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And That’s What’s Going to Happen

August 10, 2010

Angel #35 continues the story of the soul eater, but we start out, instead, with something more lighthearted.  Spike has put out an open call for Hollywood writers who are out of work.  Why?  Because he’s discovered that there really are no requirements for who can write a prophecy.  And he’s going to have these writers write prophecies about him.  The soul eater and her thrall show up on Angel Investigations’ doorstep, insisting that they can only settle their bill with Angel and Spike directly.  Elsewhere, one of those woman warrior demons gets pulled over by cops.  She’s “patrolling her beat” for mystic/demonic threats, but the police can’t abide that.  She ends up freaking one of them out by talking about chopping off hands and his mistress, and she runs off to deal with some demon.  Spike explains to his soon-to-be employees that he wants Angel to be the bad guy in those prophecies and to give him a ridiculous name like “Dusk” or “Sunset” (AWESOME dig at Twilight!), and the warrior demon takes out the local demon while noting that it is dissolving, which it’s not supposed to do.  Angel and Laura Kay Weathermill come back after a night on the town, and Connor explains to them about the soul eater (he doesn’t know she’s a soul eater, but he knows she’s a demon).  Laura checks them out, then explains to Connor that these female warrior demons are the Sisterhood of Jaro Hull, formerly slaves and whores, now a martial society.  Spike returns home while talking to some mysterious collaborator, and the team suits up for potentially dealing with the soul eater.  Angel and Spike go in to make sure that she isn’t just a legitimate client, and she attacks immediately.  However, she quickly discovers, much to Spike’s dismay, that he doesn’t actually possess a soul.  Then, in the Eddie Hope backup, Eddie Hope gets a call from some mysterious person claiming to be the one who has led him along with his various targets.  Said person, a woman based on what Eddie says, even lists the targets.  All the while, Gunn manages to break free since the chair is only made of wood, and the person on the phone warns him about Gunn just in time for Gunn to smack Eddie in the head.

Well.  Spike doesn’t have a soul.  That’s a rather major revelation.  My best guess to explain that is that when he sacrificed himself at the end of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the TV show proper), he somehow lost his soul.  Yes, that wouldn’t necessarily explain why he isn’t acting more evil.  But Spike has always been a rather… self-interested person.  That only changed somewhat once he got his soul.  And he’s certainly never been a fan of Angel.  But that whole thing with the prophecies is absolutely hilarious.  And what a wonderful dig at Angel being Twilight in Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Eight.  Bill Willingham was rather mad that his work on this series was being clipped by the knowledge that Angel was going to be evil in the future, so this was his way of getting revenge.  The Jaro Hull are an interesting plot that’s going on long-term, and it really seems like Willingham is turning this into a true Angel season with all of the plots he’s weaving together.  I still think that Myresto Mor plus maybe his sister will turn out to be the big bad of the whole season, but the Jaro Hull may be linked to them.  It’s very good storytelling, which makes sense, considering that this is the guy behind Fables.  Elena Casagrande is a great replacement for Brian Denham, even though I still miss Denham.  She manages to replicate his style almost perfectly so that there wasn’t much of a jarring art transition.  She does the same kind of mimicry with David Messina’s art in the Eddie Hope backup.  Speaking of Eddie Hope, Bill Williams is finally getting us into some of the meat of that story.  Someone’s been leading him along.  A woman.  Could it be someone we know?  Laura?  One of the Jaro Hull?  Or some other, pre-established Buffyverse character?  I don’t know.  But this backup is finally done spinning its wheels, at least.  I haven’t enjoyed Angel this much… ever.  Really, it needed a writer like Willingham to fix it, and now that it’s fixed, it’s just a good series.  Too bad Angel Investigations seems to have such a bad turnover rate.

Plot: 8.8      Art: 8.6      Dialogue: 8.7      Overall: 8.7

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