Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Shade the Changing Woman #5 Review and **SPOILERS**

You're Tearing Me Apart, Loma!

Written By: Cecil Castellucci
Illustrated By: Marley Zarcone
Additional Inks By: Ande Parks
Back-Up Art By: Jamie Coe 
Colors By: Kelly Fitzpatrick
Letters By: Saida Temofonte
Cover By: Becky Cloonan
Edited By: Jamie S. Rich and Molly Mahan
Cover Price: $3.99
On Sale Date: July 4, 2018

It's funny when I think of this book... and the rest of the Young Animal "pop-up" imprint.  I find it both hard to believe that it's lasted this long... and that after next month, it's not going to be around anymore.

Certainly been a love/hate experience... but, it's going to be one that I'll miss when it's gone.

Without further ado... the penultimate issue of Shade the Changing Woman.

So, remember how we pushed through three excruciatingly purple issues of Shade deciding whether or not to deep-six her ticker?  Well, as we enter our penultimate chapter, she's realized what a foolish idea that was all along.

She now knows she'll be needing her heart, what with the pending invasion of "The Cray"... and due to the fact that, without her heart... "other emotions" are taking hold in her body, prematurely aging, withering, and cracking it.  Among those emotions is "rage", which... I dunno about you, and I'm certainly no cardiologist... but, I think you might need a heart in order to feel that.  Apathy?  Sure... but, Rage?  I dunno...

Luckily, as she outwardly... uh, yearns for her heart... the rest of the cast seem to "feel it" too.  Including, Meta's own Green Lantern... LePuck.  We worried that last issue's back-up wherein he was placed in some sort of aquarium might be the last we'd ever see him, and I'm pleased to report that it wasn't.

I feel like the only times I ever enjoy this book anymore is when Loma/Shade is nowhere to be seen.  It's the background characters, the friends that Loma made in the first volume that are really the only things keeping this book interesting.  It's finally confirmed here that the "punk" (who Wes calls "Gan") is actually Megan.  We kinda figured that out months ago, but it's nice to be able to officially draw a line under it.  This "Gan" is a truly creepy character... and, dare I say it... would have made a solid foil had this book not been cancelled always meant to be six-issues.

Back to LePuck, he manages to escape his captors by, uh... swimming away.  He is then guided by one of those psychedelic paisleys directly to Loma/Shade's heart.  Unfortunately he winds up in the clutches of the DCHE, and his old friend Mrs. Deeps.

Speaking of Hellboy's Sister, she confirms The Cray invasion is imminent, though she manages to drug some of the muckity-mucks of the military before they can act.  It's posited that, by this point Pluto is already gone.  Eagle-eyed (or continuity-obsessed) DC Comics fans will know that Pluto's already been lonnnng gone.

We witness a scene wherein Loma/Shade returns to the "Madness Realm", and where Rac Shade attempts to make a deal... he'll give her a hand finding her heart in exchange for the M-Coat.  Our final cliffhanger is pretty dark stuff... that may or may not completely ruin the Rac Shade character from this point forward.  I suppose I'll have to hold off judgment until next month.

Art this month was almost as good as usual... though, there are bits that look and feel a bit rushed.  Can't hold that against Zarcone, as I'm sure there was a lot of deckchair rearrangement going on.  Speaking of which, yeah... the "six-issue-squeeze" is in full-effect.  An accidental "pro" to this is that the back-ups actually matter... because they're part of the story!  It's not the greatest, but it gets us where we need to be.

Bits and Pieces:

Somehow this book manages to feel both extremely rushed... while at the same taking forever to get to the point.  The issue, like the series as a whole only seems to shine when our main character is off-panel.


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