Comic Book Review: Angel Season 11 #3
Illyria is the perfect character to center our attention on and so far the results are exactly what we look for when desiring the lack of restriction Angel’s corner of the Buffyverse opens us to. This is a character who before these past two issues could have been looked at as a hollow being of convenience. Sure she could swoop in at a moment’s notice to save Fred and Angel from a powerful foe, but it was about time that there was something more to her that would make us want to genuinely see more of her.
‘Out of The Past” is great because my fear from the first issue was that we were once again using Angel’s past to create a plot. Now while that is nothing confirmed until we deal with Illyria’s past, as we are starting season 11 it was best that this is what we could jump into first as a taste of what’s to come. We’ve seen what redemption looks like for Angel, and if someone like him is deserving of that kind of chance time and time again, who’s to say the same can’t be done for Illyria? While things are picking up with a situation escalating, I’m glad that we were able to be caught off guard by the truth in what created this situation for Illyria. It was a believable revelation after witnessing the way these demons lived during a time where they were at the mercy of gods. That aside, the urgency to stop this approaching catastrophe made this exciting. Illyria is hard to control having this drive and it is easy to forget that this is the kind of time traveling spell where you can step on a butterfly if not too careful.
Getting to know the Illyria of the past certainly makes you warm up to the one present as well. Currently she has come a long way in proving everyone wrong about her in many ways. Her trying to stop this invading god was the icing on the cake as it proved that she is not your average Old One. This isn’t to say that we don’t see the things that do make you fear her in her true form. That is expected and they didn’t hold back in what could be seen as cruel.
Geraldo Borges again finds himself as the right guy for the job when delivering a grittier vision of Angel’s world. Where his pencils are strongest remains in the creativeness and uniqueness in his creation of the demons and creatures who call this time period their home. The same can be said for Illyria both in her current body and her true form. There is a strong contrast between this being whose just full of rage action, and then this current Illyria who looks like she is overwhelmed with grief for what she knows she can make right. In general we were seeing a side to her that is vulnerable which further engages us in this act of redemption. I would only say the eyes could eventually use more detail. Sometimes they are the key to emotion and at times they come off too dead or big to convey the right expression. Michelle Madsen continues with the consistency to coloring Illyria in both her forms and the demons. There wasn’t too much standout about the colors though it was noticeable how much the textures popped out a bit more to make some of the art come off more organic in nature.
Overall Angel Season 11 #3 makes some bold moves as the next issue brings us to the conclusion of the first story arc. This is character exploration that we were treated to open up season 11 to. Angel is cool, but it also goes without saying that it is those he surrounds himself with who keep things interesting.