As the title of this issue alludes to oh-so subtly, this issue serves as a prelude to BOOM!’s first epic Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel crossover event: “Hellmouth.” After the relatively slow burn of the last arc (Xander almost turned into a soulless vampire, and Willow sacrificed a bit of her soul to prevent that, NBD.), this issue is laser-focused on its mission to get us to the Hellmouth.
A quick recap of Angel #3: Having met Fred, Angel must travel to the hell dimension to confront the faceless foe he’s hunting. In the meantime, Fred learns of her destiny from Lilith.
This is BOOM!’s first attempt at an anthology of slayer stories in the mode of Dark Horse Comics’ Tales of the Slayers collection. In this collection, we explore the stories of three slayers of the past: a Chumash protector in Sunnydale in 1808 (“The Mission”); a young noblewoman in Bologna in the 14th century (“The Eating of Men”); and a party girl in Paris in 1820 “Behind the Mask.”
The year is 1931, set in Chicago. History buffs will probably recognize this as being set during the Prohibition era… In this case, the contraband is not hooch, but magic. Issue #1 comes with all of the standard fixin's of a standard crime thriller, but with a magical twist. You get cops with personal demons, Al Capone, mysterious wizards, a pentagram, and, this being Chicago, the Church.
First things first: The title of this new comic book series is a reference to T.H. White’s The Once and Future King, a not-so-subtle nod at Great Britain’s most famous fictional (?) monarch, King Arthur. Instead of a straight take on the Arthurian legends, Kieron Gillen’s tale sets itself up to be in the vein of the action/adventure genre, much in the tradition of classics like the Indiana Jones saga or, more recently, the Uncharted video game series.
A quick recap of Issue #6: Xander, having “survived” a botched siring, was in need of a Soul Tie to anchor his soul. Buffy and Willow retrieved one from the Siphon but at a terrible cost: a piece of Willow’s soul.
A quick recap of Angel #2: Issue #2 showed us a bit more of Angel’s dark past with Mara, the warrior he corrupted to his cause. We also get an idea of the MO of Angel’s death squad: They’re harbingers of the apocalypse. In the present, after a conversation with Lilith, he’s clued into the new innocent that he has to protect. A fan favorite character is introduced in a different, but somewhat familiar, context. Spoiler alert: It’s Fred!
Quick recap: The Sundog crew is on the run, not just from the Lux Corp., but also the Renunciation, because of information they inadvertently uncovered about the secret relationship between the two organizations. Oh, and Vess, an Initiate of the Renunciation is onboard with corroborating information. Things aren’t looking all too great for the motley crew.
Quick recap from the last issue: The gang’s all broken up. Jayne has been arrested, because the sheriff thinks he’s Wash. River and Simon are playing along / egging on that notion. Kaylee and Leonard have gone to join / save them while Wash, Inara, and Book are trying to catch up with Zoe. Meanwhile, Mal and Moon continue their odd couple shtick.
Quick recap of the new arc so far: Xander has been sired… or not quite sired? In the equivalent of a magical Hail Mary, the Scoobies are trying to find a Soul Tie that may just fix the problem. For those who’ve read the Free Comic Book Day short, you already know how Buffy gets the map to the McGuffin. All caught up? Shiny!