Author: Joss Whedon & Christos Gage
Genre: TV & Film, Vampires, Ass-Kicking
Publication Date: August 2011 (expected)
Synopsis: Left in a near-catatonic state following the events in Buffy Season 8, Angel will need a seriously rude awakening if he’s to make amends for his ill-conceived deeds. Enter rebel Slayer with a cause—Faith Lehane. Together they’ll have full access to the Watcher files and opportunities to make amends for all they’ve done . . . and will do. (via newsarama.com)
☆: 4/5 – a promising beginning to what’s sure to be an awesome spin-off!
Review: Going directly from where we left off at the end of “Buffy: Season 8”, this spin-off with Faith and Angel is just the sort of thing I’ve been craving since their interaction largely ended after season 3 of the TV series. They make a great team, and I’m so glad that Whedon’s going ahead with this spin-off. Through net galley (thanks, guys!) and the publishers, I got a four-page sneak peek into this new issue that’s coming out at the end of August. And let me tell you, I liked what I saw.
This is going to be short since I don’t have a lot of material to go on, but what I did get to see, I thought was great. We’re plunged straight into action right from the first page – Angel and Faith battling a Lovecraftian demon in order to save a little girl. Angel is back to his old self (“even if he’s spent the past month and a half staring at a wall”, as Faith says), trying to save the girl, still giving into his cravings as a vampire. Faith is looking after him, and the change is great. I love the dynamic between them and always have, and I’m sure that’s going to be explored more as the series goes on. I don’t know if this is going to get a “full season” as “Buffy: Season 8” did, but I’m kind of hoping it will. I’m also hoping that we’ll run into some old friends along the way, but for now, according to this four page preview, it looks like Angel and Faith will be on their own, going through the Watcher archives and trying to make up for all of the sins they (might have, in some cases) committed.
Redemption is always a great hook, and Faith and Angel are no different when it comes to this hook. If anything, they make that theme even more appealing than it already is. We already know that Angel’s clearly trying to make up for the shenanigans of his past before “Buffy: Season 8” and during, but with Faith, it’s a little more unclear. It’s only hinted at in the last volume of season 8, so I’m dying to find out if there’s a larger reason behind all of this, and how the Watcher archives play into everything other than just being a guidebook. From the looks of it, Giles is really involved, especially within the preview. It looks like he wasn’t as objective as Watchers should be. Then again, the art looks like him and I may be wrong – it may not be him at all.
So, I have pretty high hopes for this series. Whedon’s never let me down (may have broken my heart repeatedly, but never let me down!) before, so we’ll see. Still, if you’re a Buffy/Angel/Whedon fan, check out “Angel & Faith #1”, out on newsstands August 31st in North America. I know I’ll be going straight to my local comic shop that day, for sure.