[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]
“School is Hell”
Writer: Cecil Castellucci
Artist: Marley Zarcone
Inks pages 12 & 13: Ande Parks
Colors: Kelly Fitzpatrick
Shade wakes up in the body of Megan on her first day back at school. Shade demands to be called “Shade” and not “Megan” and is completely uninterested in Megan’s life. She can’t figure out who is who and what relationships are important to Megan. Additionally, she feels more comfortable with those with whom she has no history.
The memories she shares with Megan are thin and inconclusive. She has no idea who her boyfriend Wes is and the mean cheerleader girls seem to be plotting her take down. Meanwhile, back in Meta, there is an investigation into the theft of the Madness Vest. It is apparently very dangerous for one to wear it and Loma’s friend, Lupeck Ledo is concerned for both Loma’s well being and that he might be implicated in some way in Loma’s theft of the vest.
The singular most striking thing about this title is how it uses the basic premise to mirror the uneasiness, insecurity and confusion of adolescence and puberty. Good science fiction has always been able to comment on society in a sort of disguised way. Shade, the Changing Girl does the same thing. It’s not so much about an extra-dimensional being taking over the life of a teenage human girl, but rather all the challenges of being a teenager for any teenager. This automatically lifts the book onto another level. This is a phenomenal achievement in comics.
This is definitely a quirky book. It’s not necessarily immediately likable, but what it does, it does well. It’s certainly one of the most unique books out there and there are a lot of places it could go. It’s is definitely not your average super hero fare.
There are some comics that are just plain different. Shade, the Changing Girl is one of them. It is almost more teen drama book, imagine Archie without the humor. Not to say that there aren’t some amusing moments, but the reader is struck more by the harsh reality of what it’s like to be a teenager. If you’re looking for something different done extremely well, Shade, the Changing Girl is for you.
“All We Are”
Writer: Asher Powell
Artist: Mirka Adolfo
Colors: Kelly Fitzpatrick
A couple of The Wanders from Legion of Super Heroes fame assist in protecting a planet from invasion.
Another quirky little back up story with less than well-known sci-fi characters. Thematically, this story seems to support the events in the main story while having no clear connection.
It’s easy to see how one could simply wish for more main story instead of these short seemingly unrelated back up tales.
A very clever thematic tie-in to the main story makes this feel like these back ups are building to something. They are a fun surprise so far!