Comic Book Review: Shade, the Changing Girl #9
“Shade, the Changing Girl” keeps the madness rolling this week as Megan/Loma continues her trip through Gotham City. In what has been the most consistently weird of the Young Animal books, “Shade, the Changing Girl” #9 gets even more poignant as ever as Megan/Loma deals with some consequences of being from an alien planet that she didn’t expect. This is yet another wonderful issue from a series that has been a pure delight from the very beginning.
“Shade, the Changing Girl” #9 picks up with Megan/Loma’s adventure in Gotham City. She’s made it to a concert venue where she’s going to finally see The Sonic Booms, her favorite band, live. She’s by far the youngest person at the show and she’s not entirely sure why. Meanwhile back on her planet, Lepuck is still being tested on and used as a way to try and contact her on Earth. They want the madness jacket back and are willing to do it by any means necessary.
“Shade, the Changing Girl” #9 does this really nice thing with music and the passage of time that really rings true. Megan/Loma, like the others who are at this concert, loves this band. However , Megan/Loma has a different concept of time than they do. On her planet, this was new and it helped her realize what she wanted to be in life. She comes to Earth expecting to see them in their glory but doesn’t realize how time passes differently here and coming from lightyears away means that she missed them. She doesn’t have the same kind of feelings about this band that the older fans do because as it’s said in the comic, you go to see bands from your youth for nostalgia. It makes you feel young for a little bit and that’s a good feeling. The use of music to convey lost youth and the passage of time is poignant and puts Megan/Loma in a really interesting position to learn a lesson. Megan/Loma doesn’t actually get that and instead does something drastic just to capture something that she never got to feel. This is kind of her pattern. She doesn’t really understand what doing too much is and acts recklessly but often times it is with the best intentions. She wants to bring these fans back to a time that they lost and give herself a shot at a dream but it makes a mess and I wonder when we’ll see her grow from all these adventures.
Zarcone and Fitzpatrick continue to deliver one of the most visually stunning and interesting ongoing series in comics today. “Shade, the Changing Girl” #9 is really about music for most of the issue and that music has a very retro, 1950’s vibe about it. The stark contrast in the coloring between Megan/Loma and the rest of the characters is always very noticeable but here, the differences are even more visible. Megan/Loma not only appears younger but there’s a different kind of spirit about her in this crowd. The older people feel faded out, like a light has gone out. Even when The Sonic Booms take the stage, they feel faded compared to Megan/Loma. I love this. I think it not only says something about the differences between the young and the old at concerts like this but it continues to make her feel special in this big city that’s known for a billionaire in a bat suit. Zarcone’s imagination in the panel layouts continue to amaze me and in this issue she really brings us deep into the flashbacks and really engages the reader in the concert. It’s hard to convey music in comic books but Zarcone and Fitzpatrick do a great job.
“Shade, the Changing Girl” #9 is another excellent issue in this series and I’m really eager to see where else Megan/Loma goes in her journey across the world. She’s got so much to learn and so much to see and because this is this series, it will be imaginative with a very unique perspective.