Angel & Faith #1
“Live Through This, Part One”
Executive Producer: Joss Whedon
Script: Christos Gage
Art: Rebekah Isaacs
Colors: Dan Jackson
We open to a flashback of Giles attempting to exorcise a demon, though he ends up trapping it in a powerless state and binding it to its host, a young girl. As the flashback concludes, we see Angel and Faith fighting the same demon in the present. After they finish the demon, Angel and Faith split up. While clubbing Faith runs into Nadira, a fellow slayer who relates to Faith the slaughter of her former squad (under Twilight/Angel’s supervision, of course). This flashback introduces us to a pair of half-demon siblings called Pearl and Nash, who are concurrently receiving a visit from Whistler (in a decidedly less Angel-friendly role than his past appearances). Following this, Faith confronts Angel about her conversation with Nadira and the issue closes with Angel revealing that he hopes to resurrect our favorite Watcher.
- The exorcism that Giles reads at the start of the issue is the same as that used on Supernatural (which is in turn based on an actual Catholic ritual).
- Whistler’s back! And this time he’s at odds with Angel? Well that’s new!
- The ending. For the sake of decorum, I can’t include my actual reaction, but wow!
- I would have liked to have seen a bit of the “staring into space and drooling” Angel instead of having that relegated to expositional dialogue. Not a lot of it, but enough to get a more organic transition from that (or even the obviously traumatized Angel we glimpsed in Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 #40) to this issue’s Angel, who is back to his usual badass self.
- Faith seemed to have a more secondary role in this issue, at least compared to Angel.
Much of my reaction to this issue stemmed from the last panel, and rightly so. I’ll get this out-of-the-way up front: I don’t actually expect Angel to succeed. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to have Giles back, but out of all the deceased Buffyverse characters, how many have actually returned? And frankly, this is a Joss Whedon story. Even if Giles does “get better”, we all know it will somehow go horribly wrong. That’s just the way these things work. That being said, I can’t wait to see where it goes.
This issue also adds an interesting wrinkle to the Angel’s time as Twilight. Though it was never made explicit in Season 8, but it’s now apparent that Angel’s actions during that time were not entirely his own, and that indeed there are things he doesn’t remember doing. While we knew he was possessed by the Twilight entity during Season 8’s final battle, this is the first indication of the extent to which he was influenced by the entity prior to that time.
In terms of the cast, I hope to see some of the Angel cast at some point in this run. I get that Angel & Faith is set in the U.K., but sooner or later they’ll need a supporting cast beyond just the title characters. And frankly, the Angel Investigations gang has too many good characters to just shove them into limbo.
This issue is not only a solid start to the series, but a great first step into the post-Season 8 Buffyverse. And, thanks to the lateness of this review, the debut of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 is just around the corner. Be sure to check back with Comic Booked for my (much more timely) thoughts on that issue.