Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Shade the Changing Girl #4 Review and **SPOILERS**

Shade the Changing Girl #4
"Earth Girl Made Easy, Part 4: All Apologies"
by Cecil Castellucci
Illustrated by Marley Zarcone
Partial inks by Ande Parks
Colors by Kelly Fitzpatrick
Letters by Saida Temofonte
Cover by Becky Cloonan
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: 01.04.2016


Shade the Changing Girl has rapidly become one of my monthly comics highlights.  Let's see if that trend continues with its fourth installment!

In the fallout of the fisticuffs displayed last issue, Shade faced the most terrifying penalty of all... a call home to her parents.  While she deals with her conflicting emotions... in ways that might just manifest physically, her parents decide that their best action at this point is... grounding her.

The art shines throughout this issue, however is especially striking at the start.  The disparate emotions bubbling out of Shade each appear to take shape in additional heads... I would normally write this off as artistic license, however it would seem our favorite peeping neighbor, River is able to see them as well.  Could his window-mate be... an alien?

Last issue there was concern as to what Loma's place in Megans body was going to be.  Here, it seems that she is actually losing her connection... perhaps both tactile and spiritual, with her own Metan bird-bod.  Megan's own soul is also drifting further and further away from the "Great Blue" that is Earth.  At this point, Loma decides to revisit some prime Megan memories by way of a Metan meditation she calls "Metamorphose".

While set adrift on memory bliss, we are able to bear witness to an event that occurred some five months earlier.  This gives us a bit of a better indication of what a... well, I don't wanna say "vile"... let's just say "demanding" (maybe cruel) an individual Megan was when she inhabited her own skin.  As swim-team captain, she forces her underlings to hoist large stones over their heads while the tread water in the lake.

The next day, Shade does something I wasn't quite expecting to occur just yet... she confides in her neighbor as to her true identity.  He appears both relieved to have his suspicions confirmed... and a bit interested in becoming closer with his new "friend".

As mentioned, Loma is having trouble "finding" her real body by this point... and in an attempt to return to Meta, finds herself slamming into an invisible wall high above the surface of the Earth.  At this point, she finds herself with a decision to make, "Megan's life... or her death".

After having her conscience stirred by an old film, Shade decides it's time to make some amends.  Even though they were not her trespasses, she will take ownership of them and hopefully allow her human host-body to move forward.  She apologizes to her "parents", and all of her "friends" at school.  It's quite a striking scene... we've only known Megan for a few months now, but boy is it strange to see her smile.

One of the people on her apology tour was her ex-boyfriend Wes.  He apologizes to her for not having "jumped in the water sooner"... whatever that means... hmm... they then spend the night together.  Well, part of the night.  It turns out Wes talks in his sleep... suddenly something stirs inside Shade... now is seems she might just know everything!

Shade the Changing Girl is definitely a monthly highlight for me.  The story is moving much quicker than I had expected... and that is not a bad thing.  This issue ends just on the cusp of spilling the beans... and I gotta say, I can't wait.  Up until now, we knew more about the events of "that night" than Shade did... now, those roles are reversed.  She knows something... perhaps more than we do.  I'm really looking forward to having some of these blanks filled in.

I left a few scenes out of the main synopsis... we get another visit with LePuck and Mrs. Deeps (the one that looks like she could be Hellboy's sister), in a situation which might not have worked out all that well for them.  One of the main M-Vest tracking fellas gets fleshed out a bit here as well... turns out there just may have been a bit of a relationship between he and Rac Shade.  Megan's parents also spend some time chatting with a therapist who gives them some helpful hints on how to deal with their strangely different daughter.  I gotta say... you really get your money's worth here.  It's densely written, but by no means a chore... and the art?  Ooh boy, truly a treat for the eyes.

Bits and Pieces:

Another great installment of Shade the Changing Girl.  Things are coming to a head, and this chapter's cliffhanger leaves me begging for more.  The writing and art meld together in a nearly perfect marriage of psychedelic wonderment.  


1 comment:

  1. This issue made me wonder more than ever what happens to Megan if Shade is suddenly disconnected. I felt like this issue was the easiest to follow along, but somehow I ended up the most confused and with the most questions yet. "Species Liquid" is also my new favorite term.