[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Written by: Cecil Castellucci
Illustrated by: Marley Zarcone and Jamie Coe (back up feature)
Additional Inks by: Ande Parks
Colored by: Kelly Fitzpatrick
Loma Shade’s mentoring by Rac Shade is putting a real strain on her life. She’s looking for answers and seeks Rac’s wisdom from experience, but is unable to find any peace in his recommendations. While outside of time when she’s interacting with Rac, she is reinserted into the world and goes to River only to find that River is not in any position to interact with her. His contract with the government requires him to turn in any aliens. His with the Department of Capture and Holding of Extra-Terrestrials.
Returning to Rac, she hopes to find help in Teacup and is reinserted into her life only to find another rejection. Teacup feels that Loma has not be a friend to her and it’s not reasonable for Loma to just disappear and show up at will and expect nothing to have changed when so much has changed for Teacup.
Loma returns to Rac, and Rac’s answer is to divest herself of her heart- it is too much trouble! Meanwhile, Megan’s parents have a visitor. A tall red haired young man who claims to be their first child. Finally, we are treated to a short back up feature drawn by Jamie Coe that explains what the civilization on Meta have been doing that’s creating this xenophobic madness on Earth.
Despite appearances and Loma’s trips in and out of the timeline, this story is progressing in an interesting manner. Loma’s attempt to understand being human and the emotions and wishes of her own heart should be easily relatable to any reader. The interactions with Rac carry the emotional weight of the issue and give significance to Loma’s struggle to understand being human. This is very clever and effective non-standard story telling.
The back up story adds a heretofore unknown element to Shade’s story. It creates a possible villain for future issues of the series should Loma ever figure out herself enough to take on a more traditional type of story.
Megan’s return in the form of the red haired young man is a welcome plot pickup from the end of issue #6 of Shade, the Changing Girl. If you recall, it was shown that Megan’s soul had taken root inside of her body (now inhabited by Loma) and it appeared she was pregnant. The full story has yet to be told, but this is a promising beginning to that tale.
This book continues to be unique, different and moving. No negatives here!
This issue is another standout from Castellucci, Zarcone, Parks and Fitzpatrick. Shade, the Changing Woman #2 is not only representative of the series, it is also the first among equals. It is as good as the best we’ve seen in the series (Shade the Changing Girl included, of course!) We all learn what it’s like to be human as we grow and mature, it’s not often we get to experience someone else’s journey so intimately.