SpartanNerd Review…”1602: Witch Hunter Angela Part One”

Regular readers know that I already reviewed “The Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows.”  This book is along the same lines.  A result of the current spin on “Marvel Secret Wars,” “1602…Angela” takes place in an alternate storyline.

Before I write any more, let me explain why I was drawn to picking this title up at “The Tangled Web” on June 13…

Me and Angela go back aways.  I used to read Spawn comics quite a bit.  I don’t own many of those anymore.  But I remember enjoying the story immensely…I couldn’t put it down.  And even recently I read back over “Spawn: The Dark Ages.”  Angela and angels of her ilk were a key component to all of these stories.

In Spawn, the angels were depicted as a group of business women you definitely didn’t want to be your boss.  They worked in a tall skyscraper, and dressed in pants suits or similar…on the high end of the “professional dress” spectrum.  Then, if they suspected a Spawn or other demonic force nearby, the clothes would come off…and wings were revealed, and very very skimpy battle ribbons would be what adorned the woman.  Oh yes.  Generally a huge weapon as well.  These angels were the toughest fight for Spawn.  But Angela was different.  She and Spawn “hit it off.”  A very forbidden relationship came to a head until right at the 100th issue, Angela killed Malebolgia, (basically the devil…but not Satan.)  However, she would be killed as well.  Then Spawn would go downhill and I would stop reading, as McFarlane “jumped the shark,” wanting to take the book into a more “horror” direction.

Similarly, (but not as relevant), Immaculata was the Dark Ages Spawn’s enemy.  As a story told around the same time period as “1602”, there are things that pulled me to purchasing because I read and enjoyed this so much.  Immaculata wasn’t a “business woman,” but a nun.  She was suppressing her angel-ness.  But when Spawn came around, those animal angel instincts awoke…and similar to described above, this terrific warrior appeared in place of the nun.

The angel stories I am recalling here were AWESOME.  Later I would learn there were ownership disputes about Angela between Todd McFarlane and Neil Gaiman.  And I heard nothing more about it for a long time.

In the middle of my reading of “DC New 52,” Marvel come out with “Age of Ultron.”  I didn’t read it.  Ultron rang a bell, as I read “Secret Wars” from the 1980’s.  The final issue had a black bag so you couldn’t see the cover.  It was hiding “Angela”!  Marvel had secured the rights to the character.

The only knowledge about this, besides what I just told you, is that I have seen some Angela titles on the shelves.  I skipped them not, not immersed in Marvel’s ecosystem.  But it is clear that she is “Asgard’s Assassin,” implying to me that she works for Odin, or similar.  (Explaining how she is an angel in a universe not really having a consistent God.  Spawn’s universe eventually, very slowly explained how God’s angels worked.)

All that to say why I was drawn to this story.  I expected the barbary of “Spawn: the Dark Ages” and the awesomeness of Angela, the thing who killed Spawn’s devil.

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The cover art was OK.  Angela here appears Elizabethan but also science fiction.  There were some prettier alternate covers, but since I am not immersed in the Secret Wars, or Marvel’s version of Angela, I skipped those. The cover does show a remnant of McFarlane’s version, in there are those ribbons floating around her.  We see these throughout the comic.  She doesn’t use them for any purpose…they do serve in the place of a halo, I believe.  Though they might have some kind of weaponized use.

The art in this book is inconsistent.  Some of it “old school” Marvel.  Some of it more modern.  Why?I liked it, though.  And here is one of my favorite pieces from the book.  The color scheme reminds me of “Jem and the Rockers.”  Basically, Sarah and Angela are a team of angels hunting “witchbreed.”

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I’ll not show you a picture, but just let me say that one of the witchbreed has claws like Wolverine!  Maybe it is that she is hunting mutants…

Angela describes Sarah and themselves as “Angels of Doom.”  Throughout the book, where God’s name would probably be mentioned, instead we hear “Doom.”  This echoes the larger Secret Wars story, where we are told that Victor Von Doom is “god and master.”

Because this book just came out, I am blurring the words here.  But this is one of my favorite pieces of art from the book, right near the end.

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Basically, Sarah has been cursed.  And so the lead-in to a larger story.

SpartanNerd’s rating of “1602: Witch Hunter Angela.”  Well, did this story meet my expectations?

This is a dark story, with two brutal killings and Sarah being cursed.  It kept me reading…I read it three times to be sure I got it all.  There is a lot here.  I still have some questions.

I’m confused.  Who is Kit Marlow?  Was that Shakespeare of Marlow?  Why is there someone with glasses…glasses weren’t invented for two hundred years….Is there more implied in this story than the reader can just see?  Sarah’s flashback led us to believe that she was training to be a warrior, and not a lady…though her words said otherwise.

The art was good, but varied in style.  There is more than one artist on this book…they need to work to smooth it out.  I enjoyed the “Jem” color scheme.  And the more modern “muted” look as well.  But the two styles are jarring when going from one place to another.

I think I will read part two, which will come out on July 29, evidently…according to the last page.  The book is going to feature the Guardians of the Galaxy in the next issue, it seems.

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I think I will read it.

The SpartanNerd rates “1602: Witch Hunter Angela” at 3/5.  While I have plenty of complaints and questions, I have read it over three times.  And am curious about what will happen next.  Angela (and Sarah) gets a point for coolness anyway.

Do you agree or disagree?  Let me know in the comments, oh Hub City Geeks!

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