From the very beginning, Angel & Faith has been the strongest part of Buffy: Season 9. Christos Gage has proven to have a deft grasp of his characters’ voices, Rebekah Isaacs’ art is consistently fantastic, and – perhaps most importantly – there has been a solid goal from the first issue: bringing Giles back from life. Now, with only a handful of issues left, that goal is within sight. Giles’ body has been recovered and restored, the pieces of his soul reassembled, the spell is in hand, and his loved ones are gathered. All they need now is a magical power source. Luckily, Alasdair is present – though not exactly willing.
Meanwhile, Spike gets the distressing news of Dawn’s current condition, and it is appropriately heart-breaking. Even more distressing – Angel and Faith have already forgotten her. So Spike exits the series, to return to Buffy in the near future. Luckily, the spell only needs one vampire with a soul to function. Of course, this is a Buffyverse book, so nothing is quite that simple. Big Bads Nash, Pearl, and Whistler make their return, grabbing loot and disrupting the spell. The very sensitive spell. Surely nothing can go wrong.
As already mentioned, this book is consistently fantastic. Rebekah Isaacs nails the quiet, contemplative moments just as easily as she does the chaotic, action-packed scenes. Dan Jackson’s colors are excellent as always – vibrant and fun without looking campy or ridiculous. Christos Gage creates an excellent air of tension as Angel shows a more ruthless, Angelus-esqu side than normal and Faith prepares to put Zombie-Giles out of his misery should that become necessary.
It remains to be seen how Angel & Faith will tie into the larger Season 9 story – or whether it will tie more into Season 10. Regardless, it’s been a fun ride so far and looks to be heading toward an even greater finale