Writer: Jose Luis' Gaitan (Script Adaption: Eddie Deighton)
Artist: Walter Toborda
Publisher: Com.X Comics
What, Who, and Where is 'Angel Azul'???!!! To know exactly you must explore this extravagant trade paperback through a wild, ultra-sleek, futuristic ride into the post-tech city of Kido where a dark cloud looms over it, known as The Dawn Lair. Leon (the leader of Kido city) orders the Facade members - Tobias, Raoul, and the enigmatic masked soldier CODENAME: BABETOOL – to seek the answer to this mysterious question. All hopes of saving Kido city rest on them, through a series of inner conflicts as well as all out non-stop action battles with TAO the leader of the aerial city, The Dawn Lair, and his warriors who seek "angel azul" believing it to be a weapon to help them destroy Kido city. Codename: Babetool and The Facade fight in order to stop The Dawn invasion which would lead to enslavement of Kido's population and possible destruction. Leaving the question: is "angel azul" the salvation or destruction of a city?
Writer Jose Luis Gaitan scripts a very powerful story of a world that has become stagnant and which allows no growth. He touches on so much of our realities, with a world consumed by a War Against Terrorism, economic worries, anxiety, militant pressure; It is a world that has forfeited a chance to explore ideals and live in silent fear of the conflict between Kido and The Dawn Lair. Just when you think that's bad enough, Gaitan then adds an emotional bout with the super sleek Codename: Babetool, who tries to cope with the mysterious mask she wears and the commitment she does not yet know she has truly made by wearing the mask; of course she has a mentor to help her through it. But, be that as it may, like all great mentors he kicks the bucket and she is forced to confront her demons alone.
That is the great thing about this book: Gaitan has managed to create an intriguing character by showing some background to establish her yet not fully giving her origin away to allow you to grow with the character over the course of future stories. Gaitan adds even more internal as well as external conflict between the supporting cast of characters, Tobias and Rao, by delving into the subject of sexuality. This makes for an interesting story within a story.
William Toborda's art is completely manga-influenced, no doubt about it. Very simple drawings, yet with all the tone paper he uses along with his fantastic line style and weights. The tone is placed in different ways than most manga, making each piece unique visually and helping it to differ from the usual manga art style so commonly done. He clearly illustrates characters that are memorable and individually unique in appearance.
It is truly amazing to know that two South Americans did this book entirely. Talk about breaking into the American mainstream market of comics and especially through a British publisher who is making waves all over the comic industry. Only Com.X comics would find something unique as this and have it wave under their banner. To be honest, manga from any other publisher never appealed to me as this book has. This book has so much to offer to new and die hard fans of Manga comics; even ranking amongst the greats such as Blade Of the Immortal, Cannon God Exxaxion and Lone Wolf and Cub. The trade costs $12.99, and it entirely worth it as you get three comics collected herein, along with a design sketchbook by Walter Toborda and several other artists’ interpretations of Babetool. An excellent package.
Gaitan successfully manages to give us a story that hopefully will continue into a regular comic series or possibly into another collected set to fully get into Codename: Babetool. Also Toborda leaves us with this sequential masterpiece only to hope that we will see more manga-style visuals he will do in the future or possibly the anticipated second trade. After all, this is a story that cannot be left unfinished.
Codename: Babetool is available online HERE!
Codename: Babetool is available online
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