Spike and Illyria go off on their own adventures toward the end of the period of IDW’s “Angel” ongoing series. Two four-issue miniseries — “Spike: The Devil You Know” and “Illyria: Haunted” – let us know what they’re up to, with varying degrees of entertainment value.
Starting with three transitional issues (36-38) where they share plotting and scripting duties with Bill Willingham, the duo of David Tischman and Mariah Huehner takes IDW’s “Angel” series to the finish line in Issues 36-44 (August 2010-April 2011). It’s a notch below Willingham’s run on Issues 28-35 that breathed new life into the title: not terrible, but there’s also a reason why these issues didn’t stick in my head as well as “Buffy” Season 8, which was published by Dark Horse at the same time.
The first 27 issues of IDW’s main “Angel” title were collected under the “Season Six” banner, and that works out well because writer Bill Willingham’s run on the series from Issues 28-35 (December 2009-July 2010) feels like the launch of a new season – in a good way. While “After the Fall” (Issues 1-17) was strong, the title lost focus and momentum after that. Willingham, working with artists Brian Denham (28-32) and Elena Casagrande (33-35), brings a confident sense of direction to what I like to call “Season Seven.” And the artists also draw a Kate who looks like Kate for the first time in too long.