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"Angel & Spike #12" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by BOOM! Studios

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Written by Bryan Edward Hill
Illustrated by Gleb Melnikov
Colored by Roman Titov
Lettered by Ed Dukeshire
2020, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on July 22nd, 2020

Review:

After you survive a trip through the Hellmouth, you'd think you'd earn a vacation or something. Angel isn't so lucky, as Wolfram & Hart has made its move. This shouldn't be too bad because now Angel has a new ally in his corner: Spike!

The interactions between Angel & Spike are definitely worth the cost of entry. Writer Bryan Edward Hill bounces these two off each other in fun ways, contrasting the brooding personality of Angel with the mischievous bad boy qualities of Spike. I love how letterer Ed Dukeshire drops some small pieces of dialogue, packing just the right punch for humor and horror.

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Where Angel & Spike #12 excels is with the dark and personal ramifications of the Wolfram & Hart's actions. These attacks hit close to home, targeting Fred and Gunn. While the former has some crazy possibilities in the long term, the latter has some more immediate frights. Gunn has been possessed, transforming his body into a sickly being. His limbs are too long, which is creepy enough, but add all the pointy parts and you've got something especially unsettling.

This is where artist Gleb Melnikov really shines. There's something so disturbing about arms that are just a bit too long. My favorite part is Gunn's jaw, which hangs low, like it's been unhinged, making him capable of swallowing a human head whole. (Note: He doesn't actually do that, but it definitely looks like he could and would if given the opportunity.)

There's a bit of a fantasy element as we see the fight for Fred's heart and soul unfold. This part lost me, as it seems a little out of place when compared to the rest of the darker elements of the comic. In hindsight, it's like the bright and positive qualities of Fred are fighting it out with the shadows ready to consume her. The end result is full of potential and I can't wait to see how this unfolds.

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Roman Titov's colors set the tone of Angel & Spike #12, fitting for the seedy underbelly of the city and all the monsters hiding within. This is another reason why Fred's battle stands out, as it's full of life and vibrant shades, contrasting with the grit and darkness that seems to cover everything else in this book.

While the Hellmouth crossover event is every bit as epic as it set out to be, Angel & Spike really shines in these closer, personal stories. We get to the heart of these characters and what connects them. As dysfunctional as this group can be, they're still going to stick together and fight for one another, even if what binds them together is still fresh. This has set out on its own path separate from the TV show it's based on and it is better for it. These is a unique story full of possibilities.

Grades:

Story: fourandahalfstars Cover
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Buy from Amazon UK
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Art: fourandahalfstars
Overall: 4.5 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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