PopMatters is moving to WordPress in December. We will continue to publish on this site as we work on the move. We aim to make it a seamless experience for readers.

Comics

Fallen Angel #1

William Gatevackes

As a mainstream DC book, Fallen Angel seemed doomed from the start.

Fallen Angel #1

Publisher: IDW Publishing
Contributors: J.K. Woodward. Letterer: Robbie Robbins (Artist)
Price: $3.99
Writer: Peter David
Item Type: Comic
Length: 32
Publication Date: 2005-12
Amazon

Fallen Angel is a rarity in the world of comics--a title that gets a second shot at life, and a well deserved one at that. Fallen Angel was published by DC Comics from 2002 until earlier in 2005. The book did well with the critics and had a loyal fan following, but neither was enough to make it worth DC's time to continue to publish. So after 20 issues, Fallen Angel ended its life at DC Comics.

The title seemed out of sorts with the other titles published by the DC imprint. The subject matter was more mature than the other titles in the line and the main character didn't fit the traditional mold of a superhero. The plots were more complex than your normal mainstream fare. Perhaps the title would have had a longer life if it was published under DC's Vertigo imprint, but as a mainstream DC book, Fallen Angel seemed doomed from the start.

Upon cancellation, the rights to the property reverted to its creators, Peter David and David Lopez. They were free to take it and try their luck with another company. Luckily for them, IDW stepped up to the plate and gave Fallen Angel a new home.

The first IDW issue of Fallen Angel has just hit the shelves, and it does a good job in making the title enjoyable for the longtime fans and also to first time readers.

Peter David is one of the most underrated comic writers working today. He might not be as widely respected as Alan Moore or Neil Gaiman or as "hot" as Brian Michael Bendis or Mark Millar, but he has been delivering consistently good stories for over twenty years. And his experience shows through in this issue.

David tells new readers everything they need to know about the title and its characters within the first 11 pages, telling it in such a way that anyone who already knows the story won't be bored. Then he begins to set the scene for where the series will be going in the future. The plots introduced tie into the history of the main character and take her in an entirely new direction. The writing hooks the readers and makes them want more.

David Lopez is no longer the artist on the title (although he did provide a variant cover). Instead, the art chores are taken over by J.K. Woodward. Woodward has painstakingly painted the book, and for the most part does an excellent job. His use of light and dark provides an excellent contrast and fits the overall tone of the book admirably. The artwork is clear and concise, not muddy as painted artwork sometimes can be.

The only criticism that can be made is in Woodward's use of photographs as references. It's obvious that he uses actress Lucy Liu as a model for one of the minor characters. Using famous people as models is nothing new in painted comic art. Alex Ross based many of the characters in Marvels on famous people: Tony Stark resembles actor Timothy Dalton, Professor X looks like his movie doppelganger Patrick Stewart, and Reed Richards was based on Russell Johnson, the professor from Gilligan's Island.

However, Ross only based his characters on famous people. Woodward appears to go one step farther. An image on page 13 looks like it was taken directly from a publicity photo of Ms. Liu's. In the panel, the character is pulling out a cigarette out of the pack with her lips. This action does not look realistic because the character's lips are tightly pursed. This leads me to believe that the pack of cigarettes in the panel was superimposed as he copied a photo of Liu. Painted artwork is difficult, especially with a monthly comic book. However, copying a preexisting image exactly, if this was what happened here, is the type of short cut that could get a person in trouble. Regardless, the character's similarity to Lucy Liu takes away from otherwise excellent artwork Woodward created for the book.

Fallen Angel has started its second chance running. The writing and art is strong and the story is interesting enough to garner repeat business. Perhaps in the land of the independents, where the financial bottom line is more lenient when it comes to sales, the title will have the long and successful run it deserves. And judging that IDW has just granted Fallen Angel an extension past the guaranteed 5 issues based on the sales of the first issue, a long run is a good possibility.

Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology provider that we have until December to move off their service. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to fund the move and further development.


Music

Books

Film

Recent
Books

The Power of Restraint in Sophie Yanow, Paco Roca, and Elisa Macellari's New Graphic Novels

The magical quality that makes or breaks a graphic novel lies somewhere in that liminal space in which art and literature intersect.

Books

'People of the City' Is an Unrelenting Critique of Colonial Ideology and Praxis

Cyprian Ekwensi's People of the City is a vivid tale of class struggle and identity reclamation in the shadows of colonialism's reign.

Music

1979's 'This Heat' Remains a Lodestone for Avant-Rock Adventure

On their self-titled debut, available for the first time on digital formats, This Heat delivered an all-time classic stitched together from several years of experiments.

Film

'The Edge of Democracy' and Parallels of Political Crises

Academy Award-nominated documentary The Edge of Democracy, now streaming on Netflix, lays bare the political parallels of the rise of Bolsonaro's Brazil with Trump's America.

Music

The Pogues' 'The BBC Sessions 1984-1986' Honors Working-Class Heroes

The Pogues' BBC Sessions 1984-1986 is a welcome chapter in the musical story of these working-class heroes, who reminded listeners of the beauty and dignity of the strong, sooty backs upon which our industrialized world was built.

Music

Mary Halvorson Creates Cacophony to Aestheticize on 'Artlessly Falling'

Mary Halvorson's Artlessly Falling is a challenging album with tracks comprised of improvisational fragments more than based on compositional theory. Halvorson uses the various elements to aestheticize the confusing world around her.

Music

15 Overlooked and Underrated Albums of the 1990s

With every "Best of the '90s" retrospective comes a predictable list of entries. Here are 15 albums that are often overlooked as worthy of placing in these lists, and are too often underrated as some of the best records from the decade.

Books

'A Peculiar Indifference' Takes on Violence in Black America

Pulitzer Prize finalist Elliott Currie's scrupulous investigation of the impacts of violence on Black Americans, A Peculiar Indifference, shows the damaging effect of widespread suffering and identifies an achievable solution.

Music

20 Songs From the 1990s That Time Forgot

Rather than listening to Spotify's latest playlist, give the tunes from this reminiscence of lost '90s singles a spin.

Film

Delightful 'Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day' Is Good Escapism

Now streaming on Amazon Prime, Bharat Nalluri's 2008 romantic comedy, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, provides pleasant respite in these times of doom and gloom.

Film

The 10 Best Horror Movie Remakes

The horror genre has produced some remake junk. In the case of these ten treats, the update delivers something definitive.

Television

Flirting with Demons at Home, or, When TV Movies Were Evil

Just in time for Halloween, a new Blu-ray from Kino Lorber presents sparkling 2K digital restorations of TV movies that have been missing for decades: Fear No Evil (1969) and its sequel, Ritual of Evil (1970).

Music

Magick Mountain Are Having a Party But Is the Audience Invited?

Garage rockers Magick Mountain debut with Weird Feelings, an album big on fuzz but light on hooks.

Music

Aalok Bala Revels in Nature and Contradiction on EP 'Sacred Mirror'

Electronic musician Aalok Bala knows the night is not a simple mirror, "silver and exact"; it phases and echoes back, alive, sacred.

Music

Clipping Take a Stab at Horrorcore with the Fiery 'Visions of Bodies Being Burned'

Clipping's latest album, Visions of Bodies Being Burned, is a terrifying, razor-sharp sequel to their previous ode to the horror film genre.

Music

Call Super's New LP Is a Digital Biosphere of Insectoid and Otherworldly Sounds

Call Super's Every Mouth Teeth Missing is like its own digital biosphere, rife with the sounds of the forest and the sounds of the studio alike.

Music

Laura Veirs Talks to Herself on 'My Echo'

The thematic connections between these 10 Laura Veirs songs and our current situation are somewhat coincidental, or maybe just the result of kismet or karmic or something in the zeitgeist.

Film

15 Classic Horror Films That Just Won't Die

Those lucky enough to be warped by these 15 classic horror films, now available on Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection and Kino Lorber, never got over them.


Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.