My Chemical Romance lead singer and creator of The Umbrella Academy Gerard Way will be launching a mature readers imprint through DC Comics titled Young Animal focusing on their more esoteric properties like Doom Patrol, Shade and more. Way will be writing Doom Patrol & Cave Carson Has A Cybernetic Eye with additional contributions on the upcoming series from Jean Paul Leon, Michael Avon Oeming, Marley Zarcone, Jody House & more. Details at CBR
By Cecil Castellucci, Marley Zarcone and Kelly Fitzpatrick
Cover by Becky Cloonan
Shade The Changing Girl is a book about two young females who might have more in common than appears on the surface. Loma, a young female alien from the planet Meta is in search of an adventure. In a letter to her current boyfriend Lepuck she explains how they will never last long term. She uses the classic line “it’s not you it’s me” explaining that she is kind of a mess, owing bad people money, losing her job, even having other lovers on the side. She is in search of an escape. Megan is a high school student from Valleyville. She is a bully and she has the cute nice boy under her thumb. Her best friends actually hate her and she may have an issue over indulging on dangerous drugs. Both women are in search of adventure. Megan takes things too far and ends up in a coma. Loma convinces Lepuck to override the security at the Museum of Alien Curiosities and steals Rac Shade’s coat. This coat transports Loma into Megan’s unconscious body and bam, we have a fish out of water story.
The comic is pretty solid once you get into it but it can be tough to understand. What appears to just be surface level confusing at the beginning slowly places the building blocks and eventually constructs a solid first issue. One aspect I was very impressed with was the characterization of Megan through the reaction of her family and friends. Megan has been in a coma and written off as gone, in fact the plug was going to be pulled on her. When she awakens due to the arrival of Loma in her body her family doesn’t seem too excited. It would be a huge emotional shock and might not even feel real at the moment, so that family reaction didn’t really raise too many flags. However, when the school finds out that Megan is awake her “friends” seem more annoyed than happy. This really helps solidify our idea of what kind of person Megan was. She wasn’t a nice girl. Now Loma, who wanted to escape her life, finds herself in a body that might be more trouble than she was expecting.
The art by Marley Zarcone is solid. I really enjoyed her art back when I was the only person reading Effigy. She draws a nice clean line but with these psychedelic panels that really open up the visual and allow her to cut loose and let the art flow. Facial expressions are important in opening issues as we get to know new characters and Marley is superb in the facial detail. The emotions of the characters are clearly seen and understood.
Shade The Changing Girl is kind of weird, very psychedelic and at times confusing. In saying that there are some deep ideas being explored here and some interesting parallels between the characters. If this sounds like your thing you won’t be disappointed by Shade The Changing Girl.
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Effigy is a great concept for a book and a big surprise to me. I was not sure I was going to buy issue #1 a month ago but my “comic book guy” at Galaxy Comics placed it on my stack for me to take a look, and when he does so I usually listen. I ended up really loving it and was excited for this second issue to hit the stands.
Effigy is about Chondra, a police woman in a small town who used to be a huge child star actor on a popular space cops TV show and she is a great character. Being a child star actor, her whole life was basically spent glued to the TV and media. Her father was not around and her mother is not the greatest influence, so she ended up being raised by network television. She is paired up on a murder mystery case with a detective who is completely opposite to her. He never had a television growing up so he was not influenced by the media at all. Most importantly he has no idea that Chondra was a huge child star, which for Chondra, is a breath of fresh air. These opposite personalities create some fantastically fun dialogue. You can already tell two issues in that they are going to be a great team.
Effigy is a great murder mystery story on its own, but the examination of what life is like for a child star when they grow up is the cherry on top. I think this is one of those titles that a lot of people may have missed, and that is a shame because in it, there is a good story brewing.