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August 31 2011

(SPOILER) Discuss Angel & Faith #1. After the tumultuous events of Buffy Season 8, Angel and Faith have relocated to London. So what did you think of the first part of the 'Live Through This' arc?

I gotcher summary right here...

We open with the preview pages of Giles' diary, where he talks about why he has no children over the scene of his battle with the demon possessing the little girl. (The Latin on the first panel translates roughly to "We exorcise you, all impure spirit".) The flashback constitutes the first five pages; on the sixth, it transitions to Faith and Angel fighting the same demon, headed by the closing note from Giles, "May God have mercy on their souls."

Angel vamps out and bites the girl to fool the demon into thinking its host body will die. When it leaves her body, the mother takes her out of the room and Angel and Faith continue to fight the demon's true tentaclicious form. They're hacking at it trying to find a brain when its shell/skin bursts and Angel gets blasted with green slime.

The memory that Giles sacrificed to bind the demon is released, and Angel experiences it, explaining to Faith that he just saw the day that Giles fell in love with Jenny Calendar. He's overwhelmed, but the demon is dead and the mother and child come back into the room. Angel and Faith tell Anne (the mother) that the job is done, and Angel apologizes for biting her daughter and explains why he had to do it.

The next page shows Faith and Angel walking from the house, talking about how they told the mother that Giles sent them. Faith says that it was the right thing to say, for the mother's sake, and asks Angel if he's going to go spacey again now that the job that roused him from his catatonic state is over. He says no, but heads home, telling her she's got places to be.

Next page is Nadira's entrance, where she's attacked by a vampirey-looking person who turns out to be Faith testing her reflexes. They head to a club together, and Faith coaxes her to talk about the death of her squad. Nadira's story is told through a flashback: a brother/sister team of humanoid demon people (their most notable feature is that the arms and legs of both are soaked in blood) are massacring the Slayer team with weapons and eye beams of green light. They're called Pearl and Nash, seem to love what they do, and are supervised by Twilight, who does nothing to stop them.

Nadira says that she almost died and that Willow found her and healed her. She didn't tell Faith about it before now because she'd heard things about her relationship with Buffy, and Buffy's relationship with Angel. She has mixed feelings about Buffy, acknowledging that she's probably already been punished enough, but can't forgive Pearl, Nash, or Angel, and she intends to kill them all. Faith finishes her drink and says, "We all gotta dream."

"Elsewhere": Whistler is doing his patented "the big moments" speech at a bar to someone unseen. He says he's about maintaining balance, that Earth's cut off from the mystic dimension, that he can't contact the PTBs, that his precognition isn't working properly, and that it's Angel's fault - for blowing off what Whistler told him. He asks his audience to help him again. The world still needs to evolve; it's dead but doesn't know it yet, and someone needs to do a lot of ugly damage to save them all. It won't be easy, and they'll probably have to go up against Angel.

On the last panel, he hands a beer to someone whose hand is drenched in blood and who says, "Stop." The next page shows that it's Pearl and Nash against a backdrop of murdered patrons of the bar. They accept Whistler's proposition for the sake of bringing in the next stage of evolution and getting payback on their old boss.

Back at Giles' house, Angel and Faith are arguing about what Nadira told Faith. Angel says that he did enlist Pearl and Nash, part of his plan to bring the bad guys together and focus them so that Buffy could stay strong. He was doing it, he says, to keep the world from going to Hell like LA did (which no one remembers but him). He tried to keep Nash and Pearl contained, but couldn't, and there were times that he was more under Twilight's influence than others, which affects his memories of those times.

However, when Faith offers him the loophole of "it wasn't you", he claims the fault is still with him, because he didn't ask the questions he should have or take what chance he had to think about what he was doing. He was weak, and he has a lot of death on his conscience. Faith says it's good to pick up the ball for Giles, but that Angel has to stop obsessing over it if he wants to take Giles' place.

Angel replies, "Take his place? I could never take his place. I'm going to bring Giles back to life."
Loved this issue, art was great, voices were right. Intrigued by Whistler's reappearance. As much as I enjoyed season 8, I've got to say I found Giles, Faith and Angel more relatable in this issue than I found most of the characters in s8 (bar Faith in "No Future For You" and the decoy slayer, oddly).
Don't have my copy yet but it sounds like Whistler is angry that Angel didn't stay the course and allow Twilight to play out.Buffy convinced Angel to come back to help her stop Twilight which led to the destruction of the seed.Now it sounds like Whistler plans to complete what was supposed to happen with Twilight and evolve to a new plane.Only this time he knows Angel is going to try to stop him.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2011-08-31 17:20 ]
What I liked:

*The characterisation is on point.

*The premise is brilliant and it fits Angel and Faith wonderfully. You just know there is going to be some great stories in this.

*The art is fantastic.

*Gage's script is great and there is some nice one liners.

What I don't like:

*The continued wishy-washyness on A) Twilight's control of Angel and B) The level of responsibility he has for what happened. If feels like they are back tracking one minute and then rushing back in to say it is all his fault the next. They really need to pick one.

*The Whistler bit makes very little to no sense and it basically has served to retcon his whole character. For a guy who seemed genuinely concerned with the horrible life Buffy had in front of her when she was called, he didn't give a hoot that a room full of people lay slaughtered around him. I'm getting extreme Skip vibes from him right now.
Really liked it. Was confused over a couple of bits, talked them over and am now very excited for the future of the series. This is what I expect from a Buffy comic book.
I liked it quite a bit! Christos has the character voices down pat, particularly Giles and Faith. I like that Whistler is back--it's a shame he was never used in the Angel tv series. I like the locale and I like the Watcher's Files stuff. And I like the art---this artist does a better job than Jeanty with likenesses.

My only complaint is that it was TOO SHORT and left me wanting more RIGHT NOW!!!
Loved it and loved the ending. So glad we have two separate titles in the same universe. It'll be just like when we had the two TV series on simultaneously. So much fun.

[ edited by guidedby on 2011-08-31 19:06 ]
I have my copy of Angel & Faith #1."Live Through This Part I."

I want to note that I actually picked up all three covers.The Steve Morris one is the regular cover.Jo Chen's and Georges Jeanty's 25th Dark Horse Anniversary covers are more expensive.My store only got two of the Jo Chen cover which were $6.00 a piece.They got only one copy of the Georges Jeanty cover which was $12.00.So I got the only copy of that they had and one of the Jo's. :)I don't usually buy the more expensive variants comics do but in this case I loved all three covers and figured they weren't that expensive.Plus it is the first issue.Hey it was better than spending $60.00 for the Justice League #1

Onto the issue itself.Really liked it.I was already familiar with Christos Gage through his Marvel work(love his Spider-Man).But I was very impressed with him here because he really had the character's voices down.Angel sounded like Angel.Faith sounded like Faith.Whistler sounded like Whistler.Giles sounded like Giles in the flashback.It's like he's been writing for the Buffyverse for years already.That can be an issue for new writers to the verse.Sometimes it can take them a while to get the feel of the characters if at all.But Gage nailed it IMO in the very first issue.

The story is very intriguing especially the Whistler stuff.The big bads connected to Twilight feel a little stock.They feel more like religious obsessed lackeys.First for Twilight,now for Whistler looking for payback on their former boss.I think I need to see more of them to get a feel.

Loved the Angel and Faith stuff.I feel so sorry for Angel.He really was trying to help both Buffy and the world but he screwed up and he knows it and admitting that he should of investigated what he was being told more.Even when Twilight had taken more control and he was under it's influence more,he's not using that as a excuse.Faith even brings up when he was possessed by Twilight and killed Giles and how that wasn't him,Angel refuses to hide behind that and is taking full responsibility for everything Twilight related.I just really feel for Angel here.

And I love Faith as well.She is most certainly in a bad position with her fellow slayer,Nadira since Nadira wants revenge on Angel and wants to kill him and Faith is protecting him.Love the worried look on her face when she hears what Nadira wants to do.

We all knew about the cliffhanger at the end of the issue with Angel wanting to resurrect Giles.Will be interesting to see Faith's reaction at the beginning of next issue.

On the art side,Rebekah Issacs is the bomb.Loved her art.Very crisp and clean.

Great start to the series.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2011-08-31 19:37 ]
Really loved it. As people have said, it really felt like Angel to me. I was worried it would feel like a Buffy comic just with Angel in it instead, but it definitely has the vibe of ATS, which I am very pleased about. Definitely some good set up for future episodes.

I'm hoping Whistler is working towards some greater end, but I'm glad he's back regardless. I also hope they don't actually bring back Giles. I for one thought his death was necessary and well done, and would be very sad if they took that away. That said, I don't think they will, going by Buffy and Angel's previous stances on how bringing loved ones back always goes badly. Can't wait for #2.
I think they'll end up bringing back Ripper.
Initial reaction: that shit was good.

Really tight writing all the way through. Nadira's already won a place in my heart, and I'm excited to get to know her. Faith's characterization felt pretty spot on, her voice was good, I started hearing her rhythm, and she definitely brought a much-needed touch of humor to the issue. Angel was good, too, but not quite hitting the spot for me characterization-wise. And the flashback!Giles felt a bit too stereotypically British, still good, but a bit too polished. Where's the Ripper? I'm still hoping it is possible to translate ASH's charisma and humor to comics, no matter what Joss says. ;-)

[Disclaimer: I'm probably being a bit hard on the characterization here, it's really good, just I'm a ~voice~ snob, and I'm hoping it goes from really good to amazing.]

Pearl and Nash strike me as fantastic villains and their introduction through dialogue was incredible:

Nash: Bring in the next stage of evolution and get payback on our old boss?
Pearl: Someone's been peeking at our dream board.

Another interesting bit: how hard Faith's in denial mode about Angel. So she's not so much about facing the darkness at this stage, more interested in displacing blame on "Angelus" and "Twilight" -- thankfully, Angel won't let her. It really looks like Angel's owning his darkness and refusing to look away from it, to the point that he can't cope with it and feels the need to resurrect Giles.

LOTS of darkness in this issue. Angel endangering the child's life and consequently forcing the parasitic demon out of its host serves as a replay in microcosm of his plan to save the world from Hell by endangering the world.

I had reservations about Christos Gage's writing, but those reservations are gone now. A tautly-written first issue, and the characterization is solid enough that I can only hope it gets better and better as Christos becomes even more familiar and comfortable with the characters.

One thing I'm hoping for is a bit more humor, not slapsticky, but just a little bit more to balance out the violence, angst, and drama. I'm still getting used to Rebekah Isaacs art, so the writing is the real prize here. All in all, this is quality storytelling. Hold on to your butts.

[ edited by Emmie on 2011-08-31 19:53 ]
So Angel is finally officially back in the Dark Horse stable. Depending on whom you ask, thatís either great news or the worst thing ever. However you might feel about rival publishing houses, though, the most important question remains Ė is this first issue any good?


Itís so good, in fact, that it easily outshines DCís huge new 52 event happening today. Or it should. With a strong story, accurate characterization, some of the best art Iíve seen on any Whedon book, and a story thatís loaded with potential, Angel and Faith #1 hits the ground running and should make even the most jaded fans hungry for more.

For those worrying about the loss of Giles, itís nice to start with a flashback to a time before his passing. Facing off against a possessed little girl, Giles does exactly what youíd expect him to do Ė set aside his own safety to protect the innocent. He succeeds, but at a great personal price. In locking away a vicious demon, he sacrificed a part of himself. Specifically, Giles loses the memory of falling in love with Jenny Calendar.

Gage and Isaacs really capture Giles perfectly here. His behavior is totally believable and, in removing this key part of Giles personal history, we get an interesting explanation as to why Giles hasnít been quite himself these last few years.

From there on out, itís all about our title characters. Angel and Faith return to that same little girl and finish what Giles started, which they succeed at handily. In fact, it seems that a big element to Angelís narrative this season will be his need to pick up where Giles left off. Faith, who you might recall received essentially all of Gilesís earthly possessions, also feels the pull to continue the Watcherís good work.

Faith and Angel are two characters who seemed destined to be under the same banner. Theyíre both into redemption but their best intentions also have a tendency to pave them straight to hell. Theyíve got a shared past, one that has been evolving towards this place for a long time. They trust each other both to not trust each other and that makes for an interesting dynamic thatís not always safe or predictable.

In addition to all that, we get some new villains in the form of Pearl and Nash, two demons whose strength is derived from primal emotions, who used to work for Angel back when he was Twilight. Weíve got Nadia, a former member of the slayer army. Weíve got an ambiguous but probably evil Whistler who still seems bent on bringing about some kind of New World Order. We even get mention of IDWís Angel: After the Fall.

With a final line that will leave fans arguing for the next month, weíre already in very murky moral territory. Thatís exactly where Faith and Angel ought to live.

Christos Gage and Rebekah Isaacs have crafted a near perfect first issue. The only flaw, as some have pointed out, is the need for a better understanding of modern day London. Sounds like the perfect excuse to renew the old passport and take a trip across the pond if ever we heard one.
This was a good start. I really enjoyed it. Kudos to Gage and Isaacs for a job well done.

I have to agree with some of the comments regarding Whistler; he just feels so cold here. I understand that he is neither "good" or "bad" but what happened in that bar? Did he just watch all of those people die?

As Emmie said, it does seem like Faith is the one who is trying to take the blame of Angel for what happened. He seems to fully accept that it was him, even for events that he doesn't remember.

Oh, and nice nod to After the Fall.
Man. I said I wasn't going to review these books. I over-estimated my self-control. Here are my thoughts:

I'm excited to talk about this issue with you guys.
Just realized we're going to get new Buffyverse comics essentially on a biweekly basis (except for those darned months with five Wednesdays). Yay!

When Angel talks about Hell-A, he says "we fixed it", but then says only he remembers being there. When he says only he remembers, does he really mean just him or does that include the "we" who fixed it (likely Spike, Connor, Gunn and Illyria)? I'd also like to know if he still owns the Hyperion, and I imagine we'll get some answers later in the season.
Aww, Giles. *sniffle*
The issues sounds amazing. Can't wait to get mine.

The only thing that has been worried is the ATF reference. Only Angel remembers being in Hell-A? Since when?
@Fred_Sonja -This issue came up before, I can't remember exactly when. If I remember correctly, Gage answered a question on Twitter stating that people gradually started to forget Hell-A.
And if I also remember,he also confirmed that the rest of Angel's team(Spike,Connor,Illyria Gunn)still remember too.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2011-08-31 21:58 ]
I like Rebekah Isaacs' illustrations much better than Georges Jeanty (sorry). Everyone was recognizable, except maybe Whistler. I thought he was Doyle at first.
^^ I don't even remember what Whistler actually looks like. He only made one appearance over 13 years ago.
As per usual, this entry will get linked to on the sidebar on the front page so people can carry on chatting about the issue once the entry gets bumped off the front page.
@Brierly: He also made an appearance in the Riley one-shot.

ETA: Unless your point was that the live-action version only made one appearance? The outfit is pretty iconic, though. :)

[ edited by wenxina on 2011-09-01 00:14 ]
There was certainly far more actual story -- voices established, exposition given, threats positioned, goals outed -- in Angel & Faith's 22 pages than in Justice League's 24.
Only 24 comments so far? Man how the Buffy fandom has been spoiled for things to talk about since Season 8 first hit the shelves. 8D

I liked this quite bit.

The art was mostly excellent with just a few weird panels. The voices were spot on. The plot was simple and well-executed. Basically, it was a solid first issue. I look forward to seeing where it's headed.

As others have said, Whistler seemed oddly cold to me. Not in an "above morality, cosmic balancing scales" way, in an "actually I'm just boring old evil way." We'll see.

If anyone is interested in reading all my thoughts, I wrote my review here.
I really loved this: a start to a compelling story with good writing and great art. I love that we will really be exploring the whole Angel/Angelus/Twilight thing (which in the TV show always seemed way too convenient an 'out' of all real consequences for his actions). And of course I love Faith (I've always loved Faith).
Wow. This sounds great. I was definitely not impressed by the first issue of Buffy, season 9, but this might get me buying the comics again.
You've read the first issue of Buffy season 9?
Reading the letters in the back, it seems things don't change very much. Some "fans" are still turning over every rock they can to try and find something to whine about, even if they have to jettison any semblance of reading comprehension to do it; and other "fans" are still self-absorbed enough to believe they speak for the entire fandom. Yay...
First off, I love the title of this arc..."Live through this" and I was not the least bit disappointed in the start of this story.
Beginning flashbacks of Giles really did my heart some good. I got chills when Angel alludes to the fact that he could never fill Giles shoes and rather, is going to bring him back. I could squee from giddyness.

Loved how Angel is very much in character and willing to take blame for everything that happened and I also loved the call out to Buffy as Faith tells him that Buffy said he didn't know what happened. It must have reminded her an awful lot of Angel returning at the end of Becoming.

One thing that I was a little unsure of, while reading, is in the information about Giles losing a memory each time he binds a demon or rather, that sort of demon. Could be the reason he acted the way he acted, mainly leaving Buffy twice at crucial moments in the story...if something was missing from his memories.

I loved Angel admitting that he was not only trying to save the world from Hell but also trying to keep Buffy safe.

Whitsler's return was also great, imo. His appearance helped to explain a few things and while he seems petty to be harboring such ill towards Angel for not allowing the world to die, you really have to sit back and wonder what his real angle is. I suppose time will tell.

The art was great. The voices were accurate and the story is totally interesting and exciting. I enjoyed this issue so much that I would rate it a 9/10 and the only thing that could have made it sweeter would be a visit from the one and only, accept no substitute slayer.
What a superb script! I've just read it once, but I was very impressed with the dialog and the (main) characterizations.
I've read the entire issue now and I really enjoyed it. I'm really liking the tone of the story and Gage has all the voices down really well. I enjoyed the references to past story lines (like how Nadira heard that Faith tried to kill Buffy) and I especially liked how Buffy and Willow were mentioned with absolutely no hesitation. Finally the characters are all under the same roof again and we can scrap all the vagueness. It was really quite refreshing.

Pearl and Nash are really quite terrifying and I actually got chills when I looked at the panel of them massacring the Slayers. That's quite an accomplishment because I barley ever had that reaction to any of the monsters in the show, or in S8, so I congratulate Issacs for being so damn effective. Both demons actually make my skin crawl and I'm really excited to see more of them.

Nadira is a wonderful new character (again they manage to make the new Slayers far more likable in the comics than they ever were in S7) and I love that she was actually part of Buffy's army. I also thought it was nifty that this tied into S8's #32 when Willow was teleporting around the world and finding massacred Slayers. It's going to be very interesting to see how she reacts when she learns that Faith is protecting Angel and I'm predicting that it will send Faith on a downward spiral. Her loyalties will be truly torn and she'll start to crack under the weight of it all.

I'm glad they're focusing on just how dark Angel's actions were and that the character is owning up to what he did. I also didn't expect Whistler to have such a prominent role in the book (I knew he'd make an appearance but that's it) but I'm glad they're fleshing him out one way or another. I liked the callback to Becoming I ("The big moments are gonna come. You can't help that. It's what you do afterwards that counts") as it really adds a darker layer to his speech. I'm not sure I'll ever watch that iconic hallway scene quite the same way again.

Overall this was a great start. You always have a little concern when a new writer is coming in because you don't know if they'll be able to capture the tone of the Buffyverse, but Gage managed it. I agree with Emmie that his Giles was a little too polished but other than that I was really impressed.

[ edited by vampmogs on 2011-09-01 06:35 ]
Loved it! I got the only copy my comic book store had left, which made the three buses I took to get there worth it. I love the art. I love the writing. I love what the story's doing so far. It's awesome.

Also--and I only read the first few comments of the thread, so I'm sorry if this has already been said--, I kind of feel like Whistler is only a good guy when the side of good is losing badly. It's pretty much implied by the balancing demon thing. And it fits, because after loads of Slayers got called all at once in "Chosen", the scales would have tipped dramatically in favor of the side of good, which means Whistler is going to fight for the side of evil until things level off again. Rather unfortunate news for the people, like Angel, who know and trust him from the days when he was playing for the good guy team.
@wenxina, I'm well aware of his appearance there, but I'm talking about his only on-screen appearance.
@wenxina again, Oops, I responded to your post before reading the second half! Sorry!
@Cheryl: I'm pretty sure Giles only lost the one memory. The journal didn't say he'd been going up against this kind of demon repeatedly, and the little girl hadn't grown up much since the flashback, so he couldn't have lost that memory too long ago.

@Taaroko: Whistler's been pretty up front about balancing the scales of good and evil. Do we blame Angel for not figuring out that he wasn't to be trusted after the Slayers were called?
Thanks Kairos! It will be interesting to see if they do anything with that.
For a while now I have thought that Buffy's empowerment spell is the real problem but it isn't as if she really had a choice. At the time, it was do it or everyone dies. It's funny because that is the exact same theory that Angel was acting under with Whitslers direction. One thing about our heroes, they have to make some seriously crappy decisions.
Poor Giles, yet again. But I agree with Simon that he's going to be back. Loved the issue, really great stuff.
From a total fangirl perspective, he HAS to be back. A Buffyverse without Giles is like a peanut butter sammy with no jelly.
It is so cool getting all this back story on him though, I don't think that I would trade that for the world, so to speak.
I don't know how I feel about Giles coming back and how likely is it, really? But I'm very excited by the attempt and the huge mess that's surely going to follow it (mhwahaha!). Btw, I'm assuming Giles' death can't be considered by natural means? His neck was broken but by a magical being imbued with a mystical something-something? Uhm...

Anyway, this first issue felt perfect and I love the art. That and Faith's voice (it's so her!) are the highlights for me.
I really enjoyed the tone of this issue and felt that they got the characters' voices spot on.

While I enjoyed season 8 I did feel it lost it's way a little in the middle of it's run, but I'm feeling much more optimistic about season 9 now after reading this. It just feels a lot tighter plot-wise and more character focused than what went before.

And unlike some, I actually enjoy the approach they are taking to how responsible Angel is for what happened to Giles. I don't think that the answer should be straightforward (as it is with Angel/Angelus) I like that it is a messy situation.
It starts in a very similar manner to Astonishing X-Men #1. Good read all round.
Got my copy (bless you Forbidden Planet). I enjoyed it,but as others have noted,we had read half the issue already.



I like the fact that there is a smaller cast.It means that there can be a lot more focus on Angel,Faith,Whistler (a regular?) and Nadira.

Great artwork-good likenesses and nice detail in the backgrounds.

The new big bads seem pretty evil and bloodthirsty.Good attributes for villains! Good idea to link them with Twilight.I hope they gain more layers as the series go on-they seem pretty stock at the moment.I wonder if we will see the usual pattern of 'Angel' villains (A Big Bad,which turns out to be a small bad for an even Bigger Bad)?

As others have noted, Whistler really is a balancing demon.Too much evil=he helps good, too much good=he helps evil. I actually really like that. It's a very 'Angel'character.That show was always more about 'balance'. So can you kill a character like that? If he has no loyalties to good or evil then is he an evil character who deserves to be killed? He is just maintaining the balance. Interesting.

Nadira looks like she will bring a nice amount of conflict to the story. Can Faith really side with Angel after everything he has done...even after everything he has done for her? I hope she will...but all bets are off!


I hope that the whole series is not going to be 'Twilight-the sequel'. I hope that this story can bring us beyond that story and onto something new.Of course it has to be dealt with, and it is being dealt with very well, but from my pov I would like to move on from that story. Prob won't but I can hope:-)

The bringing back Giles plot could be fascinating....but also really bad depending on how they handle it. Angel will hopefully learn that it's impossible and try to find other wats to amend. I understand his reasons...but no good can come from this.

London needs to be depicted as a modern city now and again and not just cobblestones and mist. Yes there are places like that, but it is 2011 not 1811:-)


So all in all I enjoyed it. There's been some good plot lines laid down for the future. Good conflict, nice humour from Faith, nice new character, and allusions to the rich history of these characters. Hope they keep it ip!
nyrk...the write up in the front cover says this " Twilight it over. Magic is gone. Giles is dead and Angel killed him- that is, the possessed-by-mystical-forces Angel."

Seems as if there was a point to the use of the word "mystical". While it's possible I am reading too much into the solicitation and what it could mean, I am very hopeful.
Excellent introduction to the new series - love the artwork and the script - wonderful to have Giles back even if only as a flashback. I hope that they go earlier into the life of Giles before he can to Sunnydale.

I still think that bringing Angel back is going to be very difficult for many of his former fans - but it should be a very interesting story.
I like their interpretation of London. I don't want to see it portrayed as a modern city---I like that it has one foot in the Victorian era! I suspect I would be really disappointed if I ever visited London, though.
Awesome issue, art and writing both. I really don't like the idea of bringing Giles back from the dead. But it's very Angel.
@Brierly. Haha:-) I know what you mean-but there are still areas which are 'historic', but it will become really silly if it doesn't show them in some modern areas:-)

How cool would a big fight scene be in Trafalgar Square?!
I definitely want Giles back, and I want him to be bad ass Ripper.... I only wish they might accidently bring Ethan Raynes back too (because I loooove him!).
My 2 cents:

Selective recap:

Flashback: Somewhere between 1998 and 2010 Giles binded a demon inside a possessed girl, paying his price for the ritual: his happiest day was withdrawn from his memory and transferred to the bound demon.

The present: Angel has read Giles' diary and found out that his spell weaken in time and has to be reinforced. Together with Faith he exorcises the demon and kills him. As a result, Giles' forgotten day, spent in the company of Jenny Calendar, is transferred into Angel's mind, causing more repentance and "opening his eyes", according to him.

Faith meets a slayer, Nadira, who recounts how Twilight's minions, half-demons Nash and Pearl killed girls in her slayer squad while Twilight was looking. Nadira wants to kill Nash, Pearl and Angel.

Whistler recruits Nash and Pearl to bring Kitty Twilight back: "You were trying to make things better. Help us evolve. That still needs to happen. More than ever."
According to Whistler, "Earth's cut off from the mystic dimensions. The only magical crap that still works is stuff that's self-powered. I can't contact my bosses at Powers That Be L.L.C., and my precognition's been all outta whack. Like trying to watch scrambled porn. [...] The world we got now's like a chicken with its head cut off. Running around not realizing it's dead." They agree that it's all Angel's fault, and he must pay for it.

Meanwhile, Angel admits to Faith that Nash and Pearl were working for him, although he doesn't remember watching them killing slayers without stopping them. Faith tries to make him feel better, saying that he was possessed by Twilight, but Angel refuses to accept her excuses and blames himself. Then he says that he's going to bring Giles back to life. To be continued...

Overall impressions:

It feels like a pilot of a new show. Joss and Christos Gage managed to develop the theme, the character arcs, the big bads on only 22 pages. Structurally the issue echoes back to "City Of" and season 1 of AtS: in it, theme and villains (W&H) were introduced in the pilot and there was no an eleventh hour surprises.

Christos Gage writing is very good - clever, sharp, powerful. I can recognize this Angel and this Faith. Giles diary in the prologue is a great way to highlight his innate duality - that of a caring surrogate father for Buffy and a ruthless warrior in the demon world.

Giles' thought in flashback "I must place the greater good above all. Regardless of how difficult that may be" - echoes poignantly in Angel's Twilight arc and highlights the similarities between Giles and Angel. The whole scene reads as setting up Angel's redemption by assuming Giles' role upon himself. Angel gets Giles' role, some Giles memories... I wonder if, by the end of the season Angel will have the epiphany that he could honor Giles by turning into him, in a way? "Dollhouse" demonstrated that Joss is fascinated with the notion of personality and identity, and A&F could become another step in that direction.

Rebekah Isaaks' art is sharp and crisp. Characters are easily recognizable. She excels both at facial expressions and characers' movements. The coloring is also a big win: Giles' flashback is tempered in almost-sepia color scheme; the scene of Faith and Nadira in the night club is very inventive - it pulses with the floodlights that bathe them in different colors that reflect the things they say. Faith wearing white top and black nail polish looks symbolic, while Nadira's stylish outfit almost steals all the scenes with her.

Faith: "Your whole Twilight phase makes about as much sense as a David Lynch movie". Thank you, Faith. It had to be said.

Spoilery thoughts:

I think there is a strong possibility that Whistler may end up as the real Big Bad here. I can see the scenario in which Whistler's goal all along was (and still is) to bring Twilight. He was shepherding Angel since Buffy has been called. Buffy was the first slayer, not brainwashed by The Council - hence, more disposed to fall in love with a vampire. So Whistler manipulated them both.

The demon they kill calls Faith "cow". Was the demon from Pylea? (Faith's reaction: "Now, Gene Simmons' tongue just called me fat. Things are about to get nasty" - is priceless.)

Giles memory are transferred to Angel's mind: looks like Joss applies his "Dollhouse" ideas to A&F. If writers need to equip Angel with some facts from Giles' past, it's a very convenient way: he may acquire them the way Xander has acquired secret military codes after spending several hours as a soldier in "Halloween". That is, if we suspense our disbelief.

So, this is only the first issue, and we already know the Big Bads and their plans as well as Angel's plans. Although it could be misleading. In any case, I'm sure there will be twists and surprises.

I wonder how Angel plans to bring Giles back, especially in the magicless world. The first thought that came to my mind was time-travel and bringing back Ripper. "Self-powered" magic still works; Illyria is "self-powered", isn't she? And if she's not - remember Dr.Who's phone box right under the windows of Giles' apartment?

Interestingly, the last panel features a pic of child!Giles - it may be a clue. (ETA: According to Rebekah Isaaks, it was specified in the script, but she can't divulge details.)

In "After the Fall" Angel has successfully pulled off the reload of the verse and managed to save the day. He did it by killing himself in the previous timeline. Time-travel is also a way to reload the timeline. Angel may think he can pull off something like that again.

OTOH, one of the future cover features Mohra demon from IWRY - and "its blood has regenerative properties" as it was stated. In any case, I can't see Angel's plan working without very, very bad consequences. Consequence-less reload could happen in Lynch's story, but Joss never lets characters off the hook.

[ edited by Moscow Watcher on 2011-09-01 20:38 ]
Actually, Joss lets characters off hooks pretty easily all the time - and that was always one of my major pet peeves with him. Andrew, Willow, Anya, Spike, Xander, Alpha, Topher, Adelle etc etc. It is the angst caused to the audience that matters more in all of these stories than believability of characters going from good to bad ( or from trying to destroy the world to actively saving it) and back. Usually the character gets 'redeemed' in a matter of one or two episodes of the 'next season' and their hair switch back to original color, so to speak. And in half the cases the 'bad consequences' fall onto someone else. And besides I think calling AtF 'Lynch's story' is ambiguous, especially since JW canonized it in a several interviews. Might as well call S8 Allie's and Meltzer's story.

[ edited by dorotea on 2011-09-01 21:21 ]
It actually feels like there's more of Giles in this one issue than in the whole run of Season 8.

Which I can only applaud.
Actually, Joss lets characters off hooks pretty easily all the time - and that was always one of my major pet peeves with him. Andrew, Willow, Anya, Spike, Xander, Alpha, Topher, Adelle etc etc. It is the angst caused to the audience that matters more in all of these stories than believability of characters going from good to bad ( or from trying to destroy the world to actively saving it) and back. Usually the character gets 'redeemed' in a matter of one or two episodes of the 'next season' and their hair switch back to original color, so to speak. And in half the cases the 'bad consequences' fall onto someone else.

If you imply that Angel will be redeemed very quickly, I disagree. I think we're at the square one, the start of a new show, and Joss has planned Angel's journey as a slow and painful realisation that there is no destiny.

And besides I think calling AtF 'Lynch's story' is ambiguous, especially since JW canonized it in a several interviews. Might as well call S8 Allie's and Meltzer's story.

LOL! Frankly, I think that Joss' version of "After the Fall" would've been much darker. But - who knows? Maybe Joss wanted to reload the verse after season 6 in the first place. Current concept of A&F looks like a launch of a brand new show.
If you imply that Angel will be redeemed very quickly, I disagree. I think we're at the square one, the start of a new show, and Joss has planned Angel's journey as a slow and painful realisation that there is no destiny.

I would have doubts that every series that Joss does is going to fully reflect his beliefs in real life to his mythology based shows. I look at the home office as an example. A great episode in season 2, but that didn't change the otherworldly nature of the senior partners. I think it would just bee a very odd tack to take when you consider the amount of plot devoted to it and the number of characters who have been trying to influence his specifically.
It is hard to predict what Joss planned in advance, but past history points to him easily and often changing the direction of a character on a whim (Willow is the best example. Faith is another. Buffy post S8 is yet another). I would not bet on JW 'carefully plotting Angel's story' from square one many seasons ahead, because more often than not his stories are plot driven - not character driven. And he gets bored with characters that are static and consistent - and likes to mix things up a lot and spring surprises. Not to predict anything - but I would not be betting on 'carefully planned long and slow journey', as much as I would not count of a quick transformation. Something major is going to happen this season though - as it was implied a few times by various DH staff comments.
Something major is going to happen this season though - as it was implied a few times by various DH staff comments.

Yes, I get that vibe too. And I'm looking forward to it!
Wow, this was great. As has been said by y'all, Christos Gage's writing is spot-on and Rebekah Isaacs' artwork is fantastic (I wish she could take over on Buffy).

"Y'know what? Your whole Twilight phase makes about as much sense as a David Lynch movie." That line made me laugh and, also, true; I still don't understand exactly what happened and why it went down. I'm hoping this book can help make a little more sense of it.

All-in-all, very strong start to the series. Loved the Giles flashback, Angel back in help-the-helpless mode, Whistler's surprising re-appearance, pretty much everything.

Bring on Buffy!
I loved it! Here are random thoughts:

Angel wanting to bring Giles back was unexpected and a bit unusual to me. That's a line he hasn't crossed before. He would know better than anyone what the possible consequences could be. Why hasn't he tried this before? Why not bring back Wesley? Or Fred? This is new territory for his character and seems like a desperate gamble for redemption. I don't know if Angel is in his right mind. He's always had a troublesome god complex and this seems to fall right in line with that. There are things no one is meant to do. The Buffyverse is still reeling from the after effects of Buffy being resurrected in season 6. It seemed to set a lot of bad things in motion with both the First and Twilight

I think Whistler trying for Twilight 2.0 is brilliant. What better way for Angel to find redemption than to stop the horrible event he originally was a part of from happening again? I think it's interesting that Whistler tells these new villains that they'll have to face Angel, but doesn't mention Faith. You know we've never seen those two interact in any way. I would LOVE to hear his thoughts on her.

I like Whistler's whole "balance" thing, assuming he really is Whistler. He clearly doesn't think in terms of good and evil like some people. There's just one side and the other and neither can be allowed too much control. If any of you have played a game called Darksiders, it echoes this theme of the universe being about balance and that good is not favored over evil or vice versa. That game's story is about an eventual war between Heaven, Hell and humanity. The "Council" is the enforcer of "balance"and makes sure that neither side becomes too powerful before the eventual apocalypse and uses the four horsemen as enforcers to make sure this balance is maintained. Whistler actually reminded me very much of Wolfram & Heart with his amoral attitude.

I consider Angel officially off the hook for the Twilight thing personally. The explanations given in this issue are all things that I had already assumed and I do feel that Angel made the best of a seemingly bad situation and was clearly manipulated. The most horrible things he did can be attributed to Twilight controlling him. I wouldn't even be surprised if Twilight had the power to momentarily release Angelus' persona and wipe Angel's memory of those times. That could make for a great plot twist. It fits Angel's personality though to take full responsibility and be guilt ridden. That's always been a key difference between him and Spike and why I've always liked him more. Spike is always about being a hero, or proving that he's as good as Angel, or winning Buffy's affections. It's never about atonement with him. Maybe I just like dark, messed up characters. Spike seems too carefree and happy go lucky given the things he's done is his past

I liked the line from Nadira, "I hear things about you. I heard you were Buffy's friend. I heard you tried to kill her. I don't know what to believe". It makes me wonder what the slayer community as a whole thinks of Faith and what sort of crazy stories and rumors about her there are out there. Her and Buffy must be the topics of so many conversations among the slayer community

Anyone find it interesting that Angel and Faith are learning more about Giles than Buffy ever did? There's this whole side of him she never knew and so many things he's done she knows nothing of. The Giles she has known throughout the years is only one part of the man that he was

If Faith has to choose between Nadira and Angel, I hope she remembers when Angel had to choose between her and Buffy in Angel season 1. One of the reasons I love the Angel/Faith dynamic is their strong sense of loyalty to eachoter. They've both seen eachother at their worst and still stand by eachother
Of course Angel is responsible for the bad decisions that led to Twilight - which appear to have included killing a lot of slayers before his 'possession' or hokey-pokey-devil-made-me-do-it latest fiasco. The same way he has done in the past with highly sketchy motives and no magical get-out-of-jail card (Darla and Dru in the W&H wine cellar, frakking Darla, joining W&H; and his apparent plan to resurrect Giles too). It certainly makes him a more interesting character than someone who does evil things simply based on some puppet-master pulling his strings. And I believe, like Spike, that they can't do enough to reverse the bad, even when you die saving the world. Thus, continuing to do good should be its own reward; no need for the 'brass ring' of redemption. Meanwhile, digging the artwork!

[ edited by baxter on 2011-09-02 03:42 ]
Giles: So, Giles has been saving lives and helping others in London. I'm assuming this incident is between S7 and S8. I really love and understand Giles' reasons for not having children and I'm sure they're the same reasons as most of the characters'. But since most of them are either young or undead, they've never really considered having children, but Giles? I find it sad, as a mother, having a child is one of the most beautiful things in life, and I'm sad Giles had died not experiencing that.

Giles does manage well on his own, though I notice that he relies mostly on magic. I love the picture of young Rupert on the wall with his mother and I'm assuming aunt Ė both women don't look old enough to be grandmothers.

Faith: She has a lot of faith in Angel and goes all Buffy by separating his identity as Angel and his identity as Twilight. It is easier to believe that Angel was possessed all that time. She obviously knows that's not true, but perhaps clings to that lie in order to be able to help Angel through this. He's got no one by his side but her (Where's Connor? Where's Gunn?) and because he was the only one who believed in her before, she'll be the only one believing in him now.

That's going to be hard though, because her new friend wants him dust, and she'll probably be an outcast if the other slayers knew she's hiding Twilight in her apartment. This reminds me of Buffy hiding Angel's return in S3, and if things are going to go like S3, Faith will face a much angrier reaction than Buffy did.

Angel: He's screwed. Big time. I'm not sure how he's going to redeem himself or get back everybody's trust, especially Buffy's. I don't even think it's about redemption anymore. Angel takes full responsibility for his actions, all of them, even the ones in which he was completely out of control, because he knows he wouldn't have been there had he not agreed to be Twilight. So in the end, it is all his fault. In control or not. This isn't a case of being possessed against his will (Xander in the Pack and Spike's trigger in S7) he was the one who chose to be Twilight. The only one who keeps defending Angel and whitewashing what he had done is Faith.

I'm not sure what his motivation for bringing Giles back though. Is it guilt? What is it? It is stupid, and Angel knows that, but I'm not sure he's coherent enough to realize that he's doing something stupid. Faith, on the other hand, is. She should stop him.
Loved this issue! Art was fantastic especially happy with Faith. I wonder what the significance of the three belts is? Twilight wore three belts and now Nash has three belts on his waist coat. I wonder if it means anything?
I wonder what the significance of the three belts is? Twilight wore three belts and now Nash has three belts on his waist coat.

I'm so glad I'm not the only one thinking that.
I... Hm... I may be a bit of a buzzkill. I don't have the issue right in front of me, but I thought it was a bit mediocre. Maybe I'm not quite into Buffy mode again after the off-season, but I donno... I have never found myself so super impressed by Christos Gage and this was no exception. While the characters were close, I didn't think Giles, Angel, or Faith quite sounded like they should. There were a few clunky lines of dialogue and, for the first issue of the series, I think that's maybe a few too many. I'm a little bummed at the start.

But don't dare interpret that to mean I disliked it or that I won't be buying up every single issue of the season! I'm just maybe a little heavy-handed with my critiques.
The tough thing for Angel is that no one can understand his reasoning for being Twilight without having been in his shoes. They didn't see LA go to hell, they haven't seen the visions and prophecies he has. No one, not even Faith or Spike could ever understand Angel's perspective on things. You would have to had BEEN Angel to understand

Angel sees the big picture, he's the only character in the Buffyverse who does because it's always being shown to him. He saw two futures and of the two of them he probably thought the Twilight scenario would result in less lives lost. Either way, he probably saw a lot of death. In a way, I feel for Angel. No one has to make the kind of tough decisions he sometimes has too because he is always a pawn of some greater power whether it's the Powers that Be, Twilight, Wolfram & Heart, Jasmine, etc. His life is always being manipulated by forces far greater than any character, including Buffy, could understand and so no one understands the kind of tough choices he faces.

I swear sometimes it feels like Angel is the most significant character in the verse. He always attracts the attention of major, cosmic level power players. He faces situations and decisions far and above some of the things Buffy has had to deal with. Even the First is small potatoes compared to Wolfram & Heart and Glory was nothing compared to Jasmine or even Illyria when she was evil
I swear sometimes it feels like Angel is the most significant character in the verse. He always attracts the attention of major, cosmic level power players. He faces situations and decisions far and above some of the things Buffy has had to deal with. Even the First is small potatoes compared to Wolfram & Heart and Glory was nothing compared to Jasmine or even Illyria when she was evil.

Well said! I totally agree with you.
Angel alone sees the big picture... or Angel is so deluded he can't make good decisions. He's a breath mint AND a candy mint! What I see is his next great plan to bring Giles back (we all know how well that will turn out) to make himself feel better, not to fulfil some cosmic destiny. And I thought it was all about me! Let's hope Faith can manage him and keep her head and her self-respect in light of her new buddy who wants him dead and his previous minions who are still underfoot.
Angel wanting to bring Giles back was unexpected and a bit unusual to me. That's a line he hasn't crossed before. He would know better than anyone what the possible consequences could be. Why hasn't he tried this before? Why not bring back Wesley? Or Fred?

The first thing he did when Fred died was try to bring her back (Shells); Angel called Giles to try to get ahold of Willow because she had brought Buffy back and he wanted her to do it again for Fred. They only gave up when they were told that her soul had been destroyed.

I didn't fall madly in love with this first issue. I like it okay; I can see the story going cool places; but, meh. I didn't think the writing was so incredible. Could I do better? No. But still... I hope I'll like the story better as it gets going. Definitely interested to find out what's going on with Angel, cause I really don't get it right now. And no matter how many times they explain it, the Twilight thing just doesn't make a bit of sense to me. But it looks like we'll be hearing lots about it, so I really really hope that'll change, cause it's a pretty big hole in the story, for me.

Fred's situation was different. She wasn't actually dead yet. Dead is dead in Angel's show. I can't think of any time he tried to resurrect someone. Willow is the only Buffyverse character crazy enough to try that....unless you count Dawn
I don't agree! He didn't want to believe she was dead; but she was! But I do agree that it's different; Angel wanted to do a resurrection spell while still crazed with shock and grief, rather than planning it over a long time. When informed that it wasn't possible, because her soul had burned up, he let it go quickly and easily.... This Giles thing is different.

But she, Fred, was totally dead, and gone. And he even makes this whole speech, about how dead doesn't mean dead in "our" world, just look at Buffy and Spike and some other example, I forget- anyway he makes a whole speech to try to convince the others to try and bring her back, then calls Giles to try to get ahold of Willow because she did the resurrection spell for Buffy (against the judgment of the others). He only gives up when they are told that her soul was consumed and it isn't possible.

I just happen to have just rewatched the episode recently.

[ETA the part that got cut off for some reason]

[ edited by aphasia on 2011-09-03 20:22 ]
@Arkham258 Hear Hear, well said.
I see your point, with the phone call to Willow. The thing is though, I don't know if Angel really thought of her as "dead". She was forced out of her own body, much like whenever Angelus takes over his own body. I think that's a key thing. I understand your point of view though

Here's another point to ponder. He had a chance to save Fred at the Greater Well, but turned it down because it would have cost many innocent lives. There's a line there he wouldn't cross.

Angel is a different person now though, broken and desperate. Bringing Giles back seems like something he's doing purely out of selfishness as a way to redeem himself in Buffy's eyes or perhaps in his own eyes. So he may seriously try to go through with it no matter what the consequences are. I hope he doesn't though, because the last thing he needs after the whole Twilight thing is to make yet another horrible decision. I hope to god Faith can talk some sense into him. She seems like the most sensible Buffyverse character right now, which is kind of amazing when you consider how messed up she once was
@Arkham258 My thoughts exactly!
He had a chance to save Fred at the Greater Well, but turned it down because it would have cost many innocent lives. There's a line there he wouldn't cross.

It always really bothered me that Angel made that decision without calling LA ... if there was a way Fred could be saved, I think she had a right to know. And, considering that they knew Fred's death would unleash Illyria on the world--and they had no way of knowing exactly how powerful or destructive Illyria would be--there's an argument to be made for saving Fred and returning Illyria to the Deeper Well.

In any case, in some ways I don't think Angel has changed at all: he still thinks he has the right to make choices about other peoples' lives without consulting them, for some kind of greater good. He did it with Connor ("killing" him to save him), he did it with Fred (not telling her Illyria could be stopped), he did it with all his friends at the end of S4 (having their memories wiped), and he did it with Buffy (becoming Twilight and killing innocent people to keep her safe).

And now he's going to do it again--by trying to bring Giles back. (Unless he can somehow go to the afterlife and get Giles' consent first, bringing him back is not just potentially dangerous, it's also a morally problematic action. Resurrecting someone in the Buffyverse is something done *to* the dead person without their consent and quite possibly against their will--see Buffy.) There are lines that shouldn't be crossed--lines that have to do with respecting other peoples' autonomy and right to make decisions about their lives--and Angel seems to have no problem crossing those lines. I'm starting to wonder if he even sees them anymore.
Bringing Giles back seems like something he's doing purely out of selfishness as a way to redeem himself in Buffy's eyes or perhaps in his own eyes.

totally! God knows it isn't for Giles--how much of a relationship did they ever have, really? Giles was wary and mistrustful of him, then he killed Giles' girlfriend, then tortured him, and that was basically that. It's not like they were ever friends.

IMO you, erendis, totally nailed what I think is Angel to the core- making decisions for others without consulting them. Thinking he knows best. You make a great point about the risks of unleashing Illyria! I'm not anti-Angel. I feel for him. But I think it's a big part of his character, and not the most admirable part. And for the record, I think it starts showing up even earlier than any of the above examples, when he leaves Buffy for her own good without discussing it with her! If I were 100 some odd years old I'd probably think I knew better than everyone around me too; but it would still be wrong to make decisions for them without consent. As said, above.

[I love that that's such a consistent part of his character; I think it's a great example of the way whedonverse characters are more real and consistent and flawed in real ways.]
Erendis, I totally get what you say about Angel making decisions for people...but in the particular example of Illyria and Fred, I'm not sure how hard on him I'm willing to be.

Bringing Illyria back to the Deeper Well would kill EVERYONE between LA and the Cotswolds....that's pretty much all of North America, Ireland and Wales. 310 million people (give or take) dying the excruciating death that Fred fell victim to.

Sure, they could have called LA and let her know there was a way to save her...but ultimately either Angel or Spike (don't forget he was there too) would have to carry it out. Once they realised that NEITHER were willing to sacrifice all those people (entirely understandable) surely it would've been cruel to tell her?

I get that she has a right to know...I just don't know if I could have told her once I knew that I would not implement it.

[ edited by Alex_Jamieson on 2011-09-04 21:33 ]
It's been a while since I saw the episode ... I remembered the idea that it would kill lots of people between LA and the Deeper Well, but not that it would kill all of them. In any case, Angel (and Spike's) reaction is completely understandable.

At the same time, though--if Angel had told Fred what he found it, and let her make the decision, it would have given her back some control over her death. I don't for a minute think she would have chosen to kill thousands or millions or however many people it was to save herself--but if she had had the chance to make that choice herself, it would have given her the chance to die as a hero instead of a victim.

ETA: aphasia, that's a really good point about him leaving Buffy. I'd overlooked that one, but it is part of the same pattern. I also agree that this flaw is part of what makes him a fascinating (and consistent*) character.

*With a possible exception for Twilight. Still waiting for that to make sense. It fits with his tendency to make morally problematic decisions for the greater good, but it's on a drastic scale--and I don't understand how it gels with other central aspects of his character, like his love for Connor.

[ edited by erendis on 2011-09-05 01:08 ]
Yeah, I agree with you guys. Angel does have a tendency towards making major decisions without other people's knowing or consent or making decisions with potentially great consequences because of his ends justify the means view on life or you could call it his "greater good" thought process. I call it his god complex because he does play god sometimes. One of the last issues of Angel's IDW run featured Illyria telling Angel that he is a danger because he rarely realizes the consequences of his actions, but she acknowledged that his heart is always in the right place. Even so, there was a moment where it seemed she was seriously thinking about killing him. Angel is a wild card. He fights for good, but he crosses lines sometimes that he shouldn't

So I wonder, was Twilight inevitable? Angel has always had so many prophecies surrounding him where he is involved in some kind of apocalypse. He had a vision in After the Fall as well where he was surrounded by dead bodies and covered in blood I believe. Throughout the tv series it was always strongly implied that he would be involved in an apocalyptic scenario and would be part of its fulfillment. It's why Wolfram & Heart always had a keen interest in him and passed on many opportunities to kill him. We've seen throughout the series that prophecies always come true in Angel stories. It was always implied that something dark existed in Angel's future. Depending on your point of view, that could have been LA going to Hell (which he was responsible for) or Twilight

Wolfram & Heart have always held to the belief that Angel could be manipulated in some way towards making an apocalypse happen or playing a major role in it. Twilight almost did destroy the world, the entire universe actually
This is fun! It's so exciting to have comics to pick apart again!

Very interesting stuff Arkham. The question is, does it matter if his heart is in the right place? It matters to us, because it makes us like him even when he does things that...don't go well. But it doesn't matter to Wolfram and Hart, for example-- they're all about the end result. How much does it matter that one is a "good guy" if their actions are to kill innocents and try to end the world?

Poor Angel. God complex is dead on though, and if he'd just get over it and discuss some of these ideas with other people it could save everyone (and him) so much grief. (Hey Wesley's ghost (was he still around? I don't really know the ATF books), do you think this Twilight thing is the way to go? Faith, do you think bringing Giles back would be good? Hey gang, I'm giving Conner a whole new life and memories, can you handle pretending he was never around or should I just have your memories wiped for no apparent reason?)
erendis-I totally agree with you re:Fred. I never quite thought of what happened in just that way before. I've always been a bit unsatisfied with A Hole in the World but now I'm even more put out about the way Fred died.

Arkham258-The correct spelling is Wolfram & Hart, not "Heart". *g*
I finally read the issue and loved it! As for bringing Giles back, I'm all for it. Of course it will all end in heartache and disaster, but I'm willing to read that for more Giles. This issue just made me miss him more. :(
As I recall, Angel was only 'held in check' by a smart and tough brunette who would call him on the god-complex thing and not take any s**t from him - Cordy. Let's hope Faith carries through with that same moxie; my concern is that her 'that wasn't you trying to blow up the world' get-out-of-jail-free language doesn't set a hopeful tone.
And, for god's sake let Giles rest in peace!

[ edited by baxter on 2011-09-05 14:20 ]
Thanks for the correction menomegirl. I didn't even realize I was doing that.

Loved that last post! I was always very pro Cordy and Angel. Cordy had an honesty and a realistic, practical view on things that I loved. She was a good match for him and if you recall, she was crushing on him waaaaaaay back during his appearances on Buffy. She always had a thing for him so I thought it was odd when people flipped out when things got romantic between them on Angel's own show
You know we spend so much time talking about Angel with this series. I wonder if this series will reveal any awful things about Giles from his Ripper days. Does the redemption theme apply to him as well? Will Angel and Faith face any consequences from things that he's done? I mean we saw this guy kill a man in cold blood in Buffy season 5 and he tried to have Spike murdered in Buffy season 7. That whole play god, greater good thought process of Angel's isn't exactly foreign to Giles. He's actually not all that different from Angel in some ways ironically

Also, have we thoroughly explored the full consequences of Faith's past misdeeds? Could that pop up in this series as well? How many people did she murder and will those deaths come back to haunt her in some way? Interesting thing about Faith is that there are no mitigating circumstances to her past misdeeds. No "I had no soul" or "cosmic being was controlling me" excuses. Those are things she has to completely own up to. Also, isn't she still a fugitive? Is that just being swept under the rug? Does it even matter anymore since seemingly the whole world was against Buffy and all of the slayers last season

There is so much gray in the Buffyverse now. No one is a completely untainted hero anymore, except maybe Xander or Dawn. Even Buffy has things she needs to answer for
Arkham258-Giles killing Ben isn't what I would call "playing God", nor was it done in cold blood. He had a very good reason for doing it; he was protecting both Buffy and Dawn from Glory (an evil God). Also, Ben was not an innocent; he was perfectly willing put his own needs above the greater good, to let Dawn be sacrificed and unleash untold suffering on many worlds. You could argue that in the end, Ben was just as much of a monster as Glory was.

That is a far cry from the things Angel has done, both on the series and in the comics.
Eh. Giles was definitely doing something morally questionable in killing Ben, in my book. To this day I'm unsure if it was right or wrong, but it definitely gave Giles a new level of complication in my perception of him. Ben's only crime was starting to cooperate and help a hellgod who was living in his head and influencing his own personality as her consciousness bled into his. He stood up to her influence for quite awhile. Could he have ultimately fended her off as she got weaker? We'll never know. Giles decided, right or wrong, that the risk of Glory coming back was too great. I don't think it's equivalent to the things Angel has done, especially in the current storyline, but I do think it's a similar moral territory to the one Angel's been navigating lately. When you know a horrific outcome is likely or even certain, and you alone have the power to stop it, but it means killing or letting certain people die, what's the right thing to do? Buffy's usually said no, the line is drawn at killing humans, but lately even she is navigating that choice differently.
Yeah, I'm not saying Giles has done stuff that is on the same level as Angel's mistakes. I was just pointing out that he has been in that moral grey area as well and I do think he sometimes adopts a similar thought process as Angel, just in smaller scale situations compared to Angel. The Spike situation in particular really cast him in a negative light. That was essentially being an accomplice to murder and Buffy really chewed him out for it

I was always struck by how he let Faith see a side of him in No Future for You that he dared not ever show Buffy. That's rather telling. Giles had a side of his personality that he wasn't proud of and may have had some secrets in his closet he wouldn't want anyone to know about. I always imagine "Ripper" Giles being very similar to the very dark character that Wesley became. Wes was one of the good guys, but boy he really did have some morally questionable moments

Sorry to cast a negative light on Giles all of a sudden. I shouldn't speak ill of the dead, but Joss does write these wonderfully complex characters that you can analyze in different ways
Well, and narratively it would be interesting if that's exactly what Angel and Faith discover through the diaries: that perhaps Giles had more of Angel in him somewhere then he'd ever have admitted. Let's remember that it was Giles who murdered Ben in order to stop Glory. I know that's mentioned above, but I think it's not to be dismissed quite so easily. Innocent or not, it was murder, which Giles wanted to prevent Buffy from having to contemplate herself.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2011-09-06 20:06 ]

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