Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Shade the Changing Girl #7 Review and **SPOILERS**

Extraterrestrial Bucket List

Shade the Changing Girl #7
"Dance Me to the End"

Written By: Cecil Castellucci
Illustrated By: Marguerite Sauvage
Lettered By: Saida Temofonte
Cover Price: $3.99
On Sale Date: April 5, 2017 

Hey, wait a sec... that's not our normal Shade the Changing Girl artist... 

Should we be worried?  I suppose we ought to find out...

What Happened:

It's a story on two planes as we join Shade and her new friends as they get gussied up and head out to the school dance.  As this is going down much of Loma's childhood is filled out, and we learn a bit about how she became the woman... bird... avian she is!

From her early childhood when she was adopted by some shockingly human Metan parents, to her procurement of the M-Vest... it's all here!  We learn that her thievery might not be her own fault... it's just something that Avians do!  Well, they do it to make nests... but why split hairs?

Shade and the gang go dress and duds shopping, which allowed for some neat conversation... and chitter chatter that facilitated the flashbacks in a way that felt organic.  Loma was always something of a free spirit... and anti-establishment.  We see her watching Life With Honey reruns much to her parents' confusion (this is where she first fell in love with Earth, by the way)... we see her first meeting with the mad poet himself, Rac Shade... and ultimately, we see her go through several potential suitors before finding one with whom she can share her passion for mad poetry... our main man LePuck.

On Earth, as the kids continue their day out we learn that Shade has put together what some of we Earthlings might call a Bucket List.  In it, she... well, lists all of the things she wants to do while on Earth.  She shares this list with her friends... and thinks to herself that she feels as though they are part of her "flock"... because, (speciesist or not) that's what Avians do.

We wrap up at the big dance... where the pals split off.  Shade dances with Wes while River and Teacup do their thing.  We wrap up with a cruel prank being played on our protagonist... orchestrated, in part, by her new friend Teacup!

What I Dug:

Too often when we see a guest penciller in a solicitation I get that little knot in my stomach and prepare myself for a disappointment.  The work here by Marguerite Sauvage, however... was wonderful!  They chose the perfect artist to maintain the psychedelic flow this series is known for, while bringing her own great twist.  Of particular note, Ms. Sauvage can draw the hell out of faces!

Shade's backstory being filled in was great to see.  When we first met Loma, she had a certain petulance that didn't quite jibe with me.  She'd never be as churlish as say, Mother Panic, but certainly not a completely likable character.  Now, learning more about her time on Meta... we get a better idea why she grew up the way she did.  From her Avian impulses, to her almost aloof adoptive parents... we can kinda get it.

Rac Shade's appearance (in flashback) was great to see... for what we did get to see, anyway.  I thought it was really cool that they mentioned Mellu Loran too.  For those who are unfamiliar with old-school Shade, Mellu was Rac Shade's fiancee back in the Ditko days.  After her parents were crippled, Shade was blamed... and so she followed him to Earth.  She would pop in and out of Shade stories all the way up to the mid-90's Vertigo days!  Too cool to see this call back.

The little "gift" in Shade's belly does make a brief appearance... but it was hardly the focus of the panel.  Really nice subtle work here!

The ending was kind of a shock.  More shocking than even if a supervillain attacked!  Just when Shade has completely let her guard down... she is humiliated!  Betrayed... by Teacup.  I definitely didn't see that coming!  Very well done.

What I Didn't:

River is kind of annoying... but not a deal breaker by any means.  No real complaints here!

Bits and Pieces:

A nice standalone issue that gives us tons in the way of backstory... and provides us with a pretty surprising ending.  Guest artist Marguerite Sauvage brings some amazing work to this book.  What I feared might be a "fill-in" issue turned out to be anything but.


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