With the BOOM! Studios’ Hellmouth event going on, Angel has shifted to focus on the tie-in. Last issue, Gleb Melnikov, the series’ artist gave me my favorite depiction of Spike since James Marsters’ in the television series. Additionally, we got to see more of Lillith, Gunn, Fred, and of course The Master. Having pulled Spike on their team, Angel #7, written by Bryan Edward Hill with Gleb Melnikov on art, Roman Titov on colors, and Ed Dukeshire serving as the letterer.
Angel #7 picks up where the last left off, with Fred being kidnapped. Through Fred, we learn more about the city, we receive ominous messages, and Hill expands his world. With Fred taken away, Spike and Gunn need to learn to work together, but more importantly, they need to listen to Lilith. While the last issue was action-packed, this one is deliberately slower.
Hill has proven his love and knowledge of the material as he constructs a new Buffyverse canon and Angel #7 is honestly the best of that world-building as he brings in a new big bad, and two new characters, including fan-favorite Lorne. When I spoke with Hill earlier this year about introducing Lorne into the series, I knew I wouldn’t be let down when he made his first appearance.
Hill’s strength is not only in writing the characters we know and love but also in building out characters. One of the largest criticisms of Joss Whedon’s Buffyverse is that it took multiple seasons for characters to become dynamic. While character development and arcs happen over time, dynamic characters are necessary right from the start and that’s what Hill has been able to craft in each and every character he brings to the page.
One of the characters who got the shortest ends of the stick from Whedon was Fred. Now, Hill is addressing that by creating a character who is more than just a piece on the board. Angel #7 does this by having her abductors try to sway Fred to help them, showing us what she’s thinking, how people can pull her, and the loneliness that she feels. Additionally, Spike and Gunn’s frenemy relationship is grounding itself with Lilith working bridging the gap between them.
With spectacular writing, Angel #7 has equally breathtaking art. I have been blown away by the talent of this creative team since the first issue and Melnikov’s art one-ups other issues in the opening pages with his illustration of the Baphomet, blood raining from the sky, a light-eyed possessed floating above demons. Melnikov’s art is dark and beautiful. In addition, his rendering of known characters strikes the perfect balance between the actors we know and a new take on the characters.
Titov’s colors are perfect as well. They’re muted and heavy, a wonderful pairing to the darkness of Melnikov’s art. Additionally, given the current discourse around the importance of colorists choices on skin-tones of colors, I feel the need to call out Titov’s ability to light both Lilith and Gunn in a way that maintains the darkness of their skin tones.
Overall, Angel #7 is a good use of Angel’s time away. We’re learning more about our supporting cast and the world that Hill is building. With its titular character in an event, series often struggle, but with Angel, it’s full steam ahead and I can’t wait to see what happens next.
Angel #7 is available wherever comics are sold.
Angel #7 is a good use of Angel’s time away. We’re learning more about our supporting cast and the world that Hill is building. With its titular character in an event, series often struggle, but with Angel, it’s full steam ahead and I can’t wait to see what happens next.
Kate is co-founder, EIC, and CCO of BWT. She’s also a Certified Rotten Tomatoes Critic, host, and creator of our flagship podcast, But Why Tho? and Did You Have To?. She also manages all PR relationships for comics, manga, film, TV, and anime. She has an MA in Cultural Anthropology and Religious Studies focusing on how pop culture impacts society.