Sunday, March 15, 2009

Angel: Blood & Trenches #1

John Byrne
John Byrne tackles Joss Whedon's creation Angel in the new series from IDW Publishing, Angel: Blood & Trenches, in which we get a glimpse into the vampire-with-a-soul's past. I hadn't really heard too much about this book before its release, but it was a really well-done issue. A great, solid story depicts Angel during World War II, where vampires are secretly used by Germany, and Angel is suspected of infiltrating a French camp by none other than a descendant of Wesley's, Colonel Geoffrey Wyndam-Price (a really neat idea). I was a little surprised upon opening the comic that it was an uninked, uncolored book (for the most part, although there are splashes of color here and there - usually blood), but I didn't really mind it once I started reading the story. John Byrne's art is really quite beautiful here and he makes smart choices in terms of telling this story. I would say that the story is a little more immediately appealing than the recent Angel: After the Fall (although I feel that that mini-series sort of redeemed itself later on), and the art is certainly leaps and bounds better. This is turning out to be a striking story in the history of Angel from a legendary artist who has proved time and time again through consistenly compelling stories (and well into his career) that he's still got it.

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