"Fallen Angel" Lee returns in a big way.
One of my favorite comics in the past couple of years was a DC title known as Fallen Angel. It was an odd title- not quite your regular superhero title, though the protagonist, Lee the Fallen Angel can kick butt with well-nigh invulnerability, super-strength and the ability to psychically EXPLODE anyone who pisses her off. Set in the crime-ridden, corrupt and shadow-cloaked city of Bete Noir, the comic explored Lee's complex relationships with other shady characters, such as her friend/confidante Dolf, hoodlums like the laschivious Asia Minor and the city's untouchable 'magistrate', Juris. Oh, and there's a lot of action too.
Unfortunately, while the comic was a cult hit, it didn't pull in the cash quite like DC's frontrunners like Batman or JLA... so after the 20th issue, Fallen Angel was cast into the dark. However, the creator-owned title has found new life in IDW Publishing, thanks to creator Peter David's hard work as well as the support and encouragement of many, many fans.
Now, the NEW Fallen Angel from IDW Publishing has hit shelves. The character and story are the same- only the title is now set 20 years after the end of the final issue of the DC run. Yep, 20 years. What effect has this on the Fallen Angel and the other members of the cast? Not much- while appearing with a bit of gray in her hair and some wrinkles when in her daytime guise as a PE Teacher, Lee reverts to her young and still damn strong red-haired, red cloaked form at night when Bete Noir comes alive. And business is still booming for the vigilante/mercenary/bounty hunter/ass-kicker known as the Fallen Angel.
The first issue of Fallen Angel features pretty impressive art from new artist J.K. Woodward, whose painted, photo-realistic panels bring to mind the work of Alex Ross. While some action scenes may look a bit stiff, the quality of the art is undeniable and even gives Fallen Angel the look of a TV series- a darker, more visceral Buffy, save with Angels and Devils instead of Slayers and Vampires. Oh, and Peter David reveals a lot in the first ish- past speculations that Lee is none other than a resurrected Supergirl are all but quashed, as the nature of the Fallen Angel's true past is finally shown in a crucial flashback and key dialogue. This pretty much makes issue 1 a superb jumping on point/origin story for new readers, yet still reassuring longtime fans that Lee is still alive and kicking.
I highly recommend this to comic book lovers looking for a more unusual kind of superhero comic, fans of kick-ass female protagonicts, Buffy and Xena fans and cool comics in general. Get your copy now at all branches of Comic Quest.
As of this writing, Fallen Angel #1 has received rave reviews from critics, and the sales of the first issue have pleased IDW Publishing so much that the title is now assured to continue past issue 5. Here's hoping that it's all downhill from here. Go, Lee, GO!
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