Review: Shade, The Changing Girl #1

stcg_cv1_dsThere’s no such thing as a little bit of madness.

Far away on the planet Meta, Loma’s going nowhere fast. She’s dropped out of school, dumped her boyfriend, and is bored out of her mind.  She longs to feel things. That’s where her idol, the lunatic poet Rac Shade, and his infamous madness coat come it. Loma steals the garment and makes a break across galaxies to take up residence in a new body: Earth girl Megan Boyer. Surely everything will be better on this passionate primitive planet with a dash of madness on her side and this human girl’s easy life. Only now that she’s here, Loma discovers being a teenaged Earth girl comes with its own challenges and Earth may not be everything she thought it’d be. Megan Boyer was a bully whom everyone was glad was almost dead, and now Loma has to survive High School and navigate the consequences of the life she didn’t live with the ever-growing and uncontrollable madness at her side. Not to mention that there are people back on her homeworld who might just want Shade’s coat back.

I really had no idea what to expect from Shade, the Changing Girl #1, the latest comic to come out from DC’s Young Animal imprint. I don’t know the classic character this spins out of, so I felt a bit behind the curve as most of the issue feels like the comic equivalent of an acide trip, more poetry than narrative and floating around like much of the art within.

But, as the first issue went on, writer Cecil Castellucci does a solid job of bringing things together into a much clearer picture and by the end I had a much better idea as to what was occurring. What was me scratching my head turned into me nodding a bunch as things fell into place and what felt like a disaster of a start coaleced into a solid debut, much like how some paintings look like splatches up close but further away forms a beautiful picture. What starts as a weird trippy sci-fi story turns into a tragic story about teenagers.

Marley Zarcone‘s art matches the story bringing a trippy read to life into trippy visuals. I feel an influence of Mike Allred in some ways, so if you like that art you might like this.

It took me quite a while to get into the first issue, but when I got to the end I really enjoyed it. I’m still not 100% sold, but the issue has an interesting thing going on and where it goes from here, I honestly have no idea. With so many options, I’m intrigued more than anything and want to see what comes next.

Story: Cecil Castellucci Art: Marley Zarcone
Story: 7.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review