Mar 28, 2015
The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 31: Shade, The Changing Man v.1 #6, April-May 1978
Back to our regularly-scheduled program. Closing in on the end of the Shade run, and I found this issue to be the least interesting so far. Completely set on Meta, which is not in and of itself a bad thing, but it seems that with the ostensible closing of the first storyline (though said closing didn't really offer much in the way of resolution) that the narrative is beginning to wander a bit. While we were introduced to Khaos briefly in the previous issues, he seems little more here than a replacement, albeit in different garb, for the far more interesting Sude who was our antagonist on Meta for the first 5 issues. And while Shade's innocence seems to be coming more and more to light with his former friends and allies, the resolution of that storyline seems not to be nearing. I suppose that it feels like that cinematic quality that I wrote about in previous posts on Shade is beginning to feel a bit too drawn out, which is of course the problem one runs into with a serialized, and ongoing, comic series. The first five issues had the feeling of being well-wrought in advance of becoming the comics I've read. This one feels more like a creator trying to figure out where the story can go now.
That said, there are indeed many threads left dangling from the initial storyline, and perhaps that too is why this issue feels a little forced. I'm more interested in Sude and his plans, and why the person who is Sude is doing what they are doing (please forgive some bad grammar for the sake of not spoiling things). The set-up of Shade so far has focussed so much on a particular set of problems that to introduce new ones muddies the waters in a way that does not help with the appeal of the series. I wonder if this is, in part, perhaps why, 3 issues later, the series gets cancelled.