Issue: Angel and Faith #9
Release Date: April 2012
Writer: Christos Gage
Art: Rebekah Isaacs
Colors: Dan Jackson
Letters: Richard Starkings and COMICRAFT’S Jimmy Betancourt
Cover: Steve Morris
Alternate Cover: Rebekah Isaacs and Dan Jackson
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
With the promise of no more trauma, Faith has sought out Dru for her release. That is where we last left our Slayer and where we pick up this issue. Is this her golden ticket or is she condemning herself to yet another round of abuse? Whatever Faith’s reason, Angel has decided that he cannot stand idly by. He has decided that he must save Faith from getting her pain sucked away, or maybe doom her to suffering as much as he does. It’s an interesting dynamic that plays out with enlightening details this month.
Alas, Angel was too late to prevent the Lorophage demon from finishing what he started. Instead, Faith is on the apathy train. While she remembers all the pain of her past, she’s not crippled by it anymore. As Dru points out, isn’t this preferable to the life of misery that Angel has chosen all these years? Angel’s not about to let Faith let go of the past. He brings up all her painful memories, one by one, forcing her to live through them all again and reconnect with all the scars that have made her who she is today. It somehow makes a difference.
Finally Faith gets to the point where she might consider getting her trauma back, but there’s one problem. The Lorophage demon took it and he’s not about to give it back. Or will he? Angel wants to press the issue, which prompts a battle between Angel and Dru over the situation. I was so happy to see Dru have her power back, especially when she gets to take on Daddy!Angel and actually stand up to him as the dangerous creature she is. No longer is she a broken thing. She’s once again sane and ten times as dangerous.
And her ideal would be to no longer have Angel be a broken, tortured thing either. Dru sets the Lorophage demon on him to remove all his pain, all his trauma. It made me pause to consider just what Angel would be like without those restraints on his conscience. Would he be Angelus again? Or a softer version of Angel? It looked like we might get an answer to that when Faith doesn’t make a move to help, frozen by the current mental state she’s in. Finally she breaks free of that spell and rushes to Angel’s aid when she realizes that she’s just replaced one trauma for another. People have used her all her life and Dru’s just doing the same, except in a different way. She will not be a victim any longer. And, with Faith’s help, Angel can get the upper-hand on the Lorophage demon and turn the trauma removal in on itself. All the trauma escapes the demon and returns to the rightful owners. That means Dru is right back to where she was before, a broken insane thing that speaks in riddles. Oh, Sane!Dru, we knew you only briefly, but loved you always.
Faith isn’t any better off. In fact, she’s so enraged over being jerked around between pain and release that she doesn’t even want to be near Angel. The other victims are feeling their own horrors, so angry over their returned pain that they are on the attack. Angel and Faith have to fight their way through the onslaught while Dru runs off into the night proclaiming them all doomed.
We end with a revelation from Faith that she’s more in the know than Angel gave her credit for. She knows Angel has been taking on pieces of Giles and, instead of condemning him for it, she’s decided to get on board. While I’m sad to see Dru leave, I’m anxious to see where we’re going with Giles and his resurrection. Is this all going to end badly? Angel doesn’t have a good track record for improving people’s lives, as evidenced by the last glance of Dru we get as we end the issue. Before she was broken, she was beautiful.
Rating: 3 / 5 Stars