Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Shade the Changing Girl/Wonder Woman Special #1 Review and **SPOILERS**

2% Impressed
Written By: Cecil Castellucci
Illustrated By: Mirka Andolfo
Colored By: Marissa Louise
Lettered By: Saida Temofonte

Cover By: Frank Quitely 
Cover Price: $4.99
On Sale Date: February 14, 2018

What do you do if you want a book heavy on identity politics and gender roles, but don't want to patronize Marvel Comics?  Well... I guess you could spend FIVE BUCKS on this.

Hey, with prices like that you might think you're supporting Marvel anyway!

Anyhoo... onward to Milk Wars.

You ever get that picture of how things were in the 1950's?  Like, the men went out to work... while their wives remained home and took care of the house and family?  Well, I'm about to shatter your illusion, because today we learned that folks only acted that way because they... er, drank milk.

This entire issue is... that.  There's a kind of passive-aggression to this book.  An underlying anger that won't exactly commit to the bit.  During the initial run of Shade, there were Life With Honey backups that were a satirical take on "traditional" 1950's gender roles.  It wasn't nearly as clever or original as I think it was intended to be... but, it was harmless silly commentary.

This feels far less satirical and, as mentioned... more angry.  I'll concede that I very well might be projecting, but the fact remains... I didn't enjoy it... and when that's all a book is really bringing to the table... a book that expects people to pay $4.99 for the privilege of the experience... I can't help to get a little peeved off.

So, what happened here?  Well, due to the magic milk, Wonder Woman believes herself to be the all-too subtle Wonder Wife, the personification of the perfect dutiful beautiful 1950's "little woman".  She remains in this state until... the very end.  So, if you were buying this with hopes of seeing Wonder Woman do... well, much of anything... you're plum out of luck.

Shade... kinda has this Herman's Head thing going on.  What's Herman's Head, you ask?  It was a television show from the 90's that was basically Inside Out without the computer animation.  She seems to be split into five... with each one representing a given emotion.  This is because of the milk (?) and because her bodies (Shade and Loma) have been locked away?  I don't really get this... because I could have sworn the main Shade title ended with a different dynamic.

It could be symbolism that I just didn't catch... and if that's the case, what hope do people unfamiliar with Shade the Changing Girl have of any of this making sense?  Over the past few weeks, we've watched as Doom Patrol kind of infected the other Young Animal titles.  Books have had their own weirdness refocused into a "Doom Patrol Weirdness" if that makes any sense.  It's sad that I can no longer look to Shade the Changing Girl/Woman as the "old reliable" of the Young Animal line.

Shade has been weird from jump street... but it's always had a story.  This is so difficult to follow that it doesn't feel like a story.  It gets Shade and Diana to Milk Wars... so it was successful in that regard, but... that's about all the praise I can give it.  Well, that's not entirely true... the art here was really nice.  Perhaps lacking the psychedelic charm of (regular artist) Marley Zarcone, but it's still really good!

Bits and Pieces:

A confusing and unpleasant read.  The art does some mighty heavy lifting, however, I could not imagine suggesting anybody to spend five dollars on this.



  1. I'm glad I wasnt the only one confused. This issue drags on for soooooooooooo long. My least favorite issue of the crossover, this was hard to get through. -Ryan

    1. Thanks Ryan... anytime I find myself scoring something low, I'm always nervous that "it's just me". Despite the wonderful art, this was definitely a chore to get through!

    2. Firts F-U 5!!! It's all downhill from here!

    3. The first one is the toughest! The floodgates might come open!