Review – Angel & Faith #9 – Daddy Issues Part 4

Script: Christos Gage
Art: Rebekah Isaacs
Colors: Dan Jackson
Cover: Steve Morris
Alternate Cover: Rebekah Isaacs with Dan Jackson
Executive Producer: Joss Whedon
Published By: Dark Horse

This issue begins with Faith meeting with Dru and the Lorophage demon. After a fallout with her dad she no longer wants to feel the pain so she hopes to undergo some serious trauma sucking at the very sharp, pointy hands of the demon. Drusilla is more than happy to oblige. Angel has figured out where Faith has run off to and arrives to stop Dru before Faith makes what Angel sees as a huge mistake. Very soon after his arrival though, all hell breaks loose! Angel and Dru are at odds (surprise, surprise) and come to blows and while all of this is going on, Angel is pleading with Faith to change her mind. Angel quickly finds himself in a tight spot and needs help, but is Faith too far gone to jump into action?

I love this issue, it has a lot of heart and really solidifies the special bond that Angel and Faith share. The dialog is awesome and really shows what a great team they are and just how far they have come. There is one panel in particular that I thought was really great, it does a wonderful job showing how they really have each other’s backs in every situation. The art in general is great, I love Rebekah Isaac’s style and she does an amazing job capturing emotion. These last two issues really have a richness and depth that have me super excited each month and have me anxiously waiting for the next issue. I have no idea where Angel & Faith are going but I do know that I can’t wait to go there with them!

Release Date: April 25th, 2012

Links: Pre-Order | Preview

Story:★★★★½ 
Art:★★★★½ 
Dialog:★★★★½ 
Overall:★★★★½ 

Review – Angel & Faith #8 Daddy Issues Part 3

Script: Christos Gage
Art: Rebekah Isaacs
Colors: Dan Jackson
Cover: Steve Morris
Alternate Cover: Rebekah Isaacs with Dan Jackson
Executive Producer: Joss Whedon
Published By: Dark Horse

We begin this issue with some serious slayer action. Faith is dealing with Nadira, who coincidentally has a lot of characteristics of our Faith of yesteryear. Nadira has a lot of issues from her past and deals with them by lashing out at everyone around her, eventually making everything worse. Even though Faith has grown, she still has a short fuse and a knack for not holding her tongue or sword for that matter! In typical slayer fashion they talk out their problems while nearly killing each other, slayers aren’t generally known for their communication skills. After what appears to be a breakthrough, everything falls apart because of Faith’s surprising suggestion. Wounded, troubled slayers are only a part of the myriad of Faith’s problems, lest we forget that her estranged father is in town and all may not seem to be what it appears to be. He has problems of his own and as it turns out he wants Faith to fix them. We finally get a really good look into what kind of person he really is, and that person is, to put it mildly, not very good and it seems she would be better off without him around. Faith decides to take care of his problem in her own way with some help from Angel and things get ugly!

This is a deep issue, it is very sad and emotional. Even though we have seen Faith grow and mature, this issue really gets to the crux of her issues and shows her pain and suffering in a way we haven’t seen in this series before. Faith’s character is really captured beautifully. This issue is Faith centered so there is very little Angel in it, although his unswerving loyalty and support are felt when he is there. The dialog is excellent as is the story progression. The art is fantastic, Faith’s pain really comes across to the reader. I loved the Harmony issue, but this one is by far the best yet, I really hope that this series continues with the complexity that is featured in this issue.

Release Date: March 28th, 2012

Story:★★★★½ 
Art:★★★★☆ 
Dialog:★★★★☆ 
Overall:★★★★☆ 

Review – Angel & Faith #7 Daddy Issues Part Two

Script: Christos Gage
Art: Rebekah Isaacs
Colors: Dan Jackson
Cover: Steve Morris
Alternate Cover: Rebekah Isaacs with Dan Jackson
Executive Producer: Joss Whedon
Published By: Dark Horse

Rebekah Isaacs Cover

With the nutty and always entertaining Drusilla (Mother Superior) back in London, we begin this issue with a mini flashback showcasing some of the evil Angelus did to Dru which would eventually cause her to become who she is today. Even though we are told nothing new in the flashback, I always love to see them because they do a really good job reminding us of what Angel used to be. This flashback also has another familiar face in it as an added bonus! Back to present day, where Angel and Dru are getting…reacquainted? More to the point, a changed Dru is getting into Angel’s head (which only seems fair considering their past) while Angel tries to figure out how and why this has happened. Dru explains that she has decided to take a page out of Angel’s book and start “helping the helpless”, but of course, she is doing this in only the way Drusilla would.

We also see that Faith has a surprise of her own. Her father has come to town and has hopes of reconnecting with his estranged daughter. However, Faith is none too happy about this and essentially blows him off. Despite the fact that Angel’s hands are full with the wackiness that is Drusilla, he persuades Faith to give her dad a chance (again) but will this be the relationship that she hopes for?

This issue is excellent from start to finish. Anything involving Drusilla is always entertaining. The new Dru is very different from any Dru we have ever seen in the past. Faith’s Dad’s storyline also looks like it’s going to be a very interesting one and it will be great to see where it will go and how Faith will deal with the many potential outcomes. The art is fabulous as always, Rebekah Isaacs captures Dru perfectly. With both Angel and Faith dealing with demons (both figuratively and literally) from their past, this could be a really amazing story arc!

Steve Morris Cover

Release Date: February 29th, 2012

Story:★★★★½ 
Art:★★★★☆ 
Dialog:★★★★☆ 
Overall:★★★★☆ 

Review – Angel & Faith #5 – In Perfect Harmony

Script: Christos Gage
Art: Phil Noto
Colors: Dan Jackson
Cover: Steve Morris
Alternate Cover: Rebekah Isaacs with Dan Jackson
Executive Producer: Joss Whedon
Published By: Dark Horse

Steve Morris Cover

This new issue begins with both a new story and new character perspective as we find ourselves hearing Angel’s inner thoughts instead of Faith’s like we had in previous issues.  This issue focuses on two old friends, international vampire superstar Harmony and her assistant and best friend Clem.  Harmony has gotten herself into some trouble and has asked a reluctant Angel for help.  With a little persuading and a lot of whining she gets Angel and Faith to help her.  Angel Investigations is in full effect!  Angel and Faith begin trying to solve the mystery that Harmony has brought to them and thanks to Clem’s stripperobics and self-defense classes we get to see him unleash some serious ass kicking in the process.  As the story progresses we learn that Harmony has a lot of enemies (shocking?).  They keep coming up with dead ends so Faith offers some sage advice “when all else fails, bust some heads” and bust some heads they do!  However, all was for naught because they were totally off track (c’mon, Angel’s a little rusty).  In the end they do finally figure it out and Harmony actually teaches Angel and Faith something in her own convoluted way.

This issue was amazing, I loved it.  It was the best issue so far in the series.  It really has it all, some awesome pop culture references, sarcasm, and some surprisingly touching parts.  Harmony is captured perfectly as is Clem.  Angel and Faith are in their element with Harmony and Clem providing the comic relief.  The art is good, however sometimes it doesn’t totally capture each character. This was an absolutely phenomenal issue, go pre-order it now!

Release Date:  December 28th, 2011

Story:★★★★☆ 
Art:★★★☆☆ 
Dialog:★★★★½ 
Overall:★★★★☆ 

Review – Angel & Faith #4 Live Through This Part 4

Script:: Christos Gage
Art: Rebekah Isaacs
Colors: Dan Jackson
Letters: Richard Starking & Jimmy Betancourt
Cover: Steve Morris
Alternate Cover: Rebekah Isaacs with Dan Jackson
Executive Produce: Joss Whedon
Published By: Dark Horse

Steve Morris Cover

This issue begins with a big brawl between our heroes and the brother and sister duo from Hell, Pearl and Nash.  The party gets broken up due to these bizzaro world wonder twins and complete chaos has broken out because of the lack of Mohra blood.  Everybody wants it nobody has it, well almost nobody, Pearl and Nash may have a bit which may or may not be beneficial to Angel and Faith’s escape plan.

Faith, trusting Angel, is still conflicted about the path and decisions she wants to make about his future (as well as hers).  As she finally decides what she’s going to do, they make a startling discovery about just what exactly the Mohra blood does.  There are complications and repercussions because (again) the seed is no more.  Angel and Faith must attend to a problem created from the absence of magic in the world (yep you guessed it, that pesky seed again…) and they do so with gory precision.  Since the Mohra blood appears to no longer be an option in bringing Giles back, Angel focuses on finding another way.  After a brief conversation with Alasdair, Faith finally levels with Angel about the concerns she has with his plan.  She tells him that she supports him (and his new idea to bring Giles back) but that she will stop him if necessary.  They have a nice heart to heart and we see why they make such a good team.  All the good feelings are short-lived though because there a change appears in Angel’s demeanor to which he appears to be oblivious to!

Rebekah Issacs Cover

This is the final issue in this story arc and like previous issues, this one has moments where the characters voices ring true.  There is some snarky Faith, some sarcastic Angel but those instances are few and far between.  I love this story and I love these characters, I just wish they could find their groove (consistently).  The art is fabulous, I find Rebekah Isaacs’ version of Faith really embodying the character we know and love.  I do recommend this issue because I do truly believe that this team is going to find their footing soon and when they do, the results will be amazing.

Release Date: November 30th 2011

Story:★★★☆☆ 
Art:★★★½☆ 
Dialog:★★★☆☆ 
Overall:★★★☆☆ 

Review – Angel & Faith #3 Live Through This Part 3

Executive Producer: Joss Whedon
Script: Christos Gage
Art: Rebekah Isaacs
Colors: Dan Jackson
Letters: Richard Starkings & Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt
Cover: Steve Morris
Alternate Cover: Rebekah Isaacs with Dan Jackson
Published By: Dark Horse

Steve Morris Cover

This issue continues the story of Angel and Faith searching for the Mohra blood and its distributor, Fraser.  This issue, despite their conflicting intentions has Angel and Faith really coming together and working as a much more cohesive unit.   They’re finding their groove as a dynamic duo, which is nice, as you really begin to believe that they will be able to take strength from one each other depending on who may need it at any given time.  Early on in the issue I really thought we may see the snarky groove but that part still seems lacking.  The art as always is superb, I really find Isaac’s portrayal of Faith as spot on, she just really manages to capture the essence of the character.

We also see Angel hell-bent on completing his mission, regardless of whether his plan is right, wrong or even possible.  Faith has her own ideas, and like Angel will stop at nothing to carry it out. Who will come out the winner?  I’m guessing neither of them.  As opposed to Angel, who is a very deep character with hundred of years of experiences behind him, Faith is still a young girl whose evolution is still happening.  We are really beginning to see the next phase of Faith, the mature, has it together, in charge woman who is quickly becoming the voice of reason and the proverbial rock.  She’s the nurturer for once, this is a very nice change.  While she is still on the aggressive side, sometimes too much so, she is also aiding all those around her when they need it.  There is a new character who shares some of Faith’s concerns about Angel (their interaction is a perfect example of Faith’s aggressive over the top behavior),  the character may prove very helpful to both Angel and Faith together and I’m guessing separately too.  Angel’s past continues to come back and haunt him but this time Faith has decided to take matters into her own hands, she is on her own mission to solve all Angel’s problems so that he may start over again without the burden of his demons, both the tangible kind and the mental kind.

Rebekah Issacs Alternate Cover

This was a very good read, although I do wish it were moving just a little bit faster.  There are some very riveting aspects to the story and I am really excited to see what is going to happen.  I also really hope Angel and Faith’s characters find their voices, it’s close but something is just slightly off.  I have complete “faith” though that these characters will find themselves sooner rather than later.

Release Date:  October 26th, 2011

Story:★★★★☆ 
Art:★★★★½ 
Dialog:★★★½☆ 
Overall:★★★★☆ 

 

Review – Criminal Macabre: No Peace For Dead Men One-Shot

Criminal Macabre: No Peace For Dead Men One-Shot

Story: Steve Niles
Art: Christopher Mitten
Colors: Michelle Madsen
Letters: Nate Piekos of Blambot
Cover: Fiona Staples
Back Cover: Christopher Mitten
Published By: Dark Horse

I must admit that I had never read any of the Criminal Macabre comics before so I had no idea of what to expect.  I read the description, thought it sounded interesting, so I gave it a go.  I’m glad I did! This issue provides enough back story that even a new reader to the series can jump right in and enjoy it.  I can’t speak on whether it stays true to the past story or characters but I can tell you that even if it doesn’t, it doesn’t matter, Cal McDonald is pretty awesome.

Cal is tortured and cantankerous, like every anti-hero should be.  Hating his life but knowing he has a greater purpose, he has to bite the bullet and do what he has to do.  He’s a loner, he’s tired, his car’s possessed but none of this matters, his destiny is greater than all of this.  The group of bad guys has conspired and come up with a plan that would make the average man fold, not Cal, he’s just going to get angry…and even.  The twist at the end is most definitely going to add some interesting and different kinds of story lines, provided it gets incorporated into the existing series.

The Criminal Macabre is fast-moving, action packed and the dialog is snappy.  The Christopher Mitten’s art is superb, I found myself going back just to look at.  I’m very happy that I came across this comic, I will definitely be adding it to the titles that I regularly read.  I would recommend everyone get this, read it and get ready for a helluva ride!

Release Date: September 14, 2011

Story:★★★★☆ 
Art:★★★★★ 
Dialog:★★★½☆ 
Overall:★★★★☆