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‘Angel & Spike #15:’ Advance Comic Book Review

Quick recap time: Team Angel has lost Fred to Baphomet and Wolfram and Hart, and now possibly Gunn, too. While investigating a rash of brutal murders, they encountered their latest ally/enemy, a teenage werewolf named Oz. Meanwhile, Fred’s meatsuit is now under the control of Baphomet, but she’s not fully given up control just yet…

Turns out, Oz may not be the werewolf that’s been ripping a bloody swath through LA after all. If that’s the case, Team Angel may have a bigger rabid canine issue, and we’re not talking rabies here. Meanwhile, the Mara/Kate connection seems to be growing stronger. Also, Fred may be even more special than we’ve been made to believe so far… In a world full of monsters and heroes, perhaps gods walk amongst us?

Issue #15 reads much more comfortably and naturally than the previous one, and it’s likely a combination of the creative team finding their footing and the reader easing into a new style. Zac Thompson’s script is brisk and almost procedural in its pacing, but that’s not to say that it’s devoid of certain charms. There are some great moments in here, especially the scenes involving a half-eaten burger. That being said, the scenes with Angel/Angelus/Kate/Mara are a tad underbaked still, and this might totally be because this relationship is as underbaked as it is contrived right now. Mara has been a figure looming in the past for a while now, but, somehow, she still seems every bit the cipher from when she first appeared. This isn’t necessarily Thompson’s fault, as it seems to be an inherited problem (and honestly, it actually feels like Thompson is trying his darndest to move the needle here), but this feels every bit like a mystery that’s been dragged on for too long. Think every season of Lost if that helps. That being said, stories are oftentimes seeing how apparently disparate existences are intertwined, even in the most tangential of ways. In short, #StoriesMatter because they allow us to see beyond our own limited boundaries and to exercise empathy.

Hayden Sherman’s artwork really grows on you. While I really enjoyed a change of pace in terms of artwork in the previous issue, it did take a bit of an adjustment. Not anymore, though. Sherman’s linework has so much personality that they kind of make sense for Oz’s introduction: unconventional and bold. Roman Titov and Ed Dukeshire being the two remaining names from the previous crew really do help to anchor things. Titov’s colorwork is as evocative as ever, despite fitting an entirely different aesthetic. Dukeshire’s lettering really does make all the difference when reading the book; it’s intuitive and organic, and I would say that Dukeshire’s versatility really shines through.

Overall, with the evolving nature of Team Angel right now, anything could happen. My guess is that by the end of this arc, we’ll have a much more complete team here and, hopefully, a greater under understanding of how this team fits into the larger Buffyverse.  

Creative Team: Zac Thompson (writer), Hayden Sherman (artist), Roman Titov (colorist), Ed Dukeshire (letterer)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Click here to purchase.

Wenxian Tan, Fanbase Press Contributor



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