Angel #42 Review: IDW Runs Down The Clock…
Here’s a quick summary of issue #42:
In the future, "Angel" has come face to face with a more serene, time traveling "Illyria" who becomes his ally in the battle against "James."
Meanwhile, back in present day Los Angeles, "Connor" and the gang get ready to take the offensive on "James" while "Gunn" secretly debates whether to take out "Connor" before he also becomes a god-like threat. It’s also revealed that "Anne" has a lethal demon spawn gestating inside her, courtesy of "James." With the help of some demon blaster rifles on loan from Wolfram & Hart, the gang takes out a number of the demons employed by "James," but soon find themselves outnumbered.
Still in the future, "Angel" and "Illyria" hunt down "James," breaking into his head office. To their surprise, they discover that "James" has been decapitated and in his place stands his sister "Rowant" ready to play.
-"Illyria" Version 2.0! It seems that IDW is determined to bring "Illyria" some major revelations before they’re done with her, in both their Angel and Illyria: Haunted series. While the “Illyria” in Illyria: Haunted searches for a greater purpose in the deeper well, the “Illyria” who has joined “Angel” in the future is a being of patience and understanding far out of the grasp of the demon goddess we know and love. This future version of “Illyria” warns “Angel” of the perils of teaming with Wolfram & Hart and admits to actually caring for the vampire! She also carries an ominous presence, cryptically hinting that she may be aware of tragedy waiting for the hero further down the timeline. Since she does have her time-altering powers back to some extent, it’s not unlikely that she’s aware of future events, and her demeanor and change in character point to major turning points in her past. While some may be caught off guard by the abrupt advancement in her character, I think “Illyria” has needed something like this for a while! I’m going to give IDW the benefit of the doubt and hope that there’s a payoff for this choice by the writers.
– A Nod From The Angel Season 2 Episode, “Dear Boy”! While it’s not a huge moment in the comic, I do appreciate when the writers tie in locations we’ve seen on the show. It was a treat to have “Illyria” return to The Deeper Well in Illyria: Haunted, and now “James” goes and sets up his demon harvesting headquarters in the Thrall Demon’s old pad! Makes me want to pull out the DVDs…
-“Mr Polyphemus” has a new look… NOT! Remember that whole pointless bit last issue where “Mr. P” got an upgrade that included a sparkly new look? Well, it was just as pointless as I thought, because it’s not even present in this issue. I’m not sure if I completely missed something or if the artist just forgot and drew “Mr. P” with his old look, but either way, it’s bad.
– “Gunn” seems a bit off. While “Gunn’s” possible assassination of “Connor” is one of the more exciting elements in the comic right now, it also feels a little lame. With all that “Gunn” has been through with this group of people, would he really be prepared to kill “Connor” without discussing it with someone besides the floating ball? I know that it seems (in the below panel) that “Anne” also knows of “Gunn’s” plan, but I think that the line is supposed to belong to “Mr. P” and it is a lettering error. Either that or the writer didn’t care to include us in on the fact that “Gunn” was sharing his vendetta and that “Anne” really didn’t have any reservations about killing “Connor.” Either way, it seems like weak writing and makes the characters’ actions feel forced and cheap. Much like the panel where “Gunn” says that shooting down demon henchman is “like the coolest video game ever.” Ugg.
– Um… not much happens. While the death of “James” is a big event, it happens on the last page. Let’s just hope that this is the calm before the storm.
The Ugly: div>
Despite my personal misgivings about this issue, it received a mostly positive response from the online fan base. Most readers were happy with the “Rowant” twist and the new version of “Illyria.” Here are a few other topics brought up on the net:
-We know whose headless body was on the cover of Angel #41! Alas, it was not “Connor,” but “James.” Tricky, tricky writers!
-Who is going to bite it before the finale? Readers seemed to single out “Anne” and “Illyria” as possible casualties in the coming battle. Many think that “James” was being truthful about “Anne’s” condition being irreversible and are betting that she won’t make it. As for “Illyria,” some felt that her cryptic comments and new found peacefulness will lead her to make a possible sacrifice for the greater good. My personal bet has been on “Connor,” since I feel that the loss of his son is necessary for “Angel” to make the decision to become “Twilight.” Some readers posted online that Scott Allie has made mention of “Connor” and “Buffy” finally meeting in Buffy Season Nine.
Angel will be back in a month, but, in the meantime, we can look forward to Brian Lynch’s Spike #5, which features an appearance by a certain red-headed witch! Sweet Odin!
’Till the end of the world,
-Bryant the Comic Book Slayer