Review: Rebel Angels   Leave a comment

RAThis month SLG Publishing is releasing Rebel Angels from writer/ illustrator James Turner (Rex Libris, Warlord of Io)  It is a collected edition of his web comic Hell Lost.

Rebel Angels takes place in Hell and depicts a version of the inferno that deals with many of the hot-button issues that plague our world today.  Immigration reform, civil unrest, and a disillusioned populous are all touched upon in the first issue of the series.  It draws from the classic work Paradise Lost, and reminds me of Robert Olen Butler‘s Hell: A Novel.

In Turner’s own words: (Follow the link to a downloadable copy of the book)

It seemed a natural direction for it to go in from Milton’s description of the place. He describes the Fallen Angels as having diverse beliefs, united only in their opposition to God. After the fall, some demons sit atop mountain peaks in Hell discussing philosophy, for example. Enemies with completely uniform political views only exist in propaganda based caricatures. So any charitable look at Hell would have demons asserting a diverse set of beliefs.

Not without its flaws, Rebel Angels shows a lot of promise.

The story plays with the idea that after several millennia in Hell, the demons are starting to wise up to the fact they have gotten a raw deal.  God is denounced as a tyrant and anti-Heaven propaganda lines the streets.  Two faced political types make deals behind each others backs, and we get hints of the larger story that is to come.  Turner’s work in Rebel Angels is clever, and sometimes poignant.

The art is where Rebel Angels really stands out.  Just about every page could be a print, worthy of framing and hanging in your living room.  The kind of art that your friends would look at and say “Wow look at that! Where did you get that interesting work? Clearly you have good taste when it comes to these things.

RA2The down side of the highly stylized art is that at times it and the text can become overwhelming or cluttered on dialog heavy pages, making it the story hard to follow.  This is something that would have been less obvious when the series was published one page at a time as a web series.

The writing is fun the premiss has a world of potential.  I’m excited to see what comes next.

Going to give this one a read? Let me know what you think!

Material reviewed for this post was provided by the publisher.  If you are/represent a publisher or artist and would like to submit material for review please contact the site at

Posted August 15, 2013 by atomicsam in Comics

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