Comic Book Review: Angel Season 11 #2
This season of Angel is definitely going to have a different feel to it in comparison to those which came before. The cast changes, the settings change, the forces Angel goes up against change as well. The only thing that seems to remain the same are the things that haunt Angel from his past. Sometimes do you think he should be able to move past them by now, though they do shape who he is currently very well regardless.
Jumping into unknown territory right now is what makes this season exciting so far. Visions of the future, time traveling, these are all things Angel and Fred aren’t used to. This isn’t their wheelhouse and quite frankly this knocks them further outside of their comfort zone than any other situation they have been put in. I mean hell is hell, but that is still familiar territory. Where and when Illyria takes them was an opportunity we couldn’t have expected to explore until now. The thought alone of exploring Illyria’s ancient past-by sounds like trouble, but the actual scene brought about a different sensation of horrors.
Personally I’ve always had a soft spot for Illyria. She was evil, and she is still working on the part of her that can be inhumane. But she’s also never been one to let an opportunity slip by to show that she can be redeemable. In my book that makes her worthy of getting to know better. Season 11 apparently seemed like the time to finally flesh her out and it couldn’t have come at a better time. We have seen what Illyria looks like in her true form, but not like this. Being thrown in the middle of a battle between her past self and another god was a chance to experience what it was like to be a god for her in comparison to others during that time. There had to be a reason for her not willing to leave without attempting to change what had been, and I felt the answer was satisfying. It was shocking to come to an understanding of what kind of god she really was. That the fear of her was only what we were seeing on the surface. I think this creative team nailed
Most times I think readers would roll their eyes at the cliche of messing with time, but I think Corinna Bechko really found a way to make this journey meaningful. This is an act of redemption for Illyria. She is a prideful god and this scenario is the purest way to express what she is like when faced with one of the most common faults, failure.
The art team definitely found their groove this second issue. The first issue was a bit shaky on the details, but I believe Geraldo Borges found the right structure for what really matches the story told. There is more consistency in the way the faces are drawn, stronger expressions, and greater detail goes into the world around Angel and Fred. Truthfully I would say the world-building is what caught my attention most. It might be when in time that Illyria takes us, but this felt like the type of environment where Borges thrives. Nothing just for the nature scenery, but for the supernatural elements that come into play. I will give him credit where it is due that what he has to offer season 11 best is how creative and unique his creation of the demons and creatures we run into. Not to mention draws the most intimidating Illyria in her true form. With that said Michelle Madsen does a spectacular job when it comes to coloring Illyria in both her forms and the demons. Particularly Illryia who I’ve always loved for her color scheme as it is ancient yet monstrous. Beyond that it is her natural colors which work very well in capturing a tense atmosphere.
Angel Season 11 continues on a solid path. I admit I wasn’t entirely sold on where we were going after the first issue, but this second issue has me strapped in for whatever comes next. Illyria was the perfect character to build interest in and the results are exactly what we look for when desiring the lack of restriction Angel’s corner of the Buffyverse opens us to.