By Victor Gischler, Will Conrad and Michelle Madson
With the recent launch of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10, it’s good to see another series for Angel and Faith, the two characters who have been fan favourites from the original series. Christos Gage is now doing writing duties for Buffy the Vampire Slayer however – so it’s up to Victor Gischler to stir the duo into a whole new adventure. Having written titles like the Spike five issue limited series with Paul Lee and the #7-11 of The Shadow with Aaron Campbell over at Dynamite, Gischler isn’t exactly a big star, but he handled Angel and Faith’s opening issue of the tenth season very well indeed. Whilst there hasn’t of course been ten seasons of Angel and Faith in the comics, this has adopted the Season strategy of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and can be read in cohesion with that title, or from what we’ve seen so far, separate.
Will Conrad is on artistic duties and he brings an interesting touch to Angel and Faith. His artistic style will be familiar to readers of Nightwing and he doesn’t disappoint bringing the characters to life. His characters stand out from Rebekah Isaacs’s portrayal yet at the same time are clearly recognisable to who they are in the TV series, especially when they’re enhanced by the awesome Michelle Madson, who along with Conrad helps create the dark atmosphere of this title yet still keeps it a comic that could be distinctively set in the Buffyverse.
Angel and Faith have brought back Watcher Giles from the dead, as well as saved the world from a magical virus. However, it took a small section of London, now called “Magic Town” to do it – a place that is now filled with people transforming into magical creatures. Angel finds himself in the situation once again where he has to deal with the fallout of what has happened, whilst Faith is dealing with other options – having brought Giles back to America.
The issue is a very strong number one and certainly is on the same level of quality that was in the first issue of the tenth season of Buffy. It’s certainly hard to pick a favourite but it will no doubt be interesting to watch this title unfold, and especially as it has to deal with a smaller cast of characters this could become better than the main series, much like Angel and Faith was with Buffy’s ninth season.
The issue itself has an interesting plotline and is new relatively reader friendly – although it helps to have a basic understanding of the Buffyverse, starting with Angel rescuing a man running down an alleyway, perused by Pixies. Right from the start Gischler gets the awesome balance of humour – the Pixies assume that Angel is American when he’s actually Irish – for example, and there’s a wisecrack about the size of the pixies. So right from the start you know this is going to be an enjoyable series, and it balanced the mix of fun and serious well indeed.
Angel and Faith Season 10 #1 therefore comes recommended. It might not be to everybody’s liking but fans of the characters should definitely enjoy it, and it’ll be interesting to see how this series evolves in the next few months.