Shade the Changing Woman #3 – Cecil Castellucci, Writer; Marley Zarcone, Jamie Coe, Artists; Ande Parks, Inker; Kelly Fitzpatrick, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
The second act of Loma Shade’s story, in Shade the Changing Woman #3,takes a more abstract approach, sending our oddball heroine off on a journey of the soul while her cast is split across the country (and in some cases, universe) and an old enemy wreaks a terrible vengeance on the remnants of her old life. The issue opens with Loma, still in a facsimile of Megan’s body but quickly making it her own, trying to get rid of her heart. Reality being mutable when she’s around, this literally means ripping it out of her body and trying to get rid of it in all sorts of unusual ways, all the while Rac Shade watches and dispenses cryptic advice. Having been rejected on some level by all her former friends, Loma is trying to get away from everything that made her human. Meanwhile, alien paranoia is gripping the world, and Megan’s former friends are just getting the word that her parents have been brutally killed – by, as we know, the actual Megan in a new body.
The addition of Megan, now crazed with vengeance and using her new shapeshifting body to target the remnants of her old life, has added a terrifying new sense of urgency to this title. Having claimed the lives of her parents, she next sets sight on her boyfriend, who she proceeds to seduce in a new body, as well as an old tormentor, who meets a terrible fate. I was most intrigued by River’s storyline, as he fits into his new major as a student of alien biology and finds himself pulled into a shadowy government organization – that has captured one of Loma’s closest friends from her home planet. The distinct worlds that Loma was split between are converging, and this title is all the more compelling for it.
The title’s a lot darker than it used to be, but it works. Jaime Coe continues to illustrate strong backups, tying into the main story but adding a new perspective. This issue’s tale of an astronaut with ties to Loma is notable for one particularly excellent page with unconventional art.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.