Angel Volume One: Being Human – Bryan Edward Hill, Gleb Melnikov, Gabriel Cassata & Roman Titov (Boom! Studios)

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Forget everything that you thought you knew about Angel, because in Being Human the vampire with a soul who is perpetually trying to atone for multiple lifetimes of misdeeds, has been reimagined and let loose in the dark and dangerous present.  At least, that’s what the blurb on the back of the dust jacket wants, and would sort of like, its expectant readership to believe.  Except he really hasn’t been reinvented; Angel is still Angel. It isn’t that he’s been reinvented; it’s more like he’s been shifted sideways into in an alternative history version of the Buffyverse in which he hasn’t met the Slayer, doesn’t have his crew and ends up in Sunnydale for a whole host of different reasons.

While that may sound like I’m criticising Being Human, I’m really not, it’s just that it takes a minute to adjust to Bryan Edward Hill’s Angel, who is both instantly familiar and yet vastly different. Having, like Tityos, created his own eternal cross to bear through a past wrought with death and destruction, and unable to save his friends and partner, Angel travels to Sunnydale at the bidding of Lilith to save the town from the hidden perils of social media.  As he battles the forces from beyond the veil, he’s introduced to a surprisingly familiar ally and the prophecy that controls his destiny is unveiled, setting the scene for Angels damned and doomed future.

Alternating between flashbacks that reveal how he was responsible for the creation of a nemesis that will undoubtedly play a significant role in the story as it progresses and its current timeline, Being Human more than effectively hits Angel’s reset button. The characterisation, dialogue and story are all on point and capture the essence and spirit of everything that made Angel who he was, and is, perfectly and every page and panel looks gorgeous in a detailed, dark and brooding way that’s entirely apt and feels, for want of a better word, right.  Fandom has been given a second bite of the apple as Angel is nowhere near as dead as he used to be… Tim Cundle

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