REVIEW: Angel: The Wolf, the Ram, and the Heart(2011)
Angel: The Wolf, the Ram, and the Heart, is a six issue arc directly following The Crown Prince Syndrome. The book is a good end for the arc, but as the end of an era of Angel it doesn’t hold up.
Angel: The Wolf, the Ram, and the Heart
Writer: David Tischman, and Mariah Huenher
Art: Elena Casagrande, Jason Armstrong, Stephen Thompson
Colorist: Ilaria Traversir,Brian Miller, Lisa Jackson
Editor: Maria Huehner
Cover Price: $24.99
Previously on Angel: James, one of Angels new buddies revealed that he is not so nice, and that he is actually some demon-god thing that wants earth for his new demon farm(check out the petting zoo, its awesome!).Meanwhile Connor was caught up being worshiped by a bunch of demon ladies that he ended up killing last volume. At the end of the issue Angel left Angel Investigations to Connor to go driving?…I don’t know just go with it.
What is Up: You’ll notice that Bill Willingham is not the writer for this volume although I have to imagine that his overall story arc was the basis for this volume. I don’t know for sure though. The writing while good is not as great as previous volumes, it just lacks some of that classic Angel feel for me.
There are a few big problems I have with this volume. One is that there is way too much Connor for my tastes. He’s the leader of Angel Investigations or whats left of it, and I say that because I have no idea where Lorne, Spike, or Kate is at this point .He is practically the main character of the piece, so if this was the 70′s they would have named the book The Adventures of Angel and Connor, oh wait that’s right Angel & Faith is coming out soon…So scratch that they should have called it Angel & Connor.
So, now Connor starts manifesting god powers, literally, but he can’t control them. Here’s the thing, we don’t need more uber-powerful people in the Buffy verse ok! Having a few is fine because it keeps things interesting but we don’t need another one, let alone Connor being one of them. Every time he gets in a hissy fit, it will literally be the end of the world. Which would be kind of funny now that I think about it…but I digress, Angel was never about people having(read in comic book guy voice) sthuper, amathing, awethome, duper powerz. It’s always been about the characters and there relationships, and their personal conflicts to me. And to me this does not make Connor a more interesting character. The writers should have taken the time to do a little character work with Connor instead of taking pages devoted to explaining his awethom powerz.
Ok, rant complete. My second gripe with this volume is more minor but it still bugs me. It’s that Angel is sent to the future by Wolfram and Hart to try and stop James from plowing his demons(wow that came out weird). So my problem is not that Angel went to the future although it does bug me a bit sense he just goes back anyway with the mcgufin in hand. No, my problem is that if you’ll remember back to the far away time of 2003 a little book called Fray came out. Then in Buffy season 8 Buffy went to the future and met up with Fray. Now Angel goes to the future…it just seems like the authors were playing catch up when they should have been trying to do their own thing.
What’s Good: The art is pretty good throughout, and the likenesses were close enough(except issue 2, more on that later) that it didn’t bug me. The core plot and concept are all cool, and its got a nice wrap up at the end.
What’s Bad: The art in the previously mentioned second issue is pretty hard to read especially after reading issue one’s nice pencils by Elena Casagrande(awesome name btw), and it almost made me put the book down. I think I would have liked to see more of Angel in the future and I would have liked to have James be a villain just a while longer, but I understand that IDW was losing the Angel licence so I can’t blame them for wrapping the story up quick. Still it would have been nice.
Bottom Line: 24.99 is pretty steep, although this book will look nice with your other harback volumes if you have them. I’f your a big fan of Angel, and have read the other two volumes then I would say pick it up. Others might want to read the two volumes previous to see if there into it.