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Gunning Solo

May 14, 2010

     It’s the end of Bill Willingham’s first arc on Angel, and Angel’s ready to wreck some stuff.  Angel #32 starts with Connor interrogating Felicia Valentine.  However, everything she says is a lie, so they assume that she’s the one lying.  Gunn and Spike tell Connor to give it up, but when Felicia says something about turning into a bat or mist, they realize she’s been misled, and Connor asks her to tell him more so they can get revenge for her.  Angel wrecks the building of the company that kidnapped him, and he and Illyria scare the company executive into talking.  When Felicia spills her guts about the company, Connor has Spike stake her.  Then Connor talks to Gunn and tells him that he’s done with Angel Investigations.  Not only did he interrupt Connor during an interrogation (Spike did too, but he’s a contrarian), but there’s all the stuff he did during the Fall, and Connor considers him to be a weak link in the group and isn’t interested in that whole comradery thing.  Gunn gets pissed and points out that because the Fall never happened, he never became a vampire, and vampires have no souls, so it wasn’t really him.  He also points out that Connor betrayed Angel many times, then leaves to go make his own gruop.  Laura Kay Weathermill takes out all the gypsies and witches working for the company that helped with the vampire thing, and Angel, Illyria, and the company executive go into the vampire vault to find them all staked.  When Laura meets up with them, the CEO goes ballistic, so Illyria just kills him.  Laura asks to join Angel Investigations, and they leave the burning building.  As the rest of the team arrives, Angel introduces them to their new buddy, Laura, and Illyria informs Connor that she will be seducing him.  Then in the Eddie Hope backup, Eddie bumps into Gwen, who tricks him into thinking that these guys chasing after her have experimented on her.  She lets him handle them, then runs away.

     Well, that was a rather interesting ending.  I liked the fight between Connor and Gunn, even if that does now leave Angel Investigations with none of its classic members.  It wasn’t exactly the action-packed ending that I expected, but it was really fun.  I liked how they tricked Felicia Valentine, and Laura will be an interesting addition to the team.  I am confused as to why Angel wasn’t upset about Illyria killing the CEO.  I know that guy was an ass, but last I checked, Angel wasn’t big on the killing thing.  That kind of bothered me.  Willingham also still doesn’t quite have Spike’s voice down.  That line about “bloody colonials” was really odd, since it was kind of Spike, yet not.  Poor word choice, I think.  Brian Denham’s art was rather nice, though Felicia’s mouth got a tad too big on the first page, and his vampires didn’t quite look as scary.  The slight color change in her face and all the wrinkles made her look very… different.  Part of her face even looked like someone stepped on it in one panel.  And the Eddie Hope backup has unfortunately reached that point where Willingham and Bill Williams have waited too long to tell us about Eddie.  Now, I’m not even sure why I should care about him since the newness of his character has worn off, and we still don’t know his motivations.  Plus, the whole meeting Gwen thing seemed kind of forced.  At least David Messina’s art was still good.  At any rate, despite a few problems, Willingham has still brought this series up to a level of quality that it’s lacked almost its entire existance.  Let’s just hope he can keep it up.

Plot: 8.6      Art: 8.7      Dialogue: 8.6      Overall: 8.6

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