-This Review Contains Spoilers-The first thing that needs to be addressed about this months issue…Fred is back! The last page of last month's issue brought the return of a major character from the dead (or so we assumed) when Angel discovers Fred, without an Illyria influence wandering London’s Magic Town. She attempts to share something regarding Illyria, but passes out and is carried by Angel, reminiscent of her rescue from Pylea. A massive thank you to Gishchler for this familiar moment. Eldre Koh also makes his appearance this issue, who was introduced in Buffy Season 9. Koh is a previously-imprisoned warrior who was freed when the seed was demolished after the events of Season 8’s climactic conclusion. Koh has always had one goal we’ve known about, to find who was behind his mystical lock-up, which can only mean the search brought him to Magic Town. I’m glad they intertwined the character between both the Buffy and Angel books, which only makes sense after his brief partnership with Illyria last season. Angel takes Fred to Nadira’s haven (the slayer with a grudge - turned mystical liaison of Magic Town) and she expresses her concerns of Fred’s peculiar return, likening it a massive ripple effect that can upset the balance. The last time we actually saw Illyria, she sacrificed herself at the source of the new seed. With the new magic refreshing her back to Fred, and now appearing in the separate entity magic town, the forces are bound to clash if what Nadira says is accurate. Fred shares that she can recall quite a bit of her memories as Illyria; detailing some of her out of body experiences. She does, however, make it known that Illyria resides within her and there is a constant struggle to remain in control of her own body. Faith makes her return to London after going on her own personal quest, and seeks out Nadira, feeling guilt over leaving her after the chaotic battle that changed the rookie slayer completely. Nadira dismisses her sorrows and happily reunites her with Angel, where the two embrace after a long time apart. Just before you can celebrate the happy reunions, Koh finds Nadira and the others on the hunt for someone, when Fred clearly states his name and shows concern over her recollection of what’s to come. This moment sets up so many potential stories for Fred /Illyria & Koh, and the evolved Nadira with Angel and Faith. This was phenomenal must-read issue for the fact that it addressed one major frustration, lack of Fred. Her presence on the show was an essential element and her untimely death that the villains claimed could never be undone. If I could insert a sparkly excited happy emoji here, there would be an assortment. The artwork is stellar, as per usual, and I am also glad to see Faith return to the fray; hopefully there will be a team forming between our new and old key players. With the new Magic Town hitting its boiling point, and Fred back, next month's issue can’t come soon enough. Hooray for Fred!!
Overall Grade -- 9/10
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