Let me start by saying that I was not aware of Fallen Angel before this week. I might have heard a mention or two, but I chose to review this based solely on writer Peter David’s involvement. He’s a chameleon writer that can hit the ground running with seemingly any kind of story.
Fallen Angel is not a brand new series, so there are some plot points that I don’t know about yet. But that’s okay. Serialized storytelling is supposed to leave you wanting more. I do know that I was able to follow the main of issue #1 of this mini-series and I’m intrigued enough to read the next three issues to see what happens.
This story focuses on Jude, a character with the grace and wardrobe of pulp hero The Shadow. His sense of justice, however, seems more clearly derived from someone like The Punisher. Issue 1 opens up with a great sequence of Jude avenging the death of innocents, and he pulls no punches… or bullets.
Writer David keeps the script moving both in the high-octane action sections of the story and in the tense character moments later in the issue. Artist J.K. Woodward uses a painted style, giving the artwork a dark and brooding yet still fluid energy. The city of Bete Noire is one that dwells in shadows, appearing and disappearing at will. The use of watercolors makes the city seem less solid, and you can actually believe that this city might disappear on a whim.
So far, there’s a lot that I like about this series, but nothing in this single issue convinced me that I need to be a lifelong fan of the series. I’m going to give it a shot over the next three issues, but trying to keep up with the hierarchy of the mysterious disappearing city is not something that interests me. I’m also not sure I’m ready for another unrelentingly dark comic book in the writing style of Top Cow books like The Darkness and Witchblade.
Fallen Angel, it’s not you. It’s me. But I’ll try to make it work.