We can’t help ourselves. Many of us are fascinated by even the possibility of the supernatural being real. I know it gains my attention at the slightest provocation.
Angels are probably the most intriguing of the supernatural to me. They’re often messengers or beings sent out to do the bidding of a higher power. They don’t always come down on the side of good, it seems, so just being one doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily be someone considered trustworthy.
What if someone said you might be one or, at the very least, related to one? That’s what No Angel deals with, and the first issue is out today!
Previously in NO ANGEL: Religious texts from The Bible to the Sumerian tablets speak of strange creatures descending from the heavens and mating with humans, their children the superhuman heroes of myth. None of this ever meant anything to Iraq War veteran Hannah Gregory, until she found herself in the crosshairs of a dangerous cult convinced that she’s a descendant of these mysterious bloodlines… bloodlines they’re determined to eradicate. NO ANGEL is a cosmological and conspiratorial modern Western in the style of Preacher meets Justified by way of Jodorowsky.
‘SHE’S NO ANGEL’
I was fortunate enough to pick up an early copy of No Angel #1 at this year’s New York Comic Con, and I was taken with it as soon as I read it. Never mind that Mr. Palicki is an accomplished comics scribe, and his sister has been an actress of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Together, they make quite the writing team!
The big trouble comics (or TV shows or movies, for that matter) run into with the supernatural is that when you deal with things that exist outside the normal range of life, it can be difficult to portray or make engaging to the public.
Not this comic!
From the very first page, the characters (including Hannah) just literally jump off the page. We start out in the middle of a war, and things just go downhill for her after that.
After her father’s funeral, Hannah meets a woman who says she’s had a relationship with him. Hannah doesn’t buy it at first, but then she’s attacked by someone who would scare the daylights out of me, I’m sure! Something about that guy doesn’t jive, so she returns to the lady, and things go Biblical on us from there!
I warn you – don’t read that last page until you get through the rest of the comic! It’s a true cliffhanger, so if you like to know the end before you read the rest, go against that tendency, at least in this case.
The characters are vibrant and sympathetic, not to mention challenged by the events taking place around them. The pacing moves at a rapid rate, and before I knew it, I was going, “Oh, no! It can’t be done already!” It’s that good!
AN ‘IMAGE COMICS’ KIND OF ART
The art and particularly the use of color is very reminiscent of how many Image comics work. Splashes of color around pretty detailed facial expressions communicate a lot of emotion as well as what the individuals are thinking and feeling at the time. Even in the sunlight, things appear somewhat subdued.
The selection of panel size and placement also was very dramatic, so I was stunned when certain revelations were made, including what was up with that attacker guy. Yikes! Strong art all around, perfect for today’s readers!
BOTTOM LINE: A ‘Heavenly’ Comic
We all at times wonder if we’re not something more than we appear to be. I mean, just because others are “normal,” does that mean we are? It’s a perfect sci-fi concept executed flawlessly!
I’ve read Mr. Palicki’s previous comics, and they’re always gripping and well-told stories no matter who is providing the art. Maybe his sister adds some power to it, but this comic seemed even stronger than his other books, if that’s possible!
Black Mask comics can be somewhat hard to find, sadly. They often tell stories the rest of the industry either doesn’t want to tell or hasn’t thought of, so they’re perfect for this amazing title. If your store doesn’t have it or can’t get it, go digital. Don’t miss it – that’s all I’ll say about No Angel #1! For those of us who like high-octane supernatural tales, it’s heavenly!
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