Angel Love #3 (October, 1986)
by Barbara Slate
Cover Price: $0.75
Today was a lucky day... I finally finished my Angel Love collection. For the past year, this very issue had alluded me. I began thinking that it was somehow rare, or was under-printed. Hell, I can count on one hand how many times I've seen any issues of this series in the wild... so, for all I know the entire run is rare... with issue #3 being exceptionally so. I convinced myself it just had to be due to that incredibly wacky cover!
I've been checking in with all the comics and used bookstores in the area for this bugger... and, I gotta tell ya... you get some strange looks when you ask some hipster behind the counter who's barely out of his teens if they have any issues of Angel Love. Oh well, all's well that ends well... Let's get right to it!
We open and if I'm not mistaken this is the first time we're seeing Angel working on her art. It's... well, something... perfectly fine for someone who draws in roller-skates. I doubt she's a comic book artist, looks more like something that would be on a whimsical Hallmark card. Nothing wrong with that, at all... funny thing is, these days you can get greeting cards that speak to you... back then, only Angel's speaks to her. The Angel (drawing... not the girl) introduces herself as Halo, and asks that Angel (the girl... not the drawing) give her a cuter "Pat Benatar" nose.
Following the rhinoplasty, Halo tells Angel that she's her Guardian Angel, and that any time she's needed... all she's gotta do is draw her. Angel's super-pleased, thinking that all her dreams will come true... Not so fast, Red... Halo didn't say nothin' about your dreams. The surreal moment is interrupted by a ringing phone... it's Angel's friend Cindy... and if the cover hadn't spoiled you yet, she's knocked up! This is a funny conversation... Angel's trying to interject about how her cartoon just started talking to her. Hey Cindy, you sure this is the gal you wanna confide in?
Some time later, Angel meets with Cindy in the park. We learn that Cindy hasn't the foggiest clue what birth control is... but she does know what abortion is! Angel tries to reason with her... ya know, make sure she knows her options. Why, she could carry the baby to term, and put it up for adoption. Ya see, there's all sorts of new wave punks, hippies, and bag ladies who'd just love to have a child!
Angel even goes as far as telling Cindy that they could raise little Alice or Alex together. Cindy looks reasonably off-put by the gesture... and reminds Angel that she's not the child's father... Jeff is! Jeff, we learn, still doesn't know he's a dad-to-be. Back to the abortion... Cindy's made up her mind, she's getting the procedure... this afternoon? Yeesh, she doesn't screw... er, mess around!
Back at the pad, Wendy realizes she's missed her audition. She's all atwitter, and runs into Everett... who, for some reason is camped out in their living room. He plays armchair psychologist and posits that Wendy purposely missed her audition because she fears rejection. I'll have you know sir, that Wendy doesn't know the definition of the word! Seriously... she has to look it up... in the dictionary.
Well, hell... looks like she is afraid of rejection after all! Angel enters the apartment and goes straight to Everett for advice about Cindy. Wendy wonders why Angel didn't come to her... dammit, rejected again! Wendy really is the best.
Angel spills the beans to Everett, and he's all... it ain't your decision to make Ang'. On the sidelines, Wendy is trying to call Robert Redford... or Woody Allen. It's great, her antics are far more interesting that Angel's problems... not just to me, but to Everett as well. He walks away from Angel while she's still talking to see what Wendy's up to. Turns out, she's trying to get over her fear of rejection by calling people who are sure to reject her! The plan is inspired, and further proof that she is secretly a genius.
Later on that day, Angel accompanies Cindy to the abortion clinic. While there, she tells her pal that she supports her decision... and she's sorry she made all those suggestions while they were in the park. Well, now Cindy's sure she wants to keep the baby! This is kinda funny too... while Angel's going on about how she supports the abortion and will be there for her friend... Cindy's already walked out! She's going to tell Jeff and they'll raise this baby together!
That night, back at the apartment... Wendy is trying to call, get this... William Shakespeare. Everett informs her that he's long dead (I didn't even know he was sick!). Everett continues by saying he'll reject her himself if it will help her out. Oh, don't be silly Everett... Wendy knows deep down you love her. I mean, you're camped out in her apartment all the time... I think the jig is up, pal. Your rappin' girlfriend knew there was smoke here. He puts up a fight saying he doesn't love her... so, Wendy brings in Angel as a third-party. She agrees with Everett (she must think he's always hangin' about to be with her)... Wendy (rightfully) laughs that off as well.
The jocularity is interrupted by Cindy. She's told Jeff, and now he wants to... get this, marry her! Well, Cindy's an 80's kinda gal... she's not gonna marry some dude just because he knocked her up! Angel gives her all the reasons she should commit... ya know, they love each other and whatnot. Nope, Cindy ain't hearing it. They disconnect the call, and Angel just knows she'll be getting a wedding invitation before too long.
Angel heads into her studio... so we can start having fun again. Wendy makes one last phone call... to Steven Spielberg... while Everett rolls his eyes. Well, guess what... Steve answers, and has quite the pleasant chat with our Wendy! Everett's buggin' out and Wendy retires to her bedroom, visions of ET's dancin' in her head.
We wrap up with Angel drawing Halo to fill her in on the goings on of this very busy day. She's interrupted by Everett who won't shut up about Wendy... I'm tellin' ya, he's obsessed! So, what does Angel do? She starts goin' on about how she can talk to her cartoons... and they talk back. Everett looks incredulous... and is likely thinkin' back to everything his ol' lady said about "white chicks".
Today we cover the heavy topic of abortion... in quite a light way. I don't have any problem with that as Angel is only a POV character here, and not the one who has to "choose". Her friend Cindy, is written as rather fickle and terminally unable to commit to a given decision. As strange as it is to say that the scene in the abortion clinic is actually written as comedy... it is, and maybe it's not laugh-out-loud funny, but it's certainly got charm. It's perhaps the first scene thus far where Angel is part of the comedy. She's been kind of the stick in the mud up to this point.
Continuing the softer/funner side of Angel... she appears to be losing her mind. She's talking to her cartoon angel, Halo... who (it appears) only shows up for her. This is a cute addition to the series, and allows for some (relatively) organic expository dialogue. I did think it was really cute how proud Angel was of this drawing too... I mean, really now...
Speaking of comedy... there's my Wendy. No follow up on whether or not her baby bird ever recovered... I'll have to assume/hope it did... maybe we'll get some "follow up" in the subsequent chapters. Here's hoping! Anyhoo, she's looking for rejection... not rejection from her pals, but rejection from important people in her chosen field. It's always so much fun when she's on panel... I mean, c'mon... she tried to call William Shakespeare for a rejection. She's amazing!
Now Everett... what's this dude doing hanging around Angel and Wendy's apartment... is his air conditioner still out? Is his girlfriend still ticked that he's hangin' round two white chicks? There's a story thread I'm hoping is picked up on... his lady looks like one you wouldn't want to mess with.
Overall, another fun issue of Angel Love. Certainly not for everyone, but for some light comedy with heart you could do way worse. For its sheer novelty, this series is one of the highlights of my 2016 retro-reads. This is one of those series I'd say I want to be revisited nowadays... but I gotta say I'm glad this one is stuck in the 1980's. I don't think a series like this could occur today without losing its charm and getting mired way deep in social politics.
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