Monday, September 26, 2011

Freakangels Vol. 5

Written by Warren Ellis
Art by Paul Duffield

Early on, Warren Ellis and Paul Duffield's webcomic about a dozen powered twenty-somethings living in a wrecked version of London seemed to be just about the interpersonal relations within the group.  These twelve, all born at the same time, don't really get along (or only rarely), but because of their similar abilities and purple eyes, had banded together to keep the Whitechapel neighbourhood together when the rest of London was flooded.

Since that beginning, which was marked with strong characterization despite the often confusing similarities of the characters, we've learned a little more about how London (and perhaps the world) were destroyed, and what role out heroes had to play in it.  We also learned about how they ejected one of their number when he proved dangerous, and how two of the Freakangels believed that they had killed them.

When this volume opens (thankfully with a recap, as it's been a while since I read the last one), we learn that shooting a Freakangel in the head (such as happened to Luke) is not exactly fatal, and that the Freakangel package - the abilities specific to each member of the group - can be upgraded through near-death experiences.  There's a lot of mystical mumbo-jumbo going on in this volume, but I found it so compelling as to burn through the book in one evening.

Duffield's large, expansive panels and detailed approach to the art has served this series well from the beginning.  Now, he stars to really play with the colouring, giving much of this volume a psychedelic feel.  I believe that the sixth volume has the end of the series - I'm going to have to track down a copy quickly.

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