This is the closing chapter in the Angel comic saga, and the issue tried to tied up all the loose ends while opening doors for the new adventures our favorite characters will go on. Did it succeed? That depends on your perspective.
Note: This recap may contain spoilers!
When last we left the souled vampire, Angel was fighting it out with Whistler, both with their hands on the orb. If the world was going to explode, Angel was determined to get a front row seat. Attempts to disarm Whistler were not successful. Faith tried to attack him, but he tossed her aside like a rag doll. Angel then took up her weapon, and managed to knock Whistler in the back of the head so that Angel could get his hands on the orb. Instead of containing it, he sought to let out some of the pressure by piercing it with Whistler’s horn.
I’m not quite sure what Angel’s theory was — perhaps a slow leak would be better than a big explosion — but it did serve one purpose. When Whistler once again regained control of the orb and tried to plug up the hole with his hands, it caused his form to shift back to human. Thus, a bit of his humanity also came back and Angel was able to connect to him on that level. Angel knows that Whistler didn’t mean all the pain and misery that he caused, so the vampire offers a solution. If Whistler could drain all his power into a larger, thicker mystic shell to contain the orb, it might work. Whistler, however, has a more self-sacrificing method. He sets out to destroy himself by absorbing the orb’s power, thus killing him but keeping everyone else safe.
Whistler’s sacrifice allowed us to have a great death scene, where he imparted words of wisdom on Angel and helped set him on a path of purpose again. He tells Angel that the vampire can’t focus so much on his destiny and the final outcome that he forgets to enjoy the ride. It’s something that Angel has struggled with many times before, but maybe this time it will stick. He does seem to want to help people, as he commits himself to helping those who were affected by Whistler’s magical bomb.
His mission, however, will have to be one that he goes on alone because his two most-trusted allies are splitting town. First Faith decides that she must seek out her own path. She’s seen the destruction that has been caused to the Slayers, to Nadira in particular, and she can’t make that her life. Instead, she’s going to take up Kennedy’s offer and start training the Slayers that have joined up with the company. Hopefully she will last longer than Buffy did.
Tagging along with her will be Giles. The mini-Watcher knows that he must choose to take control of his new life because the old one is not going to come back. And he can’t make a fresh start remaining in place, as there are too many ties and memories of the old Giles. He wants to go see Buffy, as that was when his life was at its best, and so we have the bridge between the Angel comic and the Buffy comic all laid out for us.
So, I fully expect mini-Giles and Faith to show up in an upcoming issue of Buffy. I’m looking forward to seeing what Buffy’s reaction to Giles might be and how Faith will fit in with the new dynamics. Hopefully they can bring some much-needed spice to the storyline.
And, so, we leave Angel to lead his solitary life until he can join his friends again. Be well, Angel. Keep fighting the good fight.
Rating: 3 / 5 Stars