Once, Loma was an alien from the planet Meta, but she longed for more. With the Madness Coat, she came down to Earth. And Loma became a girl. But being a girl wasn’t as easy or idyllic as she thought it might be. She only made it through with the help of new friends. But then she disappeared again. And in the intervening years, Shade became a woman. Weighed upon by guilt, beset by old enemies, and now, newly betrayed by her mentor, if Loma Shade hopes to fully claim her new life on Earth, she must rely upon all her old friends, both from Earth and among the stars, one more time.

Shade the Changing Girl and Shade the Changing Woman have been some of my favorite series from the Young Animal imprint and DC Comics writ large over the last several years. Featuring incredibly psychedelic and captivating art from Marley Zarcone and Kelly Fitzpatrick, writer Cecil Castellucci and the rest of the creative team have woven a singular take on the difficulties of growing up. From feeling like an alien in your youth to feeling like all the rules you learned as a child were nothing but lies as an adult, Shade captures the essence of youth in all its pain and pleasure. With this Wednesday’s release of Shade the Changing Woman #6, Loma’s story comes to an epic conclusion with a battle for the essence of Madness itself.

Check out the Beat’s exclusive preview of Shade the Changing Woman #6 after the jump.

Writer: Cecil Castellucci
Artist: Marley Zarcone with Ande Parks on additional inks
Colorist: Kelly Fitzpatrick
Letterer: Saida Temofonte

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? FINAL ISSUE