Shade the Changing Woman #3

Writer: Cecil Castellucci
Illustrator: Marley Zarcone
Colorist: Kelly Fitzpatrick
Inker: Ande Parks
Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Cover Artist: Becky Cloonan
Publisher: DC’s Young Animal

Review by Anelise Farris

Last time we encountered Shade, she was wrestling with the head-over-heart divide, an endless human problem that this alien is having trouble understanding. Here, in Shade the Changing Woman #3, Shade has decided that the only way that she can make peace with her new life is to literally divide head and heart. With a “no heart equals no hurt” philosophy, Shade violently rips her heart from her chest. Puts in a box. Straps on a lock. And buries it.

Throughout Shade the Changing Woman #3, we witness Shade both at peace but also troubled. Is it better simply not to care? To be apathetic? Shade doesn’t know yet. And let’s not forget about her former-friend River, who has joined an anti-alien league. Here, we witness River having some doubts about the ethics of what’s going on (I for one am super relieved; I like River!). Meanwhile, Teacup continues to see evidence of Shade everywhere. And Valley Ville, their old haunt, is under attack by a familiar foe, a certain once-popular dead girl.

As always, Shade the Changing Woman #3 gives me a read that is equal parts drama, horror, and philosophy. The writing is poetic, and the art pairs perfectly with this wild story. There is such emotion characterized in the line work, which remains simple yet sophisticated. The coloring is a gorgeous psychedelic cocktail. And let’s not forget about the lettering. There is a lot going on here in terms of inner-monologue, dialogue, and poetry excerpts, and they are all masterfully incorporated.

Verdict: Buy it.

Shade the Changing Woman #3 is filled with hearts being literally ripped out and bloody revenge carried out by a dead mean girl. It’s wicked fun!

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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