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September 28 2011

(SPOILER) Discuss Angel & Faith #2. The adventures of Angel and Faith in London continue with the second part of the "Live Through This" arc.

I thought this was a solid follow up to the jaw dropping head scratching declaration Angel made at the end of the last issue: his desire to bring back Giles from the dead. But though it was solid it was only so in giving us a how. It would seem that to raise someone from the dead you without zombieing them you need to raise both body and soul. Angel argues that because Giles was a warlock and Watcher his past use of magic would act as a means of keeping his soul near his body. Leaving Angel more concerned about raising the body first back to it's living state, how? Morah demon blood.
So as they track a demon through London town looking for a supply of Morah blood we are treated to Faith reasoning with herself into staying with Angel even though this all sounds like a bad idea. Which for me, kind of brought the story down. Too much exposition can make a story boring. Other than that, good comic. Well, the art could have been a little better.
Oh, and another interesting point was in the letter col it's explained that the Slayers are still Slayers even though magic is gone, there just probably won't be any new ones, which cleared up some confusion I had.
Wasn't the Slayer issue cleared up in "Twilight"? In that exchange between Aluwyn and Willow.
Really enjoyed the issue. Good brooding,snarky,fighty Angel. Still think his plan is bonkers but I can see where he is coming from.

And is Faith going to try what I think she is going to...Uh-oh!!!
The reviews are all right on. This is a terrific issue. Some details and reactions:

1. The fight in the preview pages opens up the issue -- it follows immediately on Angel's revelation to Faith at the end of #1. After the fight, Faith meets up with Angel and argues with him about it. She hits the notes we'd all hit: a snapped neck isn't a mystical death; if resurrection could be done, why didn't he resurrect Cordy when he was at W&H, etc. Angel's reply on the mystical death thing is that the reason resurrection is hard is cause in a natural death the soul goes wherever it goes. But because Giles was a mage, there might be something holding his soul back somehow.

I love Faith's reaction: "You think you can put his soul back together? He's Giles! Not a damn car engine! Why can't you let him rest? What're you gonna do next, dig him up?" And Angel's reply "Not until I have to".

Faith is enraged by all this, but then Angel grabs her and points to a watcher's file and says Giles is going to tell him how to do it. Faith's reaction is in voice over: "This is what got Angel back on his feet. Not anything I did." Great character moment.

And it fuels the rest of Faith's reaction. She isn't able to help Angel in any meaningful way, but she owes him for having made a difference for her back in the day, so she's going to stand by him. We get a *lot* of voice over repeating this point. She also tells him that straight up. Either this is over-repeated, or the point is being stressed to explain why Faith is going to stand by and watch Angel pursue something that's pretty ridiculous.

2. The poignancy of Faith's dilemma gets underscored in the flashback to her time with Giles -- which was about her desire to resurrect the professor she killed as a way of atoning. Giles tells her that in his vast library there's not a single reference to a normal human being resurrected from a natural death. Faith asks him if she could travel back in time to undo it. But Giles is firm... some things cannot be undone. "We can punish ourselves for them in pointless, indulgent ways. Acts that serve no purpose beyond wallowing in self-pity. Or we can try to atone for them. Not to erase what we did. Not to justify the unjustifiable. But to counter the evil we've done with a lifetime of good."

So that's the lesson Faith learned from Giles, and she's been doing a good job (so far) of living it out. But check out where it puts her now: She can't help Angel the way Giles helped her. Angel isn't listening. So she's super-aware of how off Angel is now. He's trying something that's physically impossible (so far as Giles knows) and is morally off the mark. You have to know when you can't erase a mistake, and learn to live with the consequences in some more healthy way. Faith's last note is that she is going to try to make Angel figure this out -- but as she's observed earlier, Angel's pretty desperate right now, and if you took away the illusion that he can erase the mistake, he wouldn't figure out how to live with it -- he'd probably do something more desperate.

Anyway, all of this is great -- a good interweaving of Faith's history with her current situation with Angel, and I love that Gage gets how complicated it all is. Faith even knows that Angel's a vampire with a soul... "a monster who hates himself for being a monster" and that's why he's never going to let himself off the hook.

3. Faith buys Giles' explanation of atonement and thinks to herself that Angel had already "made up" for Giles before he snapped his neck. I don't think atonement actually works that way, so it'll be interesting to see if part of what Faith learns that real atonement also requires attention to whatever it is that drove one to the monstrous act in the first place. Without that, Angel can keep being schizophrenic forever. Save a bunch of people and use that as 'balance' for the times he goes off the rails and hurts people. Angel is clearly energized by the various fights with demons he has this issue, and Faith tells Angel that she's worried about his ability to do such violence without feeling anything. So an issue could be lurking there. (See also Angel observing about another demon that he radiates cold because "there's nothing inside but a void.") It'd be fantastic if they end up following up that thought. Despair and desperation are powerful dramatic forces.

4. Angel tells Faith about his experience with a Mohra demon. The Bangels will be happy that when he does so we see a panel of him remembering his day with Buffy. Faith also observes that killing Giles is the worst thing Angel ever did. It could be she thinks that Angel thinks that because killing Giles is (a) killing someone he knew personally and respected and (b) it was awful to kill Giles in front of Buffy; or she could think it's the worst thing because she loved Giles. Or both. Either way, what Angel did to Giles was terrible, but I don't actually think it's the worst thing he's done. Tied for first with a whole bunch of other things, perhaps, but not by itself the worst. It'll be interesting to see how they unfold that.

I've skipped over all the fights cause I never find those interesting. Nash and Pearl are after the Mohra demon's blood, too. That's the last page, and serves as the cliff-hanger, I suppose. No Whistler this issue.

The art works fine for me. But I'd love to see Dushku and Boreanaz act out the scenes between the two of them. The writing is so alive with their histories together -- it really does feel like a continuation of the show. More so than maybe anything I've seen in the comics so far. And we have a good emotional stew out of which all sorts of interesting twists and turns could arise.

Thumbs up.
I haz a summary:

We open with Faith, Nadira, and a squad of Slayers fighting vampires on the street. One has a briefcase and a machine gun, and wounds Nadira's leg when she separates from the group (against Faith's order) to chase him. He's decapitated by an Angel-shaped shadow before he can do any more damage, but Faith is trying to finish off her own opponent, a ram-skull-headed demon, before Nadira can come help (because she believes she's too angry to be effective). The demon takes off with his briefcase and the Slayers regroup.

They find a bottle of smelly green liquid in the case, and Faith takes it away to ask around, dodging around the issue of who saved Nadira. When she rejoins Angel, she tells him it was stupid to get near someone who wants to kill him, and then confronts him about his crazy idea to bring Giles back from a natural death. They hash out the particulars - Angel claims that the key is in Giles' magic-immersed life, which he hopes will leave a spiritual connection that can allow the soul to be returned to the body.

Faith isn't buying it and Angel can tell, but she does see how this is the only thing motivating his recuperation, and also, as his only friend, doesn't want to abandon him. When he goes to leave, weapon in hand, she comes with him, claiming she's just "wingman for a night".

We cut to "Demontown", a bar where demons are fighting each other for bragging rights, trying to establish a new hierarchy amongst themselves now that magic is gone. Angel finds a demon called Kurth and asks him about business - specifically, his business of "selling body parts to rich scumbags". Kurth corrects him, saying they've moved on to a higher class of business, but won't say more, so Faith attacks him, and within the space of a few panels, a full-on bar fight breaks out.

Faith and Angel leave bruised and bloody and Kurth appears to have escaped, but Angel says he can track him by scent. As they hunt, Faith shows some concern about the way Angel doesn't seem to feel anything when he fights. They find Kurth meeting up with the horned demon from the first pages, asking him for a "dose". The demon gives him the green vial and he pours it over his back, and we see his third arm (which Angel ripped off during the fight) instantly grow back. Faith and Angel observe, unseen from the rooftop.

Angel explains Mohra blood to Faith, touching briefly on his own experience with it in "I Will Remember You", but focusing on how it can be used to reanimate Giles' body. He asks if she's with him - we don't see her answer, but the next page has them leaping into the lair brandishing their weapons magnificently. Angel says that the leader's power is in its horns, so he lops them off, and Faith thinks about how excited his new purpose - and her apparent cooperation - is making him.

Faith accidentally incinerates the table holding the Mohra blood, but Angel says there must be more where that came from, because it deteriorates when exposed to open air, so the dealers must be getting it fresh. He pins the hornless demon against the wall and demands to know where they get it, and he says he'll tell.

Faith flashes back to a conversation she had with Giles, not so long ago. She's looking for a way to bring back the man she killed - the professor, not the deputy mayor - and he tells her he'd know if there was a way, and there isn't. He also dispenses some Giles-style wisdom about guilt and atonement. Back in the present, Faith hopes that she can keep Angel out of trouble and make him let himself off the hook, but she doesn't try to convince him that he's on a fool's errand.

Final page, Pearl and Nash meet up with Kurth; poor guy gets another arm ripped off. They want Mohra blood too.
Oh hell, if you can bring back Giles you can bring back Tara- or anyone, for that matter. I am going to go out on a limb here and guess that in the end, they don't bring him back. It will just take a long time for Angel to realize it's a bad move.
I still maintain they will somehow bring back a younger Giles i.e. Ripper. Bit like what happened in Runaways.
So, that was fine. It moved all the pieces around, and loaded them with a nice load of emotion but I don't really have much to say about it. Some very nice imagery, and a great flashback with Giles and Faith. Faith's self-awareness about her current relatively stable life was good too. But yeah, I'm going to withhold any more judgement until later. I dig it.
To be honest, I have been following these comics all this time out of obligation to the Herald and no real interest of my own, because I personally lost interest in them very early on.

But I have to say that these Angel and Faith comics are a horse of a different color. They vividly remind me of the series and the actors who played the characters. The writing is great and the artwork is fine. I'm very impressed and it takes a lot to impress me.

So I'd like to say that if you're not reading Angel and Faith, you're missing out. Because I think it's a story worth reading.
I enjoyed it as well.

My only complaint is minor. Why throw in that the professor Faith killed had a daughter? He says he was a lifelong bachelor. But he had a daughter? Physically possible, yes. Likely? Not to me. Anyway, like I said, minor complaint.

Really liking this series so far.
Simon,I've been wondering if the guy in shades from Buffy #40 is a young evil soulless Giles.

I have my copy of Angel & Faith #2,"Live Through This Part II."

It's a amazing issue.I really loved it.I think Chistos Gage continues to have the voices down.Rebekah Isaacs continues to nail on the art.And I think the characterization is pretty dead on for where the two characters are at.I love the dialog between Angel and Faith when he lays out his plans.Faith doesn't agree with his plans but is going along with it because she's owes him and is afraid of what will happen to Angel or what he'll do if she isn't there to keep an eye on him.We also learn that Angel tried to bring Cordy back from the dead after she died in "Your Welcome" and he couldn't then.

I really feel for both characters in there converastion.

When they go to a demon fight club and there is a good Twilight joke about how it's smart Angel drop that name since Stephenie Meyer tends to sue.lol

It's after this where the Morah demon blood comes in.Angel reveals to Faith about what happened to him in "I Will Remember You" and B/Aer will like I think the little flashback to Angel with Buffy in the episode.

I'll post one thing from Giles flashback dialog here that stands out.

"Giles:There are things we can't undo.Mistakes we can't unmake.We can punish ourselves for them in pointless indulgent ways.Acts that serve no purpose beyond wallowing in self-pity.Or we can try to ATONE for them.Not to erase what we did.Not to justify the unjustifiable.But to counter the evil we've done with a lifetime of good"

I think those comments from Giles are the key to this whole Angel & Faith series.

I think Faith is planning to use the Morah demon blood on Angel and make him human.I think she is going to help him up to certain point and then instead of use the Morah blood on Giles,she's going to use it on Angel instead.Her thinking is that once Angel is human he can finally let all his guilt go.

I don't think it will work like that though.Assuming Angel did become human.He still would feel the guilt especially for the Twilight mess and Giles death since that happened while souled.I guess it could lead to a new dynamic if Angel human than has to deal with his own character flaws that were always there.Those flaws that led to him buying into Twilight and being tricked by it.Strip the vampire away and Angel is still left to deal with his faults in a more pure way.So I could actually see a interesting story there if that's where they go and assuming I'm not completely off about what I think Faith's intentions now are.

And would Joss really go there again and do a human Angel so soon after Angel:After The Fall?Granted as my speculation above shows,I would expect a totally different story than what was in ATF which was basically about Angel dealing with the limitations(the physical limitations) of being human while trying to save L.A.This I suspect would be about Angel dealing with his character limitations that have always been there without the souled vampire hangover factor.So it could potentially be a deeper story.

But I'm probably way off base.

I really do wonder if we are being set up for a young evil soulless Giles running around soon and if the guy in the sunglasses from Buffy S8 #40 is him.

The issue ends with Pearl and Nash also interested in the Morah demon blood and wanting it.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2011-09-28 19:46 ]
Simon,I've been wondering if the guy in shades from Buffy #40 is a young evil soulless Giles.


I've always thought that. He also seemed to be wearing the same type of necklace as Roden but could just be a coincidence.

And on a side note, there will be the usual Sunday roundup of reviews for this issue.
This was another great issue for Angel and Faith. The dynamic between the two are spot on accurate. I love the art. I love the story of Angel being all about bringing Giles back and can see a set up for soulless Giles and the two series coming together to get a handle on him. I mean what would be more dangerous for a slayer than her watcher to be evil and soulless?
Totally appreciated the B/A smoochies and call back to IWRY. It's nice to see that the series will not be sweeping Buffy under the rug.
All said, another 10/10 issue.
Bummer, my comic book store let me down... I have to wait (probably until this thread has dropped off the front page) to get my Angel & Faith #2. They failed to get me The Guild: Clara issue too! I wish I had a different comic book guy. :(
I enjoyed the issue.

I can't figure out if Angel's explanation about resurrection are a retcon or we're supposed to look at him through Faith's eyes, thinking about futility of his attempts.

I find the conversation about Giles' soul very important - apparently they're going to play this card a lot. Interestingly, it was a non-issue in Buffy's case (one could argue that her death was mystical).

I especially like the flashback. I love that Faith wanted to resurrect the professor that she killed in season 3. I always found it strange that the accidental killing of Deputy Mayor was such a big deal while the murder of the professor was mentioned only once, as a joke, four seasons later.

I don't think that Faith will make Angel permanently human. Angel as a human can hardly sustain a franchise. So, even if he turns human for if couple of issues, he'll be back to his vampire self eventually.
I may sue Dark Horse for the use of my name. The Fraser gang? Pffft.
Thought it was fantastic. Totally lived up to my expectations from Issue 1.

I think that Faith wanting to turn Angel human is a parallel to Angel wanting to bring Giles back: a quick fix to a complicated problem. Really excited to see where this goes.

If anyone wants to read my review, it's here.
I liked it. Very refreshing, especially after S8. I agree it will be tough to bring back Giles without raising all kinds of thorny issues. That said, they godamn well better do it anyway. Whatever problems it might raise would pale in comparison to the incomprehensible mess they made of S8, which was bad enough on it's own, but was made even more frustrating by virtue of killing off one of the most important characters without any dramatic payoff. Anyway, don't get me started about S8. Just retcon the damn thing by bringing back Giles and move on. I do kinda like Simon's idea about bringing him back as Ripper. I've always wanted some Ripper stories. Is there any evidence to support this prediction? Or is it just a wish?
I laughed at the reference to Twilight Saga writer Stephanie Meyers as the writer of "goth romances."
For me the best part was Faith looking back on the murder of the volcanologist, acknowledging the impact on his daughter. That murder has always been a sticking point for me, she took such glee in it, I had never really gotten past as far as Faith is concerned. I was glad to see her remember it with sadness and guilt.

Also glad that she is ambiguous about Angel, although not really ambiguous about her support of him.

I also found her thoughts about balance interesting. It is that kind of tip the scale thinking that made Buffy beat the crap out of Spike in Dead Things. Interesting.
I think the art is just excellent.

[ edited by Xane on 2011-09-29 04:34 ]
Loved it! Loved the flashback to IWRY. Loved Angel and Faith's interactions. *Adore* the art. Angel's line after he rips off the demon's third arm made me crack up rather loudly in the middle of the bus station. I hope to have many a similar experience with this comic in future installments.

(But yes, like guidedby, I was bothered a bit by Professor Worth miraculously having a daughter despite having declared himself a lifelong bachelor.)
Awesome issue. I love the art. But my favorite part was the Giles flashback ... through the whole scene, Giles is holding a book. In the panel when Giles says to Faith "There are things we can't undo. Mistakes we can't unmake," we finally see the front of the book.

And on it is the Mark of Eyghon.
Thought this was an excellent follow-up to the first issue. My full review can be checked out HERE if anyone's interested. I even threw in some speculation... *shudder*
Holy crap, erendis! Totally didn't notice that. THAT IS SO AWESOME. Detail win.
In the flashback,Faith is wearing a Batman t-shirt.Anyone think this is a nod to Eliza Dushku voicing Catwoman in the Batman:Year One Animated film?
They're really on a roll here in this series. I might have to start looking up these people's previous work because they're fantastic!
I really really hope they don't bring any iteration of Giles back. I think Angel is more than a little unhinged on the topic. More so than normal for him anyway.

I think it would have a similar dramatic resonance to the revelation that Fred is really gone, but for the character of Angel alone rather than the audience, which is kinda a different thing.

Loved the vignette with Giles and Faith. Perfect. Thought he was going to spill about killing Ben, but maybe that is all past now.

Clever reprise of the Morah blood thing. Didn't see that coming. Looks like Faith is going to use the blood to make Angel human again. This return to the promise of the prophecy makes me very happy!

Altogether a great issue. Liking this season a lot so far. Hopefully it can repair some of the damage the end of season eight did to my attitude towards the comics.

Still confused about the Master. Why? Just why...
I also had the thought that Faith was going to try to use the Mohra blood on Angel-- I don't think he'll actually end up human, but we'll see where it all goes.

I love Giles, but I don't think I actually hope they bring him back...not that it matters what I want, but just saying. There was an interview or something a little while back where Joss was quoted as saying (roughly)-- Giles had become irrelevant to the story- killing him makes him relevant again. So true! Ever since I saw that, I have felt pretty good about the whole thing. I mean, I would've liked it if they had kept him alive and just spent more time on his character as someone other than Buffy's sort of obsolete watcher- but they wouldn't have fit it in. And now there's all this focus on him- who was he? what was he up to? what went on in his head?-- and it makes sense to have all the characters thinking about him loads. Which I like.

On the issue-- someone's really scouring the fashion pages! I feel like the clothes are very front and center. Which I'm fine with, but I really noticed it, last issue and this one.

I don't see any dissonance between being a lifelong bachelor and having a daughter. I felt that Faith being tore up about it was a little out of left field-- I guess I always had the impression that us witnessing that one killing was an implication of other, off-screen, killings. I guess not. But whatever. It works okay for me.

@Vortigun- What about the Master?
Just that I am still thoroughly confused as regard to his presence at the end of season eight. The seed brought him back to protect it... why?

Just an example of some of the ridiculousness that I hope doesn't repeat this season. Plausibility please!
aphasia,

No, of course someone could be a lifelong bachelor and have a daughter. That man, though? Didn't seem likely. I guess I just felt like it was thrown in to make Faith be extra angsty. Isn't killing an innocent human being angsty enough? It felt unnecessarily manipulative. And I love my angst, and am not one to usually complain about stuff like that.

Again, totally minor complaint, and I really enjoyed the issue as a whole.
Ah protecting the seed. Yeah.

Yeah, the daughter thing specifically didn't bug me, but overall Faith's angst over this does seem kind of contrived, I have to agree. I guess the point of the daughter anecdote would be to show that Faith had been keeping up on the guy/the effect of her actions? But yeah, whatever.

I feel very optimistic about possibly enjoying this comic a lot, but I'm not that into it yet. Still-- could be awesome. High hopes.
aphasia, I agree with almost everything you've said.

The daughter thing didn't bug me much, mostly because I had forgotten the "lifelong bachelor" line. I don't think it's implausible that he had a daughter, and I like what it implies about Faith's ongoing guilt that she would know about her.

Re: The Master. Yeah, that was kind of silly. Didn't they retcon a little bit and claim that The Master was concerned with The Seed in Season One as well? Not that it matters much, but does anyone remember a bit more specifically what the deal was with that?
http://ifanboy.com/articles/the-best-of-the-week-in-covers-09-28-2011/

Yay. Steve Morris' cover
I loved the projected use of Mohra blood (something only Angel remembered), that is clever story telling and I'm totally open to the return of zombie Giles (I always longed for zombie Wesley).

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