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Kathy and Lennie

Art by Chris Bachalo or Jan Duursema
Art by Chris Bachalo or Jan Duursema

Kathy George came from a fairly well off Southern family, but decided to move north and become free spirited. She fell in love with Roger, an African American, perhaps out of defiance to her family’s attitudes. She convinces Roger to meet her parents. Shortly before Kathy and Roger arrive at her parents’, Troy Grenzer breaks into the house and brutally murders her parents. Grenzer is caught in the aftermath by Kathy and goes after her. Roger comes to her aid, attacking Grenzer. When the police arrive, they decide that Roger is the murderer and fatally shoot him.

Time passes with Kathy in a state of depression. She’s outside the prison on the day of Grenzer’s execution. At the same moment of his execution Shade crosses over from the Area of Madness, possesses Grenzer’s body, teleports in front of Kathy, and orders her to drive off. Thus starts their great American road trip to search for the Madness Stream that’s been affecting people.

Kathy winds up alone scared and without money in New York, and has no luck searching for friends she knew from before. Her last hope is to find Ray. Like all her other friends, Ray has moved on. Lennie (Lenora Shapiro), the new tenant is intrigued by Kathy and takes her in. They share a little adventure in which Lennie holds up a cabdriver. Shade makes his way back through the Madness Stream to Kathy, and for lack of anything else to do, Lennie gets involved in their bizarre,
“hallucinogenic” road trip.

Later, Kathy and Lennie visit relatives of Kathy’s who live on a Montana farm. Alone in the barn, they have a long conversation and kiss. Neither is quite sure what to make of it, especially Kathy who has been in love with Shade. The story in issue #26 is told from Kathy and Lennie’s points of view as they lay naked in bed talking with each other. Peter Milligan, the series’ writer, comes up with the most surprising way for Shade to find out this bit of news. Kathy and Lennie’s relationship continues for a while. Jealous, Shade asks Kathy if she and Lennie are still having sex, and then tries to turn the table on them by kissing Lennie. Soon afterwards, Kathy gets pregnant by Shade. During her pregnancy Kathy realized she’s not in love with Shade, and they become friends. In a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, Kathy is shot while shopping. She lives long enough to deliver her baby.

Being part human and part Metan, Kathy’s baby George isn’t normal. His metabolism is much faster than a human’s and he grows up and dies within a short time. Shade uses his power to safekeep George’s soul until he can transfer it into another body. As irony would have it, the child’s new body belongs to Lilly, Lennie’s estranged daughter.

Milligan wraps up the series by having Shade go back in time. History is rewritten so that Troy Grenzer never murdered Kathy’s parents and her fiance Roger was never killed by police. Lenny was back in New York, Kathy was living in a Montana farmhouse and Shade had gone to be with her.

Kathy and Lennie were created by Peter Milligan and Chris Bachalo. Kathy first appears in Shade #1, volume 2 and Lennie in #8. Kathy may have been bisexual. In any case. they’re outed in #20. The credits in #20 list Bachalo and Jan Duursema as guest artist but does not include page numbers for each artist.  Part of me thinks this is Duursema’s work. In any case, the coloring is by Daniel Vozzo.

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