flake_sake (flake_sake) wrote,

Angel 28 - The crown prince syndrome

Finally got my hands on the new Angel issue and now I'm wondering what to think about it.

Can't say that it blew me away exactly but it wasn't horrible either.

I'll start of with the artwork. It was pretty solid in my opinion, with some truly good facial expression, for example when Connor sits in the cab and says he's coming from a convention. The only thing that was a bit weird was Connor's sudden bodybuilder look. I'd vastly preferred the shirtless scenes if they had come with a more realistic body type. But this being my only point of criticism, the are is dynamic, detailed and expressive, so I'm quite happy with it and on a sidenote I think the cover is gorgeous.

Now to the story: Connor is fighting some demons from Quortoth, that are not supposed to be in L.A. and gets rescued by a bunch of armored women, who claim to be his followers.

He then returns home to the gang. They have meanwhile been musing where Angel might be, who is absent for several days now. They presume he's following some girl around telling her, they can't be together, and Connor decides to take the lead and keeping the business going. 

We find out that Angel is actually captured in some corporate building, where they are using him as a vamp blood supply.

Then in the side story we see a demon named Eddie Hope kill a man, who had behaved less then good when L.A. went to hell.

I do like that this story has Connor at the center of it and gives him a story, that will have him deal with his past in Quortoth, presumably and with becoming some player of his own in the greater good vs. evil fight.  Then I found it works that Angel is drained. The solicitations said, he had been captured by people to sire rich celebrities. It figures that they don't ask him to do it but simply steal his blood, it's by far the way with the lowest risk.
The Eddie Hope pages were quite ok, they work better than I thought they would, kind of representing the trauma the city went through, giving L.A. itself a character and accentuating the moral greyness of the Angelverse, where humans can be truly bad too. It's early to say much about the story, but it looks like now that it is set up it could become interesting.

Now comes the bumpy part, I'm afraid, the characterization: Connor works out fairly decently for me, though his initial musings about his real and fake memories interweaving, reminded me strongly of his segment in "First night", where the same thing was done more artfully. With Willingham there were some lines every few pages that threw me off. Like Connor saying that his name, Connor, is one of the few constant, real things in his life. Ok, Connor is his real name, but Holtz named him Steven all those years and that doesn't even come to his mind? Then he sits in the taxi and tells the driver he kills demons and the driver doesn't seem to believe him, well maybe he's from out of town.

Connor wanting to take over the family business as he puts it makes sense.

But the other characters really don't. They just don't resemble themselves much. Ok, Spike does the obnoxious part, but I'd rather see a different one of his many, many sides now for a change. The others are pretty much cardboard cutouts. Kate used to have vast issues with Angel, Gunn should have issues with what happened in Hell A. Illyria saying anything like: "I stand corrected"? Just no.

Also the presumption that Angel has run after a girl to tell her their love is doomed and can never be is certainly funny, but not really in character. Kate barely knows Angel that well to presume that and it really doesn't make too much sense.

Also the Aftermath characters are only annoying and need to be gone.

So my verdict is, it's ok, with the potential to become really good if the plot works out (which I think is a save bet) and if the characters , especially the non-Connor ones start to sound like themselves (which I hope they will, but am not too optimistic). Willingham seems to have a clear and interesting vision for the plot, but character voicevise, Lynch did a much better job imho. But then this might get better over the course of the run.   
Tags: angel, comics

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