In Review: Angel & Faith: Season 10 #8

One of the best books on the market, time and time again. Always recommended.

The covers: A pair of covers for you to sink your teeth into. The Main cover is by Scott Fischer. This is a mondo bizarro image of Faith wrapping a bandage around her arm, with an eerie green monkey on her back. The red eyed creature has its hands wrapped in her hair and its long curly tail holds three shrunken heads. I can’t think of anything more disturbingly strange to show her exploits in South America are not going as normal. The Variant cover, the one I had to pick up, is by Will Conrad and Michelle Madsen. This cover focuses on Angel’s past, with a gigantic profile of Angelus leading into a smaller version of himself covered in blood. Before him are several of his victims. The floor is coated with these victims’ blood. Nice, ghastly image with the coloring being very dark to highlight his evil and spotlight the ruby life fluids. Excellent cover! Overall grades: Both A

The story: The third chapter of “Lost and Found” by Victor Gischler begins in the French Revolution as Angelus walks with the mob, taking his prey from some blue blood. He’s stopped by a officer that quickly transforms into a modern policeman, whom Angel lifts from the floor before killing. The ground is strewn with several people the vampire has slain. This image causes Angel to wake up from his nightmare. Rubbing his head in disbelief, he makes his way to a bottle of whiskey (with a terrific label), and then the action moves to South America, just after the vampires there were driven back by Faith and her friends. This continues to be a two-pronged story with neither of the leads meeting. Instead, they continue to face their own demons. Angel’s problems are currently focused on Amy Madison, a witch who wants him to help her with a resurrection spell. He doesn’t know if he can trust her. Meanwhile, Faith is trying to find Riley, and she’s joined by the man’s wife, which puts a capital A in the word awkward. This continues to be a terrific series. The dialogue spoken by both the leads, as well as the familiar supporting characters, rings true in every panel on every page. I would love to see the leads reunited, but with each of them being so well written, Gischler could go the whole season with them apart and I’d be a happy reader. There’s a new character introduced in this issue who’s doing a little bit of illegal business and I hope to see him reappear down the road. The issue ends on a major cliffhanger for Angel and Faith has got a countdown clock that’s speeding up due to the disappearance of some individuals. An enjoyable read. Overall grade: A

The art: Terrific work on this book from Will Conrad. I’m so pleased that he can capture the likenesses of the characters from the series and have them easily blend in with characters created for the comic. One of these characters, that’s appeared in another series, is contacted on Page 7 and he looks great. The new character appears on 11 and he’s instantly a suspect of something. What, I can’t say, but he’s just got that look of guilt on him. The settings in this book must be a source of joy for Conrad: the streets and interiors of London’s Magic Town and the jungles of South America. There couldn’t be two more opposite locations to draw, and he creates both well. I like that Conrad puts a lot of detail into his work. Did he have to do the tile work on Page 10? Not at all, but in doing so it makes the fantasy seem more real. My favorite pages were 18 and 19. I love seeing magic in comics and Conrad put a strong spin on one character’s conjuring abilities. Overall grade: A+

The colors: Also enjoying the nice change of settings is colorist Michelle Madsen. She gets to make the dark streets of the Revolution, the white interiors of the French elite, the cheap interiors of Angel’s home, the night and day of the jungle, and the warm quarters of Amy. Madsen really knocks it out of the park with the final five pages. She has a bright interior go dark with violent magic, and then does a graphic jungle sequence set in the daylight. I’ve never seen Madsen do a lackluster job on any book, and she continues her winning streak. Overall grade: A+

The letters: Yells, sounds, dialogue, and the story’s title are done by Richard Starkings and Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt. They’ve been doing the Whedonverse books forever and when the quality is this good there’s no reason to look for replacements. The best dialogue comes at the top of Page 18. I can “hear” Amy say that very clearly. Overall grade: A

The final line: One of the best books on the market, time and time again. Always recommended. Overall grade: A

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for several years with “It’s Bound to Happen!” and he’s reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He’s taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.

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