Wednesday, July 5, 2017
Review: SHADE THE CHANGING GIRL #1
DC COMICS/Young Animal – @DCComics
[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]
STORY: Cecil Castellucci
ART: Marley Zarcone
COLORS: Kelly Fitzpatrick
LETTERS: Saida Temofonte
COVER: Becky Cloonan
VARIANT COVERS: Duncan Fegredo; Tula Lotay
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (December 2016)
Shade created by Steve Ditko
“Earth Girl Made Easy” Chapter 1: “Running Off to the Great Blue”
Shade is a weird DC Comics character created by Steve Ditko that first appeared in the comic book, Shade the Changing Man #1 (cover dated: June 1977). The series focused on Rac Shade, a secret agent from a world in another dimension who comes to clear his name of a treason charge which carries a death sentence. Over the decades since the character first appeared, Shade has been reworked and re-imagined by other comics creators.
Now, Shade the Changing Man gets the “Young Animal” treatment and becomes Shade the Changing Girl in a new comic book series from DC Comic's Young Animal imprint. The comic book is written by novelist Cecil Castellucci; drawn by Marley Zarcone; colored by Kelly Fitzpatrick; and colored by Saida Temofonte.
Shade the Changing Girl #1 (“Running Off to the Great Blue”) opens in the hospital room of Megan Boyer, a brain-dead teenage girl. However, an alien teen girl, an avian named Loma Shade, decides to take possession of Megan's body. Not everyone, however, is happy to see the 16-year-old Megan back on her feet. Meanwhile, on Loma's home world of Meta, someone wants the “Madness Vest” found.
Like Doom Patrol, the first Young Animal title to hit comic book stories, Shade the Changing Girl's inaugural first issue is about introduction, teasing, and some vagueness. However, writer Cecil Castellucci grounds Shade the Changing Girl #1 with some edgy, background supporting character drama. Castellucci writes “Young Adult” novels, but she is known in comic books for her superb, two-volume graphic novel series, The P.L.A.I.N. Janes, so she knows her way around the dark side of teen politics and high school society.
Shade the Changing Girl artist Marley Zarcone offers some of the most imaginative comic book art that I have seen in quite awhile in mainstream superhero comic books. Vivid and trippy, Zarcone's graphical storytelling goes afar, but not so far that the story turns into a shallow mess of surrealism right out of high school poet's notebook. I look forward to future issues.
This comic book contains the comics short story, “Cryll's Big Surprise” by Natalia Hernandez and Gilbert Hernandez with Saida Temofonte and Laura Allred.]
Meanwhile, Gilbert and Natalia Hernandez offer a cute and clever back-up story. I hope this is not a one-off for this team.
Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"
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