Shade the Changing Girl #2
Publisher: DC’s Young Animal
Writer: Cecil Castellucci
Illustrator: Marley Zarcone
Colorist: Kelly Fitzpatrick
Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Review by Anelise Farris
In the first issue of Shade the Changing Girl, readers were introduced to Megan—the ultimate Mean Girl, who is left in a lake by her “friends” after she overdoses. Following the incident, Megan is hospitalized and declared braindead by the doctors. Then, we meet Loma, an alien from the planet Meta. Loma is a free-spirited, artistic being who is obsessed with a poet named Rac Shade. Open to new experiences—no matter the risk—Loma dons a madness vest that allows her to transport herself to earth and enter (and reanimate) Megan’s body.
Shade the Changing Girl #2 advances the storyline as Loma (who goes by Shade when she is in Megan’s body) is dealing with the insanity-inducing vest, navigating life on earth, and handling Megan’s relationship drama. Loma gets more than she bargained for when she decided to inhabit Megan’s body though, as Loma herself wonders if it is possible for her to fix such a mean girl. The storyline is wacky and inventive, yet it handles serious subject matter related to bullying and the fluidity of identity—really important themes for a coming-of-age story like this one.
I find the idea of madness as a physical object (the vest) and a vehicle (capable of transporting Loma to earth) compelling, and the notion of madness as both a destructive force and a creative means is developed even further in Shade the Changing Girl #2. Also, the psychedelic-style of the art is fantastic and definitely suits the mood. And, as a bonus, the way that Shade is drawn—both physically and in her dialogue—reminds of my favorite character in Neil Gaiman’s Sandman: Delirium. Like Delirium, she is whimsical, artsy, and a deep thinker who also happens to be a bit insane.
Buy it! I could not be more excited about this series. Wondrously trippy art, great writing with a lot of depth, and a story that offers more than meets the eye. I’m anxious to see how Loma continues to deal with life on earth, trapped in the body of a serious Mean Girl.