Shade the Changing Woman #6 – Cecil Castellucci, Writer; Marley Zarcone, Artist; Ande Parks, Inker; Kelly Fitzpatrick, Colorist
Ray – 6/10
Ray: This is the first of the Young Animal books to conclude as the second wave of books is cut down to six-issue miniseries, and unfortunately – it shows. This was clearly not supposed to be a six-issue story, and I’m hoping this doesn’t bode the same for the ends of Cave Carson and Mother Panic later this month. There’s a lot still to reveal in this final issue of this book, and Shade the Changing Woman #6 at times winds up feeling more like a cliff’s notes finale than anything. The reveal of Rac Shade as the big villain of the series – a heart-stealing madman who viewed humans as something to toy with – upended the entire series last issue, and now Loma finds herself pitted against him in a battle to reclaim her heart. The showdown in the Madness realm is visually compelling, as Loma uses all she learned in her time as Megan to get the upper hand on the inhuman Rac and escape with her life and sanity.
Of course, that’s only one of many plots in this final issue. There’s Teacup’s ambivalent return to the fold of Loma’s friends, River and his work with the DEO (and his friendship with Loma’s ex, now a Green Lantern), the scheming Mrs. Deeps and her plans for Earth, and of course Megan herself – now completely insane and inhabiting the body of a boy while stalking and killing everyone Loma knew in her time in her old body. These plots are all rushed through, sometimes only getting a page or two before they finally converge in a big, explosive showdown that leaves several characters dead or dying. Then there’s the last page twist, where a major character dies, another makes a sacrifice, and the whole cycle begins again. I would have loved to see where this story went, and I suspect there was a direct plan for it – one that’s never going to play out. This issue, while displaying the book’s overall genius at times, feels more like a sad reminder of what it could have been if more people bought it.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.