Some thoughts about Angel & Faith
#1 (are we going to spoiler tag any of it or not? I suppose not, since this is a discussion thread? Spoiler tags for stuff for preview pages and interviews, but not for actual issues?):
Rebekah Isaacs's art is great. So much better than Jeanty's. She can actually make the characters look like themselves, and they actually look like adults. Jeanty is good at conveying emotions, but his child!woman Buffy really hinders my enjoyment of the comics (except on few occasions when he gets her right, as in #40). I'm still waiting for Jeanty's Buffy to consistently look older than 13, and Jeanty's Spike to look actually attractive. Not to mention that some people like Andrew are even hard to recognize without clues in the dialogue and context. I have no complaints about Isaacs, Faith and Angel are both perfectly drawn.
Everything in the story makes me happy. They followed on season 8 perfectly.
I'm so glad to see it confirmed that the Whistler and, presumably, TPTB were in favor of the Twilight plan and that they aren't the good guys that some people believed without any evidence. Whistler was honest about what he was, he always made it clear he was a balance
demon. Which means, when the evil is too strong, he helps good; but when the good is too strong, he helps evil. TPTB don't mean bad to humanity, but they are just too removed from them; even if they want to keep humanity as a whole (or possibly some new, 'improved' version of it), they don't care about individual people. So if they decide the world needs 'evolution', they don't care how many people die.
This however opens some questions. Does this mean that the Whistler introduced Angel to Buffy in the first place because he had the Twilight prophecy in mind? Of course, that would be a big retcon, but it wouldn't be the first one in the verse. We never learned before why he showed Buffy to Angel in the first place. He said to Buffy in S2 that nobody expected the two of them to fall in love, but that doesn't sound convincing to me. I mean, come on, you've got a guy who's totally lost and has no friends or purpose in life, and you show him a beautiful teenage girl who looks a bit like his ex that he spent 150 years with, and tell him that she's his life purpose from now on, and you never think he just might fall for her? Or that a teenage girl might perhaps fall for a handsome, mysterious, older stranger who's also one of the very few people who can share in her new life as the Slayer? In season 8, Whistler said something quite different to Angel, that Angel and Buffy falling in love was "a long shot that paid off" - which means that it matchmaking was
what he intended.
If that was the case, it's easy to see why Angel was picked, as the only vampire with a soul at the time, but why Buffy? How did TPTB know that she would turn out to be more special than most other Slayers? Was there a prophecy about her?
In any case, Whistler aligning himself with Pearl and Nash should clear that he's far from the good guy some people assumed he was. That panel was really gruesome.
Good to see Angel's crimes from S8 addressed, not just the death of Giles, but the deaths of many Slayers that he allowed to happen. Faith is going to be in tough spot now, how long can she hide Angel and the fact she's helping him, from Nadira and the other Slayers?
Funny that Nadira thinks that going from Slayer general to waitress is punishment enough for Buffy. I think it's rather a blessing for Buffy.
Angel's exposition opens some questions, especially about the extent of Twilight's influence on him before the possession. He says he doesn't remember the incident Nadira describes, how come? But it's good to see that he's taking full responsibility for it all, including the death of Giles, because he knows he could have walked away many times, just like he takes responsibility for the death of Jenny in S2, not hiding behind the 'it was Angelus',' I didn't have a soul' excuses. While Faith is still trying to disassociate him from "Twilight" and "Angelus", much like Buffy used to try to disassociate him from "Angelus" in S3. I was thinking that Faith could be the one that accepts all of Angel, but it seems the things he's responsible for are too much even for her.
Great to see Giles in a very interesting flashback, I hope there will be more of that. He lost one of his best days - a happy day with Jenny, presumably at the beginning of their relationship - and it's an interesting turn of events to give it Angel, connect him stronger to Giles. The loss of memories comes up a few times - nobody remembers what happened in After the Fall, apparently, except Angel; and
In a way, Angel remade Connor into a 'new, improved' Connor, just like TPTB were going to remake the world into a 'new, improved' one.
Angel should learn that you can't just erase your mistakes. But obviously he has a long way to go, since he is making another boneheaded, easy-fix decision - to resurrect Giles. This is not going to end well.