Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Shade the Changing Woman #3 Review and **SPOILERS**

A Heart is a Terrible Thing to Waste

Written By: Cecil Castellucci
Illustrated By: Marley Zarcone
Inks By: Ande Parks
Colors By: Kelly Fitzpatrick
Back-Up Art By: Jamie Coe 
Letters By: Saida Temofonte
Cover By: Becky Cloonan
Cover Price: $3.99
On Sale Date: May 2, 2018

I'd have never guessed that Shade the Changing Woman would be my "ehh" Young Animal book.

I never thought I'd see the day where I could honestly say to myself "Man, I wish this was Mother Panic."

Oh well.  Before we move on in, I wanna make sure we're all wearing our black turtlenecks and berets.  Bonus points if you bring your own bongos, maaaaaaan.

If you remember, last time around the Shades discussed (at ridiculous length) how detrimental it would be to have a heart... and this issue opens with our Changing Girl Woman attending to that very thing!  In fact, she spends the first four pages attending to that very thing.  That's like almost a dollar worth of story right there!

Yeesh, I gotta put that kinda thinking... otherwise I might just have to pack my own heart away in a box!  From here, the Shades (thankfully) take a back seat, allowing the rest of the world a moment to "take root".  Outside of reappearing to leave a weirdo book around for people to find, she really doesn't show up again.

News of the ASEA and DCHE's alien project hits the airwaves... which really makes me wonder.  I mean, post-Milk Wars, this is definitely part of the DC Universe, right?  You shouldn't be able to swing a dead beatnik without hitting an alien, right?  Oh well.

The rest of our Earthly cast (new and old) gets moderately fleshed out.  We have an even better idea of the identify of that mystery boy who burned down Megan's house last issue.  I mean, not that it was all that ambiguous last time... but here, it's made pretty clear.  He even gets the opportunity to, er, interface with an established member of our cast.

Hellboy's Sister makes her Earth-bound debut working alongside the researchers at the DCHE project... and even offers River a drug in the form of some of those psychedelic paisleys.  After actually getting an up-close look at the captive aliens, he seems to fall into a crisis of conscience.

I appreciate that we're being given the opportunity to check in with these characters without having them "bounce" off of Shade.  The entire issue feels far less pretentious, and stagnant.  This is actually a living world... things are happening.

Perhaps that's the point.  I wish I could say that I have the confidence in creative to say with any authority that this issue was supposed to be tonally different than the earlier two... that, when we're not using "madness time" things actually go progress, but I can't.  You might say I'm still bitter over that heinous Shade the Changing Girl/Wonder Woman "Milk Wars" garbage.  Once bitten, twice shy.

That's not to say that there's no "I'm 14 and this is deep" in here, because... of course there is.  It's just off to the side, where it belongs.  The old volume had it's fair amount of preciousness... but it didn't occupy the entire book.  It also didn't make me want to repeatedly punch myself in the face.

Bits and Pieces:

The strongest issue of Shade the Changing Woman yet... and oddly, it's the one with the least of our title character!  We're in the world-building mode, and I'm finally getting to the point of caring!  Still a step down from the previous volume, but a vast improvement on the two opening chapters of this one.


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