Overview

Angel & Faith #1

Review

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Angel & Faith #1

Credits

  • Words: Christos Gage
  • Art: Rebekah Isaacs
  • Colors: Dan Jackson
  • Story Title: Live Through This, Part 1
  • Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Sep 4, 2011

In the wake of Buffy Season 8, Angel and Faith try to fill the impossible void left behind by their mentor and friend.

Right off the bat, writer Christos Gage makes the brilliant decision to skip all the brooding. Sure, under the influence of Twilight, Angel killed the father figure of the entire Scooby Gang. Sure, he was the big bad of the entire season and barely made it out. So what if his actions resulted in Buffy having to cut the entire world off from magic? Obviously, enough went down to put our main characters into a depressive stupor. Gage moves past that part. We’ve all seen it. The writer, along with artist Rebekah Isaacs, wisely throws us right into the thick of things as Angel and Faith go about maintaining Giles’ work. 

The issue opens up with a flashback of Giles saving a young girl from possession. In order to do so, he has to sacrifice one of the happiest days of his life. It only quells the beast and Giles has to go back periodically to help the girl, every time, giving away happiness. In one scene, Gage introduces us to the depth and dedication of this man. Qualities all absent from the world now that Giles is dead.

Enter Angel and Faith, taking up Giles’ chores with the help of his Watcher journals. Their approach involves a little more violence than magical incantations, but it’s effective nonetheless. Upon slaying the beast, Angel is inundated with all the happy days Giles forfeited over the years. Specifically, memories Angel had a hand in destroying. What could have been an opportunity to sulk is actually a moment of clarity for Angel and Gage runs with it.

The book is fast-paced, action-packed, and sets up quite a bit for what can be the beginning of a wonderful series. Whether this crosses over into the new Buffy series or not doesn’t even matter. There’s so much potential within these pages that I almost hope they hold off on anything like that for a long time. 

A very large part of this book’s success is the art by Rebekah Isaacs. Her pencils are top notch and maintain the visual style that Georges Jeanty cultivated in Buffy. For a licensed property, having that visual consistency is a wonderful surprise. The action is appropriately chaotic, the acting is visceral and her layout is fine storytelling. Polished off with Dan Jackson’s colors, this book has just as much style as substance.

It’s a promising start to this post Season Eight universe and hopefully a new mission in life (or afterlife for one of ‘em). Even though I’m a fan of the series and comic, even I started to lose steam in the final legs of the last handful of issues. Its exhaustive story began to overstay its welcome, almost sullying the climactic finale. Thankfully, Angel & Faith #1 gives the repercussions of that finale a laser focus that’s undeniably entertaining. As far as solid first issues go, Christos Gage has an impressive head start.

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