BOOM! Studios’ rebooted Angel series continues its (so far) fantastic story arc. Previously, Angel was hunting down an entity that is using social media to possess young women, who then kill at its behest. The entity’s latest victim included one of Angel’s only friends.
Now Angel has come face to face with the entity in the form of a possessed ward at a psychiatric institute (of course), which also happens to house one Winifred Burkle.
Snarky, Spoiler Lite Recap
- Another beautifully drawn flashback of Angelus’ past…
- …followed by a beautifully drawn present day Angel getting his ass kicked.
- The coolness of holy water is greatly enhanced by its delivery method.
- Different iteration of Fred, same crippling/trauma-induced mental illness.
- We interrupt this introduction of Fred and Angel for another Lilith Exposition Dump.
- …and an intriguing prophecy.
- Finally get a taste of an origin for our big bad–and it’s awesome.
- Forget a Ghost in the Machine; Vampire in the Machine is where it’s at.
One thing that’s been really fun about this series so far is watching writer Bryan Hill and artist Gleb Melnikov settle into their Buffyverse groove. Melkinov’s flashback scenes in particular are all types of gorgeous. He and colorist Roman Titov do a superb job of presenting Angel’s history as a vivid dagger cutting through the present.
I also love the way Melkinov draws Fred. She’s clearly confused and a little scared, but we can also see the badass that’s still in there.
Script-wise, Bryan Hill didn’t take long to find our soul-cursed hero’s voice. He perfectly captures Angel’s diet nihilism and deadpan sense of humor without ever getting too silly.
I also love the origin/motivations we get for the entity Angel is hunting–and the method in which he is directed to hunt it down for good.
If there’s one thing I don’t like so far, it’s how Lilith keeps showing up and vaguely explaining things like a philosophy professor on acid. That being said, I do enjoy the way Hill plays Angel’s dialogue off her. Considering the manner in which she discusses things (and that Fred is still in crazy-pants mode), that’s no small feat.
I also love the seeds being planted for future stories involving Angel’s dark past and uncertain future. It’s all familiar territory for long time fans of the show like myself, but framed by a very modern/timely story that has been a blast so far.
I still irrationally year for Angel to return to television. But as of this issue, I can safely say that Hill and Melnikov’s series is filling the void exceptionally well.