Angel & Spike #13 Review

by Nick Devonald on August 25, 2020

Writer: Adam Smith
Artist: Piotr Kowalski
Colours: Mattia Iacono
Letters: Ed Dukeshire

The last issue of Angel & Spike marked the departure of series regulars Bryan Edward Hill & Gleb Melnikov, who are passing on writing and art duties to Zac Thompson & Hayden Sherman. Angel & Spike #13 is a one-shot to fill the void in between the different creative teams, written by Adam Smith with art from Piotr Kowalski. We jump back to Hollywood in 1962 and follow Angel in an issue that feels very Detective Noir. It’s an effective break from the main narrative and makes for an entertaining issue. It’s a reminder there are literally years where we don’t know what Angel was up to, and just like in the TV series it’ll be nice to get the opportunity to visit them over the course of the series. It’s also one of our best looks into Angels head since the series began, and while events here happened over fifty years ago it’s a good bet that not too much has changed.

The story being told here feels like a natural fit for a monster of the week story in the first couple of seasons of Angel. We have souls being sold, demons making deals, new drugs with mystical elements, everything fans will lap up. A neat little detail which fans are sure to love is a little reference to the Hyperion. Whether events played out there the same way they did in the TV series is open to interpretation, but it’s clear something bad happened there and it haunts Angel still. While the story being told may not be the most original it’s not setting out to tell a unique story. Rather it’s all about the style and having a good time, and Smith gives us both in spades.

Piotr Kowalski does a great job with the art. He brings 60’s Hollywood to life vividly, and his Angel is all brooding and dark trench coat. It’s also an opportunity to explore a different time period, see some new demons and characters, and expand on the Angel mythos a little. Mattia Iacono does a great job with the colours as well, as equally important in setting the tone and giving off that Noir vibe.

As a break between one creative team leaving and another arriving this is the perfect opportunity to dive deeper into Angels past. As a one-shot it also serves as an opportunity for fans who’ve so far missed out on the comic to pick up an issue and see if it’s for them. It’s a good fun story, filled with Noir vibes, and hints at events in Angels past. Not essential reading for the larger narrative but a good read nonetheless, fans won’t want to miss out.

Our Score:


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