Overview

Fallen Angel Vol. 2 #1

Review

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Fallen Angel Vol. 2 #1

Credits

  • Words: Peter David
  • Art: J.K. Woodward
  • Inks: J.K. Woodward
  • Colors: J.K. Woodward
  • Story Title: N/A
  • Publisher: IDW Publishing
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Dec 29, 2005

Peter David’s moody series gets a second chance at life and his mysterious anti-heroine returns with new revelations.

Many years have passed since we last saw Lee, the Fallen Angel. She still haunts the darkened streets of Bete Noire, helping its victims—when the mood strikes her. But Malachi, a face from her past, has decidedly altered that mood. He has also provided us with both answers and new questions about Lee’s enigmatic origin. Meanwhile, the city’s magistrate, Dr. Juris, prepares to pass the guardianship (and curse) of Bete Noire to his firstborn son, Jubal. But there’s something Lee never told her former lover that could put a hitch in that particular plan…

It’s an unfortunate truth of commercial entertainment that quality doesn’t always guarantee success. I was among those who thought DC’s Fallen Angel was some of Peter David’s best work and a continually fascinating read. Sadly, sales of the book didn’t agree with that opinion. However, thanks to IDW, Fallen Angel has gotten a second chance. The result is an issue that provides a good jumping on point for new readers and addresses many of the lingering questions of longtime fans.

In many ways, David seems not to have missed a beat. The eeriness, Biblical allusions, and complex morality of the original series are all here. The script once again captures the balance of cynicism and supernatural grandeur that made the book so compelling. Light begins to be shed on why Lee does what she does, though the whole truth is still unfolding at a gradual pace. David provides just enough information to pique the curiosity of both new and returning readers. Some fans of the DC run may feel a slight disappointment that Lee is not actually a certain Girl of Steel in disguise (as was occasionally hinted at) but the truth about the Angel’s beginnings looks to be an intriguing tale.

The biggest difference in the IDW version is of course the art by J.K. Woodward. As much as I enjoyed the work of the Angel’s co-creator, David Lopez, Woodward’s uncanny imagery takes the story to an entirely different level. Mood was always a large part of Fallen Angel ’s appeal and Woodward’s style, somewhere between photo-realism and soft delicate watercolors, lends itself to the series well. The characters have a ghostly pallor and the use of shadows and lighting gives each scene a stark drama. The attempt at creating a powerful image with each panel does have its side effects however, as the characters occasionally come across a bit stiff and posed. Also, there was an instance where I was distracted by an all too obvious photo reference (is Lucy Liu visiting Bete Noire?).

On the whole though, I’m pleased that this unique series has not gone the way of many other high concept/low-selling comics. IDW has recognized the Fallen Angel’s potential and seems poised to help her reach it.

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