Monday, May 17, 2010

Angel Special: Lorne [Comics]

John Byrne has had an interesting career--for a while he was one of the most popular writers and artists in mainstream comics, given responsibility for overhauling traditional powerhouse titles like Superman and the Fantastic Four. I'm not sure what really happened in the interim, but now I mostly see his work for IDW, one of the many independent companies, which has Byrne doing a lot of work on licensed titles like Star Trek and Angel. I've felt lukewarm about most of his Angel comics, but I really liked his recent one-shot Angel Special: Lorne. The issue is intended as a memorial to Andy Hallett, the actor who played Lorne for several years and who died in 2009. The main story concerns three primordial entities named Discord, Disharmony, and Cacophony--beings who desire to destroy the planet by disrupting what Aristotle called "The Music of the Spheres." Even with the help of Angel, Groo, and Illyria, Lorne has to sacrifice himself to stop the entities--thus, the story is intended as an in-continuity explanation for why IDW plans to keep Lorne out of the main Angel comic for the foreseeable future as a sign of respect for Hallett's passing. A nice editorial by IDW's editor-in-chief explains the move. The book also has a shorter Lorne story that Byrne wrote for a previous Angel comic, an essay by the actor who played Groo and was a good friend of Hallett's, and several photos of the man. It's a pricey book at $ 7.99, but at least a portion of the proceeds are donated to the American Red Cross.

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