Grotesque Anatomy
Wednesday, June 16, 2004
  Lovestruck Ramblings: Street Angel #2
STREET ANGEL #2Street Angel #2 (Amaze Ink/Slave Labor Graphics • 24 B&W Pages • $2.95) - Lord, I love this comic.  Imagine my surprise when I opened the front cover (which Ray Tate referred to as "ghastly," although I'm not sure why; then again my blog is named "Grotesque Anatomy") and found that what I had assumed was a throwaway image in issue #1 was in fact an ongoing story continued in this issue's inside front cover.  Yes, Jesse's war with the giant squid rages on.  Whereas last issue the squid seemed to have the upper hand(s) -- after all, they were fighting in his element -- somehow Jesse survived to fight another day.  This time, the setting seems to favor Jesse, although perhaps some clarification regarding the venue is required.  It's definitely on land this time, but Jesse seems to think it's a wrestling ring while the squid came prepared for a boxing match.  Perhaps Jesse purposely misled the squid so that he'd be at a disadvantage.  Still, how will Jesse prevail?  She's shown in mid-leap, descending upon the squid in a wrestling move of questionable validity, but the squid already has four arms up ready to pummel our heroine!

After a cliffhanger thrill like that, it was hard to focus on the "main" story.  Thankfully Jim Rugg and Brian Maruca packed a whole lot of entertaining distractions into the following twenty-four pages:  hip-hop Incan sun gods; time-travelling Conquistador pirates; Australian-accented, rocket-propelled Irish astronauts; slacker ninjas; and, of course, the titular Street Angel herself.  After a while, I began to lose myself in the humorous tale and the wonderful artwork.  I even thought I detected a subtle improvement over last issue's already excellent art, as the line weight seemed more confident and varied this time around.

Alas, all too soon the engaging diversion was over and my thoughts returned to the eternal struggle between Jesse and her arch-nemesis, the giant squid.  Somehow I knew that the battle had ended without a clear victor.  Both combatants probably got in some good blows, yet both probably took some serious licks as well.  Where, I wondered, would their next encounter take place?  Some volcanic wasteland?  The snow-capped Himalayas?  The deepest, darkest jungles of the Amazon rainforest?  A deserted parking ramp?  Some alien planet, with strange and possibly dangerous animal and plant life covering the landscape?  Whatever the setting, one thing is certain:  I'll be there, eager for more.
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by John Jakala

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