Thursday, 15 August 2013

Angel & Faith Volume 3: Family Reunion by Christos Gage

Angel & Faith Volume 3: Family Reunion (2013) (Diamond Book Distributors)
Christos Gage (script), Rebekah Isaacs (art)
Grade: B+
Genre: graphic novel / Angel & Faith / vampire
Source: NetGalley / own
Angel & Faith: (1) Live Through This, (2) Daddy Issues, (3) Family Reunion 

Willow is in town and pledges to help Angel with his mission to bring Giles back to life – if he’ll help her with hers. After Buffy destroyed the Seed, thereby eliminating all magic from the world, Willow has been desolate. Magic was her life and now she’s on a mission to get it back. It’s crazy and dangerous, but Willow has to do it – for the good of the world.

In order to complete her task, she needs to go to Quor’toth – the demon dimension where Connor grew up. Angel and Connor aren’t exactly estranged, but they’re not going to win father-and-son-of-the-year-award either. Connor’s happy to help out and when they get there, they quickly come to realise that he’s their only chance of surviving their trip …

A Hero if His Own Story, Parts One and Two explains the complex relationship between Angel, Whistler and Pearl and Nash – a brother and sister duo who had been Angel’s right-hand-men when he was Twilight, but are now intent on killing him. We start to get a little more of the bigger picture and of the devastation that’s to come …

This was good. It was heavy on the Willow-mission side, with not so much on the Angel-mission side, but I guess that’s alright. I love Willow and while I’m not quite liking her going-behind-Buffy’s-back element, she’s doing what she’s gotta do. She’s got her own arc being published in a week called Willow Wonderland that looks fantastic and I can’t wait to see where that takes her.

I’ve mostly sussed out the Angel-Connor relationship in my head. I’ve never watched all of Angel (currently re-watching Season 1 now, and about half of the episodes in Season 1 is as far as I’ve ever got) but I’ve read a fair few of the books. They’re no substitute for watching the show, as they assume that you know everything, but I’ve found that they are a very effective means of learning quickly. I’m definitely very excited to watch the Angel-Connor dynamic onscreen when I get there. I know it’s going to be some time yet (especially considering how slow I’m getting through the episodes at the moment), but I’m hoping that that will help these comics click. I’m just loving how old-school everything was in 1999.

As always, art and story are fantastic. I’m really coming to love Christos Gage and his script delivers every time. Rebekah Isaacs has done a great job with the art and the covers and the collection of alternate covers at the back of the volume are brilliant and amongst my favourite set of alternates I’ve seen across the Buffy Seasons 8-9 and Angel and Faith series.

At the moment, Angel & Faith is overtaking Buffy Season 9. Not that I don’t love Buffy, but Season 9 just isn’t doing it for me. Angel and Faith, on the other hand, are a fantastic pair and I’m really looking forward to seeing them together in the show. I’m understanding the plot much better than I do Buffy at the moment, and that goes miles towards putting points in its favour. Bring on Volume 4.

Image courtesy of Dark Horse

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