What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about Angel & Spike #11! It’s funny that a couple weeks ago, I found myself binging the Angel series again from start to finish. It hit just as hard as it did back then. A bit more now when understanding the choices they made for the series in the past, compared to what they did through the comics. It actually made me appreciate books like this a bit more. The story may not run the same as the show did, but they dive straight into everything that you would love about the series from a modern point of view.
For example, the way they introduced Kate into the story. I’ll admit that it took till re-watching the show for me to remember who she was, and why it was so huge the way they brought her into the book in contrast. This wasn’t the same character who once took multiple cases to understand that there were things out there beyond her comprehension. Or the same one who had her first true encounter with a vampire. They threw her straight into the fire with the promise that she would walk out on the other side with a greater purpose than what she had before. For better or for worse, she was a much different character after what was revealed through the events of this issue. Some might argue that the change is unnecessary, but if you ask me? The character is much better off for that. Even if we knew how this current situation with her was going to end. This did not change the fact that something interesting had to happen in order to get herself, Gunn, and Fred out of that mess.
Something different which I have come to enjoy as well is the role which The Queen of Demons plays in this. As I said before, Lilith cuts through a lot of the guess work in this series. She also cuts through the middleman too. What always used to bother me before was how much they always talked about greater powers pulling the strings, but not many of them actually made themselves known to us or the champions. With that said, you could argue that she is playing it all too closely. There’s nothing wrong with feeling that way. Though you should also want to keep an open mind towards how stale it does become when the main character is spending too much time playing catch-up.
Another great development has been the way Wolfram & Hart operates in the book. What we used to be accustomed to from them was working within the confines of the law to flex their power. This time around you see them more bold in their practices with the supernatural. Not to mention working this closely with a demonic entity like Baphomet? That is some serious power that they are working with. Even the use of Lilah has been interesting since their introduction. She was never at the top this early in the story, but it was nostalgic to see her in that position and playing to her strengths. That being her gift of words. This situation right here was no different from any that she has ever gotten into before. She knew all the right things to say, and all the right buttons to push. That is a terrifying power to have over others.
There was nothing too standout about the interior work for this issue, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t good either. It was solid work for what was unfolding within these pages. This issue is what you would say leaned more towards story and plot progression, which meant that the focus visually was placed more so upon the characters themselves. That didn’t disappoint since the main goal was to create engagement between the characters and the story. They nailed that in my opinion. I do feel as though down the road a bit more detail can go into some of the characters to further distinguish them from one another, but right now that is not really a problem which takes your attention. Aside from that, the colors are working for some of the supernatural vibes they give off. Particularly the shade of green used to capture the toxicity of that demon’s gas.
The events of Angel & Spike #11 puts a lot into perspective in terms of the direction this plot is taking. The threats are becoming more clear, the players involved in this current battle, even the things these character will have to do to stand against them.