Ed Brubaker's Angel of Death
Ed Brubaker and I got acquainted (no I don't know Ed personally) last year when I started, well actually the other comic book collecter in the family started, reading The Death of Captain America collections. I was pretty skeptical of the whole endeavor. Killing off a hero in comics is often a gimic, an angle, an attempt to inflate interest and boast sagging sales. Sometimes it works. Not just for the stated goals just mentioned, but some times the stories created in the enterprise really cook. The immediate aftermath of D.C.'s Death of Superman is a prime example. Ed Brubaker though brought some of his hardboiled sensiblities to Captain America and in killing him (something that he has gone out of his way to make narratively hard to reverse) has crafted some of the finest work ever seen in Captain America. He as killed off Steve Rogers, and the title continues to tell the tale of Cap's friends, and the ways in which they cope with the aftermath of their friend's death. Rarely has a death in comics been so effective at driving a story forward, or affecting the universe in which they inhabit.
All this is a massive aside. What Brubaker is known for, and which I am enjoying exploring is his hard-boiled crime comic books. He has several collections Criminal is as good a place to start with Brubaker as any. His new dark look at superhero noir, Incognito isn't half bad either.
Okay that was a tinier aside.
I was watching Penn Jillette on youtube the other day (his vlog Pennsays for the curious) when I saw a preview for a web-based series playing at www.crackle.com, which I then started watching. The show in question? Ed Brubaker's Angel of Death. New episodes up every weekday. It stars the incomprable stuntwoman extrodinaire, Zoe Bell. You may remember her from Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof. Its eight episodes into the series (each episode averages about 8 minutes in length). Without giving too much away it is the tale of a hit woman who contracts for the mob. We get shady mentions of New York and Chicago ties, but really those particulars are not important. There is one crime family in her city and currently that is all that matters. Oh that and the events of the first episode. A classic theme in the hard boiled crime genre is the hit gone wrong, and that in a nutshell is where we meet our heroine. Its a fine, shocking, and totally entertaining meeting at that. I was born too late to get a taste of the weekly serials that preceded the movies of the forties and fifties. But this in many ways reminds me of what those must have been like. Bloodier maybe, and there is the foul language....but yeah just like the movie serials of an earlier era.
Click on the title of this blog and you can judge for yourself.