Although DC Comics has completed its rollout of the initial series of its bold New 52 initiative, there is one as yet unreleased #1 issue that for some longtime DC fans is more exciting than any of the publisher's heavily hyped relaunches. On sale next week, The Shade #1 marks writer James Robinson's auspicious return to the world of Starman, the seminal 1990s superhero series that for years defined the style of the DC Universe. Illustrated by Cully Hamner and featuring a cover by former Starman artist Tony Harris, this first part of a 12-issue series will put into motion events that DC promises will reveal the true origin of the Shade, who operated as a Justice Society villain before assuming the role of ally to Starman Jack Knight. You can check out a five-page preview after the cut.Available now in six deluxe hardcover volumes, Starman is a perennial favorite among DC fans. Primarily the story of Jack Knight, the prodigal son of the Golden Age Starman of the 1940s, Starman tracked Jack's development from petulant child to reluctant hero to the champion of his beloved Opal City. Aiding Jack along the way was The Shade, a vintage DC villain who James Robinson and Tony Harris revitalized as one of the most interesting and enigmatic figures in the DC Universe. Extremely long-lived, The Shade used his experience as a villain and, shall we say, moral flexibility to aid Jack in protecting the city they both called home and also to give readers a window into some hidden secrets of DC characters both famous and obscure.

Robinson returned to Starman for one "resurrected" issue during the Blackest Night event, but the new Shade 12-issue series constitutes a major new chapter in the writer's Starman saga Of course, the Shade was already the star of his own miniseries in the 1990s that featured a rotating cast of talented comic book artists working with Robinson to tell a story that spanned many decades (it can be read in the Starman omnibuses along with every other Robinson-written Starman story). The new Shade miniseries follows in that tradition, with future issues featuring the work of Jill Thompson, Darwyn Cooke, Javier Pulido, Frazer Irving and Gene Ha. Issue #1 is illustrated by Cully Hamner and it goes on sale next week in finer comics shops.

James Robinson returns to the world of his acclaimed STARMAN series with a new 12-issue series starring the antihero known as The Shade! An attack at the Starman museum kicks off a globe-hopping, centuries spanning quest that will irrevocably change The Shade's life, and ultimately shed light on his true origin! Artist extraordinaire Cully Hamner (RED) kicks off the series, and upcoming issues will feature art by such luminaries as Darwyn Cooke, Javier Pulido, Jill Thompson, Frazer Irving and Gene Ha!

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