Avox in Arcadia (perpetual) wrote,
Avox in Arcadia
perpetual

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Summary and reviewishness for A&F #4


We begin in the thick of the battle for Mohra blood at the party from last issue. There's some kicking, punching, green eye-beams, and Angel biting Pearl, which doesn't seem to accomplish anything. Faith slips one of her vials of Mohra blood into Nash's pocket and points it out to the demon crowd, who rush Nash and Pearl while Angel and Faith slip away.

Instead of leaving the building, Angel and Faith head to the basement because, as usual, Angel smelled something. Faith is feeling doubtful as she follows Angel, and thinks about using the last vial of Mohra blood on him, which is still in her hand. Because it may be her last chance, she's about to smash it over his head, but before she does, he opens a door in the basement and says "Damn it. I was afraid of this."

We see what it is at the same time as Faith: a lab full of bloated, malformed and only semi-humanoid creatures, most of them contained in cells or strapped to cots. One speaks brokenly and says his name is Reggie and he has a family who needs help. Angel tells Reggie that he saw them, and they're fine. He explains to Faith that these must be the missing recipients of Mohra blood, and that the end of magic changed the blood so that it never stops regenerating and the cells keep growing forever. Faith tosses the last vial on the floor and breaks it. The creatures, who are in terrible pain, beg for mercy - they can't kill themselves or each other. Angel says he needs their help first.

Next page brings us back upstairs to Pearl and Nash, who are complaining about how boring the fight is when Nash is thrown against the wall by one of the regeneration monsters. They're all free, and they explain who they are to the remaining customers for blood as they attack. Pearl and Nash decide to leave through the window with some typical villainous parting comments about meeting again.

True to their word, Angel and Faith execute the regeneration monsters by decapitating them. Angel can see that Faith is upset when they're done, but interprets it as horror that they almost made Giles into one of these creatures, and tells her that they'll find another way.

In Kent, Nash and Pearl return in a bad temper to Whistler, who asks if they got the blood. They hand him the vial, warning him about what they learned about it. Pearl concludes, "It's even better for what we've got in mind," and they all smile.

On the next page, Faith finds Nadira relaxing in Hyde Park. She's still itching for a fight until Faith tells her that she's seen Nash and Pearl, so they can be tracked down and Nadira can get her revenge. Nadira is thrilled and hugs her, adding that afterward, she'll kill Angel too and finally have some peace, not seeing the dismay on Faith's face at this.

The next encounter is Faith and Alasdair, who just won't give up with his warnings. He heard about the incident with the Mohra blood and says it should show her the dangers in Angel's plan. Faith says angrily that she's been lying to everyone, but Alasdair only says that she knows Angel best and it's up to her to dissuade him, using her own judgment. She walks away, saying that yesterday her judgment almost got Angel killed.

In the London flat, Faith finds Angel going through the books - wearing glasses! In response to her surprise about that, he says, "If you needed them before, you need them after. They're just reading glasses." He goes on to tell her about what he's been researching: more ways to restore a physical body, of course. Faith takes this opportunity to finally tell him about her misgivings. She really doesn't think he can do this, and if he crosses lines trying, she's going to stop him.

Angel shocks her by replying, "I know." He says that this is why he wanted her help specifically: he understands that he can go to extremes if he doesn't have someone to keep an eye on him, like he did as Twilight, and he trusts Faith to know when to stop him. She's happy and relieved to hear this, and reiterates that she's got his back.

Faith offers to make dinner for both of them, and Angel turns her down, saying he's going to be reading for a while. The glasses are back on and he's touching them and holding a book open when he adds, "A spot of tea would be delightful, if it won't put you out." He must have been using a UK accent, too, because Faith grins and says "You sounded just like him!"

"Just like who?" asks Angel, genuinely confused. Faith, now looking quite wary, leaves the conversation with, "Never mind. Earl Grey coming up."

*

My thoughts: okay, I read spoilers on this one. I was disappointed that Angel didn't turn human, but I'm probably going to keep being disappointed by that for every single issue until he does. I shrugged it off and hoped for some other kind of twist to keep me interested, and I got one: Why in hell is Angel channeling Giles?

Viable theories? The demon from the first issue could have passed on more than a single memory. Something in Giles' house might have had magical properties that soaked up its former master and poured it into the next magical guy who picked it up. Someone that Angel nommed since Giles' death might have had a Giles essence that Angel received through the blood (Pearl?). Angel is simply going insane. Angel is up to something regarding the acquisition of Giles' soul that he hasn't told Faith about. Anyone got any others?

Whatever it is, I like it. More Giles is always a good thing, and Giles speaking through Angel...well, it's weird, but it fits. The comparisons of these two are always fascinating. I can't stop looking at the one panel where Angel says the Giles line - it looks like Angel, but the props, the pose, and even the expression are Giles, and it's bizarre and nifty.

Cue my monthly spasm of appreciation for Isaacs' artwork. Detailed, lively, expressive and beautiful. The fire hydrant Easter egg was flat-out hilarious - I missed that in my first read! Pretty happy about the colorist, too (did I already say that last time?).

Nash and Pearl I'd rather have dead by now. I understand that they're supposed to be over-the-top with their mustache-twirling dialogue, but it's grating, and in this issue especially it got boring very quickly. Whistler's appearance is less boring, but I'm still sad that he's maintaining his ubervillain role. Perhaps I should just stop guessing at what he's up to and wait for it to unfold. Nadira didn't have much to do here, but I was glad to see her again, and ditto for Alasdair; it looks like we can count on both of them being some kind of presence in the rest of the series (more the former than the latter, but I sure wouldn't mind another visit to Alasdair's house!).

I just hope that N&P+W have something awesome and/or insane coming with their last bottle of Mohra blood - there was a lot of build-up for this plot point and I'd hate to see it fizzle out now that the blood isn't going to be used on Giles or Angel. There is still a possibility, I suppose, that Nash and Pearl will use that last bottle on Angel and it won't turn him into a regeneration beast, but from the dialogue, it looks unlikely.

Good issue, overall. Looking forward to the next arc.
Tags: comic review, dark horse buffy comics
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