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‘Angel & Spike #13:’ Advance Comic Book Review

After the dramatic turn of events and possible realignment of Team Angel, we take a breather and go back to a moment in Angel’s past. Angel does what he tends to do best: saving souls in need of aid. This time around, it’s a case involving an actress friend and the mystery of who killed her and why.  

Despite the information on the product page, it would appear that Issue #12 was Bryan Edward Hill and Gleb Melnikov’s last issue, with Adam Smith and Piotr Kowalski taking over writing and art duties, respectively. Storywise, Issue #13 feels like a fairly standard Season 1 episode of Angel: death that reeks of supernatural influence, a murder investigation that takes some surprising turns, and some demonic shenanigans. The ending hints at some McGuffin that may come in handy in the near future, or at least it feels that way, since it’s given so much significance. In this regard, this is why #StoriesMatter. Angel’s past is riddled with plenty of small moments that end up shaping his future. At the end of the day, aren’t we all just mosaics of past experiences and choices and their consequences?

Piotr Kowalski’s art style significantly differs from Gleb Melnikov’s work, opting for a grittier and more textured take that works well with the tone of this issue; however, Angel’s likeness isn’t the best, and he’s barely recognizable in most panels. Mattia Iacono’s colorwork is brilliantly atmospheric and complementary to the linework, but I did find myself wishing his blood effects would be more vibrant, seeing as the artwork doesn’t shy away from violence. Ed Dukeshire keeps reminding us why a good letterer matters to a book, translating a dense script into easily digestible bits and working with the art to make the action feel even more dynamic.

Overall, this issue serves as a fine break, though I’m impatient to get back to the main storyline.  

Creative Team: Adam Smith (writer), Piotr Kowalski (artist), Mattia Iacono (colorist), Ed Dukeshire (letterer)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Click here to purchase.

Wenxian Tan, Fanbase Press Contributor



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