Here’s a quick summary of Issue #19:
This issue opens with another flashback to Giles’ youth. This time, he and his grandmother slay a couple of demons together as the older woman continues to push her grandson towards being a watcher, even suggesting that it may be the only way he can be redeem himself and avoid the eternal damnation that Egyhon’s mark guarantees.
Back in present-day London, William the Bloody has joined Team Angel and, of course, there’s the expected friction. Angel reveals that he called Spike because he’s another fighter that Eyghon won’t be able to possess. After trading the required amount of jabs, Spike, Angel, and the rest of the team are ready to get down to business . . . and the Eyghon bursts through the wall and attacks them!
Eyghon, Ethan Rayne, Giles, and the rest of the possessed horde pile into the building through the hole the demon had punched through. Our heroes leap into action, slaying what they can and restraining those who are still living. Once Faith and the slayers capture Giles, Angel and Spike attack Eyghon. The demon throws a wrench into their plans when he reveals that his true form is strong enough to possess vampires.
A possessed Spike attacks Faith and the slayers, but when Eyghon tries the same trick on Angel, the demon is confronted not only by Angel and Angelus, but the soul of Giles, as well. Speaking through Angel, Giles confronts the demon head on and decapitates Eyghon.
Their master dead, those who possessed are released from his control. Giles falls, now just the empty, dead body of the watcher we once knew. Giles’ final fragment of his soul leaves Eyghon and enters Angel, leaving the vampire in a coma-like state where he is unresponsive, but occasionally becomes somewhat lucid, speaking as Giles, Angel, or even Angelus!
Their mission to get their friend back complete, the slayers leave with many deciding to walk away from the slayer profession. Alistair, Spike, and Faith are left to ponder how to get a soul, especially the right one, into Giles’ vacant body when Angel was the only one among them who knew how to do it.
Hello, Spike! It’s amazing that us fans are even surprised by this anymore, but Spike really does bring the fun with him! Gage, once again, demonstrates his talent for writing Whedon’s characters by not missing a beat with everyone’s favorite blonde, British vampire. I also appreciated that Gage didn’t meander about with with Angel and Spike, immediately putting their cards on the table regarding their mutual feelings for Buffy (and failures to maintain any relationship with her). Also, it might just be me, but there seemed to be some shared heat brewing between Spike and Faith. With Dark Horse Editor Scott Allie mentioning a “hook-up” coming in future issues, I wonder if those two will be sharing a bed in a few months (surely to the vocal dismay of many fans).
I’m not the only one who misses the spaceship! That’s right. Spikes misses it, too. Angel seemed kinda sad. So there . . . frakkin’ spaceship haters . . .
Angel kicks Eyghon’s a-- again! (with a little help from Giles) While I did feel like Eyghon ended up being somewhat easy to defeat in the end, the moment where Giles’ spirit joined Angel and Angelus to battle the demon was an awesome moment that felt like a classic Buffy scene from the peak of the TV series. Witnessing Giles “alive” again, even if only possessing Angel for a few moments, was incredibly touching and gave a vary satisfying ending to a chapter of Giles’ life that had tortured him even beyond his death. It’s moments like this one that cement Gage and Isaacs' Angel & Faith series as the perfect example of the potential a TV property has to live on in comic book form, continuing and enriching the story that came before without having to lose one ounce of the quality and emotional impact present in the source material.
Dan Jackson’s colors. Just take a moment and look at how brilliant and vivid the coloring in this issue is! Nice work, Mr. Jackson!
All that is still to come. Even if Eyghon is slain, we’re certainly in for a doozy with this final, upcoming story arc. With the potential resurrection of Giles, an upcoming confrontation with Whistler, and whatever “consequences” present themselves, it’s time to batten down the hatches on the good ship Angel & Faith! (Oh, and Spike will be there, so that’s awesome.)
Nothing. Christos Gage and Rebekah Isaacs . . . I like how you roll.
The Ugly (Fan Buzz, that is . . . )
So far, fan reaction has, once again, been extremely positive for the new issue of Angel & Faith.
“Yo, Angel & Faith, I'mma let you finish, but Buffy: Season 9 has the suckiest plot of all time!” I love the Whedon fan base most of the time, but let me just say for the record that I’m tired of every comic book sniffer out there using the awesomeness of Angel & Faith to comment on how much they dislike Buffy: Season 9. I agree with you all! Buffy: Season 9 has been weaker than Angel & Faith, but let’s not waste all our time praising Gage and Isaacs' work by ripping on the book’s sister series!
“Yay! Cartoon Angel abs!” Yep. that’s a direct quote from one of the fan forums . . . and I totally concur.
That's all for now, Scoobies. I’ll be back next week with a review of Willow: Wonderland #5. Until then, just stay in a coma and try to sort out the three personalities inside you fighting for control. Shouldn’t be that difficult . . .
’Till the end of the world,
-Bryant the Comic Book Slayer (@ComicBookSlayer)
P.S. If you’re craving more goodies from the Whedon comic-verse to feed you addiction, then don’t miss my “Comic Patrol” posts every Friday at www.whedonopolis.com! “Comic Patrol” is a regular, weekly feature pointing out articles, previews, and tidbits relating to the Whedon comic-verse, and it’s hosted by your friendly, neighborhood Comic Book Slayer! I’ll see you there, comic book sniffers!