Review: Angel City #1

angel-city-1-coverThere’s a lot of darkness in the city of glamor and dreams. Dolores Dare sees that first hand in the 1930s noir Angel City by Janet Harvey, Megan Levens, and Nick Filardi. After her best friend ends up thrown away like trash, Dolores, a once wide-eyed Hollywood hopeful turned mob enforcer, must go against the city of Hollywood to uncover the truth of the “April Fool’s Killer.” Angel City feels like the L.A. of James Ellory and comes from the perspective of a woman who knows just how dark Tinseltown can be.

I’m a big fan of noir comics and have a special love of ones that are a period piece set in the time when we think of private detectives and tough/crooked cops, the 1930s. Writer Janet Harvey plays with a lot of the tropes we’ve seen in this type of story, but also spins things around, a lot, by making the main female character, not a femme fatale to seduce the detective, but instead a tough as nails mob enforcer and the investigator.

Harvey sets up, then twists, expectations by leading in with classic noir beats and got me engaged and on the edge wanting to find out what happens next by knocking those elements down. You go in expecting a typical noir story, but soon it’s clear Harvey has no intention of doing that type of story.

The art by Megan Levens and color by Nick Filardi moves away from the dark and dirty style you might expect for this type of story and instead takes advantage of the sun filled skies of Hollywood. The style is as interesting as the story itself and reflects the tone quite well. The comic begins with a look that’s more grim and gritty, but eventually gives way for hues of red and orange with a little gray thrown in to keep the tone.

The first issue does a great job of setting up the story with expectations you’d have due to the genre, then knocking that all down with some twists that make the comic really stand out.

Story: Janet Harvey Art: Megan Levens Color: Nick Filardi
Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Oni Press provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review