Thursday, July 05, 2012

Review: Angel & Faith #11 - "Family Reunion, Pt. 1"

FROM THE PUBLISHER

When yet another unexpected visitor shows up on Faith and Angel’s doorstep, the pair are pulled into a quest that has the potential to give Angel everything he’s been looking for—you know, if they succeed and survive.

SYNOPSIS

Willow, who showed up on the last page of the previous issue, is in London with the broken scythe, to help restore magic, and she needs Connor to do it, because she needs to get to Quor'Toth. Angel isn't exactly on speaking terms with Connor, but eventually agrees to help. They head to L.A. -- after Faith gives Nadira a heads up/hand in battle and makes sure the Giles aunts will mind the house -- where they meet up with Gunn. He takes them to Conner, and Angel and Faith have a touching father/child reunion (better than the one Faith had with her dad, which Angel throws in her face). Willow convinces Connor to help, against Angel's wishes, and they use the scythe for a ritual that tears a hole in reality and opens the way to Quor'Toth. Everybody in!

REVIEW

After two arcs that established Angel's motives and Faith's purpose, it's already time for this book to start converging with "Buffy: Season 9", and you have to figure the next two arcs will set that up, with each series ending with a big crossover arc. And what better way to get things started than by having Willow show up. Aside from Buffy, she was the character most personally affected by Angel's actions at the end of Season 8, and she has her own personal history with risky and unnecessary resurrections. Plus, I mean, it's Willow. How can you not love more Willow?!

By involving Gunn and Conner in the story, Christos Gage makes sure this is an "Angel" book, and not just Angel in the Buffyverse. Plus, I just miss Gunn. And not "Angel: After the Fall" Gunn. Real Gunn, from the show. He didn't get a ton of panel time in this issue, but he felt like real Gunn.

I also enjoyed the tension between Faith and Angel in the second half of the book. It felt natural. The two characters obviously have a mutual respect for each other, but the way they're wired, they're bound to clash.

I didn't think the scene with Nadira worked at all. She's becoming a very one-note character: she gets in fights, Faith shows up and helps, they clash because Nadira thinks Faith isn't doing enough to help find Pearl & Nash (who've also been kind of absent for awhile). Maybe a few issues away will help things.

There also wasn't a lot of action -- the scene with Nadira was about it -- but Rebekah Isaacs did enough with the artwork that I didn't mind. Her panels always look amazing, whether its a throwdown or a talking head debate.

I'll be interested where this arc goes -- particularly, I can't wait to see how Isaacs draws the Quor'Toth scenes -- but I think it's off to a good start.

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