Review: Angelic #1

Angelic is published by Image comics. It is written by Simon Spurrier with art by Caspar Wijngaard.

I wish this comic was a cartoon. This should absolutely be a cartoon. It could even pass as a kid’s cartoon, like, Cartoon Network style cartoon. It definitely has themes that are more for adults, but its toned down enough that it would also be good for like…an 11+ audience. I mean, the monkeys, who call themselves “monks,” literally call each other “noisybutts,” “sulkybutts,” and “buttbrain.” It’s hilarious. I would group it into whatever category The Legend of Korra is in. The art is already perfect for an animation style too.

Angelic takes place some time in the future. A future where flying, talking monkeys exist as well as flying robot dolphins and giant pelican-crow-hybrid things. The place the monks (flying monkeys) live is referred to simply as “Roost,” which is on top of a very tall building. From here we can see the land is full of broken down city buildings that are overrun with plant-life. There are “ancient” technologies kept safe within Roost, technologies we do not have presently in 2017, so this apocalyptic event took place long after now, and the story begins even longer after that.

Our heroine is a monk, named Qora. Who wants to be in the Scrap Pack, a group of boymonks that fends off threats to Roost. She doesn’t want to do the boring girlmonk duties, she doesn’t want to be tied to the ground, but most of all, she doesn’t want to perform duties without understanding why she has to do them in the first place. Unlike the other monks who seem to just accept the answer of “faith”, Qora wants a real answer. Qora wants to know why they are here and why the have these laws they must follow and where the “makers” went. She gets in trouble for these questions, sure, but the real trouble approaches when the leader, Alfer, tells Qora that she is to be his low wife, meaning she will bear his children and be stripped of her wings. But Qora has unexpectedly fallen onto a way out, and a way to find answers, from a creature she has been told her whole life to fear. The question is, will she take it?

I love the concept of this story, the message behind it, and the approach Simon Spurrier and Caspar Wijngaard are taking to tell it. One of the best things about this world is that it is full of new words and slang, as it would be. The monks have their own way of speaking, they have their own names to call other animals (the robo-dolphins are “dolts”), its English but it’s still a language all their own. The other genetically altered animals do the same too.

I picture the Dolts talking with British accents…because flying dolphins just makes me think of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I really just love all of the dialogue and this educated-but-at-the-same-time-not sentence structure. Like, you can tell the monks are smart, but they speak exactly the way you’d think a monkey would speak if it’d just been taught words without understanding their context.

I’m also always about female leads, I don’t care what species it is, just give me a badass, well-written female to follow and I’ll be happy. The art is beautiful and I love the way the animals have been tweaked enough to look really cool, but not so much so that you can’t tell what they were originally. There is also a very heavy technology over-tone. It seems very obvious that whatever happened, humans caused it. Because dolphins aren’t just born with jetpack-butts. I wish they were, but they aren’t.

OVERALL SCORE: 9.5 / 10

This comic tackles mature themes in a way that can be enjoyed and valued by a younger audience as well as adults. It’s silly, it’s fun, but the message is clear and it matters. I’m so looking forward to issue #2.

Make sure you pick up Angelic #1 from your local comic store!

Happy reading!

-Rachel Freeman