Review: Red Angel / Written by: Erin Pyne, Larry Jarrell / Illustrated by: Russ Leach / Published by: What The Flux / Release Date: Out Now
Red Angel is the new no-holds-barred steampunk title by What The Flux comics. From the creative team of Erin Pyne (wordsmith) Larry Jarrell (co-creator) and Russ Leach (artist extraordinaire). In this latest offering we follow the adventures of Red Angel (Victoria Angel) and her crew as she is tasked with defending the Neo-Britannia continent from pirates and the ever-rising machine menace.
This alternative world is populated with automations: robots powered by clockwork and steam, and indulges concepts and technology that were fantasies of the Victorian era but are stock and trade in the reality of Red Angel. It turns out that a machine war has ravaged 19th century Britain for the past twenty-five years, and the likes of Victoria Angel are needed to ensure that the machine insurgents don’t get out of hand. The good captain never turns down a fight or the cash and relishes in her new-found career path. Of course, things are never what they seem - wouldn’t it be boring if they were – and events soon take a turn for the worse. What follows is a fast-paced action adventure that doesn’t shy away from the dramatic. Airships battle for dominance of the sky, filled with pirates, big explosions, and even bigger guns.
Russ Leach’s art is a fair accompaniment of the story and powers along each scene. The first mate mech soldier, 2458, a cool-looking, cutlass-weilding robot is particularly impressive. The word ‘solid’ springs to mind. Victoria Angel manages to look sexy and kick-ass at the same time and the supporting cast are well-visualised. The characters, story arc and settings seem nicely fleshed out, although one wonders at Red Angel’s choice of attire, but, hey, we’re not grumbling.
Red Angel provides a nice visual take on the steampunk aesthetic, combining modern themes from the sub-genre and enhancing them in its own unique way and, while not telling perhaps the most original of stories, still manages to provide an entertaining read. The character of Victoria Angel – listed in the top 50 sexiest comic book babes - is based upon the actress and model Amy Vitale who has worked closely with What The Flux to ensure the comic’s continued success.
However, Red Angel isn’t What The Flux’s only voyage into the world of Steampunk. Far from it. They have a hero story being developed called Outlaws written by Matthew Jones, another Steampunk story from Tim Twelves and Dan Hill called the New Adventures of Sir Harry Chiselton. They are adding several new titles to their US and UK imprint including The Reckoning from Jimmy Pearson and Conqueror from Paul Penna. And if that wasn’t enough, they also have a vampire story with a working title of ‘Plunder’. Watch this space as they say.
What The Flux’s books are available in print on their website.