Darkchylde is a comic book created by artist Randy Queen in 1996 that was very popular in the mid 1990s. The book quickly garnered an unusually large female following, in stark contrast to the traditionally male comic book market.
The title's main character is Ariel Chylde, an 18-year-old woman with the ability to transform into monsters from the Nightmare Realm.
Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.
She discovered this when being attacked by her caretaker, soon after she moved to Salem with him. Unfortunately the monsterform Ariel takes on after shapeshifting is set free on Earth. Since her enemies want just that, she is now on the run. In the meanwhile Ariel has found out she has the ability to only partially transform, thus gaining strength when being attacked without letting a Nightmareling run loose on Earth.
In 2005 the title was relaunched at DARK HORSE Comics as Manga Darkchylde, with Ariel now being a little girl. The term manga in the title is somewhat misleading, as the new series is clearly not a manga in its traditional sense and actually bears very little resemblance to Japanese mangas in any way. Only using the base elements of the original Darkchylde, Randy Queen is now expanding his "Darkchylde-universe".
Darkchylde comic books, in order of reading:
Spawn #56 (4-page Darkchylde interlude featuring Flatulance)
Darkchylde: The Legacy #1-3
Darkchylde: Redemption ½, #1-3
Dreams of the Darkchylde #1-6
Painkiller Jane/Darkchylde (drawn by J.G. Jones)
Darkchylde Swimsuit Illustrated
Darkchylde Summer Swimsuit Spectacular
Manga Darkchylde #0, 1-5
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