Reading No Angel #2 it sometimes seems like the plot is stalling from getting back to the murder investigation of Hannah’s dad and brother. A little too much chatting over beer when there’s two family deaths to solve. What saves the issue is that it never lets its pacing take away from Hannah’s intelligence. Hannah doesn’t miss the obvious. When Miriam tells her there is a killer out to destroy angels, and she is in possession of the book where the Elioud (group that traces their roots back to angels) have been charting their family trees, Hannah sees the liability of being known to house that item. If she had destroyed the book then and there we would really be talking, because you know it’s still going to end up in the wrong hands, but at least she’s aware of its importance, and too many detective stories are unwilling to have their “skilled” detectives make these connections until it’s too late (classic lazy storytelling).
Hannah’s also hilarious, and the issue includes a great piece of comedy where Hannah doesn’t believe her sister’s wings are real (the sister, Jessica, Hannah didn’t know she had until a few minutes ago). She comes around to Jessica’s angel genes with a well-timed obscenity.
The opening tag is unexpected, but slowly becomes another, well-thought out characterization by writers Eric Palicki and Adrianne Palicki, transitioning to our main story using a somewhat familiar, but entertaining, bug (the spying and eight-legged kind). The tag is also an example of Jean Paul-Csuka’s colors at their best—red morphing into purple like a groovy lava lamp. On a few occasions the bold shades get taken too far. There’s one page where Hannah’s coat changes from brown, to teal, to purple and, without leaving the same room, it’s not a rotation that can be explained away by the lighting. The inks by artist, Ari Syahrazad, vary this issue as well, too thickly added in some places and not allowing for finer facial details.
The cliffhanger was a big success last issue but, for careful observers, the surprise will only be half achieved this time. Regardless, after trailing in the middle No Angel makes up for lost time, with the suspected killer threatening more lives of the people Hannah cares about. I wish the issue hadn’t taken so long to get moving but I don’t see Hannah getting a chance to drink a beer again anytime soon.