Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Shade the Changing Girl #12 Review and **SPOILERS**

Beware Your Heart

Shade the Changing Girl #12
"Maybe. Also. Dead."

Written By: Cecil Castellucci
Pencils By: Marley Zarcone
Inks By: Marley Zarcone and Ande Parks
Covers By: Becky Cloonan & Matt Taylor
Letters By: Saida Temofonte
Cover Price: $3.99
On Sale Date: September 6, 2017

I've spent much of the past few days trying to digest and process the season/series finale of Twin Peaks.  A sometimes frustrating psychedelic delight whose ending felt like slamming into a brick wall at high speeds.  So much build... so many layers... and it's just over.

Then I remembered I've got another ending to discuss.  That's right, this is the final (for now... they say) issue of Shade the Changing Girl.  We've followed the adventures of this young avian-in-a-human-body for the past year... and more often than not, it's been a great time.  Will we get a resolution?  Will Shade live on?  Will we just have to use our memories to keep us warm?

You'll have to read on!  Please join me, as we pull the curtain on Shade the Changing Girl.

What Happened?

Honey as Shade prepares for her "close-up" and is visited by our favorite tentacled Metan, LePuck.  Shade as Honey notices, and attempts to make contact... to tell him that things aren't quite as they seem. Unfortunately, this is when the aged body she's inhabiting decides it's time to konk out.

On Meta, the glass case that houses Loma's Avian form... and the M-Vest, pops open.  Mellu is more than happy to don the far-out apparel.  Meanwhile, River and Teacup are making their way to Hollywood.

In Hollywood, Honey as Shade isn't quite sure she's ready to give up her young body... and from here, everything goes a bit ca-ca.  LePuck force-feeds her a psychedelic paisley... River and Teacup follow some paisleys to Shade-as-Honey's bedside.  Mellu winds up within the madness... at the foot of his lover, Rac Shade himself.

From this point, the book stops being a story for a little bit... and feels more like an experiment in narrative.  Panels are meant to be read in any order... which works, given the circumstances.  After an almost... but not quite, contentious discussion with Rac, Mellu inhales a whole lotta psychedelia... and unravels, all the while saying how beautiful it all is.  All that remains of him is a dot.

There is a lot I could say about the second half of this issue... but, I'm not sure I can summon the right words.  It's trippy, and wonderful... frustrating, and ugly.  There is death... but also birth.  This is really less an issue of a comic book and more an experience.

What I Dug:

Honey being unsure whether or not she was ready to give up her new, young bod.  In this world of madness, it's refreshing to see someone act so selfishly human.

A Rac Shade appearance is always welcome.  He has always kinda been the linchpin of the madness, even though he's shown up so seldom over this past year.

We end with... a "Next Issue" blurb!  There's some hope that this hiatus might be... just that, a hiatus.  I'm still not convinced that we'll ever see another issue of Shade the Changing Girl, but I'm a bit more hopeful than I was.

A back-up that doesn't feel like a throwaway, or a commentary on the way things used to be!  Here we get some more LePuck... which ends with a scene that ties into (and helps explain part of) the main story.

What I Didn't:

Well, besides the whole hiatus thing... not a whole lot!  I can see this not being everyone's cup of tea.  If you've followed this far, I believe you'll get a lot out of this.  As I said in my (attempted) synopsis... this felt less like a story, and more like an experience.

Bits and Pieces

Crazy, wonderful, and beautiful... also, frustrating and ugly.  The perfect way to put this year-long psychedelic adventure to bed for a little while.  A satisfying pseudo-resolution for those of us who have followed since day one.  Don't stay gone too long, Shade... the world needs your madness!



  1. Good Review, Chris. You pretty much captured exactly what I feel. While I did like this issue, I am so confused right now based on that ending and I really do need one more issue to explain what the heck is going. Nonetheless, I'm happy that this book wasn't canceled just put on hiatus. If i could deal with it in regards to Doom Patrol, I can do it here!

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  3. I loved the review! Shade has been one of my favorite books to read. I was just a bit confused by one thing. Mellu is a man? Isn't Mellu a woman?