Angel and the Ape #1 (1991)

Angel and the Ape #1 (March, 1991)
“Shaking the Family Tree”
Writer/Penciller – Phil Foglio
Inker – Keith Wilson
Letterer – John Workman
Colorist – Tom Ziuko
Associate Editor – Katie Main
Editor – Mike Gold
Cover Price: $1.00

Hey lookit that another issue of Angel Lo… er, and the Ape… wonk wonk wonkkk.  This one’s been on my “to check out” radar for quite awhile, and figure now’s as good a time as any.

We open up some sixteen years ago where a young pigtailed Angel O’Day is running off to get firewood for her father while they’re on safari in Africa.  Off she goes, and she finds the perfect log for the fire… only thing is, it’s too heavy to carry off.  Lucky for her she gets an assist from a talking gorilla… who lifts the log… revealing a venomous snake… that bites him in the leg!

Angel heads back to camp to fetch her daddy the doc to help her primate pal… and he does.  

Now, we’re in the present… Angel O’Day is a comely young lady and the Ape is now Sam Simeon… and they run a detective agency… yeah, why not?  They do a bit of sparring to get the blood pumping… and judging by the way Angel is dressed, I gotta figure ol’ Sam’s blood’s already pumping.

A Mr. Ziebarth enters, getting a pretty good look at Angel’s derriere.  He works for the insurance company and he comes bearing good news.  O’Day and Simeon are cleared of all liability in a recent building demolition by way of a testimony procured via quija board, and so he hands them a check.

Later on, Angel asks if Sam wants to go to dinner to celebrate… but realizes that he’s got a standing weekly date with her half-sister Athena.  We also learn here that Sam works for DZ Comics.  Their chat is interrupted by an interjecting Athena… who, not knowing her own strength knocks through the door.

Athena asks if Sam minds if she did dinner with Angel tonight… she’s got some important things to talk about with her.  Sam’s cool with it, and decides he’ll go deposit their big check while the sisters hash it out.  Here we learn that Athena is actually Dumb Bunny from the Inferior 5!

We join the sisters as they dine… and it doesn’t take long for the conversation to take a disturbing and uncomfortable turn… ya see, Athena’s thinking about asking Sam… ya know, the Ape… to be her boyfriend.  Angel takes the news about as well as could be expected… hearing that her sister wants to, er, be with a primate…

Athena asks Angel if she can think of a single reason (unrelated to his ape-ness, I guess) that she shouldn’t pursue this relationship… and she can’t come up with a single one.  Sam’s a “hell of a guy”, after all.  We get some clarification that Dumb Bunny doesn’t want Sam for sex… which is both a relief and somewhat depressing.  She’s extremely lonely, and appears to just want some companionship… okey doke.  Angel says she needs some time to process all of this before giving it her blessing… and leaves the restaurant.

Meanwhile, Sam’s bank-bound… and upon arrival there’s a bit of a role-reversal… for a moment, he turns human while all the humans turn into apes!

He freaks out, everything changes back to “normal” and he heads back to the office to share his story with Angel… who ain’t buyin’ it.  He figures the best way to prove it is to somehow procure the security footage from the bank.  So, he disguises himself as a really hairy security camera repairman… and swipes the footage.

He returns to the office, and Angel sees that he was telling the truth.

As they try to figure out what to make of all this, they are interrupted by three Lobot looking fellas who demand Sam come with them.  A fight erupts, and Angel is shocked to see that her martial art skills are useless against these baldies.  Luckily Dumb Bunny shows up and cleans house.

A dude enters and tells the P.I.s that the bank wants to hire them to find out who swapped security tapes.  Sam takes this as his cue to leave.  Angel and Athena are confused… then turn back at the Lobot looking fools to see that they were, in reality… apes!

Ehhh…. well… hrrm, this sure was a comic book.

Not the best thing I’ve read of late… I wanna say not the worst, but that would only be because I recently read that Charlton-flavored L.A.W. miniseries.  I really didn’t dig this… from words to pictures, just really not my scene.

This is probably the Phil Foglio-est art I’ve seen to date… and while it was off-putting and hampered my enjoyment of Stanley and his Monster… here, it’s almost aggressively so.  Just like with Stanley, I wonder just why this story needed to be told.  That, at least started out decent… this is just, ehh…

I am a fan of world/universe-building, so the revelation that Angel O’Day is the half-sister of Dumb Bunny of the Inferior 5 was really cool to me.  I guess that plants this smack-dab into DC continuity proper… for better and/or worse.  I really don’t like that Dumb Bunny wants to get romantically involved with an Ape… 

Overall… not a fan.  It’s silly, but not in the kind of way I dig… Neither character comes across as especially likable, and I’m not feeling the urge to root for anyone.  If you’re looking for a humor book, and find this in the cheap-o’s… ehh, I will say, that there’re far better “funny” funnybooks out there that are more worth your time.

But… that’s just me.

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0 thoughts on “Angel and the Ape #1 (1991)

  • Anonymous

    All the '90s and such quarter-books I see, and while this and the Angel Love stuff rang a bell, I can't remember the last time I saw any of these IN the bargain bins/cross my path.

    Interesting to consider how much WAS actually allowed into continuity back in the day, and incorporated, compared to present. (Look at Sovereign Seven). Or, of course, this.

  • trbarnes76

    Turns out Sam was Gorilla Grodd's son or grandson(I can't remember). Angel and Sam each had a thing for each other but each were too prideful to act on their feelings. The incidents with the apes was Grodd's doing and they foil the plot by the end of the miniseries. It wasn't the worst miniseries I had ever toughed it out to finish.

  • Wow I guess I'm in the minority because I loved this series. Weird fact: this was the first DC comic a friend of mine ever bought. Marvel guy. After this, he was hooked on DC as well.

    • Haha, I always assumed I was in the minority for *not* liking it! There's just something about Phil Foglio's style that feels "off" to me. Can't explain it… all's I know is I don't like lookin' at it, haha


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