For previous installments of Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
- Season 9 (Dark Horse Comics)
- Season 8 (Dark Horse Comics)
- Season 7
- Season 6
- Season 5
- Season 4
- Season 3
- Season 2
- Season 1
For previous installments of Angel:
The series Angel & Faith has it’s origin in the Twlight crises of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8.
Daddy Issues, and Family Reunion
- Daddy Issues is great in bringing Faith’s father, and vampire Drusilla, back;
- Women of a Certain Age deals with Giles’ aunts, Lavinia and Sophronia Fairweather, which I liked in terms of character development for him, but did not find them so amusing; and,
- Family Reunion dealt with the return of Willow Rosenberg, Angel’s son Connor, Whistler, and Charles Gunn while on a mission to Quor’toth.
According to the HorrorTalk review of Daddy Issues:
After getting out of a bit of a funk, Angel has his life on track. He’s got a purpose. He wants to bring Giles back from the natural death that he caused. He broke the Watcher’s neck at the end of Buffy Season 8 and now he wants to make it right. The second arc of Angel & Faith gets into some of the details of how he’s planning to do that. Angel is collecting pieces of Giles’ soul through an Ancient Egyptian trinket that’s currently piercing his nipple.
While on the prowl for these soul pieces, the duo comes across Mother Superior, a vampire that’s making waves in London. She’s not killing anyone, nor is she siring new bloodsuckers. Instead she’s treating people for their mental illness. It doesn’t always work though. Some people are going crazy and killing others. Angel & Faith decide to put a stop to it only to find out that Mother Superior is actually Drucilla. She’s my second least favorite character in the Buffyverse, (The first is Harmony.), so I wasn’t too happy to see Drucilla pop up. Fortunately, author Christos Gage makes her interesting. She’s sane. With the help of a Lorophage Demon, her madness has been cured. Now she’s doing the same for others…with mixed results.
This element brings such an interesting piece to the story of both Angel and Faith. Both are haunted by their past and the guilt over the horrible things that they’ve done. aith once killed an innocent man and despite doing time for it, she still carries that weight on her shoulders. Angel has a ton of skeletons in his closest from before he had a soul. If given the chance to release that burden, would they take it? Or is living with this guilt part of what makes them the people they are today?
To add to all of this, we’re also introduced to Faith’s dad. When this was announced at NYCC in 2011, there was an audible “ooooo” and rightfully so. Faith’s father is someone that was very influential in creating her personality, but not necessarily in a good way. She fell for the Mayor’s ruse back in Season 3 due to her need of a father figure. The introduction of this character puts things in perspective for Faith and makes her realize that she’s moved on a bit. There is a moment where she seems thankful for him to be around which seemed entirely out of character. This was quickly swept away when she realizes that he’s still the same asshole he always was.
Rebekah Isaacs drew Daddy Issues and did a fantastic job. She has a real talent for capturing the likenesses of these characters. They all look like the actors that portrayed them, but each has grown and matured a bit. The Lorophage Demon is the real stand out piece in the artwork for the book though. This thing is so friggin’ creepy. It stands in a trench coat, scarf, and hat, hiding in the shadows. Then, when it’s revealed, it pulls out a long beak-like nose and sharp, taloned fingers that pierce the brain of its victims, feeding off of their trauma.
In addition to the four-issue Daddy Issues storyline, we’re introduced to Giles’ great aunts Lavinia and Sophronia in Women of a Certain Age. They’ve been using their mystical powers and making deals for ages to keep themselves young but now that the seed of magic has been destroyed, demons and ghouls from all over are looking to collect. They seek refuge in Faith’s home in the hope that she and Angel will defend them. What follows is a pretty fun montage of the pair battling a bunch of different monsters in increasingly bizarre ways. We get a little more backstory for Giles, learning about the first time he showed a talent for magic and the last time he was truly a child.
Chris Samnee illustrated Women of a Certain Age. He has a great design for the two aunts, making them look like classic debutantes. There are a ton of different creatures that pop up in the book and Samnee keeps them looking fresh. No two look alike. They’re scary but still fun. The shot of the giant snake with Angel literally halfway down its throat is awesome.
Angel & Faith continues to be the story to watch in Buffy Season 9. The characters are spot on, both in art and story. Each of them has a purpose. There’s something motivating them to become better people and rise above their past indiscretions. Angel is probably always going to be a brooding mess with a ton of mistakes made over the years, but this could be the one thing he does right.
According to the FandomPost review of Family Reunion:
As much as Angel is about redemption, this comic has been about fixing what’s wrong at the core. Angel the TV show was about doing good to counterbalance the bad. We’re hitting home here, and we’re hitting hard.
Faith’s dad was the first step, but Angel’s got a son that he hasn’t done right by. Wesley was manipulated into stealing Connor away and Holtz holed up in Quor’toth to train him to fight. Now, a small fraction of Quor’toth hails Connor as a god. This is as much a family as any, as a religious group can be seen as family to a lot of people. Connor is their “father” for showing them the right way of life. Or at least the less evil way of life.
But to do right for the world, Willow’s trying to get magic back. To do that, she has to travel to anywhere with magic and the only way to do that easily to go to Quor’toth and the only way to do THAT is tear a hole in reality. Simple, really. Tear a hole in reality, get in, let Willow gather some magical energy, travel somewhere else, and then everyone else gets out.
Death and Consequences
Death and Consequences brings back Spike, but even though those characters are good together (see Angel‘s Season 5), I prefer Spike not involved with Angel & Faith. According to the FandomPost review of Death and Consequences:
Angel’s been collecting the parts of Giles’s soul to bring him back to life, but there’s no magic in the world anymore and a spell to bring him back won’t exactly work like it used to—not that it would definitely work in a world full of magic.
There’s a monumental task ahead and Angel’s the one to do it. See, Giles made a deal with Eyghon, a great demon, to give his soul when he died. Now that he’s dead, that’s the only reason he can come back. The deal with Eyghon means Giles’s soul never left. Angel’s grabbed bits and pieces from key items in his history. It’s kind of like Princess Tutu, with just as much threat to the world being destroyed.
We go back to Giles’s past, when he was a problem child in his punk days. He was rebelling against the very people that he inherited magic from by doing exactly what they wouldn’t want. He made a pact with Eyghon in these days and he was playing with magic he shouldn’t have been. But it shaped him. He made mistakes and those mistakes make him a great Watcher. It’s what made him such a great mentor to Buffy and Faith, the number two and one problem Slayers in Buffy.
To fight Eyghon and get the last part of Giles’s soul, they need to decapitate it. But Eyghon can possess people…unless they have some other soul in them. Angel and Spike have the demon soul and their former human soul locked in them, so they can’t be possessed. Yes, this marks the return of Spike. His return seems only to be to help defeat Eyghon, but I imagine they have more plans for him. As much as Faith wants to believe she’s willing to go as far as it takes to bring Giles back, she’s not. Spike, if pushed to want to bring Giles back, will do anything. He can make the tough decisions that Faith might not want to.