This is yet another week where I only picked up 4 comics. Not only that, but every comic is from a different company – that doesn’t happen very often for me. I can’t wait until next month when a whole bunch of new titles I’m looking forward to finally release. Then again it’s also Nanowrimo, so I’m not sure how many comics I’ll have the energy to review.
Before we get to Angela though, I’ll briefly talk about two comics that my local shop finally received after a box was lost 2 weeks ago. A-Force 5 is fun, with a whole bunch of superheroins fighting zombies … and a random Winter Soldier among them. Civil War 5 is good, but the solution almost feels too convenient for an all-out war and skrulls acting behind the scenes. Now, let’s talk about this week’s comics.
Angela Queen of Hel 1 continues sometime after Angela: Asgard’s Assassin ended. After learning that her friend, Sera, was trapped in Hel, Angela travelled there to rescue her. Things quickly grew more complicated than she first planned, hence the title. The comic opens with a spread of Angela on the throne, and the rest of the comic is a set of flashbacks showing us part of how Angela acquired such a title. Just like the previous series, there’s a great mix of storytelling and mythical backstory. The writing is thick enough that this comic needs two readings to fully comprehend, and that’s part of what makes it work so well.
Kieron Gillen is no longer involved with this series, but Marguerite Bennet’s writing is good enough that you won’t even notice the difference. There’s an almost medieval feel to Sera’s narration, and there’s poetry and song weaved into the dialogue. It’s already a story full of unintended consequences, and Angela could go in so many different directions from here.
The art and colouring by Kim Jacinto and Israel Silva is great. There’s a lot of detail in everything, whether it’s Angela’s armour, her bloody scratches from fighting, or the variety of characters shown in the Hel montage or the complex backgrounds. The Maze in one panel is especially impressive; it looks like there’s actually a path through the maze, and there’s just the right amount of mist to give it a mysterious feel. The colouring is also good. Generally it’s a dark looking comic, which is appropriate, but when magical powers are used it’s bright and colourful. The flashbacks art is by Stephanie Hans, and it’s utterly fantastic. There’s a painted feel to the whole thing, with plenty of detail and an overall mythical feel to it.
Angela: Asgard’s Assassin was a pleasant surprise when it first released, with a rich mythology in addition to a good story and some great action. So far, Angela: Queen of Hel is a worthy successor and anyone who enjoyed the first series should read this. To anyone new to Angela as a character, if you’re interested in reading about Thor’s long-lost sister, or about a warrior overtaking the throne of Hel just to rescue a friend, this is worth checking out.