Paperback, Trade, 144 pages
Published July 4th 2017 by DC Comics
In the first volume of Shade the Changing Girl by Cecil Castellucci et al, the reader is introduced to a story that is both bizarre and familiar. The protagonist of the piece, in actuality, is a bird-shaped alien who lives on a planet many light miles away from earth. She puts on a jacket which allows her to leave her body behind and travel into the madness which, as far as I have been able to ascertain, is near earth.
On earth, in a certain town, a mean girl extraordinaire is pronounced brain-dead one minute and regains conscience the next. Only it is not her soul in her body but the body of the bird-alien currently wearing the jacket.
Yes. So this alien wants to feel things which I guess the jacket and the body makes possible. Only everyone reviles her because she was a truly scummy human being in her previous incarnation.
So what follows is more mean girl theatrics, some melodrama, a lot of mind bending stuff with frequent interludes of the aliens in the alien world. Reading this book is rather like getting lost in a carnival. Or being high. I have experience with neither but I reckon reading this book is close enough. The colours, the twists in the story, the characters, the madness, all of these come together to create a story that is supremely readable but does elicit a startled hmm! after you are done.
I enjoyed it. I liked how Shade (as she wants to be called) comes to terms with her new body and new life. I like how she makes new friends and tries to work over the leftover issues over the demon-girl whose body she now wears. I also like how reading this book gives a fresh, if strange, perspective on the lives we lead. I recommend it.