Angel #1 Review

Written by: Bryan Edward Hill
Art by: Gleb Melnikov
Colors by: Gleb Melnikov, Gabriel Cassata
Letters by: Ed Dukeshire

After the successful launch of Boom! Studios’ Buffy the Vampire Slayer reboot, it is now time for Joss Whedon’s brooding vampire Angel to receive the Boom! treatment. Writer Hill and artist Melnikov have reinvented Angel for the modern era.

As the reviewer for both these reboots, it is difficult not to compare them. The difference between the Buffy reboot and this first installment of Angel, is that it is less difficult to situate an immortal, ageless character into a new decade than it is to reinvent the high school experience for the Slayer. We’ve seen Angel in many previous eras, so it doesn’t feel out of place to see him in today’s world. And not much seems to have changed about the premise of Angel’s character. He still appears to be a vampire from Irish descent, and still appears to be cursed with a soul. And with the soul comes the eternal suffering of knowing the evil he has brought upon the world, and knowing redemption will be impossible.

Where the Buffy reboot spent a lot of time signaling the ways in which this universe would be different or the same from the source material, Angel #1 is all about kicking off the main story arc. After all, Angel is still the same character, and he has still sworn to fight evil to balance out some of his past crimes. This issue seems to highlight that it’s the crimes that have changed, not the premise or the main character. The baddie in this story uses the toxic influence of social media on young people. Not the most original take on the modern age, but a fine way to firmly cement a character in 2019.

The art by Melnikov does a great job of updating the TV show’s original slightly darker, more gothic look. The art is clean and vibrant, even with the heavy use of Angel’s iconic red and black color palette.

This reboot feels less new and different than the Buffy reboot, but that still leaves us with a much beloved character and a great story premise. Don’t fix what ain’t broken as the old saying goes, and that seems to be very applicable here. Of course, I fully assume that future issues will introduce new and updated characters and world building. For now though, I look forward to Angel’s reckoning with social media.


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