Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Best Comic I Read Last Week: Angel #25 (Spoilers)

One of the best things about the current "Angel" title from IDW is the willingness of the former show writers and actors to get involved with the continuing storyline after the show was - in my opinion, prematurely - cancelled after it's 5th season.

Like the "8th Season" theme Dark Horse's "Buffy" monthly, "Angel: After the Fall" is giving us what we might have seen had the show(s) continued. We're seeing the life and afterlife of every character, and the book will occasionally take a tangent to showcase a character that hasn't been seen. In the case of Issue #25 (and #24), it's our old friend and pet, Drusilla.

Written by Drusilla herself (Juliet Landau) with an assist from Brian Lynch, we are shown that Dru's been cooped up in the Cuckoo's Nest for a while, but with the entire world - or at least Los Angeles - literally going to Hell she sees her chance to re-enter society in a manner befitting her mental state.

After slaughtering most of the staff in issue #24, #25 finds us more in Drusilla's head as she revisits her origins in the convent, when she was converted by Angelus and Darla. Drusilla also begins having premonitions of what's happening outside the walls of her current housing, and all of this is captured brilliantly by Franco Urru's art.

Urru's faces here are unusually identifiable, something I'm sure the author had a say in.

The two remaining doctors in the facility attempt to analyze and dismiss Dru's visions, but when Drusilla's vision of all of those she has killed - including a cameo from Collin, The Annointed One - becomes reality (at least to her), those manifestations take over.

As the doctors run for their lives, Drusilla gives into her demons, and suddenly finds herself back in Victorian England, pre-vamp, and in her home with her dolls. Is Dru dust in the wind, or just missing in her own head? You be the judge.

The issue ends with a quote from C.S. Lewis: "Do I believe in actual Hell? One's own mind is actual enough." Drusilla didn't need to be in the literal Hell outside, when she was trapped in her own Hell already.

In the end, sometimes it's all just in our heads. I rather enjoyed this trip through the mind of Ms. Landau, and that of her muse, Drusilla.

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