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Kathy George & Lenny Shapiro

Kathy George came from a fairly well off and “proper” (re: racist) Southern family, but decided to move north and become free spirited and shortly after met and fell in love with a black man named Roger. Kathy convinced Roger to meet her parents and shortly before Kathy and Roger arrive at her parents’ home, 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 by attacking Grenzer. When the police arrive, they automatically presume (as horrifically and commonly happens im the United States) that Roger is the murderer and fatally shoot him.

Time passes with Kathy understandably in a state of depression. On the day of Grenzer’s scheduled execution Kathy waits outside the prison’s walls to mark the event. At the same moment of his execution Shade crosses over from the extra-dimensional 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. The apartment’s new tenant Lennie (Lenora) Shapiro 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 Lenny 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’s first appearance is in Shade #1. Lennie’s first appearance is in Shade #8. Their mutual love is revealed in Shade #20. Milligan wrote at least one piece of dialog for Lennie in which she refers to both her and Kathy as being lesbian though Kathy was in love with Roger. Perhaps today Milligan might have wrote the characters as being pansexual. Whatever label one considers for them what is important is their love.

Created by Peter Milligan and Chris Bachalo. Art by Bachalo, Mark Pennington, and Daniel Vozzo from Shade The Changing Man #26 (volume 2).

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