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January 21 2009

(SPOILER) Discuss Angel: After the Fall #16. Brian Lynch says "It features my favorite scene in the entire series".

Is this really coming out today? Monday was a national holiday so I was thinking this issue would be coming out on Thursday. I guess I'll swing by the comic book store to check.
Previews says the 21st so I guess it must be :).
Books are definitely out today! Can't wait!
Any chances of spoilers Brian for us who can't get it yet?
I'm sure someone will spoil away, but really, I think this is one you should read, so I'm not gonna be the one who spoils. BUT I will say there is fighting, death, triumph, tragedy, tears, and Spike.
It's a spoiler thread, I'll do it.

"We should do the mega-happy ending"

Great issue, but that quote is probably my only slight problem with it. It's not that I was surprised by stuff -- I've argued for a long time that it's perfectly possible everything in Hell-A would end the same night as the alleyfight, which it did. And I'm very glad that Brian did *not* use a "reset" to just erase the events in Hell-A, because everybody involved remembers what happened. But I was surprised that the upshot would be that it would have no lasting effects other than the existential ones (for the major characters, obviously the whole 'everybody remembers' is an effect). I'm glad Connor is alive, and Gwen presumably is alive. I'm not sure about Gunn surviving, though, but that's probably because I spent the entire time since the end of "Not Fade Away" assuming he'd died. But there does seem something slightly wanted in the "mega happy ending" of it, where everybody survived, even the Dragon.

At least we have the major timeline and continuity issues with Season 8 settled. And, I felt like perhaps the issue was teasing the true roots of "vampires in public" being that the entire LA metro now has an understanding or memories of vampires and demons. In 8.21, there seemed to be an idea of vampires before Harmony's show, just not a lot of interest.

I'm really not sure which was the "Brian's favorite scene" -- reuniting with Connor, or the climactic confrontation between Angel and Gunn. They were both pretty incredible. And it's fitting that the LA branch of W&H has disappeared... to be replaced by a Doublemeat! Hehe.

Wesley's departure was sad but also understandable. It was a nice, quiet walk away for him. It reminded me of the Operative at the end of "Serenity", in a way, although Wes was much more agreeable.

This felt a lot like "Peace Out" and "Primeval" did... this is the issue where the story really finished, but there's a coda -- Issue #17 will be "Home" or "Restless".

I'm still not happy to see Angel back as a vampire, and as I thought, I've basically lost sympathy with any hope he has of being human because it's officially been teased too much. But, what I asked was that it be done in a way that wasn't cheap or undermined Angel's actual character and motivations, and Brian did that, so I accept it. Plus, it's amusing me that probably the most uncomfortable part of Angel's time in Hell-A -- the notoriety -- has followed him back.

Excellent at by Franco, particularly Angel's crying panel. The pencils, coloring, and ink make Gunn's fire sword just look great. I would say that this is tied with Issue #15 for the best issue of "Angel: After the Fall", and ultimately is a very satisfying ending to the major plot elements. I hope Issue #17 brings us mostly nice character moments... Nina, some GWONNOR, and maybe Lorne and Angel talking. It was maybe a bit too close to the "mega-happy", but that's not enough to cut into it being awesome.
Exactly, 17 is the coda. THAT'S what I should have called it. WHERE WERE YOU WHENST I WAS WRITING???
So basically they hit a giant reset button and everything's returned to status quo.
EXACTLY! But not. Oh Riker!
Question. If Angel's death meant that Wolfram & Hart had to go further back in his timeline, why'd they have to go all the way back to before L.A. was sent to hell? Couldn't they have just gone back a couple minutes/days, etc.?

I liked the way it turned out (yay for Groosalugg not being dead), but I was still a tiny bit confused.
I can explain if you want: Hell-A is, as was stated in, I think, issue 13 or 14, was in between moments of actual time. They could futz with Angel all the wanted, make him human, remove the tattoo. But if something happens to him, they have to go back in the actual timeline (aka not in the hell moment) to pull out an Angel. There are none AFTER the moment in the alley, thanks to what Angel did in issue 16.

Did that make sense? I hope so.

[ edited by Brian Lynch on 2009-01-21 20:24 ]
That does help. Thanks. I didn't realize the 'Hell-A' timeline was sandwiched in between moments of real time.

That makes me like the issue even more.
Yay to Angel being a Vampire again!! *g*

[ edited by sueworld2003 on 2009-01-21 21:12 ]
Brian: So Hell-A was literally like only 1 minute long?
Don't want to take anything away from my review when I actually am coherent enough to write one... but oh what an end. Some fans, like Riker did above, will mistakenly call it a reset, the same way some fans mistakenly called "Not Fade Away" a cliffhanger. In the world of Angel, where character development is favored over sweeping, epic action (plenty of that here, too) having these characters live, knowing what they've done... it's perfect. Everything that happened mattered, everything will have lasting effects. Can't wait to read it again (in five minutes haha).
"Climax," I should say, not "end," considering #17 is the coda (nods to King) of the story.
Thanks pat! Time is wonky, Alpha Gamer. It wasn't a moment to anyone IN Los Angeles, of course. But to the outside world, yes, they were gone for moment.

BIG SPOILERS TO FOLLOW! PLEASE READ ANGEL 16 first!

PLEASE?

SUGAR ON TOP?

and a cherry...?

We knew people would, upon hearing about, think "is it a reset?" and in a manner of speaking, it was a physical reboot, but everything happened to these characters. They just got a second chance, good or bad, to continue. Everyone who died will remember going through death, first loves and betrayals occurred (sometimes to the same people), the people of LA remember a certain handsome brunette who saved them, EVERYONE remembers what they did (good and bad) and Angel knows what he could be destined for. PLUS Illyria is pretty much changed forever. Be careful what you wish for, Illyria...

...we go into a lot of this next issue, I'm just so excited you guys got to read it, I'm babbling.

Sorry, talked too much.

Oh, and it looks like Westerberg was in LA when it all went to hell. Crooooossover.
No, patxshand. Basically, everything's as it was at the end of Not Fade Away. Nothing has changed. Why did I spend my money on this series? It was, essentially, an extended dream sequence that cost four bucks a pop.
So, in "Not Fade Away," Angel knew the Shanshu, everything he was fighting for, was actually confirmation that he would murder... everyone?

He also felt his son die in his arms?

Gunn murdered the people he considers closest, only to have his humanity restored? And now gets to live with that happy knowledge of what he can be?

The public knew all about Angel, all about demons, and all about pretty much everything?

Wow. You must have some super extended version of "Not Fade Away." Wish I'd been able to get my hands on that.
It can't be an extended dream sequence if everyone experienced it, and, as Brian points out, Illyria was literally *changed* by the events in Hell-A. You're complaining just to complain.

Brian, I want me some GWONNOR lovin' now that LISA should be working again.
I've been a vocal critic of After the Fall recently. Or rather, when I wasn't squeeing over the parts I was in love with - Urru's return, Fabio Mantovani doing the art, everything in #15. But I went through something today that made me fully realize how much I love this series.

I hate waiting. Waiting is evil. That's why purgatory is so feared - you're waiting for an eternity. Lynch - if W&H has completely shelved their Hell-A plan, they should give Purgatory-A a try. It's WAY more evil. Traffic jams are evil. Commercials, even the time it takes to fast-forward through the commercial, are evil. Radio commercials are even more evil, but that's also because they're made to be annoying. My own personal hell would be me stuck in a doctor's waiting room, forced to listen to annoying radio commercials while I wait for the music to come back, fast-forwarding through TV commericals where the show never plays. And also somehow stuck in traffic so that I'm forever waiting to get where I want to be. Waiting. *shivers*

[The following involves a story related to a political figure - I'm not intending to stir the political waters at Whedonesque. The events are true, but names have been altered to prevent a political massacre. I promise I have no political agenda. I'm trying to be funny. Sometimes I miss my mark. :)]

I also realized there was an unforeseen downside to who I voted for this past November. Oblamarama, you hit me where it hurt today. That's right, Oblamarama - one day into your term as President and you're spreading evil throughout America. I waited in line at my comic bookstore for over an hour, outside in the moderately cold (but let's pretend it was freezing so this story gets me more sympathy) weather. I waited alone, oh so alone (except I was talking on the phone and complaining the entire time). But you get the picture - EVIL. A personal hell created for an impatient person. So how is this Oblamarama's fault, you ask?

The. Amazing. Spider-Man. Cameo.

I went through purgatory today to get my After the Fall #16 and as soon as it was bought and paid for, I went to my car and read it. I simply refused to wait any longer. So here's my testament to the quality of this issue. Two simple words:

Worth. It.

[ edited by Emmie on 2009-01-21 22:20 ]
No need to be rude, pat. Connor's death in the last issue is meaningless as he simply comes back this issue.

This series started out making progressive changes but it quickly undid every single one of them. There was no need for this series.
It can't be an extended dream sequence if everyone experienced it, and, as Brian points out, Illyria was literally *changed* by the events in Hell-A. You're complaining just to complain.

I absolutely am not, KoC. This series left no big, lasting changes and that's rather unfortunate. It may as well have been fan fic because everything it sought to accomplish was completely undone.

[ edited by Riker on 2009-01-21 21:47 ]
I have to wonder what Brian's original Angel: After the Fall pitch was like, if this is the version that came after Joss's criticism that the characters were more or less back where they started by the end / the status quo was the same / nothing really changed.

Proper review later, though.

[ edited by Enisy on 2009-01-21 21:49 ]
Basically, everyone is the same as they were at the end of NFA. Angel's a vamp again, Connor's alive, Wes is still dead, Gwen is alive, Gunn is still human...

Big whoop.
Riker, have you read it yet?
Not being rude at all, Mr. Riker. In fact, if you put both of our posts, side by side, and... Pah, doesn't matter. I'm just glad I enjoyed the issue as much as enjoyed the rest of the series. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy it, because I wish everyone could feel the amount of joy most of us feel about the book, because it really is awesome. The fact of the matter is, however, that it isn't a reset. Like, reset doesn't *mean* what happens in this issue, so to call it a reset is just incorrect. And if you read my post--the one you thought was rude--you can see that I was just responding to your idea that it's the same now as it is in "Not Fade Away." Textually, it's just not.
I'm sorry you see it that way.
It is, Pat. It was an unnecessary story that made it brutally clear that we will never see any real progression in the Angel storyline unless there's a live action movie one day.
Riker, you keep repeating that. But King and I have offered you textual proof that you're wrong... yet you just keep repeating it over and over again, without adding anything but "It is" or "You're wrong." The only difference is you get a tad bit ruder each time. Tell us HOW is it a reset. HOW is it unnecessary? How can you be a fan of Joss Whedon's work and not understand the repercussions this is going to have on all these characters?
Did Riker read it?
Emmie, you didn't wait that long, it was actually just a moment out of time.

There are legitimate criticisms out there for "Angel: After the Fall", but "fanfic" isn't one of them. Angel and Connor are a completely unified father and son, that wasn't true at the end of Season 5. Gwen and Connor have a romantic history and are basically in love with each other, that wasn't true in Season 5. Illyria has a legitimate grasp on human emotion, and that wasn't true in Season 5. One of the guys at the hospital complains that "he made friends in hell" and wonders where they are -- everybody there is different than they were.

Oh, and, by the way, although Brian didn't say so, isn't the pretty obvious tie to "Harmonic Divergence" a lasting effect of "Angel: After the Fall"? It's this, not feeding on Andy Dick, that brought vampires to the public.
It couldn't be more different than Not Fade Away. LA is changed, people have seen the boogeyman and they remember. W&H's game was smacked down the way their army was. Angel is changed, Illyria is changed - more human, Spike is changed - god, all he went through in S:AtF, Connor is changed - died and back again. It's the kind of change I *wish* had happened to Buffy during After These Messages. Revelations, heartbreak, self-discovery and character growth.

It's not about the destination, it's the journey. Nothing's changed since NFA? Nuh uh.
Yeah, there's also a pretty damn big building that's just *gone* from Los Angeles now, that's a change. Brian, the Doublemeat reference is fantastic. Please, if you do any follow up "Angel" or "Buffy" writing, feature characters snacking on a doublemeat medley.
Because everyone's just gone back to how they used to be in the tv show. A better way to end it would've been to keep Gunn a vampire or kill him off, keep Gwen, Connor, and the others dead, and to run with the changes made in the comics.

For example, Connor's resurrection totally undermines his death--Angel never needs to mention or think of it again because Connor's ALIVE.

Frankly, a movie could pick up at the end of this issue and anyone who didn't read the comic would just think it was talking place right after NFA.
I have my copy.I'll post some general thoughts.

First of all,it should be pointed out that this issue is really the conclusion of Angel:After The Fall.Issue 17 is a coda and setup for the future of Angel.

Think Buffy Season 4 and Angel season 4.

The main arc of Buffy season 4 was wrapped up in Primeval.That concluded the whole whole Adam and The Initiative story of season 4 while the actual finale,Restlesss was a character driven coda and setup for season 5.

For Angel season 4,Peace Out was the big wrap up to the arc of the season with Jasmine and the finale,Home was a character driven coda and setup for season 5 of Angel.

That's basically the deal with Angel:ATF #16.It wraps up the main storyline of ATF.The final fates of Angel and his friends and the city of L.A. is concluded here in an action pact finale.Issue 17 will be a more character driven coda that takes stock of everything that has happened while setting things up for Angel:Aftermath.

As for how things are wrapped up here.I have very mixed feelings on how this is wrapped up.I do have some fundamental problems with things in this issue.Even the things that make me happy on the surface,underneath it,I have real problems with.It's sort of based on some of my past posts,it ties into that.I think the best analogy would be my feelings about Spider-Man One More Day and Brand New Day.Some of my MAJOR issues with Brand New Day have now happened here in this issue and it's provoking some of the same reaction from me.


Don't get me wrong,there is a lot I do like too.But this issue does sort of represent some of my major pet peeves and in a big way.

I think I really need to wait to see what happens in issue 17 and how events here are reflected next issue before having a final opinion on things.I think Brian is in a tough postion in wrapping up things and is not going to please everybody.But I do feel somewhat disappointed upon first reading.

For the record,I don't consider this a reset in the traditional sense and there is obviously going to be consequences to what happened in ATF which is why I think I really need to see what happens in issue 17.My immediate question is what happens now with Wolfram and Hart?I assume the shanshu is still in play since it seems the senior partners have cut there losses by returning L.A. from hell in order to save there investment(Angel).And Gunn is going to have to live with the memories of his actions.As Angel says,"Sorry Charles.It's not that easy."

But I do have some of the same problems others are having here.Again,Spider-Man:Brand New Day is a good comparison to my feelings here.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2009-01-21 22:08 ]

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2009-01-21 22:10 ]
If you honestly think a movie could pick up from here and viewers who didn't read "After the Fall" wouldn't be confused out of their minds, you *definitely* didn't read the book.
One you guys are forgetting, Angel and Spike now know that Buffy cares about them enough to send Slayers to keep an eye on them.
Are we potentially ganging up on Riker here? The Pat, King, Emmie tagteam might be just a bit unfair. Especially to someone who might not have read the issue yet.

[ edited by Emmie on 2009-01-22 18:47 ]
The mere physical facts about them are not the whole of them. Gunn is human, but changed. Angel is a vampire, but changed. Illyria is changed. Gwen and Connor are changed. You're basically trivializing character development.

Was "Anne" a reset? Was Buffy the exact same after she got back? It was only a minute or so she was gone, tops.

In fairness, if he hasn't read the book, he probably shouldn't be this convinced that nothing has happened, so, no, it's not ganging up.

Alpha, I'm not sure they'd take "concern" from it -- last time Buffy sent Slayers to LA, it wasn't to help them.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2009-01-21 22:09 ]
Connor's death lead to Angel and Wesley finding a way out of hell. Also, if you think Connor is going to the be the same after (a) he experienced death, (b) he fell in love, or (c) his first love was actually a traitor, then you have never been (c) heartbroken, (b) in love, or (a) killed.

Riker, did you read it?
How many times have we asked that question...
Yeah, I'm done arguing it, it's petty. I hope people enjoy it. More thoughts later, but I'm glad you guys could finally read it.
Enough times to assume the answer is "no."
Brian... would it be spoilery to tell us if there is even a *scene* involving Gwen and Connor in Issue #17? Or if Nina is in the issue? I know you had to cut some of her stuff.
Brian,I think that's what is ultimately going to save things for me hopfully.The fact this isn't a traditional reset and there are going to be consequences.We got hints of that in this issue with Gunn,Illyria and everybody in L.A. knowing Angel and remembering him and the events of Hel-A.

It's why I really want to read issue 17 before having a final opinion.I'm sure Angel:Aftermath is going to be picking up on a lot of this stuff too.The cover for Angel:#19 now makes a lot of sense.Angel is a legend now to everyone.
I have indeed read it.

Will Buffy finally make a cameo in #17?
I think that question killed the thread. *performs CPR on discussion*
I have to admit there does seem to be extreme wankiness going on here. Some of the behaviour here has been embarrassing to say the least. So if people are quite finished picking on each other, perhaps we could have a civilised debate. Next snarky comment I see will get deleted and so on and so on until I have to start banning people.
A lot of it is, of course, picked up on in ANGEL: AFTERMATH. And yes, issue 17 goes into much detail about how much the characters are changed. Angel and Spike together take up a big chunk of the book, and they have a pretty important talk.

I can say that I have been outlining possible continuations of the characters for some books down the line. Nothing's written in stone, but the characters are all different as a result of their journey in ATF. They're dealing with a lot of new emotions, new facts, new destinies. It's a ball.

Again, not sure what I'll wind up doing, but there's a lot of fun to be had with a lot of characters.
I want Spike and Angel to talk over a pair of Doublemeat Medleys. We know vampires can eat.
And bleach. And use product.

I'm starting to realize just how much havoc having these guys basically all back in play the same night as "Not Fade Away" plays on all our Twilight theories.

My Issue #17 wishlist...

No killing off of characters for whom there are still awesome stories to tell and about whom we didn't get enough story in "Angel: After the Fall" (*stares at Brian Lynch and mumbles Gwen and Nina*). It's probably too much to hope that nobody else gets killed off even in a coda, but it would be nice to see them survive.

Some meaningful Gwonnor conversation.

I'd like a good Angel-Lorne scene like the great ones in Season 2 and 3, but if he's going to have a "Damage"-like talk with Spike, that's good too.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2009-01-21 22:53 ]
I think I'll actually like this (largely because it sounds like it's playing into my own prejudices and I am an egotist, "ahfter" all) but one thing is bothering me. A lot of the premise is reminding me of Fritz Leiber Jr.'s Change War, whereby the two sides recruited their agents out of the past by excising them from a single moment in their lives, but leaving their future historically recorded lives intact because of frames of reference and conservation laws.

As Giles would say, "Geez!" things got nasty here while I was typing this post. Hope it's both passed and past by now :-).

[ edited by DaddyCatALSO on 2009-01-21 23:07 ]
I dunno if it's explained in the issue, but if WR&H don't want Angel dead, what's the point of sending him back to the alleyway to face their army? And why send their army back in NFA in the first place?
Well I'm glad I didn't read this thread until after I: (a). got the comic, and (b). read the comic. This issue was AWESOME, a fitting ending to an amazingly awesome series (I find myself afraid that issue #17 will take away my happiness at the moment, but I'll enjoy my giddy feelings for now). I love the idea that this all happened between reality (in a frozen moment in time) because that explains how Buffy and the rest of the world have all been completely clueless. I love the changes to Illyria (one of my all time favorite characters). I love that everyone in LA remembers the whole thing are are hero worshipping Angel. I love that Spiderman had no trouble picking out the true Obama (oops sorry, wrong comic). But of course I'm back to square one, wanting Wesley brought back to me.... Are we sure his Father didn't get the body to raise a Zombie Wesley? Please?

[ edited by embers on 2009-01-21 23:18 ]
Alpha... I can fanwank that -- W&H knew that the army wasn't anything Angel couldn't defeat, because of Illyria, but it was necessary to stall them so they could trap them in their hell dimension. Even though we knew they planned to make a stand, W&H couldn't assume they weren't going to take off.
Does this mean that Jeremy is alive now and all the people who died in Spike:ATF?
Haven't read it yet but having throughly spoiled myself reading this thread, I gotta say: didn't see that coming at all, not the way it sounds to me. Sounds damn interesting and I can't wait to read it, Brian.

(And now I'm probably going to have to eat my words and read Angel: Aftermath or whatever it's called, cause now I'm hoping Angel and Lorne at least have a talk about what happened in NFA. I've always kind of felt that storyline was given short-shrift in ATF).

And I must suppose that Lindsey's still dead, if Wesley is too huh?

[ edited by menomegirl on 2009-01-21 23:29 ]
Buffyfantic, I hope it does... in fact, it would be nice if the guy in "Civilians" brings the girl at the movie theatre some flowers and is nicer.

There's a very slim out to bring Lindsey back -- if he hadn't actually *died* when they went to Hell-A, he's still in that apartment, not dead, and could be found by someone and taken to the hospital. Wesley was definitely dead, though.
I've disliked most of the series for reasons both fair (it's been morally simplistic and the writing has been quite on-the-nose, particularly compared to e.g. the Buffy comic and Whedon's own writing in general; Lynch's original characters are boring, their voices uninspired, and they feel like a personal entertainment for the writer rather than necessary narrative elements; as I've said several times, I'm staggered that a storyline about the restoration of Angel's humanity has been dispatched so joylessly, so goddamn bloodlessly) and un- (I didn't really care about seeing any more of Angel's story after 'Not Fade Away,' so I was predisposed to indifference; I have decidedly mixed feelings about writers taking part in these conversations, not only because arguing with fans is pointless, but because it's a little tacky - which is, I'll say it again, just my own preoccupations/neuroses bubbling up and over).

I enjoyed this issue. Parts of it I loved. Urru knocked this one out of the park; Angel's tears were the best moment of the series for both writer and artist, though I think the pacing/layout of that sequence was bungled (seriously, you start the big reunion/payoff of the entire series with that flat-affect two-shot on an odd-numbered page?! IDW should've ponied up for an extra spread, or cut some of those fucking embarrassing cross-promotions at the back of the book, to give the moment the space it deserved).

But this is a relatively small complaint. Others are otherwise.

Riker's comments are off the mark, of course; the mythology bullshit is largely up-and-back, sure, but the characters are different from in 5x22, etc. That said, Gunn's story has been a mixed pleasure, and the reboot means we don't actually know anything new about him: he fears vampirism/loss of control, he lusts for power and respect, he loved Fred and deeply regrets the death and suffering he caused, he's afflicted with a not-too-subtle case of Lindsey-itis, a/k/a Angel love/envy (remember that Lindsey's last word was 'Angel' as well). Well, those things were all true in Season Five, modulo the overtness of the Lindsey comparison.

As for Connor, I do like the new, more or less well-adjusted moppet; that's a change worth exploring, though again, I'm not particularly interested in more Connor stories, though he'd be an excellent visitor to the Scoobies' story. Illyria ended up where I'd expected, indeed where she was headed at the end of Season Five - regretful/repentant, a blend of Fred and a kinda-male Old One. Wesley died beautifully on the show and never made any real impact in the comic, even in the largely soporific 'First Night' extras, but his departure in this issue hit some nice grace notes.

Spike was Spike and that's just fine. Lynch has been writing that character for a while and he's got the voice down.

As for Angel - well, Angel's the angsty noir detective recovering from an addiction to drink, and that's not an easy thing to make new. The way this series has handled Angel and Connor has grown on me, and I loved the ending of Angel's arc.

I dislike the issue-ending setup, at first glance, just as I'm irritated by the outing of the Slayers and vamps in the Buffy comic, but maybe I'll grow into both stories, assuming I bother to read Aftermath. The interview in the back of the issue increased my regard for Brian Lynch, but basically sucked out any interest I had in sticking with these comics. (The mention of a 'cat shifter' without context or elaboration screamed 'By a fantasy fan for fans of fantasy!' and I think I just threw up a little in my mouth.)

I'll likely go back and reread the whole series this month. I've reread some issues; they're better end-to-end than on a monthly schedule, as so many comics (and TV shows!) are now, but at day's end this has been a decent series that's veered, on more than one occasion, in laughable and/or lamentable directions. It's on par with Shadow Puppets, which was a broader-brush story and spent way too much time on 'cute,' 'clever' banter, but which had a beating heart and was energetically told. I've been sorely disappointed by After the Fall but haven't stopped reading, and the series has ended quite well, a couple of times equaling the show from which it gets its name; if that's not quite a recommendation, it's not a simple dismissal either. That's the best I can do. I'm happy to say that I think Lynch can do better, and someday I'll come around again to see if he has.
KingofCretins-I'm fairly sure Lindsey was as dead as a doornail (but then, I thought Warren was too). :)
Brian (if you're still reading), any idea when these are all coming out in some bumper book of Angel After the Fall? Or is there no future plan and I should get the individuals hardbacks?
All I will say here is WOW. Amazing issue.
I loved it. I'm not much for analyzing a story point by point, but I do agree with the points made by Pat and KOC. I totally got the changes in all the characters and never considered this a reset. Since I got my copy so early I had plenty of time to anticipate the 'omg it's a reset' reactions though. I loved the first page ... baby Connor and dying Connor. Very beautifully done and so poignant. And poor poor Wesley. I loved that last scene with Angel and Wesley. 'goodbye rogue demon hunter'. Wow. Wesley going quietly off to the carcass that was Illyria.
I can't tell you how happy I am that Angel's still a vampire and Connor's alive. I fell in love with that relationship on the show (even though Connor was an unlovable character - it wasn't his fault) and loved it even more in the comic. Can't wait to see Angel and Spike's talk. I hope they can come to some kind of truce or even 'friendship'. And I'm really looking forward to how Angel handles being in the spotlight. He's so used to lurking in the shadows that it'll be fun and interesting to see him forced to deal with the masses.
I'll get Aftermath because I want to see how the story continues. However, as a life long fantasy/sf fan I'm unsure about the 'cat shapeshifter'. Kind of got my fill of that reading Andre Norton (who I loved). But I won't prejudge and I'll buy the books.

Oh and Brian (if you're still here) what was your favorite scene - I can think of a couple ...
Thanks

[ edited by resa on 2009-01-22 01:15 ]
I'm thinking either the Wes and Spike talk or the Connor and Angel reunion.
I'm thinking either the Wes and Spike talk or the Connor and Angel reunion.

Pat, I agree. Those two scenes stood out for me the most (as well as Illyria's in the alley), and it seems like other people feel the same way. Has to be one of those two.
I loved the issue and thought it was a fitting way to tie everything back together. I was thinking that Connor's death was a bit too much... there's just no "win" for the team after that one, so I'm very glad to see the series where it is now. Can't wait for the final issue as it's all set up perfectly.

Thanks very much for the fantastic series, Brian.
Fantastic issue. Hands down my favorite of all. Thankfully Connor was returned to Angel. Poor poor Wes though, if it really is the end, we will miss him in the most horrible way.

Brian Lynch....you rule!
I'm thinking either the Wes and Spike talk or the Connor and Angel reunion.


Those or maybe Wes and Angel's goodbye???
Buffyfanatic; Yeah, I hope so; there are certain things Gunn did which I would also like to see remediated and this makes it plausible.

I'll have to wait until I see it to be unqualified, but it seems like a fittingly solid penultimate chapter.




And Connor, well glad he's still around to wear the rum colored shirt with darker cummerbund at the wedding where his official title will be something like Groom's Next of Kin . . . oh, sorry, just fugueing there for a sec. . . Dawn's dress is the shade between his shirt and cummerbund . . . oh dear, doing it again . . . as for Wesley and Willow . . . .
Dawn's going to be one of Nina's bridesmaids? Guess they started talking on email :)

What I want to see Connor do is run like hell to the Santa Monica Pier to find Gwen.
Any chance that 'Savage Sword of Groosalugg' will ever see the light of day?

Pretty please.
Buffyfanatic; Yeah, I hope so; there are certain things Gunn did which I would also like to see remediated and this makes it plausible.


Well,it's interesting because it makes Gunn like Angel and Spike but without being a souled vampire.We've never seen this before in the verse.So it's the same yet different.
Well,it's interesting because it makes Gunn like Angel and Spike but without being a souled vampire.We've never seen this before in the verse.

Howzabout human Darla?
You got a point although that was a very brief period.The first half of season 2.So it wasn't explored in depth the way Gunn can be now.But yeah,I forgot about Darla.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2009-01-22 03:29 ]
Buffyfantic for the win!
Buffyfantic for the win!
Brian Lynch | January 22, 03:28 CET


What would be interesting now is Angel and Gunn's interaction and Spike and Gunn's interaction.I'm particularly interested in Angel and Gunn.

For that matter,Connor and Gunn.

I do still have problems with elements of what happened but I do see the story potential in certain things as well.

Gunn's status post issue 16 is a good example of this.

It's a plotline that could be very interesting to explore.Another side of the journey Angel and Spike have been walking.But told in a different way.


It's why I really want to wait until after issue 17 before deciding on my opinion.And the beginning of Angel:Aftermath for that matter.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2009-01-22 03:48 ]
I think it's great that Angel FINALLY died to save everyone. What's that going to do for the brooding?
If you had told me at the end of '07 that we'd end here, I'd ask what the point of the book was.

That said, the last several issues have picked up so considerably that I thought the journey was wonderful. I was so happy to see where it was going, and to take in the panel of Spike in the rain. Really, I feel kind of giddy right now.

They all made it out of the alley, but there's so much drama to be had in the future. I can't wait for more Gunn/Illyria stuff.
I loved it, all of it.

I was genuinely angry when Connor died last issue because I felt like there was still so much of his story to be told. Glad he's still around.

I think it leaves the cast, LA, and the whole Buffyverse, in a very interesting place.

And that makes me wonder if it plays into the current events in the Buffy comic. Because if all of LA remembers spending months in Hell, it sorta explains how Hollywood would be so willing to make a vampire reality show without it being a big deal.
Well, if it is a 'reset' I'm thrilled. I never took to the Angel comics series and always wished they'd left NFA as the best ending of a story ever. 'Tis, of course, just my opinion.
Nothing wrong with a "reset" if it's dealt with respectfully. I can't wait for the last issue to see the repercussions and how it's all tied up. This has been a great series.
I'm still admiring the Garner cover and it's epicness. So... shiny... and after reading the issue, the expression on his face and his salute kind of says to me, "Catch you on the flip side..."

Anyway, I loved this issue to tiny little pieces. I was sad about Wesley bowing out, but he's at last going on into the afterlife just like he wanted, so it's all good.

When I first saw they were all back in the alley, I thought, "What, that's it? All those months in Hell-A... all the deaths... Connor, for crying out loud, just to end up back where they were?" But as it continued, I realised that things were different. Wolfram and Hart was gone, but most importantly, people REMEMBERED. Not your typical reboot at all.

Like some, I also thought that Connor's death was kind of a cop-out since they brought him back almost straight away, but 1) he was the straw that broke Hell-A's back and 2) I was just so happy that he and Angel were reunited that I didn't care. I was among the loudest of Connor's critics in season 4, but in my eyes he redeemed himself when he took out Sahjjan and fought alongside Angel against Hamilton. Plus he was great all through AFT.

Anyway, I too am eagerly awaiting to see the repurcussions on everyone now that they have to face up to everything they did. Because I think it's pretty safe to say what happens in Hell-A won't stay in Hell-A.
So, I almost burst into tears when I saw Connor back alive. Comics don't usually give me physical reactions, so yeah, awesome!
How 'bout those two opening panels, eh?
KingofCretins: Actually I wish I'd thought of Dawn and Nina becoming friends, sounds clever, thing is I really don't know Nina as a character (haven't seen S-5 and in AftertheFall I could never tell one femal character from another, it was just endless "Who's that?" moments throughout the run) and I was writing about that wedding I mentioned well before she was introduced.
Loved it. Especially loved the Connor reunion scene. Loved Connor's voice, and Angel's reaction.

Love that all the people remember everything, there's so much to think about.

Can't wait for more.
Fantastic issue - I felt like I was reading it forever. And in no way is that a criticism:)

I kinda guessed what the plan would be from the preview ( I can understand why they didnt want that revealed), but not the way it would be done. Reset? What freaking reset? It is *EXACTLY* in line with previous continuity. Hell dimensions run at different time scales to what happens on earth. They were sent to a pocket hell dimension. Time runs differently there. So going back to the time of the fight in the alley makes perfect sense, and actually follows what I said in the beginning. So those claiming reset. Na-uh guys. It ain't. If it was a reset nobody would remember anything, nothing that happened in Hell-A would have counted.But they do. *Everything* has changed now.


Brian describes the issue as 'world-changing'. Well it's definately 'city-changing' anyway. The city of Gotham knows Batman protects them,the citizens of Metropolis know Superman watches over them, and New York knows Spiderman will come to their aid - now Los Angeles knows it has its own protector. Angel the superhero:) *That* isn't huge? And feckin awesome! How different from the lonely vampire stalking in the shadows of Season 1.

Poor poor Wesley. He will be missed.

I love how Gunn still wanted Angel to kill him. He knew what he had done. He knew what he had become and what he did. He aint gonna be well next issue!

Yay Illyria. How changed is she? I cant wait to see what will happen with her next.

And YAY! Connor. So happy and relieved that Angel has him back! It doesnt undermine the emotion of last issue (for me anyway).


In a funny way I will miss Hell-A. It was a fantastic arc, and fantastic setting. but it is kinda relieving to be back in Los Angeles. Seeing the city again with that amazing shot of the dragon flying over it (and yes Brian would have been great to get a 2 page spread of that!) really feels like home for this gang.

So what's the deal with the Wolfram and Hart building?Things are going to get very interesting methinks!!

PS - we can now time the series can't we. It's still May 2004 in the comic:)
Wow. Okay. Now that I've actually read the issue, instead of relying on summarized spoilers, I have to eat my criticisms. I liked it best out of all the Angel: After the Fall issues, and possibly even better than Issue 4 of Spike: After the Fall. Real sorry about that textual eyeroll earlier on, Brian!

King and Pat are absolutely right that it brought about too many changes for it to be dismissed as a "reset" -- not least the disclosure of the supernatural element to the public. And even the problems I would have had with the character deaths are ameliorated by this exchange: "No. Leave me be. Please, let me die." -- "Sorry, Charles. It's not that easy." Reminds me of what D'Hoffryn said in Selfless: Never go for the kill when you can go for the pain. (One has to hope, though, that that's actually followed up in Angel: Aftermath.)

'Course, in this 'verse, you get joy and happy-teary right alongside the pain: Angel/Connor reunion. Most moving scene in the issue, and even moreso after Angel's acknowledgment of Connor as his "true love". Wouldn't this have made a great ending to the issue, if not the series? "In fact, it's kind of a happy ending, isn't it?" -- "I'm not sure... I've never had one before." Sniffle.

Now, I have to admit that Wesley's presence in After the Fall after his incredible death scene often felt like unjustified fanservice, and that, other than the few and far between Wesley/Illyria bits, he's competing with Spike for the least satisfying arc out of all the characters, but: his closing line here was perfection. "Yes. But so was she." There's never been any question in my mind that Fred had to be his "ever after", even though I'm going to miss Wesley/Illyria something terrible in the future continuations.

Other things I liked, writing-wise... the funny you managed to squeeze into so grave an issue. ("Illyria. Have you lost weight? See, because -" -- "Because I was a massive creature. I understand. It was a marginally successful attempt at humor." -- "Thank you?" Nyahaha!) The alley fight; much more exciting and atmospheric than the glimpse we got in First Night. The Doublemeat Palace! LOVE EET. I think I would like Buffy: Season 8 so much more if it ignored its pride just long enough to slip in an Angel reference or two, the way Angel: After the Fall and Spike: After the Fall have been doing all along.

The only things I'm unsure about are Westerberg's inclusion, which seemed more than a bit self-indulgent, and the lack of payoff for the Spider decapitation panel. What was the point of her character again?

On another note, the colouring was one of the first things that rubbed me the right way about this issue. It's positively breathtaking and by far the best in the series so far; no other issue even comes close. Vibrant yellows and reds and blues is what Hell should have looked like all along, not the washed-out browns we've had to tolerate for the past issues.

And art-wise, Urru outdid himself. His best work. I didn't like the double use of Wesley walking to Illyria's body, but he knocked all the rest out of the park, from the triumphant and eerie power-shot of "I'll live" to the adrenaline of "-- she won't have to" to the extremely emotional Angel/Connor hug.

10/10
Read it and I pretty much agree with everything Enisy just said (except I think Lorne had the least satisfying arc out of all the characters).

I know that Angel's supposed to be the big hero and all but I can't see him that way. I never will because somewhere in LA, Lindsey's still dead, Lorne is still a wrecked shell of a being and Angel is still a cold-blooded killer.
Ah, I didn't count Lorne, because he didn't really even have an arc...
I have to admit I was very upset when I first realized there was going to be a reset of some kind, but that quickly melted away into excitement about the potential this change has.

(Plus we lost almost all the characters from the beginning of AtF, we only had Angel, Spike and Wes left).

I am really wondering about Conner and Gwen, Gwen betrayed him, but it was circumstantial... I am wondering if he can, or should forgive her, or even if she needs forgiving. How many of our characters would have done exactly the same thing? It is very confusing!

Also Illyria, there is no hint of Fred left, all the characters know it. Is she still a threat? Possibly not. Even if she is, I'm sure the characters feel an incentive to keep her around.

I also love that this makes sense with Buffy Season 8 now, I was getting very worried about how everything was going to sync up.

Cheers Brian for making a truly awesome continuation to Angel! I almost feel like buying a hat to tilt towards you. Wondering if you can give us any information on your involvement in the upcoming arc or future arcs after Kelly's. Are you supervising her arc with Joss?

Sorry if this has been cleared up, and thanks again!
Joss isn't supervising Kelley's arc, from what she said on her forum. Dunno about Brian.
Enisy-I know he didn't. That disappointed me. I felt like it took something pivotal away from the events of Not Fade Away.
Soooo satisfying. Thanks BL!
I hate hate hate resets. They pretty much never work, and pretty much always take away from the story. That being said, loved it. Especially as it turned out not to be a full reset, vibes nicely with the things in Harmony comic too. And the rogue demon hunter was a nice touch.

Good wrapping to a decent run, I've had some heavy critisisms before, I fully agree with waxbanks on most points: it was a bit uneven run. Slow confusing start, some not so great moments, too many barely used characters (Nina, Gwen, etc.) and way too much text at places (my comic-enthusiast sister was wondering how I can read a comic with that much text). But, all in all a good run, one that really needs to be read in longer patches. Buffy comic only suffers a bit from single issue reading, but Angel almost feels like a different comic when read properly.

All in all a good comic. Still not good enough to make me want to rewatch Angel, that would require a full run of issues as good as this one, if even that would do it. But, easily good enough to purchase, now if they only brought out the damn TPB:s. I suppose it would have been better if I liked Angel the tv-series half as much as I do Buffy, now I could not just fanboy through the worse parts.
I know that Angel's supposed to be the big hero and all but I can't see him that way. I never will because somewhere in LA, Lindsey's still dead, Lorne is still a wrecked shell of a being and Angel is still a cold-blooded killer.

Nicely put. There was much to admire in AtF. But Brian absolutely lost me at "Lorne got his groove back." There was so much beautiful tragedy in Lorne's exit, its commentary about Angel, Angel's own commentary on himself (giving up on someone's possibility of redemption). Poof, gone.

On the reset controversy: I thought it was very unfortunate that Connor didn't stay dead. It was the one moment in AtF where it seemed like Lynch got the tragic sense of the series. But as this issue itself says, Lynch was all about giving Angel a happy ending for once. It just speaks to a very different understanding of what Angel the series was. I can see why people liked it. And it had its moments. But I'm of the mind that Angel's story really and truly ended in NFA. The continuation is about some other comic booky Angel, who is easier to root for, but not nearly so interesting.
This was a fun issue, easily the best in the series.

I'm one of the ones that hasn't liked After The Fall up to this point. I've found the story to be confusing, and the art is...well...nothing polite is coming to mind. But this issue was (mostly) clear as day, and it was quite an enjoyable read to boot. I don't mind the reboot, since I prefer to read about the characters in a real-world setting over Angel & Co. in some demon realm.
It really was a good issue, everything clicked.
Um...wowsers. That was beautifully played, Mr. Lynch. I did not see that coming. Like others, I at first was shocked/offended: "Oh my God, all of this, all of these comics, for us to BACKTRACK and NEGATE everything?!" And then realization dawned, and I thought it was brilliant.

This really was as good a conclusion as any I've seen in the Buffyverse, and I can't wait for the coda (especially since "Restless" and "Home" are two of my favorite episodes of anything ever).

Wesley had such a great end, and I'm actually overjoyed by the Angel/Connor stuff, which is not something I thought I'd be saying when the series started.

So, yeah. Loved it. Great job. It was fantastic. And I know that he planned it with Brian and everything, but I still wanna know what Joss thinks!

I'm gonna give Aftermath a shot in March, but like others, the mentions of "cat shifter" and "warrior angel" make me queasy. waxbanks said it perfectly, even though I disagreed with most everything else in his post:

"The mention of a 'cat shifter' without context or elaboration screamed 'By a fantasy fan for fans of fantasy!' and I think I just threw up a little in my mouth."

The Best Explanation of How Hell-A Worked You’re Going to Get, Until Brian or Joss Tell Me I’m Wrong

Section 1: Intro

“We were highly influenced by a movie that had come out recently. I won’t say it was ‘the Matrix’, but it was a foreign film called ‘the Flatrix’”.
-- Doug Petrie

The point here is to take what we don’t know about Hell-A and how it was resolved with what we do know about it, and find some explanation for it to all make sense. This is called “Fanwank”. What I find most people are having trouble with is coming up with a way to understand how everything about Hell-A could have worked out and people still have their memories and still be back to what they physically were when they went to Hell-A. After a lot of thought, I’ve come up with the best analogy to understanding it that I can – “The Matrix”.

Section 2: What We Know
“Why oh why didn’t I take the blue pill?”
-- Cipher

The basic physics of Hell-A and how they got out were laid out in Issue #16. Basically, what happened is that Wolfram & Hart took everyone in Los Angeles out of the timeline completely and put them in Hell-A. The point of this was to torture Angel forever without losing the Shanshu prophecy’s benefit, which is that he can eventually be the end of all that is good. To this end, they basically guarantee that they will continue to heal him so that they never lose him. To get out, Angel let himself be killed before W&H could stop it, thus requiring that the everyone get booted out of Hell-A to get Angel back physically. Doing this stripped W&H of so many resources that they appear to have lost their hold on Los Angeles, if not the entire dimension, and their building itself was erased from the timeline.

Section 3: Understanding What We Know

What’s important to realize is that for Wesley’s explanation to work, Wolfram & Hart’s supply of spare Angels was coming from his *future* timeline. Imagine that everything in a person’s past can be defined by a single line. Everything in their future is defined by infinite lines. Apart from the idea that Angel ends up doing the evil shanshu thing, and therefore eventually becomes human one would think, his future timeline contains infinite possibilities. So Wolfram & Hart could, for as long as they held him out of the timeline, replace him from his own future timeline. This is how Angel getting killed breaks their hold – he *ends* that timeline, takes away their supply, and forces them to reach backwards. Now, reaching back as they did, they reached back to the point before they took him out. By this, I mean they took him from the one/infinity-ith second before they took him out, which is essence the same as taking him from the exact moment they put him in Hell-A. It basically collapses Hell-A like a popped bubble, and everyone is reinserted into the timestream at the exact point at which they left, with all their memories intact.

Section 4: What We Don’t Know

“You think that’s air you’re breathing now?”
-- Morpheus

So, how do they have their bodies back? Where did they go? Why do they remember? How is this not a reset? The issue is very short on specifics, mostly because specifics are boring. They slow down the story.

Section 5: Explaining What We Don’t Know

Imagine, if you will, that the lives of all the people in this story are basically files. Their bodies and their minds, or just their minds, it doesn’t matter. Think of them as files, and existence as a computer, and the timeline as… the timeline. Every instant in time, those files are backed up, basically. What Hell-A can best be understood as is Wolfram & Hart’s version of the Matrix.

They created a moment out of time and put everyone in it. If you like, think of Hell-A as the Senior Partners’ “test server” for new evil products to unleash on the world. They can control the entire environment. Sun and moon up at the same time? Rain of fire? Seas of lava? Tentacles out of buildings? Limitless armies of demons? Whatever they need. And you can think of everybody they put in there as the people that are in the Matrix. What’s great about this comparison is that it works whether everybody *physically* went to Hell-A or if they were all frozen in time like in “Happy Anniversary” and their minds were sent to Hell-A. The upshot is that vampire Angel and Illyria as Fred and human Gunn are like Morpheus and Neo in the outside world with all the holes in stuff in them. In Hell-A, human Angel and vampire Gunn and all were like the “residual self-image” versions, except instead of putting themselves in sunglasses and cool jackets, they were stuck with whatever the Senior Partners gave them.

If Angel was injured, they would upload a new Angel from one of the backup files in the folder marked “Angel’s Personal Future”. When that folder was erased, they had to go to the most recent update in “Angel’s Personal Past”. And that basically crashed their server. Shut down the Matrix, like in “Matrix Revolutions”.

The reason everyone remembers is because they all experienced these events. They were simply restored physically to the state at that moment before they went to Hell-A, replacing simultaneously the people that were put in Hell-A. A good comparison could be made from the season premier of “Lost”, if you saw it.

The only other piece of evidence that makes “Angel: After the Fall” different from every other alternate dimension/time related story in the Buffyverse is that Wolfram & Hart’s building is gone. Whatever creating Hell-A and having it destroyed cost them, it basically revised their LA office out of the timeline altogether.

Thanks for reading this fanwank.
Buffy flirted with an "it was all a dream" idea in the episode "Normal Again" where she wakes up in the mental institution. Like that episode, I think ATF would have benefited greatly from a more open-ended and open to interpretation conclusion. I'm sorely disappointed, but that was not unexpected. Despite all of these supposed gigantic character developments, I don't think that any of these things really resonate and therefore they don't really matter. Angel's son died? Big whoop. He got over Buffy and Cordelia and Fred dying, and some of those people never (or at least shouldn't have) came back. Mystical death is laughable in the Buffyverse these days anyway. Furthermore, CONNOR IS NO LONGER DEAD. BIG HAPPY. And Connor's first love was technically Cordelia, though I guess that's arguable. Both of his relationships ended pretty tragically. ATF really lacked the supernatural/sci-fi opera elements of the TV series, even though the premise was great and the possibilities were endless.

I'm not looking for a thread war with Lynch and his mob. I just didn't like the book--and a lot of other people didn't either, apparently--and I have a right to have my voice heard as well.

This is a "Discussion" and not an "ATF praise" thread, after all.
Buffy the Slayer Layer, if you read the comments above, you'll see that several members have already enjoyed their "right" (ahem) to express something less than unqualified praise; but if you're trying to avoid a "thread war," whatever that is, you'd do better than to use phrases like "Lynch and his mob," which is, frankly, just plain disrespectful. Ta.
There is really nothing I can add to this discussion, but I really enjoyed this issue. I think it probably was the best in ATF, and I am looking forward to the final one. But I don't know about Aftermath. This writer seems really nice and everything, and she is possibly a great writer, I don't know. But I really dislike the fantasy elements.

There is a clear difference between Vampires & Demons and Angel Warriors. The only thing that ever strayed into that fantasy world was the Pylea arc, and that was alright because it was an alternate universe. But the cool thing about the Buffyverse mythology is that everything is underneath and embedded in the real world. A vampire in the shadows of LA is cool. A unicorn or somesuch, not so much.

I realize that the mythology is not the most important part of the buffyverse. First and foremost I watched, and now read, for the characters and for the thematic elements. But there is a point where the atmosphere can be ruined. Buffy S8 has been getting into this a little too much for comfort (that Dwarf springs to mind), and I think it is something that should be avoided.

In any case, I think I will at least try to read Aftermath, although the lack of Jossian involvement does turn me off of it, and I will give it a chance. I hope I'm wrong about it, because Angel's story is now just too good for it to end here. In the end, ATF was kind of a bad thing, in that it continued a story that had an ending, and while it is fantastic, that sense of closure at the end of NFA is now gone.
I'm actually very enthusiastic about "Angel: Aftermath". What's wrong with a "cat shifter"? What about the Buffyverse dictates that there can *only* be werewolves, and not any other type of shapeshifter? As for the idea of a warrior angel, I have no real problem with that, either. Indeed, I think it could be very interesting. There's nothing about the Buffyverse so far to rule out such a thing.
This is a discussion thread and as such, I'm going to have to disagree with you, Buffy the Slayer Layer. Connor's death mattered.

Connor was basically Angel's last hope. He as much as said so in NFA. Issue #15 took that hope away.

This was the child he should never have had, the child that Darla killed herself for, that Wesley betrayed Angel for, that Holtz stole away into a Hell deminsion.

Connor was Angel's flesh and blood and as a parent, nothing would have been more horrifying to the vampire than to lose him that way. Nothing.
KingofCretins:
It is just a question of atmosphere and personal taste. I personally have never liked the "Lord of the Rings" kind of fantasy, and I don't think it belongs in the Buffyverse. If you like that kind of thing, then that is fine. I also don't think that the mythology is as important in the long run. Like I said, I will give it a chance, and I may be surprised. My initial reaction, however, is one of wariness.

As far as Connor, I can't imagine Angel overcoming the loss of his son. The love between a parent and a child is much stronger than the love between a man and a woman. Angel loved Connor more than he ever loved Buffy or Cordy. Where he could bear their deaths, possibly even overcome them, the death of his son would have killed him. But then, I guess, it's not that easy.

[ edited by Giles_314 on 2009-01-23 02:15 ]

[ edited by Giles_314 on 2009-01-23 02:16 ]
Buffy the Slayer Layer; I honestly don't feel "Dr. Joss and His 'Bunche'" have ever killed off anyone who was later brought back except in circumstances (okay, not S-1 _BtVS_ Darla) where he made it clear they could easily be back, who later came back. Anyone (else) who died without that being at least quasi-obvious up front has yet to come back.

I was wondering; is Wesley any deader than Jennie or Tara or Jonathan?

KingofCretins: I agree; given the Jossverse's openess to multiple mythologies, I can't see how the only weres can be wolves. (In my "Children of the Dale" fics, Oz is married to a werepanther. You know how musicians are with the interracialism.)

Giles_314_; I actually do like that kind of mythology, but I agree its place in the Buffyverse is questionable at best.

[ edited by DaddyCatALSO on 2009-01-23 02:18 ]
The Angel series had a ending, but it didn't tie everything up. It just didn't have the time to do that. What do we have in ATF that gives the series a better sense of closure than NFA did?

* Team Angel caused some damage to W&H in NFA. Here, they've scored a real victory against them. Angel broke their plans and their LA office has disappeared.
* Angel started the series as a shadowy hero that didn't want himself known. Everyone knows him now, and is glad he's there - much like Buffy in season 3.
* Gunn finished his descent due to a lust for power by becoming a vampire. He wanted to be left to die in the alley. That's probably as low as he'll go.
* Connor is completely aware of his heritage, and is fine with it.

The coda will no doubt add more to that and pave the way for future stories.
Wank away King, I'm guilty too. My theory is that Wolfram and Hart sort of stole a moment out of time. Just the one, but they could make it last forever if they wanted to. And as long as Angel lived, no matter what shape he was in, they could reset the moment as often as they liked. If he died, however, their resource was used up, and they had no choice but to reach backwards to get him back. I don't think they could grab future Angel's, because of the static nature of their mojo. There is no future if all that exists is the one frozen moment. I do like the analogy to backup files though, I get it. And I'm not trying to argue with you at all, I just have a slightly different perception. :)
Also, as long as we're fanwanking (thanks for defining that term, btw, I really wasn't clear on what it meant.) I have another theory that W&H screwed up royally - I think that they might have caused the Shanshu to be fulfilled after all, and now it's no longer applicable. More on that below, 'cause I'm gonna be lazy now and just paste my thoughts from Slayalive:





I'm just floored. It's perfect. Perfect! I put it off until today, partly because I wanted to finish re-reading the entire series for the big conclusion, and partly because I had that queasy dread that the last several issues have given me - I was afraid to find out. But now that I've read it (twice, without pause) I'm totally, daffily ecstatic.


The reset: What reset?? This is in no way a reset of anything. Angeliclestat made an excellent point about time flowing differently in different dimensions, and everything that happened in LA occurring in a pocket hell dimension. Angel spent 100 years in a hell dimension once before, while only months passed in his home world. This time all of LA was gone for months that took up only an instant in 'real' time. It happened so quickly that the rest of the world never even noticed, but the time ratio is very similar. Everything that happened in Hell A still happened, and all of it's chock full of bold new consequences. The events that happened in hell changed every single person who experienced them, and that in turn will change the world.


As for our heroes, I couldn't be more delighted that they're alive, and presented with all kinds of exciting new ways to grow. I have no doubt Gunn will make it. Why kill him when it'll be so much more fun to watch him deal with all the nasty things he did? And Gwen will also have some atoning to do, as well as some awkward reconciling with Connor. And Angel has to face the horrors of being in the limelight, while finally getting to have a real, loving relationship with his son (at least for a little while, please?)


There are so many amazing thing about this issue it's just staggering. I love Angel's description of his son as the love of his life. And the juxtaposition of the two panels on the first page; the birth and the death of Connor - Fred's legs visible in the first one, a poignant reminder. I love Gunn's lucid moment of respect for the grief he's caused, and Spike's adamant "Not now. Leave them be." And my very favorite: "Your world ended! You're beaten and your tired and your future is hopeless! That's when you stand up. That's when you fight back." - in a nutshell, why Angel is my favorite character in the verse, and my greatest personal hero.


I teared up on the first panel and pretty much stayed that way throughout. This was such an emotional issue, and I too felt like it lasted forever. The tender final farewell between Wesley and Angel, and Wesley's quiet relief at passing on. Spike dropping his weapon, utterly and nakedly dismayed, to run to Angel's side - "What the hell is that?". Gunn begging to die, and Angel's compassionate face as he denies him. The tilted, off balance panels of Angel bursting into tears and grabbing onto Connor, clutching for all he's worth, like any parent would clutch at their child snatched back from the jaws of death. The pulse pounding adrenaline when I realized that this was it! After all this time, we finally get to see exactly what happens in the alley! Oh, frikkin,' squee!!!
And for once, for now, a happy ending. I could quit reading now and be totally satisfied. But I won't.


And Oh. My. God. The art!! It's really difficult for me to separate the art from the writing. Ever, really, but especially in this issue - it all just works together so seamlessly, but there is some gorgeous stuff going on here that I can't help but goggle at. The beautiful colors, and all that pretty pretty fire, and magma! How cool is that? Angel and Gunn alone, Hobbit style on an island of rock in a sea of magma. And the look of peace on Angel's face as he drops his sword for the killing blow is just stunning. And the spread that follows.....livid, beautiful and so damn fluid I wanted to squirm away from the page before that follow through could lop off my fingers. And did anyone else notice the shadow of Angel's head imposed over the blood spatter on Gunn's shirt? Brilliant! And the other spread, in the alley, - "I'll live." - is positively electrifying.


I could (obviously) go on rhapsodizing, but I'll try to wind it down for now. There is one more thing though. Angel has been human, and died as one. He has lived until he died. Is it possible the Shanshu prophecy has been fulfilled? I never thought his being human in Hell A had anything to do with the Shanshu, but now I think the terms of the prophecy have been technically fulfilled. "It's his reward" was just Wesley's interpretation, not necessarily correct. I may be totally off, but I think it might make the story more interesting to toss the prophecy. To have the future wide open again. And anyway, what more does Angel need with a reward? He has a son who loves him.


I can't wait to read the denouemont, and the Aftermath. This reboot opens up whole new vistas of storytelling and character development. I expect Gunn's spankin' new struggle will be all kinds of dark and ugly. As buffyversefanatic pointed out, he'll be dealing with the sins of his demon just like our souled vamps, except without the vamp part. And Gunn's always been so certain, so black and white in his viewpoints, he's not really familiar with self-doubt, not to mention self-loathing. At least not until he killed Fred. And this time, he doesn't have the luxury of locking himself in a hell dimension to suffer for his crimes. He'll have to face them, and that's where Angel really shines - walking souls back from the precipice of their own evil. I look forward to that relationship.


I'm also dying to find out Wolfram and Hart's next move, after having their a$$es so thoroughly handed to them.

[ edited by birdandbear on 2009-01-23 06:40 ]

[ edited by birdandbear on 2009-01-23 06:42 ]
'Lynch and his mob' may be meanspirited or wrongheaded or whatever, but purely as phrase-turning it earns an A+!!
I didn't mean any disrespect... it just sounded fun :)
Another great issue and I love how it leaves the characters. So much potential to explore for each of them. Great job by both Brian Lynch and Franco Urrru. Thank you.
I totally agree with Buffy the Slayer Layer. You pretty much captured my thoughts perfectly. Here's hoping Aftermath gets on with telling us what REALLY happened after the battle in the alley.
Well technically I guess, the events of After the Fall happened during the fight in the alley. ; )
birdandbear,

I expected After the Fall to be a continuation of ATS, not leave us back at the end of the tv series.
There is no definition by which what we have read so far isn't a continuation of the televised seasons. What we've seen so far is a completely rule-changing story that all took place in a very short amount of objective time.
I just want to leave this here because Brian Lynch is going to be a gentle enough lover to read this.

I thought Not Fade Away was the best ending to any tv show I have ever seen. I am watching Six Feet Under in the hopes that it will be equally greatcrazy. Greazy. Wait. .

This being said, I really enjoyed After the Fall for what it was--despite the fact that it adds something else on to something already perfect. Great writing and junk, mr. Lynch.
I didn't mean any disrespect... it just sounded fun :)


It wasn't. And you've been warned in the past about your behaviour so this is your final warning. Anymore comments like that and you're out. Remember that posting on a privately owned site is a privilege not a right.
klavo, as mindblowing as "Not Fade Away," Six Feet Under's finale, "Everyone's Waiting," is even better. It still gives me chills just thinking about it.
The love between a parent and a child is much stronger than the love between a man and a woman.


Respectfully, Giles_314, I believe that this is an opinion and not a fact.
UnpluggedCrazy, "Everyone's Waiting" is fantastic. I wouldn't put it in the same ballpark as "Not Fade Away," but it's definitely a far second for best finale ever.
SFU had a much better finale--unlike Angel, it didn't end on a cliffhanger.
Angel didn't end on a cliffhanger either. ;-)
I just got and read issue 16 today. While I enjoyed it and it's twist at the end, I found myself thinking:


Wait, wait, wait -- that temporal door swings both ways, baby!

And what do I mean by that? Well, if they can pull a Angel from the older timeline, then they'd be able to pluck one from the future. Why is this important? Well, it means that they are physically picking one from the passed and thus would not have ever experienced the future and would have no memories of the events that occured. So to me, it's baffeling every last single person in LA, including our puffy-haired hero Angel, retains their memories.

And if Wolfram & Hart have the power to go back to that past, why didn't they just take his body instead of letting events occur again? Wouldn't they figure Angel might win this time and prevent the Hell towm?

And, damnit, poor Wesley! Seems some character get more than their fair share of the Whedon Character Mental Torure Device 2000.


So, after issue 17, will that be it? Will there be anymore Whedon written plotted issues?
It absolutely did, UnpluggedCrazy. The fate of the four remaining characters was left up in the air til ATF. That's absolutely a cliffhanger.
That's kinda like saying "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" ended on a cliffhanger. Because, if Angel's story hadn't continued, with Joss in the position of needing a way for him and the Fang Gang to get out of that alley in order to continue it, there was no cliffhanger because they didn't get out of that alley any more than Butch and Sundance got out of that ambush.
RIKER, I believe Joss said it best in response to NFA being a cliffhanger: "People kept calling it a cliffhanger. I was like, 'Are you mad, sir?'"
Joss can say what he wants because he's the boss, but that doesn't mean the entire audience agrees/interprets it the same way. It was more of a cliffhanger than Who Shot JR to me.

And sorry Rowan, never seen Butch Cassidy (eww westerns!), so your comparison is lost on me. :-(
I'm sorry but there is waaaaay too much to read, and I really just want to say how this arc kicked major ass, and had it been a real season of "Angel" it would have blown the rest away.

Now I don't know if anyone has commented on this yet, but since "Buffy" season 8 takes place during and after "Angel" season 5, does the restoration of L.A. and everyone remembering, plus Angel's fame,give us a nod to Buffy's current situation?

I'm thinking Harmony's fame may somehow catch team Angel's attention, and maybe we'll finally get some proper Buffy/Angel crossover action this season.
Wow, all I can say after wading through this thread so far (much of it full of great insights, don't get me wrong) is that I appreciate the whedonesque moderators mightily. Mightily.

The issue satisfied the hell out of me. What Angel & Co. experienced in Hell-A will stick with them in ways large and small...Oh, the pathos of it all.

Thank you, Brian Lynch. I'm really looking forward to the "coda."
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is a really awesome movie.
A couple of things I don't think have been addressed yet: Everyone is acting as if Wesley's back to being dead, but he wasn't alive in AtF in the first place. He wasn't "brought back" due to the circumstances of Hell-A, he was brought back because he was still under contract to Wolfram & Hart. Whether or not W&H are still viable enough for that contract to matter is up in the air, but if they are, then Wes is still in an eternity of servitude.

And secondly, I'm pretty sure that Harmony's biting of Andy Dick was the catalyst for the outing of vamps to the world, but that AtF had outed them to LA already, which paved the way for her reality program, due to the issue of when these things are taking place. I believe Buffy S8 skipped a year, so that they are taking place at the same time a hypothetical Angel S6 would be taking place. Which means AtF precedes it, but Los Angelinos were probably not being super forthcoming about being in Hell.

Also, Not Fade Away was only a cliffhanger in the sense that it literally cut off mid-action, but the implication was clearly that they were not going to make it out. Much like Butch & Sundance.
Also, Not Fade Away was only a cliffhanger in the sense that it literally cut off mid-action, but the implication was clearly that they were not going to make it out. Much like Butch & Sundance.


I agree that it was pretty clear that they weren't going to survive, but the beauty of the ending was that you could choose to live in denial and decide for yourself that they somehow would prevail ... that's what I did for all those years - and look - I was right :)
Reading it very late, but wow, it was awesome! loved it - the writing, the art, the colours, everything. I am blown away, and looking forward to seeing the repercussions! woot! thanks Brian. :)

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