Angel & Faith
Season (8), Issue 07
“Lost and Found” part II
Writer: Victor Gischler, Artwork: Will Conrad, Coloring: Michelle Madsen, Lettering: Richard Starkings & [Comicraft’s] Jimmy Betancourt
Cover: Scott Fischer
Blurb: Faith decided to stay in the employ of Deepscan when she found out that her next mission concerned the missing Riley Finn - a guy with whom she has a past. Now, Faith and a team of Slayers search the South American jungle for Riley, his wife, and a missing tycoon, Walt Zane. In London’s Magic Town, Angel does his best to aid the people transformed by the magical virus he helped cause - currently he’s occupied with a request from an old Wiccan friend, Amy Madison.
My Blurb: I’ve got to take an exception to this blurb on two fronts: One, I don’t know why we keep saying that Angel helped create the mystic virus since this was Whistler’s doing. The only thing Angel is guilty of is possibly being to preoccupied with Giles’ resurrection to devote the time needed to stop Whistler’s plan… but even that is debatable. Second, I would be fine with calling Amy a witch or a sorceress… I would not call her a Wiccan, though. The terms are not interchangeable, if I understand it correctly.
Page 01: We start on the moonlit street of Magic Town. Two thieves are prowling for an easy mark for a mugging. They run into Koh, over from BTVS, instead. Rather than go through with their plans, they take a pass.
Page 02: Koh ends up in Rory’s Bar, where there is already a brawl brewing. Rory warns the potential combatants to take it outside or be barred. This almost settles things down, until the more belligerent of the pair bumps into Koh walking by and causing a spill of beer.
Koh tries to placate Bruticus, but he’s spoiling for a fight.
Page 03: Koh punches out Bruticus with one blow. He leaves a few of his drinking pals to haul him off for the night.
Koh then gets a drink at the bar from Rory, sharing only that he’s seeking someone.
Meanwhile, across the bar, Angel is sitting in his meeting with Amy.
Commentary: I’m wondering about the crossover with Koh. I can’t decide if his inclusion over in Angel’s title is a bit too much characters-crossing-titles-ish, or if I like it. I’m withholding judgment until we learn more about why Koh would be there and whether his “seeking” will be adequately tied to his search for who set up his imprisonment.
I do think we need to watch out for making the borders between Buffy characters and Angel characters a little too fluid at this point, though. Cross-title guest starring is cool and all, but let’s not have every single BTVS character end up in London and vice versa is all I’m saying.
Page 04: Amy gets Angel back to their discussion, since the situation over at the bar counter seems to have resolved itself. Amy, as we learned last issue, wants Angel’s help in resurrecting Warren.
Angel points out two obvious thoughts in regards to this request. One, he’s not of the mind to help Amy and Two - he never liked Warren. Of course, there is also the fact that such a spell is so very dangerous, which she should already know.
Amy counters that the danger is less than when Angel performed his miracle himself, because she’s a full witch. Also, Angel kind of owes her since Warren was solid and they were making it work until he went and got The Seed shattered… an event that led directly to her boyfriend falling apart into goo.
Commentary: I liked Amy’s dialog here. Especially the way after Angel basically insults Warren and she just says, “Okay. Rebuttal.”
Obvs, she’s not going to let this go even if he says no and she’s still a villain at heart but I liked her interactions with Angel in this meeting.
Page 05: She goes on to remind Angel that as a witch, she’s going to be bumbling around trying to make this work anyway, so wouldn’t he rather be there to help instead of waiting to see what happens with her half-ignorant attempts?
Angel concedes that she has some slight points. He offers to consider it more carefully, but wants her to not proceed until he has his decision made up. She smiles beamingly and agrees.
Page 06: With Faith in the jungle, the major wants to withdraw Deepscan because no one expected to be up against daywalking vampires with heavy cover. Zane refuses and reminds him snottily that the military isn’t running the operation.
Faith gets between the two of them and orders the team to continue to move out. Two of the junior Slayers share glances at one another over whether they’re really going to follow the “loose cannon” Slayer in the wake of their squad leader’s death.
Page 07: Mai steps in as Faith’s second, organizing the rest of the Slayers into their assignments to continue. Faith whispers a thank you to Mai for the support, but she just tells her that Faith has got this.
Page 08: Faith’s team finds Reese Zane’s previous team’s camp site. They find at least one body, but otherwise the camp is eerily silent as they begin to split up to search. Reese at first offers how this disaster is going to affect their stockholders, but she catches herself. She has a few tears as she tells Faith that she does really care about the people they’ve now lost.
Commentary: I appreciate that they’re trying to make Reese more human than a cardboard, villainous corporate type. But it annoys me when the contractors are giving orders to the actual military guys, rather than relying on their specific expertise. I wish they’d given Faith a scene before this where she was shown actually consulting with the major on their best way forward since Deepscan’s not about to pull back. It would’ve at least ameliorated Zane’s obnoxiousness.
Page 09: They find only a few bodies and a number of missing. Faith asks for the Major’s opinion of Riley’s likely actions after finding the camp in this state. He offers that Finn would’ve tried to pick up the trail. Faith figures this sounds like a plan, but not for night where the vampires have all of the advantages.
She orders perimeter security for a dig-in until daybreak. The Major is still for withdrawing, but Faith feels that none of their options are good, but sitting still in a defensive posture is the best thing going right now.
Page 10: Back in Magic Town, Angel returns to his apartment with a lot of thinking to do in regards to the Amy situation. He finds a visitor already waiting for his arrival. It’s Nadira, who through her wacky new powers knows that he needs to talk.
Page 11: Angel accepts that he’s not going to get explanations about how Nadira knows he’s troubled and just goes with her knowing. But while he wants to talk about Amy and how he’s going to stop her from trying what she’s contemplating, Nadira is actually instructed by her mysterious wacky powers to ask him about the artwork she found.
He’s been sketching the convent from his dream… the one that we saw being attacked for real only a few nights previously.
Page 12: Back in Suriname, Faith and the Major patrol their defensive perimeter, while Mai jury rigs a flame thrower using the camp’s cookstove hardware.
The Major brings up the large gap that Deepscan has in their defensive line, but Faith offers it’s a lure to get their possible attackers to concentrate their forces in one spot. It’ll be easier for the Slayers to fight back if they’re not being attacked from all directions.
Commentary: Again, this scene bugs me a little bit. It’s trying to set up Faith as being a natural leader with her experiences, even if she doesn’t realize it. But as so often happens, it’s being relayed to us by making somebody else who should know better look incompetent. The Major speaks like he’s never had a day of tactical training in his life, which just isn’t credible for his assignment.
We still could’ve gotten the information we needed about Faith’s knowledge of tactics by having the Major simply compliment her on what she’s setting up the enemy to do, rather than acting clueless by accusing her of leaving herself a huge vulnerability in the line.
Page 13: As the Major continues reviewing the Slayers’ various efforts to ready for an assault on their temporary base, he has to admit to Faith that she’s got things under control. Faith asks if he’s surprised by that, but his concern is whether it will be enough.
He tells her that Sam Finn is one of the best soldiers there, and yet it wasn’t enough.
Page 14: Later, Mai assures Faith that she’s gotten the Major’s respect. Faith still seems less than pleased with the state of things and Mai asks her to talk it out with her.
Faith goes into the short-version history of her time in Buffy’s body.
Page 15: Faith puts aside her upcoming, hopeful confrontation with the wronged Riley. She starts to give Mai pointers on handling a stake, since vampires are in play and she guesses that her fellow Slayer has gotten too used to a gun at this point.
They’re interrupted though by a perimeter flare going off.
Page 16: Faith uses a flame thrower to direct the incoming vampire traffic into their pre-set firing range….
Page 17: As the vampires are herded into that opening in their lines, the Slayers open fire with heavy weaponry, aiming for the heads which is a good way to dust them. In addition, they’ve managed to cobble together a stake artillery gun to whittle down the vampire numbers.
Page 18: The Slayers do a good job of it, but there are simply too many native vampires for them to hold. The camp is over run for the second time. Slayers start going down. The Major ends up fanged as well.
It looks like Reese is going to get it also, when Faith appears to stake her attacker from behind.
Page 19: The handful of Slayers still on their feet and Reese are backed against a line of crates. Faith offers that Mai and the others should run for it, while she stays behind to distract from their retreat for as long as possible.
But before she can complete this suicidal suggestion, and RPG comes in from the jungle and blows up in the crowd of vamps. This is followed up by sniper fire.
Page 20: Faith wonders who sent in the cavalry, but nobody has. It’s just a one woman army… Samantha Finn.
Page 21: Sam blows off introductions, as their still vulnerable for when the primitive vampires - chased off by the flashy explosions temporarily - regroup. Faith informs Sam about their river boat, but she won’t leave. She offers escort service back to their ride, but tells Faith she has to stay because the vampires have prisoners, yet.
Reese asks hopefully after her father’s fate and Sam can confirm that he’s one of the held.
Page 22: Over in Magic Town, Amy has returned to her hideout. She uses one of the bottles of collected magic juice to recharge her crystal ball.
Despite her being in England now, her concerns are still in the past. She uses her scrying to seek out and spy on Willow….
The Good: I liked the way that Amy was written in her conversation with Angel.
The Bad: The only thing that I have for this section is the writing for the Major. He's just not plausibly written for a command level soldier in a hostile jungle.
Other Thoughts: Koh could make an interesting guest star or even an ongoing character in the Angelverse section of the greater Buffyverse, so I'm interested in how they're going to use him.
Despite enjoying Amy's dialog, I'm not really into seeing her again and I'm really over the entire Warren thing. I am really hoping that he's not going to make another return at the end of this arc and I'd be just fine with writing Amy out permanently as well.
Sam makes her return in dramatic fashion, but I still have no idea who she really is and when added to the background Slayers it just feels like too many of our characters are generically written here. Hopefully, Sam will get some fleshing out next issue when Faith very obvs isn't sailing off into the sunset to leave Riley and the Zanes behind.
The Score: I liked this issue for Amy and Angel's interactions and for the action sequences surrounding the camp assault on the Slayers. I'm not really buying Faith's datadump about Riley and her to Mai but I can let it slide by uncontested. Both the story for Angel and Amy and for Faith and the Finns is keeping me engaged.
3.50 out of 5 stars