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!
A quick recap of Angel #1: After losing his human protégé, Helen, in Los Angeles, Angel finds himself in Sunnydale. In a flashback, we learn that Angel(us?) used to be the leader of a marauding gang of vampires known as “The Riders.” In a fateful encounter, a young female warrior (Possibly a slayer?) known as Mara falls under his thrall and is sired. As half the issue is dedicated to this dark moment of Angel’s past, it’s very likely that Mara and the rest of the Riders will feature in his story moving forward. In the present, Angel meets up with an old friend, Francis (A nod to Doyle?), and the intriguing Lilith, presumably the mother of demons as per most pop-culture mythology. Lilith warns Angel of a dark force that “feeds on the living,” presumably on human narcissism, envy, and insecurities, driving its victims to do terrible things in return for instant validation. Interspersed with that reveal is the fact that the latest victim is none other than Francis’ daughter who sets her family on fire, killing them all. Pretty dark first issue, huh?
The nitty-gritty: Grix and her crew are still on the run from Lux, having stumbled upon some unsavory corporate secrets. Meanwhile, Vess is under scrutiny by Mother Proxima for her indiscreet curiosity that may threaten to upend the quiet solitude of the lives of the Nones. Desperation will bring these two together in hope of a brighter future that neither can see.
Just about every kid in the '90s had some exposure to R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps. The books were wildly successful and even spawned a TV series that Stine occasionally cameoed in. The plots were often simplistic: Kid(s) discover some dangerous/scary secret, shenanigans ensue, good (usually) trumps evil, though often with a twist. That’s your Goosebumps primer.
A quick recap from the last issue: Mal has been captured by Boss Moon, and the rest of the crew are on the run from the homicidal cult. So, we're basically on par of the usual level of shenanigans when it comes to this crew. Moving on to the present. Things pick up immediately from there, with the Serenity crew (with the addition of Chang-Benitez) still on the run, but an accidental fuel cell mishap saves the day. Elsewhere, Mal and Boss Moon trade barbs and blows.
A quick recap: The last time we visited Invisible Kingdom, Vess (the new None) had stumbled upon some possibly shady dealings between Mother Proxima (the mother superior of sorts to the ascetic nunhood) and Lux (i.e., space Amazon). Elsewhere, Captain Grix had also stumbled upon a piece of that mystery; apparently, Lux has been sending large monetary transactions to someone. It's not very hard to put two and two together.
Well, Angel #0 is pretty much a surprise, with BOOM! Studios keeping things under wraps until about a week ago with their announcement. For readers of BOOM!’s Buffy reboot, you’d probably have caught sight of a particularly familiar handsome face peeking at the action in the last panel of Buffy #4. And that’s really how Angel #0 starts out, with the last few moments of Buffy #4 being seen from Angel’s perspective and his thoughts about how his past has led to his present state. If you’re concerned that Angel’s reboot has been scrubbed of Catholic guilt and self-flagellation, you really shouldn’t worry; once a brooder, always a frownier brooder.
It would appear that we’re at the end of the first arc, and all signs seem to point to a ratcheting up of the ante. For one, the final main cover is actually slightly different from the solicited version, which hints at some degree of secrecy on BOOM!’s part. For another, I’ll note that the entire final page of the advance review copy I received was redacted, so it really seems that BOOM! wants everyone to be surprised when the issue drops this Wednesday. For those of you who haven’t been keeping up with the most recent Buffyverse news, there will be a surprise book that you’ll want to pick up on Wednesday, as well. (Hint: He’s a big Buffyverse fan favorite, and methinks the redacted page is also meant to hide his backdoor reentry into this rebooted series.)
DINOSAURS! Sold! However, I’m not gonna lie, the dino-nut in me was mildly apprehensive about how good this could possibly be. For one, the mish-mash of the different periods of the Mesozoic era in the Jurassic Park series has always bugged me, and, for another, I’m a huge fan of Ricardo Delgado’s Age of Reptiles series which seemed like a high bar to clear. Good news, fellow dinosaur aficionados, Tadd Galusha’s Cretaceous doesn’t include any dinosaurs from before 145 million years ago, AND they’re all actually found on the island continent of Laramidia (back when North America was split in two by the Western Interior Seaway). Score one for accuracy!