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"The Hero of His Own Story" is the fifteenth issue of the Angel & Faith comic book series. Joss Whedon is the Executive Producer.

Synopsis[]

Part One: Whistler[]

Angel entered a pizzeria to find Whistler sitting at a booth, waiting patiently. He waved at him good-naturedly, only to have Angel grab him by his lapels, clearly furious at him. He angrily asked if he was crazy to team up with Pearl and Nash, immediately demanding that he take him to them. In no mood for this, Whistler easily snapped his wrist and ordered him to sit down. Still annoyed, he reluctantly sat down. Whistler reminsced over all that had happened, the day he had brought Angel to Buffy and had set him up on his path to his destiny. However, Whistler quickly flipped out, expressing his fury that Angel had thrown everything they had planned away. He also put other people in the resturant in a light trance.

Angel remained unrepentant, claiming that their friends were in danger and Buffy needed his help. Whistler angrily exclaimed that they could have done of all that by finalizing the new world. Angel mentioned that he had told all of that to Buffy but she didn't believe it, adding that she was right. No matter what they did, there would've been far too many casualties. Whistler easily admitted this, incredulously asking if Angel ever expected it to be easy. Angel said he didn't but added Whistler never told him he would have made everything worse because Whistler knew Angel wouldn't do it if he did. He pointedly stated that Whistler had assumed that by the time everything went bad, Angel and Buffy would be too high on power and each other to really notice and they wouldn't be able to make the right choice. Angel then demanded that Whistler admit to using both him and Buffy from that alley to Twilight as means to achieve evolution.

Whistler replied that Destiny is when the Universe is using you. He then began to tell the story of his birth parents, a pureblood demon and an agent of the Powers That Be. This was unheard of, and the forces of good and evil joined forces to kill them. It was not exactly a true alliance, they just working together to get rid of the couple who had broken the rules and was threatening the status quo of the Universe. When Whistler's parents died, instead of being eaten by demons, Whistler was adopted by the Powers and given precognitive powers that produced visions of possible futures. They raised him to help when he was needed and to maintain the natural balance in the world. He operated privately (a flashback was shown of him pushing young King Arthur to pull the sword out of the stone) and worked very hard to keep the world from becoming too dark. Sometimes though, he had to do things the other way but not as often as people were prone to making their own problems. He never liked pushing people towards changes knowing that they are going to fail in the end, but didn't want to be too sensitive over it, reasoning that balance was always the greater good. Eventually, he realized that there was a way to keep the balance and still make things better after he found Buffy and Angel and their possible destiny.

The flashbacks end. Back at the restaurant, Angel seemed completely thrown. Whistler then said, "I like to think the Universe got the idea to bring you two together from my folks. That their death wasn't for nothing, y'know? You coulda birthed a new Universe. One where good and evil, magic and science, light and dark merged together. Where the balance was maintained because everyone evolved. Into something higher." A panel showed Buffy destroying the Seed. Whistler again states that Angel lost his chance and the whole planet as well. The end of magic cut Whistler off from the Powers, ended his visions, destroyed the balance, and everything was terrible. He had a huge part of himself torn away and he empathized with how the Earth must've felt.

Whistler then revealed that he had recieved one last vision before his precognition cut out: a dead world, one where grim, sick humans wandered around a dark, dirty city; a one-armed little girl walking down the street, flying cars in the air. It'll be hell, unless they act and work to change it. Whistler pulled out a glowing marble from his jacket, explaining to Angel that the only magic left in the world were in magical items. He was going to distill magic throughout the world without a Seed and magic will just be a part of nature, evolving like it's supposed to.

Angel inquired of the cost of it all. Whistler admitted that about two billion people might die but that wasn't his point. It's about the bigger picture: their world is already overpopulated and the only other option was the dead world he had seen. He didn't truly want to work with Pearl and Nash, expressing a desire for Angel to help him save the world, and join him on his new mission. Whistler admitted that every one of his past visions were always a possibility and that's why he believes the future can be changed.

Angel hesitated. He admited to Whistler that he owed him everything: his purpose, his chance at redemption, Buffy. Angel owed him more than he could ever repay. He did want to help, but not way Whistler wanted. Angel bluntly claimed that the end of magic had caused Whistler's sanity to waver and that he wasn't thinking clearly; That's how Angel wanted to help. Whistler didn't like this. Furious, Whistler got up to leave. Angel added that he couldn't let him go through with this, driving Whistler to punch a hole through Angel's stomach. Whistler readied himself to kill Angel with a makeshift stake from the tabletop but found he couldn't follow through, saying "I can't do it. You were always my favorite, kid. I can't do that to you." He tossed the stake to the floor, adding "So don't make me." He left, warning Angel to never see him again.

Part Two: Pearl and Nash[]

Pearl and Nash's backstory starts in Oklahoma, 1935. A naked woman with runes all over her skin waved a dead chicken over a pentagram, summoning a big, spindly orange demon. He inquired what she wanted from him, expecting it to be riches or some altuistic improvement to the human condition. She looked at him grimly before confessing that she wanted him to impregnate her. He was surprised but pleased. Skip ahead to five-year old Pearl and Nash with their mother, learning about their purpose in the world.

Next we see thirty-five-year old Pearl and Nash, getting their brood of demon youngsters slaughtered. They were holding their own when their mother showed up to help, armed with a shotgun. The last of the human warriors disappeared through a portal as he spat out threats. The mother called him Alasdair Coames. When it was just the three of them, Pearl and Nash held one another and cried while their mother complained about all the good breeding that had been wasted. Pearl said she couldn't deal with it anymore, but her mother was unsympathetic. Their mother suggested breeding humans with strong magics rather than just demons, so the offspring would blend. She added that the two of them could come up with something better, advising them to take the pain as a reminder of why they fight.

Next, the siblings are shown talking to Twilight while floating in the air at dusk. They eagerly question him about the "evolution". He simply stated the world was ending, and the "most suitable candidates" would enter a new world of light and darkness, (essentially the same as Whistler's monologue). They get especially excited when he mentioned there will be blood.

Cut to the present. Pearl and Nash's mother is on some sort of unholy life support involving a giant spider and dead chicken IVs. Teary-eyed at her bedside, Pearl and Nash apologize for failing her. She chides them, saying they just needed to get themselves together and keep trying. She says Twilight was to blame for everything and they were in good company with Whistler. As their mother's wishes, her children kill her with their optic blasts. Over the remains of the charred body, Nash comforts Pearl, reminding her that they'll get their salvation and revenge. They smile.

Continuity[]

The story was set after "Family Reunion", but before "Death and Consequences".

  • Whistler referred the events when he first met Angel eating rats in an alleyway before introducing him to Buffy when she was called and putting him on the path of redemption. Flashbacks of this were explictly shown in "Becoming, Part One".
  • Angel and Buffy's destiny of meeting, creating a new world and being the "evolution" of the universe was earlier hinted as predestined in "Riley: Commitment Through Distance, Virtue Through Sin". It was fully confirmed in this issue. Angel had before stated Buffy was his destiny in an alternate reality in "The Wish."
  • Angel mentioned that Buffy didn't believe in the Twilight plan and that she was right in the first place, both he and Whistler referencing several events that took place from "Twilight, Part Two" to "Twilight, Part Four".
  • Buffy destroying of the Seed of Wonder, consequently ending magic on Earth in "Last Gleaming, Part Four" was seen in flashbacks.
  • This issue showed Pearl and Nash's past with regard to demon breeding. At the age of 18, Pearl would do something similar in Rome, seen by flashbacks in "A Dark Place, Part Three".
  • Whistler stated the future awaiting the Earth would dark and dysfunctional if they didn't act. This was a reference to the New York shown when Buffy traveled to the future in"Time of Your Life'". It also supports Willow's and Connor's claims that the world was truly on a dark path since the end of magic.[1][2][3]

Appearances[]

Individuals[]

Organizations and Titles[]

Species[]

Events[]

Locations[]

Weapons and Objects[]

Death Count[]

  • Whistler's parents, murdered by The Powers That Be and Demons. (only in flashbacks)
  • Unidentified sheriff, eye-blasted by Pearl and Nash. (only in flashbacks)
  • Several of Pearl and Nash's children, killed by many skilled humans. (only in flashbacks)
  • Unidentified human, head shot off with a rifle by Susan Finney. (only in flashbacks)
  • Susan Finney, blasted by Pearl and Nash.

Behind the Scene[]

Collections[]

Pop Culture References[]

  • Whistler described Pearl and Nash as "The Donny and Marie from Hell", an reference to the two most well-known members of The Osmonds, a Mormon family singing group.
  • When Angel pointed out there would be casualties with the creation of Twilight, Whistler replied "Evolution's a bitch. That's why they call it Darwinism .... 'cause that dude was ugly." Charles Darwin was the man who created the "Theory of Evolution".
  • Whistler claimed to be on the Titanic, and compared spreading magic across the world to Johnny Appleseed.
  • Pearl and Nash's biological demon father dryly muttered "Thank you, Mr. Gutenberg. The printing press was a wonderful invention" when realizing Susan Finney had summoned him, a reference to John Gutenberg.
  • The variant cover of this issue is inspired by the back-cover photo on the 1972 David Bowie's album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. Pencils and inks by Rebekah Isaacs and colors by Dan Jackson.

Quotes[]

Whistler: "You created a new universe! It was yours! All you had to do was decide what it should look like, then you coulda brought all your friends over! You coulda saved the whole world!"
Angel: "I tried telling Buffy that. She wasn't buying it. Because it wasn't true, was it? The hell dimensions were invading Earth. No matter how fast we worked, there were going to be casualties.
Whistler: "Well, duh. You coulda kept'em low if you'd moved fast. But c'mon, you thought it was gonna be a cakewalk? Evolution's a bitch. That's why they call it Darwinism ... 'cause that dude was ugly."
Angel: "I never thought it'd be painless. But you didn't tell me I'd make things worse. Because you knew I'd never go along with it. You figured by the time it got to that point, Buffy and I would be so drunk on power--and each other--that we wouldn't notice. Or be able to make the choice she made. Admit it. Everything you did ... from the alley to Twilight ... you were using me. Using us."
Whistler: "What the hell d'you think destiny is, kid? It's the universe using you."
Whistler: "And they told me to make sure the pendulum never swung too far either way to help where I was needed. Not personally. That wasn't my style. I operated behind the scenes. Found promising canidates. If the dark ages got too gloomy, I let in some light. Sometimes I hadda go the other way, too. Not often. People have a way of screwin' up things on their own. But I couldn't get sentimental about it. Balance. That was what counted. Even if it meant sometimes doing things that left a sick feeling in my gut. I know about making hard choices, kiddo. And I always chose the greater good."
Angel: "Whistler ... you're right. I owe you everything. You gave me a purpose. A chance at redemption. You gave me her. I owe you more than I could ever repay. Of course I want to help you. But you have to let me. The end of magic ... it did something to you. Affected your mind. It had to, the balance being thrown off like that. I'll fix it. I'll find a way. Get your head thinking clearly again. Just say you'll let me help you."
Susan: "Now take a good last look. Draw the pain into your hearts. Let it live there every day, festering and burning. As a reminder of what we're fightin' for. And an inspiration to do better next time."
Nash: "Sssh. We're going to do it. For her."
Pearl: "Angel was right too. There most certainly will be blood. Salvation and revenge. I scarcely know which I look forward to more."

Gallery[]

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References[]

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