Current Reviews


Street Angel #4

Posted: Saturday, December 4, 2004
By: Ray Tate

Writer: Jim Rugg & Brian Maruca
Artists: Jim Rugg
Publisher: Slave Labor Graphics
You would think that a focus on Street Angel's homeless status would be damn depressing, and it is.  This issue of Street Angel is a melancholic exercise, yet it's an honest one. 

Rugg and Maruca do not exaggerate the lifestyle.  So, yes, Jesse Sanchez the Street Angel is cold and hungry, but she is not sweating with Norman Osborn nor subject to torture by power drill.

Instead, Jesse huddles under a disused blanket.  Conflict arises from basic survival.  She tries to score some freshly discarded doughnuts and avoid not ninjas but bees and embarrassment.  She succeeds in only one of these endeavors.

Rugg again provides the same stark black and white artwork that in previous issues riveted critical gazes.  There is no exaggeration.  This is the same style he used in earlier stories.  There is no extra emphasis on darkness.  Visual humor still alleviates the vignette--witness the finale involving a stray cat.  It's still good, solid black and white storycraft.

Both creators eschew symbolism to ground the story in reality.  Sure, Street Angel's turf is dark and genuinely gritty, but Gotham City which is supposed to have a hero stopping crime is a much nastier town.  Realism simply is, and the unchanging atmosphere and artwork hammers the point home.  You can be homeless on the most beautiful day in whatever city that you live.

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