One Mad Dog


[Fallen Angel Omnibus Volume 2] – (Peter David, J.K. Woodward)
April 6, 2012, 8:15 pm
Filed under: 6 Stars, J.K. Woodward, Peter David

Omnibus 2 collects issues #22-33 of Fallen Angel and brings the main arc to a conclusion.  It also includes the mini-series “Fallen Angel: Reborn”, guest-starring Illyria from Joss Whedon’s “Angel”.

Despite having recently read the first omnibus I found myself a  little confused as to what was going on when I started number 2. This was not helped by the story jumping around a fair bit and the I felt the art was weaker  which made some of the usual characters a little hard to recognize. The first part of the Omnibus was very action filled and In my opinion a bit lacking in the quality of story the first book had.  Character development and story seemed to take a back seat to pure action.  Things improved once the fallen angel was kicked out of Bette Noire and the story leading up to the final confrontation with Maloch was a return back to story quality I have come to expect from this series.

The mini series “Fallen Angel: Reborn” was actually a pretty good read with good art and it managed to follow on relatively seamlessly from what had appeared to be a pretty climatic end in the first major arc.  I am not familiar with Illyria who was the crossover character in this story but she was an interesting enough character to make me consider trying out “Angel”.

Overall I enjoyed Omnibus 2 but was not blown away by it. My problem with Fallen Angel is that most of the characters have very few likeable qualities, especially the fallen angel herself, and this can make it difficult to develop any kind of empathy for the goings on.  I didn’t have this problem to the same extent with the first Omnibus as the story itself had enough hooks to keep me interested. The second omnibus  has a lot of action and not a lot of dialogue so it is a quick read but in my opinion much less satisfying for it.

J.K Woodward uses a somber painted art style which does a great job of portraying movement and capturing atmosphere.  I found it a little difficult to pick out the characters at times and there was the odd panel that had me a little bewildered as to what was supposed to be happening.  Things improved as the book progressed and generally the muddled image occurrences were rare.  Generally speaking this dark soft edged graphic style is not my favorite for telling stories in comic books (better suited for covers and splash pages) but in this case it fitted the occult subject matter well. I do think the impact of the art suffered a little from being reduced in size for the omnibus format.

The book has religious references but only in a pretty vague way and so it shouldn’t offend most people. The portrayal of God as a little girl with a tennis racket and bad attitude might upset some however. It is worth a read if you are into this kind of supernatural book and it doesn’t demand as much of your time as many omnibuses do.  [ISBN-13: 978-1600108471]. 6/10



[Fallen Angel Omnibus Volume 1] – (Peter David, J.K. Woodward, Christian Donaldson, Joe Corroney, Billy Gucci and Dennis Calero)

Fallen Angel omnibus 1 collects issues #1 to 14 of the IDW run of fallen Angel. It contains:

  • #1 to #14, Artist – J.K. Woodward.
  • #15 to #16, Artist – Christian Donaldson.
  • #17 Artist, Joe Corroney and Billy Gucci,
  • #18 to #19, Artist – J.K. Woodward.
  • #20, Artist – Dennis Calero.
  • #21, Artist – J.K. Woodward.

This Omnibus marks the move from DC to IDW and I am pleased to report that the quality of storytelling lost nothing in the move.  This omnibus is an engrossing read, just like the first, and the story is both intricate and fast flowing at the same time.  It explores some interesting religious and moral concepts in a way that leaves you wanting to read “just one more issue” before putting it down.

This book does nothing to further the reader’s empathy for the main character. The fallen angel is still a completely unlikeable person but this doesn’t seem to get in the way of an enjoyable yarn. The main premise of this collection is the addition of her son as the new magistrate of Bette Noire and the ripples that that event causes.

At first the change from David Lopez to J.K. Woodward was a bit of a disappointment to me as I am not a big fan of the soft focused painted art style but after a few issues I quickly warmed to it and it no longer was an issue.  J.K. Woodward’s art really does do an excellent job of capturing movement and atmosphere and this fit the story very well.  It also became a lot more hardlined and traditional as the series progressed (just compare the art from issue 1 to issue 18). Woodward’s art really grew on me and I have  to say I ended up liking it a lot.

The change of artist to Christian Donaldson’s for issues 15 and 16 is quite a dramatic jump. Donaldson adopted a far more traditional comic book style and used a color pallete that would not look out of place in a BPRD novel.  I enjoyed his artwork and thought his interpretation of Fallen Angel was a good one.

There was another significant change in style for the two part issue 16 which was illustrated by Joe Corroney and Billy Gucci.  The detailed hard outlined approach of these two artists was also a stark contrast to Woodward’s style but the result was very good and they captured the main characters well. I am not sure which artist penciled which story part but if I had to choose a favorite it would be the work in 17a.

The only disappointing artwork in the whole book was in issue 20 by Denis Calero who’s brash pop culture style did not appeal to a great deal. It reminded me a bit of some of the gritty work you find in books such as “John Constantine but it felt a little out of place in this omnibus.

Some great cover gallery work in the back where J.K. Woodward’s work really shines. If you like the first omnibus then this one should appeal to you too. The story isn’t quite as good as Volume zero and the art is quite as appealing to me so this one gets an 8 rather than a 9.  ISBN-13: 978-1600103827. 8/10