Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer: Bryan Edward Hill
Artist: Gleb Melnikov
Colorist: Roman Titov
Letterer: Ed Dukeshire
Release Date: 28th August 2019
Rounding off the first arc of BOOM! Studios’ Angel series, I can’t help but find myself falling in love again with the Buffy the Vampire Slayer spin-off all over again. Originally a more adult series set in the same universe, it followed Angelus, a vampire with a soul, who’s on a crusade to safe the saveable and kill monsters. Or something. The show got a bit weird and found its own charm, having what was, for my money, one of the best 5 seasons run of any other show on TV.
This series follows the same formula as the new Buffy book, whereby it provides a retelling/reboot of the character set in the modern day. So far we only have Angel and Fred on the scene, as opposed to Angel/Cordelia/Doyle from the TV show.
Bryan Edward Hill has taken the themes of the show and gone running with them, with the first arc revolving around a demon who preys on people’s (women’s?) insecurities on social media. The constant reminder to “like, share, subscribe” being a central theme. This creates something of a metaphorical playground for our Angel, who has to save all of the damsels with the usual broody, quippy character traits we would expect. It manages to just about toe the line of corny-but-not-too-corny, but perhaps goes a wee bit overboard with a final prophecy that made me audibly groan.
The art is reminiscent of the (in my opinion) newer golden era of Vertigo, with Gleb Melnikov feeling like he’s drawing some form of inspiration from the likes of Sean Gordon Murphy, Rafael Albuquerque and Becky Cloonan. There’s big scratchy lines, bold colour splashes, and I’ve always had a real appreciation of unusual panel layouts, which this issue has in abundance.
One for the older fans, this series has been practically oozing nostalgia, but with enough fresh ideas to ensure that it will appeal to any fan of the fantasy genre. Definitely one to keep an eye on, and I know I can’t wait to see where the next arc goes.