Writer: James Robinson
Artists: Cully Hamner, Javier Pulido, Frazer Irving, Darwyn Cooke, Jill Thompson, Gene Ha
DC Comics, $19.99, color, 280 pages
This has been out for quite a while, but I'm just getting to the bottom of my review pile, for which I apologize. But as you might imagine, one reason I never got around to this one is that I don't have a lot to say.
I loved James Robinson's Starman, and especially loved what he did with The Shade, which he turned from a one-dimensional supervillain to a three-dimensional, nearly immortal character who has tried on different "hats" in his long life, the latest being "supervillain," because it looked like fun. In other words, he was a very gray character, with a long and unexplored back story, that by the end of the series was a friend of Jack "Starman" Knight, if not exactly a hero. (Or even trustworthy.) You know, like real people.
So here's a maxiseries that promises to plumb some of the unexplored depths of Shade's past, written by Robinson. Whee! Sign me up!
And I've read it, and it's ... OK. There were some interesting bits, like La Sangra (a teenage vampire heroine in Spain) and some fun moments with genuine 17th century Caribbean pirates. But mostly I felt it was a muddled mess. Especially given all the artistic cooks in the kitchen: Six of them, for 12 issues!
If you're a big fan of The Shade, or of James Robinson's Starman, this is probably a necessary book. But if you're a casual reader, you can probably give it a pass.