After last month’s solid opening chapter, BOOM! Studios’ Angel comic series is back for its second issue. In case you are just joining us, the story so far (which is set in a rebooted/modernized Buffyverse) is split into two parts:
- Angel in his soulless past turning a vampire hunter into a vampire.
- Angel in his soul-cursed present dealing with an entity that is killing teenagers (and those around them) via social media.
As if that weren’t bad enough, the entity’s latest victim includes one of his few friends in the world.
Snarky, Spoiler-Lite Recap
- Once again, the issue opens with a flashback. If you thought soulless Angel/Angelus seemed evil before, then you’re really gonna hate him this time.
- Also, any sympathy you might have felt for his victim is definitely going to fade some (or a lot) when you see what she does at his behest.
- Back in the present, Angel learns that his friend (and his friend’s family) has been killed. We also learn that Sunnydale’s citizen have the same blindspot to otherworldly horrors that they did back in the ’90s.
- Lilith shows up to provide some exposition via a very Biblical prop.
- Lilith also shows what happens you when talk back to her–and it’s pretty cool/terrifying.
- Men who who ask teenage girls for nude photos are bad, but men who send them files that possess their souls are worse.
- *CLASSIC BUFFYVERSE CHARACTER ALERT*
- Looks like Lilith is a little more involved in helping Angel than she lets on.
- Always check your corners and exits before entering a dark room, Angel…
Just like last issue, Gleb Melnikov’s work (brilliantly colored by Gabriel Cassata) looks fantastic. It deftly toes the line between penciling that could be too lose or tight, providing both beautiful still images and a great deal of kinetic energy. Melnikov’s storytelling also enhances Hill’s script, which flows much more easily now that he’s set things up.
If you’re an old school Buffy/Angel fan like me, then you might not like Angelus’ tone in the issue’s opening, but there wouldn’t be much point to a reboot if things weren’t changed from how they were before. In this instance, Hill’s version of Evil Angel is more Machiavellian and big picture-oriented than his original counterpart. He embraces the idea of vampiric dominance over the world rather than dismissing it as a needless interruption to sating his desires.
In the present, Angel feels very familiar, right down to his trademark deadpan comedy that comes out in even the most dire situations. We also get a villain who not only couldn’t have existed back in the ’90s but who grows exponentially more intriguing this issue.
I do wish we knew a bit more about what was up with Lilith. I have no doubt that those questions will be answered, but right now her vagueness feels like more of a hinderance to the narrative than a mystery that enhances it.
Thankfully, the appearance of one of my favorite Buffyverse characters more than makes up for it. Add in all the aforementioned good stuff from before, and BOOM! Studios’ Angel reboot has just about got me hooked in for the long haul.