So… this appears to be BOOM!’s second iteration of the Angel title, after canceling the previous run in late 2020. With the Buffy the Vampire Slayer books going hard on the multiverse, it makes sense that this particular iteration is set in an alternate universe. As should be expected, some of the basics are still intact while a few characters have been remixed a bit. Angel is still a vampire, presumably with a soul. On top of running his private investigator gig, he’s also a popular actor on a TV show with Cordelia. A bunch of familiar faces turn up, too, so this almost feels like an episode of the show, but through a funhouse mirror.
Given the limited run of this series, it feels right that not a lot of time is wasted on just simple exposition. In fact, Christopher Cantwell’s script packs a whole lot into these 22 pages, trusting the reader to get a feel of things by themselves. Strangely enough, you get a feel for these characters pretty quickly, so it should appeal to new and old fans. Cantwell’s take feels less dark than BOOM!’s previous attempt at reviving the franchise, leaning quite heavily on the humor. However, it’s still Angel, so it’s not all puppies and rainbows either.
The art by Daniel Bayliss feels fresh and is a marked departure from the earlier run. While some characters do lend themselves well towards a more stylized approach, it should be noted here that – for the most part – likenesses are not in any way a priority here. Bayliss does seem to switch seamlessly between fun banter and gritty moments, with an adept handle for action sequences, too. Roman Titov returns on colorist duties with assists from María Agustina Vallejo, and the collaboration feels like it’s working. The color palette is aesthetically pleasing, with some of my favorite bits taking place in the “opening credits” sequence. Becca Carey rounds up the team with a strong offering with the lettering.
Overall, all in all, things are off to an interesting start. The mysterious circumstances around the transdimensional refugee are intriguing, and the camaraderie between the characters feels organic and natural.
Creative Team: Christopher Cantwell (writer), Daniel Bayliss (artist), Roman Titov and María Agustina Vallejo (colorists), Becca Carey (letterer)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
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