Review – Angelus #1

Well friends, it seems that I have found an entire world that I can really get into again. The last time I felt like this was back in the 90s when I was collecting a bit more (you know, until my allowance money ran out) with the X-Universe. Yes…I’m talking about Witchblade. Some of you may have read the review of the last major storyline, The War of the Witchblades, and if you did you know that the Angelus force is a major player in the history of the series. Typically this force has jumped from host to host when needed to battle The Darkness, wielded by Jackie Estacado for some time now. At the conclusion of this battle however, Angelus settled on Dani Baptiste as its new host. While the Darkness has had a very steady host in Jackie, Angelus has tended to bounce around a little. The hosts are always female, and typically when the host is chosen Angelus imposes its will and the host has no control. Dani, however, is different. She has managed to retain her own personality and seems to work as a partner with Angelus to battle darkness. She spares Sara Pezzini’s life at the end of the War of the Witchblades, even though it seems that the Angelus would prefer to destroy Sara due to corruption of the Witchblade has exposed her too. Angelus is intrigued by Dani, and feels that her strength is finally someone that can serve as more then just a temporary vessel. While this is hinted at in the conclusion to the battle, the start of this intriguing comic seems to more then confirm that this is in fact the case. For an overview of the happenings in this first issue, brought to us by Top Cow, written by Ron Marz and drawn by Stjepan Sejic, read on. At the end of the War of the Witchblades Angelus was aided by its warriors of the light; they are essentially warrior angels by their appearance. Their leader, Sabine, desperately desired that Angelus would select her as the new host based on her previous service and dedication to the light. We are introduced to the Angelus briefly to start this by saying that the host of warriors followed Angelus blindly, knowing that Angelus, and not the host was in control. It appears that Dani retaining her own consciousness here is going to create some enemies on both sides of the fence, light and dark. I have a feeling that Dani has more problems then she knows, and she already seems to understand so little. A conspiracy seems to be forming with Sabine at its heart. As Dani and Finch are out on the town a monster attacks them and Dani summons Angelus to fight it. She can’t seem to figure out where it came from or what it is, even though she has the suspicion she should. As the fight concludes, Sabine and a host of warriors appear and state that they are only there to serve. Dani has questions, and in an attempt to find answers leaves Finch to go with the warriors to discover more about Angelus and its origins. This issue did a great job setting up multiple enemies and agents of Light and Darkness that could prove a threat in the issues to come. The artist did a great job with facial expressions leaving us with the thought that there is more then meets the eye. As always, the female warriors of Angelus are quite a sight to behold. This series also seems to follow the trend of Witchblade in setting up the characters and their emotional situations in the real world as things that could cause conflict in the future. Could Dani’s personality corrupt the Angelus because of her own consciousness there? Will the Angels turn on Dani and engage her in direct conflict if they feel she isn’t worthy? Will The Darkness itself overwhelm her if she cannot fully command Angelus’ power in time? All of these things are possible going forward and I am curious to see how things will turn out. As is expected, the writing and artwork done by any series in Top Cow is top-notch, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how this series develops and intertwines itself into the greater Witchblade universe.