Angel’s swashbuckling second arc continues in pretty grand fashion, by adding bugs that turn people into drone zombies into the mix. Most of the action is confined to the ship again, but I have a feeling that will change in the next issue. Regardless, the time displacement and high-adventure aspects mean that Angel still isn’t afraid to take risks and completely redefine itself as a series. Since returning to comics, the series has taken even more drastically different directions than Buffy.
It’s been post-apocalyptic, it’s been a moody London detective story, and since this new series began it’s been not entirely dissimilar to Doctor Who. But this arc is taking a quirky, funny, adventure movie path that reminds me a bit of Stephen Sommers’ The Mummy.
It works. This isn’t what I initially expected to be. Angel was a series filled with flashbacks—and justly so, as he’s lived a very long life—and I sort of had it in my mind that this would just feel like Angel inserted into his own glimpses into the past, sort of a meta approach to the storytelling style of the show.
Right now, that seems to be all that’s happening, but to stay on that path would be really lazy. Angelus is smart and cunning, that’s why he’s so scary. He wouldn’t get into a fight with a version of himself and not think something was up.
I’ll also admit that I kind of wish Fred had a little bit more to do, especially as there are only two leads in the series now. Of course I understand that she’s a bit out of her element at the moment, being stuck in the past and kind of just going along for the ride. Still, I think this allows a perfect opportunity to see her survival skills stemming from spending years as a slave in a demon dimension. She’s a survivor with serious MacGyver talents that the current direction of the comic allows ample space to demonstrate.
While I like the cliffhanger ending of the issue, it’s also a little abrupt. But that stems from the nature of both Season 11 titles, which are each telling a singular ongoing story. These issues aren’t meant to be standalone. They’re chapters in a book. I’m very interested to not only see how it unfolds, but to see how it’s going to change things for the characters in the present.
WICKED RATING: 6/10