Monday, January 25, 2010

Steve Ditko Cover of the Week: Shade, the Changing Man #1

This is probably one of Ditko's top 5 covers of the 70s. I always associate it with that terrific house ad for Shade that ran in DC's books around this time. It is a very intriguing concept, and Ditko's artwork really adds a sense of mystery. The main figure is such a powerful image that it takes a while to note all of the other things going on here. Those vignettes off to the left side are strange, and I wonder if they were added at a later date. The warped buildings are especially terrific and they really bring to mind the Byrne/Austin cover to Uncanny X-Men #128 right down to the use of green. In my opinion, this cover should have been dialogue-free, as the picture truly speaks for itself. A great one.


Anonymous said...

That dialogue doesn't set Shade up as very heroic -- normally a hero risks his life to save humanity, not vice-versa.

Jeremy A. Patterson said...

Only one more cover to go to cover #50!


Man of Bronze said...

Great cover indeed!

I love Ditko's stuff at DC. Too bad none of his series even lasted a full year's worth of issues.

I remember being very disappointed when Shade's story was left unfinished.

I am hoping for a collection of these. Wasn't there an unpublished issue of SHADE that saw print only in the COMICS CALVACADE thing of post DC Implosion?

Andrew Wahl said...


A great cover, and a pretty darn good comic, too, of course. (I gave it a B+ when I reviewed it awhile back.)

Man of Bronze: Yes, Shade #9 appeared in Cancelled Comic Cavalcade #2.


Blair said...

But Cancelled Comics Cavalcade was only ever available to industry insiders; is that right?


PS Those goldarn 'industry insiders'!

Anonymous said...

For anyone interested in that house ad:,_the_Changing_Man

Anonymous said...

@Blair: Also from Wikipedia:

"A total of 35 copies of each volume were produced, and distributed to the creators of the material, to the U.S. copyright office, and to Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide as proof of their existence.

Contents ranged from completed stories to incomplete artwork. Although color covers were created, the interior pages (having been reproduced on a photocopier in the days prior to widespread use of color photocopy technology) were black and white. The first issue carried a cover price of only 10 cents, while the second carried a cover price of $1, but this was in jest, as the publication was never actually "sold"."

Hugo Sleestak said...

I absolutely LOVED this series when I was a kid. I loved the idea of the vest, the fact that his arch enemy was his girlfriend's mom, and that he was on the run from his girlfriend because she though he was a bad guy. Complex stuff! Plus, visuals and wackiness that is as close as anyone has ever come to Fletcher Hanks' "Stardust!"