Angel #0 is available now where all good comics are sold!
Meet Angel – a vampire cursed with a soul who has spent centuries protecting humanity from the monsters that lurk in the dark…including himself. Now, looking for redemption for the atrocities committed by the monster he was when he was first turned at the age of 18, Angel stumbles upon a new demon uprising and a shocking truth: The restoration of his humanity can only come if he takes one more life: a certain Slayer from Sunnydale who he’s never met…but may now be his greatest enemy.
When the surprise announcement came that BOOM! Studios would be launch an Angel series I was definitely taken aback. Given we’re only in season 1 territory for the main title how could Angel already be having his own spin-off?
Prequel? A new series set in the time of his own show?
Well this issue is the former and neither at the same time. With a prologue set deep in the fourth issue of Buffy we’re first given a little reminder of how Angel showed up in the shadows.
From there we dive back in time to learn more about the characters past but also his life right before he relocated to Sunnydale. Fans of the series will remember the down-on-his-luck Angel living on the streets and feeding on rats in L.A. before he is found by Whistler and introduced (from afar) to the Slayer.
The mix of flashback and flashbacks-within-flashbacks works well for the story. We get glimpses of the familiar with Angelus and then this newly re-contextualised life he was living in L.A.
The supporting players were really of interest to me. Whistler has now been replaced with a female character called Fee-Fee. Her motives seem fairly dubious so I’m convinced she’ll turn up in the on going Angel series later.
The other character we’re introduced to is Helen.
I had a feeling this poor girl was not long for this world when we first met her. Initially I wondered if Angel had been training with another Slayer. To this day I can’t think of a time we’ve explored the Slayer prior to Buffy. I would love to see that character and how close she came to circling the same world as her successor.
Helen was Angel’s tie to the human world in L.A. and the way he tried to protect her shows us some early examples of the behaviour he would later show on both Buffy and his own spin-off series.
When Helen is brutally massacred at the hands of some kind of giant, demonic Bat creature it was a huge turning point for the character. It’s really the jumping off point of the first arc of his series but is also a great new motivator for the character.
Angel has a surprisingly frustrating tease for the events currently taking place in Buffy. But once you look past that this is a great, new origin for the vampire with a soul.
It’s not quite a revelatory as the first issue of Buffy but it sets up what could be a thoroughly enjoyable companion series to the main title.
Angel #0 is written by Beyan Edward Hill with illustrations by Gleb Melnikov and colours by Gabriel Cassata. This issue features a prologue tied to Buffy the Vampire Slayer which is written by Jordie Bellaire and Hill, illustrated by Dan Mora and coloured by Raul Angulo.