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July 02 2008

(SPOILER) Discuss Angel: After The Fall #10. What next for the Fang Gang?

Could not find a preview anywhere, a shocking turn of events.

I looked everywhere for a preview too - I know the first few pages of art are by David Messina and are 'different'... so maybe they want to keep that a surprise?
As the story winds down for a moment after the huge battle, "After the Fall" continues...

Angel's dream was hysterical. Loved the old Golden Age art for Spike & Connor, that was an inspired, inspired moment. A perfect nightmare for Angel.

Angel really is an interesting sort of guy at this point -- both times we've seen him become human now, he's become even more singularly obsessed with being The Guy than he ever was, and both times, that was in spite of being surrounded by people better equipped to handle it. I used to think it was because he blamed himself, for the threat the Mohra posed, for LA being in hell. But is it also ego? His dream sorta makes me think it might be. That would be a bit in character for him, but kind of unfortunate for his well-being.

It was about time to "out" his humanity, and I liked it. Illyria *did* know the whole time, and just, fittingly, didn't bother to comment, probably because she didn't care. And I love Connor's reaction -- protectiveness and also a bit of disappointment in Angel's insistent pathos.

I guess Nina must still be a bit smitten by Angel, she latches on to him immediately and probably even more protectively now that she knows. If it is that way, I hope he's smart enough to treat her better if he gets a second chance. Nina's all class.

Illyria gets the line of the issue with "You are inept as social interaction". Truer words, Illyria.

Spike and Wesley's scene was interesting. Confirmation of a "relationship" between Spike and Spider, again, although with her thinking more seriously of it. And disproof of a Spike/Fredlyria relationship (unless he's lying -- either the Chapter 11 cover is a reveal or a Wes' jealousy thing).

With the use of the "Asylum" characters, we get confirmation of something I had been theorizing from the start -- from the outside, there's nothing wrong with LA, which answers the question of why we haven't heard of it in Season 8. But were they just a device to establish that, or will it be Asylum characters to the rescue? I haven't read it, so I don't know number guy or horned girl, but the other I assume is Beck.

Gunn's villainy is getting more and more impressive, and I'm really wanting him staked now. He killed a Slayer; that's usually enough for me. Worse, he used George to do it in a rather horrible fashion. And what's with him having all this foretold knowledge or plans based on it? That inside line again? Glad to see it's going against him for at least a moment, though, that he *can* be taken by surprise, though. I hope Angel, Nina, Illyria, and the Dragon take him apart.

Great issue, though. Chapter 11 next month, and like another 11th episode (Season 7), it's all about one word -- "Showtime".
Who was that in Gunn's vision when Betta George was inside his head? Connor?
This is one of the reasons I like the idea human Angel.Now he really has to prove his mettle.He gave up his humanity in IWRY to protect Buffy and the world.But part of that had to include some ego too.How could it not?Now Angel is being forced to deal.He can't go to TPTB and have them rewind the day this time.He's human and has to deal and still be and show why he is a hero even if he's not a vampire anymore.It's one of the apsects of ATF that I really love and I think that's why Joss toyed with the idea of making Angel human on the series too.It's creates totally new stories to tell.

It wasn't until Brian pitched it to Joss in ATF that Joss finally got a great hook to showcase it.
YAY! I can't wait to get this. Thanks, again, KoC, for your in-depth review. It's always appreciated!
Once again Brian has really delivered, I am still REALLY loving this series! That nightmare of Angel's was hysterical and prophetic since the second everyone hears he is human he is treated as though he is old and superfluous (to be kindly treated, but set on the sidelines). I loved the confirmation that to everyone on the outside LA appears to be normal, or even safer than normal. I loved Wesley's and Spike's heart to heart. I loved that Hell (in LA) was freezing over (that has to be a good sign), and I am still feeling the tragedy of Gunn's situation. I can't wait to see how Angel approaches Gunn, because it is kinda his fault!
KoC....isn't the reason why we haven't heard about L.A. going to hell in Season 8 because Buffy season 8 is taking place during AtS season 5. I may be wrong but I don't think a whole year has gone by in season 8 (As the characters experience time, not actual time).
In the latest issue of Buffy, Scott Allie says in response to a reader's letter that S8 takes place about a year-and-a-half after S7, so that means it's also post-"NFA."

Anyway, this was the best issue of Angel: After the Fall in months. Since the most excellent #5, specifically. I thought the "First Night" storyline was a great idea half-heartedly executed, and #9 wasn't quite the return to form I had been hoping for, but #10 definitely is. It is rich, and layered, and exciting, and the art has taken a step up.

The scene between Spike and Wesley was great.
The Q&A in the back of Buffy 8.16 said that Season 8 was roughly a year and a half after Season 7 ended.
I have my copy.

Well this issue does seem to give us our answers on how ATF relates to the rest of the world.I'm sure the details are still coming but now we know why Buffy and the slayers can't help Angel and his crew given what's revealed in this issue.It seems the rest of the world doesn't know L.A. is in hell.They think L.A. is just fine.We learn this when Betta George tries to telepathically call for help from outside the city.Betta George contacts Beck and the Mosaic crew from Brian's Spike:Asylum and Spike:Shadow Puppets miniseries.They're in Nevada,outside Las Vegas.When Betta George tells Beck that L.A. is trapped in hell and he's being held prisoner,she quickly switches the channel on the T.V. for news about L.A. and to see if it's true and we see that everything in L.A. is fine.Wolfram and Hart put a glamour or a spell to make everybody think L.A. is still there and running like clockwork me thinks.

This is why Buffy and the slayers can't help Angel and the gang and probably why we've seen no reaction from them or the rest of the world in Buffy season 8.As far as the rest of the world knows,L.A. is hunky dory.Buffy,the slayers and everybody outside of L.A. have no idea what's really happened.

So we got our answer on that finally.Like I speculated,the details of what The Senior Partners actually did will probably be dealt with more in upcoming issues but we now know how this relates to the rest of the world.

Speaking of slayers,man Gunn is a cruel cruel vamp for what he makes Betta George do to those slayers.The last page really has me syked for next issue.The last page reaction from Angel to learning of vamp Gunn and coming face to face with him has been a long time coming.

I loved how Angel was revealed as a human to Connor,Gwen and Nina.Illyria already knew as hinted in earlier issues and let the cat out of the bag.They could tell Angel has been off his game though and now they know why.Connor's reaction was very heartfelt and really ties into the very begining of the issue during Angel's dream and his fear of being useless as a human.This really goes back to the episode,IWRY and why Angel gave up his humanity then.He did it to protect Buffy and the world but let's face it,as I said above in my previous post,there was also a little ego involved too.We see that in this dream sequence.Angel is jealous of the idea of Spike being the great hero with superpowers and his son as Spike's sidekick while he grows old and is useless.We saw that Angel was a little irked about learning that Spike and Connor were working together while he was laid up several issues back.That's what I love about this plotline.Angel is being forced to show he still is a hero even if he is not superpowered anymore.

Now we just need Spike's reaction to Angel being human.lol

I also really liked the Spike/Wes scene.Some great bonding there.

The Angel/Nina scenes were nice.I'm not a fan of the Angel/Nina pairing and glad that's over.I think this issue even reiterates that it's over but I do like the idea of Nina being friends with Angel.Angel can always use more friends.I do get a little bit of a jealous vibe from Nina about Connor/Gwen.Maybe that's just me.

The reason for the snow in this issue was funny.

This was a very strong issue
Story's excellent, but I agree with the Buffyverse Comics Reviews critic that Urru is missed. The art just isn't up to par. Some things look good, but most of the time I just want my boy back.
Any chance left that the Hell-A is the illusion? Ah, onion sauce!
I had wondered about that illusion myself. If LA looks are friendly and perky on TV, what's to stop people from trying to go to it? We know there's a barrier to keep people in, but what about keeping people out? Curious.
From the outset, my theory has been that there's a glamour of disinterest, if you will, over LA. I lift the idea from Rachel Caine's "Weather Warden" series, where some of the Djinn characters explain that, rather than being truly invisible, as they could be, they can achieve the same effect by making themselves actively disinteresting. People don't notice them, just that simple. Easier to pull off. So, applying that sort of logic to LA, everything would appear to be normal, even inviting, but anybody inclined to go there would suddenly find their curiosity shift to something else, suddenly remember they had other things planned.
I still think it's funny that so many people are missing Urru after months of nothing but Urru abuse on these threads.

Though I must say, I like this art much better.
I, for one, am not missing Urru at all. I thought he was a very good artist for Spike: Shadow Puppets but I didn't care for his artistic renderings of women in ATF.
Poor George!!! I want Gunn to be staked, in a bad way. But, at the same time, I think he’s scary bad that I want to see more of him. Ahh, confusion! I think I’ll leave it to the people with the Pen to make the decision.(Oh, now I need to go back to Asylum to check the timeline thing since its heading fast to canon road --- and I think there’re a bit of inconsistency there *crosses fingers that she’s mistaken*)

Did Spike confirm 'him and Spider'? I kinda got him denying it in his away (he might’ve been puffing up for Angel’s sake but he had no reason to with Wes)… but I guess he does care for her... not wanting to behead her and all. Love the Spike/Wesley conversation… just the right amount of deep.

I knew it was a dream of Angel’s obsessed mind right away. I think its funny. Spike always has seen Angel as a threat, an obstacle, someone he needs to surpass all his ‘life’. And we’ve seen Angel’s mind twice now fearing that Spike would not only do that, but eliminate the need for Angel being there all together. Kinda sad, kinda karmatically Jossian. Me like.

Conner perfectly reacted like a pissed off teenager, not at all pleased that his daddy is so self-sacrificing that he’s all but jumping into near death situations.

I always guessed that if there would’ve been someone to rat Angel’s humanity out it would’ve been either Illyria, Lorne or Spike. I always pictured Illyria’s to be dry, straight to the point (yay me for getting it right). Lorne to be sympathetic and bit condescending. And Spike to be overly mocking with a pinch of hidden jealousy. Perfection would’ve been to get them all *pouts childlishly* But, hey, if Angel and the gang survive their first introduction to Gunn’s undeadness we might see it yet.

Oh, yeah. I’m with Gunn. I thought it would’ve taken at least one more issue for Angel to meet his new nemesis.

*two thumbs up* An issue full of awesomeness!


Edited for spelling

[ edited by Mirage on 2008-07-03 22:19 ]
Spike not only copped to lots of sex, but seemed pretty proud of it.
Lynch really nails Lorne's voice. I like Runge's art a bit more than Urru's, but can't IDW afford better-quality artists for such a high profile book?
Just wanted to add my own $0.02 to say that I think both artists are of very high quality indeed, although they have pretty different styles. Of course, much of this comes down to taste, and I understand one or both not being someone's cup of tea. But both have produced dynamic and expressive work, and imo, IDW has chosen well.

[edit for typo]

[ edited by fiatlux on 2008-07-05 20:30 ]

[ edited by fiatlux on 2008-07-06 05:22 ]
Another very good issue- and so soon after the last two, too! Issue #9 got me back excited about this series in a big way; and #10 maintains the interest, as the story moves on into a new chapter. LA seems a little safer, as Mayor Lorne (:)) and the Hyperion crew have taken over for the eliminated demon lords (and, since I was too late for the #9 commentary thread, can I just say how happy I am to see the hotel back!); but a few big revelations to the cast, and one to the readers as well, set up more conflicts and questions for the rest of the series.

Fun with the patrol group, and the badass-vamp-wannabe; and some scares, as Gunn is shown even less ambiguously to be pretty dang evil at this point. I'm still pretty sure that's he's trying to save LA and (almost) everyone in it, but it looks like he's heading to a tragic ending.

Speaking of LA - just where is it? In snowy Hell, or mid-70 degree California? Or neither? Or both? The revelation/confirmation that the rest of the world thinks that all's well with Los Angeles (and really, if WR&H had truly sent the whole city away, without a cover-up, that would've been quite a shock to the status quo of the whole planet) sets up several possibilities.

And the rather casual, mid-issue revelation of Angel's human status was a nice surprise. Good interactions among our cast throughout the issue, including the Spike and Wesley conversation.

And, Angel and the gang find the power vamp they were looking for. Confrontation between Gunn the vampire and Angel the human - especially when/if Charles learns about Angel's change - should be quite interesting. (As could, come to think, Gwen's reaction to Gunn's status, if we get a chance to see it, as he was maybe the member of the gang she was closest to before the Falling.)

Oh, and probably my favorite line(s) - at the least my laugh-out-loud moment: "It's snow. And next time, use the door."
I enjoyed the issue, but I'm feeling pretty bogged down by this series. I like it well enough, but it seems as though the story is hard to chew. I just sort of get a "heavy" feeling when I'm reading it, as though I only almost understand what is happening. I'm not saying it feels contrived, just complex. Possibly, re-reading the whole run so far would help.

I still cannot get over the irony of Angel being human, the thing he has wanted most all these years, and it happening at the worst possible time. Sheer brilliance!
I'm probably wrong, but my theory on the Hell/LA thing up to this point has been that while months have passed in the Hell dimension, only a split second has passed on Earth; hence no one on Earth notices the difference.

Whatever the answer is, I'm glad that they addressed it a little in this issue...I remember wondering why on Earth the military guys in Buffy S8 were more concerned about the Sunnydale crater than they were about the fact that an entire city either had a barrier around it or was missing from Earth entirely.

[ edited by Gabriel on 2008-07-07 04:30 ]
Anyone notice that Joss wasn't credited at all for the writing in this issue? In previous issues he got "plotted by" credits alongside Brian Lunch, but this time... nada!

I'm with those who found Urru a little too murky to digest, and while I much prefer Runge's rendering, he's a little lacking in the clarity-of-storytelling department. Now, if only there were some way we could merge the two! A timelord metacrisis perhaps? (Further, the colourist skimped a bit too much for my liking this issue - what's with that demon in the Mosaic Centre who was flat turquoise?!)

I'm liking some of the concepts and ideas, but this series really hasn't pulled it all off for me yet. I feel like the clearly talented writer has been thrust into the spotlight a bit too soon and would really benefit from the years of writers' room experience that Joss brings to his every project. With the sheer number of obscure characters and self-(but-not-self-cos-he-didn't-write-the-tv-show)-references it feels too fanficky for my liking (I think a big cast is really hard to pull off). The tough part is that I love comics and I like Angel but I can't tell what's supposed to be happening a lot of the time in this series.

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