Friday, August 16, 2019

Angel #1 - 3 (2019)

I honestly didn't read a whole lot of the original Angel comics. I was the biggest most bestest, most knowledgeable Buffy and Angel television show fan though.  Needless to say, as a fan of the shows, most of the comics paled in comparison. Whedon seemed to go a little off his rocker in terms of doing whatever he wanted. Things that would have been impossible on screen due to budget and ridiculousness... So the comics often were just that, ridiculous. A lot of the writers weren't terrific and I often disliked the artwork. I did enjoy some of the characters in the Spike comics however. My friend gave me the omnibus one year for my birthday.

Now that I've said a lot of negative shit, let me just tell you I didn't have high hopes for the new series  based on the past but I was willing to read them. I am happy to report that the artwork  is really good. Gleb Melnikov has brought ANGEL to life in a whole new way for me. I mean look at this. It's beautiful and brutal, not to mention a little bit metal. I've got a thick and sludgy doom metal thrumming through my head just looking at it. 

Gleb had previously worked with Boom Studios illustrating 6 issues of Saban's Go Go PowerRangers. He's also done some work for DC on the title Shazam. Check out his Art Station account to see more.

Alright so I like the art but there's a bit of the story I'm not so sweet on. It has to do with a chronic complaint about youth today that you might be sick of hearing: they're vapid, out of touch empties, obsessed with selfies and how the world reacts to them. Their self worth only measured in digital hearts and thumbs up icons. We've seen all the articles and complaints about what social media is doing to youth today. This story is centered in that. 

Frankly, I am a little tired of this narrative already. I didn't grow up with social media. I'm 36 and graduated in 2001. One of the last few graduating classes to make it out without Myspace. 'Course I got a Myspace account shortly after and had ICQ and AOL in high school but my childhood was internet free till my mid teen years. So I got to sit through all the fear mongering about social media from the beginning. Watch parents blame everything in the world but themselves for how their kids turned out and of course, video games.

So this isn't my favorite story. The big bad in this arc is a demon who feeds off the insecurities of youth. Tells them their beautiful, sucks them in and then sucks them dry. I do however enjoy the flashback scenes. The panels look so cool and I'm curious about what it all means for Angel. Perhaps a deeper, ongoing story. There is a bit of confusion for me also on where this Angel story takes place in the greatest timeline. It seems that it's a prequel because a being explains to Angel that Fred (who in this story is a crazy person in an insane asylum) will be an important friend. Alluding to the fact that they haven't met yet.

Okay, so why is Fred in an insane asylum? She was insane after getting back from another dimension run by demons, which Angel helps her get out of... But Fred was a physicist and NOT crazy pre-interdimensional travel. She was a  genius. So are we to toss out canon here?

So what is a Buffy Angel can to think? I feel all stories must be centered around history established in the television show for me to enjoy them here and if you  want to wipe that slate clean, you better have a damn interesting way to do it other than "this is an alternate reality/dimension/something that let's this story and the pre-established canon exist". Cause seriously, we've had enough of that, thank you Big Two. 

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