[Editor's note: "Tucker Wells" is a very old friend of mine. He tried to get me into Buffy, I tried to get him into wrestling. One of those things stuck. Here we are years later and Tucker has been nice enough to join the Team and write somewhat frequent reviews of comics. I'll predict now that you will see reviews of Joss Whedon properties, Robert Kirkman books, and so far that's all I'm sure of. I'm thrilled to have Tucker here.]
Also known as Daddy Issues part 1. From Christos Gage, Rebekah Isaacs and Dark Horse comics.
Greetings, Hellions. My name is Tucker Wells, that’s not my real name so don’t Facebook stalk me. I’ll be reviewing the occasional awesome fucking comic or two I read each Wednesday.
We begin our odyssey with the most recent Angel and Faith installment. Why? Because I’m a long time Whedon fan boy and the stuff that Dark Horse is putting out needs to be on your pull list. Someday I’ll elaborate on my reasons for my man crush for ol’ Joss, but let me get a few reviews under my belt first.
To summarize the first story arc, Angel, ostracized from the Scooby gang for murdering Rupert Giles, now finds himself in London under the care of Faith Lehane. In attempt to find a little inner peace and win back the trust of his comrades, Angel has set about to find a way to bring Rupert Giles back from the dead, a mission that may seem rather fucking impossible in a world now void of magic. The first four issues were outstanding; perhaps at some point I’ll go back and recap. Issue five dealt with the blond anomaly known as Harmony. I wasn’t a fan, but I’ve never been a fan of anything she does. Alas, we arrive at issue six.
We open with Angel sniffing out a grisly massacre at an old folks home. Some sick orderly decided to open up the skulls of all the residents just for shits and giggles. Flashback to 1972, the cemetery Angel had been sulking in prior to the bloodbath. Here Rupert Giles and a gaggle of tween Watchers are on their final exam / vampire hunting excursion. Alas, in the Buffyverse, nothing is every as cut and dry as it seems. Instead of a poke-able bloodsucker they encounter a mosquito like demon that runs them through before anyone can form a coherent thought. Just as young Rupert is about to fall victim to a little brain sucking himself, the cavalry arrives (including Rupes dad) to save the day! In our final five panels of the 1970’s we see that Rupert (much like Buffy) is not exactly thrilled with his life’s calling and swears to Papa Giles he’ll have no part of it. Well, we all know that won’t last forever.
Meanwhile, back in the present, Faith and her slayer brigade attempt to sort out a way to deal with Mother Superior, the queen bee vamp in London town. In this new world there is a whole outpouring of public sympathy and affection for vampires, so if they aren’t doing anything wrong, it’s rather hard to kill them and stay in the positive public light. Fuck it, if you don’t understand, pick up Season 8 and start reading. Anyway, there’s some talking between Angel and Faith and some truly great dialogue that makes me feel like it’s 9:00 Wednesday and I’m tuned to the WB, but I’m not going to summarize everything, then you damn kids won’t buy the comics!
The final few pages bounce between the hack and slash bonanza at Mother Superior’s nightclub hangout and the trials of a middle aged man searching the pubs for his young daughter. In true Whedon fashion we get a left-right combo mind fuck: Mother Superior turns out to be a sane Drusilla and the middle aged man with the photo is none other than Faith Lehane’s father! Doh! Looks like between this and the young Giles arc, this could potentially be an explosive set of issues we’ve got in front of us.
I’m interested to see how the Daddy Issues arc pans out. Whedon’s always had a special way of handling the relationship between parents and children. In fact, his idea of family being the people you live your life with has always stuck out in my mind. Before this, our main experience with daddy issues in the Slayerverse came in the form of the Buffy-Giles relationship, the sire-siree nature of vampirism, and Angel and Connor’s… whatever that was. We could be touching on new ground here; steps towards understanding what makes these characters tick that haven’t been explored this far.
So far I’m a hundred times more impressed with Buffy Season 9 than I am with Buffy Season 8. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed Season 8 a lot, I just feel as though Season 8 arrived with this Phantom Menace type hype that it could never in a million years live up to. Season 9 is more grounded, more dangerous, more real; it’s back to basics for the Buffy lot. The absence of magic has me completely bewildered; for the first time ever I find myself worried that if something happens to these characters it’s not going to be fixed with a magical Band-Aid. That I like.
Before I wrap this the fuck up, be sure to check out Buffy #5 that was released two weeks ago. Trust me when I say it is an issue you don’t want to miss.