Angel & Faith Vol. 1 TBP Review

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I recently wrote catch up article (click here for that) and mentioned that Angel & Faith, in my opinion, is the better of the Buffy series.  Well now that you WANT to catch up with this series, here is your chance.  Dark Horse has released the first five issues of the series and some extras.

Spoiler Warning for Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 and all of Season 9

The story is classic Angel.  It deals more with the investigative side of our favorite fluffy puppy vampire, while trying to find a way bring back Giles.  And Faith is there as well, to help Angel along with his rehabilitation.  Pearl and Nash, two cohorts form when Angel was possessed by Twilight attack Angel.  They are not happy that Angel decided to give up the fight at the end of Season 8.  While this is going on, Faith is trying to help local slayers deal with the fact that they aren’t as powerful as they use to be anymore.  The fifths issue is a one and done that deals with Harmony, and her sex tape that leaked.  It also brings back the fan favorite character Clem.

Christos Gage (Avengers Academy) has been writing some of the best Angel material since the show ended.  While IDW’s series about Angel was good, it constantly got bogged down by things.  The writing wasn’t as spot on, and the art lacked the Angel look that a book starring him needs.  The script is full of character, and has a surprising amount of wit.  Writers seem to forget that Angel is at his best when he is happy and funny.  Gage writes these characters as if he had been writing them for years.  He knows when to tone down the jokes and be serious.  The one and done is hysterical, and Gage writes some great gags.  Faith was used well in Season 8, and Joss Whedon made a great case for her having her own series.  Gage writes her great here, showing how much she has grown sense her first appearance in Season 3.

Rebekah Issacs pencils most of the issue, with Phil Noto penciling the one and done with Harmony.  Issacs pencils are nothing short of stunning.  They capture the spirit of their actor counterpart, while Issacs makes her own mark on them.  They are expressive, and ever tiny expression captures the spirit of the actor.  Action scenes flow perfectly, and Issacs creates some great looking monsters.  The book is set in London, and unlike Buffy and San Francisco, London feels like another character in the book.  Besides Gage’s script using British speak, she perfectly captures the energy that London has.  Phil Noto’s issue looks a little rushed, but it’s still good.  He nails the comedic tone that Gage was going for, but occasionally a few panels look down right ugly.  His work on Uncanny X-Force shows he can do great on interiors, so I’m not exactly sure what happened here.

As a long time Buffy fan, I can tell fans of the series that this is the type of Angel series they have been waiting for since the abrupt ending that was Season 5.  If you are questioning where this takes place in seasons, this should technically be Season  7 for Angel.

The extras section has a good amount of the price.  Most of it is sketches from Rebekah Issacs, including one funny Boston related cover.  It’s not much, but considering some won’t pay as much as $10 for this collection, it’s a fair amount.

The book is only $9.67 on Amazon, which makes it a steal.  It’s a phenomenal series that should be read by any fans of Joss Whedon’s work (I’m looking at you Avengers fans).

Angel & Faith Vol. TPB gets 4.5/5.

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