[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Cecil Castellucci
Illustrator: Marley Zarcone
Inks (pgs. 6, 12-19,21): Ande Parks
Colors: Kelly Fitzpatrick
Shade is still in Gotham, and she has found a club show of her favorite Earth band, The Sonic Booms. You may remember them from last month’s “Life with Honey” back up episode. With this issue Shade the Changing Girl is merging past with present and providing a new challenge for Loma. In the first story arc we learned that Loma wanted to come to Earth for an adventure and to experience the things she’d learned about through Earth’s TV signals. It’s a hard lesson for Loma as she comes face to face with the reality of her situation, she’s not only traveled in space, but essentially, in time as well.
As the issue opens, Loma is excited waiting for her favorite band, the Sonic Booms, to take the stage. She is surrounded by other fans, who are quite in awe that a young person is a fan of the band. The older fans with her would easily be the age of Megan’s grandparents. When the Sonic Booms take the stage and start to play, Loma is aghast as she cannot comprehend that her heroes are in their 70’s. The Booms also announce that the actress who played Honey in “Life with Honey” is ill and not doing well. Loma becomes verbally irate and the others around her try to calm her and answer her questions about the aging of the Sonic Booms. She finally gets some insight from a fan that gets her to understand nostalgia. At this point she realizes that the Earth TV signals she was getting on Meta were 50 years old.
As she comes to terms with this, she uses her powers for the first time? She makes the Sonic Booms and everyone in the audience young again. Some a little too young. (Who knew she had this kind of power with the M-vest?) This causes quite a stir. This leads to a lot of arrests, but not before Loma is able to begin her journey to find Honey.
Back at home, Teacup and River try and contact Loma through the little circles she constantly leaks. At the same time, on Meta there is an attempt to send someone to Earth to find Loma. This person gets picked up as a homeless man by the police and Loma finds herself in the back of the police van with him. To say this provides Loma with a way out is an understatement…
Nostalgia. When we get older we look back and see things in our past with a particular fondness. This issue not only makes nostalgia the focus for Loma, even though she’s not really being nostalgic, the issue also allows the reader to reflect on one’s own past and see that Loma is in that moment of teenage development where one finds one’s own voice. When things outside oneself speak to one’s inner self. Be it music, TV, movies or some other pop culture medium, we all have this moment. For Loma, her present is Earth’s past and she’s missing the contemporary icons and imagery with which Megan’s friends are discovering. In this sense, Loma is both young and old. This leads one to question age and how we deal with age as it happens to us whether we are 14, 24 or 44.
The back up “Life with Honey” tale deals with the same notions. Honey and her friend feel old and want to feel young again, but instead of looking back with nostalgia to their younger days, they try and find some humorous ways of becoming young again. This back up tale is well used in this issue.
Seeing Loma use powers in this issue was a real surprise. I don’t believe it’s happened before, but it would be interesting to think that she has and it just wasn’t noticeable.
I was a bit lost at one point in reading this issue. I felt like it was veering off the tracks. And then I thought about what I was reading and went back and reread a bit, and it turns out I was the one who was going off the tracks.
This is an issue that really makes the reader think. It maintains that off-beat feel, while managing to say something deep and relevant to everyday life. Not many comics get to do that. You not only think. You feel it, as well.