Angel is despairing the secrecy of Sunnydale and the tragic loss of his friend. Now that he has a mission to focus on, he’s going to have to take on an enemy that seems unstoppable. An interesting beginning to the journey, with a well-known character whose story may not take the same paths we’re used to.
Note: This recap may contain spoilers!
We start off the issue in a flashback to Angelus and, much to my happiness, Mara. I’m so glad we’re getting to dive more into her turning and how she changes as a result. When we see her, Angelus is explaining the need to feed and even offers her a young girl to get her fill on. I must say that, without her soul to tie her to morality, Vampire!Mara is very vicious. And she’s even given a new name: Marius the Axe. I look forward to learning the destruction she causes over time.
Back in present-day Sunnydale, we see Angel at the scene of Francis and family’s murder. He’s seen many friend perish in his time, but it never gets easier for him. And neither do the monsters he has to fight. Lilith gives him a glimpse, a bite of the apple of knowledge, to reveal what he has in store if he hopes to avenge Francis’ murder. She speaks of mankind’s love of symbols and later their love of vanity. Technology has fueled that obsession and it’s what has given strength to the creature who is currently causing destruction around town. The evil feeds on envy and grows stronger with society’s love of itself. Social media is prime feeding ground for that.
Next we turn to a group of high school girls and get to follow one, Brewster, more closely. High school is a prime example of how the youth focuses on social media and outside approval to achieve self-worth. And even though Brewster doesn’t appear to be as vain as some of her peers, she does have a lot of baggage weighing her down. That vulnerability has brought the evil close to her. She has been chatting with the creature online, trading texts and images as they build some sort of relationship, even if she doesn’t realize it’s all fake. He’s luring her in with praise, telling her she’s beautiful for volunteering at a mental hospital, and reveals that he knows her mother went to a mental hospital when she was young, even though she didn’t tell him. That’s when he goes in for the attack.
He says he has something to show her, but she has to ask to see it. When she does, he takes her over and she starts bashing her head into the bathroom mirror. He’s in control now. And his next focus is a patient within the hospital. It’s then that we’re introduced to Winifred Burkle. Her story, it seems, is not the same as it was in the original canon. However, her intelligence does seem to be a constant, and will perhaps play into her character later in the storyline. For now, she’s seemingly saved from Brewster’s attack when Angel comes to her rescue. Though, we’re not sure if Angel defeats the possessed girl just yet. For that, we will have to wait and see.
Overall, this is an intriguing introduction to another character we came to know and love, while also opening the door to a new storyline. I look forward to seeing where Fred goes in this version, as well as what is in store for Vampire!Mara. Lots of tempting possibilities!
Rating: 3 / 5 Stars