Monday, March 5, 2012

What's Your Issue? Spotlight on Angel & Faith #7

Sorry for the delay in getting this blog out, kiddies. Things have been much busy in the Life of Ryan. But I did buy a new comic last week, and it turned out to be Angel & Faith #7. So let's talk about it.

Yes, I'll admit it. I've been buying Angel & Faith... but I haven't exactly been reading it every week. I got the first issue signed by Christos Gage and Rebekah Isaacs at the New York Comic Con, so I read that. I liked it, but didn't exactly love it. People raved about it, so I guess I let expectations get the better of me. I was also largely disappointed by some of the quality of the IDW Angel stuff, especially when it wasn't being written by John Byrne or Peter David. Some of that got real bad real fast, and DO NOT argue with me. Because I am clearly right and you are clearly wrong.

So I didn't even realize when I started reading Angel & Faith #7 that this was the second part of the "Daddy Issues" arc. Because I read the solicitations and because I'm actually buying the damn things I realized that Harmony had showed up recently, and that Drusilla was set to. These are two of my favorite characters from the Buffy universe ever so I was kind of ridiculously excited for a competent writer to tackle both of them. I thought I might get to the Harmony issue last month, but let's start here with Drusilla's.

Thanks to something called a "Larophage Demon" which is, I'll admit, pretty damn cool looking, Drusilla has been rendered sane. Which also gives her awesome Victorian-styled dress sense. She looks fantastic with long gloves and a dress with a train so long she needs underlings to hold it up. The issue beings with a recount and panels of Angel actually killing her family, something that was supposed to be so brutal and horrific they could never actually portray it on television. Lots of Angel ripping hearts out, if you're curious. The demon managed to take away Drusilla's guilt and horrible feelings because it literally feeds off negative emotions to survive. She's lured Angel to her so that her new pet can do the same for him. The fact that taking away or suppressing Angel's "negative" feelings might negate his soul is never actually brought up. I will say that Drusilla seems like a much nicer lady. Probably good Gage opted to make her sane. Most writers can's capture Drusilla's odd way of speaking and physical mannerisms that really only work when she's on screen.

As a coherent character with an agenda, she reads nicer than I would have expected when you explain why she's like this now and how she got there. Her logic behind feeding her demon with willing humans who want to take their pain away, then using these also willing humans to feed herself off their blood, is a good one. Angel finds fault that some people are going crazy as a result; Faith says, if they're willing, they really don't need the two "heroes" to step in and save them. After all, Drusilla and the Larophage are the saviors to them.

What works for me: Drusilla's odd effect on Angel is felt here. I don't really think you could ever have Angel ultimately kill Dru because he feels so guilty about creating her in the first place. There's also that evil part of him that's just so damn proud of how conniving and sadistic she can be. There's the issue in this issue that she hasn't really done anything wrong. What doesn't work for me: Drusilla's "sight" seems a little forced. It's brought up twice, and the second time doesn't really make a lot of sense. If a sane Drusilla knew Angel would reject her "cure" for his guilt, why does she keep showing up and pressing the issue? I guess this point is moot, but it stands to reason she'd quit while she was ahead.

A tad unnecessary to bring Faith's dad back, but looks like it will play into the arc nicely. I'm sorry I wasn't more excited about this. It's a GREAT read, so super recommended!

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