Here’s a quick summary of Issue #4:
This issue opens with Faith and Angel throwing down with Pearl and Nash. Blows are traded back and forth until Faith manages to slip a vial of Mohra blood into Nash’s coat pocket, causing the desperate demon crowd around them to mob the baddies for the vial.
Angel and Faith manage to slip away, when Angel insists on exploring the basement due to a unique scent. Walking behind him and believing it to be for the best, Faith is just about to dose Angel with Mohra blood and turn him human when they discover the victims of the Mohra blood scheme. Those who’ve been “cured” with the Mohra blood since the Seed was broken have developed a regenerating and disfiguring cancer-like condition. Unable to die, they’ve been locked there while a cure was searched for. All they wish for now is death. Angel agrees to put them out of their misery, if they’ll help with one last thing: exposing the Mohra demon scheme for what it is.
Leading the deformed Mohra blood victims upstairs, Angel and Faith watch as the mob of buyers flee when the see the Mohra blood’s true effect. Having fulfilled their part of the deal, the victims come to Angel and Faith for their part. Soon, the vampire and slayer are alone in a room filled with blood and the decapitated, and truly dead, victims.
Things wrap up. Pearl and Nash take the last vial of Mohra Blood to Whistler as part of a bigger, mysterious plan. Faith meets up with Nadira, her slayer friend, and mentions she’s found Pearl and Nash. Nadira is overjoyed, stating that she only needs to kill them, and then Angel, to have true peace.
The issue ends with Angel, who’s looking and acting very much like Giles, and Faith coming to an understanding about each other. Angel vows to continue his quest to bring Giles back, but mentions that Faith is there to make sure he doesn’t cross the line.
Angel puts an end to the Mohra demon racket. While I’ve been overjoyed to see the reappearance of Angel staples like the Mohra demon in Gage’s tale, I could never have predicted how well it would wrap up. The deformed Mohra demon blood victims are suitably disturbing and do a great job of connecting with the current Buffy storyline that sees the lack of the Seed affecting the siring of vampires, as well. Gage and Isaacs also achieve a remarkably solemn moment when Angel and Faith are asked to end the victims’ suffering. And, while Mohra demon blood may be a rare commodity these days, the fact that Nash and Pearl deliver their vial to Whistler just begs to wonder what evil these three are cooking up!
Gage and his little threads. Along with the plan that Whistler and his baddies are planning with the Mohra blood, Gage sets up a number of other story threads that readers will eagerly await conclusions to, including Faith’s slayer buddy with a revenge quest against Angel, Angel’s continuing quest to resurrect Giles, and the reappearance of the mysterious Alasdair.
Giles returns... as Angel? I actually like the idea of Angel accepting Giles’ role in the world and essentially taking on the mantle of “Watcher.” I think Gage has done a fine job of setting this up, and I’m sure it will be a theme that’s featured again in the series. And, I don’t mind that Angel is dressing “Giles-ish” at the end of the issue, either. Where Gage loses me is when he gives Angel glasses and a taste for tea. What’s going on here? I mean, I know he’s supposed to become Giles, but is he ACTUALLY becoming Giles? ‘Cause that would be really weird...
The Ugly (Fan Buzz, that is...)
Fan reaction has been fairly positive for this issue, with good reviews coming from Fandom Post, AdamReisinger.com, and BAMFAS, as well as other sites. Still, some fans felt the ending of the arc was slightly anti-climatic.
Gingel! AnGile! RupAng! The last scene in this issue is leading a lot of fans to speculate that Angel is becoming Giles in some fashion. Some say it has to do with Angel biting Pearl. Some say it has to do with the Seed and where Giles’ soul ended up when he died. Some just make up the hilarious names above for the Giles-channeling Angel.
Drusilla has the answers! From the Twitter of Christos Gage comes this little tidbit: @Christosgage BTW questions raised by the last couple pages of ANGEL & FAITH #4 will be answered in #7. By Drusilla, of all people.
Woo hoo for the crazy!
The true sign of demonic intent! I just had to point out this comment left on Whedonesque:
“I knew that Pearl and Nash were evil, but watching Britain's Got Talent is above and beyond.”
So very true.
All in all, Angel & Faith #4 delivers and brings promise for the future as an early X-mas gift! Come back next month when the rumor is that something big will be shaking up Buffy: Season 9!
’Till the end of the world,
-Bryant the Comic Book Slayer