August 5, 2011 by musehick
Today is kind of a strange day because an integral part of Fridays for the last four years has come to an end – Warren Ellis’ comic Freakangels concluded today. It has been an interesting journey with Ellis managing to sidestep a lot of the more obvious paths one might have expected him to tread given the initial premise. I am definitely going to have re-read the series to fully judge exactly what it is all about because it has changed and the subtleties at play from the outset are something one might miss with a casual lazy read.
The beginning, and certain parts of the story, promised an escalating violence that would resolve itself in an equally violent manner – it seemed like the Freakangels were being pushed into a corner and were going to have to bite back really hard to resolve their issues. Then things started to shift gear as the most peaceful members of the group evolved themselves and became the driving force. What is the answer when you are pretty much omnipotent and cannot die? How long can you go on beating the crap out of each other? How long is that answer going to work for you? So, we get to see the Freakangels grow up, and the maturation they undergo becomes the most important thing that happens to them – a change of perspective and a realisation of responsibility.
It was a fairly muted ending – one that managed to offer hope and not be one of those facile happy endings that can stick in the craw. Was it the ending that everyone was expecting? No, I’m sure it wasn’t. Freakangels offers something different to what might be considered its contemporaries though – its science fiction is gentle, its superhumans experience growth, its solution to problems isn’t fist fights.
Since joining the Whitechapel community, which was set up to run alongside and compliment Freakangels, I have been involved in a number of creative projects. People have been inspired by both the webcomic itself and the ideas about creativity that Mr Ellis has shared with his fans, and it has been nice to see those people evolve and shed layers in the same way as the Freakangels. It will be interesting to see how things move along from here.