Shade the Changing Girl #4

Writer: Cecil Castellucci
Artist: Marley Zarcone
Colorist: Kelly Fitzpatrick
Cover Artist: Becky Cloonan
Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Publisher: DC’s Young Animal

A review by Anelise Farris

Shade the Changing Girl #4Shade the Changing Girl in a nutshell: Loma is a poetry loving alien; Megan is a mean high-school girl; Shade is what happens when Loma inhabits Megan’s body. In the three previous issues of the series, Shade has been struggling to adjust to life on earth—learning along the way that it’s not as easy or as fun as she imagined it to be. This adjustment is made even worse by the fact that she chose to snatch the body of the ultimate Mean Girl, Megan, who was left for dead by her “friends.” And, as Shade is learning the truth about the suspicious circumstances surrounding Megan’s accident, she herself is struggling to keep the madness at bay.

Shade the Changing Girl #4 feels like the fourth act in a play—what was all brought to a climax in issue #3 is slowly unraveling, bringing us closer to the arc’s conclusion. This is a tough issue, and by that I mean that it is emotionally heavy. The writing and the art work so well together to convey how difficult it is to be human, to feel all the time, and to struggle to make peace with yourself and others. Here we see Shade learning more about Megan’s past, trying to account for Megan’s mistakes, and recruiting her new friend River to help.

I can’t say enough good things about this series, and I didn’t hesitate in listing it as one of my top three comics of the year. Shade the Changing Girl brings together two remarkably different worlds—earth and Meta—and two remarkably different beings—Loma and Megan, and gives readers a fantastically illustrated story of survival and of choosing the light when it is so easy to succumb to the darkness.

The Verdict
Buy it!
I read a lot of sci-fi and a lot of YA coming-of-age narratives. Shade the Changing Girl combines both in the best way possible. With only two more issues left in this arc, I am anxious to see how the story of Loma/Megan/Shade is resolved. If you are looking for a whimsical, fun read that also packs a lot of depth, pick this up!

Anelise Farris
farranel@isu.edu
I'm a doctor that specializes in folklore and mythology, speculative fiction, and disability studies. Basically, I'm a professional geek. When not researching or teaching, I read; I write; I yoga; I travel; I play with my fur babies; and, I watch way too many (if that's a thing) horror movies.

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