Here’s a quick summary of Issue #8:
This issue opens with a slayer vs. slayer throwdown as Faith takes on Nadira. Apparently, the young slayer is still feeling the pain of survivor’s guilt and is taking it out on those around her in a physical sense. After a brief sword fight, Faith manages to calm Nadira down and suggests that there might be a way to get rid of her pain for good. Nadira soundly rejects that idea and storms off, determined to have the vengeance her guilt requires.
Faith catches up with Angel, as they both return home to find Faith’s father Pat struggling to keep from opening a bottle of alcohol. Distraught, Pat confesses that he’s in trouble with the Irish mob, and that he came to Faith in the hopes that she’d kill those who are after him. He knows she’s murdered before and doesn’t seem to think she’ll have a problem doing it again. Faith flips, demanding that her father get out, when the Irish mob shows up.
Angel and Faith step outside to confront the mobsters. Angel ends up getting shot in the chest and Faith reacts, slicing the gunman’s arm clean off with her sword. Angel stops the bleeding with his belt and convinces the mobsters to cut their losses.
Back inside, Faith is in shock due to her violent reaction, and Pat is pushing just the right buttons. Faith loses it on her father and nearly chokes him to death until Angel separates them and tells Pat to leave and never contact Faith again.
Unable to deal with her pain, Faith bails, leaving Angel to search the city for her. Eventually, he locates her at Drusilla’s new pad, just as the demon sinks its claws into her, getting ready to remove her trauma.
Nothing like a little parental pressure. While it may have seemed last issue like Faith’s father was up to the typical “dead-beat dad” no good, his actions take a darker tone than just stealing in this issue. It turns out Faith’s daddy is in trouble with some real rough folks in ol’ London town, and given the revelation that his rough-and-tumble daughter is a slayer, he’s hoping to employ some of her more violent, life-ending habits. Can you think of a worse thing to ask our dark slayer? The scenes between Faith and her father are Whedonverse perfection and kudos goes to Gage for adding another layer to Faith and her relationships with father figures.
Double the arms! Double the fun! If the last issue of Buffy: Season 9 didn’t satisfy your desire for severed limbs, then you’re in luck! I don’t know if the writers planned this synchronicity, but I approve in full!
Rebekah Isaacs... big time! Gage’s script is awesome (as usual), but this issue really lets Isaacs shine. This is an issue full of pathos, and Gage’s script is elevated by the amazing emotions that Isaacs brings to Angel, Faith, and her father. Emotional beats are hard enough to craft, but Issacs soars in the pages of Angel & Faith #8, allowing the reader to actually see the inner feelings of the characters play out across their faces from panel to panel.
The big finish. WTF??? Will Faith really lose her pain and regret? Will it be permanent? Will there be a horrible, horrible side effect? Only time will tell...
It ended. And now, I have to wait another month before I get my fix. Grrr. (Argh.)
The Ugly (Fan Buzz, that is...)
Fan reaction has been mixed for this issue, but there were still a number of positive reviews including those from Comics Grinder, Fandomania, and BAMFAS.
Fan love for Gage and Isaacs. There was a lot of praise for the creative team for this issue, especially over at Whedonesque.com. Readers seemed to be amazed by the consistent quality of Gage’s scripts and Isaacs’ uncanny ability to depict the perfect emotions on the faces of her characters, allowing us to go through the emotional journey with the characters.
Don’t miss this issue, Scoobies! It’s worth an arm (and maybe a leg)!
’Till the end of the world,
-Bryant the Comic Book Slayer