The premise for Angel # 1, the new series from Boom Studios, goes from familiar to foreign several times. It’s about Angel, the detective vampire with a soul living in Los Angeles, the character from the television series titled Angel. Except this Angel also plays a detective vampire with a soul living in Los Angeles on a television series titled Angel. That description alone should give an indication to how this comic is preparing to present this segment of the BuffGel-verse. Writer Chrstopher Cantwell delivers a promising premiere for a series looks to explore Angel struggling with two sides of himself, again.
Angel # 1
Written by: Christopher Cantwell
Illustrated by: Daniell Bayliss
Colored by: Roman Titov w/ Maria Agustina Vallejo
Lettered by: Becca Carey
The story opens with a blood soaked individual as he frantically runs from an unseen pursuer. Bayliss and Titov provide an intimidating atmosphere with rainy and dark back alleys, a frequently used environment of the show. The lettering from Carey’s pen provides the narration to what we are witnessing. The terrified individual has seen all his friends killed by some threat. Now, he has traveled to this dimension with a warning. Fade to black.
It’s at this point in Angel, the television show, where the opening credits would usually take place. And while it does here too, from what I can make out this isn’t Catharsis of Sufferance. This is one of the first moments where the series establishes how different this universe is from the one we are familiar with. You get the impression “this” show Angel stars in is equal sitcom and serious. The next thing a fan of the series may notice is now the part of Detective Lockley is being played by actress Cordelia Chase. Who by the way is being represented by Lindsay McDonald. Meanwhile, Charles Gunn is working to keep his talent, Angel, the main star of the show.
Cantwell presents some key show elements in a way that will leave longtime fans wondering if and how this comic world connects to the television series
Using techniques from another television series I know details make the difference when you “slide” between dimensions. Does the new dimension bare similarities to one I’ve seen, thereby indicating a divergence? Or is it a new reality entirely? So while I was reading this opening segment I wondered how far removed this Angel universe was from any other. So when I noticed Cordelia being an established actress I figured this story must come after the events of “Birthday” which was from episode 11 in season 3. That is of course until I noticed that a other faces show up this issue in entirely unexpected roles. The direction taken works very well establishing that this is not an entirely re-imagining. Still, Cantwell presents some key elements in a way that will leave longtime fans wondering if and how this comic world connects to the television series.
I am excited with how malleable this comic is showing the Angel mythos to be. And although the “multiverse” is becoming a common trend I am always up for another trip to prove what is possible. However, a 5 issue run raises the same problem Angel and Cordelia argue about in this issue. With only so much time to tell a story, who is the star? I mean the show (and comic) is called Angel.