Verdict: ANGELBOY VOL. 2 is a gorgeous work of art full of evocative imagery. A dark, thought-provoking tale steeped in a gritty urban backdrop that’s as alluring as it is dangerous.
A young angel with heroic powers finds himself in the middle of a dangerous feud between childhood friends in this fast-paced graphic novel.
After meeting a mysterious, untimely end, Cyrus has been returned to Earth as an angel and is currently on a journey to understand all that has happened to him. His new existence renders him invisible to the mortal eye and bestows him with intriguing powers to help fight evil. In this second installment in the ANGELBOY series, Cyrus happens upon a troubled young man named Lee who has attempted to escaped from an asylum. In an effort to help, Cyrus frees him after the botched escape but unknowingly sets off a perilous chain of events between Lee and his ex-childhood friend Ian Rezenvelt, who just so happens to be mayor of the city. Scrambling to right wrongs and fight off demons, Cyrus must stop Lee before he makes decisions with deadly consequences.
In a medium where illustrations are the key to storytelling, author N.M. Beguesse delivers in spectacular fashion. Each panel is rendered with careful thought to detail—stark black and white images build a macabre world. From the outset, the story is heavily atmospheric, chock full of shadowy alleyways, gothic rooms, and panels dripping with both blood and devilish mythology. The fight between demons and angels set against a dirty urban backdrop isn’t a new source of conflict, but Beguesse brings something fresh to the ride by juggling the dark themes with imaginative visuals. The contrast between dark-haired, dark-eyed Lee and golden-haired, bright-eyed Cyrus is an interesting play on Good vs. Evil, though those lines could be gray in their own right. The origins of the demons Cyrus battles is another ingenious twist on the worldbuilding.
The story itself moves along quickly—perhaps too much. The narrative tends to jump from one event to another and it doesn’t always allow enough time for character development. Due to it being the second volume in the series, there is a brief explanation of the previous plot at the beginning, but it’s not quite enough to clear up questions that arise within the story’s sometimes confusing sequence of events. Some of the dialogue lacks depth, but the novel’s mature themes are handled with care and the illustrations make the most impact.
ANGELBOY VOL. 2 is a gorgeous work of art full of evocative imagery. A dark, thought-provoking tale steeped in a gritty urban backdrop that’s as alluring as it is dangerous.