Angel and Fred are caught in the Anne Rice version of Treasure Island in this latest installment. Our two heroes are travelling through time still trying to stop an impending apocalypse from coming to fruition in modern-day. Their time travels have taken them to early Nineteenth Century, where they have landed on a zombie infested ship. With no other options for escape the two take to the open sea in a life raft.
It’s here that the current issue opens. While I’m not a big fan of time travel tales that don’t involve the words “Doctor” or “Who” in the title, I find this story entertaining as an adventure tale. This is just a plain old silly comic book tale. Zombie pirates, vampires, deserted islands, volcanoes… what’s not to love.
If you take a serious eye to this story you’re going to walk away unsatisfied. There isn’t a whole lot of logic and plot to be had here. Angel and Fred are bouncing through time to stop the end of the world and in this age they come face-to-fangs with Angel’s past self; the evil Angelus, who is accompanied by the undead beauty Darla. By the end of the issue the good guys and the bad guys have to work together to survive. That’s pretty much the plot.
But even in the simplistic storytelling there is fun to be had. Like I said earlier I am not big on time travel storylines, but this has just enough fun character interaction and action over-all that it made the book worthwhile.
Corrina Bechko takes what could be plot that could easily devolve into a comic disaster and makes chicken salad out of well… you know. The relationship between Angel and Fred is front and center, the two play off one another like any good duo. There is lite hearted banter, jokes, and shared moments when the pair saves one another. The plot is just tight enough to not get lagged down in its own complex time details. It’s magic, its fantasy, and the writer understands that the readers just want to have fun in a story like this.
The real kicker that sells this issue is the amazing art of Ze Carlos. Carlos’ style is reminiscent of the late/great Mike Wieringo, and it’s that cartoony hybrid style that makes each and every panel pop. I fell in love with the art immediately. I will continue reading this series, plot be damned, just to see more of Carlos’ artwork. If nothing else this book is worth the cover price for the art alone, the added element of a fun story is just an added bonus.
While there is enough here for fans to enjoy, the creative team is not reinventing the wheel. They have created a satisfying adventure for Buffy and Angel fans to get behind, but also a solid comic for comic book fans in general to enjoy; a good trick for any team that is working on a pre-existing property. There’s a lot here to enjoy, but it’s not breaking any new ground.
A solid comic from a solid team. Final Score: 3 ½ out of 5 wooden stakes!
Angel Season 11 #8
Story: Corinna Bechko
Art: Ze Carlos
Colors: Michelle Madsen
Letters: Richard Starkings and Jimmy Betancourt
Publisher: Dark Horse
Time and Tide: Part 4