Angel’s former assistant and world-famous blonde vampire Harmony Kendall makes a stop in London this week in Angel & Faith #5, written by Christos Gage and with art by Phil Noto. While this is a lighter story for Dark Horse’s brood-happy series, the change in tone and cartoony feel of Noto’s art make this issue a nice, bright spot in the eternal darkness that is Angel & Faith.
Here’s a quick summary of Issue #5:
This issue opens with the blonde and vapid Harmony descending upon Angel and Faith in London. With her best bud and personal assistant Clem in tow, Harmony ignores Angel’s many attempts to explain how he’s no longer a detective and demands that our two heroes help her find out who is attempting to blackmail her with the threatened release of a sex tape!
Apparently, the sex on the sex tape isn’t the big deal; it’s the fact that Harmony sires her bed buddy. Harmony is famous for exposing vampires to the world and has apparently started a non-killing movement in the vampire community called “Reform Vampirism.” The release of her killing in a video would be devastating, even if the guy is technically “undead” now.
Angel and Faith make the rounds, somewhat unsettled by the fact that Harmony seems to be saving so many lives with her celebrity status and seems so guilt free, despite her lack of real, solid morals. Eventually, it is discovered that Clem is the one blackmailing Harmony in a desperate attempt to maneuver himself into being Harmony’s hero and winning her affections. Clem confesses his love for Harmony and is promptly rejected. Still, Harmony and Clem decide to never speak of the incident again and go on pretending it never happened. Cue Angel and Faith shaking their heads and walking away.
One night in… Harmony! The vampire genre has been all about vampires and humans living side-by-side the last few years. While it would make sense for True Blood, with its out-and-proud vamps, to be the series to explore the concept of vampire/human society and the difficulties it would present, those writers decided to focus, instead, on the incredibly original concept of a ditzy blonde who can’t decide whose bed she wants to be in. While Harmony is only a few platinum shades away from Sookie as a character, the concept of vampires being outed to the human race has been handled in a much more interesting, complex, and funny way in the Buffy comic series. One major plus is that Whedon had the sense to link up vampires with one of the few truly evil forces on the planet: reality television. Given that Harmony is the vampiric version of Kim Kardashian or Paris Hilton (or at least she thinks she is), it was only a matter of time before the old sex-tape scandal came to Harmonyville. My prediction is that Playboy will be pushing Lohan out of the way and making an offer to Ms. Kendall at any moment… oh, wait…
Gage gives Faith some choice words! Faith’s dialogue is superb in this issue. Gage seems to have the character’s voice down to the point of perfection, and in this issue she really seems to sing as a character. With her perfect balance of snark and brooding, Faith is a character who is almost always enjoyable to follow in comic book form, especially in the issues with Gage attached! Here’s a perfect example from this issue:
“I love that I’m supposed to be the slutty one when everyone but me has nailed Spike.”
I also give extra geek points to the following Faith line from this issue:
“C’mon, let’s drop in on some hives of scum and villainy.”
And, speaking of geeks…
Guest star David Tennant! He’s really in there! The Whoverse and the Whedonverse collide!
We have to wait a month for the next issue. That sucks.
The Ugly (Fan Buzz, that is…)
Fan reaction has been mixed for this issue. Many fans enjoyed the return of Harmony and the change in tone for this issue, but it also brought up some controversy in the fan community. Still, the issue got good reviews from Fandom Post, BAMFAS, and MTV Geek.
Wait – that was part of the Twilight plan? During this issue, Harmony recommends that Angel use her PR team to spin the whole Twilight situation into a positive for him. When the PR team suggests that Angel say that he was planning to save the “good people” and bring them to the Twilight universe with him, Angel, aghast, states that this was his actual plan… and the message boards let out a roar. As many know, this wasn’t originally explained as part of Angel’s plan back in Season 8, so it came as a shock to the fan base. While I don’t agree with those fans who are stating that this white washes the character, I do hope this is not the only time this idea and the specifics of Angel’s plan are discussed. This is a step in the right direction, answering questions like how Connor or Angel’s other friends and loved ones featured into his new Twilight universe, but it needs a lot more clarification and focus.
All in all, this was a good issue and a nice break, but I’m a sucker for the pain and I’m happy when my slayer and souled vampire are deep into the brooding. Here’ s hoping that there’s some of that around the corner. I can rely on you, can’t I, Mr. Whedon?
‘Till the end of the world,
-Bryant the Comic Book Slayer