So - a quick summary of last month's 'Angel and Faith' comic, which I didn't have time to review properly earlier, before I get into the current issue.
Angel being a fan of Douglas Adams is kind of random, but I do like the image of him back in the 80s reading books he found in dumpsters. I also liked the policeman Angel meets here: quite a contrast from Detective Dowling. Chatty, but also professional - and the scene where he has to remind Angel not to charge into a crime scene ahead of the police was funny. And we have a serial killer with a bonesaw. Nifty. The writer and artist of this comic certainly enjoy their gore.
Flashback to Giles as a boy - if he was born in 1955 (as per the tombstone on the cover of A&F #1) he's 17 here. Apparently he has something in common with Wesley; they were both the Head Boy of the Watchers' Academy in their final years. We also discover that this isn't the first time a woman Giles was attracted to got killed: this one, in front of his eyes. Anyone else think Charlotte looks like Amy Pond?
According to an interview with Chris Gage, Giles's father was meant to be fundamentally decent, but emotionally reserved: following the old-fashioned British tradition of 'keep calm and carry on'. Joss specifically told him he didn't want Giles's father to be a *bad* parent; he clearly now realises he's over-used that trope in his work. :) Rupert, however, is clearly distraught and rebellious.
An interesting vignette as Nadira and her team rescue a girl from a 'vampire' - who runs out to be a normal (if deranged) human who merely thinks he's a vampire. Which I think is a facinating idea; the plot of 'Lie To Me' turned up to 11, and showing the sort of craziness that happens when vampires go public. Faith realises he's human just in time and stops Nadira from staking him, which obviously sets up the contrast to Faith's own mistake back in Season 3. Faith is now much more sensible and in control than she was back then - but Nadira is now cast in the position of S3 Faith. Uh oh.
As a result of this encounter we get the set-up for the arc's main plot, a vampire called 'Mother Superior' who's new in town. There's an interesting discussion of the new moral and legal position: is it legitimate to slay a soulless vampire who is, out of self-preservation, voluntarily choosing not to kill or turn humans? Faith, being more interested in practical solutions than ethical quandaries, decides to see if the new vampire has some sort of evil skeleton in her closet allowing her to be slain legitimately.
Faith asks Angel to help her with this project, which is a nice turn-around from the last arc when she was helping with his. They work out that Mother Superior seems to be associated with outbreaks of insanity; Angel's murderer, Faith's vampire-wannabe, and another person is mentioned whom Faith must have encountered off-page.
They go to Coames for advice: Angel's theory is that the Lorophage demon (Greek for 'Pain Eater') that Giles fought in the flashbackmight be causing the madness. Coames is doubtful since that's not how Lorophage demons normally operate, but he speculates that it might be under someone else's control.
Faith is very abrupt with Coames and cuts him off quickly as she leaves. We've seen her being impatient, even rude with him several times in the past; but this time Angel picks up on it and asks Faith what's the matter. It was about at this time that I also realised there might be more to Faith's dislike of him than simple clash of personalities. However, Faith changes the subject instead of answering.
One of Faith's Slayer team is called Daphne (I wonder if there's a Velma as well?) and she's discovered where Mother Superior hangs out - an old church. Faith and Angel decide to eschew subtlety and cause a fortune in property damage by breaking through a stained glass window instead of, y'know, using the door. Hmmmm. The church brings back bad memories for Angel of his nun-killing days.
Meanwhile, Nadira and one of the other Slayers (I don't think she's been named) are in the pub when a man approaches them asking about Faith. He has a photo of a young Faith with plaited hair standing next to him wearing overalls, and he says he's her father. At this point the penny dropped - he looks very much like a younger version of Alisdair Coames, and I thought "Oooh. *That's* why Faith has an irrational repulsion against Coames, is it?" If they've been building up to this all through the previous non-connected arcs, that's some pretty good writing right there.
Nadira is suspicious and protective of Faith, which I liked... but will she see any reason not to tell her own father where she is? dun dun dunnn.
Speaking of... we meet Mother Superior - and she's Drusilla. A Drusilla acting perfectly sane and rational, but with the Lorophage demon standing obediently behind her. Angel, of course, is shocked - especially when Dru calls him 'father'. (As opposed to 'Daddy', of course; perhaps another sign she's now sane...)
So it looks like this arc will compare and contrast two father/daughter relationships, not to mention Giles's relationship with his own father.
Okay! Now for the review of today's comic...