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June 11 2008

(SPOILER) Discuss Angel: After The Fall #8 here! Released today.

Disregarding the debatable 'quality' of the "Civilians" story, what's the timeline supposed to be here?

I thought Angel & Co. went to Hell mid-2004, and the current story was taking place sometime in late 2004/early 2005, same as Buffy & Co. But in the "Civilians" story, there's an ad for the movie, 'Grace is Gone,' which didn't come out until early 2008.
Since we *know* when "First Night" was -- May-ish 2004 -- I don't sweat the "Grace is Gone" sign. I assume Lynch or Schmidt just wanted to give it a plug. Easter eggs, they do happen.

"First Night" concludes, and honestly, I can't wait to get back to the main plot. The stories are good, but the past three months of "After the Fall" have been kind of restless. I'm glad we have the insight into the details, but already knowing where everyone would be months later took a lot of the suspense out, y'know?

Gwen's story is very poignant. It makes total sense that she would develop this need for intimacy, for touching, for kissing after a lifetime without any physical affection, platonic or otherwise. And it also makes sense that she wouldn't just want to sleep with any schmuck, either -- it's got to be danged intimidating, if nothing else, despite her time with Gunn.

I was sorta disappointed to learn that she wasn't in control of her powers in "After the Fall" -- I had sort of hoped that her involvement was voluntary, that she had *chosen* to use her abilities. But, it still works, because it's great motivation. And how horrible for her to kill that guy out of nowhere. Love that her reaction was to literally try to punch a hole in the barrier, too.

Speaking of the barrier... Gwen's story gives us a lot of insight into the nature of Hell-A, more than we'd ever gotten. There had been mention of "the barrier" before, but that's a pretty vague notion, which could have meant the walls between dimensions or something completely abstract. Instead, the barrier is quite literal. First, we see the huge storm, localized over downtown LA, and then it sort of explodes and spreads down as a literal, tangible wall, dome shield around the LA basin. And then the hellish stuff takes hold from inside.

My original thoughts on Hell-A and why we haven't had any reaction to it in Season 8 of Buffy were that the real LA was gone, but that in its place, there was a glamour of sorts -- a passive acceptance by the whole world that crappy movies are still getting made, "American Idol" is still getting watched, and that the city is still there... just not interesting enough for anyone to visit, everyone has a reason to put off a vacation of a business trip, even if they don't think about it or wonder why.

After changing my mind a few times, I now suspect that original theory is basically correct. LA, under that barrier, in that snow globe, has been phased into a hell dimension, but from outside the snow globe, you'd never be the wiser. You can't get in, but you also don't try; there's always something better to do.

That still leaves the timeline-sync question up in the air with Season 8, but it's now at least a little safer to think that they timelines are proceeding in the same linear fashion.

Gunn's story... from a character standpoint, it's very cool. And honestly, I think he has a legitimate beef. Angel said he'd be back. Didn't come back. QED. And it was by far the most clear insight into how the fight went in the alley that we've gotten so far.

From a plot standpoint... I'm a little underwhelmed by Seemingly Random Vampires as the ones who took him and sired him. It's cool in one sense, it's very pure Buffyverse, a la the build up around the warrior guy in 3.08 "Quickening", who then just gets eaten very quickly. Gunn's "benefactors" led by this mysterious Benjamin Linus wannabe who doesn't even get his cryptic BS out before Gunn kills him. I like that. But I don't really like the idea that we're getting a whole new mythological element, this "inside line" and this vampire group with special "we've been watching you" insight. There is such a thing as over-layering a story, and this is the sort of thing that *might* do that. I'm giving it a chance, not hating, but it set off all the same alarms that "Lost" occasionally does when they decide to add new rules from time to time.
Hey KoC, thanks for the review, that was well though out, very cool.

I'm not sure where the GRACE IS GONE reference is, if it's on the movie marquee that's news to me (I should check again), but every movie on the board is a movie that an actor from ANGEL or BUFFY has appeared in.

More specific reactions to your review, SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!!

I too can't wait to get back to the main plot. We realized people would be, I absolutely agree three months is a long time to go away (though it is kinda like a summer hiatus), that's why we have the very next issue next week! See, we're on the same page!

Glad you caught the info on the barrier. What's weird is, there's a panel in ANGEL:ATF # 1 where the barrier is very obvious, but the printing made it not-so-obvious. It's definitely more clear in the collected edition.

I'm so glad you dug Gwen's story. It was a very smallish tale, one that definitely just dealt with one character's reaction to what's going on, so I was fearful people wouldn't like it (though it does help to explain her involvement, I think). What's very encouraging is the fact that the book has been out a few hours and I've already gotten a few emails and messages about Gwen's tale. That is really neat.

As for what the deal is with LA, a HUUUUUGE reveal awaits you in issue 10.

And finally Gunn. We toyed with making an established character turn Gunn, but it would take away from the focus of the story: no matter who turned Gunn, in Gunn's eyes, Angel turned Gunn.

As for the inside line, I love LOST but it's not like that. It's a very simple explanation that I think you'll dig.

Again, thank you SO MUCH for reviewing this like you did. That is really cool of you, I love when readers put this much thought it into it. I love when people walk away with this much to say.
Can't do a detailed review like KoC did, but I agree with him on the Gwen story. Very sad and makes all kinds of sense. After a lifetime of no physical contact, I can see how she would crave a simple touch and be wary about anything more intimate. And so sad that she would lose her control just when she had found it.

I also get how Gunn would blame Angel. Especially when Angel didn't return in time to save him. I really like that Gunn is Angel's nemesis - it's very 'Angel'. The emotional toll of 'fighting the good fight' is always paramount for Angel. I think I'm glad it's a 'random' vamp that turned Gunn - it does make it about Gunn and not who turned him. On the (slightly/nitpicky) negative side. I'm not in love with the Angel art in Gunn's story. It doesn't have to look like David B. for me to like it, but to me it didn't even look like Angel (make sense???).

As far as the Civilians story - not my cup of tea - sorry. I didn't like the art (though I realize it's a 'style') and didn't really care about the people. I did get the marquee references though. I knew most of them but I admit I had to go to IMDB for 'Indian In The Cupboard' (Vincent Kartheiser), 'First Knight' (Alexis Denisof - I'll have to rewatch that and look for him :) ), and My Bodyguard (Adam Baldwin). Very nice touch that.

Over all, a nice issue but as others have said, I can't wait to get back to Angel and am glad that we have a new issue coming soon.
I realize that the Civilians story is definitely an odd fit for ANGEL, no characters from the show (though it is in the "world"), the tone is a little different, and the art is a bit different, but I think it was a nice little tale. Not everyone's cup of tea, to be sure.

I love the GUNN art, sorry you didn't. Again, though, I'm really happy with people's reactions to the Gwen story. Very cool, thanks resa!
Wow, thanks for the feedback to my... feedback!

I'm not sure where the GRACE IS GONE reference is, if it's on the movie marquee that's news to me (I should check again), but every movie on the board is a movie that an actor from ANGEL or BUFFY has appeared in.

I figured that they were all movies starring alumni, once I saw "Valentine", which is old as crap now (the others I thought might have just come out around then, couldn't remember). The "Grace is Gone" poster appears in the last panel of the "CIVILIANS" story... page 13, if I counted right, panel 3. So, if not you, I assume Mr. Schmidt just wanted to give it a plug :)

Glad you caught the info on the barrier. What's weird is, there's a panel in ANGEL:ATF # 1 where the barrier is very obvious, but the printing made it not-so-obvious. It's definitely more clear in the collected edition.

As for what the deal is with LA, a HUUUUUGE reveal awaits you in issue 10.

I'll have to go back and look. I may just not have noticed it, which is a KoC issue, not a Brian Lynch issue. But seeing it actually happened was very cool -- and, again, loved Gwen lashing out at it.

I don't suppose that... as vaguely as I can ask this for non-spoilery-ness... could an intelligent person come to a much more informed (if not conclusive) understanding of how the timelines sync up after this Chapter 10 reveal? I honestly wonder if you and Joss are ever amused by how important, obsessively so, fans find that bit of information. Or more, if it's intentionally been kept vague for dramatic purposes or just because... you guys don't find it all that important.

I'm so glad you dug Gwen's story. It was a very smallish tale, one that definitely just dealt with one character's reaction to what's going on, so I was fearful people wouldn't like it (though it does help to explain her involvement, I think). What's very encouraging is the fact that the book has been out a few hours and I've already gotten a few emails and messages about Gwen's tale. That is really neat.

Gwen was always one of my favorite recurring characters on "Angel". The only character you could have brought back that I'd have found as cool as bringing back Gwen and Nina would have been the powerful TK Bethany Chaulk from Angel 2.04 "Untouched". "Heroes" made TK cool again :)

Above I mentioned I hoped that she would have control over her powers, that LISA still worked (it just feels more "comic book" to me -- same as I want Oz to have control of the wolf whenever he comes back). I'm curious, was that an approach you considered and decided against, or was this always what you had in mind for Gwen's story and motivation?

And finally Gunn. We toyed with making an established character turn Gunn, but it would take away from the focus of the story: no matter who turned Gunn, in Gunn's eyes, Angel turned Gunn.

As for the inside line, I love LOST but it's not like that. It's a very simple explanation that I think you'll dig.

Again, thank you SO MUCH for reviewing this like you did. That is really cool of you, I love when readers put this much thought it into it. I love when people walk away with this much to say.

Thank you for the not-"Lost" reassurance. The inside line is not the magic box, LA is not Craphole Island... all excellent news. Although Random Vamp did have this sort of smug, cryptic Ben Linusishness :) That alone made it okay to stake him. I've loved Gunn's mindset from day one. The notion that he simply wants to overcome being a vampire is really something we haven't gotten in the Buffyverse and I love it. Seeing the way those thoughts took shape, how the denial overcame him, was probably the biggest payoff to the "First Night" mini-arc.

Thanks for writing thought-provoking books, I guess, is the right answer. Also, sidebar -- how do I submit questions for the podcast? I keep meaning to do so.
I liked the Gunn art, in general, a lot. It was clear and 'alive'. I just didn't care for Angel's likeness. Didn't look like him to me. Just some random tall/dark and handsome guy. But the rest of the Gunn art (and story)was great.
The notion that he simply wants to overcome being a vampire is really something we haven't gotten in the Buffyverse and I love it.

Ditto. I find Gunn's story to be the most interesting in ATF. I can't wait to see how it all turns out.

no matter who turned Gunn, in Gunn's eyes, Angel turned Gunn.

I like the way that was worded. Very astute.

I don't have my issue yet but am looking forward to reading it.
KoC I agree that you did a great job on your review, thanks, it was a great read and it helps me to organize my thoughts. I think Gwen really resonated with most fans, so her story is always worth telling, and we really hadn't had much information about her before in this series.
Angel: After the Fall #9 is coming out next week? Seriously? That is awesome Brian, thank you (and IDW) I am very excited about that!
And personally I enjoyed 'Civilians', I loved the off-beat artwork and off-beat characters (and I really loved the Adam 'My Bodyguard' Baldwin shout out!). I could kind of identify with the whole point of view presented there.... Not that I'm some weird homeless guy predicting the end of the world as we know it....
I didn't really comment on "Civilians" at the time because I wasn't sure how I felt about it. I'll admit, I didn't invest much emotionally in this story. It was pretty clever, though -- it's reminiscent of (perhaps an homage to?) a classic "Twilight Zone" episode called "Time Enough At Last" starring Burgess Meredith as an anti-social book lover who embraces nuclear holocaust as a blessing, since he can now enjoy all the books he wants to read in peace and quiet -- right up until he breaks his glasses. The homeless guy had that sort of quality, since he clearly enjoys the fact of Hell A, enjoys that he's been vindicated more than he cares about actual people suffering, even Alice who was always so nice to him. He's a little redeemed by the end when he changes the marquee, but ultimately I don't sympathize with him.

Alice, though, I do. Seen through the delusionally ungrateful eyes of the sign-holder, she's a tragic figure. She wanders off into Hell A and is never seen again. He wonders if she'll ever return, and the question lingers on the audience -- is she even *alive* to return? It's a nice reminder about what's actually happened to Los Angeles. We can refer, and the characters can refer, to it as a horrific event, but the human cost has been left vague at best. The reality is that there are anywhere between 8 and 12 million people in the affected area. Surely hundreds, probably thousands or tens of thousands, perhaps even hundreds of thousands of people have been *killed* by the demons that took over the ruined city. Alice is probably exactly such a one. The homeless guy certainly appears to be moments from becoming one. So I appreciate "Civilians" mostly for the human costs in the story being made tangible.

Random observation -- I was surprised there was no Betta George bookend at the end of the issue. Seemed odd since he had been framing all the stories in "First Night".

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2008-06-11 22:16 ]
LOVED Gwen’s story; nothing new to add, but i agree with what's been said.
As for the civilian story- personally not a huge fan of the art style, but i did enjoy the story more or less. Maybe not strictly necessary, but not a problem, in my book.
Looking forward to number nine!
KoC, no Betta George because we figured Gunn's story was the way to go out. Gunn's was the most important, and any going back to George would have taken away from the impact.
*look in mailbox*

Not here yet! :( I need my fix.
I'm kind of always late into the game, as the issues take always so long to arrive to me down here in the South Hemisphere, and I only read up to #6. I know this is a discussion for #8, but I read some comments about some topics, I'd like to pitch in a bit.

I've seen how people seem to be bothered by how there's seem to be no reaction on BtVS end about LA being in hell, either from the Scoobies or even from the the Government people who are antagonizing them. There's this glamour theory, but I've dwelled into other places, which I've wanted to share for a few days already.

What if by the time Season 8 started, After the Fall had already concluded. Season 8 is set about 1 year and a half after "Chosen", which would set it in about 6 months after, "Not Fade Away". I say NFA, because it's the last real time reference we have about Angel's crew, as we've seen through Flashbacks in After the Fall, LA was sent into hell only a few moments after the battle began.

What if HelL.A. being in a hell dimension, runs on a different time pace as Buffyverse's "real time", and when it concludes, it's still before the start of Season 8. The notion of time is still the same for the people inside the barrier bubble, the bubble as whole have a time that passes faster than the main dimension.

It wouldn't be the first time we've seen how hellish dimensions in the Buffyverse can run on different time speeds.

Angel did spend a long while in a hellish dimension, when Buffy had to use him to close Acathla's vortex, we were never given a time frame for the duration of his exile, but it's assumed to be a long while.

Something that we actually have a closer to exact time frame, is something from Angel's 3rd season, as Holtz left with baby Connor to Quor-toth, and returned only a few months later to real time Buffyverse with a 18 old Connor.

Meaning, that even if After the Fall actually takes a few years in HelL.A to conclude, still when it returns to real time, it may actually have only passed a month, a week or it could even be mrely the following day, from the events of NFA.
I have my copy of issue 8 of ATF and liked it.I thought all three stories were great but I was surprised that my favorite was actually the Gwen story.I also noticed the barrier in this story.It reminded me of The Simpsons Movie.Basically a giant dome blocking the rest of the world from L.A. and keeping the hellish setting contained within.Magic is probably keeping the rest of the world none the wiser to what's gone on.

The Gunn story was good.Gunn being turned by an unknown vamp works better then having it be a known character.The focus now isn't so much on the who but the why.And the why seems to be for very specific reasons which I'm sure we'll find out when the main story resumes starting next issue.

As for Gunn blaming Angel.I think if it was human Gunn,he would understand why Angel didn't come back for him.We saw why in the flashback to Angel's first night story.Suddenly human and breaking you legs and back are good reasons.Gunn was on Angel's mind in those moments right before and after he became human.So this is an nice call back to that.I think human Gunn would understand that but vamp Gunn who is now a twisted mirror of who we knew before, would not.Plus,when Angel finds out the circumstances of Gunn's turning,he'll probably blame himself more then Gunn ever could.

The third story with the civilans was good but I don't have a lot of thoughts on that one yet.

I'm expecting Betta George to be rescued by Spike at some point.

Overall,I really enjoyed First Night.
Numfar, I've kicked around every one of those timeline theories -- right now, it's still a frictionless surface, there is *no* concrete way to relate anything in "After the Fall" to the ongoing Buffy timeline. For a while, we were speculating that "After the Fall" would end and be what repopulates the world with demons in time for "Fray", hundreds of years on. Or the story could end, and it's still the same day it was in regular LA when it started.

That's why I was circling around asking Brian if the reveal in Chapter 10 that he mentions will, whatever else it does, provide some guidance on that.

Also, Brian -- in the Gwen story, is that Betta Joe or some other of George's kin that gets boiled in the ocean, or just a regular size fish in close-up?

I like the Simpsons Movie catch -- now we know the answer. Angel needs to put back on his striped biking jacket, a pink helmet, and hop on the back of a scooter with Spike and they can drive upside down and out the hole in the top!
On the first reading, I thought there was something was off about this issue. I couldn't place it. I figured maybe I was in a funky mood after being informed I wasn't going to get a job at a golf course I applied, followed up by being rear-ended by someone who wasn't paying attention, (I'm fine, the guy is fine and the cars are fine.) and I was hungry. So ate lunch and calmed down a bit, and then re-read it. After the re-read, I enjoyed it much better.

I loved the part where Gunn gets sired by a random-red shirted vampire. I actually adds to the poignancy of the moment. I don't think Angel or Spike would sire someone now, especially someone they cared about because it would seem wrong to them. I enjoyed the fact that Gunn killed that guy because it was awesome.

I found myself loving the civilian story. I think it was cool to see the perspective of a civilian when L.A. when to hell. It was fun. I found myself enjoying crazy guy.

The Gwen story was neat-o. I felt bad for her. She is a wonderful character, and it's a shame that she looses any intimacy that she is obviously craving because of stoo-pid hell. Now, I have to know how she met up with Connor and Nina. In fact, how did Nina meet up with Connor?

I love Betta George, that is all. Part of me wants to see more of this First Night series because I feel there is a whole lot more to see.
Good issue overall, but I was annoyed that they cut it short for a preview of next week's comic that I'll be buying anyway. That's two extra pages of this issue I could've had. Would've been groovy if they could've saved Bryan's interview for the net so we could have another extra page of story, also.
We didn't cut it short. Most issues of ANGEL are 22 pages (save for when we absolutely need space). We cut the letters section for an issue.
I have enjoyed all the other character issues but can't wait to get back to the main story. WooHoo next week.
Couldn't possibly add anything new to KOC's review.
Sorry, but I'm going to call this a three-pitch strikeout and worst issue of ATF so far.

1) Gwen's story regresses her emotionally in a way I don't find convincing. International kickass thief turns gawkish teenager just 'cause she can kiss boys now? Misogynist much?
2) The Civilians story might be a great one-off TZish story... But I don't care about the characters, for the artwork, or what happens in the story. What is this doing in the middle of my comic book and why did I pay $1.33 for this?
3) Gunn's great story tells us... almost, but not quite, completely nothing.

So that was "First Night": a series of 3 comics costing roughly $12 where we learn very little of what actually happened on the first night, except that we did see an formerly recurring character gratuitously reintroduced.

I haven't written the series off completely yet, but I'm not going to buy two covers any longer.
Jclemens - I don't really see how Gwen's response is misogynistic. As someone who filters everything through the lens of "how does this story portray women" could you expand on that?
There's no argument for that as misogyny. It's perfectly realistic. She has been deprived of physical intimacy her *whole life* -- and that's all kinds, romantic, platonic, parental, everything. Not only is the fact that she'd be fascinated by it, and a little afraid of it, spot on, it's *consistent with the TV show*. So the misogyny would have to date back to "Players".
Jclemens, here we go!

1. Someone who can't touch anybody all her life can suddenly touch people and you don't think she'd celebrate that? If it was a boy, (s)he'd feel the same way. I know I would. We saw, on the show, that Gwen desperately wanted to touch people...when realized she could touch Angel...and then Gunn, she was ecstatic and physical with them. How is that misogynist in the least?

2. What's TZish mean? As for what it's doing in the middle of your comic, it was telling a story. Sorry you didn't dig it. But thank God you calculated it's street value, so when I sell it in alley ways I know how much to charge.

3. As for the GUNN story, I don't know what to say as I'm really close to the project obviously, and I'm sorry you didn't walk away with anything from it, but I feel as though there was a lot to walk away with. I'm sorry if you don't agree.

I think people walked away with cool new information in every FIRST NIGHT comic. And hopefully and most importantly, they were entertained. As for the character "gratuitously" introduced, it's a matter of opinion but before I go any further I'd like to know how much I can get for that story on the street, as I'm thinking of ripping those pages out and selling them to school kids. "First page is free, next chapter's gonna cost ya!"

By all means, if you don't enjoy the series, you shouldn't buy two copies. Especially because that means you paid 2.66 for the "Civilians" story.
I had to have 'em hold on to the rare covers for me... stupid bank.

You know, none of the character returns have felt gratuitous*. I'll admit, from the outset, it was like "what is this, fanfic? Former characters just wandering through come back left and right?" But the difference from fanfic is that in the fanfic, Gwen and Nina and Kate and Bethany Chaulk (second mention = hint, Brian :)) appear just because, without any explanation or purpose. Here, Kate had a very clearly defined purpose, and was awesome for it. She was Angel by proxy for Connor, and even another surrogate mom for his oedipal little butt. Gwen has a *story*, not just a random appearance. All those initial fears went right out the window, because it was obvious there was a point to everyone's being there, and not just a "hey, how cool am I for including everyone" gimmick.

*The loan shark is gratuitous. But, as someone once said, "the answer of course is: shut up".
Also loved the Gwen story. I can't believe I went from never having read a comic book in my life to reading two religiously (buffy season 8 being the other one of course) and getting all excited over new issues.
Lynch you are hilarious! You really crack me up man. Can't wait for issue #9 and getting back to the regular story. It has one of the best covers I've ever seen and is for sure something I would want as a small poster like the cover from the 1st issue of Buffy Season 8. Keep up the great work.
KoC, I gotta agree with you about the Loan Shark. I can absolutely see why it could be seen as gratuitous. But, just so you know where my head was at when I was writing his appearance: we needed a Lord for Connor's area who wasn't a threat. We also had to convey he wasn't a threat very quickly because we have a lot of story. I think the visual of the Loan Shark lets you know he ain't a threat immediately.

But don't we get points for the throwing in the last character you'd expect to see back? I also really really hope we made the Loan Shark cool. At the very least, I gave'em one of my favorite lines: "Who brings a T-Rex to a vamp battle?"
Yeah, the line was solid. Overall, I'm not sure how any of the demon lords come off. Or, rather, how they're supposed to come off. None of them strike me as particularly "scary" in the way of like an Archduke Sebassis. Although that is maybe intended -- after all, he was nominal chairman of the Black Thorn, where Hell-A is being run by opportunists.

You said on a podcast, I think, that Burge was probably just in the right place at the right time and, left on his own, was more or less some schmuck. Ditto Loan Shark. Between their unwillingness to fight Angel themselves, and the background on the distinguished gentlemen from Santa Monica and Downtown L.A., they really only seem powerful at all because they clearly command resources. And they're all scared of Illyria (or Spider, or the "Spike: After the Fall" villain, if there was a schwerve hiding behind that dialogue for later use, but probably Illyria).

It's gratuitous in the light-hearted fun way and not in the self-congratulatory "dood look at all my callback characters" way. Now, if you have an issue down the line where you somehow bring Merle back to life... it's not too late to re-write that one.

Although... you can gratuitously bring back David Nabbit any time you like, because he is David Nabbit.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2008-06-12 07:13 ]
I have to say this one was one of my favorites of the First Night series. Gunn's story makes perfect sense and so does Gwen's.

But I'm ready for the next one where we can actually get back to the action.
I never really saw the loan shark as gratuitous, I just thought it was a little joke for those who understood it.

Thought it was a good issue, now we see a little bit more what is up with LA. I assume there is some kind of city-wide glamour to the outside world, and that it why Buffy and co have never mentioned it.

Loved the artwork for the cover by the way; found Gwen's story very sad.
I actually quite liked the civilian's story. Had it appeared in the regular continuity of the comics I may have been miffed, but for "First Night" I feel it was more that appropriate. I mean, we've seen all the established characters react in different ways, and while one would expect that most civilians would react with screaming and running, we have one who is very much "I told you so!" which is new and different and interesting. I dug it quite a bit.

Gunn's bit...I suppose I liked it, but I was maybe expecting something more, and I think maybe I might be missing something. For one, I didn't get the vibe from reading it that he blamed Angel for leaving him...though maybe calling the vamp he staked at the end "Angel" was something? I'm also not sure if he is different from other vamps. Did the brain upgrade from W&H do anything that would make him different as a vampire? Also, what is the intention of that group of vamps he is with now? Why did they (ahem) "save" him? Are these questions that are to be answered or am I just not thinking hard enough?

Overall, though, I really enjoyed the "First Night" runs. I'm also excited that it is over and we get back to the main story. Partially because I get to go back and read all the old issues again to refresh my memory. Hooray!
Woot! Can I say I called it? I mentioned a few times that I believed Gunn was turned by random vamp/s only to turn the tables, pushing RV out to take his place as the newly turned head-honcho. I do like the idea that the mental upgrade that Gunn had done would make him react differently to being turned. I didn’t call the “under the radar” vamp co. thing though… I’m a bit iffy about that. We’ll see in an issue or two if that iffiness subsides *winks at Brian*.

Oh, and to put it in a short simple manner. I loved how Gwen rediscovered her powers. Made my heart ache for her! And the Al Gore nerd line made me laugh out loud.

I noticed the movie titles right away. Chance and House on Haunted Hill both James movies :) So, I was also surprised to see on that last panel "John Cusack GRACE IS GONE"...

Can't wait for the next issue. I wish it was gonna come out next week...

Oh... wait...

[ edited by Mirage on 2008-06-12 19:53 ]
Won't get it til tomorrow of course but....

I've a feeling that the Hell-A anomaly will be dealt with via the traditional "Time runs differently under the hill" method of it not takign any time in the real world. I personally always like that solution quite a bit, but "it's been done" to say the least so if that's what happens I don't know how it'll go over audience-at-large-wise.

And I'm sorry, some things about Gunn still bug me, I know it's not from thsi issue. The whole thing with the demon lord's concubines; while this might not be the case, they seemed to be 1-normal LA females brought in via the transition 2-held against their will by the demon lord. So after killing the demonic boss Gunn slaughters them too? I mean, yes, vampires do stuff like that, but it's a choice whether to ahve it happen in this story or that or the other, or not. This is the sort of detail-coin that the X-Men and related titles started dealing in in the mid-80s and was one of the reasons I gave up comics in the first place.
Another great issue. Am looking forward to reading all of the First Nights in one go now:)

Gwen - Im a sucker for Gwen. Loved her in the show ( wonder why:)) and am glad shes back in the comic. Love that even a year and a bit after Players she is still hesitant about sexual intercourse. Very in character and her anger and frustration when her powers came back worked very well. Loved seeing the city change in the background- very interesting.

Civilians - Not much to say about this. Was fine, but wouldnt be a major re-read for me. Like others I would have preferred a general populace in terror kinda story. Buts its fine for what it was/

Gunn - Possibly my fave First Night story. Gunn is one of my favourite things in this comic, and this just adds to his appeal. A heartbreaking story, and the perfect balance between the hospital bed and flashbacks. And how glad was I see finally see a big chunk of the alley battle. The panel of the 4 outnumbered team fighting the demons with the huge hulking demon in the background is possibly in my top 5 fave panels so far. Was so happy to see it. As much as I would have liked to have jumped into the alley battle in page 1 issue 1, the right decision was made to start a few months later - but we needed to see this.

So - back to the main event!

Also Simon- is it possible to put a link to this thread on the main page again - it went off really fast!
Hmm... maybe to make Angel human, the senior partners had to make a human close to Angel a vampire, maybe that is the whole conspiracy thing to do with Gunn... It would also make Gunn angrier, and justify his whole 'Angel is the reason I am a vampire' thing.

Just a thought! ;)
Geez, it only cam eout yesterday and already this off the front page????????????????//

And is "Who brings a T-Rex to a vampire fight?" a tip of the hat to Sean Connery in the Untouchables? I'll assume it's a yes since I won't get an answer.

And who else wants to see (if the copyrights can be arranged) Betta George and Xander sit down to a little heart-to-heart? Ah heckfire, maybe I'll fic it myself.

[ edited by DaddyCatALSO on 2008-06-13 01:24 ]
Did anyone else think "Nate" looked a lot like our favorite Captain?
I liked this issue quite a bit. I think Gunn's transformation into a vampire is such a compelling direction to go with his character (and he's always been one of my favorites).

I didn't have too much of a problem with the "Civilians" story, but I feel I understand why others were turned off by it. In a way, it's similar to the amazing #5 issue of Buffy season 8 with the young nameless slayer. It felt a little like the "Civilians" story was trying to capture that same emotional impact, but I didn't feel it. The story didn't bother me at all, but I didn't feel moved in the way I did with #5 of Buffy.

I guess I have to go back and watch the (only 2, right?) episodes of Angel with Gwen in them, but honestly, I don't see the big deal about her character. She was cool and all, but she was never a big part of the angelverse... I guess maybe because she had superpowers and wasn't a monster or a slayer she was unique to the world but still... I never found her character that interesting.

That being said, I really liked her story in this issue. I thought it was honest and very affecting.

I also agree with those who've said the vamp who turned Gunn didn't really look like Angel, at least not enough to make me think of Angel when I saw him. I thought he looked a little like Lindsay.
Okay, so I'm late to the party, but my Internet had been down for a while and just came back up. I definitely liked this issue, but I was a little underwhelmed. In fact, that's kind of how I feel about "First Night" overall; to me, at least, little was learned and there wasn't much that seemed necessary.

I did enjoy the Gwen story, though. I have the feeling that I'll like this entire arc better once I re-read it in its entirety.
Whedongeeky, I only just got to read this issue yesterday, and no one is probably reading this thread any longer, but re: Gwen's story, what hit me was, why did they do that to Nathan Fillion!?!

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