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Angel & Spike #9 Review

Angel fans should be excited for this new story arc and the new direction for this already superb title.

With the Hellmouth crossover event completed, Angel is back to his own solo series. Now, however, he’ll be sharing the title with his old frenemy, Spike.

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Snappy, Spoiler-Lite Recap

  • Gotta love seeing Kate Lockley getting involved in the series — I still never got her her departure after Season 2.
  • If there’s ever an appropriate facial expression for seeing a corpse with no eyes smile at you, it’s that one.
  • Mentoring a wayward homeless child is challenging enough without him getting chomped on by a demonic entity.
  • We all knew Fred and Angel would convince Angel to be cool with Spike hanging out with them, but no way Angel should be so cool about this so quickly.
  • Heh…now Lilith’s handing out business cards to go along with her exposition.
  • Few things are more unsettling than two vampires sharing their suicide-by-sun fantasies.
  • Lilith is also giving out phone plans, apparently.
  • “Just a jacket.”
  • Not sure anyone expected this meeting to start off with a dance.

The Verdict

Like I said before, I’ve really missed Kate Lockley. I don’t begrudge Elisabeth Röhm leaving for a gig on Law & Order, but I feel like there was a lot more territory to explore with her character, both as a detective coming to terms with the supernatural and her friendship (maybe more) with Angel.

In this instance, writer Bryan Hill writes her with pretty much the same voice that I remember, so obviously no complaints there. I also like the threat she ends up facing and how it comes about. Instead of a murder investigation, she’s trying to help a child, making her immediately more heroic/sympathetic to folks who are unfamiliar with Detective Lockley’s television counter part.

As far as the threat she comes in contact with, artist Gleb Melkinov shows why he’s such a great horror comic artist. The entity is terrifying without ever crossing over into ridiculous territory. It’s not easy to make a walking corpse with stitches where its eyes should be appear subtle, but Melkinov somehow pulls it off.

The only part of this issue I didn’t like was how easily Angel gives up on letting Spike hang around. I get that it had to happen for the story to move forward, but it would have felt a lot more believable if he’d refused to back down for a while. These two have centuries worth of acrimonious history. Calling a truce after two pages — even when it’s endorsed for good reasons by Fred and Gun — feels a bit too compressed.

That being said, having Spike and Angel in the same room does make for some great dialogue — one of the many reasons Angel fans should be excited for this new story arc and the new direction for this already superb title.

Is it good?
Having Spike and Angel in the same room does make for some great dialogue -- one of the many reasons Angel fans should be excited for this new story arc and the new direction for this already superb title.
Kate Lockley makes a welcome return and feels like the character we've been missing since Season 2.
Gleb Melkinov can somehow make a walking corpse with stitches where its eyes should be appear subtle.
The dialogue involving Spike and Angel is great...
...unfortunately, their truce feels like it happens far too easily.
8.5
Great
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