As this series heads toward the final stretch, Rupert Giles returns. This issue feels like the calm before the storm, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but the slow pace may be off putting to some readers.
Here’s the official description from Dark Horse:
Giles’s resurrection has been pushed to the back burner while Angel and Faith tackle Season 9’s Big Bads—Pearl, Nash, and Whistler—who threaten to release boundless magic over the planet. Only the strong will survive!
Part two of the final story arc is much slower than last issue. All the pieces are put into play for the final showdown. Angel and Faith really benefits from Christos Gage’s smart scripting. The dialogue is strong enough to make you forget that little is happening to advance the plot. Even though most of the issue is conversation, it’s still enjoyable to read.
Some fans might have a problem that Giles has returned as a teenage boy but it didn’t bother me very much. Even though he’s a kid he still acts in a way that fans are accustomed to. He’s a grown man trapped in a kid’s body, which is an interesting dynamic. In the best scene of the issue he apologizes to Faith for “coming back as the polar opposite” of what she needs. Gage makes you sense his helplessness. He doesn’t rush their conversation like a less talented writer might. This makes this poignant moment memorable.
Rebekkah Issac’s art is strong as well. Her realistic style is perfect for a comic adapted from a famous television show. Sometimes she struggles drawing facial expressions, but overall she does a good job keeping the panels interesting. I was particularly impressed with Dan Jackson’s colors, especially the way he uses blues in Giles’ resurrection scene.
Although I’m relatively new to this series, the well scripted dialogue and the strong character dynamics makes this an enjoyable issue to read. Now it’s time for a little action.