Shade the Changing Woman #1

Writer: Cecil Castellucci
Illustrator: Marley Zarcone
Colorist: Kelly Fitzpatrick
Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Publisher: DC’s Young Animal

Review by Anelise Farris

I have been a fan of Shade since day one. She is my favorite body-snatching human-loving alien. And, rather than simply leaving readers with nothing after the Shade the Changing Girl run (thank you creative team!!), we now have Shade the Changing Woman #1. This story takes place post-Milk Wars in which Shade literally became a mess of emotions and now she is more confused and madness-ridden than ever (aka an adult, lol).

Shade has taken on a new identity, and it’s been a few years since she has been in touch with her friends Teacup and River. So, Shade the Changing Woman #1 is largely about Shade reconnecting with her friends and trying to get a grasp on her new reality. When describing how she feels to her friends, Teacup suggests that it sounds like an existential crisis—to which Shade humorously responds: IS THAT A HUMAN DISEASE, AM I GOING TO DIE???

Humorous but also so true. And that speaks to the general tone that echoes throughout Shade the Changing Woman #1. It is painfully prescient—a world gone mad—but coated in a rainbow-filled wonderland. The writing is the perfect blend of poetry and believable dialogue, and the art is gorgeous and effecting. There are a ton of unique layouts and panel variations, as well, and the brilliant lettering is the glue that holds it all together.

Verdict: Buy it.

With adult themes, language, and existential crises, Shade the Changing Woman #1 delivers the Shade story I didn’t know I wanted, but desperately needed.

Anelise Farris
Anelise is an english professor with a love for old buildings, dusty tomes, black turtlenecks, and all things macabre and odd.

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