What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about Angel & Spike! Still I find it bold yet comforting that they have decided that the Angel series would evolve into Angel & Spike. As I’ve said before, Angel is only as good as the characters he surround himself with. There was no better way to shake things up than to team him up with the one vampire who knows how to lighten things up when the two share a room.
While Angel & Spike #9 was the first issue for this new titling, it is Angel & Spike #10 where the story properly kicks off with the argument you know had to happen for Spike’s help to actually be accepted. Particularly considering the new danger which has presented itself in Los Angeles. Still I admire the fact that they have stuck with this importance given to the role everyone plays. It changes things when these characters are being set on the path to who they will become in the future as to simply going down that path naturally. That said, this issue picks up right where the last one left off. That action scene came and went, but it was thrilling for what could have gone a lot of ways because this new demon is unlike anything they have taken on yet.
Now with this being the second issue, thee was also no better time than now to address the elephant in the room. That being the state of mind Angel is in after the events of Hellmouth. You don’t go through what he did without feeling a bit worse than he usually already feels. How they addressed this was very engaging. Especially for who stepped up to give Angel the talk he sometimes needs to get out of his own head.
So far I would say that Lorne’s introduction into the story has been welcomed for the way that she has been given her role to play too. Some might say that her role on the surface is nothing new since Angel is always playing around with some cop who needs to be eased into the world of the supernatural. However, they do shake things up for the fact that Lorne is facing her own challenges. The main one currently being the fight to save this one kid who she felt responsible for. It’s the kind of genuine motivation that is to be appreciated in a book like this.
The note this issue ended on? Chilling. This new demon knows how to keep everyone on their toes, and did so with two surprise twists that you couldn’t have seen coming till they hit. Honestly, this is why I’m always happy when these books choose more demonic enemies than just vampires. You know there’s more to them than a thirst for blood.
Things didn’t get as crazy as the issue before, but still this art team found ways to catch our eyes. Through a stronger focus on characters moments for Angel and Lorne, we got much more of the personal touch that the illustrator was able to bring to this story. Engagement doesn’t just end with the words, it matters that you get this from the way the characters interact with one another. A look says a lot, a gesture, body language in general. Things like that stood out in this issue. After that, it was of course the supernatural elements. It made a difference seeing how strong this demon was. Moved with swiftness, hit with intensity, and as usual carried this ominous air about him with the green smoke which engulfed both it and others.
If there was any reservations towards the changes in direction to this book, I would say that by the end of Angel & Spike #10 you can feel more confident in seeing that nothing major has changed. This is still a personable story, still action-packed, and just as mysterious for all the things which can hit out of nowhere.