[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]
By: Cecil Castellucci
Illustrated By: Marley Zarcone
Additional Inks By: Ande Parks
Colors By: Kelly Fitzpatrick
From the very beginning Shade, the Changing Girl has been a different sort of comic, in tone, subject matter and style despite having it’s roots in a classic Steve Ditko creation. This issue, however, pulls together some of the stranger elements and makes sense of them and allows Loma the opportunity to not only learn about Megan’s past, but also allows Loma herself to grow.
What was Megan’s spirit or life force continues to float un-tethered through dimensional space looking for anything to latch onto. In Megan’s room, in Megan’s body Loma is just as lost as she is overcome with all the emotions that are inherent in a human teenager.
Her parents ground her for her fight with Seema in the previous issue. She’s happy to stay in her room, but she doesn’t want to go to school. As she lies there, she begins to have more of Megan’s memories, and what happened at the lake that night comes to her. Back in Meta, Lepuck finally goes for help, but ends up in more trouble.
River, independently, begins to figure out that she might actually be an alien. She is happy to confirm it the next day at school. Through some TV watching Loma learns about hurting others and apologizing. She is able to put the pieces together and realizes that as Megan she hurt a number of others. Her next day at school takes her on an apology tour.
Loma learning the truth of Megan’s actions are the highlight of this issue. It closes the gap on Loma’s understanding of the situation she’s in. Additionally, it continues the analog of Loma’s experience with that of any teenager. Her apology tour is electric, as the tone shifts in the story from one of sadness and confusion to joy as Loma is able to feel the healing power of the apology. Castellucci is able to tap into emotion and make the reader feel it as well.
The weirdness that makes this book different and perhaps unappealing to some readers makes sense in this issue as Loma finds the means to resolve her issues. This should be an enjoyable moment for anyone.
Best issue of this series so far. The pieces of the puzzle are coming together for Loma and this is very satisfying. It also sets the stage for what’s coming next, which should be even more interesting as Loma has to come to terms with all the terrible things she’s learned that Megan has done.
Written by: Magdalene Visaggio
Art and Color by: Paulina Ganucheau
Element Girl is recalling a memory of a dream in which she has a normal domestic home life. It all fades as the falseness of it becomes apparent. She is left walking alone in a desert.
This effectively echoes the themes in the main story. It is one of the better uses of the Young Animal back ups.
Outside of the thematic relationship to the main story there’s not a lot here and it didn’t have the fun nostalgic quality of some of the other back ups.