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December 20 2007

(SPOILER) Angel: After the Fall #2 Reviewed. This will also be our discussion thread for the second issue of Brian Lynch and co.'s continuing adventures of the Fang Gang.

Some spoilers are in spoiler text, but others are not (though there is a warning line where the uncovered spoilers begin), so better safe than sorry! Reading reviews before you've read the book is always a roll of the dice.

"Which one of you can do funny voices?". Great intro line from Spike for Angel!

I very much liked what I'm seeing so far. Especially poor Gunn. He really does think he's still a pure white hat' doesn't he.

Great stuff.
Thank you, zeitgeist!

First off, I loved it. I hadn't had a problem with the coloring on issue #1 but having read #2, I gotta say, the difference is startling. The lines are cleaner and I can see everything really well. It still feels just as dark as Angel should so that works for me.

Again, I'm not a reader of comics-I have a time reading Buffy season 8. I'm having zero trouble following Angel: After The Fall. I can read from panel to panel, page to page with ease.

I'm liking the story that's unfolding very much, especially Gunn's part. It was nice seeing Connor and Angel fighting side by side and verbally sparring. Gwen rocked. And the last page featuring Illyria was the best thing yet.

Still a little wtf? with all the breasts and skin being flaunted at us, for lack of a better expression.

And looking forward to understanding just why Spike is where he is because I just cannot quite see him where he is now given everything he's been through and how much his character has grown in all these years.

The dialogue between Angel and Spike was perfect, though. In fact, the dialogue was perfect for nearly everyone (with the exception of Nina. I'm not feeling or hearing her character voice at all, sad to say).

An excellent issue and I can't wait for more.

eta-Yes, I can spell but apparently not very well when something excites me.

[ edited by menomegirl on 2007-12-20 01:12 ]
Okay, first; "That's right, baby. Enter . . ." (at the risk of sounding like my ex-wife whenever our daughter mentioned Mufasa) WHO?

And why in "blae bluzes" wouldn't the back button bring me out of there and back to "We-don't-ask"?
I am loving this, Gunn's total denial came as a huge surprise to me, but it really is perfect! Did Gunn pluck out George's eye? I was a little confused about that (poor George, I coudn't quite tell how he was tied up but I hate seeing my beloved Betta-George imprisoned and hurt). I love Illyria keeping Spike as a pet (she said she wanted to back in Ats S5), I'm guessing he has been unable to escape. I am really looking forward to getting to meet the dragon!
The dialogue was just fabulous, I didn't have a problem with the colouring in the last issue either, but I still noticed a big difference in this one as well.

Have to agree menomegirl on the excessive skin and breast flaunting. (a huge (err, no pun intended) reason why I didn't even recognize Nina at first. Very out of character I think.)

I really want to know what the Dragon's name is now.
Hitting the Back button twice didn't do it either but hey!

And the "WHO?" was a response to the first spoiler.

Hmm, Gunn in denial. Makes sense, given his history with vamps.
I don't think I'd term what Gunn is feeling as 'denial'. He is very clearly aware of what happened to him. I'm just wondering why he's blaming Angel for him being turned, considering the odds they faced in that alley.

I think he's violently rejecting what he's become while embracing it at the same time. Sort of reminds me of how insane Angelus was in season 2 of Buffy compared to how focused he was in season 4 of Angel.

Also, wondering if Illyria was the one to write on those bloody walls or if it was Gunn and if it was Gunn, that most likely means he still has the brain upgrade and I'd say that makes him quite dangerous, indeed.
Hated first issue. Had to give second a shot. Liked it enough to come back for three. Much better characterization and clear storytelling. But even for Angel, the LA in Hell, terrorized by outlandish demons, but look at all the boobs is a little too much for me. Still needing an explanation about why ghost Wes is (seemingly) suddenly Angel season two Wes again...
CaptainB, I believe Lynch mentioned on his MySpace Q&A that Wes looks as he did in season two because it represents how little control he has over himself.

Anyway, After the Fall still isn't doing it for me. My biggest problem lies with the large cup sizes every single female seems to have, along with the excessive amount of skin and breasts shown.

I think I may just wait to read After the Fall in a collected format. I think I'd enjoy it more that way.
I'm going to do the unthinkable: Comment on an After the Fall issue without mentioning inflated breast sizes.

Er...damn it, I just did, didn't I?

Moving on:

Very nice issue. Not as great as #1, but still rockin', even though the art continues to piss me off a little. Most of it's fine, but...for example, that last page with Illyria, she's twisted at this odd angle and her entire right eye is a blot of color. There's also a panel during the Spike/Angel fight, when Spike is telling Angel he might wind up in an urn, his face just looks weird. Kind of took me out of the moment.

But who am I kidding? The things I come for are story and characterization, and so far Brian has been 100% spot-on.

(Come join me in further discussion on .Org.)
Not a fave for me. I am also on the "way too much breast" page, and given they should know their audience I have no idea why they went this route. Coloring is infinitely better than the first issue. And the back button did now work for me either.
Ok....that was just....neat!

I loved every page. I am so happy that the greatness of issue #1 was not a fluke...though I never thought that really:)

Loved the Angel/Connor scenes. Great reveal of Connor. Cant wai tto see where the relationship goes this year.Such great dialogue, and in the middle of a fight scene. Perfect Angelness:)

Gunn....oh Gunn...god it is even more harrowing than I originally thought. He doesnt have a soul, but is still conflicted.His story is going to be great this year.

THe Spike scenes were hilarious. I am looking forward to seeing exactly what position he is in.

And the last page reveal. Excellent:)
Its really Gwen rather than Nina (as the review linked rightly points out) that people should be harping on with regards to breast size. Check it: Alexa Davalos and Jenny Mollen. I thought issue one was spot on with character voices and I expected no less of Lynch, so seeing it continue does not surprise me one bit.
The Gunn storyline is fantastic. So sad and twisted. Actually, the Wes story - what we know of it - is also terribly sad. The melancholic nature of these two first issues feels very much in keeping with Angel:The Show.

Now, why would Illyria be connected with the Sanskrit in Gunn's lair? Speaking of Gunn's lair, is he at the Hyperion? What room number is he keeping Betta George in? I can't quite make it out.

Okay, a nitpick. All but me will probably find this silly, but Angel as a character is sufficiently old school and (self)educated enough to not say, "Well, there was a few weeks there where I couldn't move." It's "were," damn it. Next thing you know, Angel will be spelling "to lose" as "to loose." Grrrr, argggggh.

Rant over. Really enjoyed this issue. The dialogue feels spot-on, although I'm not yet really getting the Nina character, perhaps because she is now so out of character due to her wer-ness. The coloring is so much better. I can see what's going on! Yay! Good work, Bryan Lynch et al. And Blondie Bear the Lord of Beverly Hills. Of course. I'm a little disappointed, perhaps, by his recidivism post-NFA. That Spike can talk a pretty heroic speech but it never seems to take long before he slides away from "Planet Big Bore" into semi-sleazy shades-of-grey land. I can't decide whether this is all Spike will ever be. I know, I know, he's been a hero and all many times, and maybe this is simply his rather funny affect. Huh.

"He reeks of magic." Interesting. Something having to do with Wolfram & Hart? Wesley?
One more (small) thing: does it seem as if the quality of the paper used for this issue is significantly lower? Not glossy, not nice and sturdy. It's not even as nice as the latest Buffy issue, which marked a step up for that series. I noticed it's not printed in Korea this time but in Canada. (Don't come at me with pitchforks, Canadians, I love Canada :))
Okay, even one more thing: Why wouldn't Angel keep tabs on Gunn? It seems like something Angel would do. It's not as though he isn't clever or well equipped enough to do so. I guess the Sanskrit scribblings might confer a movable protection against detection for Gunn?
Right now, I'm going with the theory that Angel doesn't know Gunn got vamped. I mean, it did happen during that fight in the alley. I'm sure it was very chaotic. And after all, Angel's not all-knowing and all-seeing. He's just a vampire, he ain't God (even if he does have a God-complex).
zeitgeist-It's the way the demon females are being drawn that bugs me, not just the chest size but the clothing and the harem-like way they're being dipicted.

I agree with the reviewer about Gwen's increased size in the drawings but that doesn't bother me, she always was a very sexual character in canon.

Nina looks about the same to me, only with less clothing. It's her manner that's different, her character voice that seems lacking. I can't hear it, don't feel it and everyone else's is so clear that it's very odd to me.

As for the ratio of male-to-female nudity in Angel:I disagree. I seem to recall seeing the skin of Cordelia, Darla, Fred, Gwen, Buffy, Faith, Lilah and Nina as well as the men. I don't have an aversion to scantily clad characters, be they male or female, as long as the nudity is warrented in the scene and not gratuitous.

The demon chicks are gratuitous.

it doesn't even compare to the way that the people complaining about enhanced sexuality are the same ones writing erotic fanfic.


That's an interesting viewpoint.
I can't understand people complaining about the way Nina is drawn- in reference to her you know, I mean when the show was on people called her "Busty Nina". And it's not like every man in the book doesn't have the absolute perfect body. If they were naked I am sure every one of them would have manhood that would make the porn kings drool with envy. It's a sad statement about comics in general- not about the creative team behind this comic. I mean take Wizard the premiere comics magazine every time they interview a woman in the book it turns into "ug (drool) your real pertty, I wanna touch you. You're in a movie and you've got nice boobies." We still live in a world where most characters are straight white males. I challenge you to look at the top ten selling comic books in any month and look into their characters races, genders, sexual orientatons and you'll see surprisingly little diversity.
Wow that was a rant, that unfortunately end up ranting way too much, but oh well.
I enjoy the book, btw. It's building nicely and is taking interesting turns. Will it end up being a masterpiece work of art? Only time will tell, but it's a good story that is consistent and stays true to the characters already established. Which is really all I care about, well the art does matter. I am still undecided on the art and it's not because it's not photo likeness. I prefer dramatic storytelling in art to photo likeness but that is just me. It's way better with the production change. Way better.
And all of the male demons are violent and stupid. Oh, and don't get me started on the demon on demon violence! Its no wonder, though, their fathers spawn with the demonesses in these harems and don't bother to stick around and provide a positive role model for them, so naturally they grow up selfish and headstrong and violent. Okay, I'm taking the piss :) You've met me, right? I wasn't bothered by any of the demons since classically they are presented in terms of manifestations of our basest urges, etc.
Zeitgeist for the win!
I don't think the demon girls are wholly gratuitous, and the last page explains a lot for me. Spike is Illyria's pet, so he wants a bunch of scantily clad girls around him to make him feel more manly and more in charge. Same with his ranting about his own lordship: he only brags this much when he feels powerless. A bigger problem are the exaggerated breast sizes of Gwen and Illyria, but I'll reserve comment for now.

Anyway. Great dialogue, terrific work with Gunn. I wonder how he justifies his feeding on girls he's saved, but there are ways, I suppose. I do hope that his brain upgrade is still active, bcause that, along with his frightening conviction that he is one of the good guys and Angel isn't, could make him dangerous.

Good work with Spike (as stated above) mostly in terms of what the final page implies. The Angel/Connor thing will get tired if Connor continues to be as perfect as he is, but I think the cracks will start to show soon enough. I do think the cliffhanger is a bit...cheap: we know Angel won't be dismembered. But it will be nice to see some more Illyria/Angel/Spike interactions.

So we've got most of the cast assembled. (Living) L.A. citizens left to see: Lorne, Harmony, and maybe Eve. While we're at it, maybe David Nabbit. (I assume that Kate left town after "Epiphany," but maybe not.)
I wasn't bothered by any of the demons since classically they are presented in terms of manifestations of our basest urges, etc.


Hmm, that's true, I suppose.
Can’t speak for anybody else but some of my basest urges are female even though they don’t all have the double D cups, wasp waists and bad home perms of the ladies drawn here. But that’s the thing both male and female characters have exaggerated secondary sexual characteristics and yet the assumption is that giant balls of all-devouring slime without any secondary characteristics to speak of are male. The men simply aren’t defined by their appearance in the way the women are. Wesley, Gunn, Connor, Angel and Spike all have distinct personalities and budding story arcs. People are wondering about what happened to them, whereas with Nina they’re wondering what happened to her breasts.
The men simply aren’t defined by their appearance in the way the women are. Wesley, Gunn, Connor, Angel and Spike all have distinct personalities and budding story arcs. People are wondering about what happened to them, whereas with Nina they’re wondering what happened to her breasts.


Very well said.

Thank you!
Oh I don't believe that Nina's breasts are her only point(s?) of interest. I love how she is affected by the sun and moon being out at the same time. I believe that this is why she is so different from the Nina we knew on the show; we never got to know any of her thought processes when she was entirely a wolf: her half and half state is clearly very confused, and different from her normal behavior. Actually I think it is Gwen who isn't being give much story arc... yet.
Well the thing is, with Cordelia and Fred dead, we don't have a female main character with a storyline to care about. I know we've still got Illyria, but other than taking over Fred's shell, are ancient ones really gender specific? As of now, I don't have much interest in Nina or Gwen, but maybe that will change if they get more character growth.

Is Spike supposed to be living at the Playboy mansion? That's what I figured what with the playboy demons and the brief glimpse I saw of it in the Amazing Race premiere.
I think Nina and Gwen both had some really cool stuff to do thus far, I'm sad that people are fixating on breast size. Oh well.
I'm actually far more interested in Nina's arc and current situation than her chest. Wesley, Gunn, Angel, and Spike are all Fang Gang, so one might expect them to have large, budding arcs (thought I was gonna say something filthy, didn't ya?), though I suspect that no one will be talking about Nina's chest by the time Senor Lynch is through. As far as her or Gwen's voices sounding wrong, I dunno about that, we'll see. They weren't around for as long as all of the others and so may just take some time to pick up on. I also doubt that anyone will be talking about Illyria's chest by the time this all boils over, either. Bryan's chest, sure, but not Illyria's. Anyway, maybe we could talk about the issue rather than our issues :)
Criminey, will people just stop with the boob-talk already? Is that seriously the most compelling thing you take away from the issues? It's so hard to wade through that all to find people actually talking about the plot and characters.

Personally, I'm totally in love with this comic. It represents what I feel is a huge strength of the "Whedonverse": taking risks and throwing people off guard. It really reminds me of the beginning of Buffy season 6.

Were Spike and Illyria boinking? "Prisoner with benefits" sounds naughty.

Also, totally intrigued by Gunn. I like that they're fleshing out the concept of vampires. Witless, snarky killing machines are fun, but after 12 seasons of that, you've gotta do something new with it. Really want to see where it goes.
I second zeitgeist's plea to talk about other aspects of the issue besides the breasts, although, disclosure: I've gone on record before several times to protest the breasts (say that fast 10 times.) I agree that representation of women/men/demons? is an important discussion (although for me it's also a matter of the art aesthetics and what I perceive as the tired cheesiness of all those predictablly huge hooters and as Joss put it in the Fray intro, the "standing with her butt out in that bizarrely uncomfortable soft-core pose so many artists favor.")

I'm itching for additional content analysis. To paraphrase Brian, there is a lot of "really cool stuff" in these issues and I'm eager to read more clever whedonesquer analysis of said "really cool stuff." Like, plot and character advancement. Of which there has already been lots.
zeitgeist - Anyway, maybe we could talk about the issue rather than our issues :)


dingoes8 - Criminey, will people just stop with the boob-talk already? Is that seriously the most compelling thing you take away from the issues?


Loved those comments! :)

Brian, really hope that you don't think that your writing is going unappreciated with all the talk of inappropriate boob sizes. Personally I'm loving both the writing and the art (boobs included ;)). Really good (and, yes, cool) stuff.
Hey, I have no problem doing that.

As I said earlier, I love the way the story is playing out thus far. The "reunions" with Connor and Spike were very well-written and the dialogue was perfect, I thought. Gunn's storyline looks as if it's going to be excellent.

I couldn't be more pleased or excited with the way Angel: Atf is being written because it reminds me so much of "Angel" as it was on television. The change in color really made a difference, which quite surprised me. The issue and the art work looked very, very good.

Someone in a review posted on LJ pointed out something about the two seperate covers that I hadn't considered before. One cover shows a Spike looking haunted by demons and the other shows him looking complacent in his surroundings. It'll be interesting to find out which one it is or if it's a combination of the two. It's very apparent that he's angry with Angel (as is Illyria)-perhaps as much as Gunn is.

I wish there had been a little more of Wesley but I'm sure we'll learn more of his fate later but what little was shown was intruging.

The scene with Gunn was very chilling. Given his past, it's not surprising that he's angry that he was turned (even Darla appeared angry at Drusilla at first) but I'm not sure why he's blaming Angel. I think he's violently rejecting what he's become while embracing it at the same time. Sort of reminds me of how insane Angelus was in season 2 of Buffy compared to how focused he was in season 4 of Angel. That and he still so wants to be the good guy.

I'm going with the theory that Angel doesn't know that Gunn was vamped for now and that he went to seek Spike out because Angel saw the writing in ancient Sanskrit and thought Illyria and Spike were the culprits. Mostly because I think he seems to see Spike in as bad a light as he possibly can, no matter what. I didn't read Angel's "Absolutely" as a definitive statement that Angel knows that Gunn is a vampire. And if Gunn still has the brain upgrade, that makes him a more dangerous an enemy than Angel could imagine, I'm thinking.

I liked how Connor was with Angel, it was nice seeing Connor and Angel fighting side by side and verbally sparring. I liked the character of Connor in season 5 and that's what that scene remined me of. It was weird how everyone-including Nina-appeared so hostile toward Angel but Connor was not.

I'm interested in knowing more of Gwen's story and how/why she got caught up in fighting with Connor now when she basically ran away from trouble in season 4. Perhaps she was just trapped in LA when everything went to Hell figured it was better to work with the good guys?

I'm not sure what to make of the fish yet and there's that "Spider" character. Is she from another series or is she a new character?

A very excellent, well-written and illistrated issue, as I have previously stated.

See, I have actual thinky thoughts. Sometimes, they even go more than skin deep. :)

[ edited by menomegirl on 2007-12-21 03:23 ]
As with racism, sexism can keep me from enjoying the plot, characterization, etc., of artwork. These aren't silly, minor issues -- at least not to some of us. "Serenity: Those Left Behind" was very good about having strong female characters who were sexy without being laughable. (Btw, I got a copy signed by Brett Matthews in the mail today. Solstice gift? A winning bid? Whatever, I'm grateful.)

It's odd that Spike would surround himself with Playboy Demons because he tended to be a serial monogamist, first with Dru and then Buffy. He was exasperated with the voluptuous but air-headed Harmony.
I don't think its odd that Spike would do this, because this is not about a relationship, its about him feeling disempowered and emasculated, so he surrounds himself with overblown ideas of what manhood is about. Its psych 101. If there were sexism in what Lynch was doing I would have problems (and quite frankly if there were, Joss wouldn't have Lynch writing it), but I don't believe that there is, and frankly how large Franco Urru decides to draw someones breasts does seem a silly/minor issue when compared to some things going on in the world right now.

I'm not writing off anyone's feelings and I completely understand that these feelings may take you out of the story. I totally understand, I just think that we've kind of beaten the poor horse to death and we're not getting anywhere. I wonder if we're not examining these blades of grass and wondering where the forest has gotten too, while its all around us.

Great issue, great series, loving whats going on with everyone and its really met my expectations and gone places I couldn't've imagined so far. Can't wait to see where it goes next.
Great issue, great series, loving whats going on with everyone and it's really met my expectations and gone places I couldn't've imagined so far. Can't wait to see where it goes next.


Now that I agree with. :)
I am so loving this! I have no idea why (as it should annoy me), but I love Spike with all the women. I also am unconcerned with the breast thing. It's a comic. I feel like we are getting the kind of story here that we are not getting with the other comic and I'm thrilled about that. Not that I'm not enjoying the other but I want to live with these characters again, and this is achieving that for me.
Brian, I love where you've taken this story so far, and I can't wait to read more. Joss was right to trust you with the job.

My analysis of Spike's surroundings is that it is partially magical, and Illyria is giving Spike what he wants so he will willingly remain her pet. And Spike wants to be surrounded by busty women and demons so he can feel manly. I think it's really interesting that he is being treated to this (probably fake) paradise and is Illyria's pet.

And Gunn... so cool, too! I know some vamps like to talk and philosophize, but Gunn takes it to a whole new level! So cool.

So yeah, great job and writing, and you know what? If something has a good story, I can ignore small issues with artwork.
Ok, well, since I never cared for those women in the show, I kind of don't pay attention to them. But if I do look again, I do notice the very large things which shall not be named.
I guess my biggest complaint so far is that everything feels a bit jilted. Doesn't flow. Maybe that is intentional, since this is supposed to be hell. Or a hell dimension. Or hell on earth. Now, I'm sure the art isn't meant to be bad, but it's just not...good. I mean, take the page where the bald black woman is defending Spike. The woman who tosses Spike's cup...her boobs grow ginormously from one panel to the next, so that her whole body seems disproportionate. And is that Spike's hand reaching for Angel's sword? And is he vamped out there? And why does he have a tiny right eye? Come to think of it, Gunn had that too...so much so that I thought he was missing an eye for a second.
And a few other things-I think on the page before that, the word balloons are out of order on the top panel. Seems the woman should be speaking after Spike, so that Angel's response makes sense.
--Gwen can't be touched, right? And now she has two light streaks in her hair. Gee...can't think of who that reminds me of. ;-]
--What did Gunn punch on the fish? Still not clear on those webby things. But it apparently hurt.
--Can someone explain the bit with Angel and Connor? The exchange that goes:
"Uh-huh. And after that?"
"Yeah. That's."
I'm probably not hearing it right in my head or something, but it just makes no sense to me whatsoever.

[ edited by Rogue Slayer on 2007-12-21 06:22 ]
I'll let others explain the rest of it, but Connor's exchange with Angel meant this:

Angel gave an excuse as to why he didn't see Connor for a while.

Connor pointed out that whatever kept Angel from seeing him wasn't a problem for a while, so that's not really an excuse.

Angel stumbled because he realized Connor wasn't buying his excuse . If you look at the panel, Angel's even forgetting to fight, the talk with Connor is more important.
Angel stumbled because he realized Connor wasn't buying his excuse . If you look at the panel, Angel's even forgetting to fight, the talk with Connor is more important.

I got the gist of the exchange, I guess I just don't get the line: "Yeah. That's." That's what? Or should it be more like, "Yeah...that's..." then Gwen's zap surprises them?
...and frankly how large Franco Urru decides to draw someones breasts does seem a silly/minor issue when compared to some things going on in the world right now.


I vote zeigeist for President of perspective!

I also am unconcerned with the breast thing. It's a comic.


And AthenaMuze should consider being his running mate. ;)

As requested above, I'm not dwelling on this issue any further. In fact I hereby swear off getting involved in boob discussions (at Whedonesque, at least) ever again ;). However, I would suggest that anyone letting this artistic choice spoil their enjoyment of the comic do a quick clicky on the link zeitgeist provided above and think about what he said.

There are many, many evils going on in this world today and it will never be a perfect place. If you are going to spend your time trying to help put them right then it's probably wise to try and choose the battles worth fighting. In my opinion Urru's choice to up Nina a bra size or two in a comic book is a little less worrying than what I read in that article.

And when I say a little, I mean a LOT! ;)
But that’s the thing both male and female characters have exaggerated secondary sexual characteristics and yet the assumption is that giant balls of all-devouring slime without any secondary characteristics to speak of are male.


Fair enough, but all the male demons with female sex slaves ala Kr'ph seem to me to be setup for the last page here--that one of the most powerful demons in L.A. is a female demon with female urges (keeping Spike as a "prisoner with benefits"). Only the emasculated, "I-need-to-pretend-I-am-so-manly-I'm-going-to-burst" demons (Spike, Kr'ph, and most blobs included) need to have busty female slaves. I think it's terrific (and character-appropriate) that the central character who, it seems, ends up as a sex slave is Spike. He's been one before, except this is the first time he isn't a (cue music) willing slave.
Of course, there is “many, many evils” in the world and, of course, breasts in comics isn’t one of them but this discussion isn’t about human rights in Saudi Arabia it’s about comics.

I think this discussion has probably exhausted breast size as an issue in this particular comic - flogging a dead horse, if you like - but if we do limit ourselves to getting worked up about things that are not “silly/minor” then this blog wouldn’t exist.
In my defense, I knew Jessica Neuwirth's name before Joss's. Fighting the "many, many evils' in the world is my day job.
Not a lot of time, but just wanted to throw in that I found this issue easier to follow but I still am not great at the comic reading thing. I didn't notice any fancy writing on any walls. I really have to slow down.
I love the Gunn stuff, although I'm worried about my poor baby fish, Connor was cute, Angel looks great, and Spike! my Spike!
Lovely. And I LOVE the "Spike is my pet" idea. Always have. I want one. TMI?
I've never cared about Nina particularly,Gwen even less, so I'm not too worked up about how they are presented, but I am really hoping to see Harmony.
Illyria looks great, and that last page with her holding up Angel by the scruff is my new wallpaper. Awesome!
Dear IDW,

Release the comic for the iPod generation (hey 2000 AD is going digital) and put Robert Kral's music on the download. Cause that would be neato.

Yours,

Simon

p.s. Is Spike getting dressing tips from Gwen?
Of course, there is “many, many evils” in the world and, of course, breasts in comics isn’t one of them but this discussion isn’t about human rights in Saudi Arabia it’s about comics.

I think this discussion has probably exhausted breast size as an issue in this particular comic - flogging a dead horse, if you like - but if we do limit ourselves to getting worked up about things that are not “silly/minor” then this blog wouldn’t exist.


I was actually thinking the same thing. To claim that the boob thing is minor in comparison to the Saudi story implies that a comic book discussion in any shape is on level footing with it, which I'm sure we all agree it isn't. Of course, it could be that Zeitgeist was just trying to inject some timely news into the thread, though it comes off a bit...odd in its placement. "frankly [insert any number of topics discussed at W] does seem a silly/minor issue when compared to some things going on in the world right now."
To claim that the boob thing is minor in comparison to the Saudi story implies that a comic book discussion in any shape is on level footing with it, which I'm sure we all agree it isn't.


Of course its not on equal footing and thats my point. When we start to get into discussions like this that analyze and rehash and overanalyze, sometimes we start to lose perspective. Thats the point that I was trying to make. This particular news was chosen because amongst the several prior sessions where it may have been possible to discuss the comic and its themes and where things are headed we ended up talking about sexism and misogyny and, IMO, losing perspective a tiny bit. It felt like some people were suggesting that these comics were sexist/misogynist of a level as to be a danger and a cause of things like the events depicted in said link, which worried me. If you hold that opinion, fine you are most definitely entitled to; my opinion is that if someone sees Franco's drawing of Gwen's boobs and sees that as permission to be a creep, they were probably a creep to begin with.

Really just trying to find the way clear to stop beating the fine red mist of the horses remains and get back to the awesome story that we at one point thought we might perhaps consider discussing.

That said I need to stop and applaud you all for being so civil and reasonable and totally cool to one another. Any other forum on the web would've seen several blowups and a mighty swath of bannings by this point. Y'all rock. Longwinded guy, out.
Only the emasculated, "I-need-to-pretend-I-am-so-manly-I'm-going-to-burst" demons (Spike, Kr'ph, and most blobs included) need to have busty female slaves.

Historically I think busty female slaves have been kept by the well-masculated too, so while I take your point I’d need a little more of a lantern hung on it to be sure. Also it’s unclear at this point how enslaved Spike is. Spider has something of a dime-store Calypso aspect to her but if that’s what they’re going for then Spike’s being a little “Penelope, who?” Or if Angel is his Ithaca “Whoops, here’s the missus.” It’s a little odd because he has been tortured and tied up by powerful evil hell-goddesses before but he didn’t exactly play along when Glory did it.
Historically I think busty female slaves have been kept by the well-masculated too, so while I take your point I’d need a little more of a lantern hung on it to be sure.

Touché. I still think that Illyria (originally androgynous but now essentially female) is marking a turnaround.

Spider has something of a dime-store Calypso aspect to her but if that’s what they’re going for then Spike’s being a little “Penelope, who?” ... It’s a little odd because he has been tortured and tied up by powerful evil hell-goddesses before but he didn’t exactly play along when Glory did it.

Right, except that Spike had a Penelope (Buffy) when Glory tortured him, and doesn't have one now. When Spike doesn't have a guiding compass of a woman, either to save or to kill, he isn't as resilient--look at the umpteen times he changes sides with the way the wind blows in season four of Buffy, in his chipped, emasculated transition phase between Dru and Buffy. He was just starting to follow good for goodness' sake by the end of Angel (from "Shells": "It's what she would have wanted...it's what I want."), but that devotion to the cause seemed pretty fragile, and whatever happened in the Big Battle seems to have knocked it out.
Late to the party and this is off the front page so nobody will probably even care but I had to put in my two cents. My guy got me issue 2 because I'm sick abed and he wanted to cheer me up. Cute and sweet yeah, but wow, what a surprise.

Brian, I have zero complaints on your writing. You have the character voices down pat and I commend you so highly. Great job, you are an excellent storyteller. My problem is with the art. I know you're tired of hearing it Brian, but it minimizes and distracts from your excellent tale, so it would be a positive thing if you took heed and passed it on.

MUST comment on the boobs. For fuck's sake. So... all the women we know all went to the same surgeon. Neat. And by that I mean horrible. Seems like us (hetero) female fans just don't count here because those characters were drawn for wanks. Sickening. None of them look even remotely like they did on the show. They all have the same faces, too. And hair (with a little color variation, that's it). And please tell me when spandex became de rigeur for vamps/weres/gods. Oh, but only the females. Yeah.

Gotta agree with Rogue Slayer on the tiny eye thingy, what's up with that? It's distracting and takes me out of the story (almost as much as the BOOBS).

Couple more things: Why is Gunn so pissed off at Angel? He talks like he didn't know what the sitch was, but he so did. From the very beginning of the fight, he knew. So why the beef? He KNEW the risks. Also, why did he take George's eye? That sucked.

Where's Illyria's blue-tinged skin? She's all human-colored except for a couple of streaks in her hair.

To sum up, the artist seemed like he got this sketchy outline of who was who, doesn't care about visual continuity in the show-to-comics transition, and got his (one note "uhh, chicks are hawt") art degree from Comics R Us.

I love your story thus far, Brian, and want more. I also want a different artist.
So it seems as though we have a new twist to vampire mythology, with Gunn as unsouled, good vampire. (OK, so there was Spike, depending on your point of view, but that was a different scenario.)

Or do we think he's deluding himself?

[ edited by mjwilson on 2007-12-22 09:40 ]
Or do we think he's deluding himself?

Well, he's killing people, right? So I guess it depends on what your definition of "good" is.
Err, good point. But he seems to think he's fighting on the good side.
I think Gunn's attitude is just a twisting of his pre-vamp mission. Take everything you loved about Gunn and give it a slightly psycho 45 degree turn. Et voila!
OMG, he takes his eye?? I totally missed that!! And going back through, it's still not clear. God, this art sucks! THAT was the punch? He pulled his eye out with that punch? Please, for the love of god, get a new artist!! It's really about 50% of my enjoyment in a comic, and I know I personally have a hard time overlooking it, even if the writing is good.
oh and? Gwen always had those streaks in her hair. Really. Go look up pictures and you'll see 'em.
Plus, I'm a het female and STILL unconcerned with the boobs. It's like walking into a strip bar and whining at the lack of clothing.
But does every comic have to be like a strip bar?
I don't think I've seen this many swinging hips since... well, I can't really remember.

Other than my ponderings of how Spike inherited Hef's mansion (with a few extra demon-ets for variety) and how much does that Doc20210 *not really sure of his name* charges for Hell-fit bootay... I really liked this issue. It left me wanting more, which sucks due to the wanting more but that's a good thing for the people making it.

I want to find out if Illyria is going to break her waist twisting the way it was as she held Angel up as well as know the name of Angel's new pet dragon – it would so suck if he called him Dragon. Barry or Manilow would be a cool name to weird out Connor though, hee. (Nice to know Spike's still under Illyria's Pet Protection). And I started hating Gunn the second he hurt George. No one touches the fish! He must pay *nods firmly*

Solid writing. Love it. Feel like I'm watching the show again (can hear Spike pout in my head all bravado like). A little iffy about Spike trying the free love thing (it might have something to do with OOCness or just 'cause I'm picky of who Pookie should be with). Looking forward to the next issue. Gotta love reunions.

I do wonder though why Gunn doesn't realize that the white hat he's trying to put on really doesn't fit his new head... must be the lack reflection.

*holds breath for Lorne to pop up and save the day* What? A girl can hope.
We've come to expect different from Joss's worlds, AthenaMuze. Your analogy is ill-fitting. Story is key, not breasts. So to see them in such over-the-top ridiculous abundance is weird.
Y'know, I'd be very interested to hear what Joss had to say on the whole Boobgate situation. I know he has suggested in the past that he isn't a fan of the whole T&A style of comic art but I see Urru's work as being a very different thing. Yes, he tends to use the superhero comic style of exaggerated breasts but he is far from being the kind of artist that draws every panel to suit the best view of the female character's ass. Other than the size of boobs I would say Urru's style is a far cry from what anyone could call T&A comic art.

It's been said before, as Willowy repeated above, that a large part of the issue people have with the supposed sexualization of some of the females is that we don't expect it from Joss' shows but surely Joss was well aware of Urru's style before the first two issues of After the Fall were released. Even if he didn't see these specific issues I'd imagine that he would have checked out some of Urru's previous work on the two Spike series.

Either way, I'd be interested to hear his point of view on this topic and exactly what he think's of Urru's style generally.
Rogue Slayer, look at Gunn punching, then look at the panel where dear George's eye is slammed shut. Then look at what Gunn gives the whateverdemon. It is George's eye.

Pisses me off no end. Don't FUCK with the fish. >:(
Willowy, as Xander would probably agree, when it comes to the eyes of good people (or fish) in the Buffyverse, shit happens.

I'm still a little neither here nor there on the subject of George, for the simple reason that I still haven't read either of the two Spike miniseries Brian wrote. Until recently they weren't considered remotely canon and I tend to stick to the true version of any given story. I still have never bother to read any of Marvel's Ultimate line, for example. If it ain't the original Spidey or the X-Men then I'm not gonna bother. Same goes for the Buffyverse.

Now that the two Spike series are kinda being considered as "possible" canon I'll more than likely pick them up and familiarize myself with George but until then, for me anyway, Gunn just plucked the eye out of some fish. Shit happens. ;)
I'm with Willowy and hayes62.

For me, this universe is one place out of many where I don't feel like I'm in a strip bar when I look at the women - so it does upset me to see the women portrayed like this. Yes, they have had plenty of cool stuff to do, but cripes, did they really need to be doing it in porno-costumes?

I love the story, I love the writing - but it really saddens me to see the gratuitous boobage and ridiculous outfits here. I'm sad that I have to fixate on the breast size because it is right there in my face in a way that I find really jarring with the whole ethos of the Buffyverse.
Rogue Slayer, Willowy: You need to look at the issue again. Gunn did not pluck out the fish's eye. The thing he has in his hands is that glowing orb thing he took from that demon in the first issue.
There were busty women? I was looking at Spike's chest.

I'm late picking up my issue, so I don't know if anyone's still reading this thread. I was tired when I read it last night, so I need to re-read. Spike seemed very not-Spike, and it upset me, but I also know how well Brian knows the character so I'm trying to be trusting.

So far, Gunn's story seems the most interesting. But my poor Betta George!!

In my personal season 6 (canon, what canon?) Angel and Nina are together. I think they were good for each other.

Brian, thank you for the red silk jammies, and pass on my compliments to Mr. Urru.
Rogue Slayer, Willowy: You need to look at the issue again. Gunn did not pluck out the fish's eye. The thing he has in his hands is that glowing orb thing he took from that demon in the first issue.

Well, the art is bad, but I guess I can see some impact intended to the eye. I think Willowy is right, and Gunn's line about 'Not seeing it my way now' makes more sense. Apparently the fish was the hiding place for the orb?

But I think it does say something about the art when such important plot points aren't clear(whoever is right here).
"Apparently the fish was the hiding place for the orb?"

That's what I'm thinking now. I thought it was just his eye at first, but it is the orb.
The plot is clear. It has nothing to do with Beta George's eyes. Nothing.

Gunn, in issue #1, took the Eye of Ramras from Kr'ph when he killed them. There is a panel showing that. Then, in Issue #2, he gives the Eye of Ramras (not the Eye of George) to the demony mess. It's all in the art, really.

Maybe you guys are reading too fast, or just checking out the dialogue. Because the art--which is great, as Urru is by far the best artist IDW has ever assigned to Angel--tells a lot of the story here.
The one thing with comics is you can always go back to find more info that you may of have or have not picked up on. I'm always super excited when I pick up my issue, so this is what I do:

1. Read it super fast because I'm way too excited. Than take a breath.

2. Pick it up again, go over it more slowly and vaste in the greatness that is Lynch.

3. Grab an apple and eat it because apples are fantastic.

4. Go over over the issue one more time just to make sure I got it down. This third read can happen in many forms (bus ride, in bed, at work, on the toilet...and I am giving way to much....anyway...

The point I'm trying to make is if you are not used to reading comics, find a reading formula that works for you. If that doesn't work, just email Mr. Lynch 500000 times!
I'm super glad Angel has made a return.

Looking at the majority of the crap the CW has on now - this comics acting as Season 6 is a God send! The longer this stays around, the less painful most of the garbage on TV is!
Ok, taliily, next time, could you be a little more condescending?

I've been reading comics since I was a child. Richie Rich, then Archie and Tales of the Crypt, then got into X-Men and Spider-Man with my son when he came of age. I'm over 40.

I've scrutinized the Betta-George eye attack. Unless we were meant to be deceived, what else are we supposed to think? If I'm wrong then I apologize in advance, but that orb is nowhere to be seen before Gunn punches George IN THE EYE.

Why don't you go look at it again?
Sorry,

I wasn't trying to be condescending. I had some friends that were having the same problems trying to follow Angel, simply cause they don't have expereince reading comics. And that message was meant as a fun way of giving tips on using a new medium.

But I can see for a regular comic reader how that message can be taken the wrong way....
I've scrutinized the Betta-George eye attack. Unless we were meant to be deceived, what else are we supposed to think? If I'm wrong then I apologize in advance, but that orb is nowhere to be seen before Gunn punches George IN THE EYE.

Why don't you go look at it again?


What else were we meant to think? We certainly weren't meant to think George's EYE was ripped out. The orb is no where to be seen before he throws it over to the demony mess because he put it in his pocket in the first issue! Then, he takes it out in this one.

We weren't lead to believe anything. We were explictly shown Gunn giving the demony mess the Eye of Ramras. It's all in the book. Check it:

Issue One
1. Gunn rips the Eye of Ramras from Kr'ph
2. Gunn claims it as his own. He is wearing a hoodie with pockets here.

Issue Two
1. Gunn is wearing the same clothes. After beating on Betta George, he leaves the room. He reached into his HOODIE POCKET with his RIGHT HAND.
2. Next panel, the Eye of Ramras (identical to the object he ripped out of Krp'h and pocketed) is in his RIGHT HAND. He took it out of his pocket.
3. He gives the Eye of Ramras to the demony mess.

No where does it even hint at Betta George's eye being ripped out. But if you look at Gunn's actions with the Eye of Ramras in #1, it's easy to connect his actions in #2.

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