Review: Angel & Faith Season 10 #1
Angel & Faith was the underrated, but superior book for Season 9. If this #1 is any indication, it looks like Season 10 is going the same route for the book.
Victor Gischler (Spike: A Dark Place from Season 9) writes a well crafted #1. Going through my #1 check list, he hits most of the marks required for it to be successful. Hook to bring you back (check); clear connection to the past but looking to the future (check); state the purpose of the book (check)..yep it looks like we got all that here. Gischler creates an atmosphere more akin to early Angel where Christos Gage’s book had the feel of the later seasons. Angel is knocking on doors, doing some old fashioned detective work and just trying to help people. These story elements brought me into the series when I first started watching. The quick punches of humor help break up the seriousness and hit their marks. Although bad on Gischler for making me remember David Boreanaz’s horrible Irish accent! Angel & Faith Season 10 #1 evokes the “back to basics” feel that Dark Horse has been advertising more than the main Buffy book.
One element that works fine here but could prove troublesome for the future is the separation of Angel and Faith. They played off each other so well last season that it seems strange that we don’t have them together at the beginning of this one. Faith’s plot works in #1, but it doesn’t grab our attention on the same level as Angel’s. Readers have seen these scenes in Buffy Season 10 #1, and there isn’t enough for Faith to do. But the means are somewhat justified by the ends as Gischler puts Faith in an new position that will test the growth that Gage gave her in Season 9. There is a sense that Faith has a tipping point coming up where she’ll need to look at herself and decide who she is as a person. It’s almost like a sense of dread, and that leaves me excited to see the story Gischler has planned.
Will Conrad does a good job on artwork. His are in a similar vein as Mike Deodato’s, and that means that they have similar problems. Characters can be stiff at times which makes characters in action sequences look like figurines posing. But this is only a problem during Faith’s sequences in California. Angel’s noir styled escapades fit Conrad’s pencils more. These talking head pages with some light action panels flow much better than the California parts. Conrad has the looks of actor’s down, and it’s great to be able to say that for both of the Buffyverse books for once. Conrad excels at David Boreanaz’s look and mannerisms more than any other character in the issue. Faith loses her likeness to Eliza Dushku at points when the action gets heated, but it is a small gripe that doesn’t affect the score.
Angel & Faith Season 9 was a delight to read every month. It makes me happy that the quality is staying the same even with a change in the creative team.
Angel & Faith Season 10 #1 gets 4.5/5.
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