Review: Angel #8
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Creator: Joss Whedon
Writer: Bryan Edward Hill
Artist: Gleb Melnikov
Colorist: Roman Titov
Letterer: Ed Dukeshire
Reviewer: Tony Farina
Angel #8 beings with the titular hero still in the Hellmouth so, that leaves Gunn and Spike alone to figure out how to free Fred from the clutches of something so evil, it is hard to write here…a law firm (and a demon). Spike tells Gunn a bit about himself, more about Angel and what it is like to kill someone. It is as close to bonding as the two of them are likely to get. They are attacked by said law firm and Spike vamps out and does some killing because, well, they shot first.
The newly formed odd couple go to find Fred in a stolen car only to find that Fred, well…Let’s just leave that for you to find out.
Throughout the first half of this issue of Angel #8, Spike (before it is riddled with bullets) is wearing a shirt that reads, “Taking back Sunnydale.” Can I get one of those please? That is pretty funny. I am not sure if that was the brilliant Hill wrote that in or if amazingly talented Melkinov decided to add it to the art for fun, but either way, it is on brand for the Whedonverse. Jokes matter in the face of demons. The reason that this creative team is a perfect fit for the Angel series is that these characters are less loved than the Buffy characters and they need to get some love. Angel was always the darker of the two series and so some lightening up is important. Gunn and Spike really show us so much in this issue. We learn to like them or fear them or both. Hill is on the top of his game when it comes to character work. In every book he writes, the characters linger with you long after you are done reading. That is the sign of great writing.
Below you will see a panel of faces that represent the life of Fred. If you don’t look this over and end up feeling compassion for Fred, I think that this book is simply not for you.
Not having Buffy in the Buffy book is problematic. Not having Angel in the Angel book is less problematic. I think that Angel’s supporting cast are just on more equal footing than Buffy’s are. They both need the team, but Angel’s team have been doing things on their own long before he came to town. Having Fred, Gunn and Spike do some adventuring is great and so I don’t see there really being a weakness with this issue. It does pretty much everything right.
I am really digging this series. Of course, I like everything Bryan Edward Hill does, so I am totally biased. Still, this book is worth reading. Even without the Hellmouth stuff, this series stands alone and I see great things for the future.