Angel & Faith: Season 10 #12

Considering that the two title characters were only reunited at the end of the previous issue, "Angel & Faith Season 10" has been a series that has succeeded in spite of the odds stacked against it. Victor Gischler, Will Conrad and Michelle Madsen continue to make it a fun series to read, and it's nice to see the comic in good hands. Even though the issue flags a tiny bit in the face of a huge exposition dump, there's still more than enough here to make this a good purchase.

While the reemergence of Fred -- who is struggling to stay free of Illyria -- is a big moment, "Angel & Faith Season 10" #12 veers away just a bit from that to finally explain the back story of supporting cast demon Eldre Koh. It connects with Fred/Illyria, so its emergence at this point in time makes sense. At the same time, though, Koh's probably been the least interesting aspect of "Angel & Faith Season 10" so far and having a huge spotlight on the character hasn't made him feel any more exciting.

That said, Gischler handles what's a somewhat necessary unloading of information as best he can, concentrating it all in one spot before moving on to the main story at hand. The downside is that it results in a lot more concentration on Koh than Fred and, considering what a compelling character Fred (and even Illyria) was in the past, it definitely reduces the overall excitement by just a bit. On the plus side, I like that Faith's own storylines aren't on hold, and we're learning a bit more about her employer amidst the Koh and Fred pages. Gischler also gives us a good reminder here that Illyria is a dangerous being, one that may have been on Angel's side in the past but, on some level, should not be trusted quite as much as one would otherwise assume. Koh's flashback isn't that compelling, but Illyria's flashback is full of menace.

Conrad and Madsen's art looks good here. One of the best things about the entire issue is that strange lizard-bird creature that Koh is riding in his flashback. The strange purple and blue feathers and fur just pop off of the page thanks to Conrad and Madsen, and it looks wonderfully alien while still having just a tiny connection to reality for readers to latch onto. In general, there's a lot to like from Conrad's work on the series, with fine ink lines to help detail every little dreadlock or tattoo, and backgrounds let us see even the grain on the wood floorboards. Add in some solid page construction -- characters are posed well and the panel-to-panel progression is easy to follow -- and it's a good looking book.

Even with everything slowing down a bit this month, "Angel & Faith Season 10" #12 is still a good comic. Now that the necessary exposition is over, I'm looking forward to the series hitting the ground running again next month to boot. All in all, this is a comic which could have easily crashed and burned with a new creative team but has instead been a pleasure to read month after month.

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