Shade the Changing Girl #6
Writer: Cecil Castellucci
Artist: Marley Zarcone
Colorist: Kelly Fitzpatrick
Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Publisher: DC’s Young Animal
A review by Anelise Farris
Shade the Changing Girl #6 is the final issue of the series’ first arc: the poetry-loving alien Loma and the resident mean girl Megan finally come head-to-head. Megan is determined to take her body back and continue wreaking havoc on her classmates, boyfriend, and parents. Meanwhile Loma has made some friends of her own, and she’s just begun to make peace with the fact that Earth might be her new home. There is only one body, hence begging the question: who is going to win?
Shade the Changing Girl #6 feels—in a fantastic way—like a horror comic. Is there anything scarier than a perfect blonde cheerleader with all-black eyes popping in and out of rooms? Megan flits through the pages revisiting her “friends” and reminding them (even if they can’t see her) of what torment they can expect when she regains her body. As this is the conclusion of the first arc, I am relieved that the series chose to keep Megan a mean girl. At one point, I felt that the series might try to cast her in a sympathetic light or that death might change her, but I am pleased to say, that’s not the case. Instead, Loma is the figure that the series focuses on, and with each issue we have seen her not only increase in her humanity, but also in her confidence. The coming-of-age narrative is about the alien, and this is really, really cool!
If the story isn’t enough to draw you in, the bright psychedelic colors and surreal quality of the art is impressive—inviting readers to linger on each page. The way that Megan pops in and out of panels is haunting, and, despite the bright colors, this issue manages to achieve that horror quality. And this is quite the feat! I credit this also to the fact that, as I’ve mentioned in reviews of previous issues, the art and the writing marry really well here. This series has had consistently solid writing and gorgeous art, and Shade the Changing Girl #6 is no exception. With the emotional weight and relatability of the story and its intriguing take on sci-fi, this series is one that I plan to follow through, what I’m hoping, will be many more arcs.
Buy it! Shade the Changing Girl just completed its first arc, and, if you aren’t reading this series, WHAT ARE YOU DOING? This is heartfelt sci-fi that doesn’t shy away from tough subjects—e.g. bullying and insanity. And the conclusion to the first arc wrapped up one story line while still leaving readers with questions that will carry on into future arcs. The almost, though not quite, tidy conclusion to the first arc has me eager for what is to come!