Bryan Edward Hill, writer
Gleb Melnikov, illustrator & colors (pg. 1-9, 21-22)
Gabriel Cassata, colors (pg. 10-20)
Ed Dukeshire, letters
Angel is a Josh Whedon creation about a entity that is both vampire and human. The issue begins, there is a flashback to a conflict between Mara, The Hunter, and a group of demons on horseback, The Riders. The conflict ends with Mara transforming into a vampire after drinking blood from one of the demons to avoid dying. The demons have the answer for everyone’s fear of death, become one of us. The story flashes forward to present day. It begins when Angel has a conversation with a man he previously saved, Francis. Later, He talks with a mysterious entity in the form of a woman named Lilith. She offers Angel shelter. But from what? The foreshadowing of this dangerous world comes in the form of a quote from a demon: “The Angels lied to you..they said the light would save you.”
There have been a lot of vampire stories over the years but what makes this story feel unique is The Angel who is part human part vampire. Most stories treat these entities as discrete and separate with different properties. When a human is exposed to a vampire’s blood, they change and become all vampire. It will be interesting to see the mechanism of the transformation and what makes The Angel remain part human. It will also be interesting to see what makes Angel part Vampire and can these two parts of him continue to co-exist.
The most emotionally driven part of the story happens when Angel has a conversation Francis and we learn that he saved Francis and his 16-year old daughter, previously. Later in the issue Francis and his wife are burned alive – yikes! This is a dangerous world where the demons and vampires mean business.
The art is shadowy and cryptic. Skies are orange and red and figures are dark when they are evil. The panels flowed nicely and made the story easy to follow. There were a few transitions, a past incident, a fast-forward to a scene at a high school, and back to supernatural entities interacting in human form. The art supported and enhanced these transitions and remained easy for the reader to keep up. I highly recommend jumping on board this exciting new installment in this story. Overall 9/10