"No Angel #2" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Black Mask Studios
Written by Eric Palicki and Adrianne Palicki
Illustrated by Ari Syahrazad
Colored by Jean-Paul Csuka
2017, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on January 25th, 2017
Hannah Gregory thought she knew everything there was to know about her family. That changed when her father and brother were killed. Now she's uncovering all kinds of secrets that affect not only her deceased relatives, but all of the living ones and herself. It's a lot to take in and not easy to process, especially since there's a biblical angle to some of this information. She's entering an epic, ancient battle between good and evil, but she may not be entirely prepared to handle it just yet.
No Angel has a great hook and I'm not going to reveal the full extent of it here because it's best witnessed in the comic itself. While this definitely pulls you in, it's the characters that propel the story along and keep you interested. Hannah is a tough yet caring woman. She constantly has her guard up, particularly around new people. She thought she'd come back to her hometown to find out what happened to her family and then get the hell out of dodge, but she's stuck here as the web gets crazier and crazier.
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Speaking of webs, there are a bunch of spiders in this book. That could be scary enough on its own if you're not a fan of the arachnids. It's how they're presented that's really creepy. You can see some of this in the preview pages included in this review. Seriously, how scary is it to see spiders crawling out of someone's eyes? Good luck sleeping after getting that image in your head.
Artist Ari Syahrazad takes a creature that people are already afraid of and makes it even more terrifying. Just looking at those pages can make your skin crawl. The villains use the spiders to eavesdrop on communication, sending the bugs in like a...well...bug. No one notices them hanging from the ceiling or scurrying across the floor. Their presence means that these people are not safe.
The colors really pop in the scenes where spiders come out of eye sockets. (There's a sentence I never thought I'd write before.) Jean-Paul Csuka makes these panels appear almost neon. They stand out in a vibrant and violent fashion. This is a stark contrast to the standard scenes which are presented in cool, somber tones. It's a great mix.
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Shifting back to the main characters for a moment, Syahrazad has a way with the look and feel of them that quickly tells you so much about them. You can get a read on Hannah from the first moment you see her. On the opposite end of the spectrum is Jessica, a sweet, innocent home-schooled girl. There's a naiveté to her and not a mean bone in her body. This makes the fact that she's in such mortal danger all the more frightening.
No Angel flows like a riveting drama with a supernatural twist. It plays with a trope that authors like Stephen King have used for years, where a normal person with a normal life is thrown into a mystical situation. You don't need much in the way of explanation as to the origins of this occult angle because you're so wrapped up in the character's life and thinking of what you'd do in their shoes.