Angel & Faith
(Angel S08 [not 10!], Issue 06)
“Lost and Found” part I
Writer: Victor Gischler, Artist: Will Conrad, Colorist: Michelle Madsen, Letterers: Richard Starkings & (Comicraft’s) Jimmy Betancourt
Cover: Scott Fischer
Blurb: Prepared to leave after a short, less-than-successful stint as one of Kennedy’s Slayers for hire at Deepscan, Faith is easily persuaded to stay when she finds out that her next mission concerns the missing Riley Finn - a guy with whom she has a past. Meanwhile, in Magic Town, Angel is doing his best to aid the people transformed by the magical virus he helped cause…
Page 01: We open in Magic Town with Angel. As per Angel’s modus operandi, he’s in the midst of saving somebody. And as is his wont, he’s getting his face pummeled.
Commentary: And once again, we have a muscle-bound behemoth. I’d say that this is becoming a recurring motif among the Magic Town-transformees, except that Faith also ran into a hard-bodied gargantuan… I’m starting to think it’s just a Will Conrad quirk.
Page 02: Angel goes into fang-mode again, clearly readying for some ass-whuppin’ but this time he finds that pissed-vamp strength isn’t much more impressive that non-grill Angel strength.
His fist ‘whups’ into the mid-section of our bruiser and doesn’t do a thing. He gets backhanded across the street into a brick wall, where he’s stunned.
Giant-ized, Savage Mer-Man warns Angel that he’s not been elected the neighborhood protector.
Page 03: The beat down is about to continue, when Giant-ized, Savage Mer-Man is suddenly pelted by debris. Stones fly through the air, ‘krak’-ing him in the face and head.
Page 04: Giant-ized, Savage Mer-Man retreats while complaining about ghost-bricks.
Nearby, we see a little girl telling a young woman that she’s pretty and asking her if she’s the one to make the bad monster go away. The young woman confirms this.
Page 05: Little girl exchanges names with young woman and we discover that young woman is none other than Amy Madison, last scene stepping in to collect the magic bottles that Corky Smallwood thought would make him a major crime lord.
Angel is a bit nonplussed to find Amy hanging around London.
Commentary: Obvs, my first thought was that Amy arranged for Mer-Man to attack Angel just so she could step in and save the day as an olive branch to TwiAngel. And to make Angel feel in her debt, since she’s there to ask for his help with something. It’s never confirmed though… I suppose she could’ve just been playing the good Samaritan… maybe….
Page 06: In Suriname, South America a Deepscan team has arrived at a U.S. base to set up for their mission. The team lead assigned is a very soldier-esque woman by the name of Tonia. Also on this assignment is the unquit Faith and her rock star cohort, Mai. They’re accompanied by another five random Slayers.
Page 07: Tonia calls Faith aside for a walk and talk. Faith presumes it’s about following orders, and pre-empts that she’s there to mind her Ps and Qs but actually Tonia just wants to get to know Faith a bit, since she’s been assigned as her Number One and her reputation isn’t sterling.
She wants to know why Faith quit Deepscan, just to back out of quitting specifically over this assignment.
Page 08: Faith doesn’t want to go into it, but she does offer that in the past she really messed up with Riley and wants a chance to look him in the eye and see if she can make it right [this is about Faith’s sleeping with him while pretending to be Buffy, so you can see why she isn’t keen on rehashing details with somebody who is a total stranger].
Tonia lets her curiosity slide for the moment so they can focus on the mission prep.
Page 09: Tonia introduces herself to Major Billings, representing the United States in Suriname. Also at this briefing is Reese Zane representing Zane Pharmaceuticals.
Reese exclaims that she’s very glad to have Deepscan there, as the military has already screwed up this whole mission.
Commentary: Obvs, I’m immediately suspicious of Zane Pharmaceuticals since corporations are always suspicious and about 70% of them are evil. In fiction, if the corporation has a name it’s probably more like 90% evil.
Reese does nothing to make me feel better by being bluntly rude and insulting right in front of the base commander’s face.
Page 10: Reese briefs Tonia and Faith that Walt Zane, her father, foolishly decided to lead the latest expedition for new plants into this jungle as a publicity stunt. She tells the team that although she loves her father, she also recognizes his camera-hog tendencies.
His disappearance is not only worrying to her personally, but is also bad for the company as it’s about to go public in a matter of weeks. Having the CEO disappear or killed mysteriously is not an option.
The Major relates the chain of events. The army was providing escort duty, probably because Zane had high friends in the State Department. Two days ago, they lost contact with the team. It wasn’t a surprise because even satellite phones are spotty that deep into the Green Hell but when they missed a second check-in, a team was sent after them.
Page 11: Samantha Finn was leading the search team. They also lost contact with her. Before they could arrange a full jungle strike team, Riley took off after his wife. Now they’ve got three different teams out there, none of which have been heard from since they entered the deep jungle.
Billings lays out their route and orders everyone ready for boarding of the river boats in one hour. In the meantime, Reese makes it clear that she’s on this team as well to find her father and that Major Billings has already tried mightily to dissuade her so Deepscan can save their breath.
Commentary: So far, so every 80’s jungle movie in which somebody has to go in and find somebody else. But what bothers me is the thought that Riley… RILEY… would defy orders and take off half-cocked, even after his own wife. I would’ve bought this more if he was there with a paranormal strike team of the post-Initiative mold because he could justify that he’s not under the specific command of Major Billings. But if he and Sam are down there under the oversight of this Major, then I’m having trouble buying that Riley would be the one to ignore his chain of command.
Page 12: Later, but before the exit into the woods, Mai intercepts Faith while she’s target practicing. Turns out, Faith just doesn’t have a gift for guns.
Mai wants to offer pointers since Faith is going to be covering her ass out in the middle of nowhere, but really she just wants to get to know her teammate a bit more. She’s not comfortable with depending on somebody she hasn’t really gotten to know. She wants to start with the big deal between her and Finn.
Commentary: I like that the Slayers would have individual talents and strengths to differentiate them from one another and it is mildly interesting that Faith would be the one who can’t seem to shoot straight with a pistol. I also like Mai’s making a big deal about Faith not being somebody that’s well known and her flat out telling her that she doesn’t want to depend on somebody who is keeping themselves a stranger. Not only is it smart, but I like the idea of Faith being forced to adjust to working with an actual team in which her running off on her own isn’t an option.
I never saw Deepscan as a logical fit for Faith, but I’m actually warming up to it just as a way to expand Faith’s character a bit.
Page 13: Faith opens up to Mai a bit about what she did to Riley, without getting into the nitty-gritty of the details.
Mai helps Faith with holding her gun straight as she squeezes the trigger.
Page 14: Over in London, Angel is at Rory’s bar in a foul mood. Brandt checks in with him there, because he’s already heard about the witch antics on the street and wants to know if they have a new player to worry about. Angel tells him no.
Page 15: Brandt, friendly but firm, suggests that he should be kept in the loop on all business in Magic Town as Her Majesty’s Lawful Representative. Angel offers that the witch in question was just an acquaintance looking for a favor. Since he refused, she’s probably already out of Magic Town.
Which is Rory’s cue to tell Angel that his appointment arrived -- an appointment he didn’t know he had. He glances over at a table to see Amy give him a small wave. This doesn’t do anything to brighten his outlook.
Page 16: Amy is there to make a pitch to Angel in regards to his mostly-success in bringing back Rupert Giles from the dead. She’d kinda like to know how he pulled that off.
She places a jar on the table containing all that remains of Warren Mears… which isn’t very much.
Commentary: UGH. GROSS. And this should put paid to Amy Madison being anything but crazy. She and Warren seemed to barely stand each other, especially when they were trying to be the evil duo; She really needs to mourn and let go already.
Not to mention, why would she think that Angel… or even TwiAngel for that matter… would give a crap about Warren or want him back?
Page 17: In the jungles, our team finds the path of our previous expeditions and starts their move deeper into the green. The Slayer in lead, Nell, stops suddenly.
Page 18: From all around them on all sides, Amazon natives rush out on the attack. Nell goes down with a spear through her middle. The Slayers respond with a hail of bullets.
Page 19: Tonia orders them to tighten the circle to protect each other's backs. One of the natives that she filled full of holes springs up at her, taking her by surprise.
Page 20: She’s grabbed by the head, as Native fangs her! They’re all vampires!
Faith orders her Slayers to decapitate them. One of the Slayers questions the fact that they’re in daylight, but Faith has seen this already in Santa Rosita. Mai doesn’t even question it, she just orders her fellows to start blasting the heads off the shoulders of their foes.
Commentary: This part bugged me a bit. I don’t like it when the Slayers can be so taken by surprise when they’re built exactly for this… you’d think that they would have the reflexes that even if they were taken by shock, they wouldn’t be taken down so easily. Plus, I kind of wanted to have Faith in the second-in-command role for longer.
What I’m not clear on is how the New Vampires are impacted by the Slayer Sense? Did we see yet where the Slayers can’t instinctively detect demons anymore? There was Faith’s not realizing that her rock star client was a demon, but he was clearly using shape shifting shenanigans at the time, so could’ve had a natural cloak when in another form. I don’t know, it’d be nice if somebody asked aloud why they didn’t realize they were facing vampires -- BUT on the other hand, I guess Buffy was taken by surprise several times too, so I should probably just accept that the Slayers have a spotty record with this sort of thing without some honing going on.
Page 21: The Slayers make quick work of their aggressors, what with those powerful rounds impacting the heads. Reese gets up close and personal with a vampire but Faith is there to take care of it before she can get herself fed on.
Page 22: Billings reports that the gang of vamps are retreating. With two Slayers dead and surrounded by hostiles, he orders a withdrawal. Reese won’t hear of it. She snottily yells at him that he’s not in charge and Mai points out that Faith is….
The Good: Okay, I did like the little moment between Amy and the green-skinned transformed girl and her father.
I also like the idea of a Riley-Faith meet and speak, but we'll have to wait to see how it all goes down.
The Bad: Nothing, really.
Other Thoughts: So, while I didn't dislike anything in this one, the tale itself with Faith's foray into the jungles really did feel like the cliches were mounting up. I wish we'd gotten through at least one more issue before she suddenly finds herself reluctantly in command.
I'm also wishy-washy on Amy Madison being back again so soon. It's not bad, but 'meh', & enough of Warren already.
The Score: 3.0 out of 5 stars