Angel #4 // Review
Angel #4 from Boom! Studios is proof that it’s hard to set a rhythm in a monthly comic book series based on a TV show. This fourth issue seems like the last quarter of a one-hour episode, the sequence where the story of the installment gets resolved and seeds for future chapters can be planted, which is very satisfying when taken as the end of an hour of entertainment but much less so when it’s wrapping up a story that started three months prior.
In this issue, Angel finally (and perhaps too easily?) defeats the social media demon that has been the villain of this first arc of the series. Once that’s complete, Fred Burkle gives him a new mission: to save a group of people who are being hunted, which very well might be the cast of the TV series on which this comic is loosely based; the first person they’re to save is certainly a character from that show as we’re reintroduced to Charles Gunn in the final pages of the issue.
Writer Bryan Edward Hill cleverly executes what is ultimately a fantasy/horror cliche in the specifics of Angel’s victory over the demon. Hill does great work capturing the voices of Angel and Fred, the only two characters in this issue which the audience has known for decades. He does not, however, manage to make this comic feel very substantial or overcome the feeling that not much happens.
Gleb Melnikov’s art is professional, with clear action and distinct page layouts. Melnikov gives Hill’s slight story a brisk sense of pacing. The colors by Roman Titov and lettering by Ed Dukeshire add to the professional sheen, though Titov misses some opportunities to differentiate between Angel’s home and the hell dimension where he faces the demon.
Angel #4 is competently made and pleasant enough. It offers hope for the future that fans of the TV series will get to see the character interactions that led them to love the property in the first place. Still, it can’t overcome a feeling of slightness, of being simply perfunctory, that does not bode well for future installments.