Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Angel & Faith Volumes 1, 2, & 3

 I am a long time fan of Buffy The Vampire Slayer.  I have been with the Buffy comics since the beginning and have every issue of both the regular run that happened during the TV Show lifetime and the Seasons that have followed in comicbook form.  Recently I will admit that the Buffy TVS comic has been leaving me flat after reading them.  I was on the cusp of dropping the title from my pull box.  It has been really close and only a better focus in terms of story has saved the book.  I have been hearing about the Angel & Faith book.  They answer letters for that book in the letters column for Buffy TVS.  Money has kept me from trying out the title.  I just could not afford to test the waters, especially when Buffy TVS had been disappointing me.

So how did I come to purchase the first three volumes of the collected Angel & Faith?  Timing is the easiest answer.  I had taken so things in to a local used book store and recieved around $40 in store credit.  It sat there for a few weeks and on my last trip to the comic shop I also visited the bookstore.  They had the three volumes and all were under $10 in price.  I saw Christos Gage was writing and Rebekah Isaacs was handling the art and it sealed the deal.

To be honest this is really a Faith driven comicbook.  She is the main character in most ways.  Angel is there as the draw I guess more than anything.  He provides the main plot for the series.  Angel wants to bring Giles back to life.  He killed him and his guilt is driving him to do this act.  One big problem is that magic no longer really exist in the world of Angel & Faith thanks to Buffy destroying the Seed.  All the rules have changed and even traveling to other places is whacked up.  Faith is now watching over Angel and this quest while living in London.  She inherited all of Giles fortune and stuff.  She also is watching over Slayers that are displaced because of the actions of Buffy.  This is a second plot thread that is brewing and has potential to train wreck for Faith.  

I really like what has been done with Faith's character here.  We get the same gruff gal, with a bit more wisdom and maturity.  Watching her realize she is teh mature one in any group is great fun.  Gage has brought the fun of Faith into a version that is more of what her potential always implied.  There is a thread in Volume Two concerning Dads and we get a glimpse of Faith as her Dad comes calling.  The Dad part for Angel is a guest stint for Drusilla.  Watching a non-crazy Drusilla was neat.  It gave a cool balance to the story having Angel as a Dad and having Faith visit her Dad.  Conner is mentioned and it will lead into Volume Three.  Did I mention Willow comes along for that adventure.

Adding Giles' Aunts to the story has some element of mystery.  One wonders if they are trust worthy.  One is gung ho on bring Giles back while the other seems determined to stop it.  All the time Faith is like a see saw on the topic.  One moment she is determine to stop Angel when he goes too far and the next she is convinced he should bring Giles back.  This internal struggle is a nice burden to see her have as it make her character deeper.

I wish the Buffy TVS comicbook were this good.  I definitely wish Rebekah Isaacs was doing some of the art in Buffy.  Her work on this book is outstanding.  I am glad I picked it up and look forward to reading the next collected edition I can get my hands on.