Thursday, March 22, 2018

Reader's Diary #1769- Cecil Castellucci (writer), Marley Zarcone (art): Shade The Changing Girl Vol. 1 Earth Girl Made Easy

My favourite corner of DC Comics by far has been the weird Justice League Dark stories. It was here that I first encountered the Shade the Changing Man (Dac Shade). I don't recall much about him, but I did quite enjoy this passing of the torch, or jacket as it were, to Loma Shade. Like Dac, Loma Shade is an alien from the planet Meta, but Loma is an Avian (basically a humanoid bird). Loma is tired of her life and looking for a change, takes up residence in the comatose body of a teenage Earth girl named Megan.

She seems to be making the most of her time in this body, except that apparently Megan was a bully and Loma needs to navigate that and her new, complicated relationships with Earthlings. To further her difficulties, some of Megan's negative energy has residual effects on Loma's psyche, Megan's spirit is trying to reclaim her body, and the dimension-transporting jacket that Loma used in the first place tends to make its wearers go insane. Still with me?

Yes, it's bizarre. But it relishes in the bizarre, with fast pacing and psychedelic art and funky colours. Plus the "finding oneself" takes on more poignancy with the teenage angle as it's typically a time of self-discovery anyway. Strong, defined characters and complex friendships help ground the weirdness without diminishing the fun.

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