SHADE THE CHANGING MAN volumes 1 and 2

It’s looking like 2010 will be a good year for Peter Milligan. Lots of books coming out with his name on the front, and they’re all good. BRONX KILL will rock your world if you have any love at all for crime fiction and great story telling. Kicking this off early is the long waited release of SHADE THE CHANGING MAN Volume 1 and Volume 2. The run is almost 20 years old originally starting in 1990. This is some of Milligan’s fist work with Vertigo and one of the earliest Vertigo on going series.

Originally a character created by Steve Ditko Shade is a human like being from the planet Meta. He is sent to Earth to help stop the spreading of madness whcih could destroy his home world and Earth. He has a madness vest which lets him control the power of madness.

The series opens with a serial killer getting executed. This is the body Shade chooses for his own as the original owner won’t be needing it much longer. Upon his arrival he has a bit of trouble acclimating and seeks help from Kathy George, the only survivor of the killers last crime. He also has an FBI man on his trail, an agent dying of cancer who is seeing the world a little different all on his own.

The madness manifests itself as The American Scream and starts leave a trail of chaos across the country. Milligan uses this to give a interesting look at different parts of American culture such as the assassination of JFK and the hippie movement in San Fransisco. The look at our culture and it’s icons, the use of counter culture and it’s appreciation of it is addicting.

The books are every bit as interesting and relevant as they were when the series first ran. Weird, surreal, hip and insightful this is a series that should not be missed. I can’t wait for the next volume.

Jon Jordan

Buy Shade the Changing Man: Volume 1 The American Scream
Buy Shade The Changing Man Volume 2: Edge of Vision