Thursday, October 31, 2013
IDW's Angel Masks
You would think that the show about vampires and demons would have more Halloween episodes. It only had one in season 5 "Life of the Party." Although to be fair it had some creepy episodes not based on the holiday. But IDW decided to put out a Halloween issue...granted none of them really play into Halloween per se but it's still worth a look if you liked the show. And yes puppet Angel does show up.
Slight SPOILERS AHEAD (more to do with the show then the stories.)
The Angel puppet(s) became popular after the episode "Smile Time" and the idea was used a couple of times. Here and in the Spike mini series "Shadow Puppets." And actual puppets of Angel and Spike (that look nothing like the ones in the episode/comics) were made. I think that's it not including a drugged induced illusion Spike saw once. Anyway this story takes place in season 5 right after "Smile Time" while Angel's still a puppet and decided to take a shot at dating werewolf Nina. They go out on a date at a place that won't make a fuss about Angel's temporary felt look. It's just a fun read with them trying to accept the weirdness of their lives and dealing with a problem related to Angel's job. Lots of heart and laughs.
While I think Spike's a little off I mostly like this story. Nothing new is being done with the Wesley and Illyria tale but it's always interesting all the same. Spike and Angel think that Wesley can't accept that Fred's gone and seem to base his obsession on Illyria on the hope his girlfriend's still there. Angel thinks they should use Illyria to get things done with a problem of theirs. Wesley might not like that.
Cordelia was my favorite female character in any Whedon work--sadly she also got screwed over the most. IDW wanted to bring her back in Angel After the Fall but Whedon said no because it wasn't big enough. Still she showed up in a couple comics, usually in flashbacks or someone else using her face but at least once was the real her. Anyway this takes place back in season 1 when Cordy is still getting used to the visions she got from Doyle. As will be the case later on the Powers that Be that give the visions don't make things clear and that can have some seriously bad results. Can she figure out what to do, save the day and still look fabulous? Please, this is Cordy we're talking about. She's always fab.
"Pencils and Paperclips"
This last one's a little unusual as it focuses on Lindsey McDonald, a character who switches sides a few times on the show. Sometime before he decides to return to LA. he works at a boring job but keeps seeing demonic things. This tale also fills in the blanks a little on how he met Eve, the woman he'll end up falling in love with and working with to plan Angel's downfall. While it's certainly a entertaining look filled with some nice banter (like Lindsey reaction to Eve's flirty reason for not wanting to kill him) it doesn't fill in too many blanks. It doesn't explain what's happening to him throughout the story or how the two got together as a couple. The latter may be hinted at with Eve's interest but Lindsey doesn't seem too keen here. Unlike the others stories the art--while good--doesn't look like the actors.
Overall I really liked this book and loved how IDW would show different characters and usually had the right voices for them.