Mar 28, 2015

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 32: Shade, The Changing Man v.1 #7, June-July 1978

This issue bounces back from the less-dynamic quality of the previous issue, but in a fairly novel way. Left comatose at the end of the previous issue, Shade literally spend this story floating in mid-air changing colour (hey, it was the seventies!). Instead of Shade's adventures, the dynamic quality of the story is carried over to following the supporting characters in their attempts to deal with the criminal and political maneuverings of the series so far. We are also given some interesting information on the origins of Shade's "M-Vest," an origin which also fleshes out a little more the nature of the multi-dimensional cosmos within which the Meta-Zone, the Earth-Zone, and the Zero-Zone exist. I hold out hope that this information will be expanded upon in the next, and final, issue, but the likelihood, I'll admit, is low. What I found quite masterful about this issue is that, really, it's a whole 22 pages of exposition that doesn't even remotely feel like exposition. It does a wonderful job of reminding us that Shade's adventures are taking place in a dynamic environment, and the ramifications of his and his enemies' actions spread far and wide. I would liken it to the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, in that, ostensibly, Buffy is the main character, but it becomes clear after a little while that the people surrounding her are every bit as important to the show, regardless of their names not adorning the title screen.

The Cloak also shows back up in this issue, though I was somewhat disappointed with the fact that he spends most of the issue invisible. However, this invisible portrayal once again calls attention to his similarity in design to the typical rough-sketch of a human figure, and so lends a strange air of meta to Meta.

Last issue tomorrow, and then on to new things on Monday. Not sure what yet, but I'm sure it'll be a comic.

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