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November 30 2011

(SPOILER) Discuss Angel & Faith #4. It's the fourth and final part of the 'Live Through This' arc. Will Pearl and Nash prevail?

FYI, I'm taking questions for the Rebekah Isaacs Q&A HERE. This run is limited to just 20 questions, so get yours in ASAP. I'm also accepting questions via e-mail.
Just finished the issue. Cannot say I hated it, but all things aside it was pretty anticlimactic. So Mohra's blood does not cure but induces cancer in human and demons alike. After biting Pearl, Angel for some reason is wearing reading glasses and wants tea. Whistler is either evil or crazy or both. Well, at least next issue brings in Harmony so things will spice up a little.
There was a nice twist to Faith's dilemma as to whether to help or hinder Angel and a neat build-up to the image on the final page.

Also, I liked the link back to No Future for You with Faith's line of Nothing good ever happens when I wear a dress.

The issue begins with the demons fighting Angel and Faith. Nash says that he has already killed 50 slayers and killing Faith won't be any fun anymore, just boring. Angel attacks Pearl and bites her, and her brother stops fighting Faith in order to help his sister. Faith probably gets the chance and puts one of the 2 Mohra jars she holds inside Nash's pocket, and she tells to the crowd that he has the last of the Mohra blood. The crowd attacks the demonic siblings and Faith with Angel get the chance to escape the fight. Faith notices that Fraser is running for the door instead, suggesting to Angel they should do the same. But Angel smells something in the basement and decides that this is the chance to see what more Fraser is keeping and hiding as a secret.

As they are heading downstairs, we get a look into Faith's thoughts. She wonders if she can trust him, she wonders whether she should make him human right now using the jar she has in her hands, wondering what will happen if Perl and Nash attack human!Angel, realizing that they will probably kill him, but at the end she makes the choice to use the blood to turn Angel into human. But right before she does it, surprise!

They find a room full of monsters! Realizing that those monsters are just the people who had paid to buy the Mohra blood and use it to heal themselves, they are the people that were missing from last issue's investigation that Faith and Angel had done. Because of the breaking of the seed, the Mohra blood keeps on regenerating the cells, getting to the people that use it a kind of cancer. Faith shocked lets the last jar of blood drop and get smashed on the floor. Then a monster talks informing them that they hurt very much and what they live is a torture. They have been keeping the monsters inside the basement trying to find a cure, but nothing works and it only gets worst. The monster tells them that they tried to kill themselves and each other, but they keep on healing and asks for Angel's and Faith's help to end their misery. But Angel asks for their help first.

And what's that help? Meanwhile upstairs, Nash and Perl are enjoying the fight and basically are winning it. So the monsters go upstairs informing everyone how the blood works, and the crowd gets uninterested in the blood now. Pear and Nash leave when they realize they came for nothing informing Angel that this isn't over and that they'll be back. Faith thinks it's a trick and they'll be back soon, but Angel believes that they have wasted too much energy already. A monster attacks and Angel beheads it and kills it. He informs that separating the head from the body is the only thing that will stop the regenerating part, and the monsters ask them to kill them and do it fast. So Angel and Faith kill all the human!monsters releasing them from their misery. Angel tells Faith that he will keep on trying to find another way to bring back Giles and they leave.

Next we see Perl and Nash arriving to Whistler's place. They inform him that they found Angel, but the reason they left was because Faith put the jar inside his pocket and they were afraid of breaking it. Happily they inform Whistler that things are much better than they had imagined, since the blood now without magic works differently since it's more lethal than anything right now.

Next morning Faith meets Nadira in a park, informing her that Perl and Nash are in England and that she'll make sure they will pay for what they did. Nadira happily gives her a hug, telling her that she finally will get a chance to make things right and kill them and then Angel so she can finally get some peace. As Faith leaves the park she meets Alasdair again. He tells her that he has heard what happened with the blood and asks her if she has consider what he has told her. Faith gets angry and tells him that all she does is lie to people she cares about, just like she has done in her past. Alasdair replies that he knows nothing of Faith's past, bit it's up to her judgment to dissuade Angel from his mad plan. As Faith leaves him, she mentions that it was her judgment that almost got Angel killed the previous night.

Faith returns home finding Angel doing research reading books. She comments on the fact that Angel wears glasses, and she thought that vampires don't need them. Angel tries to justify it saying that if you needed them before you need them afterwards (but it is the first time ever that we see Angel wearing glasses while reading, although he have seen him plenty of times reading!). He also adds that he has found another way to bring back the dead. A Sadhu in 1764 claimed that he had restored a physical body from its ashes. So Faith gets the chance to tell him that she is on his side, but one of the things that were made clear even by Giles was that you can't bring someone back from the dead after a natural death. And she warns Angel that if he crosses the lines, she will stop him whatever it takes. Surprisingly Angel says that he knows and that this is the reason why he has asked for her help. He gets obsessed too often and the last thing that Giles would want would be to bring him back by hurting other people. But that is exactly what Angel didn't have while he was Twilight. Somebody who knew him, who had seen the best and worst of him and somebody who could tell him when he was going too far and he was crossing the lines. Somebody to stop him when he couldn't stop himself. So Angel asks again Faith's help, and she promises to watch his back. Then Faith heads to the kitchen, she's hungry, and she asks Angel if he wants some blood. But Angel tells her that he doesn't and that he prefers some tea (in a panel where we see him reading a book wearing his glasses reminding us more and more of Giles). Faith doesn't notice it at the beginning but when she mentions that he sounded "just like him" she kind of gets suspicious of something going on. But she says "Never mind. Earl gray coming up".

Wow- it took me longer to read this summary than it did to read the entire comic! Good job!
About Angel and reading glasses - actually we saw it once.

from Release (Angel Season 4)

(Angelus sits, looking very studious, in a leather chair, reading. He's wearing glasses)

ANGELUS: (throwing glasses away) These aren't helping. (stands, walks toward the shopkeeper) Half of this crap is written in some archaic proto-demon-cuneiform, and I don't want to be rude, but I think the other half they just doodled. etc

Thank you for posting the recap, Zianna!

I'm very curious about Angel channeling Giles in the last scene. I wonder if it's supposed to be a metaphor or is part of the plot. And the familiar photo of young Giles is seen right on the panel where Angel asks Faith who he reminds her of. Is Angel really turning into Giles? Is he turning human? Is he becoming a host of Giles' mind?

And, if yes, what triggered it? Dorotea has already mentioned that he bit Pearl. He also killed a Mohra demon in thу previous issue. But I think the real trigger may be having Giles' best day in his memories.

Looks like it's only a beginning of a great story.
At the moment I'm going with Angel beginning to channel Giles' memories/mind/soul even(?). The #7 Steve Morris cover could support that, too.
@Shep - Oh, yes! The shadows on the cover!

Should we start calling Angel "Gingel"?
Maybe I'm over-thinking it, but could Angel be doubly-ensouled at this point? If Giles' soul hadn't "gone", to the ether or wherever the souls go, from his body when Buffy smashed the Seed, perhaps the energy release tied Giles' soul to the person closest to it (which would have been Angel)? Like I said, probably over-thinking.
Well, Whistler being evil or crazy has been a pretty strong possibility since he was pushing the Twilight agenda on Angel, so that's hardly a surprise -- the only other real possibility was that he was scammed too.

I'm not sure how I feel about having a slightly Giles-ified Angel, but dousing him in Giles beats the general bleach-dousing he's usually been getting.

EDIT: I think "AnGile" would be a better portmanteau of Angel and Giles, personally.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2011-11-30 18:31 ]
My summary and review.

I liked it, but I agree with Dorotea about the anticlimax.

Having some good times right now just staring at the beautiful (Isaacs) cover...
Yes that reminds me. Zianna, as I said in a previous thread if you could link to your summary rather than post it here it would make the thread easier to read.

As for RupAng, it's very exciting.
AnGile for t3h win, IMO.

The whole thing is very "Dollhouse", IMO -- like a Giles imprint is now affecting Angel (compare to "A Love Supreme").
I bet Joss has some unrealised ideas about Dollhouse, and if he can apply them to A&F, it could be very interesting.

Another thought: could the changes in Mohra blood be a hint? With the Seed gone, magic processes become incontrollable. All magic processes, including memory transfers. Yes, it's very flimsy logic, but in Jossverse all mythology-related logiс is pretty fuzzy.
I knew that Pearl and Nash were evil, but watching Britain's Got Talent is above and beyond.
Isaacs art is fantastic. And I didn't find the climax too anticlimactic -- the best moment of the issue was the build-up to Faith smashing the vial on Angel's back. So much emotion and meaning in that moment -- and then to have her stop and discover she'd nearly have sentenced him to another form of horrific suffering where she'd have to chop his head off to give him peace? Yeah. That was powerful and also gut-churningly disturbing. You just know that when Faith's helping put those people out of their misery that she's seeing Angel with every stroke of her sword. And the twist at the end was again creepy and fun.

Good issue, great art. I like. It pulled me into the story and kept on till the end. Compelling.
I have my copy of Angel & Faith # 4."Live Through This Part IV of IV."

I thought it was bit of a letdown as a conclusion to the arc.I guess I expected more.Not to say the issue was bad.It was a very good issue but,like I said,I guess since my expectations were higher,when it wasn't met,the letdown is greater.

I was expecting more from the Morah blood plot.I don't know if I expected Faith to actually use it and make Angel human especially after Angel was just human in After The Fall,although I admit,I would love it if Angel did become permanently human and they really explored that.I think that would be a really great story especially if you want to explore Angel's human forbials in the aftermath of season 8 and Twilight.Something ATF didn't explore.Strip away the vampire and deal with just the guy. But I expected more from the Morah blood plot although to be fair,the morah blood plot isn't really wrapped up since Whistler,Pearl and Nash are planning to use it for some unknown but probably not good reasons.

I'm not sure if I buy the idea that Morah blood mutates people due to the destruction of magic.The logic is a bit much for me although the mutated people are very freaky looking.And I thought the scene of Angel and Faith [utting them out of their misery was very poignant.

Thank god,Faith did stop herself from using it on Angel.

I'm still not impressed by Nash and Pearl.Whistler is the one interesting me and I have to admit that I want to know,what the hell he's thinking for setting Angel on the Twilight mission and what he's doing now with Pearl and Nash.Why do they need the new mutated effects of the Morah blood.IMO,Whistler right now feels like the real big bad in Angel & Faith.Not Pearl and Nash.They just seem like lackeys.

Also,I'm dying to see Angel and Whistler have a face to face.I so want Angel to pound him into paste.

There were many things I liked in the issue.All the Angel and Faith interaction is pitch perfect and I love their talk at the end.

It was good to see Alasdair again and I hope he remains reoccuring.

Also the scene with Nadira really ramps the tesnion when in her last panel,she's hugging Faith while saying she is going to find and kill Angel which will finally give her peace.The look on Faith's face when Nadira says that(while hugging and smilling).Oh boy.

Rebekah Isaacs art is great as usual by the way.

As far as the ending,again,love the last talk between Angel & Faith.That right there was worth the $2.99.

In regards to Angel channeling Giles and the way he acts at the end of the issue along with Faith's suspicious look.Some speculation.I wonder,if the destruction of the seed passed on a part of or all of Giles soul to Angel.Giles was killed right before the seed was destroyed.Maybe Giles soul wasn't able to pass on fast enough before the doors between dimensions were sealed?I mean Buffy destroyed the seed immediatly after Giles neck was snapped.Giles soul might not of had enough time to pass on especially if a soul lingers for a few minutes before passing on to the next plane.

Sort of like trying to walk through a open door only to have the door slammed shut in your face and locked as your were about to step in.

If Giles soul couldn't pass on or only partially passed on because destroying the seed closed those doors than maybe Giles soul or what's left on this side of Giles soul ended up with Angel?I wonder if receiving Giles's memory in issue 1 of Jenny also opened the door for Giles spirit to enter/influence Angel.

I'm probably way off.

So overall,a good issue but I expected more from the finale of this arc.I stll think between Buffy S9 and Angel & Faith that Angel & Faith is the better book with the more interesting story.
So when is it coming out digitally on the Dark Horse site? As I'll edit the entry to include that info.
Unclear. When I argh'd on Twitter that I'd forgotten it wasn't day-and-date digital, Dark Horse replied simply, "Stay tuned." Also, I vote for AnGile.
Thanks but remember if Angel reverts back to his former evil self, we can call him Rupus.
My favorite part of the issue was the scene where Angel reveals the reason he wants Faith by his side in this is to keep him in check. It felt like a really honest dialogue between these two characters who can relate better than probably any other two characters in this universe.

I have no comment on the Angiles thing, other than to say that it is delightfully strange and I am very excited to see where they go with it.

I'll probably right up a full review later today.
I really did not like that last corny conversation between A&F at all - and besides it is not true ( i.e. them relating best to each other and other blah). Faith is about 20 years old. Angel is 200. So he pulled her out of her downward spiral once - he did the same to lot of other folks. Good of her that she returns the favor. Btw I recall many here wanted her to stake him at about issue 39. Enough said. I retcon it to myself that that was Giles-juxtaposition at work - when Angel was replying to her - and I will leave it at that. Besides, who wants whom at whose side all of a sudden? Angel was dumped into Faith's lap without his own consent and he is technically staying in her house, not the other way around.
I hope this eyeglass wearing thing has something to do with Giles. Because I'm doing some serious eye-rolling here. Angel did not use glasses to read.
He does specify that he's reading tiny cursive. Maybe we've never seen him read tiny cursive before.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2011-11-30 23:58 ]
I would disagree, dorotea. Angel and Faith have quite a lot in common in fact. Both have done terrible things in their pasts that they now regret and both seek redemption for them. Both have a damaging tendency to isolate themselves. The fact that there is an age difference and one is a vampire doesn't necessarily mean they are not similar and good partners.

I also completely buy the idea that Angel wants Faith's help. More than anything in the world, he fears losing control, and he has learned that he doesn't need to lose his soul to do terrible things. It makes perfect sense to me that he would want Faith to be there to stop him if he goes to far.

I like their relationship quite a bit and think it is the heart of this series.

[ edited by Giles_314 on 2011-12-01 00:11 ]
FYI, day-and-date digital starts December 14.
G. I did not say they have nothing in common - I just disagree about them relating the most part. If anything, Faith can relate more to Willow - similar done terrible things, about the same age and gender and similarly was pulled back from the brink by older man. Similar tendency to isolate herself in Willow. If anybody, Angel can relate to Giles the most - similar done terrible things in the past, believe in prophecies, bookish, used magic a lot, and tend to rely on doing things their way. The age difference exactly means they are 'not similar' - but does not negate them being good partners. And by the way, we can continue the list of characters in the verse who did terrible things in the past and seek/ed redemption till the cows come home. I did not say I dislike the current partnership between the two - but I actually enjoy their tensions and brewing conflict more than anything else in this symbiosis.
dorotea-The gap in age between Faith and Angel means next to nothing in the Jossverse.
menomegirl - the age difference means nothing in forming a relationship in the verse or in having an affair. I agree with that. Yet even in the verse age difference and experience means that 'relating best/most to each other' is dubious if not laughable. From that perspective Faith relates better to anybody female and Slayer. The opposites do attract - sometimes. But there is nothing exceptional or even extraordinary in current Angel and Faith connection. Just another situation like: Cordelia, Kate,Fred etc. Each version of the relationship was enjoyable enough on its own, but, IMHO, it is just another repetition of the same. And in this case I don't feel even a viable connection based on mutual trust and respect - Faith admits continuing to lie to everybody ( including Angel) even though she does so benevolently. Yay for continuous conflict and deceit though - it leads to possibly more interesting story. So far I am fairly meh about the first arc, but perhaps bringing Connor and Dru into the equation will liven things up.

[ edited by dorotea on 2011-12-01 03:14 ]
Perhaps I was exaggerating when I said that they "can relate better than probably any other two characters in this universe." I'll admit that there are probably characters that relate better, but I still feel that the connection between Angel and Faith is an extremely strong one that is not repetitive of any other relationship on either show. These are two people that have gone through very similar things and have also helped each other at different points in time to overcome those things. Where Buffy, Cordelia, Kate, and Fred have a hard time relating to Angel because they have never done anything as terrible as he has done, Faith understands and is more able to see the good in him despite the bad he has done.

I think the idea that you can really only relate to people that are similar in age and are of the same sex as you is ridiculous. That's encouraging a separation of genders that simply isn't true. I think Faith relates far better with Angel than she does with Buffy, despite the fact that Buffy is a woman and the same age. Willow too. While there are definitely parallels between Willow and Faith, I would say that they differ in the main theme of their development as characters. Where Willow's story is much more one of accepting and using power responsibly, Faith's is more focused on redemption. Willow never felt the necessity to serve time for the murder of Warren, and in fact doesn't seem to think on it too much anymore. Faith on the other hand, can't seem to ever forget the murders she committed, something she shares with Angel.

(That's not to knock Willow at all, by the way. :) I love her, I just think that she and Faith are very different characters with very different stories.)
G. I never said these two do not relate at all - I just argued your point that they relate the best. Angel's story as a character is far more complex and rich than Faith as a character can even fathom to approach - and here the difference in age makes all the difference simply because Faith had not had all that time on her hands to go through all the personal tragedies and triumphs that Angel went through, not to mention the love of a lifetime lived and lost, and parenthood. On this level alone Faith's personal experience is a teaspoon to Angel's oceans of sorrow. She is simply too young and too immature to 'relate' on that level. Oh, sure enough she can scratch the surface - but having never experienced true love or true loss, parenthood, leadership, deep friendships etc etc, having never lived through a century of continuous torment... shall I even continue? Her guilt is a kitten to his fossil of a dead dinosaur. Shrug. Comparing these two on that level of experience is , IMHO, laughable. Does not mean that I don't appreciate yet another lively gal with problems of her own sauntering around Angel and helping him out - I just tend to take it humorously. Same as I take her sharing his title as a co-lead as a joke - that will hopefully not last long.

[ edited by dorotea on 2011-12-01 04:01 ]
Yet even in the verse age difference and experience means that 'relating best/most to each other' is dubious if not laughable.

So by that reasoning, Spike or Drusilla are the only two people in the 'verse that Angel could have a relationship with?
Throughout the TV series we had Willow disliking Faith (so I don't see that history being wiped away any time soon) and Angel trying to help and support Faith (creating an unbreakable bond which is totally being played out now in the comics). At least that is how I see it.

And I'm amazed that people here thought AnGile is anticlimactic, I think he is awesome! Something new and different in the Joss verse, but I can see it being a very interesting and exciting development. I'm very excited to see where we'll be headed in the next story arc in this series.
Structurally speaking, the whole AnGile thing is actually part of the dénouement. The discovery of what the Mohra demon blood really does now that's the climax of the arc, and I found it to be pretty solid as the climactic moment.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2011-12-01 05:16 ]
One thing to keep in mind with ye olde neck snapping is that it's not an instant death. Giles probably died moments later from asphyxia. Thus, he would have died after the seed was shattered for sure.
Agreed, b!X. The climax was the reveal of what the Mohra blood actually does. And agreed again, I found it powerful.
Any thoughts on the visuals connected with the Alasdair and Faith encounter. That giant burger and arc made me think of the times and portals for access to The Oracles.

I found this whole thing from Angel very disturbing - maybe I am just expecting too much of him and keep expecting that all the chaos and destruction from his Twilight Times would have change him and how he wants to deal with things.

Angel: "What I didn't have as Twilight was someone I could trust. Someone who'd seen me at my best and my worst. Who knew me. Someone to tell me when I was going too far...and to stop me if I wouldn't stop myself"

to Faith

Angel: "that's what I'm asking you to do Faith. I know it's a lot. It's not your responsibility, and if you don't want it..."
I thought the reveal of what the Mohra blood was actually doing was extremely powerful. It essentially was cancer, carried to the logical extent. Having lost a few loved ones to cancer, the visual and subsequent mercy-killing of the afflicted was quite affecting.

GooberMan, I didn't know that! I always thought it was the spinal chord was somehow broken or something...
"Is Angel really turning into Giles? Is he turning human? Is he becoming a host of Giles' mind?"

Or is he just going grade A bonkers? :D Would fit in nicely with whats gone before wouldn't it.

[ edited by sueworld2003 on 2011-12-01 12:24 ]
@Sueworld2003 -

Do "grade A bokers" mean that he may be crazy?

I don't think he is crazy. So far, I have the impression that Joss wants to develop some ideas he couldn't realize on Dollhouse. What makes a personality, could different personalities exist in the same body, how would they infruence one another, etc.

In any case, the story becomes more and more interesting with each issue.
Yes, 'bonkers' is slang for going mad. :)

Oh I think Angel started to become mentally unhinged a while back. I mean look at how well season 8 panned out for him?

Personally I've always had this theory that Angels mental state was permanently effected in some way by his long stint in Hell back at the end of season 2. And that season 8 has kicked that just a little bit further.

[ edited by sueworld2003 on 2011-12-01 12:56 ]
So by that reasoning, Spike or Drusilla are the only two people in the 'verse that Angel could have a relationship with?

Eh? By that reasoning Faith is still too immature and inexperienced to be the individual to whom Angel can most relate to - and vice versa. It does not mean they do not have a relationship, it is just not the kind of relationship that the other party in my conversation was arguing for. In any case, as long as they don't hold hands and sing 'I once was lost but now I am found' , I am cool.

As for the issue being anticlimactic - I thought the whole storming of the basement with grotesque mutants was bizarrely funny, when it was supposed to be scary and noir. Same as the ending conversation about Twilight - it was supposed to be dramatic , I think, but turned out just corny. 'If only a good Samaritan was holding my hand I would have never went overboard with prophecies Faith... wait... it was the writer collective who made me do those odd OOC things. Never mind Faith.' Color me amused.

The giant burger thing rings the bell - Wesley much?

Oh, and my favorite scene - the single panel with Whistler as Meowth and the team Rocket delivering their loot. I thought that was indeed intriguing.

[ edited by dorotea on 2011-12-01 16:20 ]
I thought the issue was the best yet of this season, and a pretty good twist with the reveal of what the Mohra blood does. So, thumbs up from me.

Also, something to consider: Faith was "18-ish" at the start of Season 3. Here in Season 9, she's probably about 25 or 26. How old was Liam when Darla turned him? Probably about 25 or 26.

So while there's certainly a big gap in their chronological ages and experience, physically they're exactly the same age. And I've always though that Angel didn't mature very much while he was a soulless vampire...
stormwreath-Angel was 27. (I can't recall the episode where he stated this atm but I know he did) I don't think that I can agree with you; I think Angel did mature over the years. But he often does stupid things.

dorotea-If you believe that Faith is still too immature and inexperienced to be the individual to whom Angel can most relate to -and vice versa- then you must also think the same is true of Buffy and Angel? Or Cordelia and Angel? Or-*anyone else* (except Spike and Dru)-and Angel?
stormwreath, physical age is nothing when compared to emotional maturity and life experience. I would never say immature and inexperienced RE:Buffy for example. But Faith at her tender age of 24 or so never been in a lasting relationship ( how long it took her to break with Robin Wood ?) or loved anybody powerfully enough to sacrifice herself for them ( and I mean either a lover or a child.) She never related to a group of friends who valued her dearly as a leader of the team. Neither she led them into a last mortal battle. True, she took part in some of the apocalyptic fights - but always as an outsider and a loner. She never lost any or all of the above , like Angel, nor did she sacrifice her life for others like Buffy. And that is what I mean when I speak of maturity and relating. To end my argument - when Angels 'immaturity' is discussed I always recall the demon in A S4 - "you have so much more to loose." One can loose everything but what they never loose is their memories of all their losses. That is what forms one as individual. Faith simply does not have these memories yet. And once again physical age means little here.

m-girl - see above about Buffy. Same applies to Cordelia - but less so.

[ edited by dorotea on 2011-12-01 22:30 ]

[ edited by dorotea on 2011-12-01 22:31 ]
dorotea-You're the one who brought up the vast difference in their ages in the first place. Now you're saying it doesn't matter?
Liam was born in 1727 and sired in 1753.
Re: maturity. I think that characters' maturity isn't a necessary quality for a compelling story about a relationship. I'd rather say that characters' maturity often works against plot necessities. If characters are mature - i.e., they always act reasonably, responsibly, wisely - how could a writer create a conflict to push his narrative forward?

Faith is a tortured soul. Faith is a tragic, flawed hero. She can understand Angel like nobody else - because she went through her own hell. Her interaction with Angel is fascinating.
menomegirl When I brought up difference in their ages I meant first and foremost all the baggage that comes with years. In Angel's case it is 27 + about 100 years living with a soul and actually going through several wars, meeting people, loosing people, etc. His last 10 or so years qualify as a serious business to me as well - with all the gains and losses attached. Now these differences can be breached if qualified circumstances apply - ( RE: Buffy ) - but it has to be something exceptional. I don't see these exceptional qualifying circumstances apply with Faith. The way I see it, her character was issued an enormous emotional credit by the writing crew, and she simply was not developed enough in either tv series or in S8 to fill the shoes they are trying make her fill. Well, maybe they will bring her up to that level yet - but for that to happen she has to go through something very major yet. On other hand she is an eye-candy, a kick-ass chick with great bod and long legs that look great in those flying kicks. I do understand that comic books have to cater to certain demographic. If Angel absolutely has to have a potential love interest every season than Faith is better than Nina, on every level. But I refuse to take her as anything more than that - *if* they go this way. And as I said - Faith simply has not earned the level of complexity and maturity they are trying to imply to her character.

And I don't see her as a hero - yet. She has to earn that. Tragic and tortured soul yes, but not a hero.

[ edited by dorotea on 2011-12-02 00:36 ]
I am sorry dorotea, but I would really have to disagree with you on Faith's complexity as a character. For evidence I would have to site the excellent Buffy two-parter of This Year's Girl and Who Are You? in Season 4. That story begins with Faith waking up and realizing that the Mayor, the only person that has ever treated her like family, was dead. It ends with her, having taken Buffy's body, yelling at Buffy in her own body, really talking to herself in pure self-loathing:

"You're nothing! Disgusting! Murderous bitch! You're nothing! You're disgusting!"

She then proceeds to go to LA, where after torturing Wesley, breaks down on Angel in the rain and eventually turns herself in for the crimes she has committed.

I think that Faith is an extremely complex and, at this point in the series, mature - if flawed (as all Whedon characters/real people are) - and a more than worthy partner and costar to Angel. The dynamic between the two is what makes this book great for me, and I think it would lose a lot if one of them wasn't there.
You were talking about age, I wonder how it will be when Buffy and Faith get older than Angel an Spike. Buffy's actually 26 according to the story, but in real life she'd be already 30. Faith's the same.

And I just can't wait to the next issue, that's all.
Something I noticed in this specific issue is how much it's Faith who's being the kickass hero. In the fight with Pearl and Nash, all Angel does that's at all novel is use his fangs on Pearl - but we've seen that before in 'Not Fade Away' with Hamilton - and it doesn't even seem to make much difference to the fight here.

What does Faith do by comparison? When Nash has grabbed her by the hair and is about to kill her, she uses her sword to cut through her own hair, thus dropping suddenly below his eyeline with perfect timing to make him zap his own sister instead of Faith. And while she's doing that, she also manages to plant the Mohra blood in his pocket so she can then sic the other demons onto him and get an instant army of reinforcements.

Yeah, I think she's a little bit more than eye candy this month.
Dorotea, I have to disagree with you assessment of Faith as "eye candy". Faith is no more a mere decoration in the series than Buffy, Angel, Spike or any of the other characters that many of us find sexy.

I don't think Faith is *more* mature than Buffy but I do think they are equals in terms of how their behavior corresponds with their age and life experiences.
Dorotea: Oh, I quite take exception to the notion of Faith as mere "eye-candy." I think that does a tremendous disservice to the character, the writers (of the shows and comics), and Eliza Dushku.

Regarding this issue, I also thought the leap in logic was a little large about how Mohra blood was now mutating those who took it. But I'm willing to overlook the leap because I DO so want there to be more serious and dramatic consequences to the destruction of the seed. I want to see the world lose its soul, as Willow forecast. I am very interested in the shape of things to come in this new world.
5X5B , Taking my comments on the character as insults to the actress is a bit funny - I love the actress and mean absolutely no offense by stating that she is indeed hot. Shrug. I do hope that Faith as a character will have something greater to do this season than merely catering to the male demographic and being (obligatory) love interest. So far , unfortunately, I saw little of that, all the flying kicks and sinuous fighting moves aside. Perhaps Ms.Isaacs simply cannot resist the allure of drawing her so pretty, big-eyed, and long-legged, and making her change outfits every other page. Grin. I don't lean that way btw - but if I were I would have certainly coveted Faith circa S9 shamelessly. And Mr. Gage's dialogs don't help much in that account either - his Faith is too much a paragon of virtue so far and all her 'conflicts' only add to her girl-who-finally-found-her-groove image. Her scenes with secondary characters are repetitive and have no dynamics( Re: Nadira, Alaistar), her scenes with Angel are all about her being supportive and him 'graciously' taking that support for granted. (RE: Twilight dialogs. )Even the upcoming 'parental' arc , I fear, is going to turn into the tear-feast of forgiveness and hugs by the fireplace. And as I said before - based on her character development beforehand - Faith simply have not earned her place as 'the person Angel can most relate to' and a co-lead. But she sure looks great on the covers. Lets hope she will get a story that is more interesting than babysitting Angel through he season and getting into his pants in the process.

As for the Mohra blood plot - I certainly hope it is not over yet. It is a wonder no one ever thought about them using that remaining flagon on the Seed. It is supposedly a living entity - right? If it is regenerated the magic kicks in and the cancerous effects should be reversed. Whistler might be a villain, but kind of I hope he is a smart one.
dorotea-I must strongly disagree with you. Faith as a character has more than earned her place as a co-lead. Angel has always felt compassion for her and for him to think she's the person he can most relate to at this time is quite reasonable and not as far-fetched as you make it sound.
menomegirl - since you are not providing me with factual counterarguments as to 'why' do you think Faith earned her 'most relate to' and co-lead status, after I listed my arguments as to why I think she did not ( re : no great sacrifices in her past, no long-term commitments, no leadership, no epic scale tragedies), I think the argument is kind of going in circles. Lets agree to disagree and leave it at that.
dorotea-Providing counter-arguments to you would be futile, since you are comparing Faith to the paragon of slayer virtue that is Buffy, who was the main protagonist in BtVS. Faith was a secondary character who was written in season 3 to come off as lesser than Buffy. But that was a very long time ago.

I believe that Faith has earned her place in this comic because I have watched her go from a vulnerable, angry teenager who was extremely reckless and violent in her actions to an adult who is caring of others, who's learned from her mistakes and who is now striving to be a better person. It's very plain to me why Angel can relate to her the most right now.

But we can agree to disagree. :)
menomegirl The argument was not about whether Faith have earned her place in this comic book, but about her being exceptional and extraordinary (re: her connection to Angel) thus transcending the age and experience barrier (re: Buffy). Since you agree that she is not exceptional on that account, I see no further glaring disagreement here. I still think a co-lead was a stretch granted because of some out of the scope of this discussion reasons. (My comments about Faith never having to prove herself via life sacrifice or being capable of a long term commitment, or leadership still stand.)
dorotea-Au contraire! Faith is exceptional and extraordinary. And since I do not think of either of them as a hero, I believe she is the perfect companion for Angel in the present circumstances.
I can't add anything intelligible really, but Faith totally makes this book for me. I couldn't imagine her not being in it/co-starring.
Faith has never had to prove herself via life sacrifice, dorotea?

She DID go to jail for three years of her own volition and only broke out because Angel was in trouble. I think you should go back and rewatch some Faith-centric episodes of both series. There's actually quite a bit of depth there. I would say that she is a worthy co-star for this book. Don't get me wrong, I love Angel to death, but I think they make a good team.

I do feel like this issue was a bit anticlimactic, but I think that's just because of the pace at which comics are released. I have a feeling this arc will read much better in trade form. And I enjoyed it immensely regardless and am very excited to see what the do next.
Btw, Rebekah's original pages for Issue #4 can now be purchased HERE. And it seems that just about everything is on sale right now, so if there's a page you really want, perhaps now is the time to hop to it.
Giles_314 When Faith went to jail she finally did the only right thing she could have done, to make amends for her antics of the previous season. In no way that could be considered a heroic sacrifice - just right and proper way to behave. Same as what she is doing for Angel right now, this season, is right and proper - but not exceptional or heroic or extraordinary - she is doing the right thing and I respect her for doing it.

Btw, Angel is a hero. Joss himself sayeth so in his latest interview circa 2010 ( post Twilight), and somehow I take Mr. Whedon's opinion on his characters over that of the fandom.

As for Faith being a proper companion to Angel this season - tis all in the eye of the beholder. I find the whole plot of Angel first being written into a brainless idiot, then being passed like a parcel from one Slayer to another to 'be taken care of' a bit disconcerting and ooc for him. It like Jeez boy, while you were catatonic we got you these new digs in London - and the accommodations come with a hot new Slayer chick - also in a need of 'atonement' attached , so you can 'atone' together - wink wink, nudge nudge. In the mean time you go on and sin some more by being deliberately blind and deaf to the consequences of trying to raise the dead. Forget about your heroic past, your family, your friends - you are no longer a hero (but still a chick magnet).
A hero? Please.

A hero does not lure someone (someones) to his (their) death with lies meant to draw him in. A hero does not turn his back on people about to be slaughtered or kill people himself or order people killed to serve his own purposes.
Go argue with Joss then, mdear. I can post you a link to that interview. Besides, Buffy turned her back on people about to be slaughtered in Fray arc. She killed a lot of human soldiers too. Giles lied to Buffy in order to draw someone to their death in Lies My Parents Told Me - for what he believed was the greater good. He also ordered Faith to kill Gigi in S8. What you interpret as 'his own purpose' might be saving the world - saving the world, after all can become ones own purpose. Does it mean Buffy is no longer a hero ? Does it mean that Giles' death in S8 was not heroic? If heroic death for the greater good is always beaten by past misdeeds - does it mean that Spike's sacrifice in S7 also meant nothing ? Can you really stratify heroes from not heroes that easily? Good luck with that - especially in Whedonverse.

[ edited by dorotea on 2011-12-04 03:28 ]

[ edited by dorotea on 2011-12-04 03:33 ]
I did not read the Fray arc so I can't comment on what Buffy did. But.

Can you really stratify heroes from not heroes that easily

Yes, I can. What Giles did in Lies My Parents Told Me was completely wrong, as what Angel did to Drogyn was. Completely wrong. IMO, Giles' death was not heroic. Tragic, yes. It was awful. But I wouldn't call it heroic.

Thanks for the link offer but no thanks. Joss has his opinion. I have mine. Which is as it should be.
Buffy turning her back on people in need happened in S8 arc Time of your life. Giles sending Faith to kill Gigi was also in S8, arc No future for you. I am definitely not going to argue with you valuing your own take on the story over its main creator's - our internal scales are all different. Kudos for your brave admittance of that. My only last question would be - was Spike's death in at the end of S7 *just tragic* or heroic too, in your opinion ?
Seems to me that Nadira will end up getting killed by Perl and Nash before she can kill Angel. Faith might even be forced to choose between saving Nadira and saving Angel from certain death, setting up lots of angst in her afterwards.
Brave? Hardly. I just tell it like I see it. You put 10 people in a room, show them any given episode of any given show and you are going to have 10 differing opinions on it. And no one's opinion is more valid than anyone else's.

I don't think Spike's death in Chosen was a grand, spectacular act of heroism, no. I never did. All he did was sort of just stand there and let it happen. Perhaps I would have thought differently at the time if I had not known that Spike was going to appear on Angel the following season. *shrugs*
Just finished my review. If anyone wants to check it out, you may do so HERE.
Loved the review, wenxina. :)
@menomegirl: Thanks. I really need to start getting them out in a more timely fashion, but lately, the only time I can really focus on writing is on the weekends.
Dang, what's with the spoiler (re: issue 7 (not to say more and respoil)!?

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