Shade, the Changing Girl #9 Review
By Deejay Dayton
Jun 7, 2017 - 21:46
Publisher(s): DC Comics
Writer(s): Cecil Castellucci
Penciller(s): Marley Zarcone
Inker(s): Marley Zarcone, Ande Parks
Colourist(s): Kelly Fitzpatrick
Letterer(s): Saida Temofonte
Cover Artist(s): Becky Cloonan, Brittney Williams
$3.99 28 pages
Ok, I have one and only one negative thing to say about Shade, the Changing Girl 9, so I’m going to get that out of the way first.
As with the last issue, there is really nothing in this story that requires it to be taking place in Gotham City. No Batman, no member of the Bat-family, no Bat-villains, no Bat-cops. Nothing. Why set the story in Gotham if you aren’t going to make use of it?
This irks me, because aside from that this is a really great tale.
Shade goes to see a concert of the Sonic Booms, a band she loves from roughly the same era as her favourite tv show, Life with Honey. She is devastated when they appear. Shade is expecting them to look exactly as they did many years ago, and cannot understand why there are old men on stage playing the music.
It's a perfectly executed example of her complete unfamiliarity with Earth and the passage of time between her idealized concept of it, and the reality she is now in.
Then the comic moves on to a storyline that could have come right from Peter Milligan’s earlier Shade comic. She uses the M-vest powers to make the band young again, and the audience as well. Castelluci does not devote a huge amount of time to this part of the tale, but does effectively evoke the thrill that all the audience members feel during, and immediately after, the concert, and then the varied reactions the people have when they find themselves still young afterwards.
Shade herself is fairly oblivious to the situation she has caused, far more interested in seeking out the actress who played Honey on the tv show, although she does step up and take responsibility for the situation she created before the issue is out.
The subplots with her friends back home, and the pursuit of her by the authorities on Meta, both continue, but are very much secondary in this issue. That’s fine. It’s really well balanced, giving one a complete story within a larger story within the larger overall framework.
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