Angel #2 is available now where all good comics are sold!
Angel, one of the only vampires in the world with a soul, has been walking the streets of Los Angeles for years, neither human nor vampire. After losing his human protege to a Demon, Angel has decided to find a way to finally return himself to a human, so he can escape the guilt of his past, dark actions.
Angel jumped back in to the realm of comics which an impressive issue #0 (reviewed here) and #1 (reviewed here). Writer Bryan Edward Hill has, in the space of three issues, crafted a story which veers hugely from the storylines of the TV Buffyverse but does so with unwavering success.
Where this issue picks up the action we have concurrent storylines in the past and present. We open in the past as Angelus continues to torment one of his recent victims who, by the end of the scene, he has named Marius.
These scenes explore that Angelus history in ways that a TV budget never could. If I think back to flashback scenes in both Buffy and Angel my overriding memory is of David Boreanaz’s awful Irish accent. But here Hill is able to expand the scope of the action incredibly.
Part of expanding that scope in the story also means that artist Gel Melnikov and colourist Gabriel Cassata are able to have a lot of fun is designing the look of the book.
That is ultimately the hook of this incarnation of Angel, Dan Panosian’s excellent cover designs capture the attention and lead the reader in to a book which is well crafted on every level.
Moving in to the present day it feels like Angel is using the season one Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode “I Robot, You Jane” as emotional inspiration. A demon is contacting Sunnydale teens via social media and possessing them with his darkness.
At the close of th previous issue it led to an old friend of Angel’s being killed by his teenage daughter as she torched their house. As the events of that issue reverberate around Sunnydale we’re led to a new twist on the Angel mythos.
We visit a local hospital for the mentally ill where we find a certain Winifred Burkle is a patient. We find Fred much as we did in season 2 of the Angel TV series. It is only the circumstances that have been changed here.
The first meeting between the two is very poignant and quite touching, particularly given the involvement of Lilith who appears to be teasing a future we’re all well aware of having watched the series. As we’re building towards the “Hellmouth” crossover event there’s an electricity in the storytelling which I’m feeling a lot more than with Buffy.
At only three issues in Angel is becoming a perfect storm of circumstances which is putting this book at the forefront of BOOM! Studios roster.
Angel #2 continues the impressive pacing and complex storytelling laid out in the first issue. It continues to break new ground in terms of both the preset and past of the titular character and is nothing short of an absolute joy to read.
Angel #2 is written by Bryan Edward Hill with art by Gleb Melnikov and colours by Gabriel Cassata. Cover art is by Dan Panosian.