Saturday, September 24, 2011

(SPOILERS) Angel and Faith #2 - REVIEWED!

What it is: Angel and Faith #2
Who done it: Christos Gage (w), Rebekah Isaacs (a)
When it comes out: September 28, 2011

The review:

We ended Angel and Faith #1 with the bombshell that Angel intends to bring Giles back from the dead. How he plans to do it and how Faith figures into that plan are the topic du jour in issue 2. What you are about to read is a tease. We do our best to favor textual analysis over spoilers but, be warned, that some aspects of the issue will be discussed. With that, brave reader, soldier forward if you dare.

Gage continues to take a more direct approach with the storytelling of A&F than Whedon and Chambliss do with Buffy. While Buffy’s narration is almost entirely focused on Buffy herself, Faith’s is focused less on internal matters and more on Angel and the new world order.

That brave new world factors into the narrative pretty heavily. Another difference between A&F and Buffy is that, here, we’re already seeing how different things are post seed-destruction, especially for the demon crowd. Also unlike Buffy, Angel and Faith are very much in the thick of things. We spend a fair amount of time with them in the seedy underbelly of demon society and the landscape has definitely changed. Whereas at the end of Angel Season 5 there seemed to be a kind of demon pecking order, now it feels as though it’s every monster for themselves.

While much of our time is spent following around our protagonists, that doesn’t mean Gage skimps on developing the supporting cast. One of the more likable aspects of A&F so far is how visceral and real its world feels. Characters like Nadira, a demon named Kurth, and our villains, Nash and Pearl, help make the reader feel like the rest of existence doesn’t fall away whenever Angel and Faith aren’t on the scene. This is a London teeming with excitement where things are happening whether Angel and Faith are there or not.

The title of this book feels more and more aptly named with each page. This really is a shared book and the relationship between Angel and Faith is what makes it worth reading. It’s fascinating watching the reversal of fortune between the pair. Whereas once Angel was the one trying to save Faith from herself, now it’s Faith who has to have Angel’s back, even when she thinks he’s got it wrong. It’s a complicated dynamic, one that continues to exceed expectation.

In the end, though, A&F #2 is Faith’s story and she absolutely shines in it. Gage’s characterization is spot on. Faith’s behavior is believable and her dialogue is natural. That doesn’t mean this is the same old Faith, though. She’s really evolved here in a way that fans of her character always hoped she would.

Add to all of that a delicious noir feel, another solid Giles flashback, continued spectacular artwork from Rebekah Isaacs, and what you get is a story that’s the perfect mix of classic Angel and something brand spanking new.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for bringing us this great review - I agree with everything. I really wanted to not like this new Angel & Faith series because I was left with nothing but disdain and a complete loss of caring about anything dealing with Angel after his Twilight story.

This new series is drawing me in when all I wanted to do was pull away from all things Angel.

Tara said...

Hi nmcil12,

It's very unlikely, imo, that you are going to be able to "pull away from all things Angel"...especially after reading the next one. I can't believe how sucked in I am after a mere 2 issues. It's fantastic!

Harrison Cooper said...

"The title of this book feels more and more aptly named with each page."

The exact same thought crossed my mind when I read this issue. I love it!

Olivia said...

I loved it! I got some chills while reading it, but loved Faith being all "he thinks I'm with him.... ughhhh"!