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"And on the day the words flimsy excuse were redefined, we stood in awe, and watched."
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September 04 2008

(SPOILER) Discuss Angel: After The Fall #12. Brian Lynch promises us "a big, messy, violent, heartbreaking, funny, emotional treat".

Well, apparently the Shanshu *is* something that can be signed away, but only if it's filed properly (filed with whom is not addressed). But it wasn't, so the Shanshu is in play, and we also get our first explicitly textual confirmation that Angel is/was the vampire to whom it applied. We don't know for sure if his current human state is a result of it, of course, but it probably doesn't matter.

I liked Angel in his near-death state, and it was damn nice to see Cordelia again, even if she was possibly a hallucination or secretly evil. Don't care. The Cordy/Angel 'shippers will be pleased to have Angel actually tell her he loves her, too. It's nice to see that Angel actually has a real sense of purpose and *wants* to be there to be a hero again, wants to atone like he used to. Too bad it basically goes for nothing since, if Wesley's vision can be believed, he won't.

And what about that, really? The issue went to some length to make clear that messages from the Powers are almost impossible under the barrier, including Gunn's false visions. So, Wesley's vision for Angel was given by the Partners, and while my own rule is to trust all exposition unless the story gives you a reason not to (ex: that the amulet had power that would help in Season 7, that the Slayers are fighting humanity and it's not about men and women in season 8), it's from *The Partners*. I do like that Angel would rather just go ahead and die than be a vampire again and evil.

Cordelia was really well-written, aside from "You're Welcome", most I've enjoyed Cordy since early Season 3.

I still have Gwonnor hope -- if there's anyone that can understand doing the wrong thing for love, it's Connor. And once Gwen realizes she backed the wrong horse, she can renounce. She zapped the dragon (Cordy?) and pwnd Spike, but she hasn't substantially interfered with anything going on so far -- Angel was already down when they arrived at Gunn's lair.

It was a good issue, and pretty good with the detailed exposition.
. But it wasn't, so the Shanshu is in play, and we also get our first explicitly textual confirmation that Angel is/was the vampire to whom it applied.


Destiny mark 2 on the cards then?
Simon, I said this on another forum, but I honestly would almost prefer that, if Angel is changed back into a vampire, that we A) can call what happened here the Shanshu, and B) just drop the idea of Angel becoming human "for real" later. All the dramatic power would have been sucked out of the idea.

As it stands right now, that would be my one serious criticism of "After the Fall" -- that Angel was human and we didn't learn a single thing about what that *meant* to him, or meant to those around him. It would ultimately have been nothing more than a limitation on his fighting ability. Really, Connor's the only person so far that has seemed to find anything at all dear about the idea of Angel being human, and only in one scene. It's simply not enough exploration for what *should*, to Angel, be the most important thing that's ever happened to him.

I did like the idea that Angel really had started to believe it applies to Spike, and not him. My question to Brian on that would be -- is that a reference to the dream in "Soul Purpose", meaning Angel (as far as he figured) wasn't really signing away anything to W&H anyway, or does is refer to something from when he was healing up?
I have my copy now as well as Buffy.Will post more thoughts later.Some stuff I really liked while other things I really disliked.So it's a mixed reaction for me.I really need to gather more thoughts and reread it again.
Ok...I try not to be one of those people who reads too much into things. I've seen a lot of smart writing, but for the most part...what you see is what you get, and pulling tiny little 'maybes' and 'what ifs' is a waste of time. But...get out your copies of Angel 12...go to the panel just after Illyria busts through a wall and walks away from Nina. The shot of her back as she says "Yes. We do."

Now look to her right. The street sign reads "Doyle" and look right of that to the billboard that reads "Coming Soon."

What if....Maybe

*Shrug*
IMO, this was by far the best issue of After the Fall. I said that last issue, but wow. This is Angel as I remember. I have been pretty livid about some of AtF, especially the "First Night" stories, but the vision splash! I couldn't help but stare for minutes. Lynch chose the best way possible to bring back Cordy, which I am very thankful for because I would have killed if she was brought back in a disrespectful, cheesy, or just for fun kind of way. Great issue! Congratulations Mr. Lynch, Mr. Ryall, and Mr. Mooney. It was your finest work yet.
I agree. This, to me, is the best issue so far of After the Fall. By far. The rhythm feels right, the "sound," even the look. Well done, Lynch et al.
Hmm, do hallucinations even exist in this 'verse anymore?

At least soemthing to sort of look forward to tomorrow night, altho it sounds like mostly "is-a was-a was-a is-a." (I have no idea what that means, I just like how it sounds when you say it out loud.)
This is a great issue. I enjoyed it more than the Buffy this week. However, it is feeling kind of hopeless at the moment. Which, now that I think about it, is pretty much how the show was for much of the time.

But seriously! Angel is dying!! Soon to be dead! Like, DEAD. Wow. I am inclined to think that Gunn will turn Angel before he has time to die completely. Then Angel will die, and in a few hours Angelus will arise. This makes perfect sense to me. Ultimate revenge against Angel would be to unleash Angelus upon the world. I also feel that it is completely within reason for Gunn to turn him, because he believes he has to be there for the end.

I also like Wesley talking to Gunn. If anyone has a chance of convincing Gunn anything, it's Wesley because he cannot be touched. And what is Illyria going to do exactly?
Firnatine, I did notice the Doyle coming soon stuff also! If any medium can resurrect the dead, it'd be comics, and they ARE in Hell, so...

This was a great issue. This was possibly my favorite month of Buffy/Angel comics yet. Way to go Brian.
I think we have been told what the Shanshu is, and it's not Angel being made human. The prophecy said that the vampire with a soul after much travail ... blah ... blah ... would be rewarded with humanity. It was Wesley who decided that that meant 'would be made human' It seems now, that it meant humanity would be the vampires reward ... like in he could kill us all ... and that is what made Angel willing to go with Cordelia and die, instead of trying to stay and continue to fight.
First of all, it was great to see Cordy again!

Only read it once, but one thing that stood out to me was when Cordy said: "I certainly can't be here for any amount of time. A Parlor trick a little while ago took it out of me until recently." I think that was exactly what Wes said when he tried to contact her a few issues back. He said something about only the finest leaves were blowing in the wind or something like that. I can't remember. That would seem to shoot down the hallucination theory.

The Angelus splash was amazing! I wish I could buy a poster of that.

Great issue!
resa, for clarification: the exact translated words are that Angel will Shanshu. Shanshu being a word that means, according to Wes, "to die, and to live: in other words, to become human."

Yours was an interesting interpretation, though.

Also, I loved the story of the dragon. Thought it was brilliant, if a little sad in a weird way. Kinda makes me feel sad for it.
far be it for me to argue with someone named Giles :). I did go to the DVDs and look for that 'rewarded with humanity' and I couldn't find it, so I will concede the translation. Still think though that after Shanshu, Angelus will be unleashed upon humanity ... and this is why Angel is willing to go with Cordy at the end.

eta ... found the quote and it's in the book - Wesley to Gunn "He will be rewarded with humanity for his troubles".

[ edited by resa on 2008-09-05 03:45 ]
As it stands right now, that would be my one serious criticism of "After the Fall" -- that Angel was human and we didn't learn a single thing about what that *meant* to him, or meant to those around him. It would ultimately have been nothing more than a limitation on his fighting ability.


This month's issue was stronger than half those in the series. But kingofcretin's criticism is spot-on and damning. This series has dealt directly with the central concern in Angel's life - atonement, restoration, a new life as a full-blown human being ('Since I quit drinking I feel human again,' ya dig?) - yet its primary meaning has been (ahem) a -4 to his attack rolls (-8 in low light). Lots of plot, very little story, and its impact has resonated only within the story world - what has this comic made you think about the world beyond it? Anything at all?
resa-From the transcript at buffyworld.com and the episode "To Shanshu in L.A.":

Wesley: "Shanshu has roots in so many different languages. The most ancient source is the Proto-Bantu and they consider life and death the same thing, part of a cycle, only a thing that's not alive never dies. It's- it's saying - that you get to live until you die. - It's saying - it's saying you become human."

Cordy: "That's the prophecy?"

Wesley: "Ah, the vampire with a soul, once he fulfills his destiny, will Shanshu. Become human. - It's his reward."

resa:

eta ... found the quote and it's in the book - Wesley to Gunn "He will be rewarded with humanity for his troubles".


I believe Wesley is paraphrasing himself here. His original translation, which is much clearer, can be seen in Angel ep. 1.22: To Shanshu in L.A. Where he says:


WESLEY: Uh, oops. I may have made a tiny mistake...The word 'shanshu' that I said meant you were going to die? Actually I think it means that you are going to live.

CORDELIA: Okay, as tiny mistakes go-that's not one!

WESLEY: Shanshu has roots in so many different languages. The most ancient source is the Proto-Bantu and they consider life and death the same thing, part of a cycle, only a thing that's not alive never dies. It's- it's saying - that you get to live until you die. - It's saying - it's saying you become human.

CORDELIA: That's the prophecy?

WESLEY: Uh, the vampire with a soul, once he fulfills his destiny, will shanshu... become human. It's his reward.


I always thought that this was an extremely loose translation, and was surprised at how definitively everyone saw it. I always thought it would be hilarious if Wesley mistranslated and it turned out he wasn't even right at all. But then other outside characters talked about the prophecy, confirming Wesley's interpretation. But I would like it if it was a language twist, like resa is suggesting. It is very "Angel" to build our expectations for a long time about something, and then pull a switcheroo at the last second, explaining we shouldn't have been so sure of the thing in the first place.

Anyhoo, as far as the emotional level of A:ATF goes, I think that most of that will come in at the denoument. As of now, I am feeling caught up in the story, as are most of the characters, and I don't think I or Angel have had much time to consider how things feel. Just trying to live through the day and get out of hell. At the end, I think we will be hit with some serious contemplations.

Very OT: How cool would a dolphin-bat be? :)

EDIT: Curses! menomegirl got the lines out before I could. Oh Well.

[ edited by Giles_314 on 2008-09-05 04:11 ]

[ edited by Giles_314 on 2008-09-05 04:12 ]
Hahaha. I'm fast.

Oh wait, that sounds wrong.
I think I'm on board with this being one of the best issues--and also, in its own way, one of the most disappointing. Because, basically, this week's story succeeded on an emotional level in and of itself, but in its own way unraveled the entire series up until this point. To extrapolate on what KoC and waxbanks have said:

I think it was Jane Espenson, on her blog, who talked about giving the audience (and the characters) what they want, but in the worst possible way. That's how I interpreted Angel becoming human at the beginning of the ATF arc: Angel actually did stop the apocalypse in NFA, and, as per the prophesy, became human, and W&H, in order to punish him, let him. Heroes who hang up their mantle and have ordinary lives always lose something in the process, even if they don't see it, and in its own way this would work well with season eight Buffy's adapting, in a sense, from loss of her "one-and-only" slayer status (even if she hasn't lost any of her power). What do you do when you achieve the thing you've always wanted, and realize that you have to go on living after it?

I've been waiting and waiting for the series to address this, and basically all it's delivered is: cover it up, and then die; and then, somehow, return to point A, anticipating your reward ONCE AGAIN. It's not that it's not in character for Angel to try his best to continue, business as usual, when his life has literally gone to hell and he's gotten the thing he's wished for; but the narrative has basically not forced him to confront the changes, not really. His stupid plan that shouldn't have worked worked, he got himself all healed up with a bunch of magic that we are TOLD is difficult and painful, but whose price we don't really have to feel. Emotionally he's distant from his friends--okay, same. The task of Angel coming out to his friends and family about being human now was done simply by Illyria saying so and not by any decision on his part. And so on. The only moment that really got to me, so far, in the Angel human arc, is actually Gunn's horror when he discovers that Angel's a human: now that was worth the price of admission.

Anyway, now it turns out that we have confirmation that Angel will be back to a vampire, which in effect renders the entire humanity part almost meaningless, because we now have the promise that Angel will eventually go through the same thing again. The "human for a day" story has been done before, in IWRY; there was really no need to repeat it.

But yeah, I did like the issue--in particular, Mooney's art blew me away. Cordy felt like Cordy. And the two-page spread (that was Runge's, right?) was gorgeous.
Firnatine: I noticed the Doyle street sign too. I was trying to figure out if the "coming soon" poster was a reference to a specific movie that one would expect to be playing in hell...?
WilliamTheB: you make a lot of good points, but I disagree with some of them.

While I agree that going on living after you have achieved everything you ever wanted is an interesting theme, and one I would very much like to read about, I think we already know the answer. You go on doing what brings you happiness or what you feel is right. In Angel's case, this is rescuing the citizens in Hell-A, even though he isn't quite up to it. Even if L.A. wasn't sucked into Hell, and Angel became human, he would continue saving souls.

Angel could have easily said, "I'm human now, I don't have to deal with this and get killed." and stayed holed up in W&H, waiting for someone else to fix everything. But even as a human, he accepted responsibility and rose to the task. The Senior partners knew this was what he would do, and made their revenge on him threefold. First, he gets turned human, the thing he has wanted most in his whole life, at the precise wrong time. Then, his continued saving souls leads him to be killed: which then will, I'm betting, let loose Angelus.

This is a far more severe revenge than just making him human. It is making his worst fear come true, by way of his own choices and actions. I think this is brilliant storytelling.

[ edited by Giles_314 on 2008-09-05 05:10 ]
I am really loving this series, the humor is right there in the story (I love the dragon's name being Cordelia), and the story definitely has me on the edge of my seat (which makes the month long waits between issues VERY uncomfortable). I love the art (although I'm looking forward to Franco Urru's return) and every single thing about this. Brian Lynch continues to do a brilliant job and I wish it was never going to end!

BTW did anyone get Zack Whedon's Fringe? It is very cool!
This issue of After the Fall was by far the best of the series so far, and yes, despite me loving the last issue of Buffy, this was better. Still, I think this issue should be compared more to Buffy 8.12 not 8.19 more fairly (though it becomes clearly superior at that point), and even more fairly with Buffy 9.12 because that's chronologically when this is occurring, but that's making up made up things.

AtF 12 actually improved Season 5 for me, the same way S5 improved S4's clunky Charmed plot for me. By clearing up that ShanShu is definitely Angel's, it brings the series back to its primary arc, and gets rid of the notion that Spike is in competition for it (which, while making for awesome TV, made Angel into an inferior character) by implying that allowing Angel to believe that was just part of the revenge. This scheme of W & H is the best torment of a character I've ever seen, esp. while getting what they want -- their apocalypse, with Angelus via Gunn at its front.

I think it's pretty clear the implication is that the Shan-Shu was not filed because they wanted him to give it up, think he was safe, and then turn human when he needed to be a vampire most.

I think the emotional content has been there, and I poo-poo the idea that it's been all plot and no story. Watch a season of Angel and tell me how much of the beginning had this much emotional impact in it? Gunn's story isn't just about how fucked up would it be if Gunn was a vamp, it's about him still trying to be the good guy. It's not just about Angel being human, it's about how much it's meaningless if it comes before Angel's work is actually done. Now they've taken it away, or Cordelia's not going to take his soul when Gunn vamps him (but I say that's cheating). I think what'd be best is to let Angelus be the big bad for a while, because they've never actually done it in Angel before. And Gunn is a great red herring a la Spike and Dru, even the Anointed One in Buff S2, all to keep us from realizing it was Angelus. I always thought that was how they'd end the series, and that's why they kept not doing it. (S4 Angelus counts as much as Anakin's two lightsaber fight with Dooku in Ep II counts as something not made of shite.)

I share the hope he doesn't end up vamp with a soul and Shan-shu all intact after all this, returning to status quo. I think loss of Shan-shu and possibly the curse are the only options here if one doesn't want to invalidate the entire run.

In the end, this issue finally did what I've been subconsciously waiting for the series to do: it stopped introducing all my favorite things for a sec to rise above fanfic and be a real Angel series. Now, my only complaints are A) Nina, like Kennedy, is still not necessary and feels like she is being force-fed to me, and B) I loves my Kate. Wants more. Kate has real arc, instead of stupid furry fantasy. More Kate and less Nina.

Doyle! He's part demon! Does it even matter if he was good? Wouldn't he just be in hell, anyway? I don't know how this works! YAY. Hopefully, Doyle isn't Twilight.
Wow. Just wow. I was hearing all the words being spoken in the actors voices. I loved this. I would have more to say, but it has already been said. I am pleased with how Cordy was brought in - but not really.

Am I the only one who went "Ooooh! So it was Wes that Spike saw on fire? Why would dragon Cordy take him there?"

Good work, Brian. Now I'm counting the days till 13 comes out.
I liked getting more info on the shanshu and The Senior Partners goals.I would prefer Angel to stay human but I wasn't expecting it honestly.I think that would be the bolder and more suprising move.This did settle some questions raised in season 5 though once and for all as well as way back in season 1.

I do think it's silly that the shanshu wasn't signed away because it wasn't filed properly.If people can just sign prophecy's away,then Buffy could of just inked away her death at The Master's hands for example.

Also the brief scenes between Gwen/Connor confirmed what Isuspected of her motives and I think by the end of this we'll see redemption for her in Connor's eyes but most likely at the cost of her life.Looking forward to more of this plotline.

The Wes/Gunn scenes were my favorite stuff in the issue.Loved seeing them interact again and just how far gone Gunn is.And Wes delivering the Senior Partner's messege is one of my favorite moments.

I do wonder how true Wes's vision and info is considering the source of it.

I have major problems with Cordy's return.This is big pet peeve of mine.Another dead character making a post mortem return.I was hoping against hope for something like this not to happen.I'm sorry,it just felt cheap to me.I know other's disagree but I feel it was a bad move and did not like it at all.It really lowers my views on death meaning anything at this point in the verse.What was done in issue 9 was handled with much subtly and grace.Actually bringing her back and in this fashion was just so ham handed to me.Doing this felt so gratuitous IMO.

I hope that Doyle isn't the next to pop in for a gratuitous return.

So that really knocked the issue down in my eyes big time.A lot I liked in the issue and one big thing I didn't.
So Angel would rather be dead than become Angellus again. In a way, that's what makes him a true hero. He'd sacrifice himself to save those he loves. That must be the reason he is the vampire in the Shanshu. But, on that note, Spike's been there and done that, with the amulet in Sunnydale. So, in that token, what has Angel done, that Spike hasn't? Angel sent L.A. to Hell, clearly killing hundreds of thousands of humans in the process. Clearly that leaves a black note on the Shanshu for him? So I would think Spike has more going for him in the eyes of those who control the Shanshu.
Could not the fact that W&H turned him human still be considered fulfillment of the Shanshu prophecy? Just because they did it on purpose doesn't mean that wasn't what the prophecy predicted.

Hell, the prophecy could have been referring to when Angel was turned human for a day in S1
The street sign reads "Doyle" and look right of that to the billboard that reads "Coming Soon."


I'm sorta hoping this is an inside joke, well perhaps not that inside. I like Doyle but, not so sure I want to see him added to the huge list of people being kept around just to torture Angel.

The dragon is called Cordelia...did anyone ever doubt it?
Wow that was a really good issue. It read like classic Angel. Kudos to everyone involved in the making of it.
Giles and menomegirl ... After Giles reminded me about the original translation in 'To Shanshu....' (thanks Giles) I actually went back to watch it again last night ... then my mission was just to find the quote I was referring to. (I was afraid I had 'made it up'). So, I agree that the original translation of the prophecy is different than the quote from the book. I'm not sure what it all means though ... and whether it's Angel or Angelus that we see on the last pages. I guess we'll have to wait for the next installment :) (or the one after that ;) )

[ edited by resa on 2008-09-05 19:14 ]

[ edited by resa on 2008-09-05 19:23 ]
Buffyfanatic; It just supports my cotnention that cordelia's death was faked by TPTB so ANgel couldn't itnerfere-by-trying-to-=help in ehr next assignment. Hell, Joss has alreayd proved he can kill people, so I won't ever regret if he shows that soemtimes he can keep himself from killing a character.
I have major problems with Cordy's return.This is big pet peeve of mine.Another dead character making a post mortem return.I was hoping against hope for something like this not to happen.I'm sorry,it just felt cheap to me.I know other's disagree but I feel it was a bad move and did not like it at all.It really lowers my views on death meaning anything at this point in the verse.What was done in issue 9 was handled with much subtly and grace.Actually bringing her back and in this fashion was just so ham handed to me.Doing this felt so gratuitous IMO.

Buffyfanatic - If they had actually brought Cordy back to life I'd totally agree. But she is still dead and only visible to 'out-of-body' Angel. Cordy coming back to guide Angel is exactly what she did in 'Your Welcome' and for me it fits perfectly here. (Sorry DaddyCat. I believe that she is dead dead dead and is just there to help Angel 'cross over')
This'll get bumped off the front page soon so I've linked to this discussion on the sidebar.
BTW, anyone know what they meant about it all being about Angel? How everyone thought it was his own personal hell, but it was actually Angel's? Does that mean that the entirety of LA might now be in hell, only the demons and those who might be important to him? Some random humans of course, but what if most of the humans we see in Hell aren't real?
bishopcruz, that's an interesting theory, but it seems like the act of someone merciful, which the Senior Partners are NOT. Then again, perhaps they are doing something which requires a fully functioning L.A. That would be a twist. The L.A. that the rest of the world sees is actually L.A., but Angel and co. (OR POSSIBLY JUST ANGEL!!!) are really in a hellish copy of L.A.

Wow. Crazy theory.

Anyway, earlier on people were discussing the timeline of BS8 and ATF. I was under the impression that they were running concurrently. At the beginning of S8, Joss said that S8 would start a year and a half after "Chosen." So that is three months, then AS5 happened, alongside what would have been season 8 if it had still been on TV. Then, the events of NFA happened, L.A. was sent to hell, then First Night followed by Spike after the fall. Then, a couple weeks later, Angel: After the Fall begins, around the same time Buffy S8 started. Buffy S8 would actually be S9 if it had still been on TV, and ATF would be S6.

Am I right? Or horribly, horribly wrong?
Then again, perhaps they are doing something which requires a fully functioning L.A. That would be a twist. The L.A. that the rest of the world sees is actually L.A., but Angel and co. (OR POSSIBLY JUST ANGEL!!!) are really in a hellish copy of L.A.

Wow. Crazy theory.


I'd had that thought as well, (especially the Angel only theory) so maybe not so crazy. Or maybe crazier. ;)

And thanks for the link, Simon.

[ edited by resa on 2008-09-05 23:54 ]
Buffyfanatic - If they had actually brought Cordy back to life I'd totally agree. But she is still dead and only visible to 'out-of-body' Angel. Cordy coming back to guide Angel is exactly what she did in 'Your Welcome' and for me it fits perfectly here. (Sorry DaddyCat. I believe that she is dead dead dead and is just there to help Angel 'cross over')
resa | September 05, 22:30 CET



Yeah but it has been done with Darla.It has been done with Lilah and Wesley too(that wasn't TPTB but it's the same idea.A post death return in some form)Now this sort of thing has been done with Cordy.For me,it isn't just bringing dead characters back to life but the constant bringing them back post death in some form in general.It's just been done to often now for me.I just can't buy this sort of thing anymore.It's happening with too many characters now IMO.It just feels like crutch to me in the verse.

Bringing back the character in someway as a ghost or spirit or whatever even if it's for a bit and not permanently lessens the impact just as much if they are brought back for keeps at this point becasue it's done so often I think.

I get why people like it and this is just my opinion.Creatively
this sort of thing dosen't work for me anymore and this just didn't work for me in issue 12 at all.For others it did.I guess my stance now is that I wish Brian and Joss had refrained from doing it.I was worried they would and hoping they wouldn't and I'm worried about it over in Buffy Season 8 as well with Tara and Anya or Joyce. But it's been done and that's that.I just hope this was a one time/one issue deal and it's not done yet again with Cordy or another character.My fear now is Doyle.
But it's been done and that's that.I just hope this was a one time/one issue deal and it's not done yet again with Cordy or another character.My fear now is Doyle.


I have to disagree with you about Doyle. I seem to remember hearing something about how before Glenn Quinn died (still makes me sad), they were considering bringing him back as a villain somehow. I feel that, if they are willing to go there, this would be an extremely emotionally wrenching thing to do. I feel that, yes, if he came back good, it would be a little dumb. But if he came back bad, that would be extremely upsetting for both Angel and the reader, if the reader saw S1.

Doyle's story was so well-closed and amazing. It was the first real blow to the show, to be followed by many MANY more. I think that it would be just like "ANGEL" to bring back Doyle, the reason for Angel's "good fight," and make him evil.

Anyway, I don't really think we will see Doyle's return, at least in A:ATF. There really is too much going on to introduce such a huge story element so late in the game. I could be wrong. I'm usually not good at figuring out how long a story would take to tell. I also think they may not do it out of respect for GQ, which I can understand.

ETA: Ooh, bringing Doyle back evil would also add a whole new level to the end of the recording of him.

"Is that it? Am I done?"

[ edited by Giles_314 on 2008-09-06 04:08 ]
I hope they don't bring back Doyle, the same way I'd hoped they wouldn't bring back Wesley. Their character's deaths were those of heros and they should have been left to rest in peace, IMO.

I can see the need to bring Cordelia back, even in the form she's in:maybe especially so. Her story didn't feel complete to me. (Could have done without the "I love you" in there though)

Excellent issue, the best yet, I thought.
I loved everything about this issue!!!
I'm glad Cordy came back, but not back from the grave back as she is a character that I feel needs to stay dead as it would cheapen everything that she stood for!
Also I loved finding out the dragons name awwwwwww so cute!!
I must say that I think this is THE BEST Angel issue yet and I cannot wait to see how this is all going to end!!!
I think bringing back dead characters whose deaths Angel is responsible for is 100% part of the game at this point - the Senior Partners' game if no-one else's. I guess I'm not averse to Doyle returning because I was never that traumatised by his death - but on the other hand, I was firmly in the camp of finding Wesley's death unforgiveable until S6 came along and showed me it was just another way to put him through hell. Rather literally, this time.

I really liked this issue. Good stuff, getting darker and darker at each turn and taking me from the point where I distrusted Cordy trying to help Angel die to the point where I think it might actually be the best way out - because seriously, if Wesley's information is even half-right, the Senior Partners look to have just found the way round the Shanshu prophecy and into their apocalypse. Angel has lived until he died, and now Gunn's right there and waiting to vamp him. I'm not sure I'm a fan of a fully-fledged Angelus running the show for the next however many issues (he will never, ever scare and horrify me as much as he did in Buffy s2), but it's certainly a diabolically good plan otherwise.

Also, I don't think Wes has the whole truth. Why would they let him, even now when he could feasibly still find a way to stop Gunn? If Wes saw that vision too, he knows that Angel dying is the best outcome - despite their friendship, he's usually got enough self-control to accept that kind of thing. (Especially what with being dead himself.)

But yeah, I'm not convinced by that vision. Grr. Out of one inescapable prophecy and straight into another...

However, a pretty thought did occur to me. The Frayverse has to occur, right? - it's real. We've seen nothing yet in the Buffy comics to start explaining what goes wrong. Maybe Angelus has a hand in it... it's been a few centuries since he got a good slaughter under his belt, after all.
I think the "It's all about Angel" thing means, simply, that this whole thing is designed to bring about a certain result for Angel, presumably to bend him to a use W&H has for him. So evrybody else's sufferings (And gains, sucha s theya re) are irrelevant to the purpose; they're cogs in the wheel at ebst, or just window-dressing along for the ride.

Actually, having read the issue, on one hand 1-This seems to be exactly the sort of thing Cordy is most likely doing now, based on ehr relationship with TPTB and ehr absence from earth. On the other hand 2-Getting souled-Angel to give up and move on seems like exactly what W&H would want, so makes it palusible that this Cordy is an illusion to achieve that. (Or, her own speech makes this belieiveable, somehow Ascended-Cordy has been fooled by the bad guys.)

Altho it still makes my own scenario seem plausible, to me. This is the kind of errand she's been recruited to run. I'll admit, a lot of this stems from my dissatisfaction with the whole "She never woke up?" scenario. It just played out to me that Dr. Joss and His Bunche had lost a lot of their imagination and could no longer write someone out of the story without killing them*. (I also thought having Cordelia's death stem from the Jasmine preganancy was itself a dramatically flawed decision.)

I will say I liked the "centripetality" of it all. For worse or worst, the gang is almost back together, in sort of one place. At last!


*Yes, of course there's always my egotistical reason. Backa round January '02, I started writing fics about what I thoguht the cast would be like at age 45. Then Joss kills off half the characters I'm using, 'tis still a shcok to me.
Okay, I almost want a thread just to talk about what time period this stuff is taking place in. If Buffy's a year after "Chosen," then the events of After the Fall have already occurred (or are occurring) by the time BS8 starts. That would mean they are being extremely coy about not giving away After the Fall clues in BS8, and colors the vagueries of certain comments and visuals -- the way they hinted at both Angel and Spike in the first couple of issues, but it turned out to be Twilight, and the recent comment by Willow, without going into detail, that a vampire was the most important person in Buffy's life. Could they be continuing vague refs so that we don't know who's alive of Angel's cast? I have other suspicions but giving that I guessed Tara's death and Dark Willow's rise in the first episode of Season 6, I'm not going to make the mistake of over-postulating in front of others again.

Thank you, Giles_314. I was not aware of the continuity.
By far the best issue yet (even better than last week's, which was excellent). Absolutely staggering. The two-page spread...sweet God almighty.

Also, Cordy's return? 100% perfect. Right before it was revealed who Angel was talking to, I figured it out, and begun to have chills down my spine, then I turned the page and tears started forming in the corners of my eyes. This is such a beautiful book.

I would even go so far as to say that this stacks up with the best episodes of the show.
PuppetDoug, keep in mind that LA is enshrouded in a powerful glamor that keeps the rest of the world from being able to go there. All indications throughout the rest of the world of non-magic people are that it's still there normally, so practically nobody out of the Scoobys short of Willow herself could possibly realize what's going on with LA. Add into that the fact that the Scoobies are in over their eyeballs with their own troubles, and they're almost certainly too busy to ever stop and really think about visiting or contacting Angel for no reason.

Willow is currently undergoing some very... strange times as you are aware. So whether she knows about LA's current situation is as yet unclear.
Yeah sorry I'm mathematically dyslexic. They're happening concurrently with Buffy's year gap, skipping over the time period of Angel S5. But this upsets me, cuz WTF happened in that year? Nothing important, except that Angel is in hell and no one knows it. I really wanna know what they see if they try to go to LA. I hope there's an individual issue dealing with that, not even cuz I'm curious, just cuz I actually think it'd be a cool episode, and one of the reasons I hated Angel S4 was the lack of a concurrent apocalypse when I felt that the First was intro'd as an Angel-centric villain, and it was non-corporeal, so it could be in 2 places at once and no need for a crossover for them to be in the same Apocalypse.

[ edited by PuppetDoug on 2008-09-09 02:26 ]
I just received issue 11 and 12 together. First of all, I have to say that the transition from Runge to Mooney is pretty seamless. I like the art in both issues. I think both nailed Gunn and Wesley (Urro, IMHO, did not so much). Mooney's Fred/Illyria is a bit all over the place, and Cordelia looks kind of aged in a few panels, but besides that, the new issues really feel consistent.

I love what they did with Gunn: In many ways, he's the total opposite of Angel/Angelus, because there's so much continuity between his human and his vampire character. That hasn't been done before in the Buffyverse. It's interesting to see the many ways the characters deal with being vampires: Angel has pretty much a multiple personality, ensouled Spike basically stays the same person but modifies his behaviour, soulless Gunn can't really make out the difference between what he was and what he is.

I'm not even totally sure that Gunn is wrong. What do we know about his plan? Maybe he's got it all right. Yes, he's technically evil, but so is Illyria and so was Spike in Buffy Season 4-6. It didn't prevent them from doing the occasional good deed. Couldn't a soulles Gunn be able to do the same thing out of pure stubbornness?
Very interesting observations about Gunn, Jakob Schmidt. I do think that Spike also showed some continuity between his human and vampire selves - "Lies My Parents Told Me" showed a lot of William still there, until what happened with his mother further drove him into his new persona. And his reaction to Buffy's "You're beneath me" moment in "Fool for Love" is one indicator that William was still a part of him, down deep. But, yes, Gunn seems even more strongly still attached to who he was... and I'm growing very interested in seeing Charles and Spike meet again now.

I didn't get around to commenting on this issue after I first read it; but I've decided that I really should go on the record about how much I loved it. Man, what an issue. I'm yet another who liked this issue even more than BtVS #18. So many big revelations - and Cordelia!! I loved her re-appearance. Charles and Wesley reunited; the dragon's name revealed... And Stephen Mooney may have just become my favorite Angel artist... though Runge's contribution to this issue was absolutely (horrifiyingly) stunning.

As far as the implications of that spread - I'm hoping that Wolfram & Hart chose the worst-looking-possible snippet of the future to show to Angel, and that maybe it's not as bad as it looks. (Possibly even the Partners have the wrong impression of Angel in the apocalypse from this glimpse?)

And the Shanshu is still around. I always suspected that it couldn't just be signed away (thought the "not filed" loophole never quite occurred to me ;) ). Though I thought that the thwarting of W & H's plan by killing the Black Thorn could have been the fulfillment of the prophesy, and Angel's human status was indeed because of the Shanshu. If not, how was Wolfram & Hart able to make him human again? Between this and LA, they seem to have an awful lot of power, even with the Circle of the Black Thorn destroyed - assuming that the gang is in the actual LA and not an incredible simulation (simulation a possiblity I'm starting to somewhat lean towards).

Oh - and I almost forgot about Gunn's "vampire with a soul, vampire with soul - nice line, and an interesting interpretation. So Charles (or at least a part of him - he is so all over the place) was hoping to Shanshu himself, eh?

At any rate - great issue! Thank you to all involved, and muchly looking forward to the rest!

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