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"Dear Diary, Today I was pompous and my sister was crazy... Today, we were kidnapped by hill folk never to be seen again. It was the best day ever."
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November 21 2007

(SPOILER) Angel:After the Fall #1 released today. The wait is finally over!The Fang Gang is back!

The year long epic story begins today.Herc over at Aint It Cool reposts the 5 page preview, announcing:
"ANGEL Starts Season Six Today!! Give Thanks, Pilgrim!!"

Let the discussion commence...

I can't discuss the contents of the issue, because when I went to my comics store to pick up my reserved copy, I was told that the distributor hadn't sent enough copies to the store. Not only did most of those of us who reserved it not get it, but there were no general display copies, either.

I don't know whether this is the result of innocent error, incompetence, or huge demand. I hope it's the latter. Anyone else have a similar story?

Meanwhile, how bummed am I? Very, very. Enjoy the issue, all you lucky folks who can get your hands on a copy pronto....
I read a breakdown for the issue. One of the plot details was widely known about a couple of years back but the other major one came out of left field and I do like the sound of it.
I got mine!! But the guy at my comics store said he had never seen such demand for an issue. He said he did not remember a time when an issue went into a second printing before the first one even came out. (I had asked about getting a second issue beyond my reserved copy, and he just laughed and said be grateful I got the reserved copy.)

I'm not certain which plot details you speak of, Simon, but one I expected was not evident in this issue, while one that I didn't expect was a kinda nice resolution to the problem Joss set up in the last episode.

My only personal gripe--and I think this might have been said by others in connection with one of the covers for the second issue awhile back--is the resort to the gratuitous display of buxom women, when the Jossverse has so many fans who were drawn to his shows because of the relative lack of same.

But I was so happy to get my hands on this, and, with no hopes of our friends returning to the TV screen, this will do.
I'll be getting this tomorrow and I'm really looking forward to it.
My only personal gripe--and I think this might have been said by others in connection with one of the covers for the second issue awhile back--is the resort to the gratuitous display of buxom women, when the Jossverse has so many fans who were drawn to his shows because of the relative lack of same.

I have to say, that bothered me as well.

But for the most part, I think it turned out very well. I was surprised to find out that it was Nina with Connor and Gwen. Wesley was written very well, so well that when I was reading his lines, I could hear them in Alexis' voice. Also, glad to see that the speculation that Gunn would be a vampire had a sixth season happened...happened.

Yeah, I'm still all bouncy and excited about the continuation of Angel, still on pins and needles waiting to find out anything about Lindsey's fate but that's okay 'cause I'm fucking smiling and I may have squeeled and kissed the front cover.

All in all, a wonderful introduction to the series, not as chaotic as I'd feared from the few spoilers I had seen.
I'm just back from Brian Lynch's signing at Meltdown Comics (picture of Brian). I asked both him and the store clerk if they had heard of any distribution problems. They said no, but "Diamond." If it makes you feel any better, phlebotinin, Brian recognized your nickname (and mine).
I'm glad the vamp Gunn thing went forward.I like this much more then one eyed Gunn from Old Friends.Too much like Xander.Ever since Amy Acker leaked the vamp Gunn thing,I've been hoping that they would do it in After the Fall.Also I'm interested in seeing where things go with Wes.This made a lot of sense to go that way if Joss and Brian were going to bring him back.

Unfortunately,I can't say the same about the return of Nina which I'm not enthused about at all.Anne would of made so much more sense here.Other then my disappointment that Nina is back,I liked the issue.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2007-11-21 22:48 ]
I am so happy I avoided spoilers, this issued KICKED @SS! I am so happy now! Wesley, and evil vampire Gunn! It is too exciting.
I did have a very hard time getting the comic: my local store didn't (or couldn't) get enough, so I called a bunch of local stores (most of which hadn't even ordered it), and ended up having to drive into the city where I got both covers (so, yay!). I adore Franco Urru's artwork, I think all the voices are spot-on, and mostly I'm beside myself with joy about Wesley's presence!
Hmm... I was ambivalent about this so I thought I'd read these comments and then decide to buy it or not. If Wesley's back, even though it sounds like Nina's in it and I didn't like here, I'm totally buying it tommorrow. :D
Which is the regular cover and which is the variant?

This always confuses me with comics...
Cover A is by Tony Harris and Cover B is by Franco Urru. I guess B is the variant.

I had no problem getting both copies, but I put in my subscription request a long time ago. I think my local store sent out e-mails to their Buffy subscribers to see if they wanted Angel subscriptions. Good marketing idea on their part.

I enjoyed the issue. I sat in my car in the parking lot and read it.
I was a bit worried because the series finale was just so good(okay, the best), but after reading it and seeing how certain characters came back, I can tell there's more story left to be told. Bravo Brian, you did a hell of a job! I think its almost better than Season Eight of Buffy, but I just have the first issue so we'll see.

[ edited by vivaprestondunn on 2007-11-22 01:41 ]
Wow. Was not disappointed at all- this really does feel like season 6 of Angel 'if season 6 went forward at the last minute after Wesley got killed'!

My only hope is that there is a sort of 'beginning-middle-end' to the storylines like the television seasons had (for both Angel and Buffy), and have seasons 7, 8, etc., rather than being a series like, for example, the X-men that continues, but never really seems to have any real 'conclusions' to storylines.
Absolutely amazing. I loved every single page of it. It was so epic and dark.

I so did not expect to see Wesley. His entrance was great! So his contract went beyond death too. I wonder who he's taking orders from in The White Room. Holland? Or maybe hopefully Lilah?

I was so happy to see Gwen again, she's easily one of the coolest characters ever on the show. I feel sort of bad for her, I guess her electricity thing came back. It was nice to Nina and Connor again also.

Gunn Gunn Gunn Gunn Gunn, holy-crap! Completely shocking. I was so happy at first cause it seemed like he survived and was helping Angel get the glowing yellow thing, which I can't wait to see what that is, and then the last page when it was revealed he was a vamp, my jaw dropped, a great twist. Who turned him? Angel? And now Gunn has what Angel needs? Lots of drama to come I bet.

I also loved the Angel declaring war at the end, so kickass. Can't wait to see more next month. And Spike!

BTW- I'm in love with the dragon.
Great start, except for the glaringly conspicuous absence of Spike.

Spike is my main interest in either verse. Even the opening episode of season 5 had Spike at the very end. I pre-ordered the series with the expectation of enjoying the continuation of Spike's journey, albeit within the Angel verse.

Now, it seems, I have to wait another month :(
Don't feel bad anindoorkitty, instead of having Spike being just background scenery, I'm sure he is going to have a big reveal in his own spotlight! Of course that is easy for me to say since I was all aglow with the job of Wesley being there!
I'm glad you got to get your Wes-glow on, embers :)

Now I'm really looking forward to my turn.
Wow guys, you rock. Thanks for your kind words.

Spike comes back next issue.

As for the buxom woman comment, the artist is from somewhere called "Italy" and claims all women look like that. Looking at pages from 2 and 3, there are some buxom women, indeed, but it does get toned down. Except for some women. But they can't help it, breast reduction is hard to find in hell. I will pass on your comments though.

This was a hard day with family emergencies and stuff, and your words really put a smile on my day. So thank you.

I can't wait for you guys to read number 2. It kicks much ass.
Ok, how uncool to post after the writer himself and not be glowing?
Unfortunately, it just didn't grab me. I found the art a bit messy and stiff, and some of the panels just didn't flow well. I'm not a seasoned comic reader, though I've read my fair share, so I had to defer to my comic geek hubby who agreed that, while some artists can do the creative paneling, this issue may have been better with a more standard format.
And I know it was Joss' idea, but I was never crazy about the post-apocalyptic thing, but that's just my personal taste.
I have, admittedly, very high standards when it comes to something that should be canon, so it's possible I'm judging the issue too harshly.(My world is not being rocked by Joss' own comic canon either.) I really did enjoy Asylum, but I read that as a trade(as I do most comics), so perhaps that kind of format might be best for me. Get an overall story that feels solid and finished instead of the 'dribbles' that monthlies give that always make me feel a story is mediocre. I've found several times that a few 'meh' issues can turn into a pretty decent trade just by virtue of being finished and...climaxed.

(Then again, maybe I need to read it again already. Totally didn't notice that Nina and Gwen were in there. Of course, I hated Gwen and didn't really like Nina, so it's an easy miss. I was wondering who those girls with Connor were and actually wondered if glowy boob girl was Cordy for a minute...but I guess that was Gwen? I think that's what you get when you cross forgettable characters with art that doesn't quite capture likeness-IMO, of course. )

Am totally psyched to see Spike coming up, though. Loved that piece of him at the back. Gorgeous.

[ edited by Rogue Slayer on 2007-11-22 06:30 ]
Brian...I must add to the chorus of awed voices. (Or the chorus of typed words. Your pick.)

This was so much better than I ever thought it could have been. Wesley working for the Senior Partners, Gunn being a vamp...everything.

You rock, my friend.

(I did have some issues with the art. I was a bit cluttered, and yeah, the buxom women. Minor quibbles, to be sure.)

[ edited by UnpluggedCrazy on 2007-11-22 06:31 ]
But they can't help it, breast reduction is hard to find in hell.

Aww, dude, don't tell me that. Hell, I need to get religion stat. (and thanks for passing on the comment).

Congratulations on a wonderful first issue! Looking forward to lots more from y'all.

[ edited by menomegirl on 2007-11-22 06:41 ]
Loved it, loved it, loved it! I think the reveal of Wesley was probably my favorite part of the book. Very clever how he came about. I wonder if Lilah will show up.
Gotta go with Rogue Slayer on this one. Especially the art. While I'm not so averse to the style in general, the quality seems lacking. Part of it is the coloring. My eyes had trouble figuring out where to go because everything is so jumbled and muddy. The compositions need improvement. Also the locations of dialogue balloons and thought boxes were often confusing, leading me to read the wrong thing next. That may be partly due to the shapes of the panels being hard to work with, I dunno.

The buxom women never felt gratuitous to me. Strangely prolific, but not gratuitous. I get the complaint, but it seems to me in a world with humans as slaves, all you need is a horny (if not with actual horns) demon to have the scantily clad type laying about. Frankly I'd expect them to be completely nude. And there are no shots that focus on any of these women, so gratuity saves face this time in my book.

All that said (I'm sure I have plenty more too) I am pretty damned content with the plot and the overall presentation of it. I mean, way to take advantage of the medium! Would there have ever been a giant Dawn on TV Buffy? Doubtful. Would Angel have ever ridden a Dragon as part of his nightly rounds on TV Angel? I'm going with no on that. Loving all the demons so far, especially Kr'ph, Lord of Westwood! Hilarious! But what is UK-CA? The only stadium I know of in Westwood belongs to UCLA, but I am limited in my knowledge about that area.

Also, got my book signed by Mr. Lynch who is extremely kind and gracious, a joy to meet. (If you see this, I hope your namesake enjoyed his free book). I'm not 100% satisfied I admit, but I do love where the story is going and I'm looking forward to much more!
You were fun to meet too, man. Thanks for coming down.

New colorist for issue 2, so maybe you'll dig the art more.

As for Uk-La, that was Kr'ph pronouncing "UCLA" because he's an idiot. the book, it's "Uk-Ca." So I think the joke was a bit smudged.
AH! THAT I get! Looking at it though, UK-CA definitely made it in as a typo. I blame you, as the writer this is obviously your direct fault and is a symptom of your horrible writing skills! It's amazing you got this gig.

Okay, so no, it doesn't bother me that much at all. I am a little disappointed in myself for not figuring the obvious out though.

Can Kr'ph not be dead? He's too much fun, and always knows when best to strike a deal.

And here's a picture of me with the man himself!

Go ahead, be jealous. And I'll figure out that link thing...

[ edited by bobw1o on 2007-11-22 07:54 ]
I am jealous, I would have loved to go to the signing (and I hope that Brian Lynch will come to some comic book conventions, like the one in San Francisco in February...hint hint).
This first issue was rock solid and thrilling. I loved it. I have to say thank you to the PTB for including Wesley in this continuation. So Brian...thank you again. :) Hoping you got your family stuff under control and everything is good for your Holiday.

Can't wait to see what else you have in store for us. Great way to resume Angel's journey.
Oh no, Kr'ph things "UCLA" is pronounced "Uk-ca"? What a jerk!

Thanks everyone! Off to get a few hours sleep before I board my plane!
Uh, am I the only one confused by the "It started with a girl" business. I mean, yeah, I recognized the opening from the first episode of Angel the Series, but what girl did Wolfram & Hart kill that caused Angel to take a stand against them? It wasn't Cordy - W&H didn't kill her, she died from the results of Jasmine's pregnancy/possession.

And I'm another one for finding the art confusing, stiff, and gratuitously booby. I don't care where the artist is from. It makes me feel like I'm reading something intended for adolescent boys. It lowers the level of the book. I found the action sufficiently confusing that I didn't even realize that was Gunn as evil vampire on the final page. (I did however recognize Gwen and Nina, mostly because Connor referred to them as "Gwen" and "Nina". Guess she didn't take those plane tickets after all.)
Oh man, where to start?!

First, I hope your family emergencies get sorted safely and soon, Brian. Hope all is well.

Thanks for explaining the UK-CA joke. I figured it was some kind of twist on UCLA - now it makes perfect sense.

The dialogue is spot-on. Angel really sounds like Angel, Wes sounds like Wes, Gunn sounds like Gunn. Excellent writing.
The Gunn reveal was perfect, and I'm so glad to have Wes back in *such* an interesting role.

Thank you for an issue that raises so many questions - did LA go to Hell, or did Hell come to LA? How did Gunn get vamped? What is Wes' role, and why is Angel so restricted? What is his relationship to Connor like? Does the dragon have a name? And where can I get a giant mind yelling fish?

On the buxom women - it just occurred to me that it's not just the presence of buxom women in the book that bothers me, but that they are actually just set pieces, not real characters. If they're KR'PH's slaves then portray them as sexual slaves - look at modern Thailand or any of the other countries with a thriving sex tourist industry for examples. At least the male slaves got to be real characters.

OK, off to re-read it. Again. Wonderful stuff. (Slipped by barboo - I think "It all started with a girl" in this case is referring to Fred. That's my best guess, at least.)
Haven't read it yet, and I guess I'll be alone on this, but having Wesley back, even as a hell-minion or whatever, bothers me. Who's next, Cordelia? Or Fred? Both are possible. There are ways to do it. But I hate it.

If I can't believe that the deaths of some people I desperately care about are permanent, that they are gone, then something else is gone in their place - the tragedy. Tragedy is where these stories get their weight. It just becomes melodrama otherwise. I know, or I assume, Wesley is dead, but if he's there, walking and talking, that's a technicality. Psychologically it's as if he never died.

Not only that, it's getting old. First was Angel. Fine. But by now, in different ways, all sorts of dead characters have popped up and I'm sure will continue to do so. Spike, obviously. Fred, who can be reconstituted at will by Illyria. Cordelia and Darla in visions or whatever. Probably they'll end up being sent down to hell by the PTB at some point. No doubt Lindsey and Lilah will show soon, and probably Holland, as someone said above. And of course, Gunn.

How can I feel there is something really at stake any more, if there's no felt absence? How can I mourn them if they won't go away?

[ edited by shambleau on 2007-11-22 18:57 ]
(I did however recognize Gwen and Nina, mostly because Connor referred to them as "Gwen" and "Nina". Guess she didn't take those plane tickets after all.)

Ha! See, totally missed it. I think I had even wiped their names from my harddrive.

(Slipped by barboo - I think "It all started with a girl" in this case is referring to Fred. That's my best guess, at least.)

I was guessing Fred too.

And I, too, was not happy to see Wesley back. Not just because this is a sad ending for a character who has been drug/dragged? through the ringer a few times already(can we at least let him have a peaceful afterlife???), but because yes, for emotional resonance, some characters should stay dead. And I felt he was one. I felt his story had come to an end...a painful, tragic, Jossian end, but for the love of Joss he was at least out of his misery.

Also...why did he revert to Pre-Dark Wesley when he died? Where's that scruff?? Why the glasses again?

[ edited by Rogue Slayer on 2007-11-22 12:22 ]
Man, what a great first issue, it really is jam-packed.
It was great to see Angel, and finally his voice sounds real, there is a sense of quality here that i felt lacked from the previous Angel comics: Old friends,Old Curse and Auld lang syne.

I liked the journey Connor is on, he's a character i've always liked. That boy had it rough, i can't think of a more tragic character in the Buffyverse, from the moment he was born he had it rough. Glad to see him as a well adjusted young man, he has potential.
Found nothing wrong with the breasts-sizes. Altough it might have something to do with that Gwen doesn't match her real-life counter-part. Nina does, but Gwen doesn't. As for the other women in the comic, this is supposed to be LA, LA in hell sure, but still LA.

Sad that Spike wasn't shown altough i do like that he will have his own storyarc that isn't all revolved around Angel.
Wes's return is intresting, i'm sure alot of Wesley-fans are glad for it.
Gunn-vamp? Meh, not my favorite idea, imo there are enough vampires on this show(comic). But i do get how tragic it is for him, to become the thing he hates most. I can't see Spike turning him, he wouldn't care enough and he's the vamp least to have turned someone(except unwillingly, the first) in all of his history. Angel might have, but he's also learned his lesson with Lawson. Gotta say that i do hope that either Spike or Angel dust him, he's not a match for either of them.

All in all, great first issue, looked forward to next month and the return of Spike.
I have to say, after the immediate read-through, I'm blown away. This is everything I hoped it would be, and more.

Very, very anxious to read the continuation.

Tiny question, like Rogue Slayer asks, why does Wes seem to have reverted to early season 2-mode visually? Nitpick, anyway, I loved this way of bringing him back. It actually adds to the pain of losing him, knowing that he's not leaving the suffering but entering an even darker place that he cannot (ever) escape, while at the same time giving us more Wyndham-Pryce'y goodness AND bringing a whole new dimension of distrust in between him and Angel. And there's prescedent for bringing characters back like this, too, so it doesn't even feel forced at all. Very clever indeed.

The last page was horrifically beautiful, by the way. Even though I was spoiled enough about the plans for a season 6 way back when to see this coming, the page still scared the crap out of me.
I'm gonna post before reading what ANYONE else has to say first. Then I'll see if everything I said is redundant and/or completely crazy according to popular consensus :P. Oh and spoilers.

In brief: enjoyable. Not perfect. I think that I've been spoiled by the Buffy comics, because I don't think the voices are nailed (yet) the way Joss obviously does and the way BKV somehow managed to do with such immediately. Angel sounds right; Wesley is a bit stiff and season two Wesley-ish but that could be because of his current, er, situation; and Gunn sounded nothing like Gunn, which it of course partly (but not totally, I think) explained by the final revelation. (I was really worried that BL was suggesting that it would be cool for Gunn to want immediately to have sex with the human slaves he saved, but in retrospect it was a hint that Gunn wasn't exactly the purest of heart.) Also, since when does Nina dress like that? (I guess since the apocalypse.) On the whole though characters besides Angel himself (and maybe Wesley) didn't get enough screentime--er, pagespace?--to get a good sense.

So that's the writing; on the "directing" front (which is also mostly the writing), some of the actual blocking and continuity seemed very odd, too. The frame where the "moron son" punches Wesley is followed immediately by said demon running off, without any reaction shot at all, which felt very jarring. And the Connor reveal is surreal; Gwen and Nina jump across the room from facing Connor, to facing the newcomers, just in order to give us a "power shot" of Connor with Gwen and Nina on either side. I guess since Connor has super speed, it's actually more likely that he jumped over to Gwen and Nina and turned around to face the, er, "camera" (I can't stop thinking in filmic terms, sorry).

Wesley's being back makes a surprising amount of sense. Of course the AI's contracts wouldn't terminate; Lilah even ran away and was brought back to W&H. (Which reminds me: now that actor availability and cost isn't an issue, let's see Holland and Lilah at some point, please?) How exactly Wesley's presence works, and how much control he has over his own actions as opposed to as a general representative of W&H remains to be seen and I am, indeed, quite interested to find out. (One question: Wolfram & Hart let Lindsey go, but did they actually terminate his contract? Is *he* beholden to them after death too? Particularly since he was in the mystical prison not too long before Angel et al. got him out.)

As far as the last-page revelation about Gunn: I've heard this mentioned before as one of the things they would have done in season six, and I still think that it's an idea that could be interesting; I'm still a bit reluctant as it suggests that it might just be from a failure to know what to do with his character (which plagued much of Angel's run). That said it's a good compromise between being Gunn-less (which is not fun) and having all four of Our Heroes coming away from the battle alive (which would be, frankly, a cheat). (Although the idea of the dragon being on "our" [i.e. Angel's] side now? WAY COOL.)

Also cool: the telepathic fish. I really do have to go read Asylum soon.

So we know where Angel, Wesley, Gunn, Connor, Nina, Gwen, and the dragon Angel personally kinda wanted to slay are. Still MIA: Spike, Illyria, Lorne, Harmony, Eve, Lindsey's presumably not-animated corpse (but you never know).

Anyway, again: good start. Can't wait for #2.
"It all started with a girl,"was confirmed to be Fred a while back by Brian.
"It all started with a girl,"was confirmed to be Fred a while back by Brian.

Which kinda makes sense; even though W&H didn't kill Fred directly, Knox did work for them, and even putting that aside it would be hard to argue that being at W&H isn't what led to Fred's death.

As far as Wes's appearance, I just figured that W&H wanted their representative to look presentable. After all, they didn't bring Lilah back without her head, right? ;)
My store was also sold out when I arrived yesterday afternoon. I was going to head for the store in the mall, but my son's basketball game and getting ready for Thanksgiving made me come back to reality...and the mall on Black Friday? YIKES! I may never get to see this.
Won't be reading this for a while because I'm waiting for the trades to come out. Haven't been much of a comic buyer in recent years and I decided when the Buffy comics started up that I'd not be buying the monthly issues. I get through them way too quickly and I think the story reads better when you read it in five or six issue arcs.

That being the case I'm not even going to attempt to avoid spoilers. I tried with Buffy season 8 and had absolutely no luck so this time I'm just going to accept that I'll know the majority of the story details before I actually read it. Not that big a deal because I was terrible at avoiding spoilers when the shows were on the television.

Anyone have any idea when the first After the Fall trade will be out and how many issues it will cover? Also, will the various fill in issues be included in the trades too?
My local shop never got any copies... It was upsetting.
Really loved this issue.

The 'It started with a girl' makes perfect sense for it to be about Fred. Angel talked to the group about Fred dying, and in that moment Angel deciding he wasn't going to make her death another meaningless thing in this world. So he used it to manipulate his way into finally getting into the Blackthorn so he could kill them. So it did start with Fred's death, at least this chapter of Angel's life.

Loved that Gunn is a vamp, he looked terrifying as he drank from that girl. He is going to be deadly IMO, and a good match for Angel and Spike. The fact he turned into the very thing he hated is going to kick arse, I wonder if he’ll be like whats his name for the submarine episode in s5.

Loved Wes being back as well, it makes perfect sense he'd still be in contract with Wolfram and Hart. People have mentioned he is no longer 'scruffy Wes' but remember how well groomed Hamilton and Lilah always were? I think it is part of the gig as being a liaison to the Senior Partners. And given Angel's suspicion of him and his intent now he is working for them (and making trips to the White Room) perhaps his new look (or old if you think he looks like old Wes) is pretty telling of his character may have changed?

Angel sounded a lot like Angel, despite everything going to hell (literally?) he seemed more champion-esque to me than he did in the last season of the show, which I love.

Overall a great issue, loved it and can't wait to see how all this develops.
WilliamTheB: I believe that the moron son ran at Wesley (in order to punch him) with such force that when he passed through Wes he just kept going from momentum (at least that is how I 'read' it).

And personally I adore 'button-down' Wesley, because it is (to me) a reflection of how he is not his own man. When he belonged to the Council he was all repressed and vested, and now he belongs to Wolfram & Hart. He had gained his hard-assed Indiana Jones style through a difficult life, and has lost it in death. It definitely works for me.

And I'm so glad people are liking the telepathic fish (AKA my beloved Betta George) because he really is the coolest! I do recommend reading all about his past adventures in Brian Lynch's Spike: Asylum and Spike: Shadow Puppets (plus, you know, SPIKE!).

I'll repeat again: I was blown away, this is one of the strongest first issues I've ever seen!
My comic shop had not only saved me a copy of this, but when I went to pick it up the guy who runs the shop gave me a poster of the Buffy #10 cover (Willow and Buffy flying). The same guy had earlier given me a promotional poster for Angel that shows the page with Angel and the dragon flying over LA. Nice guy, says I. :)

Loved the issue, and can't wait for the next one!
It was a really good issue. But I can only say good cuz Spike wasn't in it. I know next month will be great!!!
So my thoughts:

Art- I loved the art. I see comments here about people not liking it, but I really did. Obviosuly, likenesses weren't spot on, but I don't think the artist was trying to make them look like the actors. The only, absolutly ONLY issue I had with the art was that I didn't realize who the vampire was at the end until someone at SLayAlive said something. I was just happy to see Gunn alive, but vampire? Can't tell if he's working on the good side or bad.

Writing- I love Betta George! Hilarious!

Idea- Wesley scares me a little. I kind of want to hate him because he seems evil enough for it. This isn't Season Two and he's not supposed to be in charge, so what the hell? It must be evil.

Hope everything is ok with the family now, Brian. I eagerly await many more posts at SlayAlive, followed by less arguments ;) and Issue 2!
Yay, I thought this issue was great, loved every page! Nina never really bothered me, but in retrospect I can see why she bothered some people...

I'm a little confused about Wesley... is he Wolfram and Hart's puppet now? Or is he just all neat because they choose his appearance?

Soooo glad he is back though, hopefully he will be more Wesley-like again soon!

Also, I miss Lorne! Anyone else feel the same way?

[ edited by Vortigun on 2007-11-22 19:37 ]
I loved the witty commentary.

If Wes is still under contract to Wolfram & Hart, doesn't that mean that the rest of the gang is, too? In season 5, when Wes found out the extent of Lilah's contract, I thought the show was implying that her contract was different than the ones signed by Wes, Gunn, Angel, Fred and Lorne. She had turned over her soul. Surely our gang didn't intend to do that.

If this is canon, wouldn't you think that Buffy et al would worry that LA had gone to hell?

To the very gracious Brian Lynch: Please do not make a comic in which males (human and otherwise) are in charge and women are sidekicks or scenery. Some of us are tired of that kind of hell. I was so aghast at the Spike porn palace illustration under the bios that I'm not sure I want to continue with this comic. Similarly ... although Buffy Season 8 has "strong female characters," I've also been troubled that men - Xander, Giles, Principal Wood, even Andrew - command or supervise women while Buffy seems to be the only well-known female character in command. Willow, Dawn and Faith help out, but don't seem to have a team to supervise.
I got my copy, and am over the moon. I love it! Everything about it is perfect.

I feel so bad for Angel. It did NOT go well for him did it! Things look really bleak right now. I'm sure our heroes will find away out...but not for 12 issues;) I am glad he is still fighting and trying to do good. He has to doesnt he. I cant wait to see what this year has in store for him. It wont be easy, but I know he has a plan. Hope it goes better though!

I'm glad I was right about Wesley - it fits in perfectly with the mythology of the show i.e. Holland Manners, Lilah et al. So so sad though. Im sure he must be mad at Angel - and I can see quite a bit of mistrust from both sides.

And Gunn....poor Gunn. So sad. I cant express how sad I am for him. But man is is great story telling! Looking forward to seeing how that plays out.

And what is he going to do with those glowing balls?...and what does Angel know about them?
Its strange how I can be excited and jazzed, with so much bad things having happened to our gang. Just glad to have them back I suppose.

There is going to be major events happening. And I cant wait till next month!
Overall loved it- where the story is going. Wasn't spoiled at all and did not expect Wes! Love "buttoned-down" Wes. I think that makes sense as well. Did suspect the Vamp-Gun thing after reading about the actual season six plans quite awhile back. Really pleased that they stuck with that. The dialog I thought was very good- I could hear Alexis and David saying the words in my mind, being able to hear the actors voices in my mind saying those words on the page is the big seller for me on whether the whole comic continuation of the series' works. It was there with Buffy Season Eight, and it's here with Angel, and that has me ecstatic.

For the most part I really like the art, though I do express the same concerns about the "buxom women" (I was appalled by the variant cover for issue two...But I love the regular cover.), and the one likeness that I think did not work at all was Nina- and the clothes she was wearing did nothing to help that. Nina would never dress like that! I wouldn't have figured it was her if her name hadn't been spoken.

Love the Dragon too. I was shocked that there was a copy with the variant cover left today, and it looks gorgeous- I can't stop looking at it. Can't wait for next month!

Also pleasantly surprised to see that there are no ads scattered throughout the issue. :)
Read this today. Agree with everyone else about how great it is... also unbelievably dark. The Gunn thing is possibly the darkest thing to happen in the Buffyverse, especially if he has half a soul a la "Why We Fight".

Wes was just creepy. And I don't think him being back diminishes his death at all. Primarily because I think he would have been better off dead.

Can't wait for issue 2.
Am curious as to why Connor is hanging with a bunch of human-shaped demons.

And Buffysmglover, I also had a hard time figuring out who the vamp at the end was. But I figured it must be somebody important, so I went thru the comic looking for the hoody with the green stripes, and then it made sense - one of Gunn's teammates complains that Gunn made them all wear the same outfits - hoodies!

Random question - I'm new to comics. Do they always smell this bad? This IDW one seems to smell worse than the Buffy S8s.
Everything I thought would happen happened, well other than the whole of L.A. going to Hell. I assumed they'd go to another dimension but not this way! Also, Gunn coming back as a vamp was spoiled way back by AmyA but I was still taken aback when it happened – I was drawn into the story so well, hearing the characters voices in my head that I completely forgot about it! It never crossed my mind that either Spike or Angel turned him though. I don't think they would do that. Last time Spike ever turned someone was when he wasn't aware of it and controlled by the First and Angel learned his lesson with Lawson. Heck, they let Fred die, I doubt they'd turn Gunn. I think Gunn was turned mid-fight like Harmony. Wesley's ghosting was predicted as well ala Lilah and Holland but its way better than them bringing him back to life it would suck for his storyline. Also, really like how sketchy his position with Angel is. Is he with him, against him for the SPs, is he working for himself. I love Betta George being there, was really fond of him in the Spike comics. I can't wait for Spike and Illyria coming back and really hope they bring back Lorne. I don't think he got out of L.A. in time. *snicker* Here's hoping he's in Hell.

I have this theory -that might be right or not or way behind what everyone but me knows- that the reason why Angel has so little issues is because Joss wants to wrap up their storyline before he integrates it into the Buffy issues. They'll be one big happy mixed up crossovered family. Maybe then Oz can meet up with Nina! Wesley will pass over – go into the light, Wes! We love you but you need peace. Gunn will be slain in the end – no soul for him. I don't think he'll bear being the thing he hates the most when he has a conscious. I think one of the Fang Gang will take him out or if by stupid plot-device he gets a soul he will give Spike a lesson on how easily it is to stake one's self without jumping on furniture. I really hope Angel, Spike, Lorne and Illyria can crossover to Buffy but it might end up just our two vamps. And maybe the dragon.
It gets my stamp of approval.
I really enjoyed the first issue, it felt exactly how Angel would continued had it not been cancelled. Though you do have to wonder how many times can Angel be kicked about and driven to yet another all time low.
Hey guys! Still here, still doing family stuff (sudden emergencies suck) just want you to know I appreciate all the comments. Really makes me feel good seeing this many people care. Much love!
Brian: I think having IDW go immediately into a second printing of the first issue should be your first clue that a LOT of people care! I'm sorry about the family emergency, that is terrible anytime, but somehow it always seems worse around the holidays.
My friend Billy who works at the place I pre-order my comics (and holy crap he is the best comic-guy to ever know! He gave me the HUMONGOUS Season Eight Issue 2 Promo Poster, the LARGE AFTER THE FALL Promo Poster ANDDDDD Season Eight ISSUE 10 Promo Poster, and its the size of a poster from Buffy Magazine.) was telling me that the way its looking for them and from what he's hearing, AFTER THE FALL is going to do better than Season Eight!
I don't think that's right, Buffysmglover - I don't think DH are printing as much as Buffy had, so hence the reprints. Unless I'm wrong.

I loved it, anyway. Wes was creepy. As he should be - he's fucking dead, man. Writing is pretty spot on (and I'm hard to please with writing) (But not generally) (Damn, I need to reword this).

I can't help but think if all of Team Angel's contracts extend beyond death, then Fred ain't really gone. Illyria isn't Team Angel - she didn't sign the W&H contract. Kill Illyria, get Fred back? Is exchanging one soul for another a moral thing to do? Speculate away.

[ edited by gossi on 2007-11-24 00:09 ]
gossi-Fred's soul was supposidly burned away when Illyria took over her body. That's why she referred to Fred as a "shell". So there's no soul for Wolfram & Hart to hold a contract to.
Yeah, but people like Lilah appear to have been present with soul after death. Maybe W&H own Fred's soul, so it can't be destroyed - W&H hold it.
Perhaps there has to be something of Fred left for Illyria to be able to bring her back on demand so convincingly. Illyria says she has Fred's memories. If there's no Fred, how can her memories remain?
from what he's hearing, AFTER THE FALL is going to do better than Season Eight!

Whilst After The Fall will sell well in the direct market, it is unlikely that it will shift over 100,000 copies.

Mainly because of the following:

1) The price. An issue of Buffy season 8 costs $2.99, Angel: After The Fall $3.99.
2) The initial lacklustre response and then subsequent decline in sales figures for the Angelverse comic books (see link).
3) Dark Horse is more well known to the average comic book fan than IDW. Whilst IDW recently played a blinder by getting the Transformer license and boosting their recognition , Dark Horse have had the Star Wars, Sin City and Aliens/Predator franchises for a long time.
4) The lack of headsup about the release dates. I had to listen to a 10 minute rant from a comic book store assistant about IDW's scheduling policy.

I'll go out on a limb and say that After The Fall #1 will shift somewhere around 50-60000 copies in the direct market sales chart. And obviously sell more copies through through mail order and indeed in the overseas market.
gossi-Lilah died a human death. Fred didn't, her insides were eaten away by Illyria, so it was a mystical death. There was no soul left to return to the body, which is why Team Angel stopped trying to find a path to bring her back.

Bobbi-The memories were explained as electrical spasms channeled into Illyria's function system when Fred's brain collapsed.
The problem I have with the idea of Fred's soul being totally destroyed is that the only two people to make that claim were not exactly trustworthy. One was the Doc who made the deal with Gunn and the other was Knox. Both bad guys who had an interest in Illyria's resurrection. Why believe them? They wanted Angel and the gang to stop looking for a way to save Fred and so of course they are going to say that there is no Fred left to save.

That aside, I'm pretty sure I remember one of the the Mutant Enemy writers (David Fury, maybe?) mentioning that one of the plans for season six was to separate Fred and Illyria and have Amy play two roles that year. With that in mind I'd say that, one way or another, Fred's soul wasn't as gone as we were led to believe. I wonder if this is an idea that Brian is still going to use?
I don't know but that'd be very interesting.
How can I feel there is something really at stake any more, if there's no felt absence? How can I mourn them if they won't go away?

Only speaking for myself but I have felt their absence and I have mourned the loss of all these characters ever since the night Not Fade Away aired. I'm thrilled to see Wesley and Gunn again, no matter what has happened to them.

I don't believe in demanding a character's return and I'm not ranting. I'll follow this series of comics to the end (just like I would have Angel had it not been cancelled) and most likely, I'll love every issue.

But I have this nasty feeling in the pit of my stomach that Lindsey won't be coming back and that sickens me. I missed him every episode for the two years he was gone and I'm thankful he was brought back.

But I hated the way Lindsey was killed off, so to answer your, I don't want to feel his absence or mourn his death unless I just have to.
Different strokes for different folks, of course, but Lindsey's death has always been one of my favorite "Not Fade Away" moments. Mostly because I thought Lindsey was a despicable bastard, and his death was both fittingly humiliating ("You killed me? Angel was supposed to kill me!") and heartbreaking for Lorne ("Show's over, folks.").
I'm aware a lot of people feel that way about Lindsey. But there are just as many who do not.

Lindsey died weaponless, after offering to sing for Lorne-bare his soul to the empath demon-after fighting and killing the enemy, just as he had agreed to. That wasn't fitting at all, it was a betrayel and nothing else.

Yes, it was heartbreaking for Lorne and it also put Angel in a very bad light, since he's the one who set the whole thing up.

That's just my own opinion, of course.

And I'm done editing now.

[ edited by menomegirl on 2007-11-24 06:07 ]
Personally I feel that it makes the loss MORE tragic, not less, when the character is present only in a form they never would have chosen. Just as seeing Illyra is a constant, painful, reminder of the Fred's death, so is button-down Wesley under the control of Wolfram & Hart the very embodiment of the opposite of the strong independent man he had become. Of course most tragic of all is vampire Gunn; I wonder if he has memories of how much his human self would have rather ANY other end.
It could be said, menomegirl, that Lorne was probably in a better position than anyone to judge Lindsey. As he said, he had heard Lindsey sing before and knew that he would only ever be part of the problem, regardless of the fact he was currently on the side of the good guys. Yes, he had just helped Angel but given a better offer by the Senior Partners tomorrow he would have switched sides again. Lorne didn't need to hear him sing again to know exactly what Lindsey was capable of. No matter what Angel had asked there is no way that Lorne would have killed Lindsey if there was any real hope of redemption in his destiny.

Pretty sure we will see him again though. He and Lilah were far too popular as characters for a small issue like death to keep them from pissing off Angel as often as possible. ;)
Lorne himself was in a period of doubting his empathic powers after the whole losing Fred-bit so i don't think that he was in a good place at the time. Angel orderd the killing, which was low, but it was still Lorne that went trough with it. And who's to say that Lindsey wasn't redeemable, Lorne himself has been wrong and manipulated several times over the seasons.

And Lindsey wasn't a complete bad guy, his vendetta in season5 was mostly against Angel. Angel himself was walking down a very dark path, and admitts at the end of the season that they should have never came to W&H, Lindsey already knew that all along, it wasn't what heroes do.
Oooh, I really hated Angel for asking Lorne to do that. And Lorne telling Angel that he's leaving after doing that one thing for him just broke my heart when I rewatched the episode for the nth time. I can't wait to see Lorne come back! I have this vision of a dark guilt-ridden Lorne wandering in Hell-L.A. and I really want to see him again.
I've just finished reading my copy. Brilliant work Brian et al. And a big yar boo sucks to all who said they were so much vamp dust blowing in the windy alleyway. I really enjoyed it but not used to reading comics I have to concentrate very hard not to miss anything.

Wolfram & Hart Wes - I never saw that coming. I knew about Gunn though, as I was at the convention where Amy spilled the beans. That said, not sure they would go with that storyline until that last page eep! I definitely want to know 'how' and the 'who' of the turning - personally I doubt it would be either Spike or Angel.

Great to see the return of Connor (Gwen and Nina too). I'm sure all the years in Quor'toth will stand him in good stead. And I am glad not all the fates of the team were revealled in the first issue - more to look forward to in the next one.
Yeah, I'm really interested to see what goes on with Connor.
Hey, I braved the mall and finally got my copy. My thoughts have been said by various people already, but that won't stop me from putting in my two cents.

First though, I hope everything is okay with your family, Brian Lynch.

As far as the comic:

I liked it.

I did not have a problem with Wesley being back, or with his appearance once I realized his situation. I like the fact that it is unclear what Wesley's loyalties are at this point. At the same time, I cannot imagine that Angel et al signed away their souls or even their work to W&H in perpetuity. I mean if Wesley knew the deal with Lyla before he signed, wouldn't he have read the small print to avoid that? On the other hand, if they signed a contract to work at W&H for say 2 years, would a little thing like dying during that time void the contract?

As to who he is getting orders from, I think Wesley referred to him as "he," so it cannot be Lyla. I do not have the issue in front of me, though, so I could be wrong.

I am not much of a comics person so take my experience about the art work for what it is worth. I also found some of the artwork (mostly battles and multiple demons) messy and not particularly understandable. I was confused about what was really going on for most of the last part even though I stared at the panels trying to figure out who had done what.

I did not realize that was Gunn as a vamp at the end until I came here to read these posts a few minutes ago. That helps in understanding what was going on at the end. I had heard the rumors, and thought team Gunn might start feeding on the "slaves" after they seemed to rescue them. I am assuming I then did exactly what I was supposed to do and figured that Joss and Brian Lynch had not gone for Vamp Gunn when it seemed to end as a real rescue. If the vamp had been recognizable to me as Gunn at the end, the whole thing would have worked really well. As it was I was just confused at the end.

As smeone else pointed out, I have also noticed that in both series everyone in charge seems to be male, and every male seems to have taken charge of the women. It is beginning to bother me a bit.

The buxom babe-slaves made me wonder the same as I always do when they have them in silly sci-fi, why in the world demons and aliens would have any interest in scantily clad buxom human females. It made me roll my eyes a bit, but pretty much ignore it. (Question for the guys: Mostly men write this stuff, so does that mean guys get a sexual charge out of particularly well endowed females of other species? Gorillas, chimpazees, goats? Inquiring minds want to know! ;-) )

breast reduction is hard to find in hell

It is the important stuff you lose first.

I loved the comment up-thread that besides it being difficult to find breast reduction in hell, the women were all from LA, after all. The thing is, in that case shouldn't they all be blondes...or at least half blondes with their roots all grown out? ;-)

I also was surprised at Nina's outfit. Gwen always dressed like that, but apparently Nina started having to borrow Gwen's clothes, or all of Nina's shrank when LA went to hell. ( Admittedly, I have heard that that can happen.)

Anyway, all the bitching and moaning aside, it seemed like a good start and I am interested to see where it goes.
Mostly men write this stuff, so does that mean guys get a sexual charge out of particularly well endowed females of other species? Gorillas, chimpazees, goats?

How well endowed ? ;-)

(if you mean "Star Trek" style other species i.e. women but green or women but bumpy foreheads or women but crinkly noses then yep ;)

Liked it a lot in general, the voices were almost entirely spot on IMO, the art was nice (though there were a couple of panels that needed a few minutes and much holding of the comic at weird angles to figure out ;). Didn't have any trouble following the flow, it just went top down, left to right OR with the speech/narration boxes, as usual.

(the only time that needed reading a few panels further to understand the context was after Angel kills the Steroido Demon, when we go back to Gunn's crew at the stadium - the colours were exactly the same as the previous panel, which was outside WR&H. A slightly different tone there would've made it clearer we'd cut elsewhere geographically but stayed with Angel narrating. The vamp Gunn made it clear though - didn't have any trouble recognising him either, it looked like Gunn only vamped ;)

And George ! And Nina ! (albeit booby, crop-top Nina - the buxom wench as decoration count was fairly high in this issue. Buxom wenches are ten-a-penny in comics but at least they're normally superheroes/villains themselves rather than wallpaper). Got a feeling Anne might pop up in the anthology issue if not before, hope so anyway, liked her, nice lady.

Wesley coming back makes perfect sense, his voice was great, it adds numerous story and character possibilities, it was great to see him and i'm completely unsure about whether I like it or not. Wesley dying was one of the moments for me in NFA and the whole of Ats in fact. This, if not devalues, at least changes the impact of that scene.

Also, i'd be amazed if Illyria didn't make it which means that, in some form, everyone survived the alley and their grand, noble, beautifully futile gesture against the Black Thorn. Some fight against insurmountable odds that turned out to be ;).

So long as Gunn stays evil and isn't saved, he's still effectively dead, it's just now he's evil (and seemingly making a power play of his own, what're those glowing orb things he's collecting from the Lords ?). Just from hints in this issue it seems like Wesley's destined to die the real death too i.e. "move on" but probably after being tragically heroic (it's kinda his way. And yep, s'better than a plan ;) which is also permanent so I guess in that sense these bits of pseudo-Wesley are just twisting the knife rather than bringing him back so maybe i'm OK with it.

Great start in general though, exactly the standard I was hoping for and exactly the personal-feel-yet-epic-scale that Angel deserves.

(and i'll add my best-wishes re: your family stuff Brian, hopefully the situation's improved in the last couple of days and all is now well)
By Ymir's Beard, I think I have a theory as to why Wesley is acting the way he is and why he's working for W&H even tho he didn't have an associate's contract.......

And it's just exactly what it should be to be truly "heart-rendering" when it turns out to be less than true.

Might not be correct, tho.

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