Review: SHADE, THE CHANGING GIRL #1

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SHADE, THE CHANGING GIRL  #1
Written by: Cecil Castellucci
Art by: Marley Zarcone
Published by Young Animal/DC Comics
Release Date: October 5, 2016

Loma Shade is on the run, pursuing her dream to visit Earth like the poet that has inspired her. But will she bend under the pressures of the Madness that allowed her this privilege? Gerard Way’s DC imprint Young Animals has been hitting home runs lately, and Shade, the Changing Girl is no exception!

Castellucci brings to life a fascinating character in Loma. She’s not cookie cutter, and neither is the body she decides to jump into like a demon in Supernatural. The mystery Castellucci lays out is gripping and the world building she’s able to pull off in the first issue really gives you a sense of where Loma comes from and the differences between her world of Meta and Earth. The character profiles in the back also allude to a few characters that the reader may hopefully soon come across in later issues who seem very intriguing. I’m extremely excited to see what Castellucci brings to the table the next issue.

Zarcone’s art is magnificent. There’s a surrealism to the page whenever Loma’s around that’s similar to watching the music video to When I Was Done Dying or Feel the Lightning by Dan Deacon. It honestly reminds me of a lot of Dan Deacon music videos, which has visual choices that are both perplexing and mystifying at the same time. Fitzpatrick’s usage of color definitely adds to the Dan Deacon-esque surrealism and the art would not be as impactful without it.

While the chaos of the hospital scene as well as the “too much” scene really capture the essence of this comic, I would say the scene that made me pause for a moment was probably the drowning scene. Imagine an abyssal blackness. A head gasping for air. Dying. “I could hear them laughing as the world dimmed”. There’s something dark about that scene. A very making of a slasher film sort of dark that makes the reader wonder what will happen when everything comes to a head.

Not only is the issue great, but the mini comic at the end, Cryll’s Big Surprise, written and drawn by Natalia and Gilbert Hernandez, is adorable in it’s retro-comic style and has a funny ending. It feels like an old Archie comic, but with aliens. Speaking of the aliens, the character design for all of them was pretty great.

Shade, the Changing Girl is a comic you should be reading. It’s interesting in a really weird, out there way, the mystery makes me wonder who the Changing Girl can trust, and the Madness is definitely going to have consequences somewhere down the line. What are you even doing reading my article? Go read Shade, the Changing Girl already!

The Verdict: 10/10

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