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"I'd hate for my little untimely, horrible death concern to be ambiguous."
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February 29 2012

(SPOILER) Time to discuss Angel & Faith #7! Cool revelations and the return of a slightly different Drusilla, what else could we ask?

I couldn't wait to be back home to get a glimpse at the issue! It was pretty good, especially for giving some needed answers regarding Angel and Dru. So our resident hero wants to revive Giles by absorving his soul? And here I was thinking the Loraphage demon was creepy! Drusilla getting her sanity back from the Lorophage, instead of finding her pace and mind by herself, seemed a little bland to me. But that might actually be what her own title is about. We'll see. Kudos for the Angel/Dru/Loro scene to both Rebecca and Christos!

Also, did anyone else thought Faith's change of heart towards her dad was a bit... quick? I get they had to write it like that to advance the plot quickly, but it was the only moment in the story where I felt something was a bit off on a really awesome second issue. Plus: Connor was finally mentioned and confirmed to be far away (can you spell LA?).

Can't wait to see the fallout from Faith's Dad sudden but inevitable betrayal from the slayer's POV. I think I'm gonna like this arc way better!
I really enjoyed this issue. The conversation between Angel and Drusilla reminded me of the convo between Angel and Darla in 'Dear Boy'. Really epic and full of the weight of history between the two characters. It was really well written and (for me) the most emotional and heavy hitting exchange in an Angel comic since Cordelia's appearance in issue 12 of After the Fall

And we finally, (finally!) get our first mention of Connor. I'm glad they acknowledged his existence and the fact that he has been trying to contact Angel. I can understand Angel's reasoning for not taking his calls (hello self loathing!), but come on man-you love your son! Am really looking forward to seeing their reunion, and especially now that we know where it will take place.

I found it hard to place Drusilla's newly sane voice. I will with re reads though I'm sure.

Faith's dad- is this a repeat of the Wesley Dad story? With less robotic ninjas I'm sure.

And so the main revelation of the issue. Angel is trying to collect bits of Giles soul. Not sure where this is going. The issue of body mutilation is interesting-by attaching this artefact to himself Angelmis literally carrying his sin with him. Ouch.
Another great issue from Gage and Isaacs! Drusilla is still bit of a wild card to me. Not sure where she'll be taking the story, yet. I'll have to wait and see how this arc plays out but I'm dying to see her hop the pond and run into her old boy toy, Spike.

My advance review (minor spoilers) went up yesterday over at Whedonopolis:
Another great issue, I am really enjoying this story. Two slight gripes; I am a little bummed that Dru's sanity comes from the demon, and had nothing to do with what happened in the Spike IDW series. At the same time, I really didn't expect them to reference that series at all, but it was a nice opportunity to bring the stories together and they didn't take it. Also, I wish Faith's dad wasn't up to something. It's so predictable and I hope that he ends up with good intentions. I would like to see something good happen to Faith.

I don't quite get the "Giles Soul Thing"; I thought that souls went to another dimension (like Buffy did) after death, unless the breaking of the seed kept him from moving on.

[ edited by Jelly on 2012-02-29 17:20 ]
I actually probably won't be able to get up to my comic shop today to pick the issue up so I'm going by summary's and spoilish thoughts on the issue until most likely tomorrow.Love the Connor mention since I think it's setting up the next arc.
Here's my summary and review.

The mythology in this one is just exquisite. Regarding vampires, souls, morality, demons, and hypnotism, everything that should be, IS.
I'm so glad that they finally mentioned Connor. His absence was felt, and they came up with a really good reason for Angel not to be talking about him.

Still want to know what he thought would happen to Connor when ended the world though...

My only complaint with this issue was I didn't buy how quickly Faith changed her mind with her dad. It was like... Angel makes a cogent point and suddenly Faith is ready to forgive. Too much too fast I think. Especially considering he clearly can't be trusted.
Let's just say that my problem with the whole 'Angelus is a dark passenger that is always with you' approach
is that it is once again a derivative. Shadow o'Dexter Morgan is the fifth wheel that this story does not need to stand on its own.

It kind of masks the whole issue of the absence of soul in a regular vampire being the reason for her not being able to act selflessly - every vampire has a dark passenger of their own - their demonic spirit - and Drusilla's one is more artistic and less feisty, but no less dangerous than Angelus, or so it seems.

It seems the implication is that removing ze pain ( or memories of pain) without removing the memories of the traumatic event equals to (somewhat) de-souling a person. Whilst I like the idea of soul equals having pain and regrets - I don't see how Angelus fits into this, unless it is implied that removing the pain will virtually destroy one's soul and let the demon loose. A bit of a stretch here, or, maybe , a bit of a mixed message.
Hi all.
I've been a long time lurker and occasional poster, and, as it seems fandom discussions of the new issues are much less active than for season 8 (as well as comics coming out on Wednesdays in the UK now) I've decided to jump in with both feet for the the rest of the season. I look forward to having some fun chats with you all.

My initial thoughts on the issue:-

I really liked the idea of Angel being offered the chance to have all of his pain and guilt sucked away so guess is that, as he rejected it so quickly in this issue, something will happen to tempt him later in the arc.

Slightly disappointed with the Faith's Dad story. As others have mentioned, it feels a bit rushed, and I felt it has played out a little too 'by the numbers' for me so far.

Very happy to see Connor mentioned. I imagine we will get to see him in the newly announced arc starting in 11.

Dru's 'Dadaist' line felt very Joss.
Did we ever actually get to who was behind those robot ninjas from S5..? Didn't seem like W&H or Lindsey and whoever it was had some serious knowledge and power behind them.
I'm excited to see Drusilla's character growing and changing (she has been 'stuck' for way too long). And I'm kind of fascinated by the idea that Angel isn't trying to bring Giles back anymore, now he is trying to absorb/become Giles! Weird.

I definitely agree about the ridiculously rapid change in Faith's attitude, that was just awkward and unrealistic.... But basically the story is one worth telling so I'm enjoying reading it a lot.
No, we never did find out about those ninjas. I have a feeling it probably hadn't been decided at that point, but could have made for a great story.
I LOVED this issue!!! I found Angel/Dru twistedly sexual in this issue, which was PERFECT.

I love all of the scenes with them two... I thought Christos did a great job with the storytelling, and I love how different Dru is. Hey, Angel got a soul, Darla was a human, and Spike got a chip and a soul, why can't Dru be different?

Her voice has to be different since she's not insane anymore, so I thought Christos nailed it!

The scene with Angel and Dru in her old place... It was creepy, twisted, sexual, humorous, dark, and compelling. How can I ask for more?!?

That scene has to be one of my favorite scenes in all of the Buffyverse, period. Thank you Christos and Rebekah for amazing work!

Also, I think Dru is creepier than she ever has been. Her being sane makes her seem crazier than ever in my opinion-- she truly believes she is justified. Fascinating. I am a happy fan!
Very good issue! I agree that Faith's change of heart was wayyy too sudden. Maybe she decided if she was willing to give Angel a second chance, after everything he's done, she should give her dad one too--because whatever her dad did, it wasn't as bad as Twilight's epic stupidity. But that's just a guess ... going off the images and text, I have no idea what made her change her mind.

That's my only complaint though.

Regarding Angel's plan: I think he's still planning to bring Giles back, he just needs to collect the soul first (otherwise Giles will come back as some kind of zombie-thing). Once he has the soul, he can move on to resurrecting the body. And I think it was established earlier that Giles' soul is probably trapped in this dimension or something because of the Seed breaking.

Which makes me wonder: was that just Giles? Or is everyone who dies in the Seedless world cut off from the afterlife--heaven dimensions or whatever? Is there going to be an epidemic of poltergeists?
Really enjoyed the Angel/Dru interaction. Faith was ready to use the Mohra's blood to heal Angel's guilt - or at least end his never ending railing at redemption, so it seems natural she'd take a more open view to Dru's angst sucking clinic too. Think we've got a theme going here with Angel and Faith not seeing exactly eye to eye on the nature of redemption.

"By the numbers" is exactly the phrase that came to my mind on Faith's storyline with her dad. The next number would have his sobriety due to an angst sucking - hope they have something more interesting in store for us. Crossed my mind that Faith's quick change of heart may not be genuine - knows something is up and is just playing along.

I kind of hope so. I just look back at her relationship with Mayor Wilkins and what (finally?) having a father figure meant to her... and this doesn't feel like it's playing to that. I always felt that if Faith had a father in the picture at all, it wasn't the kind of relationship that would have been nearly this easy to reconcile.
@erendis: I don't think there was any mention about Giles' soul being trapped in this dimension because of the breaking of the Seed. Rather, the explanation was that Giles' soul was still within reach because of his involvement with magic. I'm paraphrasing here, but that explanation can be found in Issue #2.
The question arises though - how is the tooth filtering out 'just' the Giles' soul? It is obviously an old amulet with some latent magic - no new spell could have been applied to it. It sounds like the way it is described Angel will be soon infected with every piece and fragment of poltergeist in London. But of course this is no worse than remotely controlled zompires...

[ edited by dorotea on 2012-03-01 06:45 ]
Cheers, wenxina ... I totally made that up, didn't I? :-) I knew his soul was still around for some reason, I just managed to forget the real reason entirely.

dorotea, maybe the amulet only attracts souls of people that the user knew or was connected to in some way? And since most of the other dead people Angel knew (or killed) presumably weren't involved with magic, their souls aren't around anymore? That would kind of make sense.

ETA: I still think an epidemic of poltergeists would be fun. Oh well, maybe some other season. ;-)

[ edited by erendis on 2012-03-01 06:55 ]
Faith's 'change of heart' didn't seem sudden to me: it's something she's been building up to ever since 'Buffy' Season 3. The girl craves a father figure back in her life, and she practically throws herself at anyone who manages to break through her wall of cynicism and distrust - Buffy, Gwendolen Post, Angel, Mayor Wilkins, Giles. She wants her father back.

Of course she's going to get hurt.
I also enjoyed Drusilla and Angel's interaction with her now being sane- I thought the way she was written was excellent, exactly how she likely would be and behave if she were sane. And as others mentioned, creepier. She isn't a stupid character, and having her insanity done away with underscores this now.

As for Faith, I agree that it was DEFINITELY too fast and too desperate, the way she let her father back into her life. Think about it, it has been probably a decade since she's seen him last. Though we have no details of their relationship before she ran away, left, whatever it is that caused her to be separated from her parents as a teen after or before her mother died- noticed there was no mention of her mother whatsoever, by the way- the fact that she hasn't seen or chosen to contact him in at least a decade would indicate that they had had a very hurtful relationship that I don't think an adult Faith who has grown this confident in her ability would be able to that quickly just let go of.

I could see her agreeing to give him a shot...but not by chasing him down the street frantically screaming for him and then passionately throwing herself into his arms. Granted she has severe daddy issues but at this age, approximately 25? She's not a teenager anymore, a lot has happened since her intro to the show, I don't know that I find it credible she would be so openly desperate to have him back when so many have betrayed her in the past and I'm sure their life as an alcoholic family was as damaging as he indicated.

I also find it odd in general though that her dad would come back in this manner...since she never mentioned him, and mentioned her mother several times on the show, it kind of feels to me like they tacked it on at the last second that she did have a father involved in her life. Obviously they aren't following Go Ask Malice or declaring it canon since there was no mention of her father killing someone or being put in prison, and they seem to be just implying that her basic history is both parents were alcoholics, her mother died, and then she either ended up with her Watcher before her Watcher was killed or she ran after her Watcher was killed or was living with her father until that point. Which I really wouldn't have guessed based on season three.
Certainly, Faith is the type of figure that it's hard to give a parental role too. At Season 3, Buffy was amazing and strong, but she couldn't even compare to the amount of life Faith seemed to have had. It also conflicts with the Buffy Wikia which explains "Faith was born December 14, 1980 in South Boston, Massachusetts, to an alcoholic mother. At the age of four, her abusive father was imprisoned for murder, and Faith was raised believing he had died. As a child, Faith played with her imaginary friend Alex." Granted it's just a Wiki, but it's still curious.
Jaymii - that info comes from the book "Go Ask Malice" so it wouldn't be considered canon.
Jaymii- like Simon said, that's from Go Ask Malice, which is obviously now not considered canon. In Go Ask Malice Faith's father was George, not Pat, and the story of her father was very much different than how it's presented her. Frankly although I didn't much like the backstory of Go Ask Malice I found it more believable then what they're implying in the comic so far as explaining Faith's early behavior, anyway.
Just one question I'm hoping gets resolved (and that I'm surprised nobody has asked yet): Why is Giles' soul in PIECES that need collecting?! Is there a reason it isn't still whole? I never got the impression that Angel's soul was broken apart when not in his body.

Also, spoiler below!

I wonder if the soul thing will connect with what we've seen on the cover for buffy 10. Specifically the "only you could lose your body" line.

End spoilery!
I'm sure that that will be expanded upon.Im a little confused myself at the soul thing, but I am liking the link to Egyptian mythology, so am just gonna go with it:-)
First off, loved the issue, but here's my question:
If Angel really is getting parts of Giles into his body, then I'm hoping for an Angel/us/Giles smackdown. Drusilla talked about the fact that Angelus is always there, so if more of Giles gets in, he should be there as well. We've been getting Angel's thoughts, but I'm hoping that they can start really getting into the many thoughts of these characters. Maybe have Angel get into a situation and show his thoughts vs Angelus' vs Giles'. Angel's only had himself against Angelus, but what happens if there's another person getting between them?
Thanks Simon and Jinxgirl.
It's never really been established that the soul disappears entirely to some other dimension anyway. Buffy's death was mystical - who knows exactly what was in play there? Angel's soul was said to be floating in the ether, similarly Spike's soul must have been to some degree, and Angel and co. believed that Fred's soul was likewise when they hoped to restore it. So Giles' soul hanging around might be nothing to do with the seed at all.
A potentially important Twitter post from Christos:

@Christosgage: Depending on your interpretation, the ancient Egyptians believed there were 9 parts to the soul. May come into play in ANGEL & FAITH.

I love Egyptian mythology (loved all the references during the Beast arc in Season 4) so this could be cool.
Right. So now we have to wonder if it were Giles ka and ba that are already residing in Angel, and what about the other miscellaneous parts , like hms. Glory to the Maker...
Finally got my copy of Angel & Faith # 7,"Daddy Issues Part II of IV"

I thought it was a really great issue.Alll the Angel/Dru interaction really popped for me and Dru most certainly seems more dangerous sane.The sanity adds to her cunning since I don't think insane Dru would think to pull a scheme like this and tie Angel and Faith's hands so effectivly by following Harmony's rules.No way insane Dru would do that.

I wonder if Dru will still be sane when this arc concludes and her miniseries?

The reasons Angel has been acting like Giles and could invite Harmony in i think were pretty figured out before this issue's release but there is a twist to it.With Angel actually collecting piecves of Giles soul into himself.Does this make anybody else think of Voldemort's horcruxes?It's not exactly the same but seems a little similar at the same time.

I can't wait for Faith to find out because I don't think she will be on the same page.

As for Faith and her father.That plot is sort of by the numbers.Faith has major league wanting for a daddy as seen by her relationhip with The Mayor.So I'm not surprised about her about turn after talking to Angel.I think she really wants a father and was looking for a reason to welcome him back which Angel gave.Unfortuantly,looks like her father is going to betray her.I wonder if they guy he's stealing that orb for is Whistler?

And I loved the Connor mention.Definit setup for an upcoming arc I think.Angel staying away for Connor's own good is typical Angel.Somehow I doubt Connor is goign to appreciate that reason when they do finally hook up again.

Overall,another strong issue.
The concept of the "soul" in the Slayerverse has always sort of confused me. When Angel has his soul restored by the curse, was it actually Liam's soul? Does the soul hold a person's identity, or is just a moral center that functions like an organ?

When people are vamped, some, like Spike, seem to retain their original human personalities. Others, like Angelus, seem to be monsters separate from their human hosts, but who still retain their human memories. Is Angel a vampire with Liam's soul, or is Angel "Angelus" with a conscience? And what happens to the human soul after someone is vamped? Does it go to heaven/hell, or does it go into some kind of limbo? We've never seen any reference by a souled vampire to being pulled out of an afterlife when their soul is restored.

When Angel's soul is mentioned, it almost seems like a "soul" is a nondescript thing like a kidney that serves a function and can be taken out of one person and transplanted to another to perform the same function. But now, when we're talking about Giles' soul, it seems like it contains Giles' essence, the things that made Rupert Giles Rupert Giles.

To further complicate things, Spike seems a lot like William the poet, whether he has a soul or not. Angel seems like a completely different entity than Liam, who, in turn, seems like a different creature than Angelus. Liam, from what we saw, was sort of a creep, but far from the cruel, sadistic thing that was Angelus. Furthermore, Liam never felt like the brooding, remorseful figure that Angel is.
I've always believed that Angel's second season was the best evidence we have been given regarding the nature of soul versus demon within the Buffyverse canon.

Take Darla, for example. Within the space of that one season we get to see the original human Darla and her original vampire form, both in flashback. We also get to observe a Darla made entirely human again, with no demon aspect inside her, and a Darla made vampire once more, although you would have to assume that the demon inside her was not the same one that had possessed her originally. That likely died when she did, when Angel killed her to protect Buffy.

Now, these are four very distinct versions of the character and yet the memory and personality of the individual remains the same. Even without a demon inside, Darla still recalls all she did as a vampire without a soul. That strongly suggests that the personality of the human remains when the soul departs. The fact that we still had the same Darla when she was sired a second time further suggests that the demon has no personality of its own, as surely the new demon wouldn't appear to act exactly like the first if it did have the ability to think for itself.

Then we have Angel in Pylea. What we saw there was the vampire demon in its purest form. Bestial, savage and entirely without personality. More evidence to suggest that the 'person' remains when they die. They simply stop being human and become vampire. That is to say, the difference between Angel and Angelus is not one of personality so much as one of morality and conscience. When you become a vampire you don't lose who you were. You lose a part of what you were. Your soul goes away, taking with it your humanity and sense of right and wrong, leaving you open to the urges of the savage demonic essence that is now inside you.

I know this goes against what Giles said way back in The Harvest and what Buffy told Ford in Lie to Me. That a person dies and a demon takes their place. However the evidence presented by the vampires we get to know on a personal level from both shows does not support that theory. I tend to think that the Watchers Council chose to have their slayers believe that it was more black and white than it really was, to ensure that they never had second thoughts about what they were doing. Especially if the vampire they were fighting happened to be someone they used to care about, such as Jesse. They may even have truly believed it themselves, given the fact that they had no idea that a it was possible for a vampire to have his or her soul restored at the time. Whatever the truth, it's fairly evident from what we saw happen with Darla, not to mention Angel and Spike, that they were wrong.
Five Horizons, you just NAILED what is one of the biggest arguments in the Buffyverse. I agree 100% with everything you said. Kudos to you.
Thanks, lisatwingomez. It's a theory I've had for a few years. Darla's situation just seemed like the most obvious one to use as a detailed basis for what was really happening when a person became a vampire. Just glad that it made some sort of sense to someone who isn't me.
I agree with your theory Five Horizons, it's just interesting how Dru refers to Angelus (and parts of Giles) as two separate beings. It always seemed to me that while other vamps like Darla or Spike understand that the demon just uses the personality that was there to the nth degree, Angel (from either Catholic guilt or something else) chose to separate the two sides of his personality into Angel and Angelus. His situation is a fascinating one in that he really created two sides to himself and struggles to piece them together, like anyone with dissociative identity disorder, and I'm just curious what gathering Giles up will do. Will Angel's mind "create" a Giles personality in order to cope?
That's how I've always seen it myself Five Horizons.
Really, Angel got a nipple piercing to help him collect horcruxes?? I have to admit, I really didn't see that coming...

That said, I loved this issue. They gave us a lot-- Drusilla as the voice of reason, Conner info, what Angel's up to, Faith's dad...

I imagine it'll be a while (if it happens at all) but I would be interested to hear what sane Dru has to say to Spike..
Read it. Very much liked it. Another solid issue all round. I love all the little callbacks to the show in this series. And the way they are slowly revealing more and more details about how Angel is trying to accomplish his mission. Wish someone like Gage was writing the Buffy book.
Chris Gage twittered: "Dru & her demon remove the ability to feel pain and emotion altogether."

Aphasia, I doubt Drusilla, as a soulless vampire, albeit sane, can be called "voice of reason." And a souless vampire can't "help the helpless" because their lack empathy and the human innate tendency to do good.

Remember, the advice came from to souless vampires: Harmony and Drusilla. This, in my opinion, means a lot.

Apart from that, what I have to say is that I read #7, and I'm very disappointed.
This is not Angel. Period. Really, the most Joss is involved, the less Angel is a relatable and likeable character. There's a clear difference between the Angel of the first four seasons of AtS (albeit awful was s4) and Joss' Angel (s5, that terrible Twilight in s8, and this suicidal, broken Angel in A&F). I can't relate to him anymore. I can't even recognize him.

David Greenwalt and Tim Minear knew this character much, much better.

Flawed hero is one thing, broken, suicidal and failed in every project is entirely another thing.

I think I'll quit
My terribly late review of this issue is now up on my BLOG for your perusal. :)

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