Angel City #5
Angel City #5 is packed with action, gearing up for the conclusion next issue. Dolores’ attempt to solve her friend’s murder takes a back seat to staying alive, as crooked cops and gangsters sent by studio bosses are both after her for not shutting up and leaving well enough alone. (No matter the era, someone always wants the strong women to sit down and be quiet.)
As the issue opens, she’s been framed for someone else’s murder, sending her fleeing. In keeping with the period Hollywood setting, there are plenty of classic thriller conventions on view here: the mad leap from the ship’s railing, the beautiful blonde on the run in an evening gown, falling in love while hiding out from the authorities. You can see what I mean in these preview pages.
Although I’ve seen many of these types of plot events before, those allusions are part of the enjoyment, as Janet Harvey and Megan Levens flow them together in such a way that keeps the excitement up and the action moving, evoking the period they’re portraying. What I haven’t seen before is so many welcome portrayals of Los Angeles denizens beyond the studio bosses and stars, such as Dolores’ new friend Rita, a woman of color relegated to bit parts, and Joe, the reporter telling off his boss when she sells out, who happens to be Asian. They know what it’s like to have people make snap judgments about you, so they and their friends are willing to help.
Issue #6 is due out in a month, on March 15, with a collection coming in August. I recommend it for a fast-moving look back at the dirt under the silver screen, headlined by a tough dame who can take care of herself, in the mode of the kind of stars we don’t see anymore. Dolores would get along great with Barbara Stanwyck or Joan Blondell. (The publisher provided a digital review copy.)