Title: Angel #1
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer: Bryan Edward Hill
Art: Gleb Melnikov
Colors: Gleb Melnikov and Gabriel Cassata
Publishing Date: May 29, 2019
Publisher’s Summary: “Angel walks the line between two worlds; a vampire cursed with a soul, he’s spent centuries battling back the forces that would destroy humanity, in an attempt to redeem himself for the crimes committed by the monster he was when he was first turned. But now, when the trail of the most recent demonic uprising takes him to Sunnydale, he realizes that the redemption he seeks can only come with a price.”
Angel’s back in an all new series, the same old broody yet thoughtful, vampire with a soul. Still on the road to redemption, Angel finds his way to Sunnydale, CA. Shortly after his arrival, an evil force (shocking, I know) descends upon the small town. Angel finds his purpose in the town, but what will it cost him? How many will have to die before he can put an end to this evil?
Angel #1 is a solid mix between the old character fans know and a new storyline that is slowly being revealed. Angel’s backstory remains bloody and violent, but the issues that he faces are very much grounded in the here and now. Evil utilizing tech, a social media meta narrative, and commentary on the social shift towards internet perfection round out Angel’s new story of the lone, atoning hero. In this way, and more, Bryan Edward Hill’s script is flawless. Not only does this debut issue introduce us to Hill’s version of the character, but readers are instantly immersed in the grim and seedy world of Sunnydale. The storyline is equally interesting.
Hill blends Angel’s hell with a more modern definition of the term, offering readers a cyber demon attack. The introduction of social media is both socially relevant and intriguing, as it creates a fairly large barrier for Angel to cross; unless the brooding hero has suddenly joined the twenty-first century, which I find very unlikely. Unlike his counter-part, Buffy, Angel is at a disadvantage with social media and, in this way, Hill has already piqued my interest in the series. All-in all, fans of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer universe will want to jump in on this first issue. Hill promises brooding, blood, and badassery in Angel #1.
And speaking of brooding, Gleb Melnikov and Gabriel Cassata’s art and colors cast the perfect atmosphere: brooding, dark, and endlessly night. Gleb Melnikov’s art is detailed, but rough, and the colors are muted, yet gritty. In this way the art and script works seamlessly to depict Angel.
The Bottom Line
Angel #1 is gripping and gritty. Bryan Edward Hill, Gleb Melnikov, and Gabriel Cassata brilliantly capture the moody and tortured Angel.