Today's Post Vol. 1 (of 2)

*Hi all! I lost my entire “Street Angel” #5 review when my computer ate it. Awesome to have my old machine back, eh? Well, let's start out with LAST WEEK'S REVIEWS

Cromartie High School Vol. 1 (of 9?) (really, you want to read this book; there are laughs)

Terra Obscura Vol. 2 #6 (of 6), Adam Strange #6 (of 8), The Punisher MAX #18

Concrete: The Human Dilemma #3 (of 6)

Good times with good friends.

*As you know, I'm an asshole and I said I'd update yesterday afternoon and I didn't, even though I have more than enough to write about. So, I'll just update again later today to keep myself somewhere on top. Sorry.

Street Angel #5

Well, the best I can say is that with all of those double-page spreads and low-panel pages, this was one quick-reading 24 page book, and it probably can’t escape comparison to Geof Darrow’s “Shaolin Cowboy”, especially with that shot of all the villains lined up across the bottom third of a two-page spread. It’s not nearly as audacious in its conspicuous consumption of storytelling space as Darrow’s book, but it’s a decadent fight comic all the same, although I thought the humor bits in “Street Angel” were more successful. You see, the title heroine teams up with blaxploitation-style ex-superhero Afrodisiac, who’s in a spot of trouble, and he relates his tragic story as Street Angel kicks all sorts of ass. There was apparently a nuclear strike on US soil a few years back; Street Angel has never heard of it, though, as she’s skipped too much school. There’s a nice routine at the end, demonstrating the limits of our hard-bitten heroine’s knowledge of the ways of the world.

But the stuff you’re going to remember here is the action, simply because it takes up so much space. There’s a particularly striking two-page blast of action, sound effects and dialogue tossed around as if Street Angel‘s rage is enough to upset the very essence of the comics page, panels appearing at random and the title heroine leaping out of them, all over the page, several images of her everywhere, meting out gory justice. It’s slightly reminiscent of some of Frank Quitely’s work in “We3”, only stripped of elegance or ease of reading; this is practically a gore collage, demanding that the reader start examining it anywhere, since it exists as a stand-alone display of confused fighting, that perhaps only the heroine can navigate with confidence. As focused on laughs and blood as the book is, surely Jim Rugg and Brian Maruca are interested in meeting the cutting-edge in oozing violence as far as action comics go.

Of course, it’s mighty quick reading for $3. This’ll work well in the upcoming trade, apparently the only “Street Angel” material coming anytime soon (it’s due in June); this issue seems almost like a planned response to the mixed reactions to the quieter issue #4, and the wackiness of the first three issues, leading into the more somber bits of issue #4, capping off with the lightning-action fighting of this issue will probably work quite smoothly in collected form, even though “Street Angel” isn’t written for the trade in the way we understand such things today. As for this single-issue epic, it’s fun and rough-edged and amusing and gone in a heartbeat. I didn’t regret buying it, as I didn’t regret buying any of this series.