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Writer: Cecil Castelluci
Artist: Marley Zarcon
Colorist: Kelly Fitzpatrick
Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Publisher: DC’s Young Animal
DC’s Young Animal imprint keeps us on our toes with Shade the Changing Girl. This colorful story was not at all what I expected. The story started out colorful and began to turn dark as it progressed. That’s just one of the reasons why it’s interesting. We start off with a girl in the hospital whose life is saved by alien possession. Her presence disrupts patients and staff resulting in her parents being asked to take her home. Imagine being the friends and parents of someone that had previously been unresponsive in a hospital bed and finding out she’s awake. This will certainly play a large part in her relationships in the next few issues. The alien that inhabited her body is trying to escape a life in another world, encouraged by the words of a poet and a program that was discontinued.
Cecil Castelluci gave each character in this book a distinct voice. Even the poet, whom we never see is represented in the text. Castelluci gave us quotes that fit into the story and add depth to the characters present. The fact that every bit of text for the poet has a rainbow gradient was an amazing choice given the significance of his work to the rest of the story. Saida Temofonte gave us little details hinting at the aliens native language in the lettering which is a nice touch.
Kelly Fitzpatrick made the color an important element to the story. It sets the tone that Marley Zarcon’s art alone would not be able to convey to the fullest extent. That’s not to diminish Zarcon’s art. Zarcon created a variety of aliens in the art and put in little details that many would overlook like the Batman logo and random cat pictures. Zarcon used negative space in a few panels that brought attention to plot points throughout the book.
Shade the Changing Girl is a book that should be picked up. It’s a well told story with an unexpected cliffhanger that will make you want to pick up future issues. The characters we have been introduced to so far all have their unique past. Castelluci is bringing all of these personalities together in a balanced and cohesive manner. This book includes a few extras. There is a mini-comic at the end of this issue entitled Cryll’s Big Surprise by Natalia and Gilbert Hernandez. They included some character information at the end, as well as a message from Gerard Way.
I cannot put into words how much I enjoyed this title. There were many little things that helped build the story. The ending caught me off guard, but that’s a great thing. It made me want to read more of this story. DC’s Young Animal imprint has once again given us a quality book. Shade the Changing Girl is a title I recommend to everyone with the exception of younger children. There are some more mature themes featured in this book that are not appropriate for pre-teens or younger. That being said, I can’t imagine anyone picking up this book up and disliking it. Castelluci and Zarcon put together an interesting book that stands out amongst other titles on the shelf.