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June 27 2012

(SPOILER) Discuss Angel & Faith #11. It's the first part of the "Family Reunion" arc.

OMG, so freaking good. I love this series so much and this issue felt like a episode of Angel. I was doing a little "I was right" dance when I saw Gunn. I knew he'd be back! I'm curious about some of the updates he gave to Angel. He said "I don't have to tell you about Lorne". Does that mean that what happen in his IDW one shot is canon? Also, the fact that he mentioned Kate leads me to believe that Angel had seen Kate recently. They've been dancing around any events in the IDW series beyond AFT up to this point, but this seems to acknowledge them a little bit.

I'm still not sure about Willow's motivation, but I am coming around. Initially I thought that her quest was purely a selfish one, but it seems that her motives may be more altruistic than I thought.

One more thing-Since when can a vampire wear a hoodie and it's all good to be in the sun?
This issue sounds really great.I read a full summary already.Can't wait to read it.I might not be able to get my copy until tomorrow though which sucks.

Love the update on Team Angel..

Connor has a girlfriend(who isn't Gwen which is probably smart).
Nina is married
Illyria is missing(and i assume we'll find out her status when she shows up in buffy later in the season assuming that's still the plan)
Kate is back with the police
The Lorne bit is very interesting given the state he was left in whether you leave it at NFA,ATF or the Lorne one-shot. Which ever place you feel canon stops leaves Lorne's fate sort of up in the air.

And the Angel/Connor stuff.Oh man,can't wait to read that on the page.
I've only read the Lorne one-shot once but wasn't that kind of definite about where he'd ended up and what he was going to be doing there?
Amazing. I loved the interaction with all the characters. I felt it was a perfect issue to kick off the most anticipated arc to date.
I haven't read it yet and it's killing me :( definitely will buy the issue later. Stuck at work. Boo.
Terrific, terrific issue. I'd have to say it's my single favorite Buffy or Angel comic.
Another excellent issue of Angel & Faith. They just keep knocking these out of the park. Great seeing some of the old gang back again and the voices are all totally there.

Just one question: I missed the Lorne one-shot. What happened in it and is it collected in a trade somewhere?
Love how Willow talks to Angel:
Can't wait to lay my hands on this issue.
Giles_314 - The Lorne Special was collected in the Angel: The John Byrne Collection hardcover. I don't actually remember what happened, though—I'll have to reread it.
The best issue out of any Buffy or Angel comic so far, and that's saying a lot because I LOVED the last arc of Angel and Faith.

Christos and Rebekah... the dream team.
WOW! I got to say, I've loved season 8, 9 and whatever season Angel & Faith takes place in, but this was the first one to feel like an episode of the show. It was perfect.
Awesome. Loved it.
I just look forward to going to the store and seeing Rebekah's alternate cover all the time. Like this one, they always make me smile. Angel and Faith is the only thing so far that sometimes feels even more alive than the t.v. shows. Joss has admitted that he struggles to understand Angel and feels he never gets him quite right. I feel like Christos NAILS Angel and Faith both. Neither were my favorite characters back in the t.v. days, and now I feel like I connect to them, understand them, in a way I never did before. Now they're maybe my favorite of any of the characters. Faith's turn to evil never made much sense to me on Buffy. I pretty much loved her on Angel the lil' bit she was around. But now she's someone I could talk to. And I don't know that any of the writers have ever gotten Angel right like Christos and Rebekah do. He's not just mopey ... then heroic... like he was for four seasons. Now I get it! He doesn't just sit in the dark and stare at the wall or watch hockey. He sits in the dark being twitchy and weird and complicated and a little scary and a VAMPIRE and understandable. Again... I could talk with him. Love how much these two artists understand these characters and their relationships to one another and I'm so grateful that this Buffy world I love got expanded so beautifully in my mind by these books. I wouldn't put it past these two to succeed in rescuing Connor from the the dungeon of "wtf?" where I store him in my mind. I will follow Christos and Rebekah to their next projects, and I wasn't a comic book guy till Buffy. Angel and Faith more than makes up for the pain two weeks ago of trying to drag myself through that stilted 2D Buffy book, woof.
@cderochefort - I am having just the opposite reaction to A&F. Mostly because of too much of the violation of the 'show not tell' principle ?, I guess. Characters just gush out too much : 'I am less adult than my teen son'. 'I am all about passive aggressive'. "I am all about helping despondent Slayers who act like what used to be me'. 'And I am all about helping people now - but I need more time with my dad and some muffins.' 'Lets all go and have some adventures in another dimension - because we all are so dysfunctional. Splendid idea!' Seriously - I no longer understand of like Angel much. And I have intense personal dislike of 'reformed' Faith for some reason. She is just too perfect. 2 years in jail and she is a 'grown up' , parole officer for poor downfall Angel , who just only about saved the world like a dozen times - but it turned out that was a bad way to go about redemption - because - gee- saving the world from destruction was all wrong if it was for all wrong reasons.

I just read my own post and realized what (IMHO) the main problem with A&F is. From a tv show for adults - about being grown up and dealing with it - it is now turned into a comic series for young people. I guess that's why many young readers can better 'connect' with no-longer-grown-up Angel, and never- having to-grow up Faith.

[ edited by dorotea on 2012-06-28 15:42 ]

[ edited by dorotea on 2012-06-28 15:47 ]
I'm thinking that as much as we'd like to get a definitive take on whether the post After the Fall IDW stuff is cannon, we never will (until Joss wants to tell a story that contradicts those books). It's a way to keep everyone happy.
I loved this issue. I'm really surprised there aren't more comments on here. I could definitely see this issue, and the coming arc, on the tv show. This was wonderfully written, save some awkward dialogue, like "On paper, what Angel's doing makes theory." Come on. That's just ridiculous. Otherwise I thought it was terrific.

So Illyria's going to be in the Buffy book? Is that not a spoiler? Cause I feel spoiled.
I have my copy of Angel & Faith # 11,"Family Reunion Part I."

Man,I hate that I didn't have time to my comic store yesterday because I was dying to read this one especially after the summary.It was worth the wait.Probably my favorite issue i Angel & Faith so far and of season 9 as a whole again so far.

Where to start.As usual, enjoyed Rebekah Isaacs's art

I thought Willow was handled great.Right now her and Angel are in some ways tow sides of the same coin,wanting to do something that is next to impossible and think the other is making a mistake in pursuing it.But both are willing to help each other for their respected goals although Angel is extra leery of bringing Connor into it.

And Faith is basically caught in the middle.It's understandable though that she's getting more and more concerned with Angel's plan to bring back Giles especially after talking with Willow.

Speaking of,I also really liked the Faith and Willow scenes given their past history.Very well done.Also I'm glad we re-connected with Nadira.

Getting back to Connor.Loved,LOVED,LOVED all the Angel/Connor interaction.This was pure gold and continues my view of Connor being probably one of my favorite characters in the verse.This was a great continuation of Angel Season 5 and After The Fall.I can't really say anymore about.It was just perfect for me on both Angel's and Connor's side and I can't wait for more of Angel and Connor in this arc.Damn,I wish Connor would stick around after this arc too.And sounds like he's doing great too.Succeeding in school.A nice girlfriend from the sound of it(probably what he needed after the twisted Cordy thing of season 4 and Gwen and her betrayal in After The Fall).

And the return of Gunn was a welcomed surprised although it's one I've been expecting for a few weeks with the little hints of a face from the past besides Connor.Gunn always made the most sense to me and who I was hoping for.

It was great getting a update on the rest of the L.A. gang.Illyria's whereabouts being unknown I'm sure is setup for her appearance in Buffy,assuming that is still planned.

Kate being back with the police is great to here and I've been thinking.It would make a lot of sense to recruit her to a national zompire task force with Dowlling in Buffy.Kate already has much experience with the supernatural and vampires.She would be perfect for a special branch of the police to handle this zompire situation.

It's also nice to hear Nina is married.

The Lorne bit is very intriguing given where things were left at the end of the IDW Lorne/Andy Hallett tribute book,"Music of the Spheres." I guess the line in today's issue gives enough wiggle room either way as far as Lorne's status goes post ,Not Fade Away/After The Fall/Music Of The Spheres and whatever Joss or the creative team decides in the future to do with the character

Also,the return of the Hyperion.Yay.

Can't wait for next issue and Quar'toth.
This comic gave me fan-giggles (that's a thing, right?) from beginning to end. The return to the Hyperion and that last scene was so reminiscent of another famous dark spell involving you know who. The interaction, the dialogue, was so well done I could hear the voices of the actors in my head and it fit perfectly. Next stop: Quar'toth!!!
Link off the front page before I got here! Ah well. Here's my summary and review. This issue was amazing. It had everything, everything. Whatever you've been wishing the series had, or had more of, here it is.

Also I don't see everyone doing happy dances over the Jayne hat; please don't tell me I was the only one who noticed!
@dorotea... I dunno, I think Faith's been through more than a stint in jail to get where she's at. The stuff on Angel was pretty intense... she faced some tough inner stuff head on and made it. And I actually buy the mentoring Angel gave her. We see that he continued to visit her in prison. I didn't understand why she went to the mayor in the first place until these recent issues, but I completely emotionally bought her growing up on Angel the Show and in the comics. I don't think she's super wisdom lady now... I still think she's barely holding it together... but she's a person who's turned the corner, to me, believably. That kind of a maturity is different than the kind of maturity of someone who just never had to go there, so they've got the job and kids and the responsible decisions and la la la. As for everyone in the book seeming like babies... other than in his relationship with Faith, when has Angel NOT been a big baby. He hides it by sitting in the basement all the time and reading Sartre, but dude is just a young guy with a tough past trying to figure stuff out and when he's forced to interact with people, we see his real emotional age. Some of the telling rather than showing in this book I felt was long overdue. I still don't understand half of what happened in Season 8, and I think a lot of people needed to hear Angel say, "I was going to bring people over. Buffy didn't let me even explain it." or have Willow explain WHY she thinks everyone should be so pissed about the absence of magic. I mean... I wasn't pissed before. I was like, doesn't seem different to me. But now I'm like... wait... if magic comes back I might actually get to go see a good MOVIE!? Totally go to Q'ortoth.
When the seed was destroyed, Disney took over Pixar.
Have to add: Among the many reasons I liked this issue, every character seems to have their own agenda that doesn't quite mesh with the others. And they all believe they're right - and even if you put yourself in their perspective, their motives make perfect sense. That's powerful stuff and while they can work together for now, how this unfolds in the end is going to be very very interesting.
@cderochefort: Comon - young dude ??? Have you watched the series ? The guy used to butt heads with W&H for four years while running his own detective agency, then was a CEO of their LA branch, brought down the Circle of Black Thorn and basically commuted suicide to bring LA back from Hel-LA, almost wiping the W&H out in the process. Then for a season he started acting like he had a brain tumor, and now he is basically your Harry Potter, running around collecting Horcruxes (lol) and acting like that brain tumor was removed - together with larger part of his brain. I can't understand why comic book characters ought to look (and act) like pouty children... A&F is not supposed to be a manga series...

[ edited by dorotea on 2012-06-29 18:02 ]

[ edited by dorotea on 2012-06-29 18:05 ]
Honestly, dorotea, I'm really not seeing what you are seeing. At all! This title is easily the closest in feel and tone to either of the TV shows since the canon comic book series began, and I'm talking both Dark Horse and IDW when I say that. Same goes for Angel. Sure, he's in a very different place both psychologically and emotionally than he was on television, but given all that he has done and experienced since the end of Not Fade Away, that seems right to me. As for Faith, she's exactly where I would imagine her to be. Again, a lot has happened to her since she got out of prison. More than enough for her to be in a good enough place to act as Angel's moral compass, or at least attempt to do so. It's all good, as far as I'm concerned.
dorotea, Angel is not playing with a full deck of cards mentally. His insane exploits in Season 8 gave him a mental breakdown and the only thing keeping him glued together is the ridiculous idea that he can somehow make up for murdering Giles by bringing him back. I'll admit that it's easy to lose sight of that with how he acts in 90% of the series, but at the end of the day it's Angel still trying for redemption even if it's impossible. He's a broken man/vampire, but he's still trying.

The only action from Faith I've seen in this series that has seemed out of character from where we last saw her prior to this one is her reaction to her father last arc, and even that is not particularly egregious... it's not unreasonable to expect her to behave that way. Everything else she's done is a logical progression of where her character was at. She's not Ms. Stable Person, but she's grown and is attempting to be a good person.

I do agree that sometimes there's more "tell" than "show" going on in the series, but I've enjoyed the writing and given how the characters are making sense from where they were at prior to the series, it's not jarring for me.

Angel & Faith really is the best Buffyverse work overall since Season 8 began, and I think you're gonna be hard pressed to find many people to agree otherwise.
@archon You know, it is not that I am not trying to like this series. In fact, you will be hard pressed to find a more hard-core fan of AtS and AtF than me. Heck, I think I have every ever printed book or article related to AtS. I continued to read all the post AtF Angel comics that IDW used to print, does not matter how weird it became - for the sheer fact that it was Angel the series. It is just every time I am expecting to be blown away by A&F issue it fails me on some basic level. This time it was Angel's little conversation with Faith in the bar that was the proverbial spoonful of poop in the barrel of honey - the one where he casually admits that Connor has grown up more and proceeds to trash his own entire run in LA. As for Faith - her comment on the teenager with a stack of porn did her in for me in this issue. As for her 'personal growth' - all I see is a young lady who suddenly inherited tons of money and is enjoying playing in rich and powerful sandbox, while doing some charity on the side. Good for her, but she became really annoying with all her expensive new outfits and lots of moralizing.
I absolutely adored this issue. For the 1st time since the franchise left IDW I felt I was reading "ANGEL" and not just a story that featured Angel.

It was so good to see Connor and Gunn again...and the Hyperion! I know that when this arc finished the story will go back to London, but I am going to enjoy this feeling as long as I can. And I hope that once this season is finished that Angel will be allowed back to LA...but I'm not going to hold my breath.

So thoughts -

- Willow and Angel have both done bad things. Both almost destroyed the world. I feel for Willow, but for me it's a case of pot, meet kettle in the opening scenes. I totally get where she's coming from...but Angel has a point that Willow resurrected Buffy...and of course she doesn't regret it. Having said that Willow wasn't responsible for her death, but she too used Dark Magic to resurrect a dead friend.

- Glad to see Pearl, Nash and Whistler referred to. I'm presuming that they will make and appearance in the next arc, or as others have guessed, do something terrible while Angel & co are in Quor'toth.

- Poor Faith , everyone is putting the responsibility to watch Angel on her. And he isn't doing himself any favours. Y not filling her in on everything. And that line about "parenthood" - ouch Angel, ouch! Be nice to the girl who may end up having to decide to stake you someday or not!

- Regarding the Angel/Willow conversation at LA airport...I can understand the controversy...but I'm backing Angel here. The Meltzer arc made such a complete f*ck up of Angel's character that I am taking any attempt to retcon it. Sorry, but Angel fan here. And people forget that this was Angel written as a "Buffy character", not an "Angel" character. He was written to serve Buffy's story, and the fact that Connor and the gang were not mentioned once in the Buffy comic shows that.

- I did like that Angel and Willow got awkward with each other after the discussion about Twilight, and Angel's comment about Buffy. They almost forgot they were annoyed with each other:-)

-Gunn! And who didn't love the hand clasp that Angel and Gunn did as a greeting:-) I love that they are still in contact. But would love to hear what Gunn knew about theTwilight plan...and what Connor knew as a matter of fact. Where were they while Angel was being Twangel?

- Loved the convo in the car catching up everyone with the gang. Just enough that those who want to treat IDW as canon(moi) can, and for others it's just an info dump which can be interpreted their own way. Perfect.

Although I know some want a concrete "this happened, and this didn't", I think this is the perfect compromise.
- Glad to see that Connor is living a normal life, with college and a girlfriend like Angel always wanted for him. Having said that I am so glad to have him back in the story as a demon fighter. Angel and Connor together is always good.

- Gunn wearing a Jayne hat!

- Angel and Connor sharing a pint!

- Angel and Connor having a heart to heart! - "You don't have to hide from me...Not now...not ever.". Hear that Angel?! Stop being a douche and reconnect with your son!

- "And now I have my father". Connor always knows what to say to get Angelto do what he wants lol

- Was so happy to see the Hyperion again! And that full page with Willow cutting Connor...ouch! It's not the first time that the Hyperion has been used to try to get to Quor'toth...but it's interesting that what was missing was something "connected to Quor'toth"...

- this whole section really felt like a Season 3 moment, dunno why:-)

- EPIC final panel.

This is the most I have written about an issue in a long time. Because "Angel" is back. Welcome back:-)
Yeah, apart from every (right) reservation I have in relation to DH guys and their treatment of Angel in BtVS s8 and in A&F too, I have to admit I really enjoyed this last issue. Because, apart from some naive aspects (when Angel said his son has grown up and that he's more mature than him),and bi-dimensional characterization (OK, Dad, you refused my calls, but now everything is all right; Connor and Gunn with great smiles and no questions about his absence, not to mention the infamous Twilight thing...) I really enjoy this come back to AtS, its city, its home, its core group albeit decimated...

So, cross my finger, but I too can say:
"Angel" is back. Welcome back!"
Did we know about the absence of magic meaning that artistry and creativity also seems to be disappearing?

I suppose it is the kind of trend that would only be noticed over a period of time.

Still it feels a bit like an emotional retcon even if not a narrative one - making Willow seem less selfish for not wanting the seed to be destroyed because it would remove something essential for humanity?

That was the only problem I had for this issue, everything else is great - Gunn is back! I must have missed this spoiler, but that is ace. I think I am the only person in the fandom who liked Betta George, but I would love to know what he is up to now. I imagine him in some kind of amazingly mundane job like librarian or administrative bureaucrat or something. Wearing glasses with a chain, and friends with people called Doris and Mildred.

Maybe I'll write a fanfic.
I'm pretty sure this IS the first mention of the "bad art" and "suicide" numbers... but, I mean I think someone's gotta ask Willow four her sources here, no? Lots of things could spike suicides... Why does she get to assume a causal relationship?

Even worse... people have been saying "Movies/books are getting worse!" for centuries. Did Willow just go "Brave" and be like, "This is just not as good as Up." Did she pick a couple books of the best seller's list and be like, "wtf? This stuff is sucky!" In the middle of her save the world quest, is she gonna see a movie that was "pretty alright" and have her justifications called into question? Hmmmm.
I'm feeling like the decline in quality for art is real, and the reason it hasn't been mentioned is that our characters have had their own problems holding their attention. They're also not vulnerable - remember Connor's comment about who was getting hit the worst.

Oh, and I loved Betta George. :)
Good point, Kairos. I forgot about Connor's psyche patients.
It is fairly strange, IMHO to see the 'mental patients been hit the worst' clause being brought in as proof of magic gone == bad right after the Daddy issues arc. Almost looks like residual wash-up of the mental hospitals being hit by Dru's demon plot. Just saying. For the last 4 issues the mental patients getting worse == Lorophague sucking out their emotions was the case. Now it is the Seed 's destruction causing this. Not to say Willow is not right - but I am not impressed by how the overall verse' mythology is handled.

And btw, Connor is an undergrad , yes ? How would he get an actual access to real mentally disabled patients ?

[ edited by dorotea on 2012-07-02 04:23 ]
heyy yeahh... there's something fishy going on here. Now I'm back to just thinking Willow didn't like the last few books she read and Connor is just, "Like, woah! Being a psychologist is hard! The mentally ill people are like... super mentally ill!" Maybe Connor has been committed a few times and just didn't want to talk about it. I could easily see that being the case. Of course... he'd have to have been committed a LOT over a long time span in order to be able to compare the mentally ill of yester-year to those of today. Or maybe he's just been doing a lot of volunteer work. Still, I totally love this story, whether Willow is just being bonkers and crabby or NOT.
I suspect that Willow's claims of art suffering and Connor's observation of changes in the mentally ill might be the beginnings of the dystopian future we say in "Fray."

Overall another really stellar issue.

While the title of the book is "Angel and Faith," this really feels like Faith's book all the way. Poor girl is carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders. She's caught in the middle of so many agendas: Angel's potentially disastrous scheme to resurrect Giles, Willow's quest for power, whatever Lavinia and Sophie are up to, and Nadira's thirst for revenge against Angel. And Pearl and Nash are still out there, waiting in the wings.
Finally read it! Just wanted to restate how great this comic is right now. Love it.
There's one big issue I've always felt for the `death of magic` storyline, and that its this terrible, world-ending depression-inducing however-shall-we-go-on-without-it thing...
WE live in that world already. And we're fine.
I absolutely adored this issue. It felt exactly like an episode of Angel. Not sure how it can get any better than this.

And as a sidenote...does anyone remember what wound up happening to Gun in After the Fall? I remember he was a vampire, but that's it.
He's not a vampire no more. When they came out of hell, it was like none of that stuff happened ... except people remember it.
My attempt at #11 review
Angel should be on fire. A hoodie and a cap? Come on. Remember Spike in season 4 of Buffy? Running with a rug, and he still caught fire.
Is this a post-seed thing?
They were always inconsistent with how much sun exposure effected vampires. Remember when Spike fell asleep outside of Angel's mansion in season 3? His hand is exposed for only a few seconds in the sun, and it very quickly catches on fire.
But in season 5 of Angel, when Spike and Angel are having their... um... bromance moment, when they both stick their hands in the sun, they just smoke and sizzle a lot. And their hands are in the sun for a lot longer than Spike's was back in the season 3 episode.
I wish they were more consistent about the rules... but at least Christos Gage is consistent about them not being consistent :)
Yeah, not to mention the bit in Buffy S2 when Angel said he had to travel by cargo ship, because it would be too dangerous going across the ocean in an airplane. Apparently that changed. :-)

Gotta say, I loved the hoodie, though. I could absolutely see that as a costume on the show.

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