Previously on Angel: Well, Angel’s tiny and Wesley’s a zombie… eating canned brains. And while their hearts were in the right place, their clumsy attempt to release Angel from his current state kinda resulted in releasing a sorrow demon instead… Like it’s seriously kinda sad.
Well, gentle readers… it turns out that the sorrow demon is very possibly a fan-favorite character, which does cause Cordy quite a bit of emotional distress. This is a rather quiet issue that leaves quite a bit of breathing room for our heroes to interact and have interpersonal relationships and that’s quite nice. Some of those moments are expected, but there may be some that surprise you.
Christopher Cantwell’s script keeps us on a nice clipped pace, though this issue is pretty light on expositionary material, instead leaning on some pretty hefty character moments. There’s the exchange between Wes and Fred, but perhaps my favorite moment is the one between Oz, Andrew, and Lorne which addresses the issues of coming out, how that should be done, and how any comment, even with good intent, can be quite devastating to a queer person. Cantwell handles it all with a steady hand and grace, allowing the story to breathe a bit before we delve into the next complexity.
Daniel Bayliss’ linework displays a great amount of sensitivity in this issue. The character moments feel earned here and despite the stylized cartoony style, they ring true. The colors by Patricio Delpeche and María Agustina Vallejo bring a lot of the noir sensibilities from the previous issue to this one, establishing the vibe and mood. Becca Carey’s lettering keeps the proceedings easy to read, and occasionally playing to the script. Three issues in and this is the most fun an Angel book has been in a good long while, and I think that a lot of that is due to a much more contained story. While there are definitely callbacks to the previous iteration, this series manages to keep most of it tongue-in-cheek and without distracting from the main points.
Overall, almost to the halfway point, this issue gives the characters some breathing room without ever losing sight of the stakes.
Creative Team: Christopher Cantwell (writer), Daniel Bayliss (artist), Patricio Delpeche and María Agustina Vallejo (colorists), Becca Carey (letterer)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
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