In Review: Angel & Faith #12

A good issue, though it would have been more enjoyable with more of one title character.

The covers: Scott Fisher does the Main cover for this comic, which shows Angel and Faith fighting some fish people. Faith is doing a flip over her partner while kicking one of the baddies in the face, and Angel has got a huge sword which he has already used to cut off one combatant’s head, though what he’s currently battling is off the page. Really well done with exceptional poses for both leads and terrific coloring. The Variant cover is by Will Conrad and Justin Couch. This is a first for this series, as this image is taken directly from the comic, Page 4 to be exact. It’s an image of Eldre Koh who appeared last issue, riding a mount to undergo a ritual. The coloring by Couch is entirely different from how Michelle Madsen did it on inside and that’s part of the reason why I bought this cover. His coloring is one like an old comic, where the coloring doesn’t exactly line up with the art and you can see the dots that make up the colors, especially on the mount. I just love the way this looks. Overall grades: Both A

The story: Eldre Koh reveals why he’s come to Magic Town and it’s going to cause some major problems for our heroes. Part Two of “United” by Victor Gischler has him looking to speak with Illyria, whom he fought with in the past, but he’s confused why she’s trying to blend in with humans. He’s told Fred’s backstory and that with his battling alongside Buffy in the Deeper Well magic was reset; so was Fred and Illyria. He has information he has to ask of the god within her, but she doesn’t want to let Illyria out at all, fearing she might completely take her over. Nadira prods Koh to tell his reason for seeking the Old God and he does so. It was good to get some backstory on Koh and Gischler gives him a good one. His five page story gives him another layer, allows reader to sympathize with him, and motivation for this story. His presence makes Fred a risk for releasing Illyria, who naturally makes a brief appearance. What was surprising was how Faith reacts to this news. Having had most of this book’s first year deal with the leads separated, I was stunned at what she does. She must have a better reason than the one she gives. There is a thread of worry on Page 13, so I’m hoping Gischler is sowing the seeds for another story. I liked Koh and Fred in this issue, but am missing Faith terribly! Overall grade: B+

The art: Continuing his winning streak is Will Conrad on art chores. It’s not often that one gets to say, “That demon is beautiful,” but it certainly is true in this book. Koh is an alpha male to the extreme and Conrad makes him big and buff, but he also gives him a visual soul that comes out of his eyes every time he considers his fate. The bottom of Page 1 is a perfect example of this. My heart leapt at this panel, and it was only the first page! His flashback pages are wonderful. They are the perfect mix of dark fantasy and horror, and only tease the complete story that is later revealed. The other characters are sensational with Angel, Faith, and Fred looking exactly like David Boreanaz, Eliza Dushku, and Amy Acker. As I much as I want to say my favorite page is 17 for who appears, it’s impossible not to revel at Page 18. This is a familiar location in this series and I am constantly in wonder at all the details that Conrad puts into it. The angle of the first panel is a difficult one, raised as high as it is, but the work put into the floor, characters, and objects are amazing. The next four pages stay in this location and every panel is stunning. Conrad continues to show he is a major talent. Overall grade: A+

The colors: Michelle Madsen is also going into overdrive with all the fine details of this book colored fantastically. On the first page alone, look at all the amazing work she does on Nadira’s wooden home. The characters’ skin is wonderful. Check out the shading she does on Pages 2 and 3, with Koh being a particular stand out. The mount that Koh rides on the Variant cover is beautiful on Page 5, but I still wouldn’t want to pet such a beast.  That panel is my favorite of the book for its bright colors. Overall grade: A+

The letters: Dialogue, story title, a yell, and some sounds come from the capable hands of Richard Starkings and Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt. All look good, with the sounds being fun in the final setting. Overall grade: A

The final line: A good issue, though it would have been more enjoyable with more of one title character. 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.
    No Comment