When Frances Faye is found dead in a dumpster, Joe decides to investigate, starting with her former best friend, Dolores Date. As Dolores starts to remember the good old days, we see a flashback of their life together. Despite her tough exterior, Dolores is more hurt than she shows—and she’s doing something about it!
This series is loosely based on the Black Dahlia. The nickname came from a film noir released just a year earlier. This was Elizabeth Short, who was murdered quite publicly in 1947 in Los Angeles. Her body was found mutilated, and the murderer was never caught. Hollywood murders are some of the most infamous, and true crime is some of the most interesting. Janet Harvey’s Angel City blends the two into one dramatic storyline.
The language used in this issue is very indicative of the time period. With words like “dollface” and “sparkly,” there is no confusing this era. Megan Levens’ artwork also displays the time and place setting, what with the classy waved hair, palm trees, old school clubs, attire, etc. Period pieces are either a hit or a miss, and this issue pulls it off well.
There is a great deal of characterization going on with Dolores, even though she is a little conflicted herself. She’s a tough woman who doesn’t take crap from anyone. In fact, her muscle and relentlessness is what got her a job. And although she was initially emotionless towards her friend’s death, it won’t stay that way for long.
Levens’ artwork is clean, with solid line work and expressive characters. Nick Filardi’s colors aren’t too bright, which further emphasizes the time period. Most of the outdoor scenes are at dusk or in the evening, so the entire issue has an overall dark, mysterious, and suspenseful tone.
This is a great issue to open up the series. True crime fanatics and crime genre readers alike will love this series. Not only is it fueled by the Black Dahlia Murder, but it explores concepts found in Hollywood crimes overall. Head to your local comic book shop and give it a read!
Written by: Janet Harvey
Illustrated by: Megan Levens