It’s Angela versus her alternate self in the battle to end all battles… Or maybe, something entirely different? Your Major Spoilers review of Angela: Queen Of Hel #7 awaits!
ANGELA: QUEEN OF HEL #7
Writer: Marguerite Bennett
Artist: Kim Jacinto & Israel Silva/Stephanie Hans
Colorist: Israel Silver
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Editor: Wil Moss
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Angela: Queen Of Hel: After her fellow angels were captured and enslaved by Asgardian death goddess Hela, Angela has conquered Hela’s realm, Hel, and returned to the world of the living. In so doing, she has also managed to find love, a teenage daughter and somehow go to war with another version of herself from an alternate (Read: ‘Secret Wars’ related) timeline. That other Angela, now going by ‘Faustia’, is ready to conquer New York City…
A VERY META EXPERIENCE
We open in New York, with Angela, Sera, their daughter Leah (whom you may remember from previous issues of ‘Journey Into Mystery’ and ‘Thor’) as well as Thor herself in the clutches of Faustia, moments from death-by-squishery, when Leah offers the faerie queen a deal. Leah promises to give Faustia what she desires (her queenship and realm back), in return for one simple thing: “Give us seven years.” Faustia agrees, as it’s her nature to make bargains, but warns Leah that fairy tales will only leave her broken-hearted. The entire middle third of the book detail bits and pieces of those seven years, as Angela and her family settle down, Leah goes to NYU, the battle an invasion of Frost Giants, travel the country and other wonderful moments. Knowing that this is the final issue, I can’t help but wonder if these are echoes of stories that Marguerite Bennett had wanted to tell or something entirely different, but either way, it makes for a wonderful reading experience. Moreover, it ends on a lovely note wherein Leah realizes that the life with her mothers is all she really wanted in the first place…
“WE ARE NOT OVER.”
…and then, the bottom drops out. The way the issue is structured absolutely floored me, it’s perfectly plotted and put together, and ends on a wistful but somehow hopeful note, with Angela and Sera reaffirming their love on the top of the Brooklyn Bridge. The issue actually features two art teams, with Kim Jacinto and Israel Silva handling the present-day “reality”, while Stephanie Hans delivers the wonderfully dream-like world of Leah’s Bargain. Best of all, though the art styles aren’t particularly similar, they merge very well, and make the transitions between what is and what might have been appropriately smooth-yet-disconcerting, all at once. I’m really impressed by how tight this issue is plotted, and part of me loves the fourth-wall breaking and meta-textuality of this ending. (At one point, Leah actually remarks that she waited 17 issues to make a particular joke, which I have to say amuses the heck out of me.) Best of all, Leah manages to give Faustia exactly what she promised, while also out-smarting the possibly murderous faerie queen, a wonderfully executed sequence.
THE BOTTOM LINE: A LOVELY ENDING
This issue accomplished a task most Herculean: It makes me sad to read the end of a book that I haven’t been reading. I’ll be remedying that as quickly as I can get my hands on the back-issues, though, as this is one of the most emotionally satisfying comics of recent months, and having the characters actively aware that this is the end and being given a chance to deal with that is a wonderful story experience. Angela: Queen Of Hel #7 provides the total package; a clever, tightly written story, excellent art, clever-but-appropriate dialogue, and most of all, it has both finality and hope for more cool Angela stories in the future, earning a very impressive 4.5 out of 5 stars overall. I haven’t had a particular love for this character in the past, but I suspect that gathering all of this story will change that for me…[taq_review] [su_signoff]