‘Angel & Spike #11:’ Advance Comic Book Review

Previously, on Angel + Spike: Angel is a bit more introspective than before, having faced some of his demons in the Hellmouth. Having seen what things go bump in the night, Officer Lockley is understandably… perturbed. Fortunately for her, she’s not alone in the fight. Unfortunately, it looks like things are about to get combustible for her.

While Angel has a long chat with Lilith about his past and his future (including more glimpses into his foray into some Eyes Wide Shut cosplay), Gunn and Fred diffuse a very tense moment that leads to Fred tapping into some dark places. Spike makes a discovery about who their mysterious foe is, but the price of defeating it may be too high, as both Angel and Fred learn.

While I’m rather surprised at the slower pace of this arc, it’s not unwelcome. While parts of this arc do feel a bit “monster of the week,” there are elements that make all of this feel very deliberate. The expansion of Team Angel feels organic, and Fred’s struggle with her connection to Baphomet feels like the buildup to something epic. A particular plot point that has been hinted at for a while now is Angel’s relationship with Mara, and that’s something I’d like to see play out more soon. There are hints that Mara might have been more than a regular warrior, so I’d like to see that cleared up, too. Bryan Edward Hill’s methodical take on introducing this rebooted franchise is clearly deliberate. Our introduction to Angel in this series has been an interesting inversion of the original take; instead of being introduced as a love interest first and then being developed over time, Hill’s doing the opposite. The character is being built from the ground up. At his core, Angel is still the same brooding hero, but Hill’s take shows us why #StoriesMatter, because it shows us how a familiar character can be refreshed by its execution.

The artistic team of Gleb Melnikov and Roman Titov continue to produce one helluva stylish book. Titov’s color work adds so much drama and atmosphere to Melnikov’s clean lines. Ed Dukeshire’s letters are consistently some of the best I’ve seen; there is a natural flow and ease to them that I feel has to be misleading since I’ve definitely seen enough examples of terrible lettering.

All in all, it feels like we’re nearing the climax of this arc, and we may finally get that showdown between Team Angel and Wolfram and Hart.

Creative Team: Bryan Edward Hill (writer), Gleb Melnikov (artist), Roman Titov (colorist), Ed Dukeshire (letterer)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Click here to purchase.

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