Story: John Layman
Art: Joe Eisma
Colors: Celeste Woods
Letterer: Taylor Esposito
What They Say:
The Angels are back, baby! —The original Angels, Jill, Kelly and Sabrina! Travel back to the swingin’ 70s, and revisit the butt-kicking, crime-fighting, mold-breaking lady detectives who took 70s TV by storm, ready to do the same to comics 40 years later! Break out your bell-bottoms, feather your hair, and jump back to a era of peanut-farmer presidents, gargantuan gas-guzzlers and foxy female detectives… for a globe-trotting adventure that’s simply too big and epic for the 70s-era boob tube. Written by elderly Eisner winner and solicitation-writing former-superstar John Layman, and with art by his scrappy but lovable youngster pal, Joe Eisma. This is one comic you DON’T DARE TO MISS!!!!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
While I was alive in the 1970’s I wasn’t exactly aware of a lot of things. I grew up during the decade watching some of the shows my parents watched and I was a fan of things like the Six Million Dollar Man and all and I certainly watched some Charlie’s Angels as well. It was one of the bigger shows of the day and ran for five seasons with a cast that changed over the course of it. Dynamite Entertainment has done pretty well with some of their licensed properties like this and bringing in John Layman and Joe Eisma to put it together definitely works well. It captures the style and attitude of the time well while having a really good flow in the modern storytelling sense so that it comes together in a good and engaging way.
The premise is straightforward enough in that we’re introduced to Jill, Kelly, and Sabrina, three women who became cops only to find themselves handling crap assignments since female police officers weren’t exactly put in the field a lot in a lot of places. With the help of the mysterious Charlie Townsend and his assistant Bosley, they brought the three women together to essentially work as crime fighters handling the jobs that came to Charlie. And they were from all over the world and could be anywhere, which gave it a nice international feeling to it. The backstory side for the characters is handled well mid-book so that it doesn’t become a big origin piece and instead just fleshes it out quickly so we can engage in the here and now.
And that story has the team brought in to help a club owner/performer for the Limbo Lounge deal with a couple of low-lifes that he ended up partnering with when times got a little tough. Unfortunately, one of the thugs is now running illegal gun sales through the club and the owner needs their help in bringing it to a stop. The fun is in watching the trio setup their plan for it, which involves them taking on various roles within the club and the skimpy outfits of the time, and then executing it – with a monkey in the mix. It’s not a really strong story in a sense because it has a one and done design to it but it helps to introduce the team, some of their crafty creativity, and the humor and lightness along the way. It’s not re-imagining this as a dark piece and it reminds me of the recent Bettie Page series more than anything else. Especially with the mystery pair in the background that are looking to eliminate President-Elect Jimmy Carter.
I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this and my own reaction to it since I wasn’t hugely invested in the original (and certainly not the reboot movies). Layman and Eisma have put together a very fun Charlie’s Angels series here that I think captures a lot of the tone and style of the original in comic form, which comes with some of the limitations of the charm of the actors at the time and the breeziness of it all in live-action form. That said, this is a lot of fun and you do get that sense from the characters as they navigate what they’re dealing with seriously but mix in just enough humor to that and complementing it more elsewhere so that they feel like authentic people. Eisma’s artwork is great and I love his take on the 70’s style with the clothes and hair as that’s key to really bringing it to life so that helps immensely in making this a very engaging and fun romp.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: June 27th, 2018