• Columns 

    Buffyversity: Angel & Faith #8

    By | March 28th, 2012
    Posted in Columns | % Comments

    Written by Christos Gage
    Illustrated by Rebekah Isaacs

    Faith faces off against a troubled Slayer and the Irish mob, which is no easy task with a visitor from her past clouding her thoughts! Even with support from Angel, will Faith be able to maintain her sanity and follow her new righteous path or will she take the easy route and fall back on her old, murderous tendencies?
    Angel & Faith series writer Christos Gage (Avengers Academy) and series artist Rebekah Isaacs (DV8) are bringing the blood and the pain!

    • Two Slayers go head to head!
    • Executive produced by Joss Whedon!

    Your favorite Buffy-Centric series is back for another go at the book that traveled to the wild gray yonder! How will our heroes respond to their DADDY ISSUES?! 

    You’re just going to have to click beyond the jump for commentary on the series and its direction. As an ongoing note, there are spoilers.

    Daddy Issues: the Buffy franchise is full of it. From the movie all the way to the present, nearly every character has had some form of them, and this issue is no different. Angel had them when he was human, Drusilla has them, and now we know Faith has them. In terms of content, the title of this arc is a bit obvious, but it the book doesn’t suffer because of it, it merely works as advertised.

    This issue focused more on Faith and her issues with her proud papa, your average Joe Six Pack from the wrong side of the tracks in Boston (you’ll have to ask Matt or Josh if they’re at all accurate) who happens to not be so average. This is what makes Faith the way she is today, despite the fact she’s trying to make herself out to be more like the “other” slayer, in her speeches and actions. Faith clearly looks up to Buffy for guidance on how to be The Slayer. Her mentorship of the Slayer Gang in London is further indication of this, as well as her “tough love” (so to speak); getting into a swordfight with a slayer who is grieving over the loss of her squad of vampire hunters. The way she acts like a parent to these women, Nadira especially, aches of her longing for a real parental figure. She never had it as a kid, and her last parental figure, The Mayor, turned out to be a snake (literally!). If you want something done right, do it yourself, right?

    This is where it starts to tie into Drusilla’s storyline, as she attempts to help her cohort by suggesting they go see the clairvoyant vampire and her mosquito looking friend, with an ability to remove the suffering from people. Nadira declines–violently–and storms off.

    This is where Faith’s personal demons with regards to her parent come to light. Papa Lehane, an alcoholic, is sitting at a shattered liquor cabinet with bottles thrown everywhere. This is a bit of a trigger for Faith, who jumps in and scolds her father, but it’s merely the lead for the real problem, and here it is:

    He’s in trouble with the mob.

    Admittedly, this is not what I was expecting from the series, as I expected Angel, or perhaps an unseen antagonist who would run throughout the series to be pulling the strings, manipulating our heroes into a collision in the near future. Perhaps by the middle of the series before what I’m guessing will end up being a crossover season-ender.

    Instead, the Irish Mob located in Boston has a real problem with Papa Lehane, and he’s come to his daughter for help. Not before asking his daughter to help relieve his current issue, however. What’s the best way to resolve the issue? By killing them of course, AND throwing your daughters biggest mistake in her face! What’ a great dad; can someone give him a Father of the Year Award?

    The confrontation goes just about as you expect, with blood and violence everywhere. It exposes the open wound that is Faith’s psyche, and sets up the following scene where Faith says exactly what we already know and I’ve said (along with everyone else, mind you) countless times in the past years: Faith has issues. Ta da!

    Continued below

    These issues lead her to Drusilla and her new friend who can suck the suffering out of someone’s head like a tasty snack. Faith, despite her rough and tumblr exterior, is the person who makes the most sense seeking this out, on either side of the Buffyverse books with the possible exception of Buffy herself. It all ends with a seemingly iconic scene while Angel looks on in horror.

    This arc about daddy issues doesn’t seem to fit with the previous arc so much, and I’m not sure if it truly helps the narrative they’re trying to tell. I nearly forgot about Angel in the issue, let alone his quest to resurrect Giles and the possibility that a Giles-like personality is subverting his own. How does this fit? There hasn’t been much of anything that would indicate it’s important at all, and seems mostly like fan service, including Drusilla as a supporting player.

    But let’s discuss those earlier scenes regarding the possible changes in Angel’s personality for a moment. After some consideration: it seems possible that due to the shock of murdering Giles, he might manifest a third personality much like Harvey Dent did in Batman: The Animated Series. Much like how Dent developed a “Judge” personality to counter-act the “Big Bad Harv” persona, it seems logical that Angel would do the same. Giles makes perfect sense as the super-ego to Angelus’ id, with Angel stuck in the middle, balancing them out, and mostly failing. But we’ll see in future issues. Let’s just hope this book goes somewhere soon, because it doesn’t seem to add much at all other than angst. There’s already enough of that.

    //TAGS | Whedonversity

    Gilbert Short

    Gilbert Short. The Man. The Myth. The Legend. When he's not reading comic books so you don't have to, he's likely listening to mediocre music or watching excellent television. Passionate about Giants baseball and 49ers football. When he was a kid he wanted to be The Ultimate Warrior. He still kind of does. His favorite character is Superman and he will argue with you about it if you try to convince him otherwise. He also happens to be the head of Social Media Relations, which means you should totally give him a follow onTwitter.


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