Sometimes when I pick up a couple issues in a series to review, I feel bad, because I want to make sure you guys have a good variety of things to pick from. However, especially when I give a series a lukewarm response, I want to give the title a second chance, just in case it got better since the last time around.
Thankfully The Shade is one of those books.
Last time we touched on it, I was a little disappointed by the pacing of the whole issue. Things kind of rubbed me the wrong way, and I was disappointed in James Robinson for hitting a little bit of a speedbump in what was turning out to be a miniseries I enjoyed highly.
However, this week's issue made me feel a little bit better about the direction of the story as a whole, and I can say that it's rightfully back on track.
The Shade is quickly become one of those heroes I need to be in a mood for. Much like the BBC's Sherlock and Doctor Who television series, I find that I need to be in a state of refinement - feeling gentlemanly, mentally sharp and just prepared for a different tone than what I'm used to.
It resurfaces with Shade because the way that he talks just requires a little bit more effort from the reader to parse the dialog, and sometimes its flow can ramble.
However, this issue makes up for that by having some of the best art I've seen in a long while, courtesy of Frazer Irving. The way that the Shade's powers manifest in these pages is majestic, and it was something that immediately popped out at me. This is something I'm not really used to: if you'll notice, a large amount of these reviews center around the book's writing.
And I guess that's because there either hasn't been a moment that's particularly popped out at me, nor am I particularly experienced with critiquing art. Sure, I know what's bad, but unless something jumps out at me (like it did here), I'm inclined to just leave it be.
So what does this mean for you?
The Shade #9
The Verdict: Four shadows out of five for bringing the quickly-derailing train back on course and keeping this series from fizzling out in the final stages. Pick up this book, if only for the art. You won't be disappointed.