

James Robinson returns to the world of his acclaimed STARMAN series with a new 12-issue series starring the antihero known as The Shade! An attack at the Starman museum kicks off a globe-hopping, centuries spanning quest that will irrevocably change The Shade’s life, and ultimately shed light on his true origin! Artist extraordinaire Cully Hamner (RED) kicks off the series, and upcoming issues will feature art by such luminaries as Darwyn Cooke, Javier Pulido, Jill Thompson, Frazer Irving and Gene Ha!

UPDATE: CBR interviews Robinson about the series.

Fourth Round of DC Universe Classics Fan Bracket at AFI

The DC Universe Classic Fan Bracket from Action Figure Insider continues with the Fourth Round of voting. The bracket has been ongoing since last year and this round is full of tough choices.

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