Surprise! Everybody’s favorite brooding vampire with a soul is getting a brand-new comic book series.
Boom! Studios announced Tuesday that a new “Angel” comic book series from writer Bryan Edward Hill and artist Gleb Melnikov will launch April 17 with the surprise release of the first issue. (It’s bypassing the months-long solicitation period readers usually have to endure when a title is announced.)
“‘Angel’ was a really important show for me because I was watching the show when I was trying to figure myself out a little bit,” Hill said in a recent interview. “Angel was going through somewhat of the same thing so I really bonded with that character.”
“Angel” No. 0’s release will coincide with the character’s comic-book debut in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” No. 4.
The original Angel (played by David Boreanaz) debuted in the very first episode of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” in 1997. The vampire cursed with a soul became Buffy’s first great love on the series before he experienced a moment of true happiness and became one of her cruelest foes.
After regaining his soul, the tortured Angel eventually left Buffy and Sunnydale behind for Los Angeles to continue his quest for redemption for his past actions. His spinoff show, “Angel,” ran from 1999 to 2004.
In the upcoming comics, Angel will stumble upon a new demon uprising and learn that his humanity could be restored by taking the life of a certain Slayer who resides in Sunnydale.
Hill said he is looking forward to exploring in the new series “the struggle for the realization of your identity, the turning of shame and guilt into positive action [and] the way you can understand the darkness to wield the darkness against the darkness.”
Readers can expect other elements that helped draw fans to the original TV series, such as characters finding their chosen families and the fictional monsters inspired by real-world terrors. But Hill is most excited to tackle the love story.
“That’s the side of my imagination that I rarely get to explore in fiction because I’m known as the guy who blows things up real good,” said Hill.
Fans of the TV shows know that because of the nature of Angel’s curse, his love story with Buffy was beyond bittersweet.
“How many of us walk around with our subconscious or conscious minds thinking that we don’t deserve to be loved because we are too monstrous in some way?” said Hill. “Because we have done something in some way, because we feel we might do something again?”
This is the first time in Boom! history that it is releasing a comic book without giving notice to potential readers months in advance. With the way the comic-book direct market operates, titles are generally announced and solicited to retailers months in advance of their official release dates.
This surprise release is exclusive to comic-book stores, with “Angel” No. 0 not being available digitally for two weeks.
The “Angel” No. 0 release will include a main cover, as well as a special one-per-store “Thank You” variant cover, both by artist Boris Pelcer.