Sensitive by Accident? Angry Squad: Code Angry Review

Angry Squad: Code Angry #1 reviewed by Jerome February 21, 2021

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As people age, among their many worries is their loss of youth and purpose. Some people make do by giving themselves things to do. Others try to forget what ails them and takes on the world head-on, like bulls in a china shop.

Angry Squad: Code Angry follows such a person - a bullish man looking to fight his way through life. Within this hypermasculine, testosterone-filled story is a sensitive look into the life of someone advancing in age. Behind the machismo is a person needing to see themselves better, asking readers to reflect on themselves too.

Angry, Angry, Angry: The Story and Writing of Angry Squad

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Angry Squad: Code Angry is an Australian comic book published by Angry Fred Comics. The story is written by Lucas Scheffel and illustrated by Nikita Vasilchuk, with Es Kay handling the lettering.

Angry Squad follows the exploits of Angry Fred, a military vet has-been who can increase his strength and the size of his arms. Through his exploits and his team of ragtag misfits, they act as mercenaries that go out to solve problems.

The writing of Angry Squad is deceptively complex, somehow with a front-facing simplicity. Underneath all the simplistic “punch your problems until they go away”, the story revolves around the pain of an aging person losing their purpose in life.

Many people have memories in life that they regret. To stop it from reminding them, they cover it up with whatever they have. It can be a macho attitude or even a fit of enveloping anger.

Angry Fred is no different.

At the start of the story, Lucas Scheffel dedicated the story to his father and designed it around the man. This gave Lucas a good grasp of the character and likely traced a good chunk of Angry Fred’s personality from his father.

Angry Fred himself is courageous and strong, but a little too wary of his age. As he wades around the world solving problems nobody can, he’s reminded of his regrets in life. He’s pulled back eventually into real life, where he is surrounded by people who love him.

The writing that Lucas used is fantastic, with the plotting clear and the narrative straight and consistent. Whilst the end felt like a deus ex machina, the writing did enough to show a sensitive side of an otherwise hypermasculine character.

The only other problem I find with the story is I wish the story had something more spicy. The story was as linear as it could be, which leaves you wanting for a little bit more.

Almost Feels Real: The Art of Angry Squad

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Angry Squad’s most distinct characteristic is the art. Nikita Vasilchuk has a unique art style that makes the art cartoony but realistic too. The use of shadows is deliberate to create lighting that adds more texture to every surface.

The style Nikita uses is reminiscent of rotoscoping, where real life objects are outlined to create a lifelike design. Even then, the entire art process is obviously made from scratch, only trying to emulate the colour scheme of rotoscoped art.

I’m enjoying how Nikita draws a proper background with every page. Sure, the graphics feels like filler sometimes with a good chunk of the art eating full or half pages every time. Even then, these display how solid Nikita’s art is.

The perspectives are varied, from a nice dutch angle to an expansive pan shot. I have no real issues with Nikita’s art.

Is Angry Squad: Code Angry a Must Read?

Should you read Angry Squad: Code Angry? If you want an action-packed but surprisingly sensitive take on the A-Team story, this is something for you. It works nicely without making the entire story sappy.

Angry Squad offers a nice, linear story and somehow it will likely put a smile to someone looking to reflect on their purpose in life.

Rating: 4/5

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Jerome is the nerd you're looking for - loves comic books, video games, and all things tech. He writes and does digital marketing on the side, apart from being a full-time dog dad of two hyperactive pooches.

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