I wasn’t as hype for the first issue, but I’m a lot more hype for this one because it displays the story’s potential in full-force. Brian Maruca’s and Jim Rugg’s The Street Angel Gang ramps up the strange to a higher level. Jesse ‘Street Angel’ Sanchez — the deadliest girl alive — has gone from dancing with a boy to joining a dangerous gang the Bleeders.

They’re a rag-tag bunch who want to dominate the streets with their love of pizza and fear of large cats. If Jesse wants to join, she’s going to have to go through a bloody initiation, but potentially gains a family in the process.

The Street Angel Gang - Cover
 Image Comics, 2018

The weirdness promised in the premise plays out in The Street Angel Gang. I did not expect how frenetic this comic could get until I read the second one. With strange, yet diverse character designs, improbable situations, and general heart, there’s a lot to love in this issue.

The Street Angel Gang Cuddles A Tiger

I could follow the plotline in my head, but the story moments play out in a difficult way to digest. Despite sounding like a diss, I consider these swerves serves the tale better than a tame story. The narrative veering wildly around in unexpected directions is the promise I got out of this graphic novel. The writing delivered in this instance and I believed it complimented the whacky art well. 

Image Comics, 2018

There are characters that literally come out of nowhere, but this lack of build-up helps establish how strange this world can become, rather than hindering the piece. I found myself nodding my head at the more insane explanations. It was as if you were seeing an old friend do an insane stunt and you were goading them along to its logical conclusion. The logical conclusion being highly entertaining, yet a little on the dangerous side. 

Can You Snort A Comic Book?

This art feels like you’ve done the good drugs and I think I’m acclimated to those drugs. I’ve never actually done drugs, but I believe the analogy is relevant. While there’s a freeing child-like quality to these pages, there’s also an adult high-octane action that helps The Street Angel Gang differentiates itself from the pack. I am ninety-nine percent certain that I can spot this art out in a comic book shop at a distance. 

Image Comics, 2018

Furthermore, the moments of clarity within the character Jesse’s facial expressions gives the reader a chance to find her relatable. While it’s difficult to relate to a homeless ninja as a regular person, it’s easier to find commonality when it comes to wanting a family. A lot of people desire a place they feel like they belong. 

The character designs pushed this concept further along. You look at everyone and think they don’t quite fit in regular society in both our world and their world. These visual cues are good because they’re not the end all and be all. They do have people that care about them. It’s just that they needed to join a dangerous culture to have that feeling of connection. This feeling is brought out by how well the writing and the art mesh together to create this world.

The Street Angel Gang Cleans It’s Pizza-Stuffed Face Up Well

I would’ve liked this issue to be the first published, but not for the reasons you’d expect. You can’t and shouldn’t erase the past because I’ve changed my mind a little in regards to Kung-Fu Special. 

As opposed to not being a strong start, I think Kung-Fu Special had a lot of character development that would be better served at a later moment. Thinking back, I appreciated Jesse acting like a kid and trying to relate to others in her own age range.

The Street Angel Gang, on the other hand, had the adventurous quality I would enjoy more if it’d been the debut of the series. It’s an easy fix by reading the two out of order. In any case, I recommend both since I’m starting to love this world.  

The Street Angel Gang by Brian Maruca and Jim Ruggs
Believe in Surreal Pink Action Scenes
You'll never be able to quite understand how everyone explodes into a barrage of pink and red colors, but you won't mind the details in The Street Angel Gant.
Pizza Tigers!