Thursday, May 12, 2005

FALLEN ANGEL #20

Sic Transit Gloria... for now.

Peter David is apparently hunting around for a new place to park Fallen Angel and I wish him the best of luck. While the series never was made a place either in the DCU or, really, at DC itself, this was a fun ride. It was clever, a little rude, sardonic, slippery, and never quite fitting into any particular box. And that was probably what killed it because most people like to know in advance what they're getting.

Fallen Angel started slowly, enigmatic as its protagonist, Miss Lee. There was a was-she-or-wasn't-she thing going on with whether Lee was in fact Linda Lee Danvers, aka Supergirl. (Between the arrival of the Loeb/Churchill Supergirl series later this year and FA possibly changing companies, I guess we know that answer.) An avenger with a code of ethics pretty much known only to her, Lee assured that she really was the last resort for people who came looking for the Fallen Angel... all while having the best of intentions in her 'day job' as a coach at a high school. She was unpredictable to both friend and foe, angry at the world but furious at God and most hateful to herself. PAD supported her with wonderfully realized cast of characters whose shifting alliances and hidden motives made them entertaining in their own rights.

This final issue, the second part of a two-part story, has most of what made FA fun and featured most of the Bete Noir's most notorious citizens. Sachs and Violens were somewhat gratuitous, but they probably would have been less so if their story arc was greater than two issues. Otherwise, there was Juris's betrayal of his ex-lover Lee, Mariah's touching loyalty to Boxer, the typically goofy ending to the eye-crossing partnership of Lee and Bumper Ruggs, and in the midst of all of Lee's workings with the enemy, the sad dissolution of her 'friendship' with 'Dolph. It wasn't really written as the end of the series, although PAD probably knew by the time it was put together, so there's no concluding tonic chord and plenty of open questions left. Lee knows how to bring Juris down and she also knows that it's possible -- courtesy of what she left at the convent. And, if PAD can finagle it, we'll get to find out if she can pull it off.

The first six issues of FA were put together in a trade paperback, but 7-20 will have to be collected in floppies.

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