I don’t think it’s much of a spoiler to say that this issue is quite Gunn-centric. He’s introduced as a social media influencer of sorts… You know the type: a charismatic online presence with a curated brand and faithful following. Gunn’s past and present motivations are explored quite efficiently, and he and Angel have a pretty bro-y meet-cute. If you’re current with the Buffy series, then the rest of the issue isn’t all too surprising.
I’m really digging Bryan Edward Hill’s take on the broody avenger. A lot of the dialogue in this issue really rings true, and it’s nice to see the beginnings of a team; however, how that’s going to play out next, with Angel in Sunnydale and the Hellmouth open, will be interesting to see. If I had a particular complaint, it would be the somewhat wonky timeframe we’re working in. Angel goes from LA to Sunnydale, witnesses Xander being sired, deals with his business there, comes back to LA, finishes off the business with the social media demon, and now he’s headed back to Sunnydale again. All the while, apparently, not knowing that there’s a Hellmouth in Sunnydale? It seems a bit unnecessary, and the first trip to Sunnydale was merely to establish the presence of the character since it was largely inconsequential. To be fair, this all seems like logistical mumbo-jumbo, but it doesn’t actually detract from the quality of the series so far.
I continue to love the partnership between Gleb Melnikov and Roman Titov. The art remains clean and expressive, and the action is easy to follow. I’m not quite sure what’s up with the seemingly stainless steel stakes that Gunn and Angel use in this issue. They’re obviously not a metal that affects vampires, as Angel handles them with no problem, but maybe it’s a new mythology element?
Overall, this is a solid prelude to the crossover event. It establishes a fan-favorite character while moving the plot forward. I’m looking forward to seeing Fred and Gunn work as a team.
Creative Team: Bryan Edward Hill (writer), Gleb Melnikov (artist), Roman Titov (colorist), Ed Dukeshire (letterer)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
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