For everything that Angel and Fred have been through, it all brings us to this point for the conclusion to the first story arc of this Angel series. One that really took off with the idea that you can take characters like Angel and bring them into a more modern setting to deal with more modern situations. That this creative team chose the horrors of social media was bold, and they nailed the execution through a demon who feeds on the insecurities that come with this culture.The only question was how you defeat a demon like this that requires you to go someplace you’ll probably only ever travel to once.
When Angel took himself to the playing field of this demon, the game instantly changed. The situation was nothing new for Angel, but all the same it was a chilling experience since this would be one of many demons to come who challenge him to overcome everything that weighs heavily on his soul. We’ve seen what this demon could do to kids and adults who give in to the things that make them vulnerable, but what about a vampire who has endured much more, and for much longer? When do you hit that breaking point? And where do you find that same weakness in the person trying to break you? We all know that this was going to end with Angel overcoming the demon, but you definitely wanted to know how he could pull this off. The suspense leading up to that point was great. This demon took advantage of everything you could say or throw at him that would create a reaction. You could even see the urgency from this demon to get through to him when no one else had ever come this close to stopping him.
How Angel rose to the occasion was pretty awesome because it never gets old to see his stubbornness take control. We all know that Angel can fall apart quite easily. When you have that many skeletons in your closet, it’s hard to keep everything right in the head. However, when he has control of a situation, he is the smartest guy in the room. Maybe not literally the smartest, but he’s the guy with the most tact as he proved with the attitude he took on while confronting this demon. It was entertaining to see how he could turn the tables and hit all the right buttons to get this guy to do what he wanted. One thing you can’t take from Angel is that he can get the job done doing more than just biting or being a vampire.
While most of this issue was your average issue for Angel, the remaining story told involved setting this book up for its inclusion in Hellmouth. That was welcomed because of course you would want to know what part Angel plays in this, and what we have to look forward to from that crossover event. We know Fred will have a part to play, as well as someone else important who will be revealed in the next issue. Overall I think we walk away with a good understanding of what the enemy wants, and that’s more than enough to want to anticipate what comes next.
Like most of this first story arc, the interior work was solid. What I enjoyed the most was the way that things changed to fit the nightmare scenario of this demons domain in the digital world. I was actually caught off guard that this wasn’t one of those cases where the art team tried to experiment with digital effects. Normally this would be that time where you expect something far out and static in design, so it is somewhat a breath of fresh air to get something that tries to anchor down. You still got the same impression that this was happening in another world when all these things are being thrown at Angel that seem more like a thought coming to being than anything else. The faded white glows and background also made a big difference in this too. Aside from this, other things did manage to stick out. They did have a couple of panels where they indulged in that digital effect, and it still turned out unique for the effort in color alone. Then there was the page layout as well which took advantage of the occasional magic that will be used to handle a demon or situation.
As the first story arc ends for Angel, it is safe to say that this is a book to have faith in for its ability to tread new territory while still giving us everything that we love about Angel’s corner of the Buffyverse. Angel #4 succeeded in doing this and at the same time laying the foundation for our hyped event of the year, .