Darkchylde is a Bad Girl Comic book series written and drawn by Randy Queen. First published in 1996 by Darkchylde Publishing, and later published through a wide variety of publishers (including Image Comics through Wildstorm), the series focuses on the life of Ariel Chylde, who, thanks to a contract with the devil made by her mother, has been cursed with the ability to transform into the creatures of her nightmares.
In 2005, Darkhorse Comics published an OEL Manga based on the character. Intended as a Lighter and Softer reboot/retelling, the series was Cut Short after only its first two issues.
In 2007, Queen announced plans to turn Darkchylde into a live-action film, with John Carpenter set to direct. Needless to say, it's long been stuck in Development Hell. In 2016, Queen published the first in a series of new YA-Novels, Darkchylde: The Ariel Chylde Saga, based on the comic. These too have fallen into Development Hell.
Not to be confused with Buffy, or Magik and her demon persona, regardless of how much they look alike.
Darkchylde provides examples of:
- Attempted Rape: By Ariel's "father". It triggers her first transformation, and results in his immediate barbequing.
- Beauty to Beast: What happens as a result of the curse.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted with Ariel's transformations.
- Body Horror: The reason Ariel's transformations aren't an example of Cursed with Awesome. They aren't pretty, and they hurt immensely.
- Boobs-and-Butt Pose: Used oh-so-much!
- The pose is used to such an extent that the series became something of a meme on Escher Girls, a Tumblr blog dedicated to making fun of this trope.
- Cut Short: The OEL Manga was cancelled after only its second issue.
- Healing Factor: When a demon rips one of Ariel's arms off, she learns that she can regrow it by shifting into one of her nightmare forms and then reverting to human.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: The demon Piece, who, while acerbic and hot tempered, does genuinely like to see Ariel happy.
- Magic Pants: When she reverts from her transformation into Fang, a huge dragon, she's still wearing her jeans, which, though tattered, have still mostly survived the transformation.
- Missing Mom: Ariel's mother died when Ariel was 4 years old. Mother is still around as Sage, though.
- Pacified Adaptation: The OEL Manga, which reimagines Ariel Chylde as Kid Hero and strips out most of the blood and sexual undertones.
- Painful Transformation: Ariel describes her transformations in terms of bones snapping, breaking and re-forming.Ariel: It isn't like dying and being reborn... it IS dying and being reborn.
- Rain of Blood: How Ariel discovers the body of poor little Billy.
- Shapeshifting Sound: Ariel's transformations feature the classic crunch, and she herself describes it in terms of bones breaking and reforming, saying that it is literally dying and being reborn.
- Tan Lines: In issue 2 reveals that Ariel has one while she is naked.
- Xtreme Kool Letter Z: It was the Nineties, what can we say?