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Angel & Faith Season 9 Re-Read

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  • Angel & Faith Season 9 Re-Read

    All this talk of Angel as Twilight, forgiveness and mercy has made me think I should re-read A&F S9 because I don't remember it very well. I'll be posting my thoughts here, but I'd love it if some of you would join me. Please feel free to post your comments

    Live Through This - Part 1

    I like the opening with Giles doing an exorcism and his comment that 'other people's children are quiet enough, thank you'. Although Giles is often seen as a father to Buffy, I enjoy it when the show/comic make a lie of that because Giles is no father to Buffy, nor does he want to be. He's a Watcher who encourages children to do dangerous and life threatening things, that's not what a real father does.

    Anyway, great opening, with Giles sacrificing the memory of one of the best days of his life to save a child. Then we see A&F trying to fulfil Giles' commitments to the continued care of that child, and when the demon is killed, Giles's lost memory goes into Angel.

    Then we meet Nadira who lost her whole squad to Pearl and Nash who were working for Twilight, and is now declaring that she is going to hunt down Angel and kill him for what he did.

    We see more forces aligned against Angel, as Whistler is recruiting Pearl and Nash, talking about evolution and how the world still needs to evolve and how Angel/Twilight failed in his mission.

    The scene between Angel and Faith, trying to explain what Twilight was and why Angel did it. He explains that he literally saw LA go to hell, but no-one but him remembers it and he was told the only way to stop that happening to the whole world, was to become Twilight.

    Faith 'So it wasn't you'
    Angel 'I wish I could say that. I really do. But here were too many times I was in my right mind. Times I could've turned back . . . asked more questions . . . really thought about about what I was doing. But I didn't. And now I have more death on my conscience that Angelus ever did. More good people taken from the world because I was weak'

    It's a really good opening, probably the best of the comics imo.

  • #2
    Anyway, great opening, with Giles sacrificing the memory of one of the best days of his life to save a child.
    You know my thoughts on A11 (Kathy and Liam and IWRY) - interesting to see if this act by Giles maps onto this in anyway. That aside, I'm actually posting to ask which of the PTB has granted you 48 hours a day (as opposed to the 24 hours mere mortals like me have)? If no such concession has been made, are you available for private tutoring in time management please?
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    • #3
      Originally posted by TriBel View Post
      You know my thoughts on A11 (Kathy and Liam and IWRY) - interesting to see if this act by Giles maps onto this in anyway. That aside, I'm actually posting to ask which of the PTB has granted you 48 hours a day (as opposed to the 24 hours mere mortals like me have)? If no such concession has been made, are you available for private tutoring in time management please?
      I think memory does play a big part in all the comics; see Dawn fading away and people not remembering her. Ghost Anya is built upon the memories of those who knew her. Spike and Angel both share memories with each other and Archaeus about killings they couldn't have done. Memory is a massive overall theme S9 - 11.

      As for my magical time management . . . I'm either a witch and can give myself 48 hours a day . . . or I've just started two weeks leave from work so have plenty of free time right now

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      • #4
        As for my magical time management . . . I'm either a witch and can give myself 48 hours a day . . . or I've just started two weeks leave from work so have plenty of free time right now
        I'm going with the first option.
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        • #5
          Love Through This - Part 2

          Really enjoy Faith trying to dissuade Angel from his plan to resurrect Giles. She thought she'd helped Angle get back on his feet, but she realises it had nothing to do with her, it was this plan. She thought she was more important to him. It's nice that we can see Faith's thought process through this, it gives us a real insight into her, and helps us understand why she thinks she has to stay and help him, because she owes him.

          Angel tells Faith what Mohra blood does, and that it made him human. But I'm not sure if he gives Faith the details of his one day with Buffy? We see an image of Buffy and Angel kissing, but I think that's Angel remembering.

          I really like that we see Faith still feels guilt over killing Prof, Worth. though I don't know why she's so dismissive of the death of the deputy mayor, that seems a bit cold. Then she goes on to think that Angel saved the world so many times, saved so many people, that he made up for killing Giles before he even did it. Not sure how I feel about that sort of thinking.

          Live Through This - Part 3

          Faith is thinking that when they get the Mohra blood, she'll feed it to Angel without his consent. He believes he doesn't deserve to be human.

          Alasdair Coames is interesting, and I like that resurrecting Giles is only part of the story here. We have Faith trying to play Watcher to Nadira and her slayer friends, which is Faith's way of making amends for what she's done. She and Angel's stories work so well together.

          It's so clever how little things are slipped into the text, with Angel commenting on how it's his fault Coames is now a doddering old man, because he helped destroy magic, and Faith comments about how she's getting used to being rich. Gage is such a good writer, and manages to get every bit of story in there without slowing the pace. Now wonder he was bought into the Buffy title, he's so good.

          The search for the Mohra is actually like an episode of AtS, they talk to witnesses, they go undercover. It's very well done, with the nice surprise of Pearl and Nash turning up at the end.

          - - - Updated - - -

          Live Through This - Part 4

          Such a great page, with Faith and the last bottle of Mohra blood, following Angel down the stairs, debating whether to smash the bottle over him and turn him human. Just as she raises the bottle, we turn the page . . . and see that the horrible looking victims, who had been given the Mohra blood after the seed was destroyed. 'The end of magic did something to hte blood . . . changed it. It still regenerates, but it never stops. The body's cells keep growing . . . like cancer.' Just 4 or 5 pages of great storytelling.

          Then we get Angel and Faith killing the regenerated bodies, putting the people out of their misery. They are doing what they've been asked to do, but it doesn't change how gruesome it is.

          Perfect Harmony

          The art by Phil Noto is not good, no-one looks like themselves and he's managed to make Faith look ugly. It's such a shame because some of his Buffy cover art is wonderful and I really like his Spike.

          Angel tells Harmony that he knows the names of every person he killed. I think he's just trying to annoy Harmony because I don't think it's possible for him to know all their names.

          I like that Angel is faced with Harmony, who feels no guilt and has managed to bring vampires out of the dark and is the leader of her people. The end of magic has certainly created a strange new world order.

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          • #6
            Daddy Issues - Part 1

            I really like the fact that Angel has read and likes The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and admires Douglas Adams. That's not something I'd really expect, with him reading Sartre in the French. Is it really Giles' memories seeping through?

            I like the flashbacks to Giles facing a Lorophage Demon and arguing with his father about being 'chosen', but it reminds us how he drugged Buffy during the Cruciamentum. I can't feel too sorry for young Giles, as he goes on to give a similar test to Buffy, when he was Buffy's 'father figure'.

            From the worst moment in Giles's youth, we jump to Faith who stops Nadira staking a man, mistaking him for a vampire, just as she staked the deputy mayor years ago.

            This comis is very visual, as we even get a sepia flashback to Faith's accidental murder and later we get Faith and Angel fight scenes with Angel's thoughts about this past, 'intercut' with Faith's father (we don't know who he is at this point) in the pub, asking if the young slayers know Faith.

            We get Dru calling Angel 'father' and then cut back to man in the pub explaining that he is Faith's father. It all works really well and is such a cohesive story all about children and their fathers, in all their various forms.

            - - - Updated - - -

            Daddy Issues - Part 2

            We see what Angel did to Dru prior to siring her, and the guild he feels. Now she's sane. She's had the Lorophage demon take away people's trauma.

            This is weird because I would expect Faith at least to kill Dru, even if Angel feels he can't do it, but because Dru isn't actually doing anything 'evil' at this moment, they allow her to live.

            I do like the moral dilemma, that Angel thinks taking away negative emotions, you're shutting someone off from what makes them human. Faith thinks that making a choice to let the demon take their emotions, is down to the individual and it works for some. It makes me think of Connor and how Angel wiped his memories 'for his own good' and is now arguing that it's wrong.

            When Faith's dad turns up, Angel even talks about Connor, how he's a man now and is better off without Angel, but then tries to persuade Faith to give her dad a chance. It's quite emotional to see Faith running after her dad after she'd sent him away.

            Dru has the demon attack Angel and Dru discovers Angel's secret. He's sewn a token of the 'devourer of souls' under his skin, which allows pieces of Giles's soul to go into Angel, which is why he's behaving like Giles and seeing his memories.

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            • #7
              Daddy Issues - Part 3

              Faith and Nadira fight, Nadira has ptsd and she's taking her pain out on Faith, who understands how she's feeling. But Nadira thinks Faith is trying to help her, when Faith is really trying to stop her finding Angel/Twilight. Faith tells her about Dru and the trauma sucking demon, thinking that will help her and of course Nadira is furious.

              Not sure if Faith is suggesting taking Nadira's pain away to help Nadira, or to protect Angel? Or a combination. I don't think Faith really knows herself.

              Then life gets worse when she gets home and her dad tells her he's in trouble with the Irish mob, and he wants Faith to kill the boss. She tells him she's not a murderer, but when the guy arrives, Faith attacks him with a sword and chops his hand off.

              Faith is traumatised, punches her dad, blaming him for what she became, she tries to strangle him. She runs away crying, straight to Dru and the issue finishes with the demon sinking its talons into her head.

              Another great issue. I wonder if Faith is thinking of Angel as another type of father to her, because she puts his safely before Nadira's need to find Twilight, who killed her slayer team.

              Daddy Issues - Part 4

              Angel rushes in, but he's too late, Faith is trauma free and feels great. Angel is angry that Faith's had all her guilt removed, because it's the very thing that keeps him going. He persuades Faith she needs her pain, an attacks Dru and the demon, but Dru refuses to be turned back into a broken helpless thing.

              The demon attacks Angel, Dru laughs at him, but Faith comes to her senses and rescues Angel, who kills the demon. Once dead, the trauma within it is released and Dru's madness returns. Angel apologises and Dru begs him not to do this to her again . . . then the real madness takes her over and she thanks him. It's such a powerful scene, so well drawn.

              Then Angel admits he got another part of Giles's soul. Faith is grateful that Angel didn't rescued her and so she finally says she'll help him with the resurrection.

              Is using the Lorophage demon such a terrible thing? I wish there was a way Dru could be helped . . .

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              • #8
                It's so heartbreaking when Faith, after some incentive from Angel, runs to her father's arms. She wants to believe him so hard. I never forgot that panel.
                Last edited by betta; 07-05-18, 11:24 PM.
                My Tumblr: Dog is My Copilot

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                • #9
                  Women Of A Certain Age

                  Lavinia and Sophronia . . . I never really took to them as characters, but I so feel for them as metaphors for how women have to cling to youth and beauty to feel they have any meaning in this world Sophronia says 'Darling, if you're young, beautiful and rich . . . what more power do you need?'

                  i think it's also meaningful to the Twilight killing Giles debate that Giles's own great-aunt has no trouble forgiving Angel Sophronia - 'You killed him. Yes, I'm quite aware of it. I understand magic. You didn't mean it. i won't hold it against you,'

                  Angel - I aprreciate that, but it's not as simple as being possessed, I made choices . . . '

                  Sophronia - ' Dear boy, when yo live by magic, you are likely to die by it. Rupert knew that, and had made peace with it. If you simply must feel guilty about something, there's always your hair,

                  I really dislike Edna calling her sisters 'flighty dilettantes' - they are her sisters after all, and don't have the power she has, bestowed on her by the Watchers Council.

                  The insight into Giles's childhood is interesting, and the fact that the sisters feel guilty about him losing his childhood and want to help him regain it in some way, is a nice touch.

                  - - - Updated - - -

                  Family Reunion - Part 1

                  It's great to have Willow on this side of the verse, and I absolutely love this dialogue, Gage is such a great writer and it really feels like he understands these characters and their motivations so well. No wonder they moved him over to the Buffy title. Angel & Faith S9 is just so good.

                  I love Angel telling Faith that he didn't tell her about Connor because 'it's a family matter' - what a slap in the face that must be for Faith, then Willow literally does slap Angel across the face Willow is so wonderfully angry 'You ruined everything Angel!' I've always found Willow's need for magic to return to be a bit pathological and I think these scenes really show that.

                  It really annoys me that Willow blames Buffy for the end of magic 'Earth's lost something essential because of what Buffy and Angel did. I'm trying to fix it' - Well that's just great Willow, but why didn't you work harder to stop the seed being destroyed in the first place, and stop blaming your supposedly best friend for this, she had no other choice and she suffered for it too.

                  I also don't but 'this is to help the world, not me' line. Of course it's to help you Willow because you don't think you matter without the magics. Just wish you were more honest about it. I also hate Angel and Willow sharing a joke at Buffy's expense!

                  Great to see Gunn again. Wish we had more of him. i like the mention of Kate Lockley heading up the LAPD Supernatural Crimes division - maybe she and Dowling should get together. Connor is doing great too, and it's good to see these characters we haven't heard about in so long.

                  I just don't like that Angel thinks leaving people he loves is always the best idea. Sometimes he should just stick around and see what happens. He's also incredibly cruel, again, to Faith about keeping her parenting advice to herself. I like that he and Connor almost come to blows and Connor exerts his independence.

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                  • #10
                    It was my first time reading the Angel & Faith comics, and overall it was a fun read. I read it along with Buffy s9.

                    I love the art by Rebecca Isaacs, especially Faith's design. The action scenes are drawn so well, and all the covers are also beautiful.

                    I liked that we get to explore Angel's and Faith's relationship where it was left from s8. They make a good team.

                    Lavinia and Sophronia came out of the blue, but they are fun.

                    Daddy Issues is the most interesting arc of the whole s9 of A&F for me. Angel can't kill Drusilla, first because she's not doing anything wrong and later because he can't bring himself to do it. He feels guilty for what he's done to her in the past, and he feels it's his fault that she's crazy now.

                    Connor makes an apperance, and it's good that he and Angel are getting along.

                    Victor Gischler's characterization of Spike in miniseries A Dark Place is so good. The arc is funny, and I always liked the bugs. I also really like Paul Lee's art a lot, and the colors are also great.

                    I was happy to see Spike make an appearance, but I didn't like his characterization in Faith and Spike. It seems like a few steps down from what happened in A Dark Place. He seems too desperate to get over Buffy with whoever comes along. I don't mind him sleeping with other women, since he and Buffy are not in a relationship, but they could pick anyone else but Harmony. It seems like a rehash of what happened in AtS s5. He could just take Morgan's offer, and no one would mind. Would Harmony really be sleeping with Spike, now that she's famous, and as we can see several times before, has enough lovers to choose from. With her status now, she would think he's too low for her. Don't let me get started with Angel acting as a pimp.

                    In What You Want, Not What You Need, no one can remember Dawn, except Spike, and of course, he hurries back to help her. As he says, he can't resist a damsel in distress after all.

                    Throughout the whole season, I was not fond of the idea of bringing Giles back from the dead. If I didn't already know what would happen, I would expect that Angel would fail. That said, I must admit I was happy when he was resurrected. But does that mean they can bring anyone from the dead, and no one would take responsibility for their actions? It cheapens the impact of a character's death when you know that they'll be back sooner or later. What about all the slayers Angel killed during his Twilight phase? Giles didn't know that he would die that day, but he was ready, he accepted it would happen one day. So why did Angel decide to bring back only Giles, who lived his life and not any of the young slayers who had a whole life ahead of them? Did he do it to get good with Buffy, or does Angel feel guilty for Giles' death the most?

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                    • #11
                      I think Buffy was a major factor in his decision and doesn't Giles call him on that, if I remember right?
                      Spoiler:
                      Or he will come to.
                      Generally I think the desperate desire to do something, just fix one aspect even though he can't undo it all is understandable. Plus, as focussed on redemption as he is the blindness of the desire to do that regardless of risks and the tunnel vision to succeed which he shows works quite well perhaps.

                      I really disliked the desperation Spike shows in his behaviour in the crossover because I don't think it works well as a follow on to the mini and the moments of self realisation he had in that. But it wouldn't have worked the other way around for him to hear about Dawn and go off on his mini before returning (I loved the nod of the hat to the whole Ben is Glory aspect in Faith and Angel not remembering Dawn, probably the best part of Spike's crossover). So, just thinking about it now, perhaps seeing his desperate need to feel he's wanted and get his 'mojo' back can be him psyching himself towards returning and it not being about Buffy, that he's trying to feel worth and better about himself before he then returns where he just felt rejected.

                      What I found really difficult about the resolution with Harmony he opted for was that Spike thinks so very little of Harmony that I find it hard to believe it would have helped him to feel better as much as it was presented as working. That after begging anyone/everyone, being able to pull Harmony would succeed in making him feel desirable. But I think it is greatly tied to the adoration he believes she feels for him and feeling that sense of power over someone else, that they want you desperately. Even if you don't particularly care about whether it is them or not. I think this works against the follow up we see from both their points of view in S10. And also answers what you raise about Harmony's perspective on it.

                      Thank you for sharing your thoughts on these seasons, it is making me want to reread them, even the bits I didn't enjoy as much.

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                      • #12
                        I think Harmony would jump at the chance to sleep with Spike. No matter what she says or how famous she gets, Spike will always be her blondie bear

                        On my first read and re-read A&F S9 was my favourite of the Buffy comics. I loved seeing these two paired together and even though I didn't want Giles to be bought back, I thought he story was well written with a coherent through arc from page one till the end. I find most comics meander all over the place, so I liked this for it's start middle and end being one over-arching story.

                        I think Angel feels immense guilt about killing Giles, who is Buffy's father figure, that's why he tries to bring him back.

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