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November 19 2008

(SPOILER) Discuss Angel: After The Fall #14. The latest issue hits the stands today.

#14? Wow. I'm so far behind on the comics that I'll never catch up.

What's been going on?
"What's been going on? "

Oh long do you have:) I don't want to spoil it for you. But the last 5 issues have been a rollercoaster of surprises,laughs,tears,death and revelations. Angel basically:)

I am really looking forward to this - I will be first in line tomorrow!
Also looking forward. And yeah... what hasn't happened?

Decided today that I want Lilah back though. And Lindsey. And hey, W&H could just have their entire previous staff haunt Angel on a permanent basis. That'd be fun. *imagines entire spread of lawyerly ghosts and an irritated Angel*

Uh... tangent alert. I need new story to fill the voids in my brain.
Oh my God, none have you have even read it yet? Then I can't spoil you... but clearly Illyria is the wild card here (in a very wild deck). Brian has done it again with the heart strings and the laughter, I really love this series! And as always, I love how Brian Lynch writes Spike (huge heart which he tries to hide, and huge ego that he doesn't).

I need to reread it now.
Damnit, can't get this until the weekend. Must not read posts, must not read posts...

I have no idea how I can live in such a big town, yet the closest comic book store is almost an hour away!
I won't be able to pick up my copy until tomorrow.
I wish there was a site where the first people that get it would post spoilers D=
I'm kinda glad there's not!
I'll be unloading my spoiler-ific review later this evening because I have to work. But, generally, great issue. Lynch... you da man. You didn't let me down, at least not yet :)
I wish there was a site where the first people that get it would post spoilers

There is. It's called "Google".
Im still kinda confused, so Fred never really came back? It was just Illyria fooled by Fred's memories into turning into Fred. But if she wasn't really Fred, then why has the implication been that she'd be vulnerable in the guise of Fred. In the TV show, where she changed into Fred, she was still Illyria underneath the disguise, all invulnerable like, so why is it in the ATF series, whenever she turns to Fred she's now vulnerable to human weaknesses?

So was Gunn's plan all along to get Illyria to turn to her true self, or was that unintentional? And what caused her to transform? Was it the wound she suffered from the bow and arrow, orwas it the Senior Partners.

I like this series, but there's so much confusion, it makes it hard to follow sometimes!
and also, in Season Five, when the discussion of Fred's resurrection was discussed, Wesely said that Illyria's entering Fred's body, incinerated her soul or something preventing a resurrection from ever being pssoible.. so how does Fred's soul come back in ATF... is this a contradiction, or is it just Illyria fooled by the memories, and thinks that she's Fred?
This issue disposes of this subject completely. "Spike: After the Fall" Issue #4 did, somewhat -- it's not Fred. There's no Fred. There is no Dana, only Zuul.
KingsofCretins, or whoever else... so if it's not Fred, then why in Season Five when she turned into Fred, it was just Illyria putting on an act, but now in ATF, she's vulnerable to human weaknesses by turning into Fred... AHHH I HATE CONTRADICTIONS!
Do you really want to know how? We've got a few more issues to go, but if you wanna know, it's no biggie.
No, no, Brian! Don't get carried away! Spoilers are ONLY for issue #14!!! Don't let any information escape for future issues or I'll be really upset and have to seek revenge...
(you don't want to see me spoiled!).
And catinthefray, I think you'll find there are no contradictions, only subtleties, when you actually read the issue. At least it doesn't seem contradictory to me.

[ edited by embers on 2008-11-19 23:21 ]
Well, if you think about it, you can probably figure it out. The same way that Gunn can draw breath for a second...
Brian, I protest -- it's not even a spoiler. I can't see how it was ambiguous after "Spike: After the Fall" Issue #4. It was, forgive my presumptuousness, the only reason for the Sadecki demon to exist. Just like proving Angel really was evil was the only reason the Judge existed in 2.13 and 2.14 of "Buffy". All it does in this issue is bring people up to speed who weren't reading the other title.

I've got to say, Brian -- ever since Issue #11 this has felt like the same kind of fast-paced roller coaster I remember from "Death and Return of Superman" and "KnightsEnd" back in the early 90s.

But those were coming out EVERY WEEK, I just realized is the difference!
I've got to say, Brian -- ever since Issue #11 this has felt like the same kind of fast-paced roller coaster

I agree. Apart from the First Night interlude, After The Fall is very similar in style to Angel season 4.
Isn't this thread supposed to be where the issue can be discussed freely? Hence the spoiler tag...
Yes feel to free to discuss what happened.
Too true, sorry, carry on!
Brian, or anyone else, can you please explain who is doing the talking/stabbing, and who is the woman standing there in the 2nd panel on page 2?
That is meant to be Groo. Stephen Mooney clarified this issue on Slayalive:

I can! The speech balloon is coming from the wrong character, probably my fault. It's supposed to be a teeny groo on his steed flying over the hotel and being surrounded by the black dragons that says it, but it's mistakingly eminating from the miscellaneous demon character who's stabbing one of the Spikettes in the foreground of the panel.
Sorry bout the confusion!

Thanks Emmie. Now if Groo saying "my first death" made sense to me It would be perfectly copacetic.
Mind has been bended by issue #14! Mind BENDED!

...will read later correct thoughts post again unbend mind start typing correctly...
hi, in reference to the convo above with Brian Lynch and King of Cretins... if this is going to be explained in a future issue, then I'm happy.

I thought that it had simply been explained in earlier issues that Illyria is sharing the same body with Fred, and that left wayyy too many questions based on events from Season Five TV show
catinthefray: The SPike miniseries addreessed the details.
Cordelia the Pegasus.
Anybody else think Cordy might not be flattered that a dragon and a flying horse were named after her? Obviously, the dragon was a bit of a misunderstanding, but the flying horse? Deliberate Groo choice.

I'm imagining Cordy giving a 'are you frickin' kidding me?' look and saying, "You named your horse after me? Got any little chihuahuas you named Queen C, too?"

Now all we need is for Team Angel to set sail out of the Hell-A docks on the CORDELIA and Cordy will rule both the air and the sea. ;)
My poor poor Wesley. Please bring in Lilah.
HA! Love it! Kudos, Brian, I think I'm enjoying Angel more than Buffy, right now. And Buffy has Fray! Whoa...

"bit of adive: cleveland is a real hotspot, invest now" Brilliant.
And thank you for giving us Illyria's genuine form. Always wanted to see that.
I think Cordelia would be touched.
That's it Brian! More spoilers! Tell us how it ends =D
Angel defeats Zuhl by crossing the streams.
Hey, Cordy can still be touched while giving attitude. That's very Cordy-esque.
Oh? Brian... I thought that the crossing of the streams was 'bad'?
The typos are killing me on what is an otherwise perfect story. I wasn't sure halfway through that After the Fall would deliver the goods, but it's all great and I can't wait to see how it ends.
Oh? Brian... I thought that the crossing of the streams was 'bad'?

This is one reason I hated the trough urinals at Fenway Park when I was little.
I thought it was *fording* the steams that was bad, though maybe that's okay if you don't try to climb every mountain :)
Man that was intense.Lot going on in this issue.Really cool that we got to see Illyria in her true form.we knew it was coming,but it was still huge to see it.

Liked the explanation for the ressurection slayers in the basement. And how it was only 5 minutes, so Angel could not be fixed through that. And I love how the continuity is there right from the very beginning, with the big demon mess thing and the Orb from Kr'ph how all that came we know what it was for:)

Poor Gunn...thinking that he could use it to unleash Illyria. Well he didnt need it afterall did he!. Lucky he built it though or Angel would have been screwed lol.

And W+H sending that big army to get Angel...just so they could have him and justify the cost. And typical business.....always obsessed with the overheads lol. I am very happy with Angel being back on his feet again. The dead on the floor thing was getting old. He needs to be up and about and in action again!

I didnt see the ending coming. Gonna make an interesting last 3 issues!

Congrats to Stephen Mooney...gonna miss his work!
b!X, thank you, you have just permanently damaged my once-lovely memories of Ghostbusters.
I live to serve...

This was probably the best issue so far. The first convincing Joss-style melodrama in the series (heretofore too goddamn plotty to (ahem) stop and draw a breath).

I'm looking forward to next month, for the first time since the first couple issues.
And the verdict is: "Oh man, that's epic" (IDW regulars will get the reference).

I can only imagine how much more epic the ending would have been if we hadn't gotten those spoilery covers with Illyria's true form months back... but even so, there's a silver lining to our pre-spoiled condition, which is that the sheer originality of the storyline shines through. I browse all the main Buffy forums (and a few minor ones), so I'd heard speculation after speculation based on the aforementioned covers -- Fred would be restored to her body through the Resurrection Room and inadvertently release Illyria, Wesley had made an agreement about Fred with the Senior Partners that would come to fruition here, the cast would have to make a choice between Illyria and Fred, etc. -- and they were all off the mark. Needless to say I like Brian's version better, not least because it gave us one of the best Wesley/Illyria scenes in canon...

"There you are."
"Fred -"
"I tried, Wesley. I tried to be."
"I know you did."
"I don't think... I don't think she's here."

It's no secret that the Wesley/Illyria relationship tugs at my heartstrings like no other Buffyverse 'ship save Spike/Buffy... and I actually got a little teary here, which is very rare for me. (Brian, you weren't kidding when you said that Wesley and Illyria had more Big Moments to come.) I'm extremely glad that the Spike: After the Fall Issue #4 revelation about Illyria still holds true, and that it was addressed in an equally (if not more) emotional scene here. That these Fred-centric time-skips were a conscious attempt on Illyria's part to recapture what Fred had with Wesley, and perhaps even revive him, is a very organic development of her covert jealousy and longing in Season 5 of Angel, and the perfect icing to my recent Wesley/Illyria marathon. Even non-fans have to acknowledge that this takes Illyria's already-complex characterization to a new, higher level (and, by doing so, takes the plot to a new, higher level). This ups the stakes.

I can only say "thank you". The only complaint anyone can have about the Wesley/Illyria moment is that it should have been longer.

Now, the payoff of that scene suffers a lot from the colourist's insistent pinks and reds, but ignoring that, I'm rather fond of the chaotic, almost surrealistic feel of it all. ("Do you see?!" -- "See - what?") It felt right for the magnitude of the event. Also happy that Betta George is revealed to be more than a "filler" character, for realsies. I'll be interested to see what ammo the mandatory haters will find for their comments now. (I do hope the pacing in the remaining issues won't be as fast as it was in the final scene of this issue, though. It worked well as a one-time thing, but it has the potential of getting annoying, if used more.)

Another highlight of this issue was Spike learning about the Shanshu (shock, nervousness and jealousy all wrapped up in Lynch-quality dialogue and body language), as well as the Gunn/Illyria sequence. Illyria and Gunn have displayed the most interesting changes in the series so far, in my eyes, and that's evident in the panels they share here. Was particularly moved by Illyria's easy switch from her Fred-mannerisms to her usual self's honor and cold pride ("I enjoyed sparring with that dragon. It came close to being an equal"), Gunn's little speech about masks (his "teeth and Klingon brow mask" versus Illyria's Fred-mask, what a way to put it), and his breath in the time-skip. Another thing that was interesting to me is that he seems to harbour a resentment towards Angel's "Chosen One" title ("They want... well, they want who they always want. The one everybody always wants") -- reminded me of Spike for a second there, with his decades under Angel's shadow and his underdog status re: Shanshu and Buffy alike.

I've come to expect this level of awesomeness from Brian by now, but I was surprised how much I loved Mooney's art in this issue. Is he getting better, or am I getting more used to his style? The only thing I didn't like was his uniform rendition of the conduits (and the colourist is partly to blame for that, too). Still, you can't argue with panels like "I don't want to hear it! ..." (Spike), "I need Illyria" (Gunn), "Her memories haunt me" (Wesley/Illyria-as-Fred), "Charles tried to bring out ..." (Wesley), "That'll work" (Gunn).

Where do we go from here?

No idea, but I at least hope that Illyria survives, that there are no easy "saves" like a pre-Not Fade Away reset, that everything comes with a price, that Wesley and Illyria get more interaction (and I'll join the LiveJournal chorus in wishing for a kiss), that the next issues cut down on the spelling/grammar errors, and that the universe doesn't go kablooie.

Rating: 8.5/10 (might be my third favourite After the Fall issue, after Issue 4 of Spike: After the Fall and Issue 12 of Angel: After the Fall)

I have my copy now and really need to read it again to absorb everything but I love the payoffs in this issue.And Illyria,Wes and Gunn most surely stole the show in this one.

This issue does seem to confirm what Spike:ATF #4 revealed.Even though that wasn't really Fred,it feels like she just died again though.Does anybody else fell that way too?And I do sense an end game now for Illyria and Wesley too.Especially with Illyria taking her true form amd wanting to collapse time.

I also think it's great that Angel was restored in not the obvious ways that we were all speculating on(re-vamping and the basement).

I was glad to see Betta George and Groo get some spotlight too.

We are now really in the end game of this story and I can certainly feel it.
Holy crap! I figured the revelations in 12 could not be surpassed, but this one took the cake. These last issues have been some of Brian's best writing yet. I admit that Asylum was never a favorite of mine, but all of his AtF work has been great. I know you're reading this Brian, so keep on with the superlative writing! Seriously.

Only 3 issues left, then Aftermath. Also, it looks like IDW isn't going to start the series over, Aftermath will continue with issue 18. Does that mean that it is a confirmed ongoing series now?
bishopcruz, from what we've heard, Aftermath will indeed pick up where After the Fall leaves off, though--and I swear to God I am not trying to start another huge argument like in some other threads--its canonicity remains in question.

In other words: Yeah, it'll continue the story, but we don't know if it'll actually count in the grand scheme of things. Still, here's to hoping it's good.
I don’t have much to say that hasn’t been said already. So, I’ll focus on what made me squee. Angel knowing Spike’s personality so much with the nerviness and the confusion (and maybe a tan jealous/angry), at the same time Spike desperately wanting Angel to be not ‘dead’ – drama as it was, I was smiling through it all!

Awesome issue, Brian and Stephen. And now more than ever, I wish I’d either waited to read 14 with 15 or that 15 is mistakenly shipped out early – like Sunday. I can wait ‘til Sunday. ;)

P.S. Is it wrong that one of the reasons I’m excited for the next issue is the possible (finally) encounter between Spike and George?
P.S. 2. I miss Lorne. He needed to be there!
Yeah, this is probably the best issue of the series so far. And I've felt uneasy about the last couple of issues, so this is not taken lightly. This was pretty terrific.

I have some complaints that might be cleared up on a reread (mostly having to do with the handling of the time loop thing, and Angel's restoration, and some of the humour). But the Illyria material, Wolfram & Hart once again taking an active interest in Our Heroes (and, more specifically, the one they always do, as Gunn would point out), Gunn's realization that he had been misled ("You didn't tell me to build anything!"), the brief but honest consideration of Spike vamping all works here. And the final bit of Illyria and Gunn's nihilism aligning is perfect.

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