Loma has finally caught up with Rac Shade, and now all her chickens are coming home to roost. Your Major Spoilers review of Shade The Changing Woman #6 awaits!

SHADE THE CHANGING WOMAN #6

Writer: Cecil Castellucci
Penciler: Marley Zarcone
Inker: Ande Parks
Colorist: Kelly Fitzpatrick
Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Editor: Molly Mahan and Jamie S. Rich
Publisher: Young Animal/DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: August 1, 2018

Previously in Shade The Changing Woman: It all comes to a head, as Shade faces every action and (non) decision she has made up to this point.  Armed with the advice of mentors and the lessons she has learned from friends, Shade must decide once and for all: Can a person – be she human or avian – truly change?

NEVER MEET YOUR HEROES!

After spending the entire series worshiping Rac Shade, the elusive Changing Man, Loma has finally come face-to-face with him… and now he wants to kill her.  Her madness isn’t quite a match for his, but she has the advantage of access to the hearts of his lost companions, Kathy and Lenny, using their images and words against him.  All the while this battle is raging, Loma’s friends are trying to save her and pull her back to Earth, and it all comes together when they grudgingly agree to channel their madness to save her, bringing her lost heart to empower her to finally overcome Rac Shade once and for all.  Her friend River is mortally wounded in the battle, leaving Shade the Changing Woman to finally disperse…

And then, the last page gives us a little more change.

VERY ESOTERIC

If you’re not familiar with the Young Animal books, you should know: They’re really weird, and this issue is one of the weirdest of the lot.  The art is malleable and cartoony, befitting a journey to the center of madness, channeling artists like Chris Bachalo who have come before, while being its own unique thing, making it feel like the traditional “indy” comic of yore.  The story is complex (and, frankly, more than a little bit esoteric and hard to grasp) but it comes together to make a satisfying conclusion to Loma’s story, even if it feels like a terrible ending for Rac Shade, especially coming from someone who read his original series off the stands back in the 1990s.  The last page reveal of just how much change is in store can serve as either closure for this series and this chapter of the Young Animal brand or as an opening for more stories to come.  I’m honestly fine either way.

BOTTOM LINE: YOU’LL NEED TO READ IT MORE THAN ONCE

This issue is a weird one, in ways both good and bad, and I admit it is hard to really engage with the story.  Turning Rac Shade into the villain of the piece and having his co-stars from the original series saying horrible things to and about him is off-putting for me as a fan of the old book, and I found that the same pliability in the art that makes it realistically depict madness can affect the legibility of the art.  Shade The Changing Woman #6 is a fitting end for an odd and metaphysically focused series, and even though it shows the original Changing Man to be a huge jerk, it wraps up the Changing Woman’s story well, earning 3 out of 5 stars overall.  

[taq_review]

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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

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