If ever there were a comic I would recommend to fans of Buffy and Angel, it would have to be this one. In fact, as rumors continue to circulate about a potential reboot to the Buffy franchise, I'm kind of shocked that Peter David's name has never been mentioned as one of the few who could actually pull it off. Not only is he one of the most prolific genre writers out there, he's also without question one of the best. He's written for Trek, the Hulk, X-Factor, and that's just on Tuesdays. I could go on but what I really want to get across to you is the following: Fallen Angel is one of the best works of fiction you will ever read and Liandra, the story's protagonist, will absolutely resonate with those of us who found a certain Slayer so compelling. Let's get to it.
What it is: The Fallen Angel Omnibus collects the first 21 issues of the IDW run of the Fallen Angel series. It is written by the aforementioned Peter David and predominantly illustrated by the fantastic J.K. Woodward. It tells the story of a guardian angel, Liandra (Lee for short), whose betrayal of the dude upstairs left her exiled on earth, specifically in the ultimate city of sin, Bete Noire, a city that's changing nature shapes that of the rest of the world. There she gets drunk nightly at Furor's and acts as a sort of final court to the dispossessed. She faces off against angels, demons, ghosts, and any other bastards foolish enough to take her on.
The Review: As I may have already mentioned, this book is kind of awesome. Without giving too much away I'll try and give you a little of the why here. Let me begin with the first five issues that appear in this collection. Here David weaves an excellent origin story that, combined with the heart-stoppingly gorgeous art painted (you heard me) by J.K Woodward, provides one of the finest first arcs you're likely to read.
The rest of the remaining issues tell the story of Liandra's son, Jude's, joining the ranks of the damned in the city of sin. His ascension to magistrate and subsequent rule over Bette Noire, are the major focus of the anthology. It is through his unlikely journey that we get to know Bette Noire and its many inhabitants and they are quite a cast of characters. You can meet anyone there from the Snake who tempted Eve to a potentially reformed Hitler.
But of the most interest to me and to Buffy fans as well will always be Liandra. Watching her go from completely unflappable to white hot vengeance personified will never get old. Unlike so many female comic book characters, she doesn't fall prey to ridiculously tight and revealing costumes nor is she a subject to the whims of her male counterparts. Like Buffy she's taken her responsibilities into her own hands and to hell with what anyone else has to say about it.
So should you buy it?: Well, considering you can buy it on Amazon for around eighteen bucks.... uh, yeah. I would say so. It's over 500 pages. Do the math and you'll discover that's precisely 500 ridiculous amounts of bang for your proverbial buck. If you have any doubts though, keep in mind that you can begin by reading Fallen Angel Reborn co-starring a certain blue ancient one. What was her name again? Illy-something or other? For more information on that you can check out our interview with Peter David here.
Sufficed to say it's an outstanding read and gets Bearded Bitsy's Pick o' the Month for things you ought to be reading. Right now. Well, what are you waiting for? Shoo!