Review: Angel & Faith #2

Live Through This #2

Writer: Christos Gage

Pencils: Rebekah Isaacs

Covers: Steve Morris/Rebekah Isaacs with Dan Jackson

The second issue of Angel & Faith picks up with our new evil-thwarting duo hitting the streets of London to keep the demon menace in check. After busting a shady backstreet deal between demons, Faith and the London slayers get their hands on a mysterious bottle of unknown (and stinky) liquid. Later, Faith and Angel head out on patrol to find out more about what the demons are dealing in and why.

I was expecting issue two to pick up the pace a little – after all, first issues are often about laying down the groundwork and establishing the setting – but the second issue feels much the same. Nevertheless it is still a good read and it certainly reinforces what we can expect as the major plot movers in the ongoing series to come.

Gage hammers home the fact that most of the action is going to revolve around Angel’s obsession with bringing back Giles. The intermittent voiceover from Faith is a nice touch and allows the reader some insight into why she’s tagging along on what seems to be a pointless and potentially dangerous endeavour. Faith and Angel are, in their own ways, both broken individuals with some demons (in the literal and metaphorical sense) in their pasts and this series is shaping up to be a story of personal atonement as much as anything else.

Gage’s work on the dialogue is particularly sharp and I had to respect the way that he captures the spirit of Whedon-esque dialogue without slavishly imitating it, a task that very few writers can pull off well. There were also a couple of sly pop culture references that I found particularly pleasing: a reference to the Twilight novels and Faith wearing a Batman T-shirt in one scene: a reference to the recent DC re-launch perhaps? Or maybe Isaacs is just a fan of the caped crusader…

Isaacs’ pencils continue to impress; she seems to have an equal talent for the big, showy splash pages and action scenes as she does for the smaller, more subtle panels. Dan Jackson’s colours are beautiful throughout also and go a long way towards creating the feel of this issue. His use of muted browns and greys is just so appropriate to London and it really makes a difference to the art.

Verdict: A good issue but I hope that Angel & Faith starts getting into some meatier storylines soon. At the moment it’s starting to feel a little like a repeat of Angel  the TV series and it needs to be careful to set its own tone in the issues to come. 7/10

Bernice Watson

Check out our reviews of Angel & Faith 1, and Buffy Season 9 issue 1

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