Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Shade the Changing Woman #6 Review and **SPOILERS**

Not With a Bang

Written By: Cecil Castellucci
Illustrated By: Marley Zarcone
Additional Inks By: Ande Parks
Colors By: Kelly Fitzpatrick
Letters By: Saida Temofonte
Cover By: Becky Cloonan
Edited By: Molly Mahan and Jamie S. Rich
Cover Price: $3.99
On Sale Date: August 1, 2018

Ya hear that?

That lone trumpeter in the distance...

Yes, my friends... today we come together, not to mourn the passing of a book... but to celebrate the life it had, and might have had... if not for the stark realities of the comics publishing world.

Today we say Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen to Shade the Changing Woman.

Light spoilers to follow... I've done my best not to "give it all away".  Still, be warned though!

There comes a time in the life of every writer where things, usually out of their control, dictate the way that they tell their story.  If we look at this here Young Animal imprint, the reality of the comics industry dictates that our trio of ongoings would be restructured into six-issue limited series'.

There are a few ways a writer can adapt to their new mandate.  A writer might decide to omit a few concepts, concepts they may have been itching to write, knowing that cramming them all in would do no service to the ideas nor the story... or, they say "screw it" and get to cramming.  Shade the Changing Woman feels very much like the latter.

I get that it's difficult to leave some ideas on the "cutting room floor".  I understand the disappointment of having the paginal rug yanked out from under you.  I also understand that, if you've only got six issues to fill, the best result might come from "deep-sixing" a few concepts... 

What we have in this issue feels like, not just an entire arc... but an entire arc plus the ending of the arc that proceeded it!  For instance... have you ever read the 1990's Peter Milligan Shade the Changing Man?  Of course you haven't... but you'll have wanted to in order to get the most out of that "hearts in jars" concept that this entire volume has been built on.  It's worth mentioning that if you did read that Milligan run, you may not dig what they've done to the Rac Shade character you liked so much.

Were you excited about LePuck being a Green Lantern?  Maybe learning along with him just what it means to be a Green Lantern?  Well, we go from five issues of it barely being mentioned to him suddenly being in complete control of his powers.

It's difficult to discuss the ending without giving the entire thing away.  I'll simply say, we wrap up with an open-ending and also, with an all-new host.

Given adequate time to "breathe", this very well might have been a wonderful volume... and had a satisfying ending.  The fact is, the reality of the comics publishing industry reared its ugly head... and Shade the Changing Woman seemingly refused to adapt.

Art is, as we've come to expect, phenomenal.  Truly the highlight of not only this issue, but this entire volume.  Gone was the sense of wonder and psychedelic awe Shade the Changing Girl gave us, replaced by all the depth and cynicism of a junior high school drama student.

Bits and Pieces:

A reality of the comics industry mixed with an unwillingness to accept and adapt to that reality, makes for a muddled mess of a finale.  Ten pounds of story in a five pound bag.


1 comment:

  1. Great review & I completely agree. This series was the gem of the otherwise pretty lackluster Young Animal, but didn't manage to deliver on its promise: That a "weird" series and also be a well told one. And making Peter Milligan's Rac Shade into an antagonist in its last issue also proved that the writer doesn't have respect for either creator nor readers of former series.