Boom!Angel, Season 1, Issue 01
Writer: Bryan E. Hill, Artwork: Gleb Melnikov & Gabriel Cassata, Lettering: Ed Dukeshire, Cover: Kaiti Infante
Blurb Commentary: I'm not going to type out the blurbs, as I did with DH and IDW, but on this particular issue, there is an interesting line, "Angel, one of the only vampires in the world with a soul...".
Huh. We know that this isn't Spike... okay, we don't know that, but it seems highly unlikely to be Spike so this may be a hint that Dracula has been imported to the Boom!Buffyverse. It'd be fascinating if Dru and Spike split, and she ends up being a paramour of the Count. Especially the less comedic version of Dracula, more in keeping with his novel counterpart.
Page 01: We open in flashback to a boy with very long legs rushing with a lantern toward a village square. The boys shouts that The Riders are coming, as a girl named Mara is heating a battle axe in a forge.
Page 02: Mara tells the boy to gather the villagers in the local keep, and to stay there until it is only her voice that they hear.
She dons a metal wolf mask, and awaits the arrival of the Riders. The impression is that they are a marauding band of brigands.
Page 03: The first to appear are not riders, but walkers. And they're clearly vampires.
Mara makes quick work of them, cutting through them like butter with her still white hot axe blade.
Page 04: As Mara has been decimating the shock troops, the village has been set aflame. She shouts at the "dogs" to come and face her for their judgment.
Alas for Mara, despite her confidence and skill, the smoke from the flames hides a bowwoman. Who now pierces Mara through the back of her shoulder.
Despite the pain, Mara rushes the woman on horseback.
Commentary: Liking the fight scene very much, thank you!
Page 05: Mara doesn't reach the horsewoman, however. From her side, a heavy warhammer slams into her face, braking her mask right off and sending her into the dirt. The arrow is still piercing her back as well.
She glares up into the face of the lead Rider, who points out that she called the darkness and he has come.
He is also wearing a heavy metal mask.
Commentary: Hmm. Coy. Could this be Angelus? It'd be different, being a horseman - leading a small army... but this is a differing 'verse, after all.
Also, I'm hoping Mara doesn't end up being a Slayer, because she was pretty clumsy in not watching her back while she was busy bravada-ing into the night.
Page 06: Mara is too stunned and weak now to resist as the vampires haul her up before the leader of the vampire brigands.
When he removes his helmet, we see it is Angelus. Mara expects a quick death and tells him to be on with it, but Angelus has different plans. He tells her that his intent isn't death, but to invite her to join the Riders.
He bites deeply into her neck.
Page 07: After Mara again collapses, Angelus orders his followers to "find the meat". He refocuses on Mara, telling her that death is a coward, and there is no reason to give into it.
He takes a dagger and slits his wrist, telling her to drink.
Page 08: At first, Mara refuses, but Angelus taunts her that the Angels are liars. He tells her that the Light can't save her, and she's really only going to fade away... and for what?
Mara asks God for forgiveness (ha!) but drinks from Angelus, due to her fear of death now that she's at its threshold.
Page 09: Mara rears up after swallowing his blood, as Angelus is telling no one in particular that he's been wanting a Rider good with an axe.
Page 10: We join Sunnydale in the here and now. Angel rambles about how kids these days, and their texting and their chatting, and their never allowing anything to be experienced, only documented and posted so it'll be around forever.
But forever can be cruel. Among the flotsom, a poor girl on the chunky side gets texted to kill herself.
Page 11: Angel is sitting on a bench in Sunnydale, when he's approached by a teen boy who wants to take his picture.
He tells Angel he's digging the all-black look, and wants to post to "the 'gram". Angel tells him to go ahead, but as the boy is clicking (at least he's using a real camera, instead of a phone), Angel disappears from the bench. The kid is left with a shadowshape where Angel had been on the camera. Which he takes for a broken camera, but shrugs that it still looks cool, though.
Commentary: Ugh. The commentary on modern youth is going to be heavy-handed, isn't it?
Page 12: Later, Angel drops in on an old acquaintence, a boy he saved when the now-middle-aged man was ten. Angel has come seeking advice, as he admits he's confused as to why a sorceress in L.A. sent him to this town (Uh. Maybe to do something about Spike & Drusilla??).
This is Francis.
Page 13: Francis turns attention to maybe Angel becoming a dad, but Angel won't hear of it, even of the adoption kind. We can infer this is due to his lifestyle, but also the fresh wound of Helen's recent death.
Francis tells Angel about his own 16-year old, and how having her may have saved his life. He offers he'd introduce her, but she's out at the moment. Angel returns that it would be best if the girl didn't know he existed.
Francis is concerned with how hard high school is these days to kids, but Angel offers that Francis should remind her that was is today, isn't for always.
We see by a photo on the wall, that the girl is the unfortunate teen being picked on by anonymous trolls.
Page 14: Angel, continuing to be down in the dumps, inspires Francis to again try to have Angel hang around to meet his daughter, and what he made possible because of the save he got when he was a boy. Angel declines.
As he leaves, Francis reminds Angel that though he may not know what he's there to stop, yet, it's likely that the monster already knows he's in Sunnydale.
Commentary: It was an okay scene, and it's interesting to see an Angel that remembers who he helped and that he'll turn to in times of doubt, but the scene was a bit awkwardly executed. We know that Francis' daughter is going to be endangered just due to the focus on her, so this set up wasn't entirely necessary to give Angel a personal connection.
Page 15: Throughout, Angel seems preoccupied with Mara and his time as Angelus, despite trying to keep the past in the past.
Commentary: And the focus on Mara in the past, and Angel's mission in Sunnydale is also awkwardly put together. There isn't any actual reason that Mara, of all of the shit Angelus did, would be plaguing his thoughts at this particular time. I feel like there is supposed to be a past/present thing going on to tie the two threads, but I'm not seeing it.
Page 16: When Angel returns to his Sunnydale home-away-from Home, he finds an uninvited guest waiting. He doesn't appear all that shocked, however.
A woman dressed all in black, with dark skin and solidly black eyes greets him. This is Lilith... THE Lilith. She tells Angel that though the home is cozy, it needs a woman's touch.
She then goes on to tell Angel that she's made his home a safe haven from any demonic creatures born of her. Outside of its walls, though, he's on his own. And she can't help him against human enemies, either.
He's grateful, but also waiting for the real reason that she would be stopping by.
Page 17: Lilith tells Angel that the world has become too filled with mirrors and not enough windows. The current generation of humankind can't see past themselves. It has made them so focused on judging themselves by how others may see them, that they've forgotten to look at what may be watching them.
As Lilith is giving her vague warning, we see Francis' daughter receive a text message on her phone. The sender is FriendToTheLonely.
"Friend" tells her that she's beautiful and asks her to click on a link.
Page 18: As Francis' daughter clicks the link, and her eyes turn inky black, Lilith tells Angel that he's going to lose an old friend this night, and apologizes for his loss.
Angel tells Lilith to tell her how to stop what's happening, but she replies that he's already too late - but perhaps he can help someone else.
We see Francis' daughter carry a candle and a can of gasoline with her into her sleeping parents' room. Francis wakes up, but he's too groggy to make sense of his daughter. She only tells him that "he" said she was beautiful... in a voice completely unlike her own.
Page 19: We see Francis' home fully engulfed in fire.
At Angel's, Lilith fades out, but directs Angel to avenge his friends' deaths. To avenge all that her creature has preyed upon.
Commentary: I am liking the support characters that Angel is serving up, including Lilith, who is interesting in that she'd be helping Angel stop her "children". Her personality may be a little too much like Fee, though. If they keep having a supernatural supporting cast popping in on him, they'll need to vary up their 'voices'.
Page 20: Francis' home burns down. On the floor lies his daughter, aflame. Nearby, her cellphone has a message stating that the shadowy man on the other end thinks everyone he's texting is beautiful and should follow the link....
The Good: Mara's story was interesting, and surely she's going to be making a return. It'll also be interesting on what happened to Angelus' riders.
I like the take on Lilith being sad that her children are causing so much harm, and wanting Angel to stop them. I also like her comment on how annoying it is that Hollywood keeps portraying her as lilly-white.
The Bad: I'm already bored with the vapid teens too in love with their own reflections commentary.
Other Thoughts: It's weird how Francis gets a name, but his daughter doesn't until she's about to roast. And his wife is just a voiceless cameo lying in bed next to him when they go flambe'. It's also weird that both Mara and Francis' daughter take up so much page-space, but there doesn't seem to be a connecting thread between them. I suppose we may find that whoever is sending the texts was a rider, but that seems thin. And the only reason I say that, is because fire and burning down homes is involved in both the past and the present.
The Score: Some interesting tidbits, but overall, this was a much more casually paced issue with a lot of dialog.
3.25 out of 5 stars