Angel & Faith #18

We've all read those series before, where when the big revelation occurs, we're told how everything fits together -- except it doesn't. Or for that matter, watched television series where by nature of there being a dozen different writers, some pieces just don't quite fit with the others. The reason I mention this phenomenon is because "Angel & Faith" #18 has just slapped onto the table its version of "This is how it all comes together." There's just one catch: it all really does come together.

Christos Gage and Rebekah Isaacs use "Angel & Faith" #18 to thoroughly explain not only what's going on with (as revealed last issue) the return of the demon Eyghon, but why Angel's always been so convinced that they could bring Giles back from the dead even though it should be impossible. In just 22 pages, they reveal it in a manner that is not only satisfying, but fun to read to boot. That's no small feat; a massive exposition dump should be, by all accounts, a dull experience. Fortunately, Gage understands that he can't just tell readers what's going on, but rather has to show it instead. "Angel & Faith" #18 dips back into the past occasionally to show us scenes playing out that led up to Eyghon's return, filling in the gaps since we last saw this demon.

Gage doesn't lose sight of the fact that a little action couldn't hurt, though, so there's also a lot going on with Angel, Faith and the rest of the Slayers' attacks against Eyghon. There's a rather dangerous limitation on who can and can't be possessed, one that manages to do so with such a mundane threshold that Gage ends up making Eyghon a much more menacing foe than previously seen. It ends up being a fun little adventure, even as things get dangerous.

As great as Gage's plotting has been, I don't want to forget Isaacs' contributions to the series, too. She's been doing a strong job here as well; not just nailing the likenesses of Angel, Faith and Giles, but also bringing to life an energetic and attractive comic. The glimpses into what a world ruled by Eyghon would look like are wonderfully apocalyptic, and the punk rock early life of Giles is as entertaining as you can imagine. Best of all, though, is how well Isaacs can sell an action scene. When Angel and Faith come running into the chamber, you can practically see them move; the trail of blood on the left tricks your mind into thinking that Angel's sword is slicing across the panel, while Faith's hair moving off to the side gives her the illusion of movement as well. It's that sort of understanding on how to make static art feel fluid that makes "Angel & Faith" look so good, and that's before you get to little moments like Faith's look of regret and hope at the reanimated Giles that will melt your heart.

It feels like "Angel & Faith" is coming close to an end, and that'll be a shame if only because of how much fun it's been. "Angel & Faith" #18 is a perfect example of that entertainment; Gage and Isaacs have turned out not just a good media tie-in comic, but a good comic, period. Its parent title might run a little hot and cold, but "Angel & Faith" has been consistently strong. If Gage and Isaacs work together on another comic once this is over, I know I'll stick around to read it, too. Another good show from this duo.

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