Shade, the Changing Woman is essentially just a continuation of Shade, the Changing Girl. That’s not a bad thing, not at all.
The story is set a while after the final issue of the previous series. The Milk Wars must come before this, but there is no direct connection between that, and the story in this debut issue.
Cecil Castellucci and Marley Zarkone seem to have gained an even stronger hand with the character. The issue feels more relaxed, even though it’s another wild ride. The art remains perfect, and Zarkone shows her skill in the more hallucinatory sequences, as Shade talks with her predecessor, and the more realistic ones, which catch up on what has been happening to Shade’s friends, River in particular.
The only thing that sort of bothered/puzzled me was the back-up tale. I enjoyed Jamie Coe’s art, but the story was confusing and grisly. I guess it’s a credit to the writing Castellucci has been doing on this book that I have no problems with not having a clue what is going on in the back-up. I trust that she has a good idea, and is toying with the reader intentionally.
The back-up is really the only major difference, thus far, between the last run of the book and this one.
It really comes down to this. If you liked Shade, the Changing Girl, you will love Shade, the Changing Woman. If you hadn’t read the first series, you ought to, and may as well start picking this one up.