Black History Month ’09 #09: Shakey Dogs

February 9th, 2009 by | Tags: , , , ,

Shades & Comanche are two villains with delusions of adequacy. They failed at being successful criminals, failed at uniting the prisoners behind Luke Cage, and then they broke out of prison and kept failing upward. They failed their way into supervillaining, costumes, and high tech weapons. Eventually, they failed their way out of existence, as they haven’t appeared as a duo in years.

They were part of Luke Cage’s amazingly colorful cast of supporting characters. They were supervillains in that they tried to do bad things, but they were usually spectacularly ineffective. Gavin made a good point when I was talking about this post with him. Shades and Comanche are victims of the idea of “escalation” from The Dark Knight. When heroes appear, villains appear. When heroes up the ante to beat the villains, the villains do the same.

The problem is that for every Joker, there are undoubtedly fifty Jokesters, Comedians, Wildcards, Clown Kings, Clown Crowns, Laughing Boys, and Sitcom Commandos running around the city and lowering the tone. Shades and Comanche were those guys. They put on costumes and did dirt. Sometimes they would end up having to team up with Luke Cage to make it out of a tough situation.

Boiled down, they were bunglers and idiots, but, like an insane amount of Cage’s supporting cast, incredibly charming. Before Deadpool charmed the pants off a generation of fans, Shades & Comanche were a couple of lovable failures.

They’d be pretty easy to bring back, too. Cage is a big name Avenger now, and it’s only a matter of time before someone leaks his location. And what happens when you’re a Name and you’ve got family or idiots in your past? They come calling.

So, it’s easy. Traditional failures, Shades & Comanche, show up on Luke Cage’s doorstep in full costume. “Luke! You have a kid. You should retire… we’ll take your place.” Seems pretty solid, right?

Now imagine them speaking with this guy’s voice:


Revamp of the year, sensational character rediscovery of 2010.

S&C would fill a pretty cool niche, I think. They aren’t 4th Wall Funny like Deadpool or Creep Funny like Ant-man. They’re just… dumb. Very very dumb, but also very, very earnest. If anyone should’ve given up years ago, it should’ve been these two, but they keep on, keepin’ on.

These two are one of my favorite little bits of black comics history. I don’t know that I’d ever call them major players, but they were a fun little slice of comedy, intentional or unintentional, in Luke Cage’s books.

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8 comments to “Black History Month ’09 #09: Shakey Dogs”

  1. Comanche speaks with the voice of Tracy Jordan, Shades speaks like Easy E.

  2. I’ve never heard of either, before today. I’ll look’em up.

    @ mack: Tracy MorGan?

  3. hahaha you wrote a Shades and Commanche post!!! i never thought i’d see the day when those two got their own blog post!!! personally, i’d rather see some of the other Cage supporting cast come back first, but it’s all gravy. seriously, how awesome was Cage’s solo series? answer: really awesome.

  4. It’s only a matter of time before Osborn recruits these jokers or Mr. Fish.

  5. Yeah, but what about Gideon Mace?

  6. @West:
    Splitting hairs.

  7. Way back when I was trying to come up with potential teams for the 50-State thing a friend picked them for his home state of Louisiana. Along with several characters from Not Brand Ech and What The. Weird guy…

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