Written by Christos Gage
Art by Rebekah Isaacs
Published by Dark Horse Comics
The latest instalment of Christos Gage’s Angel & Faith will be a long-awaited treat for fans of the Angel TV show. A visit from the depowered Willow on her quest to return magic to the world is the catalyst for a trip to LA and a welcome return for some familiar faces. Gage’s ability to find the “voice” of each character continues to impress. Everything about this world feels like a true continuation of the TV shows in the sense that people learn and grow from experience while remaining true to the core of who they are. Too often in this type of continuation/adaptation characters become a shorthand version of whatever they were in the source story (in fact some of the early Dark Horse Buffy comics are prime examples of this) but not here. Gage’s Willow is portrayed as a woman who has made horrible mistakes in her past but hasn’t let that experience keep her from taking risks, nor does it mean she’ll let her friends off easy for doing the same thing. She’s a complicated, noble mess. Not exactly the character she was on TV but absolutely the woman she would be afterwards. Hopefully she’ll stick around for more than this one story arc, I really would like to see much more of Gage’s take on her.
As to the art, I’d previously criticised Rebekah Isaacs for not quite nailing the likenesses of some characters. In would like here to categorically withdraw that criticism .What I had failed to notice was that while the faces may not be 100% the actors that played the characters, she has managed to portray the physicality and personality of the characters themselves 101%. All without resorting to that inorganic, posed and traced look that many artists bring to adapted works. Sacrificing fan service for the sake of excellent storytelling is to be applauded and admired
If you’ve been reading Buffy but not Angel & Faith, or even if you’re an Angel fan who hasn’t sampled the comics yet, this is as good a jumping-on point as you’ll get.
Get stuck in.