In my review of the first two installments of “Buffy: The High School Years” – “Freaks and Geeks” and “Glutton for Punishment” (both from 2016) – I noted that they seemed to be aimed at the youngest theoretical fan. The stories both center on Buffy’s school-Slaying conflict and have simple resolutions; if one wanted to be generous, they almost matched the shallowest episodes of Season 1 in depth.
At the end of Issue 15, Fred asks Angel: “Can we call ourselves Angel Investigations?” But, nostalgia aside, writer Victor Gischler’s “Angel & Faith” Season 10 isn’t about the re-forming of the detective agency, but rather about a disparate group of people coming together to defend their home neighborhood of Magic Town in London. For being loners at heart, the title characters sure do attract allies, and the rich cast of characters is starting to make this title a page-turner; the drama is often low-key, but intensely based on the journeys of these individuals. This batch begins with the best “Angel & Faith” arc so far:
After making my list of the top “Buffy” 20 episodes for the 20th anniversary, I had a hankering to go back to the time when 12 of those episodes take place: The high school years of Seasons 1-3. Luckily, Dark Horse launched “Buffy: The High School Years” with two comics last year, and with more forthcoming. Both Faith Erin Hicks’ “Freaks & Geeks” (no relation to the TV show of that name) and Kel McDonald’s “Glutton for Punishment” are set during Season 1, so we’re talking about stories with a depth on par with “Witch” or “I Robot, You Jane” – although even a bit shallower than that.