Boom!Angel + Spike
Writer: Bryan Edward Hill, Artwork: Gleb Melnikov & Roman Titov, Lettering: Ed Dukeshire
Cover: Gleb Melnikov
Page 01: In the parking garage, Angel tells Kate to get to safety, but she counters that she's the cop, so that's her line. Plus she has a gun. Plus, she's not the running away sort.
Angel fangs-out, and tells her he's trying to keep her alive. She asks what he is....
Page 02: He replies that he's the good guy, but since there is a fight to be had at the moment, other explanations will have to wait.
Page 03: Angel probably thought his long leap was awesome, but the landing kinda sucks. He's easily snatched by the shirt-front from mid-air, and thrown with force across the garage and into a car. Angel smashes through the windshield, leaving himself punctured with glass.
Commentary: I liked that part: It was nice to see the impractical crossroom leap end up with a kicked ass.
Page 04: Kate shouts at Mr. Grin, and then fires her gun at him when he turns in her direction. We see her eyes widen in fear.
Page 05: Mr. Grin charges at her, and there is a flurry of gunshots. Most of these hit his torso, and as Angel warned, don't help.
Kate gets snatched up and pinned against a support column. Mr. Grin's nail digs into the side of her neck.
Page 06: There is a burst of breeze, and suddenly Kate finds herself free of Mr. Grin's grip, as Angel rejoins the fight. He run-tackles the demon, and then dashes through a concrete barrier - sending both he and Mr. Grin out of the parking structure, to the ground below.
Commentary: I liked this whole confrontation scene between Angel, Kate and Mr. Grin. And I like that our demon is entirely silent. There is no bad-guy bantering or mundane threats being tossed around.
Page 07: Alas, for Angel, Mr. Grin has those teleport powers. The demon vanishes from under Angel, thereby denying out vampire of a bodyshield, to his chagrin.
Page 08: Angel takes a header into the road below, leaving him momentarily dazed and confused.
In the meantime, Kate has run to the edge of the parking structure and calls down that she'd like to know how he's not dead. He tells her that he's not alive. And then, tells her that she should look behind her.
Page 09: When Kate turns back to tell him there isn't anything there, she finds him gone. Lockley doesn't have time to deal with what she's just seen though, as her cell buzzes her. It's the hospital, reporting a change in Dre's status.
Page 10: VO-panes tells us the doctor's aren't able to treat Dre, due to being completely at a loss as to what is happening to him. Kate was told that if she's the closest he has to family, she should make sure to see him before it's too late.
This sends Kate running down hospital corridors to get to the kid's side.
Page 11: Kate holds Dre's hand, and asks him to stay with them. She broaches that she thinks she's found someone who can help him.
But there isn't any time. Dre starts emitting the green, rotting-smelling fog as Kate calls out for a doctor.
Commentary: This was a nice scene for Kate. I liked the simple panels focusing on her holding Dre's small hand. Why exactly Lockley formed a bond with this street kid, we didn't actually get, but I don't think we need it.
Page 12: It turns out the green fog has incendiary properties. Dre goes up in flames, burning to death in his hospital bed.
Commentary: Really nice artwork, here.
Page 13: Back at Angel's, he's getting admonished for not bringing backup. Angel tells them that there isn't anything they could've done, but Spike counters that they could've gotten their assed kicked just fine.
Fred asks if Angel knows what it was, but he tells her that since the Hellmouth opening, they'll be in for a world of, "What the hell is that?!".
Commentary: Heh. I liked this scene, even though it's not really doing much.
Page 14: Spike suggests if they're going to work together, they should have assigned roles in order to bring focus. Angel tries to tell Spike that he's not a part of their venture, but he's ignored.
Spike tells Fred that as mystic, she's on research duty. He assigns Gunn to tap the streets, locate practical information and act as muscle when it comes time for the killing part. Charles asks just what role Spike is supposed to play, and gets "moral support and team conscience" in - one hopes - a sarcastic tone.
Commentary: Okay, I guess I like that roles are being articulated, so the team isn't just floundering about. But... I don't think Spike should be the one to articulate this. And, while I want to see the push/pull between he and Angel - I don't like how passive Angel is being.
Page 15: Angel stalks off, needing a minute to himself. Fred offers that someone should talk to him, and Spike points out that her mouth is in working order. Gunn tells Spike that she meant him, but Spike objects that he and Angel aren't friends. Charles counters that Spike is a vampire, and ergo knows about vampire-bad-mood stuff.
Spike can't argue with that.
Page 16: Spike greets Angel with a plan to kill Charles and Fred, sell everything that Angel has and turn to bank robbing.
Angel isn't in the mood to be amused. Spike tells Angel that he respects what Angel is trying to do to pay off whatever debt he thinks he owes the world, but also points out that it can't work if he's going to spend valuable time feeling sorry for himself and brooding, instead of making sure that his prey is afraid of him.
And that's all the pep-talk he has in him, so Angel needs to get over himself.
Page 17: Meanwhile, we see Kate with a glass, sitting on her sofa and staring out the window. She sits that way all night, until it's well after daybreak.
When her doorbell rings, she grabs her gun before answering. She finds Charles and Fred standing on her threshold.
Page 18: Kate asks after Angel, though she didn't catch his name and refers to him as 'it', until she gets corrected. When she finds out that Angel is a vampire, but a good one, she shrugs this off as, "sure - why not".
Lockley asks why he's sent two millenials to her doorstep, and Gunn points out that vampires and sunlight don't mix.
Page 19: Kate refreshes her booze glass, and is basically in a 'nobody can help me' dark mood. Fred tries to convince her that they can protect her until they figure out what the demon was, and how to kill it. But Kate is traumatized by watching Dre burn to death in a hospital full of people, and offers that there isn't any protection.
Even as she's speaking, Charles notices a green vapor beginning to coalesce around Kate.
She notices with alarm that it's emitting from her skin.
Commentary: At first this bugged me, because Dre had been bitten, which I assumed was how the vapor was introduced to his system. It felt like some minor rule-breaking, or a lack of detail as to how/what the vapor was that left me a bit confused as to the demon's powers. But then I did remember Kate's scratch mark, so I still believe the demon's mode of attack is to inject an unknown mystic pathogen. I look forward to explanations.
Page 20: Kate shouts at Gunn and Fred to get away from her right now, as the green fog billows out around her!
The Good: I liked the entire confrontation with Mr. Grin in the parking garage.
I also liked that the kid didn't get saved, and his murder was impressively drawn and inked.
I did like the emotional consequences for Kate after her recent experiences. I would like to see her someone saved - maybe more Lilith intervention, or Fred magic - so she'll be around longer.
The Bad: Nothing was badly handled.
Other Thoughts: About Dre - maybe we could've used a little tidbit of backstory for how Kate and he met and she bonded with him before his demise. But, Gunn also stated that he'd seen Kate before reaching out to the street urchins, so maybe Dre is just a kid that responded to her attempts.
I liked the team forming a bit of structure and focus for their upcoming battles, but I'm less inclined toward Spike taking the reins in doing the organizing. I also don't like that we've completely forgotten Fred's recent brush with a recruiting attempt by an evil law firm. Even a line of dialog that they're going to dig into Wolfram & Hart, or the demon that they're trying to recruit in the name of would've been fine.
I would like to see more conflict between Angel and Spike, more of a clash of egos and past experiences -- right now, Angel feels too passive to Spike's "interference".
The Score: Despite the great opening fight scene, and Dre's gruesome demise, I'm having trouble getting engrossed for some reason.
3.50 out of 5