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Discussion of Angel #1 - Released 5/29/19 (Boom! Studios)

Angel6

Potential
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Nov 4, 2010
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164
Really solid follow up to issue #0. Really enjoying that we are getting some good quality alone time to get to know Angel early on and the other characters are very much a vessel for us to learn about Angel so far. Good stuff! Particularly enjoyed this interaction. (Can’t seem to post a screen for some reason but the one where Angel’s friend is trying to convince him to stay and meet his daughter).
 

Buffy Summers

Yataro
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Here is the summary from Comixology.com:

Angel walks the line between two worlds; a vampire cursed with a soul, he's spent centuries battling back the forces that would destroy humanity, in an attempt to redeem himself for the crimes committed by the monster he was when he was first turned. But now, when the trail of the most recent demonic uprising takes him to Sunnydale, he realizes that the redemption he seeks can only come with a price.
 

WillowFromBuffy

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Lilith says she is tired of being portrayed as a white woman, which means that she must be the actual first wife of Adam, mother of monsters.

Did Angel give up on a chance to save his Francis's daughter? It reminds me of what Doyle says to Angel in "City of..." about the importance of getting involved. How has Angel stayed in touch with a ten-year-old he once saved?

Is the dog faced warrior a slay-pire? I mena, was she a slayer to begin with?

Foreshadowing for Connor?

I am reminded of both "I Robot, You Jane" and "I've Got You Under My Skin." What will Angel do with the parenticide girl once he stops the guy giving her orders. Will he hand her to the authorities? Will he recruit her?
 

NileQT87

Billowy Coat, King of Pain
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Well, I certainly feel that this is a more realistic depiction of the problems of being young in today's world than anything over on the BtVS title. Ironically. It's worse today, not better. And yes, it's very I, Robot... You, Jane with a technology update. Wouldn't be half-surprised if the monster praying on the girl was Moloch. Totally his M.O.

Still annoyed by the photography continuity error.

A bit contradictory on Angel's distance from humanity, and yet, having him keeping in touch with people he saved decades before (big change from Angel's backstory on AtS where every time he tried to make a friend before Buffy, it always resulted in it going wrong or being betrayed for being a monster by people whose friendship he thought he had and whom he'd tried to help).

I don't understand how this fits with Angel's appearance in BtVS where he doesn't even bother to stop Drusilla from siring Xander. The characters certainly weren't friends on the series (though this Angel has no such complicated backstory with him), but Angel was still seen as someone who would step in the way of Drusilla's hunting of total strangers (Lie to Me) or even saving the Scoobies (Xander included) from Marcie in season 1 (incidents when he was still unsure of getting involved with humans and from before thinking he could be a hero in his own right).

Is the girl at the start a Slayer? If so, a big change to have Angelus taking on one.

Art has actually improved a bit from the design tryout stage. The Batman jaw is mostly thinned down, which I'm glad for. I'm okay with this art, though I'm very concerned about the new BtVS artist taking over (though the preview had even worse writing problems).

I think this writer has a better grasp on the character he's writing so far than the BtVS writer and certainly has found more of an in-character plot direction. the BtVS comics have so many WTF character moments and lack of relationship development that doesn't rely on things from the series that don't exist anymore that I struggle to take the 'tell, don't show' relationship writing seriously in addition to the disjointed writing. Xander (the character who never actually cried during a whole 143 episodes is shown crying in front of Drusilla!) at this point is no different than killing Jesse (and look how quickly he was forgotten). And I think his more cynical view of the problems people are facing today is more realistic. It obviously fits the tone of Angel's life more, but BtVS never shied away from the fact that kids were perfectly capable of being cruel and mean to each other (both the popular and outcasts alike could be awful), whereas the comic is trying to act like high school now is some kind of PC utopia (sanitization of the Cordette types is glaring when exploring this, as is Willow now being popular/self-assured instead of an insecure outcast).

Still concerned they're completely writing out Buffy's influence on Angel becoming a hero.

Best part was probably the reference (foreshadowing?) to Connor. While Angel would certainly doubt his ability to be a good father who could provide a normal life, we saw many years before that plot happened (or was even thought of) how he deeply seemed to desire to have a family as the thing he wanted most, but couldn't have (Bad Eggs, The Prom and War Zone). His conversations especially with Buffy seemed to suggest he was more hung up on what he couldn't have than she was. But it's good to see a glimpse of this side of Angel, even if it's more from a place of self-doubt than yearning for what he can't have.

One thing I don't like is the series blurb saying, "one of the only vampires in the world with a soul." Seems they're determined to take away Angel's status as the ONLY vampire with a soul extra early. Not cool. And I absolutely hate the idea of it being easy and simple for Buffy & friends to just randomly start handing out souls with no consequences on the level of Angel's curse, while still leaving him with the loophole and consequences. The curse was vengeance that caused suffering for and victimization of an innocent human, not benevolence. And BtVS is at serious risk of a huge moral quandary if Buffy's status as a Slayer who slays vampires is made immoral. It seriously challenges how she can continue slaying all the fledglings (especially) she doesn't really care about. Willow giving Angel back his soul didn't mean that it would be right for her to start handing them out (it's arguable the gypsy elder spoke through her anyway and that's what allowed the curse custom-designed for one vampire to be only used on Angelus), no matter how close a friend they are. Bringing Buffy back from the dead wasn't entirely without consequence and presented as a good thing either. Spike getting his soul consequence-free was always a writing problem. It's a major contradiction of Joss' feelings on vampires; he wanted it very clear that they were evil and had to be talked into having even one 'good' vampire (and needed a very special, unique explanation to be made).
 
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Angel6
Angel6
Agree on a lot of these, but we haven’t seen the conclusion of whether or not Angel tried to stop Dru yet, surely he at least tried ‘who would I be if I didn’t try’ the answer surely can’t be ‘me!’

Mrs Gordo

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Black Thorn
At this point it feels pretty obvious they are just making fun of Angel right? The self loathing is so absurdly high, he's like a caricature of his btvs/AtS character.

I gotta say I was mostly laughing the whole time. One wonders if that's the point. Is all of this self flaggelation just supposed to be funny? It feels like an snl skit of someone making fun of Angel's character. Which to be fair... Is funny at first and then just feels boring.

I am pretty sure I'm tapping out at the his point. I gave it a shot. And now they are teasing Buffy and Angel coming to blows? Blah. No thanks.
 
Angel6
Angel6
I think that’s a shame, I’ve really enjoyed what I’ve seen so far I’m sorry you haven’t!

WillowFromBuffy

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At this point it feels pretty obvious they are just making fun of Angel right? The self loathing is so absurdly high, he's like a caricature of his btvs/AtS character.
I don't think that's the intention at all. If there's an issue here, it is that they are playing it too straight.

They started really poking fun at Angel in S3 of BtVS and then they really upped the ante on AtS with scenes like the end to Lonely Hearts, when Angel asks Doyle and Cordy to go out with him as a ploy to get them out of his way so he can brood alone, or Orpheus, when Angelus and Faith express their mocking disgust at a long-haired, open-chested, tall-collared Angel burying his sorrows in some Barry M on the jukebox like they were Statler and Waldorf.

While they sometimes went a little too far in the wink-wink, nudge-nudge self mockery, this meta-humor usually have the surprising effect of making the characters appear more real ... and it is a way for the show to get ahead of the prejudices of the audience. If the comic keeps playing Angel painfully straight, then it will only serve to make him appear ridiculous and trite, though I very much doubt they would want to self sabotage themselves deliberately.

And remember how morose and humourless Angel is portrayed in every single flashback from his post-curse/pre-Sunnydale days (Becoming, Are You Now, Five by Five, Why We Fight, Orpheus, etc). Before Buffy, Angel is a brooding brooder who only interrupts his brooding to scowl at people.

BtVS seems to every bit as whimsical as the show, and we know from the free comic that Angel and Anya are all murder-buddies, which suggest that they are planning to add levity to his character ... at least in his cross over moments.

What I think the comics need most atm is heart. Angel needs to form relationships with fellow beastie fighters and helpless helpers. Establishing those will take time, seeing how short the issues are, but Fred is making her debut soon, and so she will probably be his first lighthearted counterpoint.
 

brinkster130

Riley's BFF
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Sineya
Finally got my copy. Not sure how I feel about it yet. After #0 I was really excited for Angel but this issue just felt short and hard to tell what sort of tone this will have.

One thing I don't like is the series blurb saying, "one of the only vampires in the world with a soul." Seems they're determined to take away Angel's status as the ONLY vampire with a soul extra early.
I noticed that too. Sounds like someone else already has a soul, although I suppose they could be planning on having Xander being another souled vampire in he was indeed turned.
 

The Ferg

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At this point it feels pretty obvious they are just making fun of Angel right? The self loathing is so absurdly high, he's like a caricature of his btvs/AtS character.

I gotta say I was mostly laughing the whole time. One wonders if that's the point. Is all of this self flaggelation just supposed to be funny? It feels like an snl skit of someone making fun of Angel's character. Which to be fair... Is funny at first and then just feels boring.
I think this is a great point, but I actually sort of enjoyed it? The overt self-flagellation seems to be intentional, but I mostly came to that conclusion simply because I've heard good things about the writer. I'm sort of giving him the benefit of the doubt.

I found myself chuckling throughout as well. If the "humor" is purposeful, I have no problem with it, but I can see it becoming grating within a couple issues.
 

white avenger

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A question comes to mind. Do the publishers plan on establishing a relationship between Buffy and Angel at some point? That would seem to be a problem, since they are starting out with each one having their own story arc and comic book. Barring a whole lot of crossovers, how will these two crazy kids ever manage to get together? Also, I go the impression that Angel apparently already knows about the conditions of his curse, which would make him enjoying his "moment of true happiness" with her, or anyone else, would be an act of total irresponsibility.
 

Buffy Summers

Yataro
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I really enjoyed this issue. I liked the flashback a lot, and the intro of Lilith. The "tell Hollywood to stop showing me as a white woman" thing was dumb though.

I didn't read the portrayal of Angel as funny or over the top. *shrugs*
 
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