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Review: Shade, The Changing Girl #2

422284-_sx1280_ql80_ttd_High school is pretty terrible to begin with. The angst, the pressure, the hormones… I don’t know many people who actually claim that high school was the best time of their life. Being myself in high school was hard enough. I can’t imagine being an alien in a Madness Vest possessing the body of a 15-year-old girl.

For Loma Shade though, life has gotten that complicated. After possessing the body of Megan, Shade is dealing with the fallout of her new body’s previous owner’s life. While the details are fuzzy on just what happened that caused Megan to slip into a coma in the first place, the details are even more fuzzy to Shade. Bits and pieces slip in, but not enough to form a coherent picture of anything. It’s enough to overwhelm our new traveler as she tries to deal with the Madness for the first time. Something that, if the Ministry of Ministries on Meta is to be believed, can kill her if she’s not careful.

So far in its first two issues, Shade, The Changing Girl is a dense book. It throws you right into the Madness experienced by Shade as she tries to navigate her new life. The balance between Cecil Castellucci’s writing and Marley Zarcone and Kelly Fitzpatrick’s art makes sure of that. However, in the Madness, there is still a relatable story. In the case of this particular issue, it’s isolation. If you were any sort of weird kid in school, Shade’s struggle to understand the politics of popularity as well as her own life and her boredom with the material being taught is a straight blast from the past. Granted, with the extra alien layer, but that’s what makes it so mind bending and great. Part of what makes it so easy to lose yourself in this book is the colorful and twisty art from Zarcone and Fitzpatrick.

Along with Shade’s struggle to adapt to her new life is a web of mysteries that builds on top of each other. Shade is trying to put together just what these people in her life are supposed to be to her. The swim team stays quiet, whispering to each other messages of fear. Megan’s mother Anna struggles to figure out just what her “daughter’s” deal is since waking up. The Ministry on Meta is trying to find the vest while Lepuck struggles to keep quiet about what Loma did. On top of all of this, it appears that Megan’s spirit might not be as dead as originally thought. Uh oh.


With all of that going on, it’s easy to understand why Shade wants to cling to River, but it’s also a good way to keep the plot moving forward. Now we’re in at least three different levels of intrigue as Shade has at least two groups trying to stop her. Not to mention wondering what the newly noncorporeal Megan will do now that she’s not bound to her broken body. If she’s going to be the figure in the wallpaper, to steal an allusion from this issue. This is what really drives this issue. Wondering just what Shade is going to do as all of these known and unknown forces prepare to move in. For her though, it’s less about a potential fight and more trying to understand her new life as she drags an old TV inside after walking home from school for “homework.” Let’s hope she can understand it before the Ministry or the Madness kills her.

Story: Cecil Castellucci Art: Marley Zarcone and Kelly Fitzpatrick
Story: 8.5 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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