You know, I usually like to start these Buffy and Angel reviews with some funny line of dialogue from the issue. And with Buffy Season 8, my problem is inevitably that I have TOO many lines to choose from, and have to decide which 2 or 3 were my favorites. But with Angel these last few issues, I find myself poring through the pages trying to find even one humorous line that stands out to me. Granted, I understand that Angel was always a darker show than Buffy, but still … even at its gloomiest, I remember laughing sometimes. That’s the beauty of a Whedon show — laugh a little, cry a little, care a lot about the characters as they battle certain doom. But in the last few issues, I can’t help but feel that the plot has overshadowed the characters.
Anyway, so Issue #11– which I was sorry to see was still being drawn by Nick Runge — picked up right where #10 left off, with Angel and Gunn finally coming face to face. Wait, can we talk about Runge’s art for a minute? Right on the first page, I’m confused, because there’s a guy in the second panel who looks like Angel. But then Angel’s in the third panel. And what’s with Fred’s expression there — is she supposed to be happy to see Gunn, or terrified? And why do most of the panels in this issue have no backgrounds? And WTF is up with Gwen’s, Spike’s, and Connor’s faces in those last two panels on the next-to-last page?
This week’s W.Y.O.S.T. subject is Brian Thompson. If you ever watched the original Terminator movie, then you’ve seen him. For a few minutes anyway. In one of the opening scenes, he and Bill Paxton play a couple of street punks who go up against a naked cyborg Arnold … and are promptly killed for their clothes. As first roles go, an actor could do far worse — although from the body of work that’s followed since that movie in 1984, one wonders how exactly Brian Thompson has avoided playing the role of a terminator himself over the years. After all, the square-jawed baritone actor has played just about every other kind of imposing bogey man you can think of — two different vampires, two different Klingons, a shape-changing Gotham City supervillain, an alien bounty hunter, an indestructible demon, and even a vengeful Greek Titan.
A child of two teachers, Thompson broke into Hollywood as a Terminator casualty, but has gone on from there to build a career as either a tough guy or an outright bad guy, mostly in sci-fi/fantasy projects. By the time the 80s were over, he had racked up more than 20 appearances in such shows as Moonlighting, Knight Rider, and Falcon Crest, as well as the classic movies Three Amigos, Miracle Mile, and Alien Nation. In 1989, he landed his first Star Trek role, playing a Klingon officer in The Next Generation, and his relationship with the franchise would persist over the years — he appeared in the Generations movie (1994), in Deep Space Nine (1993 & 1996), and even had a recurring role on Enterprise in 2005.
I think this is absolutely brilliant. But as the writer points out, it’s entirely possible that Dollhouse will get far TOO much hype before it has a chance to premiere in January, and suffer as a result.
Marvel.com did a cool thing with Astonishing X-Men #1, in honor of the Giant-Sized final issue of the Whedon/Cassaday run, due in stores on May 28th. It’s been a great 24 issues so far, and if you haven’t read this series yet, I encourage you to buy the trade paperbacks and check them out.