Monday, September 30, 2013

Shade the Changing Man

Back in the 90s, everything that was weird and cool in comics was found under the Vertigo label. An imprint of DC, it was the place to go if you weren't all that interested in the spandex-clad four-color malcontents that dominated the Big Two, or at the very least, if you were just looking for something a little different. Horror, fantasy, crime, social satire, speculative fiction, whatever you wanted, man, whatever you needed, Vertigo had it. The titles were often controversial, both in topic and depiction, and usually dealt with complex and mature themes. They were unafraid to show graphic violence, drug use and sexuality. Also, there was a ton of swearing and no small amount of boobies either. It was kind of like the HBO of comics. It was pretty great.

But that time has passed.

A lot of the stuff that had once made Vertigo what it was--the non-traditional artists and writers, the diverse subject matters, the different storytelling tools and styles utilized, all of that can be found in even the most mainstream of superhero titles today. The worlds have merged and Vertigo is now left just a pale shadow of its former self.

It's all right. These things happen.

One particular refugee from those long gone days is called Shade, the Changing Man. A cast-off created way back in the golden days of comic books when brand spanking new superheroes were being thrown against the wall daily and by the dozens just to see what would stick. Shade did not. He was quickly forgotten. But just like everyone else in comics, his time came around again and he was eventually resurrected. However, when he came back he was very different from his original inception.

Where once an alternate-dimensional fugitive secret agent in a stupid-looking vest that made force fields and monster illusions had stood, he was now a reality-warping nutbag Doctor Who type in an even stupider-looking vest. People loved it. It was the 90s. But eventually, his second hey-day passed too. The Shade began to fade.

To every comic trend, turn, turn, turd...

He hasn't really been heard from too much since, at least, not until recently when the people over at DC Nation put together a short film starring the little weird-o and his questionable choice of coats.

And you know what? It's not too bad either.

Check it out.


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