Angel & Faith Season 10 #14
There are many benefits to continuing a beloved property in comic format:
- Storyline size. No budgets means bigger scope.
- Characters. Expand your cast regardless of whether actors are available, in shape, or as youthful as they used to be.
- Existence in perpetuity. Which can be a mixed bag, as there’s a drive to keep series going whether the writer has good idea for it or not. Sometimes an ending is a blessing.
Which brings me to Angel & Faith Season 10 #14. I should know better than to read anything written by Victor Gischler, since I haven’t liked his comics for years. Everyone sounds the same and the plotting is most generic, common-denominator possible.
I checked out this issue because it promised to conclude a storyline about the return of Illyria and her host, Fred Burkle. I liked her character (and portrayal by Amy Acker), even if she was a prime example of Joss Whedon’s tendency to insert pathos and grief wherever possible. However, I wasn’t pleased to see that the return of these women and the showdown between them was boiled down to a slugfest. I don’t believe that’s good writing or authentic to the characters. There’s no creativity or cleverness in it.
All the characters, as Gischler apparently sees them, resort to punching first, last, and always. It’s visual, it’s true, but it’s boring to read and doesn’t feel right or authentic. Will Conrad does a decent job drawing this bilge, although the likenesses can be a bit static. And the two women punching each other in a background-less white area, although evocative of one of the show’s conventions, reads as a shortcut.
All the events in this comic read like they were generated by a scriptwriting computer: Vow of loyalty to friend. Shot of cast lined up facing camera to demonstrate teamwork. Expression of vengeance. Determination in the face of overwhelming odds. Statement of virtue of humanity over higher beings. Temporary victory not allowed to stand without hints of ramifications to drive next storyline. In short, it’s crap. (The publisher provided an advance digital review copy.)