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January 16 2008

(SPOILER) Discussion for Angel: After the Fall #3. So we can all geek out over the fabulous new issue!

Sorry, I have been waiting all day for an official discussion to start, and I'm sick of waiting. I simply have to talk about that ending. Good God!

Any thought? Obviously.

Hey! We have similar names! Hehe.

Anyway I died and came back to life, after seeing that last page. The whole fight with Illyria was so cool.

And this new reveal changes everything! Angel is...OMG! What will Buffy say? I wonder who knows? So many questions.

I wasn't too into this series before this, I'm fully invested as of this moment. I had dreamed of this happening, and now it has! I hope it sticks and he doesn't go back to what he was before.
I don't have the issue, (bloody TFAW!) but I was spoilt a while ago about 'the twist' and my first thought was OMFG!
I don't think there's too much that Buffy CAN say, as phone connections in hell can be more than a little unreliable.
Braces self, however, for influx of 'revised' squee-like fanfic...
I am more interested in Spike and Gunn's reactions and the implication this change will have on Angel's path to redemption.

Will it hold? Will he end up needing to go back to his former state by the end of the series? The exciting thing is- who knows?!!
Oh, geez, he's not alive again, is he?
We don't know what Angel is ... we only know what he isn't.
Well...I guess this does have the spoiler tag.

Yes, he achieved Shanshu. He's a man now.

It seems like it'll stick.

I just wonder where his strength comes from? He seems pretty strong.
Yes, he achieved Shanshu. He's a man now

CowboyGuy ... it doesn't say that ... it just says he's not a vampire ...

maybe he's human ... maybe not ...

Also ... not sure if this is allowed ... we're supposed to link to something. Guess we'll find out.

[ edited by resa on 2008-01-17 02:55 ]
Oh. Well I guess I'm just assuming. It seems very much like a Joss thing to do...

Give the fans what they want, but with a twist. He is human, but now he is stuck in hell...and much more vulnerable. That is my take.
Obviously, the Lords couldn't tell he wasn't vampire any longer, but wouldn't Spike be able to smell it or something? Hmm.

Whatever, nitpicks, this is one of the boldest choices I have seen in a while, and I can't wait to see where Lynch takes it.
I think many of us, on this site and others, are being very quick with the assumption that Angel is a human. Fact is, there is very little we know.

1. He isn't a vampire.
2. He still has supernatural strength.
3. In the panel that shows "future Angel," he is aged as if he were human.
4. Many people and demons--who would normally be able to SMELL a human--believe he is still a vampire.

If anyone is interested, my review is posted over at
I think many of us, on this site and others, are being very quick with the assumption that Angel is a human. Fact is, there is very little we know.

I'm with you patxshand ... we should assume nothing. Especially from Joss....
I hope it is the Shanshu, I'm kind of sick of having it there hanging, and all the arguments over who deserves it more. About time we just get told who got it and then move onto the interesting things resulting from that. I really hope it was the Shanshu, I've wanted it for Angel ever since his smile at the end of season one, though in typical Jossverse fashion.. probably wasn't the best timing huh?
I don't think he still has supernatural strength, I think he was a vampire until the first couple pages of this issue. While he was flashing back and forward, I took that as him becoming human. He isn't healing like a vampire, he's healing like a mortal. But it's just speculation, can't wait to find out more about this!
On another forum Brian said that he wanted to reveal the 'twist' at the end of the first issue ... but waited until now. So Angel was whatever he is from the beginning of ATF. Also, there were numerous references about how Angel was out of commission for a while after LA went to hell which would support the Not A Vampire from the beginning senario...
Loved this issue and i agree that this is such a Jossian thing to do.While next isuse will certainly answer more questions,at this point I'm hoping it's the shanshu.That's what makes the most sense and would have the most impact to me over it being a morah demon or some other way.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2008-01-17 04:44 ]
Maybe Angel's been bought up Wesley-style by Wolfram and Hart and is like super-Jayne now. So he's no longer a vampire, but still super.
Wow, what a great ending, but what does it all mean? I hope it doesn't get Buffy/Angel fans to excited, seeing how he's in a real pickle. There is no way he can survive against all the lords best fighters being just a human(non-vampire), knowing Angel tough, he probably has something up his sleeve.

One more thing was the lord of Santa Monica the loan shark from Buffy's Tabula Rasu? If so very cool, I love call backs like that.
Oh yeah, everybody's talking like this issue contains some big important reveal . . . but you notice we still haven't learned the dragon's name!
Oh I'm so glad a discussion thread is up (but it isn't much of a link, is it?) because as soon as I read this I was dying to discuss it. Of course there is the question of Angel signing away the shanshu in blood, but on the other hand the Powers that be do love to jerk him around. We shall see if this twist means human, or what (what else?!). I really loved the flash back to infant Angel Liam, so funny. And of course Spike was hiding humans, why do people (ie Angel) even doubt it? Spike is a hero now, he has been for a while. I am definitely loving the series!
What, specifically, establishes that he has supernatural strength? I haven't seen it. The fact that he floored Spike? Spike ran into a closed fist. We've seen regular men put vampires on their backs, too -- it's mostly leverage. He hasn't fought anything in any way more supernaturally than we've seen, for instance, Wood, or post-surgery Riley, or even Xander fight. He couldn't even connect with Illyria, let alone hurt her.

I think he's human, that this is the real deal. And I love the idea as part of Angel's development. It's his greatest wish made into his most important secret. I hope it's not meant to be seen as an automatic greenlight for Buffy/Angel, though. Developments in that area in Season 8 have been too pleasant so far for that.
Okay... I'm not normally one to post on these "comic discussion" threads, but this issue just blew my mind so I feel the need to comment.

Let me start by saying that I was totally immersed in this book... I've been reading all the Buffy Season 8 and Angel Season 6 comics, and I've been reading the Buffy Omnibuses as they come out, but this is the first issue that I was totally absorbed into. I honestly am not that much of a fan of the first two issues of this series, but after reading this issue I'm wondering if something's just clicked, like I just learned how to actually read comic books (never have in all my life until these). I don't know what the deal is, but this issue ROCKED for me... I felt like I was actually watching it happen on the small screen.

And then that final reveal knocked me off my feet. I was reading it on the bus home and when I read that I literally said "Oh my God" pretty loudly. The woman next to me just stared at me. I almost wanted to explain to her what just happened, but then I remembered that I'm not a crazy person that does stuff like that :)

Anyways, I think Angel's comment at the end might be related to his discussion in the beginning of the book, about how werewolves and vampires are kind of in limbo in hell. I suspect that Angel is in some kind of limbo... not exactly sure how or what or why, but I seriously doubt that Angel is just human with no strings attached. That would just be too easy.

Oh, and Illyria is SUCH A BADASS!!!!!

Another Oh, I hope Cordy shows up at some point... I don't know how, but it would be nice.
Well KingofCretins, if Angel is no longer super strong, how does he possibly survive the attacks he's had against him since the start of the comic alone? Going back to the first issue especially, he's giving and taking like he was at his prime, and if we remember back to when Angel was human before, he was not exactly Conan incarnate. Either he still has some supernatural abilities or he somehow is the Terminator while being human.

1. The opening scene. Regular humans were cowering by those demons, but Angel was killing them easily even before the Dragon came.
2. He threw the stake with enough force to pierce Burge's son's eye and it even went deep enough to kill him. Gunn, as a human, could have never done that.
3. He and Connor (a 'human' with supernatural strength) fought off humongous demons, while having casual conversation, trying to impress each other, and pretty much being non-chalant.
4. And *yes* he floored Spike.

I think even ONE of those would have been enough to deem his strength supernatural.
Hmm, I don't want to be too hasty with opinions, since Lynch is doing so wonderful and I know to trust him, but having Angel be a human is such a beautiful idea, but giving him all the strength of a vampire reeks of cop-out-age. I mean, what's the point? I agree that it's very Jossian to give Angel his humanity back only to thrust him into a dangerous environment. Very "careful what you ask for, cuz you just might get it." And I think Angel hasn't done anything a human man couldn't do so far, despite evidence to the contrary. He's definitely well-trained and smart. But, ya know, I'm sure I'll end up being surprised and delighted, way these issues have been going.

Oh, and I adored the return of the Loan Shark. Apparantly, he's a widely-loathed character, but I think he's hilarious.
Spike will just have to turn him into a vampire. Being human is boring and not a prize.Angel could be a vampire with a soul and no gulit. That would be interesting.
Of course there is the question of Angel signing away the shanshu in blood, but on the other hand the Powers that be do love to jerk him around.

That always struck me as a fake-out by the Black Thorn. I think Angel's signing was meaningless, except as a test. The Shanshu was a prophecy, not a contract.
Hahahaha loan shark. I loved loan shark from the moment he appeared, but that's because I understood that Buffy could be (and I know Joss hates this word) campy without being shallow and cheap. I though he was a MUCH needed piece of comic relief in Buffy season 6, and it's delightful to see him return.

And, I am pretty darn convinced that Angel is indeed human, and that the Shanshu prophecy did indeed come to fruition, if only because it is the most dramatic, unexpected plot turn I would have imagined...AND, because it opens so many doors; who knows? Is he super strong? (it seems that way) Is he something like Connor now?

And finally, where did his "humanness" come from? We know that the Shanshu is a prophecy, it says that the vamp w/a soul will become human for playing his role in the apocalypse. But why?!? How? What power in the 'verse could (and would) do such a thing? I mean, prophecies are just predictions of the future, but they don't have any power on their own, do they? Did W&H do this? The PTB? Thoughts?
While I wasn't a huge fan of the Loan Shark in Buffy, I think he fits perfectly in the new L.A. I agree with barboo, I want to know the dragon's name!!

I was definitely blown away by the final page, didn't see it coming at all. I need to go back and reread the first two issues, though I don't think there is enough evidence to say whether Angel's fully human or just not a vampire. We'll just have to wait till next month or maybe have Brian will be merciful and drop some hints (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).

On a different note, any theories about the time shifting during the Illyria fight?
I haven't been one to post much about the comics either - I did a little bit at IDW with regard to vamp Gunn.....

But this?

Has officially BLOWN MY MIND. OMG, I love this development so much but it also scares the crap out of me.

Hooked, hooked, hooked I am. Can't wait for more.

Thank you Brian!!
Regarding Angel's state, Illyria recognizes that he is not what he used to be - she says to him "you're half of what you were." But at the end Angel says that he has to heal from "normally mortal wounds." If he was merely turned back to human, "normally mortal wounds" would presumably be mortal, suggesting that he is something not purely human.

One clarification I would like to see. At the beginning Angel says that the moon and sun are both up 24/7, which we had already learned from Nina. So when Spike says he's been training the ladies by day and going on rounds with Connor by night -- how do you tell the difference? For that matter, how do you measure a day when the sun is out for all of it?
1. The opening scene. Regular humans were cowering by those demons, but Angel was killing them easily even before the Dragon came.
2. He threw the stake with enough force to pierce Burge's son's eye and it even went deep enough to kill him. Gunn, as a human, could have never done that.
3. He and Connor (a 'human' with supernatural strength) fought off humongous demons, while having casual conversation, trying to impress each other, and pretty much being non-chalant.
4. And *yes* he floored Spike.

1. He was armed, they weren't. Those weren't exactly demons I think would have sent Gunn or Wes or Xander or Giles running for the hills. There was no actual feat of strength involved.
2. Burge's son did a decent amount of work by vaulting into it. Had the stake been stationary and he jumped at it, it would have done the same, so with force behind it, that gets easier, not harder. The only thing uncanny or supernatural there might be the aim, but, we've seen Wes shoot a 1 inch target from 30 paces with an injured, off-hand pistol shot and Xander fire an arrow from a compound bow through a Bringer's hand at about 20 or 30 paces.
3. I just went back and looked at that fight. Angel doesn't do much of the 'heavy lifting' -- Connor is doing all the big killing, lopping things heads' off with one swing.
4. Tell someone to hold their fist straight out and run into it. You'll fall down.

It's been done with smoke and mirrors so far, he hasn't actually done anything we haven't seen human characters do.

The "normally mortal wounds" line can just as easily be read as the weird, W&H assisted healing he's going to get back at the office as it might to anything he'll do on his own.

So, right now, I'm going to happy to assume he's not conveniently superpowered. I don't think that's as interesting as telling the story of him trying to pull this off as a normal man, or as compelling as him reconciling his "reward" with his current situation.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2008-01-17 06:38 ]
Time, barboo? They keep track of time? It's not that hard. People in Alaska, when they have a month of night, still know what time it is.

Glad you guys dug the issue1
Brian, I don't suppose clarity on the human vs. meta-human thing would be "telling", would it?

Also, thanks for the single coolest *holy crapzola* moment any Buffy or Angel story has given since... I don't actually remember if there was one.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2008-01-17 06:51 ]
Loved it, best yet Brian.

In regards to Angel hitting Spike, well Xander knocked Spike down onto his back in 'Normal Again' and Spike may have been serious when he said he was drunk on demon brew, so Angel as a normal human could have done that.
I agree about this being one of the biggest shockers ever thrown at us. This definitely beats the reveal of Spike being ensouled. I'm really impressed by the fact that we got through four full issues without it being obvious. I mean, he never did vamp out!

And I'd just like to reiterate something I said in an earlier thread. I think Lynch and Urru are doing a splendid job with demons. It might sound like an odd compliment, but all of the LA Lords look very distinct and interesting. I would love to see them further explored. The Bald Demoness with the humans-as-chair is brilliant, and the little guy in the turncoat is adorable in a Damien sort of way. Beautiful designed and drawn.

Sorry, I'm gushing, but I'm still trying to wrap my head around that ending.
If Angel isn't superpowered, how did he manage to survive nearly being decapitated by Illyria? That knife was in his neck deep, certainly deep enough to bleed out if he were a regular human. Although we've seen other humans slay demons, when Angel was a human, he was extremely clumsy. No regular human could possibly survive all the trauma Angel's been through these past few issues. Maybe since he's in Hell he can't die because he's already dead, but it appears that other beings sure can die.
Sorry, I have been waiting all day for an official discussion to start, and I'm sick of waiting. I simply have to talk about that ending. Good God!

Next time find a proper link or it''ll get deleted. I've linked to a review for you.
Sure, there's fantastic graphics, an intriguing plot, spot-on dialogue, but I'm sure there's me and four other people in fandom that are dying to know whether Spike and Angel will ever make out in crayon form. I am perched at the edge of my seat with my fist in my mouth, anxious anticipation whether their pencilled lips might ever touch.

But on a serious, and slightly less shipper creepy note, I must say that Brian Lynch gives a good interview. (Okay, maybe not kiss, but maybe punch each other in the face in a suggestive fashion, hahaha!)
What a great issue!!! Man! I just finished it so I havnt all my thoughts together, but it was so great.

Loved the Angel/Illyria fight. It wasnt what I thought it would be. Same with the Dragon fight. Loved how it was in the background with all the dialogue going on. I thought it would take up half the issue and leave room for not much else, but I am glad it didnt. Cos there was so much else to enjoy.

God Angel is gonna be pissed over Spike and Connors friendship. Loved the revelation about Spike. See....the guys knew what they were doing!:)

Also the final scene is classic Angel. Those last few pages are perfect. And the last page. To echo the review in the link..Best Ending Ever!!!
So I was reading the issue this morning (wasn't able to read it last night; long, unfun story), and though I loved reading the first two, I was really loving this one. I don't exactly know why. This one just seemed really comfortable and relaxed, and with absolutely spot-on rhythm. I've still not warmed to the art, but even that wasn't bothering me so much. All of the quips, punches, laughs, and thrills had me totally enthralled...

And then that last page just motherfucking floored me. Seriously, if I had already thought it was an exceptional issue--and I had--the end twist totally elevated it to one of the greatest frakkin' things in the history of ever.

Kudos, Joss and Brian. Kudos.
Yeah, bravo to Brian. The issue was a delight and that last page - wow. So much more besides....I loved the return of the loan shark. Spike doing his salty hero bit. Connor + Spike. Illyria doing the old timeslip again and showing bits of Fred. Egads. *That* is pretty big.

Everything clicked for me, too. A great story is being told. The issue looked good, too.

But....Angel is not a vamp?! Will Gunn turn him back? What is all this underscored/highlighted "baby steps" business Wesley keeps telling Angel to take to get back to what he once was?
I'm very much looking forward to reading this issue. Hopefully I can pick it up this weekend.
"What is all this underscored/highlighted "baby steps" business Wesley keeps telling Angel to take to get back to what he once was? "

Thats a good point phlebotinin. Before the revelation of this issue I had presumed Wesley referred to Angels lost chamion status. But now he must mean his return to vampire.Maybe?
This blew my mind, that's for sure. I also agree with it being the most important and most shocking reveal of the 'verse.

Anyone have any thoughts on what this time shifting thing could mean for Fred? I had heard that before season 5 was cancelled they were going to use the mutari generator to split her into two, Ilyria and Fred. What's up with that? Any ideas?

and whoa, I knew Spike wouldn't let us down!

totally wanted to see more of Gunn, though. And I'm loving Urru's artwork. I love the fact that he's so original, it's much better than someone trying and failing to draw an actor's likeness.

Lynch, you own my soul!
That was awesome! So glad I can go to my regular comic shop again.

I don't think Angel is showing super-human powers any more; I reckon he is still a skilled fighter, maybe with above average strength for a human, but Angel has always been pretty trim, I expect with training (and motivation) Liam could have made a fighter on par with the best of the Buffyverse humans.

Also, if he is showing super-human strength there could be any number of Wolfram and Hart related explanations; he is using them to heal after all, maybe he is using them for strength too.

Love the Illyria/Fred stuff. I want Fred back! I also want Cordy back, all I want is a cameo at the least.

Brilliant issue Brian! Keep it up!
Well, the final decision waits on my getting #s 2 & 3 and reading from Iss. 1 on, but I think I'm definitely not going to be "not-reading" this, at least for a while. You win, Mr. Lynch :-).

Of course my personal fantasy always was five vmapires returned to humanity with powers intact but, as any Joss fan already knows, we take what comes.
I thought of this elsewhere, doesn't the whole storyline with Gunn make a lot more sense if Angel really is human? The reversal between them? It would be like Angel getting his own cruciamentum, y'know?
"I thought of this elsewhere, doesn't the whole storyline with Gunn make a lot more sense if Angel really is human? The reversal between them? It would be like Angel getting his own cruciamentum, y'know? "

I always thought it was a great story, but this new twist really adds to the drama of it. Does Gunn know? How pissed will he be when he finds out?
Maybe Gunn blames Angel because Angel is to blame, like a price for him becoming human... or at least him becoming not-a-vampire. Not sure makes sense, but its quite interesting, like an exchange, vampire for human. This would also give Gunn no sire.
I'm not convinced that Angel is fully(only)human. Spike says he's going to put Angel in a little urn, the demon lords speak of having all of LA under one vamp (if Angel wins), and one of Spikes 'babes' says Angel reeks of magic (but Spike doesn't??). Also, as said before Angel has received 'usually mortal' wounds but isn't dead .. just won't heal in 2 days. And Wesley talks about 'baby steps'. So seems to me that there's more to this than Angel being human.
I'm not convinced that Angel is fully(only)human.

Perhaps there's more to Angel's situation that what we've seen, but a couple of your points can be easily explained by Angel not having told anyone yet (except, presumably, Wes).
One could certainly infer that the magic Angel reeks of is A) something that protects him from being detected as human, and B) whatever hard-working healing magic that he's working to try to maintain the illusion.

Really, the idea of Angel being human but still on his mission seems to be so on point to the entire "Angel" series, a theme they hit in "Judgment", in "Reprise"/"Epiphany", in "Deep Down", and in "Not Fade Away", that he's not fighting for rewards or even for atonement, but because it's a fight that needs fighting.
But he's supposed to get hit by a bus when he becomes human. Well that's what David Boreanaz wanted.
"But he's supposed to get hit by a bus when he becomes human. Well that's what David Boreanaz wanted. "

Maybe that will be the last issue:)
"One could certainly infer that the magic Angel reeks of is A) something that protects him from being detected as human, and B) whatever hard-working healing magic that he's working to try to maintain the illusion."

Thats a good point. I had forgotton about that. Wesley has access to things in W+H and he wa sa knowledge of magic. Maybe something in First Night will illuminate us?
Fantastic issue, everything in it: from the insanity of Illyria/Angel fight, to the Dragon, to the oh so gratifying Spike's reveal, Spike and Connor parallels and alliance, and to the stunning ending.
I wasn't convinced Angel turned human on the first read: there was a panel spoiled with him vamping out from the future issue (but maybe that's a flashback? Or a deliberate mislead for us fans?), and I remember Wesley saying that no one was alive in the room when the bug was working on Angel. But maybe Wesley doesn't know too? Then what about "baby steps"?

But now, especially after looking at Gunn's reversal, and learning how Brian wanted to do this reveal at the end of #1 (I presume on Angel's words "They've changed me") - superimposing Gunn and Angel, I'm convinced that it is it. The Shanshue.
Turned on its head and not given as reward but as punishment for being on the wrong side of the Apocalypse. Or maybe it was never about the reward at all (as was hinted many times in the show, btw) but always was a carrot used by W&H to control Angel. It came from W&H originally, after all. And Angel says: *they* changed me. I.e. maybe his "human" state is W&H doing.
Or maybe, as someone suggested, his signing away the Shanshue was sighing it away to SPs, for them to give it to him when they want.

As for Angel being more resilient, driving/walking around with mortal wounds: maybe he's pumped on some W&H steroids. Or magic, which protects him somewhat. And prevents detection that he's not a vamp.

Another intriguing thing was Illyria speaking in riddles and time travelling with Angel. I got the impression she tried to find a timeline without Angel, to make him gone from past or future, but could not. Why does she want him gone? What does it mean - "if he's gone, we can move forward". Maybe they would need to get out of Hell by getting back in time and making a different choice? And she's convinced that with Angel around that choice wouldn't be made?
Also Angel in various stages of his life, from baby (Aww!) to the aged man is a look at his humanity as well.

And how I love Illyria in this issue! Art and dialogue, both. She's majestic, and mythical. And note how her face suddenly looks exactly like Amy Acker when Angel wonders if she has a piece Fred in her. And I had a feeling she'd be owning the Dragon if the fight continued. :)
As for Dragon's name: looks like it's on a need to know basis and we don't need to know. :)

ETA: I had a crazy thought. What if Future!Angel is on "Serenity"? Maybe time goes slower in that dimension, not faster.
Also, Puppet!Angel was in some kind of a restaurant, it seemed. Maybe it was where he and Nina went for breakfast? :)

[ edited by Nata on 2008-01-17 17:44 ]
"3. In the panel that shows "future Angel," he is aged as if he were human."

patxshand (or anyone else): 'Splainy? I only see "past Angel" and "waaaaaaay past Angel" versions. What am I missing? Nata, you refer to Angel being shown as an "aged man." Where? Where? Am I blind? It's not that dead security guard, is it??

Also, in the "Smile Time" panel, who are those grinning folks in the background? Any significance to them? The setting doesn't look Smile Timeish with the exception of Angel being puppetish.

Final question: when Chris Ryall refers on the letters page to issue 4 of After the Fall as the "penultimate point" of the "first chapter," is he misusing "penultimate" (pretty common mistake) or does the first chapter really conclude with issue 5? I'm not being nitpicky or petty about correct use of language. I honestly wish to know whether it's issue 4 or issue 5 that concludes the first chapter.

With this third issue, everything has now clicked for me. I'm so into this.

[ edited by phlebotinin on 2008-01-17 17:49 ]
Nata, you refer to Angel being shown as an "aged man." Where? Where?
It's where he is pinned to a metal wall, in a futuristic black coat. His face is lined. He's not an old man there, but much older than now.
As for Puppet!Angel setting - I think it's where he took Nina for breakfast. Or maybe for dinner: there were couple of days till he reverted back to himself, after all.

[ edited by Nata on 2008-01-17 18:00 ]
Look at page 6. The 'aged' Angel is the panel inbetween him as the Puppet and a baby.It looks he is in a future type environment.And nice new leather jacket...intersting style:)

And yes this chapter of the tale concludes with the 5th issue so #4 is the penultimate. Then it is the two issues of First Night, and then continues.:)
Ah, thanks, Nata. Boy did I not look carefully at that panel, did I? Different clothes, different background. Duh. But his face doesn't look that much (if any) older to me - that's what confused me. Urru uses a lot of lines around Angel's face on many panels.
Thanks, too, angeliclestat. Can't wait until the two-issued First Night. Those will be doozies.

Any projected final count on this series? Originally we were told it was going to be 12 issues, counting the one shots, right? Has that changed?

[ edited by phlebotinin on 2008-01-17 18:08 ]
No prob:)

First Night:I know! have you seen the 3 pages of inked previews we've gotton. They look amazing.So psyched.

But first the issues 4+5.Man I am loving this series!

[ edited by angeliclestat on 2008-01-17 18:09 ]
"Any projected final count on this series? Originally we were told it was going to be 12 issues, counting the one shots, right? Has that changed?"

I think it was 12 without the extra issues. So it could be 14.

I really hope they dont end it there, and continue with After the Fall Part 2, or whatever...
But he's supposed to get hit by a bus when he becomes human. Well that's what David Boreanaz wanted.

Well the public transportation in LA is already shoddy. Now that it's in hell, I imagine he'll be waiting for that bus forever.

Could it be that everything that's happening will only be as long as they're in hell? I really don't know what to think anymore but, yes, my mind was blown.

I guess I haven't been following the news very well. Is this 'First Night' the next arc or is it something separate?

[ edited by hacksaway on 2008-01-17 18:46 ]
" Is this 'First Night' the next arc or is it something separate? "

It originally was meant to be one issue telling the story of the night of 'Not Fade Away' after the battle in the alley from the perspective of seconday characters. But Lynch has said there was so much material it has been made into 2 issues. So it will be issues 6 and 7. Then back to the story at hand.
Thanks, angeliclestat.
*hides my eyes*

Don't have my issue yet. God, this is like torture.
Looks like this may be bumped off the main page soon ... so noone make any more frontpage posts :). Or better yet, could we have a front page link to this (like for Buffy#10) so we can keep talking. Loving this discussion.
"Looks like this may be bumped off the main page soon ... so noone make any more frontpage posts :). Or better yet, could we have a front page link to this (like for Buffy#10) so we can keep talking. Loving this discussion."

Yes please! There are so many more people to contribute in the UK that would have only got the issue today and are getting home from work now. Not to mention all the people in the States who havnt got it yet. Pretty please with sugar on top, Mods?:)
If it falls off, I'll post a link to it on the sidebar like what I did for Buffy #10.
If it falls off, I'll post a link to it on the sidebar like what I did for Buffy #10.

:-D Thanks Simon
Thanks Simon! :)
Before reading any other comments, here are my thoughts:

First of all, I liked the art; my single biggest criticism is that the eyes look very off to me, especially on Illyria and Spike. Yes, one could argue that it's because of Hell's effects on vampires and primordial demons, but it's still very distracting. It was nice to get some more information about the effects of Hell A on vamps and demons, although the exposition wasn't all that well disguised in Angel's voice-overs. And I like that this took a tighter focus: no Gunn, no Nina, no Gwen, and no George, so that their upcoming appearances will have all the more power. (And yes, the Gunn cover looks pretty awesome.)

After issue #2, I staunchly defended Spike's harem, arguing that it was clearly in character because of the emasculated, cuckholded position he was being held in by Illyria. Obviously the only reason this serial monogamist would try so hard to be Hugh Hefner is to try, desperately, to convince himself that he's still manly when he's fallen so far from grace.

Now, it looks like the Spike/Illyria dynamic is more complicated, with her playing the front to Spike's puppy-saving engine. This is great, but suddenly invalidates my arguments in defence of the somewhat tacky and out-of-usual-character harem (Spike is, again, an obsessive monagamist and always has been, even with Harmony of all people). I hope this will be clarified soon, because the idea of a harem of girls being trained to be scantily clad ninja fighters is pretty ludicrous; you could argue that Spike's empowering them, but he still has lines like "You're out of the top 12!" which are a bit much for a hero as opposed to a fallen hero. I long for the days when Spike deflected a come-on from a rescuee by mocking her stupidity and calling her a cow. Of course this is probably still a put-on (must keep up appearances or the baddies will figure it out), and I bet a part of his "Do it till it hurts" line was a dig at Angel's (still present?) perfect happiness clause, but I hope that things will be cleared up some more soon.

As far as Illyria, I like that her temporal powers have somewhat returned, allowing another instance of using the comics medium in a way one couldn't on the show. She seems to be going somewhat crazy, and Spike seems to be letting her think that she's in charge; no wonder that he can do so, given his 100+ experience handling a strong, crazy woman, although of course Dru always was in charge, strange co-dependency or no.

I feel a bit skeptical about super-Connor apparently running the show everywhere, particularly since perfect-Connor is a construct that we only got to know over two episodes in the television series. I'm reserving judgment for now. It'll be nice to see cracks forming in his resolve, because no matter how well Vail built Connor's brand new psychology, being sent to hell for a second time has got to start to get to him.

Of course, the cracks are showing in Angel. And now, a lot of it makes more sense. I'm really impressed with saving the Shanshu reveal for the last page of the third issue, which requires more patience than I would have. I haven't had a chance to look back at the first two issues to see if there were any hints dropped there, but there was a big one in this issue, with the shot of a greying Angel as one of his time morphs. (And the line, "That's a face I didn't think I'd see again," is pretty ominous with regards to Illyria's future.) It also produces the best-ever Angel irony: after distancing himself from all his (human) friends and lovers because he was a vampire, he has now been forced to distance himself from all his (demon) friends and lovers because he's a human! At least that's how I read his breakup with Nina, and his decision to tell Connor about his newfound loss of vampirism.

Of course it's possible that Angel didn't actually Shanshu, isn't human, and is merely "something else," but I don't really like that idea. The beauty of the shanshu is that it makes a lot of sense: yes, Angel signed away his mortality, but he did it to Wolfram & Hart's minions, the Black Thorn, who probably have sole ownership of the contract. What better, more ironic way of punishing Angel for his misstep than giving him what he wanted at exactly the wrong time? I also have a feeling, somehow, that Gunn might know that Angel is human, which would be incredibly devastating. (Angel won his humanity, at the cost of Gunn's. Wow.)

Of course, Angel's plan is stupid. Mind-bogglingly so, and I'm not sure that this is entirely in character, even for someone who typically bit off more than he could chew. I think that this might well be weak writing--especially given the hullabaloo of Angel killing Burge's son two issues ago, which seems right now to be somewhat irrelevant. But we'll see how this plays out.

Also, who wants to bet that the unnamed Lord who did not attend the meeting is either Lorne or Mystery Guy?
"Also, who wants to bet that the unnamed Lord who did not attend the meeting is either Lorne or Mystery Guy?"

I thought it was Illyria -- didn't the other Lords refer to the missing one as a "she"?
I won't bother specualting on where this will lead.
My reaction to the issue was thus:

There are two missing Lords. One is the Lord of Silverlake. He's referred to as a "him" and one of the other lords is proposing "shucking him." (Reminds me of the comshuck of Pylea. Hee.) The Lord of Beverly Hills is a she, and she seems to be Illyria.

I'm with WilliamTheB. I wouldn't be surprised if the Lord of Silverlake is Lorne. But who's "Mystery Guy?" (I'm clearly not batting 1000 here today with perceptive abilities.)

Wait - what about the Lord of Westwood? I'm assuming that's now Gunn?

[ edited by phlebotinin on 2008-01-17 23:42 ]
Westwood doesn't have an official Lord yet. Last we saw, all sorts of demons were still fighting for it.
Ah, yes. That was a really funny scene.

Again, kudos to you, Mr. Brian Lynch. You're really pulling this thing off. The way this story is building - yowza.
Ok, I really need to go look at a map of LA to figure out where all these lords come from.
OMG, I just literally finished reading issue #3 mere moments ago, and I have to say I am in utter shock over what I have just read, and now feel the need to discuss this glorious and unforseen new development with the entire world! To say that I was suprised would definitely be an understatement! I had to read the last page like 3 times just to make sure of what I was reading! I definitely did not see that coming that's for sure! But isn't that just like Joss to suprise us when we least expect it? Gee, you'd think I would know that by now. And now all I can think about is all the possibilities and doors that this could open up for Angel. Could he and Buffy finally have a shot at being together?! I will admit, being a long time Buffy/Angel fan, this is definitely one of the first things I thought of! I think it would be great if they did some kind of crossover thing with the comics and we were able to see Buffy's reaction.

I am definitely loving Angel season 6 in comics. I think that it is only getting better and better. And of course I loved seeing illyria again, her banter always makes me laugh. Can't wait to see how things will unfold in future issues!
Ok, just spotted another familiar-looking face. Well, face, not exactly. The Lord of Century City. Doesn't he resemble the cloth-swathed being that came to the Scoobies' aid by doing the phony taking out Angel's soul light and smoke show, way back in the days of the Mayor and Faith? True he is no longer indebted to Rupert Giles, but he seemed like a decent sort of being of whatever persuasion he is. If so, maybe he is still on the good guys' side here and play a role in defeating the evil demons.
Time, barboo? They keep track of time? It's not that hard. People in Alaska, when they have a month of night, still know what time it is.

People in Alaska have watches. And clocks calibrated to Greenwich Mean Time. And jobs that they have to be at at certain times, and appointments to keep, all of which give them an incentive to keep to the convention of 24 hour days, even when the convention is contradicted experientially. I wonder if preindustrially, people were quite so attached to the convention of normal days during a month of darkness or light.

On the other hand, people put into situations where they are artificially deprived of external time cues, quickly lose track of the 24 hour cycle.

Given the chaos of Hell it seems unlikely that there is some force uniting everyone in agreement on an artificially determined coordinated universal time. Hell, the Lords can't even agree about killing Angel.

So, is there some external factor - perhaps the sun shrinking and expanding in a cycle while still being in the sky, that makes it possible for everyone to agree on when it is day and night? Because it just seems odd, after having it so strongly emphasized that both the sun and moon are out 24/7, to hear Spike speak so definitively about day and night. How does one tell them apart?
I guess Spike keeps a schedule.
He probably has a PDA :) Looked like he had a mean case of BlackBerry thumb in this issue (so kidding).
Spike's game boy, cell phone, and other gadgets all have time keeping automatically set up, so he just always knows what time it is regardless of the sun and moon. You know he always has to have the latest toys, I'm sure he has an iPod and probably a lap top too.
I might have an explanation for the Angel human/super-human quandry... Angel fed on Hamilton. You know, the Senior Partners' prized magic-based immortal? That blood is what turned the tide in their fight and allowed him to get as far as he did. Maybe those effects are still active in his blood. For that matter, the hell dimension may be making him even stronger. That would explain his super strength and his "reeking of magic."

He's still supernatural. He's still got a lot to atone for (including possible involvement with or responsibility for Gunn's vampiric state). But even if he's not a vampire any more, he's still Angel and I actually like him more because of this twist.
Here's the kind of dork I am -- I'm instantly fascinated by what secures legitimate sovereignty over a part of Los Angeles. Do the other demon lords vote?

Brian has got my attention hooked, definitely. This was the blow-your-hair-back moment that both the Season 8 and "After the Fall" series needed to make even the most stubborn skeptics pay attention and deal with the canon of it. Saying that, I will be at least mildly, not majorly, but mildly disappointed if this isn't just a straight-up, yes he's human, yes it's the shanshu, it's just really inconvenient change for Angel. That's what feels most natural to his conflict with Gunn, and what feels like it puts Angel in the most precarious position. I mean, if he is superhuman, even if less strong, but not a vampire, isn't that a happy thing for him? I like the idea that he's gotten his fondest wish at a time when he doesn't have the luxury of doing anything other than being afraid of and annoyed by it. And I'm always a big fan of the Buffyverse reminding us that the bravest heroes are the ones that were getting by without the benefit of any superpowers (early Willow, Cordy for most of her run, Xander, Fred, Gunn, Anya, Dawn).
So what's up with the preview pic of Angel with vampy face that was posted here Nov 29th?

I, too, noticed that he didn't vamp out in any of the previous issues, but that pic made me think it just hadn't come up yet.

I'll also note that the future Angel does not look like he aged as a normal human. That looks like Fray-era future and Angel doesn't look older than 50. It certainly doesn't look like a realistic portrayl of anything within 50 years. So even if he is aging, he's aging much slower than a normal human.

[ edited by dingoes8 on 2008-01-18 07:19 ]
Just finished the issue. Am dumbfounded. Just ... damn. Don't have any idea, really, where it's going, but am fully, obsessively invested for the ride. This reminds me of the show's heyday, when I was always so excited by new episodes that I couldn't wait for the end credits to roll so I could get online and read about/discuss it. Angel as human(ish?) in hell is, for me, on the level of Dru-killed-Darla-while-Angel-watched or Lorne-shot-Lindsey shocking, and staying unspoiled for it when this thread went up earlier today, before I had the chance to get home and glom my mailed copy, just about killed me. But ... so worth it!

Am also adoring the way Brian Lynch is writing Angel with a nuanced and classic mix of pathos, humor, stoicism and vulnerability. The emotions portrayed by him feel so real to me, and the complexity of Angel's character is being so beautifully delineated through each new development, that I find myself flashing from the page to a full-action rendering in my mind's eye as I read along, making it so much more than merely two-dimensional storytelling.

In honesty, I did have early issues with some of the renderings and colors that are based on my own personal quirks of taste -- but the writing is so uniformly good I feel I'm being made to fall in love with the whole package almost in spite of myself. This grasp on the voices you have, Mr. Lynch, is almost Jossian in tone and scope, and I don't say that lightly; I only pray you continue to use your powers for good! :)

I wanted to comment more on actual plot and stuff others have mentioned; now I think I'll save it for later, after I've have a little more time to digest. For now, I'll say that like xanderharris mentioned above, I too think there's something significant in Angel's mention of the sun/moon situation -- that it must somehow affect the states and strengths of the undead/supernatural in this most inverted and unpredictable of dimensions. Gods, so much to ponder... Between the new X-files film promo shot I stumbled on earlier, getting the Sweeney Todd soundtrack ("God, That's Good!" being apropos for this thread), and now #3, today has been quite the pop culture feast.

Thank you, Joss and Brian, for what you've wrought so far in this series. I can hardly wait for the next issue!
I thought he vamped out in the first issue when Burge's son is holding him up by the neck but just assumed this was due to whatever magic is being used to make people think Angel is still a vamp?
1. Aaaah! Angel is human!?! OH MY SAINTY JOSS! How? When? WHY? *stops that train of thought because there is no end in sight for it*
2. Spike and Connor are buddy buddy! Yay. Brain had listened to our wishes (or our minds). Nothing could bug Angel more than his son and his boy getting friendly *sniffs at the pretty* I didnít think for a second that Spike was up to no good (well, maybe ONE second) that was a lovely slap on Angelís human face as well. Me likey! Me likey a lot.

I would comment more, but I feel like I wanna go back and read it some more. I do though wonder if Angelís gonna ask Spike and his new friends for help on taking back L.A. Gladiator Style. Poor Angel canít be having death wishes now!
This was a really good issue, not just in terms of the show but in comic books as a whole. In the last couple of months, there's only been a handful of new comic books that have really wowed me. Dan Dare, Infinite Horizon and Pax Romana. I'm very happy to add After The Fall to the list.

The team knocked this one out of the ball park. Kudos.
After reading and re-reading Issue 3, all I have to say that I am totally and utterly shocked about the ending. I think Angel is human because Angel referred to himself as a "man" in the first issue. That could have been a subtle hint that he was in fact human, or I am just reading too much into it. I like the twist though.

I knew Spike wasn't becoming a vampire version of Hugh Hefner. It did not jive with his character. I'm glad he is saving people, and what he and possibly Illyria are doing is very good. I do think it's odd that Connor is trusting Spike, because Spike is a vampire. Connor, even new Connor, has memories of Holtz saying all vamps are bad. So that's a bit odd, but I do like it. I say this issue gets an eagle on the crazygolfa scare of goodness, only a hole-in-one is better.
I can not cut a break with comics.

I get this comic, read it, and am confused by parts of it and shaking my head that it is once again a comic that just trails off in the ending. (Something that has been turning me off comics.) Then I come here, and everybody is talking about Angel being human and shanshing.


So I go back to read it again.

The pages had stuck together in three different places in the comic! Of course, one of them had been the big reveal at the end. (sigh) Of course, it all made a lot more sense when I read all the pages. (shakes head) Maybe I should just come here before I read the comics at all. (/frustrated rant)

Anyway, I doubt that Angel is human. I don't know what he is, but I don't think the shansu will be part of it. Of course, I can't turn pages with any accuracy so what do I know.

As far as the Spike serial monogamy thing, that never really bothered me. Whatever Spike may be doing or not doing with those women, and I am not thrilled with the scantily-clad ninja fighters idea either, he does not seem to be attached right now. He may be an obsessive serial monogamist, but he is a guy and Buffy is long ago and far away at this point. As far as the out of the top 12 comment, that could mean the top 12 commanders since her judgment on who to help in a crisis is obviously flawed. ;-)
The serial monogamy thing bothers me in terms of Spike's past history: even when he was still obsessing over one girl, he tended to go after one girl at a time. Even when he was obsessed over Dru and over Buffy, he was monogamous with Harmony, for example. Having a harem seems out of character. But yeah, with a few more days' distance from the issue it's much less clear what's going on than I thought. "The top twelve" really could be the top twelve warriors, or some such. Still, something is squicky about building an army out of only attractive, buxom women. It still feels exploitive.

I do really hope that Angel is entirely human--so much irony, so many levels.
I finally got my copy over the weekend. Not sure if anyone's still responding to this thread but I wanted to say that this issue just blew me away. There was so much happening in this one that I had to read it twice to catch it all and it reminded me so, so much of the series, especially the last half of season 5. I love the fast pace of the story and the way things are being revealed.

I could go on and on about how wonderful this issue was but I fear I'd only be repeating what's been said already and I'm more than just impressed. I'm in awe.
You guys KNOW this is setting up for Gunn to bite Angel and turn him into a Vamp again, right? Right?! It'll probably happen right when Angel gets L.A. out of Hell.

Oh, the humanity. *toothy grin*
I'm not all that sure Angel's actually human.
I believe he's human, he's just using big mojo to conceal it and to give him some strength. Remember, he "reeks of magic", or something similar.
Overall I liked it, I'm not too fond over the whole Connor-Angel dynamic so far. About the ending I'm not sure I can accept a major change like that for Angel in the comic. But I keep my hopes up since the story has been moving nicely. I would love to see where Brian Lynch goes with this story.
Y'all should go listen to Brian's podcast over on his Myspace page. It's so much fun and he gives lots of little details and toward the end, Mr. Lynch confirms that Angel is indeed human.

So I guess you could say that I was totally wrong! Hee!

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