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May 29 2013

(SPOILER) Discuss Angel & Faith #22. It's the second part of the "What You Want, Not What You Need" arc.

There is so much good in this issue that I barely know where to begin but because I am so pressed for time I am just going to glow and praise Mr. Gage who seems to effortlessly voice my favorite characters. I honestly don't think Joss could have found a better stand in for himself. Great, great issue.
Again, LOVING A&F. I'm pretty much gonna echo the Aunts and say GILES IS SOOO CUTE! I love little 12 year old Ripper. I'll be interested to see where they take this. I'm glad we're not retreading the resurecction drama from Buffy S6. Giles is very clearly glad to not be dead anymore, but doesn't mean he's happy with how he came back.

I'm looking forward to seeing how this all wraps up.
I have to say that I was really unsure if it was a good idea to bring back Giles (it's such a comic book cliché), but I feel that they have done something interesting with the decision which should lead to some good future stories.

I found this a really enjoyable issue in what has been a generally strong quality series.
Very good issue, I also enjoyed it! Angel & Faith has been great and always keeps me excited about the next issue. I love what is happening with Giles, it makes the storyline interesting and has room for the funny.
Wow... they did it, they actually did it. Although he's only 12, bravo! Can't wait to see where this all leads.
I found it quite boring.
I'm so curious what happened!! I won't be able to get this issue today, can someone give a quick summary of what transpired with Giles?
Giles has been brought back successfully, and has his whole life's memory, knowledge, and experience. But he is 12-ish now. Assuming Re-Giles ages normally, he is just a couple years from being genuinely "Cursed With Awesome" (cba to link to tvtropes when posting from phone, but it is there :)). I mean... isn't that the brass ring, to have youth again but to actually know what to do with it?

The thing with which I am most relieved is that they made him young enough to, at least mostly, thwart the ambitions of any nascent Faith/Giles or Buffy/Giles 'shippers there. Plus, many very believably Jossian jokes (because I remember "Spin the Bottle", subtlety is for little men spring blades) about newly hormobally in balanced Giles reacting to Faith's... Faithness in spite of himself.

I am pretty on the fence about this issue. The central plot development connects back to every point ever made about whether Angel's actions in Season 8 have untangled themselves too easily with regard to moral and social consequences.

Would be curious if Re-Giles has heard of anyone by the name of Dawn, as well.
I can't, just can't hlep but wonder, if a Giles resurrection is, in part, and in addition to story requirements (which I'm sure are vlaid and well-planned,) either Joss's way of saying 1- yes, the comics are canon but the rules aren't eXactly (intentional capital) the same as the shows and if I ever do live action Buffyverse again I might, just might not be bound by the comics 2- an act of personal disrespect, a "ha-ha!" to fans of other lost characters saying "youn don't get it but Giles's fans do" 3- as multi-levelled as his mind is, both.
I highly doubt either of those is Joss's message to us.

And the rules can still be the same. It's not like nobody ever came back from the dead in the TV shows. Buffy did, Angel did, Spike did.
Probably quite an old Red Sox top if it has Nixon's name and number on it (earlier in the season Faith wore a more topical Pedroia shirt).

Also noted the brief mention of the Deeper Well - if the Buffy and Angel & Faith seasons are running side by side (which Alasdair's reference to a flare of energy at the well suggests) then Buffy is closer than they think.

Liked Faith's riposte of "Never figured I'd last this long" to Angel's "I should have died three centuries ago".

For some reason found the placement of the advertisement in the middle page a bit irritating.
If they really want this to be hell for Giles it will turn out that he's stuck with being eternally 12.

I'm willing to let the story play out. But I do want actions to have consequences. The story loses all power if you can make the worst possible mistake*, fix it with a few magical gizmos and skip the part where you actually learn anything.

*That's granting the dubious premise that Angel's main mistake in season 8 was snapping Giles' neck. But I've given up any hope for him being held accountable for all the other damage he did, or for his treatment of Buffy, namely beating the crap out of her physically and emotionally so he could transform her into a co-Goddess. I'm not sure how de-protagonizing Buffy fits with Joss's overall set of values, but there it is. Go Angel!
darling; Yes, but both Angel and Spike "died" as vampires and came back as the same. And Darla and Buffy, and now Giles, were brought back by very specific and powerful spells which are not suitable for mass production. So none of the cases are especially comparable, to anyone else or ewach other. But there always seems to be such a specific spell when needed for a story, so quite possibly others are out there :-).

Maggie; The Whedonverse isn't that big on accountability of that sort.

[ edited by DaddyCatALSO on 2013-05-29 21:24 ]
I hope Giles survives the season. In this form. Mwahahahaha.
I liked this issue.

Regarding Angel managing to rectify his mistakes without serious consequence, let's think about the title of the arc...he's managed to get what he wants, but we've not yet seen the consequences of that fact this isn't what he needs (assuming the title refers at least in part to him). I may be wrong, but I have a feeling that's going to play out during the endgame here.
@DaddyCatALSO Yes, exactly, there have always been exceptions, situation-specific spells and other loopholes, so it's not like the comics are suddenly constructing their own set of rules in any new way that I can see. :)

Added: And I also want accountability / consequences! But I'll be surprised if some of that's not on the horizon.

[ edited by darling on 2013-05-29 23:13 ]
What were the consequences to Buffy, Angel or Spike being brought back? How about Darla? If it's payment sought after for Angel, I'd say all he does is pay. At this point he has saved Giles from an endless eternity of torment. I'd say today is a happy day indeed. I think the storyline is brilliant and I love Angel for getting it done.
Well, for Buffy, consequences of her second return include both her personal, profound emotional and psychological trauma that has never completely resolved, and more tangibly no fewer than two sequences of events that independently threatened to bring about the end of the world.

For Angel, if one is counting time-people-say-he-was-killed-even-though-he-technically-wasn't-killed-at-all and coming back as "resurrection", see above, re: sequences of events that threatened to bring about the end of the world -- Jasmine ostensibly actually did it for the instrumentality; Whistler manipulated the fact of it to his goal of realizing the Twilight prophecy. Of course, if one just means Angel becoming a vampire, that event has more or less rippled through history in ways good and ill.

Spike, in fairness, I don't think has caused the world around him any adverse consequences by being brought back. So good for him.

But that's consequences covered.

As for the idea that Angel "got it done", in the sense that a golfer's approach shot missing the green and landing in rough is "getting it done", yes, he "got it done", but as bringing back Giles as a 2nd year at Hogwart's was not his actual goal and is actually really inconvenient and frustrating to everyone involve, none more than Giles, it's not exactly the unqualified success you are suggesting.
Oh, I disagree. Any reality in which Giles isn't being endlessly tortured for eternity is a Huge success, even if yours truly is responsible. Is it ideal? Not remotely but it's better than a whole lot of other things that could have happened. Giles is not evil. Giles is not plagued by Angelus. Giles isn't being tortured.

What Is Giles? Back, with all his memories and faculties. I'll take it and give thanks.
I can't help it, but you saying Giles isn't plagued by Angelus made me think "no, it's worse, he's plagued by Angel and his meddling and his necksnapping ability" -- which put me in mind of this epic complaint scene from "The Mummy". Re-Giles as Erick Avari and Angel as Rachel Weisz :)
Well, the re-giling could have gone much, much worse. Assuming we've seen it all, which I don't think we have. But taken at face value, his current situation seems a lot better than what he was going through while dead. Which is why I'm expecting terrible things to happen now ;)

I really want to see the Scoobies' reaction to kid Giles now.
Did Giles say anything about Angelus? I believe his words were: "I was...trapped within *you*, captive audience to a century of atrocities and *your* schizophrenic mix of guilt and delight over them." I'm pretty sure Giles was talking to Angel when he said all that.

Here's the rest of what Giles had to say (paraphrased). He would have been grateful to Angel except (1) Angel killed him; (2) Angel used obscene sorcery to resurrect him; (3) did so while ignoring the apocalyptic crisis that mattered more and (4) screwed him over royally by bringing him back at the age of 12.

Just to make sure we know what that means -- we have the aunts saying that Giles outburst was "adorable". Seriously think for a minute what it would mean to go back to being 12, and inescapably being treated as 12 by everyone around you.

That next page also makes it clear why Angel was doing this "heroic" thing -- he can't wait to tell Buffy. An interesting response when it might have been more appropriate to feel chagrined at the litany of charges Giles just leveled at him -- but Giles is just 12, so who cares what he had to say.

So by all means, let's all give three cheers for Angel and his altruistic concern for Giles. Or not.
King...if the events of Twilight had not happened, Giles might very well still be alive but his soul would still be doomed. Love it or hate it, the Twilight arc set Giles free. I can't find one single solitary reason to bag on Angel for that. In fact, I haven't found one single solitary thing to bag on Angel about since these comics started. *shrugs* Still love him. A lot.
I agree that Angel's motives are less than selfless in this instance - Angel wanted to resurrect Giles to make himself feel better, and to make others around him look upon him more favourably. He has acted incredibly irresponsibly in this season (and the last for that matter), ignored the advice of everyone around him in order to get done something unavoidably dangerous, "obscene" and impossible. A classic Angel move, and something that I find really interesting about him.

Maggie - I took Giles' words to be referring to both Angel and Angelus: wasn't that explicit after the Moloch arc when Angelus was surfacing at various points when Giles' soul (or parts of it) were also in Angel(us)'s body? I may be remembering incorrectly, but that's what I took from that passage at least. I also don't think that Angel experiences delight about Angelus' atrocities (if that's what Giles was referring to). I'm sure he is hugely ambivalent about them (something that he would never admit I'm sure) but delighted is probably not subtle enough to describe the narcissism inherent in viewing his many selves. I may be splitting hairs at this point...

Good stuff this week, thoroughly enjoyed it! I remembering thinking earlier in the season that maybe teenage Giles would be the one to be resurrected, but I actually forgot about that idea until it happened just now. Cool!
"Spike, in fairness, I don't think has caused the world around him any adverse consequences by being brought back."
Except for that whole two-vampires-with-soul-equals-reality-about-to-collapse-thing.
Which was ultimately just a put-on, wasn't it? It was never even mentioned again after that episode, in TV or comic form.
cheryl, KingofCretins: Well Buffy wasn't repsonsible for bringing herself back. That was Willow, Xander, Anya, and Tara, each of whom suffered great things afterwards. Maybe - I don't like to argue in that direction but I know lots of fans do.
The thing I have a hard time with, is the depiction of Angel once again being the hero, all is forgiven/forgotten now that Giles is back. While Buffy is still looked down upon for breaking the seed, the guy who drove her to it is once again awesome. I don't get it.
A bit misogynistic.
Only misogynistic if it's because Buffy is a woman, and there's no evidence for that. They just seem to have two different narrative agendas here; one that focuses on Buffy's loss of focus and such, the other a much more pragmatic "we have to get past the part where Angel did the worst stuff any protagonist character has ever done in these series" as quickly and efficiently as possible.
People looking down on Buffy is really not a new concept in the series, with some of the characters it's a pattern. LOL King, now THAT was funny.
Rebekah Isaacs continues to amaze, and this issue is another strong showcase of her excellent work. I can't imagine anyone improving on her rendering of a 12-year-old Giles/Anthony Stewart Head! Her contribution to the success of A&F should not be underestimated. Fingers crossed that she returns to draw the next season.
I'm not quite getting where we're seeing ambivalence in Angel about what Angelus was up to. If that were true, Angel's entire arc prior to meeting Buffy makes no sense. Why punish yourself by eating rats? Why not kill a baby if you don't care? Why abandon Darla, Dru, and Spike? I think as fans we run into confusion because the original canon really does seem to be about a person who through a choice or circumstance (although I'd argue if he had resisted Darla he'd just be dead) tends to find his agency taken away, has to live through the experience, and then comes out the other side. It makes sense given the extremely heavily implied alcoholism parallels in the original setup.

That said, I'm enjoying the arc but I found Giles words... forced? I have no doubt his better judgement would say some of these things, but he comes out of what would be a traumatic experience for most of us delivering monologues. This may just be me, but I would prefer it if in A&F I didn't feel so often like the characters are serving as mouthpieces to for the fandom's conflicting views. I've felt it at different points with most of these characters and it's something I never really noticed during AtS. Maybe it's the constant exposure by these writers via Q&As?

Something a I loved and something that confused me simultaneously was the 12 year old angle though. I loved it, because my gf loves fanfic (not in this fandom) and I have definitely seen within those communities a draw to making adult male characters children because it's cute just so they can tell adorable stories. It felt like a funny shout out in a way. But I'm confused, because if Sophie and Lavinia were concentrating on itty bitty Giles, why is Angel being held responsible for it? Also, as funny a gag as it is, are we not inadvertently saying something is very wrong with their characters that this serious thing is going on and they want to see a fully grown man as a child again? I can't say it is or is not out of character. But if it IS in character, that would worry me.
This issue was… adorable. I loved it.
@King... The bit about Angel doing the worst thing of all characters.
So you can think of something a protagonist has done that's worse than willfully conspiring in a plot that cost hundreds or thousands of lives and included the personal torment and assault of friends, lovers, and acquaintances for the sole and express purpose of realizing a prophecy that, by its own operation, would cost billions of other lives? Instead of, as for instance, doing the thing that all the characters always do with prophecies that so indicate, which is try to avert them?

Was it Willow erasing Tara's memory? Or maybe Xander recklessly summoning a dancing demon? Somehow these pale.
Or we could go back to talking about the issue in hand.
You are right, I admit that a review and debate of whose bad acts were the baddest is off-topic, and I'm sorry.

The last third of the book, for what its worth, is all the characters planning on how to find Whistler, and that they may all get killed trying to stop him from carrying out out his evil, self-admitted substitute plan. I liked that the aunts are more than happy to get rezzed if anyone is willing. I wish more attention was paid to the fact that they actually mean to join that battle, though. It's like they have had Cordy's and Anya's "Buffy" arcs (sans Xander dating) over the course of 22 issues while nobody was looking.
You know I'm wracking my brain right now and I'm still not sure if I'm angry or amused by the Aunts' shenanigans throughout this comic. That line was certainly funny, and I get that they're trying to add levity with them.

But we have people angsting over Angel even attempting this, whether his priorities are motives are correct, but at least Angel just wanted to bring the man back as he ws. The aunts for their own purposes materially changed Giles. Giles is physically weaker. Giles is hitting puberty again and hormonal. In a fight or researching he will be less useful. I was absolutely heartbroken to hear how redundant he felt to Faith.

I think the Cursed With Awesome is an interesting take, but then I look at Angel and Spike who are that character (eternally in their 20's). The problem is intellectually he is so far beyond everyone that looks like him in terms of knowledge and life experience. If no gizmo fixes Giles, I'm not sure he has the kind of fun we think he would have. It's not like he's Marcus from Carpe Noctem who was perfectly fine with shallow youthful experiences. I'm not being sex negative there, I'm just not sure that's Giles thing.

I think if you keep the narrative organic to who Giles actually was when he died, what has happened (the age change, not the resurrection) is deeply troubling. He may adjust, but the added dangers, complications, and his lack of choice in any of it is troubling.
Personally, I can't tell if the aunts are making a serious admission that they did it on purpose or if they are just taking the proverbial piss/deflecting from their screw-up. Maybe I misunderstood the purpose while reading the preview pages, I thought they were all just focusing on the things about Giles most significant to them, to sort of catch a sketch of the whole.

I stand by "cursed with awesome". There's so much more to it than getting laid, although he'll probably be able to do that exceptionally well (which, by the way, for purposes of "squick" will we consider him the same age as his physiological peer group as he grows up here, or still a middle-aged man?). He has an unmapped, second chance at life that didn't cost him the ordinary price the fantasy of it asks -- trading your actual life experiences. He's gotta wait for it to both literally and figuratively mature, but... cursed with awesome.

It also matters that I don't think of this Giles as being a "child" in any meaningful sense of the world. All that makes him that is... aesthetics, really. Other than Faith's conceptual boundaries, he still is the man she missed having. I put him more as what'sherDunst from "Interview" right now.

Another take on it... and please, please don't misunderstand me... there is a certain way in which Re-Giles is an expy of Tyrion Lannister in the story -- a profoundly cunning and thoughtful, layered persona that has a... physical confinement of sorts that is completely unsuitable to the extremes of his lifestyle (by which I am comparing the supernatural, genre elements of the Buffyverse to Westeros' medieval, martial setting -- not implying that the normal, mundane world is somehow no place for literal dwarfism, or for that matter to equate adult dwarfs to children in any but the most physical way). And, obviously, there is a significant divergence between them in that Giles' body will, at least we presently assume, age normally, so if there is a parallel to be found, it will be temporary. But it just crossed my mind today as I was thumbing back through A Game of Thrones. If we're getting this version of Giles as status quo for a while, and assuming they don't really change his persona much (other than occasional blue humor about his hormones), I will be interesting to see how similarly the two characters fit into their respective story settings.
Hmm, although I continue to like this series and am glad that Giles is back, it doesn't make any sense to me that his body is now that of a twelve year old. It's all been done for humour, it seems - and that bothers me, because the comedy aspects of this story are overtaking the more serious ones. One of the reasons I loved AtS was because of it's darkness and edginess, so that when the humour and dorkiness got thrown in, it all really worked. This issue,a bit like #19 and #20, felt like far too much of a comedy romp, when I was looking forward to something more intense.
King - I think maybe the problem is I've tap danced around the word I really want to use: objectification. It's certainly not sexual, but it is Giles being treated like a live doll by others (both his Aunts and the reader). This isn't like Smile Time where an object made Angel cute against his will and we all laughed because that's a funny thing for a villain's energy source to do. And the reason I don't see cursed with awesome is Giles lives in the world of Slayers. Most things he will come in contact with will continue to be physically stronger and capable of killing him even once he hits 21. At best he's Cursed With Lack of Arthritis.

The Tyrion comparison is a bit apt, but I think the fact remains that despite what prejudice a dwarf may go through in ASoIaF, no one mistakes his age or his status. Giles will be more of a gag than Tyrion is. Giles dignity is removed whereas Tyrion is the result of directly creating his. It's a character with his power removed whereas Tyrion creates his power.

In the end, we can't read too much because just like Mecha Dawn, this may just be machinations of plot. It just may be that after years of Buffyverse critical analysis, this really strikes me as problematic, funny though it may be.
I finally got my copy and I loved it! When Dawn tried to raise Joyce from the dead we had the really scary result, and when Willow raised Buffy from the Dead we had the depressing result, so I was surprised and delighted by the ridiculous result. Frankly I don't think it would be a bad thing to have brilliant and physically immature Giles joining up with the Scoobie gang. In terms of an adult's experience of time the 8 years or so until he is 'grown up' will just fly by, so it isn't like he is permanently mutilated (and besides they'll probably find some good way to age him, if he really wants to be aged). I think this is all good and really fun.
Calling it now; In the next issue we'll find out Giles is actually a robot, making all the emotional material wasted.
...What? Nah. They'd never go with something so absurd as that, surely?
;)
Great issue though.
Unless there's some storyline they would want to do that having a character revealed to be a robot would let them conveniently walk away from, I don't see much reason to be concerned :)

I'm still thinking of Giles as cursed with awesome, although with his awesome held in trust until he's a little older. Assuming he doesn't, as for instance, say "now that we've saved the world from Whistler, I'm going to take advantage of having a new lease on life and growing up to go do... anything else, ever, with my superior intellect and perspective as my absurd competitive advantage" -- by the time Re-Giles is 20 he could be the biggest baddest-assed Badass Normal the Buffyverse has ever seen.

And saying that at the tail end of "Want to be Badass Normal? Ask Me How" Season 9, that's bold commentary indeed.
I'm back from my trip to France.I manage to get some computer access and free time at my hotels for part of the trip so I was able to get spoiled for this issue and also see the preview pages for Buffy # 22.

I should have my copy later this week(the next few days will be hectic) and I'm greatly looking forward to it sicne I did also read the reactions around too.
I thought it was super boring and confusing. That boring old english guy (i haven't even bothered remembering his name) is dull. Nice to have Giles back tho. Can't wait until he and Faith have a heart to heart. I'm really curious as to why he left her everything!
I suppose it's because he's in the mind of a 12 year old again, but I found Giles awfully whiny. I mean, he's ALIVE. And he gets to be a kid again. I'm not really seeing the downside of his situation, unless he is stuck at that age forever.

That's the thing about fictional characters, they can be so melodramatic. I'd switch places with him RIGHT NOW, without even giving it a second thought.

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