Angel & Faith
[Angel Season 8]
“Lost And Found” part IV
Writer: Victor Gischler, Artist: Will Conrad, Colorist: Michelle Madsen, Letterers: 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, a team of Slayers, and Riley’s wife, Sam, search the South American jungle for Riley 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.
Page 01: We open with Angel being held in the magically generated grip of Amy. She’s rather pissed off that Angel won’t use his experience with resurrecting Rupert Giles to aid her in bringing back Warren Mears.
Amy throws the vampire across the room, slamming him into the wall.
Page 02: Angel tries to get Amy to realize that she knows inside that he’s right about resurrection being too dangerous, and even when it works there are unintended effects but most of the time - 99% of the time - it goes horribly wrong.
She’s not listening to that crap. Amy is sure that with the pure, concentrated magic contained in Magic Town she can do anything she wants. Through Amy’s rant, it’s clear that this almost isn’t about Warren or Angel at this point… Amy mentions Willow and beating her a lot: Clearly Amy has never been able to get over her petty jealousy at Willow’s natural abilities.
Commentary: I really liked having Amy mentioning being strong enough for Willow to not stop her and in time being stronger than her when as far as anyone knows, Wills isn’t even thinking about her and hasn’t any interest in what Amy is up to. It’s Amy’s obsession that is showing through here, rather than legitimate worry that Willow will suddenly appear. Y’know, I’m starting to wonder if the attraction to Warren was actually tied to his involvement with hurting her and then Wills striking back at him.
If you removed Willow from the equation altogether, would Amy have given Warren a second glance at all?
My god, just how did Amy Madison get this deeply twisted up?
Page 03: Angel tries to launch himself across the room, but Amy… well… she actually vomits up a sticky adhesive slime to pin him to a wall.
[Okay, what the hell Amy. That’s just bizarre and gross.]
She then summons an energy blade so she can get to dismembering the held vampire.
Page 04: Angel’s strength allows him to break free from the resin webbing, and he does a neat slide across the floor to kick Amy’s feet out from under her.
As she falls, she hits a desk that contains the jar of Warren’s fluids and tissues. This breaks her concentration as it starts tumbling to the ground.
Page 05: Angel is able to use his superior speed to snatch up the jar before it shatters its cargo onto the floor. Angel tells Amy that she may be right in having enough power to cast a resurrection spell, but she can’t do so if there isn’t anything to cast it on.
He leaps through a window and out into the night with the Warren jar.
Commentary: I’m not exactly buying this sequence of events when it comes to the jar though. With the artwork, it looks a little clumsy for Angel to be anywhere near where Warren’s jar is sitting to be able to catch it before it hit the floor.
What I do like though, is Angel doesn’t just smash it then and there where Amy may have been able to use magic to reassemble the goop and retrieve it. Instead, he makes sure to take it with him. What I don’t like, is that you just know Angel didn’t go to the nearest river and dump the contents because that would be too easy. But it should be that easy. We don’t need to have Warren’s return hanging as a plot point for the future.
Page 06: In Suriname, Faith is with Miss Zane, Sam and fellow Slayer Mai. They’re on the edge of the Vampire Village. Samantha isn’t happy that Faith and Mai are going to storm the village for her husband without her in the thick of the action but she accepts Faith’s tactical plan. The simple fact is that they need Sam to stay put to handle the sniper rifle.
Page 07: Faith and Mai form a two-Slayer team to take out the sentries quietly.
Commentary: I wasn’t wild about Faith spinning off into her own stories or that they’d done so by placing her with Deepscan but I have to say that I really like this development now. Victor seems to be focusing on this opportunity to bring out Faith’s leadership abilities in a way that is much easier when the Scooby Gang or Angel aren’t in the picture and we’ve seen in Buffy the Vampire Slayer that tactical leadership seems to be an inherited trait in the Slayers. It’s nice to see Faith growing into this role, so … yeah… I was wrong.
Page 08: Back in Magic Town, Angel is meeting up with Inspector Brandt. He’s a little sarcastic toward Angel for coming to him for help after their prickly beginning but Angel points out that it was his idea that the two work together.
Brandt jokes that he’s just milking feeling useful. He also mentions to Angel that it feels like something is happening in Magic Town, he has a nearly sixth sense that something is building….
Page 09: Faith offers that she doesn’t like that the two survivors are being held out in the open, but she also knows they don’t have a choice. Mai and her dash out to release Riley and his fellow soldier, both of which are weak with blood loss.
Commentary: I’m going to issue just a small complaint here about the scene shifting. Like in television or movies, there should always be a point to breaking up a scene and it feels like they’re doing it too much in this issue.
For instance, the cut to Brandt and Angel in the pub and then back to this rescue doesn’t really work for me in a story pacing sense. It’s not egregious, but I do think it would’ve worked better to have made page 08 into page 11 and restructured the order of the following pages just a little bit.
The Brandt/Angel meeting just wasn’t important enough to interrupt Faith and Mai right as they’re starting their incursion into the village.
Page 10: Faith gets Riley free, but he’s lost circulation in his hands and feet. Faith whisper-yells that he needs to pull it together right now.
Mai comes with her soldier stumbling beside her. She shouts Faith a warning that there are problems.
Riley, already wondering where he knows Faith from, glares at her but she tells him that now isn’t the time to go into their issues. In the meantime, that problem that Mai mentioned are the villager vampires not sleeping for the day.
Scene 11: In Magic Town, Angel spies on the Pixie that works for Amy. He captures the Pixie and tells him that he wants to make a deal with Amy. He’ll give up the jar of Warren if she’ll vacate Magic Town. He releases the Pixie to take his offer to his mistress.
Page 12: Amy immediately assumes that Angel is setting up a trap.
Amy offers that Angel thinks he’s being clever, but her trap for him is going to be much better … and she has the super magic of Magic Town to overpower him in any event.
She implies that she intends on staying as Master of Magic Town longer term than originally planned. She also offers that the magic in this place is different from any that she’s encountered before.
Commentary: Which is of course a nice shout out to the fact that they’re not only dealing with the magical virus offcast of Whistler’s plans. Magic the world over has been altered by the introduction of a New Seed via Willow’s bringing other dimensional magic back to Earth to grow it. And now this new, chaotic magic of Willow’s is combining with Whistler’s magic bomb fallout, so Amy is completely correct in that this area has become unique.
And that’s not even including whatever changes end up wrought by the sudden ability of the Vampyr book to alter the laws of the supernatural on the fly over in San Francisco. IF the Buffy creative team and the Angel creative team can stay in sync this could be a very interesting sideline weaving throughout both books.
Page 13: In the village, Faith, Mai and the rescuees find themselves surrounded. But Sam has been waiting for the team to be ready to make a run for it and now she cuts loose with the sniper rifle, blowing vamp’s heads off.
Page 14: As Faith’s team makes a break for the jungle through the clearing provided by Samantha, Riley confirms that Faith is THAT Faith. She tells him that she had a whole apology rehearsed, but she’s too busy multitasking at the moment.
Riley mentions their support and guesses that his wife is on the perimeter. Faith offers that she’s a keeper.
In the meantime, Sam is telling Reese that it’s time to bug out for the rendezvous. Reese objects that they don’t see her father, but Sam tells her that he could be literally anywhere.
Page 15: In the jungle, Sam and Riley reconnect in a big kiss but Faith points out that this Hallmark moment really needs to wait. The group take off for the river.
Page 16: Later that evening in Magic Town, Amy arrives at Corky’s abandoned warehouse as per Angel’s request. He offers her Warren’s remains for leaving Magic Town but she has a counter proposal: She’ll reduce him to ash, take Warren back to resurrect and set herself up as the big power in Magic Town while she readies herself to finally kill Willow.
She offers that he really shouldn’t have shown up on his own after the smackdown she put on him last time. But he offers he isn’t without backup.
In the background, we see squad cars pulling up.
Commentary: Again, I'm really liking Amy's dialog... I also find it really amusing when she uses the term "counter proposal" and then proceeds to give some outlandish demand that isn't going to fly.
Page 17: Amy smirks at Angel’s idea of backup and offers that he’s just lining up men to get themselves hurt. Angel smirks back that they’re not the backup, they’re just making sure that his conflict with her doesn’t spill out into the streets.
His real backup is above their heads.
Page 18: This turns out to be a giant spider. Amy is shook for a moment but recovers to squash his giant bug with her magic.
Page 19: She finds out rather rudely though that the giant spider is a form of demon: A Najakot to be exact, which Angel secured from a supernatural zookeeper and collector. The Najakot happens to make a meal of magical energies and right now he’s pretty hungry.
Commentary: And you just know that I had to then go and hunt down the spider demon that Andrew bred to find out if it was the same type… isn’t that just kinda sad?
But it turns out no… that was a Ragna demon. As far as we know, it doesn’t eat raw magic the way the Najakot does.
Page 20: Amy isn’t too disturbed by the magic eater attacking her. She offers that every kid knows that when you eat too much candy, you end up with a tummy ache.
She uncorks several bottles of the Mutant Magic, overstuffing the demon’s gullet.
Angel offers a small, “Uh-oh” before there is a thunderous ‘foom’ and a bright wash of light through the warehouse.
Commentary: I have to admit that I liked this moment when Angel is once again taken by surprise at something that Amy pulls out. I like her as an antagonist toward Angel more than toward Willow, I think. But that may just be because Victor writes her better than former writers handling her character.
Page 21: In the jungles, the gang have been routed into some ruins and Faith offers that she’s not liking the Temple of Doom vibe she’s getting. Sam warns that they’ve got lots of company on their tail.
From above them, a giant net is released.
Page 22: With our team netted, the missing Walt Zane shows up to look down at them. You just know he’s a vampire, right? And that he’s taken leadership of the villagers?
He offers that he supposes he needs to offer an explanation to his daughter, Reese.
The Good: I particularly enjoyed the head butting, especially Amy's dialog, between her and Angel.
I really like the good things happening with Faith taking charge and growing into a leadership role.
I also like the glimpse that Amy is less concerned about Warren than she is in showing up and destroying Willow. She's got a real obsession going on and it ties back into what we saw of her in Season 7.
The Bad: I've got no complaints for this section.
Other Thoughts: I liked that Angel was able to break free of Amy by using her concern for Warren's remains as the thing to put her off her game, but I also don't like that he didn't just immediately dump the remains somewhere and put an end to this particular thread. I've really had my fill of Warren being a presence in the Buffyverse -- time to call him dead and gone.
I do have that small complaint about pacing that comes with the way the two separate stories are intertwined order-wise in the book. But, this is a very minor thing that caught my attention. Neither of the stories suffer for being interrupted at odd moments, really.
Unfortunately I could see the "twist" regarding Mr. Zane from miles away. I almost wish they'd just had him be dead and dealt with Reese's emotional pain over that rather than give us the cliche "oh look, he isn't dead, he's just a bad guy" thing. But we'll have to see what is done with it.
The Score: It was a good story with some great character moments. I especially liked Amy showing up Angel every time he thinks he has the upper hand. Her dialog was really good. I also liked seeing Faith in a leadership role, though the mystery of the elder Zane was too telegraphed to work.
3.50 out of 5 stars