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Family Reunion, Part One

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Comic Issue
"Family Reunion, Part One"
AF11A
Publication date June 27, 2012
Pages 32
Series
Angel & Faith #11
previous
"Women of a Certain Age"
next
"Family Reunion, Part Two"
Creative Team
Published by Dark Horse Comics
Writer(s) Christos Gage
Penciller(s) Rebecca Isaacs
Editor(s) Scott Allie & Sierra Hahn
Cover artist(s) Steve Morris, Rebecca Isaacs & Dan Jackson
Inker(s) Rebecca Isaacs
Colorist(s) Dan Jackson
Letterer(s) Richard Starkings & Jimmy Betancourt
AF11B

"Family Reunion, Part One" was the eleventh issue of the Angel & Faith comic book series.

Synopsis

The issue begins with a knock on the door, and it is revealed that Willow had arrived, much to Angel's surprise. She says that Andrew had said that they needed help, and Angel explains that he just thought that she's call first. She admits that this seemed like a "non-call" kind of deal, and that that she was around anyway due to her quest to restore magic, which took her here. She greets Faith pleasantly, and they exchange some humorous, friendly banter until Lavinia and Sophie interrupt. They appear somewhat rude but upon seeing Willow, seeming to know her, describing her as "that lesbian witch from America." Willow tells Angel that she knows them from her time in Giles's estate in Bath, and that she's surprised there here but points out that she can see forgiving murder to keep "the gravy train rolling". However, Lavinia then reveals to Willow that Angel is going to bring back Giles.

Willow quickly rounds on him and Angel attempts to explain but Willow beats him to it, explaining that she had figured out his plan to bring Giles back but he can't do it with magic so he's using magic items linked to key events in his life in order to assemble his soul back together. The Scythe being one of those magic items since he was holding it when he died. Willow then launches a open tirade against Angel, coldly telling him that he's being stupid, reckless, selfish, and delusional if he thinks this will end in anything other than a disaster. Angel says nothing against her criticism of him, instead asking her if Buffy knows about her meeting with him in London. Willow reveals that she didn't tell Buffy she was here as she's been dealing with her own problems (pointedly telling Angel that it was none of his business before he asked) and that she also didn't want Angel bringing back bad memories, pointing out that Buffy went through a lot when she was resurrected. Angel points out that she was the one who resurected her but she defends herself, explaining that Buffy didn't die a natural death and that was when magic still existed, and even then she had no idea how much pain and suffering she would cause everyone, especially Buffy, by doing so. Angel then tensely asks her if she regrets bringing Buffy back, and Willow forlornly says she never has but she isn't sure if Buffy feels the same way about it.

Angel, frustrated, feels as if Willow only came to criticize him but Willow says she didn't and that as bad as she thinks it is, she'll help Angel bring back Giles because she needs him to help her bring magic back to the world and for that to happen, she needs the aide of Connor. Willow explains that she needs to go to a dimension that still has magic but all the portals are closed except Quor'toth which can be accessed by a tear in reality. She intends to use the scythe to do that but needs something steeped in the essence of Quor'toth as a compass which is why she needs Connor to help since he spent the first seventeen years of his life there. Willow asks Angel if he can help convince Connor to come along with her since she barely knows him. Faith (who had previously been listening to Willow and Angel arguing with an annoyed, bored expression until Connor was brought up) speaks up, telling her that Angel and Connor aren't exactly on good terms and Connor had finally stopped calling altogether when Angel kept ignoring them and that they don't even know where he is. Angel says that Connor's in school, has a girlfriend, and is for the most part, happy as he has someone to check up on him. Faith then appears annoyed and hurt that he didn't tell her any of this, but Angel shoots back that it was a family matter and therefore none of her business, saying that Connor is better off without him.

Angel then rounds on Willow, telling her that she expects him to go to the son he's never been there for and ruin the life he has now by sending back him back to a hell dimension he was forced to grow up in for "a wild goose chase", remarking in disgust that he was actually ashamed to see her before that. Outraged, Willow viciously slaps him before declaring that everything that has happened is his fault because he always jumps at the chance whenever he finds out he may be redeemed and never worries about the consequences of his actions until it's too late, screaming that he's ruined everything. She then quickly becomes more emotional, grabbing him by his shirt and insisting that the world is empty and dying without magic and the Seed and she's apparently the only one who cares before breaking down in tears and collapsing. Seeing this, Angel gently comforts Willow and agrees to take her to Connor, but makes it clear that it's up to Connor to decide whether or not to go along with it. Willow sullenly agrees to his terms. Angel then points out that Quor'toth is a dangerous dimension, but Willow, now more in control of herself, reassures him that she won't stay there long and she merely wants him to protect her from the demons in there while she soaks up the magic, and that Angel can have what's left of the scythe to bring back Giles. She points out that they both need help and are both trying to do something that everyone else thinks is crazy, bluntly stating, "Resent me all you want. And I'll go on resenting you. Later." Angel then grabs his coat and leaves, saying that he'll make arrangements and they'll leave tomorrow. Once Angel leaves, Faith comes to Willow and says there's someone she'd like her to see.

The scene then cuts to Nadira, fighting 6-7 Zompires. She get's caught from behind, almost getting killed but is saved by Faith, who dusts him from behind, informing her that zompires are purely feral and very strong, not much for talking. Nadira appears hostile towards her, insisting that she shouldn't expect her to thank her for saving her life. Faith accepts this, admitting that what she did to her before was stupid and wrong but she's not here to talk about that and points out anyway that there's someone she'd probably want to see. She angrily tries to say she doesn't want to see anyone but stops when she sees Willow stepping out of the car. Willow at first wonders if she really knew Nadira, but she immediately recognized her, mentioning that Willow was the one who healed her and saved her life when her squad was slaughtered. This jogs her memory, remembering the Azores, and Willow quickly reaches out and hugs her, showing sympathy and reasurance that everything will be fine again as Nadira starts to cry. It then cuts to a more public scene, a coffee shop with small crowds of people where Willow and Nadira have spent some time talking. Faith is not with them, preferring to give them some privacy and wait it out across the street. Eventually Faith turns to them and says that Willow has to go with her now but it doesn't mean she's giving up on finding Pearl and Nash. Nadira says it's alright, as Willow told her that it was really important but warns Faith that there's rumors that there planning something and she's not going to stop looking for them when she's away. Faith understands, and gives her advice that she should "slay with a buddy" and keep her in the loop of Nadira's actions.

They say goodbye and Willow and Faith head to a bus stop, Faith thanking Willow for talking to her but also asks if she managed to talk Nadira out of killing Angel. Willow regretfully says she hasn't and that they should stick to easier stuff like resurrection and magic. Faith appears disappointed but says she's a good kid, just too many issues. Willow then teasingly says if Giles ever said 'I hope you get a slayer who acts just like you.', referring to the fact that Nadira is similar to Faith. She says he never did but he did tell her you can't bring someone back from a natural death, expressing her worries and fears if Angel can truly bring Giles back. Once the get on the bus, Willow admits that it could maybe work if magic was still around, but only for someone as immersed in magic as Giles's was but it's a lot more likely to end in disaster as magic always has a price and the higher the magic, the higher the price; now that there is no magic, he'll probably fail. Willow tells Faith Angel needs someone to stop him if things get bad and that's why she went along with it. Faith then expresses annoyance how everyone seems to decide that's her, but Willow says there's no one else but her. Faith then admits that what's bothering her is not only has he been hiding things from her, but also the way Angel acts about it. Every time she had told him that Giles might come back a zombie or a soul in a rotting body, he dismisses it which gives her the impression that Angel is doing it for himself, not Giles. Willow admits she's not exactly the poster child for using magic responsibly, but what she doing is something completely different from what Angel's doing: It's to help fix what Buffy and Angel did and make the world better again, not some selfish magic addiction. It's for the world, not her.

Willow and Faith have returned and are back at Faith's house, the five of them(Angel, Willow, Faith, Lavinia, Sophie) are there and the three of them are packing to the airport for L.A. to retrieve Connor. Sophie and Lavinia are seen relaxing with their iPad and iPhone. Faith asks Angel if they need weapons but Angel says Willow checked the scythe of as antique so it's not a problem. He then ask if Lavinia and Sophie will be alright alone but they reassure him they will be fine, and they soon depart to the airport. It cuts to standing in front of a International airport. At the airport, Willow accuses Angel of letting everyone else die in creating the Twilight dimension, including his son Connor. Taken aback by the accusation, Angel appears slightly annoyed, stating that wasn't it and they were going to bring everyone over there. Willow states that Buffy never mentioned that to her. Angel then somewhat fondly points out it's hard to get a sentence in when Buffy's emotionally worked up, and Willow, after some joking of what he said, sees the truth in that statement and leaves it at that, an awkward silence settling between the two. Once they were out of the airport, Faith and Willow are surprised at the reappearance of Gunn, but Angel isn't as he already knew they would met up. He greets Willow and Faith and then Angel, making a point of saying how ridiculous he looks when seeing the thing over his head. Angel states it's to keep out the sunlight, and they have some banter together until Gunn points out he has tinted windows and asks if they have checked bags, Willow replies, "Just a scythe."

They are then seen in Gunn's car, Angel and Willow riding in the back of it. Angel then asks how the others in L.A. are, and Gunn informs him that Kate is doing good, running the L.A.P.D as well as a new Supernatural unit, Illyria vanished somewhere but Gunns seems positive she's alright, he doesn't have to tell him what happened to Lorne since he already knows, and he hesitantly tells Angel his ex-girlfriend Nina got married but Angel doesn't seem bothered or jealous of it, genuinely saying that's good for her. Gunn them mentions that Connor should be getting out of his psych class right now and they stop and see Connor saying goodbye to a girl. Angel sees this and asks Gunn if that girl he's with is his girlfriend. Gunn says she is, going by the name of Natalie. She's apparently, according to Gunn, a majoring in social work and Connor has been dating her for three months. Seeing Connor with a life and happy, Angel begins to have second thoughts on his decision to bring Connor along and begins to tell Willow this, but she adamantly says no and that he can't back out of it now. Angel argues that Connor has his life together but Willow retorts that they flew across a ocean. However the argument is suddenly interrupted when Faith sees that Connor has disappeared. Connor then lands on top of the car, having seen it and sees Angel, commenting "Are you wearing a hoodie?", causing Angel to smile at him in amusement.

They are then seen out of the car and buying donuts. Connor tells Angel that he had been calling him and calling him for months but Angel had never answered. Eventually, he realized to leave him alone figuring he needed space and expresses his confusion and annoyance that he suddenly turns up now after months of not responding to his calls. Angel apologizes for confusing him but explains that his life is better without him in his life, and Connor is having this great, happy life without him. Angel meaningfully tells him he grew up to be an amazing man and that he couldn't be prouder of him, which promptly causes them to hug. Gunn, Willow, and Faith are seen watching from a distance. They are then seen inside a bar, Willow, Faith, and Gunn on on table, Connor and Angel at another, giving them privacy to talk. Faith humorously wonders out loud what is it about kids that makes people crazy. It cuts back to Connor and Angel talking. Connor explains he figured Angel was on another one of his guilt trips since he often is, but it still hurt that Angel had rejected his calls for so long. Angel again apologizes for putting it off, admitting it was wrong, but Connor interrupts, explaining he's not finished. He says that he's right. He has a great life here and even though it's early, his girlfriend Natalie is special. His place is here but he never wants Angel to hide from him ever. Angel says nothing, deciding to get more drinks. Seeing this opportunity she follows him, wanting to talk to Angel alone. They discuss Connor and how he's grown, which causes Angel to think he should have worked on being a better man than redemption to save the world. Serious now, Faith changes the subject, warning him not to sacrifice Connor to bring Giles back, and that she's here to make sure he's doing the right thing. Angel gets angry, insisting that Connor won't be sacrificed, stating that he already made up his mind to bring Giles back, and reminds Faith that not long ago, he had to stop her from choking her father to death, so she shouldn't be giving him parenting advice. Faith mulls over what Angel said and watches him retreat with the drinks to Connor until she turns away from him.

Once at the table, Angel gives the drinks to him. He asks Willow that he needs to talk to her, but Connor says he knows about the plan to go to Quor'toth and wants to come with. Angel immediately objects to it, but Willow points it that he said it was his choice. Angel argues that he doesn't want Connor to risk this normal life but he points out that he's seen what's been going on since the end of magic and like Willow said, people are losing hope and he needs to help. After some more arguing, Angel pleads with Gunn to help him but Gunn objects, claiming he doesn't mess with family disputes (Faith quipping from that background that falls under the category of "parenting advice" which Angel ignores) . Connor remains stubborn and adamant, insisting he can't stop him and he'll fail if he tries. Angel seems to give in a little, but points out Quor'toth is dangerous. Connor argues he was there as a kid and Angel shots back that was when Holtz was with him. Connor firmly states now he has his father and that everything will be fine.

Everyone is seen at the Hyperion Hotel where Willow is cutting huge marks in Connor's chest with the scythe standing inside a mystical circle on the floor, causing Connor to look in pain. Angel sees this and attempts to stop it but is held back by Gunn and Faith. Gunn warns him that breaking the circle now would be a bad idea, but Angel anxiously says she's killing him. Willow shakily says she didn't know it would be like this but Connor reassures them that he's fine, the cuts hurt but their not deep and asks if she's almost done. Still a little shaky, Willow stutters all that's left is the incantation and Connor is seen relieved, saying that the only thing he's dying from is suspense. Willow then smiles at him, admitting that he is an amazing guy and that even though it's not magic, everyone should keep their fingers crossed. After shouting out the incantation of "NYAR VRESH QUOR'TOTH!", a the place lights up and causes a tear in the reality, the entrance to Quor'toth.

Everyone is shown surprised, even Willow but she quickly says the portal closes in thirty hours and that they should hurry up now. She asks Gunn if he can stand guard alone and he agrees, saying that even though half of them have superpowers, there really going to need them if half of what Connor says is true. When Gunn tries to bring weapons, Connor says no as technology and guns won't work there. Connor then turns to Angel, pleading with him to not have this conversation again. Angel says they won't but tells him if anything goes incredibly bad he is to retreat back through the portal, that is non-negotiable. Connor replies that he can live with that.

They grab their swords and Willow gets the scythe, everyone now standing in the circle. Angel then tells Connor "Then, come on, son. Time I saw where you grew up."

Continuity

This story arc took place after Women of a Certain Age, but before The Hero of His Own Story.

  • Willow expressed an awareness of Lavinia and Sophronia, having met them off-screen during her rehabilitation with Giles from "Lessons" to "Same Time, Same Place"
  • Angel apparently was aware of Willow being a lesbian, as well as the extreme depression Buffy had in Season Six.
  • Both Faith and Willow express awareness of Connor despite Wolfram & Hart's reality alterations regarding him. It is revealed later in the arc that when Buffy destroyed the Seed, she also unwittingly undid said alteration.
  • While Willow and Angel argue over resurrecting Giles, they both mention Buffy's resurrection in "Bargaining, Part One" and all of the subsequent pain and suffering it caused the Scoobies. Despite having previously attempted to isolate Kennedy from Buffy under the belief that Tara would still be alive if she had not resurrected her, as she admitted in "Anywhere But Here", Willow insists that regardless of all of the things that negatively impacted them as a result, she has never regretted bringing Buffy back for a second.
  • Willow claimed to both Angel and Faith she was not looking to bring magic back for selfish reasons. This was later proven false in "Family Reunion, Part Three" and "Willow: Wonderland, as she also mostly aimed to have her power back to not be weak anymore.
  • Willow told Faith she believed the Giles' resurrection would fail, but even if it didn't, it would still have consequences. Her judgement was proven to be half-right. Giles was resurrected, but the price was being stuck in his twelve year old body. ("What You Want, Not What You Need, Part Two")
  • Willow also confronted Angel over abandoning everyone except him and Buffy on a higher plane in Twilight, Part Three. Angel also didn't understand why so many people thought this, as Harmony had said the same in In Perfect Harmony. He states that he was intending to bring everyone else over into the Twilight dimension when all was said and done, but Buffy was too worked up to let him explain that part; Willow acknowledges that that is a problem with Buffy.
  • When arguing with Faith, Angel pointed out that he had to stop her from choking her own father not that long ago in "Daddy Issues, Part Three".
  • Gunn mentioned that he doesn't have to tell him what happened to Lorne, referring to Lorne's death in "Lorne: The Music of the Spheres".
  • Illyria's whereabouts were confirmed to be in Los Angeles with a mystical council with her full powers restored in "Welcome to the Team, Part One".

Appearances

Individuals

Organizations and Titles

Species

Events

Locations

Weapons and Objects

Death Count

Behind the Scenes

Collections

Pop Culture References

  • Willow apparently visited Stonehenge during her quest to restore magic, and that it was "now just a pile of rocks" since the Seed was destroyed.
  • Faith described Nadira as "having more issues than Sports Illustrated ".
  • Lavinia and Sophronia decide to find English singer Morissey at one of his concerts, due to their mutual attraction towards him.
  • Upon reuniting with Angel, Gunn commented that he looked "like Ed Hardy exploded on him."

Quotes

Angel - "You want me to find the son I've never been there for and ruin the life he's built. Ask him to go back to the hell he grew up in because of me. For some wild goose chase. Something that's not even possible. Here I was ashamed to see you."
Willow - (slaps Angel) "Don't you dare. Don't you dare try to say I'm like you! This is all your fault! Thinking you can fix things! Running blindly down any road that might lead to redemption! And you're doing it again! Never worrying about the consequences until it's too late! You're ruined everything, Angel!!"
Willow - "Can't you see what were missing? How empty the world is? There hasn't been a decent song, movie or book, since we lost the seed! Suicide rates are spiking! All over the world people are losing hope! It's just starting! It only gets worse from here! The world's dying and nobody will admit it! I need to save it. There's nothing more important. Why doesn't anyone understand...?"
Faith - "Think you can talk her out of killing Angel, too?"
Willow - "Let's stick to easier stuff. Like resurrections and restoring magic."
Willow - "I know I'm not the poster child for using magic responsibly, but the two situations are totally different. Earth's lost something essential. Because of what Buffy and Angel did. I'm trying to fix it. No matter what comes of that, doing nothing is worse. We can't wait 'till things get really bad, because then it'll be too late. This is to help the world. Not me. They're not the same thing at all."
Willow - "So, you create this whole new universe and leave everyone else to die. Including us and your son."
Angel - "No! Why does everyone have such a hard time getting this? Once we'd given the Twilight Universe form, I was going to bring everyone else over!"
Willow - "Buffy never mentioned you saying that."
Angel - "You ever try finishing a sentence when Buffy's worked up?"
Willow - "Oh, that is sexist. And funny. And so very, very true."
Gunn - "Ladies. You look as lovely as ever. Angel. You look like Ed Hardy exploded on you."
Angel - "It's to keep the sun off. I had a trench coat and fedora, but Faith said I looked like a flasher."
Faith - "From the fifties."
Connor - "You were right. I'm doing great here. And Natalie's ... I know it's early, but she's something special. I'm in the right place for me. You should be wherever's best for you. I'll be fine with it. But you don't have to hide from me. Not now ... not ever."

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