Warning: Contains spoilers for Angel #6.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans, who were thrilled with the many opportunities that Buffy’s own Multiverse, the Slayer, could provide, get what they hoped for — an epic confrontation between an Angel and his evil essence, Angelus. The heroic vampire champion will have to look into a twisted mirror and face the worst version of himself if he wants to survive his final ordeal.
Angelus is one of the most evil vampires ever to walk the earth. In the original Buffy series, a young Irish libertine named Liam was conceived by the vampire Darla in 1727. Liam was resurrected again as Angelus, who soon became one of the bloodiest demons in the world, whose first act was to kill his own family. As one of the most evil creatures of the night, Angelus blazed a bloody path through Europe until the Roma tribe cursed him for killing their beloved daughter. The curse gave Angelus a soul, and so Angel was born, a tortured being consumed with guilt for the atrocities he committed, until he fully accepted his role as a Champion. Angelus, however, has not disappeared, as the curse will end as soon as the Angel feels a moment of true happiness.
Series Angels, published by Boom! The action of Studios takes place in an alternate universe from the TV show, one of the many realities that make up the Slayerverse. In this world, Angel is still the Champion, and he lives in Los Angeles (just like in the TV show “Angel”). However, the arrival of vampire hunter Daniel Holtz warns Angel about the existence of parallel worlds and about the version of Angelus, who never had a soul, and who travels through the realities of the Slayerverse, wreaking havoc and lawlessness. In “Angel #6” by Christopher Cantwell, Daniel Bayliss and Patricio Delpeche, Angelus follows an Angel to Transylvania, where he is starring in a Dracula movie, and brutally attacks him, leaving a trail of victims behind him before retreating.
The Angel/Angelus duality has always been a defining character trait. Angel is a hero, but he has to constantly fight so that his dark self does not reappear, bearing the blame for his past actions. However, usually when Angel is around, Angelus is not there, so fans have never seen a real physical confrontation between them. A series of comic books about angels from Boom! Studios is taking full advantage of the opportunities opened up by the new Slayerverse, which has led to this really interesting storyline. The Angel now has a chance to meet his inner demon in the flesh, and this can end either in extreme catharsis or complete defeat of the hero. Worse, Angelus didn’t come alone, as he also brought with him a soulless version of Spike.
It is still unclear what this unholy pair of villains are up to. Wesley mentions in the issue that the evil Spike gets stronger with each version of himself he kills. If this is a permanent Slayerverse rule, then two Champions are the ultimate targets of this multiverse hunt. Whatever the truth, Buffy fans are treated to one of the things they’ve never seen on TV-an epic battle between an Angel and his demonic other self, Angelus.