Review – Angelic #5 (Image Comics)

Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Si Spurrier
Artwork: Caspar Wijngaard
Release Date: 17th January 2018

The first arc of Si Spurrier and Caspar Wijngaard’s Angelic is nearing its conclusion with the penultimate chapter going on sale this week. The latest issue sees Qora and the Complainer finally getting some answers about just how the world became the way it is now, along with a little insight into the mysterious origins of “Ay”.

In less competent hands this issue could feel like an unwieldy exposition dump, but Spurrier delivers the information smoothly, focusing more on our duo’s reaction to the information than the information itself.   There’s nothing particularly surprising in the explanation – at least not to us as the reader – but it certainly provides a shocking new perspective for both Qora and the Complainer.

For me, the main appeal of Angelic to this point, aside from Spurrier and Wijngaard’s stellar world-building, is the brilliantly endearing characterisation of its leading monkey.  Qora’s curiosity, ambition, determination and touching innocence have helped make her an utterly captivating protagonist, and I challenge anyone to read more than a couple of issues of this series without becoming deeply invested in her emotional and physical well-being.

In terms of the visual side of the book, Wijngaard continues to showcase a real flair for fast-paced action, and this issue features an intense chase scene that wouldn’t feel out of place in any blockbuster action comic on the shelves today.  Movement is communicated effectively, and the stakes feel real as the panel layouts help to communicate the frantic nature of the pursuit.

His character and background design continues to be top-notch as well, with an unusual bio-mechanical aesthetic to the world in general, and some fantastically expressive protagonists.  Oh, and Jim Campbell’s typically slick lettering also warrants an additional tip of the hat, with different fonts and word balloon styles being used to differentiate between characters and their unique speech patterns.

Wijngaard also once again manages to absolutely nail the visual aspect of the key storyline beats, including a final page cliffhanger that will have a lot of reader’s hearts in their mouths for the next month until issue 6 goes on sale

Charm, drama and emotion all wrapped up in a sumptuous visual package, Angelic is a series that different readers will take different things away from. Younger readers will get a kick out of the lively artwork and the broad themes of adventure and exploration, while older comic fans will be able to pick up on the subtle storytelling layers and real-life analogues that are present throughout Spurrier and Wijngaard’s work.

One of the absolute best comics on the shelves today, Angelic is a rarity in that it can boast genuinely universal appeal.  True, now is perhaps not the greatest time to jump on board, but if you can get your hands on any back issues, I’d highly recommend picking them up as quickly as possible.  Trust me, you won’t regret it.

Rating: 4.5/5.

If you want to find out more about Angelic, make sure to check out our interview with Si Spurrier by CLICKING HERE.

ceejThe writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson-Adams (aka Ceej)
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