Angel & Faith #2
Written by Christos Gage
Art by Rebekah Isaacs and Dan Jackson
Executive Producer: Joss Whedon
If there’s anything about the Buffyverse of comics that I can’t say enough good about, it’s the characterization. I never find myself getting disappointed with how these characters I know and love are portrayed, as the writers respect the material enough to treat Joss’s characters as if they were their own. I like that I feel as if I’m seeing the true progression of all of these characters and situations I was such a fan of. Now, that’s over with, so let’s talk about how this issue builds on last month and finds ways to upstage it.
Last issue it was Angel and Faith cleaning up problems left behind by Giles after his death, but this issue picks up on Angel’s new plans…to bring back the man he killed. The book opens with Faith and Nadira facing off with some vamps and a demon, who escapes with a case filled with cash, while the case with the odd green liquid is broken and the contents spilled. This winds up being something Angel takes to look into as they get into the talks of resurrection; namely with Faith telling him how he can’t due to Giles death being natural. This leads to discussion about resurrection spells in general, the positives, the negatives, what exactly can make them work, how not to make a zombie, Cordy, the works. The end result is that we see just how devoted Angel is to the cause of righting what he perceives to be his biggest wrong, while Faith is torn between wanting to take away his cause (and reason for pulling himself together), and her desire to do right by him like he did for her. She wants to trust him and have faith in him, but she thinks what he intends to do is still crazy. She gets some nice character work here, and while it isn’t to knock Angel, Faith is really the star of this issue.
The plan Angel devises is simple and hilarious, and draws from a point in the show Faith missed, which leads to some fun meta-text like “Okay, I missed an episode.” and “I missed a whole damn season.” They don’t get the eyes rolling, they get you laughing especially since…the comments are pretty in line with how Faith speaks. The fights are fun, if not quick, and they do a great job to remind the reader that these are the two members of extended Scooby Gang that bite off wayyyy more than they can chew. Sure, neither of them dies in this issue…though one is already dead, but they do get their fair shares of bumps and bruises. Angel even rips a guys arm off! He’s very much the Angel we’ve grown accustomed to, complete with his reasoning for why his plan is going to work. How despite everything to the contrary he can bring Giles back, and while you never get the the feeling that she believes a word of it, she’s fiercely loyal and stands by him.
Rebekah Isaacs sells the issue by bringing the perfect style to fit the book in much the way she did in the first issue. The characters look like they should, not exaggerations on what the actors could look like were it not for real life limitations. They look like people, and demons look like…well, demons. It doesn’t look like a super hero action book, nor does it come across as some gritty horror book. The coloring is actually kind of light, sure, there’s some good shadowing, but despite the book being about these two black sheep going on a quest to beat up and/or kill a bunch of demons in order to resurrect someone Angel killed, it doesn’t feel like a downer. Faith’s being the star of the show continues into the art where her expressions sell every scene she’s in. Lot of great work.
Gage does a nice job drawing from the canon instead of creating his own plot device to drive the plot, and he does a great job with our leads. Angel’s determination is the only thing driving him right now, he’s single minded almost to a fault. This is his chance at redemption, this is how he’s going to make things right, there is no way he can screw this up. He’s positive that he’s in the right, and that he can do this, and it’s up in the air on how bad that will bite him in the ass. Faith has been where Angel is, and while she’s willing to help her friend, the time is coming when she’ll have to step in and say something or do something. Giles himself left her with advice on the very thing Angel is setting out to do, and it should lead to some cool character moments.
Overall a pretty good issue, a few fights, lots of character stuff, and our bad guys get closer to a confrontation with our leads (and not the other way around). Exactly what I was hoping for.
Tags: angel, Buffy Season 9, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Christos Gage, Dark Horse, joss whedon, Reviews