Shade the Changing Woman #4 – Cecil Castellucci, Writers; Marley Zarcone, Jamie Coe, Artists; Ande Parks, Inker; Kelly Fitzpatrick, Colorist
Ratings: Ray – 8.5/10
As the saga of Shade The Changing Woman enters its final act in Shade the Changing Woman #4, Cecil Castellucci is telling the story of an invasion of Earth unlike any we’ve ever seen in comics. Combining the surreal storytelling typical of the Young Animal line with a much more human focus than most of the line’s books, The issue kicks off with Loma and Rac Shade continuing to commune in the mental plane. Loma has some rather dark flashbacks to her childhood on her home planet and eventually decides that she needs to get out of there and save her new world before it’s too late.
That “too late” comes in the form of an invasion led by her home planet of Meta, which comes in the form of…giant crayfish? Okay. However, any meaningful opposition is deeply splintered by Shade’s absence. River is off with the DEO, trying to change the system from within. That’s deeply splintered his relationship with Teacup, who is busy helping Seema’s parents deal with her loss.
That loss, of course, was caused by Megan, inhabiting another body and weaving a path of destruction through her old life. I could quibble that we’ve seen very little of Megan herself and what’s driving her, but do we really need to?
Ultimately, she’s a sadistic, self-absorbed young woman who likes to over-punish any insult she encounters. That’s enough to make a compelling villain. Shade arrives back in the main narrative, communicating with her old friends through odd means and eventually repairing the rift between River and Teacup. But enemies on Meta and on Earth have their own agenda, and it’s hard to see just how this will all be wrapped up in only two issues.
The backup, although only three pages, tells a compelling story of its own featuring Lepuck and his attempts to get back to Earth to help Loma. This is a tale equal parts amusing and sad, as his best of intentions wind up landing him in a zoo. Can’t wait to see how this series concludes.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.