"Angel & Faith #19" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Dark Horse Comics
Written by Christos Gage
Illustrated by Rebekah Isaacs
$2.99, 24 Pages
Comic published on February 27th, 2013
There's a lot at stake (no pun intended) in the latest issue of Angel & Faith. The title characters are fighting with Eyghon, a huge, ugly demon who has an army of zombies at his command, including the body of Giles. Angel figures that he can't be possessed by Eyghon as there's already a demon riding shotgun in his body in the form of Angelus, so he calls in someone else in a similar situation. Spike, fresh off his weird journey with the giant bugs and a succubus, has joined the battle. But will the combined forces of two vampires with a soul and a handful of pissed off slayers be enough to stop this monster?
I've been disappointed with how Spike has been handled in Buffy Season 9 so far. Fortunately, author Christos Gage has shown in the past that he gets these characters very well and this time is no different. Previously the bleach blonde vampire has been a lovelorn loser floating around without any real direction. Gage grabs hold of him and brings him back to the wise-cracking badass that he once was. Spike jumps in with condescending remarks about Angel, then picks up a sword and gets right into the action. It's like nothing changed from when the pair was last together.
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On the other end of the spectrum, Angel is shown in a different light here. He's been gathering up pieces of Giles' soul within his body in an effort to bring the Watcher back to life. This issue shows that it's getting rather crowded in there. You have Angel, Angelus, and Giles all fighting for space inside one body and at least one of them doesn't like to share. I knew that this was a sacrifice on Angel's part, but this is clearly taking a major toll on him.
The comic actually opens with a flashback to Giles' past, fighting vampires alongside his grandmother. It's a touching little scene as the future Watcher struggles with his destiny, rebelling against what he is meant to do in life while still fighting evil in his own way. It's a subtle reminder that the world isn't as good without him in it.
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It's no secret that I'm a big fan of Rebekah Isaacs' art. She continues to kick ass with this issue. The characters all look great and are near perfect images of the actors that portrayed them on screen. What's more impressive is the design for Eyghon. Picture a giant Gremlin but way more menacing and you're on the right track. His skin looks like it's melting at all times, giving him a feeling of intense heat and general ickiness. Similarly, when Eyghon grabs hold of Angel and Spike, their skin melts a bit, as if the force of the demon entering their body is tearing through the fabric of their being.
The current arc, Death and Consequences, wraps up this month. Angel's quest to resurrect Giles takes some major leaps forward but they don't come cheap. It's only a matter of time before he runs himself ragged. I don't know where the book will go after Eyghon, but I'm looking forward to finding out. Angel & Faith is easily the stand out Buffy book.