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Angela: Queen of Hel #7 by Marguerite Bennett, Kim Jacinto, Israel Silva, and Stephanie Hans

angela-20queen20of20hel202015-20003-004Wow…

There are no words. This has been one of the most beautiful rides a comic has taken me on. This painfully bitter-sweet goodbye to Angela, Sera, and their team leaves me with a mix of feelings I can’t fully process. I miss it already, and can’t help wondering when and how I’ll be seeing them next.

To the creative team: thank you so much for a touching, witty, and hilarious journey that’s been one of a kind. This is the perfect way to end this chapter of their story.

With this series, Bennett gave us a gloriously witty and endearing trans protagonist in Sera. It isn’t common to have visible LGBTQ+ characters in comics in general, but trans people have even less representation than the gay, lesbian, and bisexual areas of the spectrum.

I can only think of one other trans character in mainstream comics off the top of my head: Alysia from DC’s Batgirl series. Though Alysia is an important figure in Barbara’s life – and Gail Simone is a champ for writing her coming-out scene the way she did – she’s still a side character.

Sera may not headline the comic, but she’s every bit Angela’s equal as a lead protagonist. Arguably, Sera’s even more important and visible than her counterpart – particularly in the earlier parts of their story when Angela hardly speaks and remains stoic for 98% of her page time. The pull of the book – the personality – comes from Sera. She’s the one who makes you smile and laugh, and get attached. It’s her feelings for Angela, her exposition, her sass, and a bunch of little things, that you fall in love with. The series would be completely different without Sera, for the worse.angela-20queen20of20hel202015-20002-003

So this marks the end. This is the last issue in a beautiful run that’s meant so much to the LGBTQ+ community, and so much to trans people. Sera is confident in herself, in her body and sexuality, in her relationship with Angela, and in her skills and identity as a whole and separate person from her lover. It’s also of note that she’s dark-skinned, which is another score for people of minority being portrayed in strong, healthy, happy life situations. Angela loves Sera fiercely and entirely, willing to go to Hel and Valhalla, and everywhere else in between for someone she loves regardless of their gender or physical appearance. Angela loved and supported Sera during her transition (magical as it may have been), and that kind of example is what trans people should get to see as much as anyone else. They should get to see themselves reflected in a beautiful, healthy relationship with someone who loves them no matter what.

I can’t say enough about this comic. It’s a masterpiece. Not just for what it contributes to the cultural sphere, but also because of the beautiful artwork and skilled writing. I’m so, so sad to see this series end. Sure, it ends on a happy note, and yeah, they (or at least Angela) will probably pop into other comics in the future, but it won’t be the same. They’ll be extras in someone else’s story. And who knows how another writer will handle them?

Ah, but I don’t want to think about that. For now, just keep in mind how monumental the Angela series is, and what Sera means for many people, and how elegantly the love between Angela and Sera is presented. Because at the end of the day, that’s what Angela is about: love. And we could all use more of that in the world.

5/5 stars

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