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"Angel & Spike #14" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by BOOM! Studios

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Written by Zac Thompson
Illustrated by Hayden Sherman
Colored by Roman Titov
Lettered by Ed Dukeshire
2020, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on September 23rd, 2020

Review:

Angel's supernatural detective work ramps up considerably as he's pulled into a mysterious new case that could involve vampires. It makes sense to call in one bloodsucker to find another. The thing is, there's way too much blood for this to be a vampire. Signs are pointing to another creature of the night.

It's not much of a spoiler when publisher BOOM! Studios has already revealed that this issue sports the first appearance of the fan favorite werewolf Oz. This takes the wind out of the great cliffhanger ending. Although we know where it's ultimately going, the journey is pretty great.

Writer Zac Thompson leans into the noir aspect of Angel. He's a detective here and it shows. This couples very well with the brooding nature of the vampire with a soul. This guy carries the weight of the world on his shoulders on top of the guilt of all the horrible things he did as Angelus and anything else he can feel bad about. It's a wonder he can stand up straight. Despite all this, he soldiers on, determined to right as many wrongs as he possibly can during his long time on this planet.

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Artist Hayden Sherman is a perfect fit for this series. That noir aspect I mentioned before? Sherman has a quintessential shot with Angel looking out a window with the blinds casting horizontal shots across his face. It's awesome.

When the werewolf shows up, he looks absolutely massive. You'd think he's 12 feet tall from the looks of him. Sherman went with a more traditional look, appearing more wolf-like with only hints of the human within. Letterer Ed Dukeshire stretches the werewolf's howl across the page. You can imagine it echoing in your bones.

Roman Titov's colors capture the tone of this book very well, not just with that noir element, but with the city itself. We're dealing with Los Angeles here. It's hot, even in the evening when the vampires come out. The light casts strange shadows, creating an interesting mix of pinks, yellows, and blues.

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Angel's story is only half of the equation. The other part comes with Fred, now merged with the demon Baphomet and put at the head of Wolfram & Hart. Thompson shows an unsettling look at modern day events in politics and social media through the guise of pure evil pulling the strings. The real scary part with all this is that you can totally see this as a possibility and that it's almost preferable to reality.

This is a bold step for this series and I am excited to see where it goes next. Angel & Spike has been able to take what made the TV show so great and modernize it without losing any of the core essence. It's moody and eerie with a pinch of humor. In short, it's fun and well worth checking out.

Grades:

Story: fourandahalfstars Cover
Buy from Amazon US
Cover
Buy from Amazon UK
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Art: fourstars
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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