Review, Angel & Faith #22 (What you want, not what you need)

29 05 2013

CREATORS

Writer: Christos Gage
Artist: Rebekah Isaacs
Colorist: Dan Jackson

Angel’s plan to resurrect Rupert Giles has come to fruition -just not exactly as everyone had expected. But they’ll have to deal with the fallout from that later. Right now, Angel and Faith need all the help they can get to defeat Whistler, Pearl, Nash, and their plan to overhaul life on Earth with a magical virus!

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Before starting with this issue’s review, a few words on the previous issue, since that phrase describing Spike as “the other vampire with a soul” instead of his name got me too mad to spend any of my time reviewing that issue. So Spike is out of the picture and out of this title, thank God, left to go back to San Francisco to help Dawn once he heard the bad news. Meanwhile, Faith and Angel with the help of Alasdair, the help of the aunts and the help of another “Deux ex Machina” magical artifact try to bring back Giles to life. They have his body, they have his soul, they have the spell and the magic needed, but Whistler and Pearl and Nash drop by and spoil their plans.

So this issue continues on the cliffhanger that the last one left us, wondering what they did and what have they done to Giles after the end of their spell. Good news is that Giles is back. Or should I say good news for some, since I’ve hated the idea of bringing back Giles ever since I realized that this title would deal with trying to bring him back to life. The bad news though is that is not the Giles they expected. Sure in character he is the same, he has all the memories and all the knowledge and his experiences, the problem is the body.

What do I mean by that? Giles is back inside his 12 years old body. Which I don’t know how it happened, the spell was supposed to put the soul back to his 50 years old body and bring life into it, but somehow the spell also transformed his body into a boy’s. They give an explanation for it, but sorry it just doesn’t work for me. When everybody was thinking about Giles in order to bring him back, what you see in the preview pages if you want to refresh your memories, the aunts were thinking of the 10 years old Giles and how they changed his future, interfered with his life. And when Giles was coming back to life he could feel that, but he didn’t want to come back at that age so he fought it and the result is that he came back as a 12 year old one, or around that age. Sorry, but, huh?

I might be a little harsh here, but not only that doesn’t make any sense, but it’s obvious what they are trying to do here. What you want, you want Giles, not what you need, you need him back the way he was right before he died. And not only that, also the jokes about the horny pre-teenager just don’t work for me and I didn’t find those funny. Another thing that just doesn’t work for me and doesn’t make any sense is what Giles say at some moment. That when people wish they could be young again, they mean go back to their previous selves with the future knowledge and change things, make other choices, etc. I don’t know about you, but if that was possible, that’s not what I would want. I don’t want to change my past. If something that impossible happened to me, I would want to relive again my youth with every knowledge and experience and memory that I would have gained while growing up.

Anyway, so what Giles feels about it? He is not happy at all. Not happy that while there is a possible apocalypse coming, the characters were dealing with trying to resurrect him. Not happy that he had to live inside a schizophreniac Angel who was feeling happy and guilty at the same time for all the killings he has caused over the years. Not happy that he’s back in a boy’s body. But don’t worry, I’ve guessed it, probably you will also, at the end he feels grateful and appreciates it. I knew that was coming the minute I saw the panels with Giles yelling at Angel, I was just expecting it to happen in the next or the one after issue, just like with Willow. This time it happened sooner.

There are also a few more moments in the issue, but I’ll talk about those in the comments when the issue is out. Like Faith’s private talk with Giles, Angel wanting to notify Buffy about Giles, their plan, the jokes, the messages they left, their final instructions….And we finish with the characters heading over to face Whistler, Pearl and Nash, because they have already started their plan to release hell on Earth. But they’re not alone, somebody is following them. Can you guess who? Probably the one that will die at the end of the book, or one of the two that will die, as we’ve been told already.

The thing I loved in this comic are the aunts actually. The only problem is that they are so alike that after so many issues I still don’t know who is who. Actually, I don’t even remember their names. They need to be separated a little bit from each other, what one says could actually be the words of the other as well. Also the art, Rebekah is back at her best in this issue. Even young Giles looks like Giles. Glad to see Rebekah nailing it again.

So, in general, was it a good issue? If I forget the stupid, in my opinion, jokes with horny Giles and sexy Faith, and if I also forget the stupid explanation of why Giles is brought back not as a child but as a pre-teenaged, it was a good. Could have been much better though, had the story followed a different road.

Some interesting comments follow, don’t forget to read those as well.
Oh, and feel free to comment and to discuss with us, we don’t bite 🙂
Georgia

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21 responses

29 05 2013
Veiriti

Gigi, thanks for the review! I haven’t read the comics yet, but LOOOL Giles is back in his 12 years old body!? My first thought when I’ve read that was – why Jeanty doesn’t draw it? He would make a perfect Giles age 12! LOL Actually all his characters look like between age 10-13 🙂
Well, anyway this plot is so predictable – I had a feeling that Giles will return in his young age and he won’t remember how he was brutally killed by Angel. How convenient for our “hero” Angel, isn’t it?! And yeah for Gage Angel is the hero, the greatest champion and Spike is only “the other vampire with a soul”! 😦 God I do hate that comics even more! I’m happy that Spike left it and Gage wouldn’t continue to trash him and I hope Gage will never write Spike again!

29 05 2013
Stoney

I was left feeling pretty dissatisfied because adult mind/young body Giles is pretty boring and safe as an option really. I agree that there wasn’t justification for why the physical transformation was possible and the teen hormones bits were meh too. Angel wanting to rush to Buffy to tell her he has fixed what he did was actually surprising in how blunt it was. I don’t want to second guess if we are going to be shown that this is reasonable or not of him (it isn’t btw :)) but I can’t see anyone still claiming she wasn’t a major factor in why he was trying to bring Giles back now surely. The fact that Gage writes people taking Angel to task for his actions and then moving on entirely to the point of it not affecting their interactions hence forth with him is frustrating but it is what we have seen all season.

29 05 2013
MikeB

Well, it was always obvious that a major — and probably the main — reason Angel was trying to bring Giles back was to ‘score points’ with Buffy. I’ve said that since A&F 9.01 (at latest).

A&F 9.21 was already having Angel acting as if Buffy would be perfectly okay with him.

What A&F has mostly done for me is wonder why they had to kill someone like Glorificus. Illyria was ‘rehabilitated’. Angel in BtVS S8 is arguably — or simply clearly — more evil than Glory was in BtVS S5.

So, Glory was killed. Angel had (spoiler for Stoney) kill someone who was a ‘grey’ character (not naming since Stoney may not have seen it).

Yet after what happened in BtVS S2 and BtVS S8, Angel still gets to be undusted, about all are okay with him or better, and the door seems to perhaps not be closed on Buffy/Angel, and Angel is still largely regarded as a hero (at least in his own series).

Buffy was going to kill Anya because Anya killed 13 frat guys and was capable of killing more people. Angel is responsible for 100s of Slayer deaths and possibly 100s of millions of people dying and Buffy simply doesn’t talk to him or be around him for a long time. Essentially, his relationship with her is about how it was in AtS s5.

29 05 2013
leykimayri

I edited a little bit more your comment, you covered only half of the spoiler for Stoney 🙂 Although I believe she’s already watched AtS S5.

29 05 2013
Stoney

Thanks for spoilers guys, I have watched AtS 5.

Glory was going to release hell on earth to get herself home and she would have continued to try to do this even after being stopped once, that is why she/Ben was killed. But it isn’t all going to be comparative as they do what they choose with each individual character at the end of the day.

29 05 2013
orchardist

@MikeB … if the only thing you that will make you happy is for Angel to be humiliated and then dusted…I think you shouldn’t hold your breath.

Angel may very well die but the writers like the character and are not likely to satisfy perceived past injustices.

29 05 2013
orchardist

@leykimayri, I can understand the initial preference for not resurrecting Giles, especially given Buffy’s S6 experience. But I don’t understand why you still object given:
– Giles pretty much spelled out the differences and why resurrecting him was a better choice
– All the characters re-affirming that they don’t want resurrection if they die in this fight (except the flighty aunts who had the perfect shallow response)
-Giles berating Angel for being distracted during an evolutionary apocalypse and access to the magical objects possibly making things MUCH worse.

Is it just that you don’t want Giles back? Which okay, it’s a preference I guess. But it seems like they did a credible job of addressing all the moral issues and why it’s still a good outcome from that perspective.

29 05 2013
leykimayri

Death in the Buffyverse has resulted to a joke. And the comics did a pretty good job in absolutely joking on death even more. They brought back Warren and Rack, completely retconing Willow’s arc in S6, and they finished S8’s story with Giles death. Only to bring him back in S9, well as a teenage boy, just for the laugh.

As for every character saying they don’t want resurrection, isn’t that what Giles had asked from Faith? We expect 2 characters to die at the end of this book, don’t worry, if it’s Angel or Faith they’ll bring them back in S10. Unless it’s Nadira, that they won’t even bother, or the 106 dead slayers, or every person that died in S9. Well, that’s every anonymous person that DH just doesn’t care to ever mention again.

Giles, yes, he yelled at Angel, letting us think that he was angry at him, only to have him be grateful at the end of the issue. It’s becoming a pattern, people getting angry at Angel for his actions, only to forgive him at the end of the arc. This time they didn’t even wait for the end, they had Giles yelling and thanking in the same issue. I will keep some doubts on it, waiting for the next issues that “maybe” they will address it better, maybe Giles was speaking to all of them there but Angel, but I really doubt. Like I said, it has already become a pattern. If you think they did a good job on it, your opinion, mine is that it’s becoming ridiculous.

And now something last, which absolutely bothers me. Yes, considering how the story has unfolded, it was a good thing what Angel did with Giles. Meaning releasing his soul from Eyghon’s captivity. Two objections though here.
1st, why the heck hadn’t he said a word to anyone about it? That Giles’s soul was trapped and tortured? He should have informed Faith about it the minute he found out about it.
2nd, Giles never said that resurrecting him was a better choice. According to the issue, Angel knew about Buffy in heaven and getting torn out of it, and he thought that resurrection would also be hard on Giles. Then why the heck did he resurrect him? Why didn’t he just free his soul from Eyghon and let him rest in peace? What Angel did was a very cruel thing, again thinking of himself more than the others, in this case Giles.

No, this issue just doesn’t work for me.

29 05 2013
Veiriti

Gigi, I agree with you and I want to add something about Giles easily forgiving Angel – in the tv show Giles hated Spike and wanted (and tried) to kill him in S7 even when Spike had a soul. Spike soulless or not never did something really bad to Giles… unlike Angel who killed him and who killed Jenny before. So Giles not only forgave him, but he is thankful to him for his resurrection and even he is accepting to be under Angel’s command. I don’t get why Gage is making Angel so easily forgiven after everything that he has done – Faith forgave him, Willow forgave him, Spike forgave him… now is Buffy’s turn, isn’t it?! And isn’t that a complete whitewash of the character?!?!
Yeah, not only this issue – the whole A&F comics doesn’t work for me! 😦

31 05 2013
Logan

I disagree. The only deaths that are fixable or reversible are the ones that possessed some kind of magical cause/loophole (Giles, Buffy, Warren).

Willow still killed Warren and made her fearful of her power; his death still served a purpose, even if it wasn’t permanent. Her S6 arc wasn’t retconned or lessened at all; kinda like Buffy’s resurrection didn’t lessen her sacrifice in “The Gift.”

I’ve always suspected Angel was only resurrecting Giles to get Buffy or to still have a chance with her. I agree with you on his not telling Faith or anyone else about Giles’ soul being with Eyghon.

I don’t think S10 will revolve around another attempt at resurrecting another character; it’d be too repetitive.

29 05 2013
cil_domney

Excellent review and great comments about Angel and his choices. Bravo on your “death in the Buffyverse has resulted to a joke. And the comics did a pretty good job in absolutely joking on death even more.”

With Angel is has, for me become a complete failure of the moral and ethics – there is nothing good or heroic about Angel since he first appears in BS8 as Twilight. Angel made that free will choice to join Whistler and wage war on Buffy and to break her down and to accept all destruction and killing of innocent victims. Now, I take it that the fans are simply expected to be fine with Angel-Twilight Time killer and puppet and move on.

I wonder if this “fee good” issue is intended as a contrast to what is coming with Buffy and The Deeper Well issue.

29 05 2013
Stoney

About being a teen Alasdair asks Giles if it was better than being dead and he said it was preferable to being slave to a demon for all eternity, marginally. The Eyghon issue was totally used I felt to put a greater good to what Angel was wanting to do but then, might have been last issue or the one before, they acknowledged that actually resurrecting him was selfish, all had their own reasons. Angel knows it was but he was presenting it as something that he could put right, just one thing. Spike accused him of doing it because of Buffy and in the letters column it seems that they are distancing themselves from that statement as it being a character’s perception. But, for me, Angel feeling he should call Buffy considering they are not in touch at all that we know just because he now has undone some of what he feels will be her issue shows that this just simply is part of his motivation. There is a chance Giles/Angel will be revisited, they did break away from it as Alasdair pointed out they needed to address the Whistler threat. When Giles was being ‘appreciative’ later on he was talking to the whole group so he could still be holding resentment to Angel. He did tell him he would have been grateful for releasing him from Eyghon if it hadn’t been for all the other factors, who knows. It does just seem to fit in with the way that A&F has been written for him to rant then let it go.

29 05 2013
leykimayri

Maybe they will, but thinking of past arcs in this book, I really doubt.
But the more I think about it, the more it annoys me that Angel actually knew the truth about Giles and didn’t bother to talk to a single soul about it. So, if Angel had been dusted by Drusilla for example, Giles was doomed to eternity, only because Angel didn’t bother to inform anyone.

Yes I understand in a way why the writer chose this path, for the element of surprise once the Eyghon arc arrived, but for sure it does make Angel look even more of a moron who only thinks of himself. And the problem is that probably they haven’t realized that. And when I see people who claim to be huge Angel’s fans not commenting on it and not feeling bothered about it, it just amazes me, really.

And yes, you’re right, Angel didn’t have the nerve to contact Buffy for such a long time, but the minute that Giles is back, he thinks he should be the one telling her. Huh again? Seriously dude? Or should I say, seriously DH? Is that the problem that keeps Buffy from contacting Angel? Is that the only reason why she can’t even look at him? Because he killed Giles while possessed? Really? She blames him and wants nothing to do with him for actually something that he wasn’t responsible? Shouldn’t she be mad at him for manipulating her? For torturing her for more than a year? For killing her fellow slayers? For joining forces with the evil, in order to drive her to her lowest point? For not trusting her? Or maybe she is mad at him for all those things, but Angel is again portrayed as a total idiot and moron not realizing that, and the minute he brings back Giles to life, he wants to run and talk/phone to Buffy, when he didn’t even bother to ask how she’s doing and how she’s handling things for more than a year. While he’s enjoying the luxuries and the house and the money of the man he killed, while Buffy is broke…

So many problems with this story, really.

29 05 2013
whale

You’d think she would be pissed at him for all he did to her, but he won’t. She’ll be angry he didn’t tell her, but make no mistake, she’ll forgive him at the end, just as she did with Andrew.

Whole thing is a joke. This issue was just so incredibly lame. Having GIles come back as 12 was just an extremely tenuous device to tell bad jokes. At least the next two issues will probably be nothing but fight sequences so they can take a break from insulting the intelligence of the readers.

29 05 2013
Stoney

There was a response in the letters that Spike saying Angel was resurrecting Giles just to get back in Buffy’s good graces was his character opinion. Surely it is just plain realistic it was at least part of why he was doing it and Angel’s response here in looking eager to call her suddenly shows that I think. I just never thought for one moment it wasn’t a huge contributory factor for him and can’t see why the writing team just suddenly actively avoided saying it was playing a part. :s

29 05 2013
Elena

Thank you for the review, Gigi!

I enjoyed some elements of the issue, but there are some things I disliked. Giles’ horny reaction to Faith’s hug was pretty vulgar, for example.

OTOH, I enjoyed the mention that Giles reads in Russian; it’s a great continuity to season 8 where we saw him training slayers in St. Petersburg.

29 05 2013
Kiki May

Personally I’m confused. I think that young!Giles is something with great potential but I absolutely loathe how the comics are handling death. It seems something so fixable. Well, if you want to fix things later, please don’t use the death card! It makes everything really lame.
Rebekah created an absolutely adorable young!Giles. He’s just so cute!

30 05 2013
ubi4softgaia4now

Thanks for the review

I tried really hard to come up with something relevant about the comic but my best is just a plain “meh”. Although I wonder what dear Cordelia would say about resurrecting Giles and not her for example?

6 06 2013
Dianthus

I’m not really happy about Giles’s resurrection either, mostly for the same reasons. They have completely cheapened death. Angel wanting to run off and tell Buffy disgusts me. He’s so vain he thinks that’s all he’s gotta do to get back in her good graces. It sickens me to think he may be right. If she’s willing to take him back after this, just like in s3 of the series, it would completely negate whatever character growth she might have achieved (IMO). Also, she would then deserve every misery he’s ever visited on her, or might visit on her in the future.

6 06 2013
Dianthus

Oops, forgot to say…I think the reason Giles had to die was so they could bring up the Ripper stuff, like the aunts. It’s nothing to do any character growth and seems to serve no other purpose.

22 04 2015
ASHBakche

Well, in the Buffyverse death was a joke before the comics…as much I love Spike (and I do, very much) it was ridiculous the way they made him come back in Angel season 5 (ghost vampire? seriously?), but, after the facepalm phase, I am happy they did (and Buffy “season” 10 is precisely why). How is that different from Giles’ resurrection?

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