This was a free loaner from Netgalley – thanks to them. It’s an eBook of an omnibus of the Angel comic book which debuted in 2001 (September 12, I think they said).
Unfortunately, I was pretty disappointed in this. My understanding was that Joss Whedon was involved, and my expectation was that there would be some of the humor and intelligence the tv series showed. For the most part, that isn’t the case. Most of this omnibus is painfully unfunny. There was a story arc for the first several issues in the collection, which does not excuse the silly repetitiveness.
The introduction talks about the problems with continuity – the comic featured Doyle, and by the time the second issue hit the stands they’d killed Doyle off. After a while the comic caught up and illustrated a grieving Angel and Cordy – but then a few pages later the omnibus jumps back in time and brings him back. That was not fun. The struggle to try to keep up with the developments on the show kept the comic from developing its own continuity – this volume contains a randomized series of leftovers and crumbs. Scraps.
And, also unfortunately, most of the artwork was dreadful. I used to love comics – I got a box from Westfield Comics once a month. I can be very forgiving of an occasional awkwardness, or ugly hands (hands are hard), or of course exaggerated superhero physiques. I don’t expect every frame of a comic to be frameable. I do, however, expect the majority of what I’m looking at not to hurt my eyes. Most of the issues were purely ugly. Some responsibility for that belongs to the need to at least attempt to make the characters recognizable, which was only intermittently successful. If it had been even a little better … But it wasn’t.
The only exception, in terms of humor and writing and artwork, was the arc of “Long Night’s Journey”. That wasn’t bad, not bad at all – it looked miles better. But – and this is a spoiler, sorry – there was one massive flaw: the idea that the gypsies had some other motive than what was given in Buffy. I can’t imagine why they would do this; it’s not a minor part of the canon. It was a shame – the artwork was so much better quality, the writing actually got a chuckle or two out of me … and then there was that. Pity.
(From Shakespeare to comics – sorry ’bout that!)