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February 25 2009

(SPOILER) Discuss Angel #18. This is the first part of Kelley Armstrong's 'Aftermath' arc.

No one's read it yet? Come on King and Patxshand.
"Aftermath" opens with the discovery that Angel is... kinda bored. He Can't Go Home Again, it turns out. It's been said that this is often true for most people. He isn't suffering the existential ennui of early Season 5, but he's just sort of morose that he can't quite go back to helping people like he wanted.

Most of his time, in fact, is spent fending off assassination attempts by really meager hitmen from the (in my opinion) rather meager demon lords (those guys who wouldn't fight on their own behalf 5 on 1 against Angel and in every way fail to be intimidating in the way of a Sebassis).

Connor is happy and functioning, and he and Angel get along, but as young men often will, he wants to make his own way a little, not just be the "and Son" next to Angel. So, he's out. Gunn is recuperating, and driving around in a way fancy car with (Gwen? Illyria?), so he's out. Spike is brooding in a single panel so, he's apparently also out. Lorne appears to be building a new version of Caritas. Angel is lacking any real help with reopening Angel Investigations... until Kate finds him.

Angel and Kate are a dynamic I've always liked, as friends, quasi-love interests, and adversaries. And it continues here. Without meaning any insult to Brian Lynch, the banter between Angel and Kate over the "screening process" (Angel Investigations is so in-demand people pretend to need help in order to get him to show up) and the running gag of autograph hungry fans chasing him around is actually the most comedically Whedonish stuff in "Angel" since "Smile Time". Imagine a cross between "Superstar" and the teaser to "Conviction", and you're there. Couple that with some hints of Buffy, Xander, and Dawn and the "... this is the group" vibe from "Beneath You", and you have it.

Everything looks kind of bad for the new Angel Investigations, though, since they have no room to work, can't screen clients, etc. But, Connor comes back, part-time. They also have two mysterious magical allies who just scream "secretly mystical PTB representatives" -- maybe they're the "warrior angels" in disguise, a la Delroy Lindo and Holly Hunter in "A Life Less Ordinary". But, they want to help Angel, throw the authority of the city behind making his job easier. They want Angel to round up mutated humans affected by the mystical "fall out" of going to Hell-A. It's unclear if they think it's Angel's fault or not.

The agency is apparently open in a church, and I'm not quite clear why. I mean, it's cool, but we have the Hyperion, don't we? So I don't know where it is that Angel's asleep when Dez shows up to try to kill him.

I actually think this is a pretty good issue. My feelings are much like Angel's -- it's like we're almost back to the beginning, but it's like his whole universe shifted a couple inches to the left or right.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2009-02-25 21:07 ]
Oh thank God somebody posted a review here. Was beginning to wonder. :)
The church setting sounds a bit odd. Angel would be very uncomfortable there. But I imagine that's why the Hyperion's out. Too many memories of lost friends - Wes, Fred and Cordy. Still why a church? I'm sensing a theme connected by Warrior Angels, a church and the PTB. Angel should have set up headquarters underneath the post office if he wanted to be closer to the on-high in the 'verse.

This is speculation on my part as I haven't read the issue yet. Just read a bunch of spoilers.
Lucky,Lucky,Lucky me

I was able to get to my shop today afterall,didn't think I would be able to, and got my copy of Angel #18.

And I agree,it does have a very season 1 vibe but instead of Angel,Cordy and Doyle/Wes it's Angel,Kate and Connor.

Angel feels he's redeemed his past and wants to get on with his life especially now that he doesn't have to hide he's a vampire to the world. He feels he has a new beginning and wants to get back to what he did when he first came to L.A. which was help the helpless instead of just dealing with the pissed off leftover Hell-A demon lords.


Kate joins up with him in re-opening Angel Investigations and Connor does as well but on a part time basis since he wants to prove he can make it on his own too and make his own money.

Gwen has been trying to contact Connor but he refuses to speak to her.

We also learn from Angel that Gunn is trying to get better.It seems Gunn and Illyria are hanging together.We see them in a car on a freeway.I suspect how we get to this will be revealed in the Gunn story by Brian.

Angel dosen't know what Spike is up to and Lorne is trying to put his life back together.It looks like Lorne's bought a cafe.

The new base of Angel Investigations is an old church with underground tunnels.

The only problem is the public keeps mobbing him,wanting autographs,to be rescued by him etc etc.

The City Councle has put together a commitee to handle the fallout of Hell-A.Two members with magical abilities approach Angel with a job offer to help deal with that.Angel is reluctant at first until Kate suggests a city ordinance for a city wide restraining order against the public to allow Angel to do his work without crowds following him everywhere.

The job they want Angel to handle is that a small group of people came back from Hell-A nuts/feral and they want team Angel to round these people up so they can get the help they need

I suspect there is more to this that will be revealed.

Thoughout the issue the werecat/shapshifter is stalking Angel and at the end of the issue sneaks into his room while he is sleeping intent on staking him.


I really like the friendship between Angel and Kate in this issue and the interaction between Angel and Connor.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2009-02-25 21:28 ]
Okay, when I read about the nuts/feral post Hell-A people, I immediately thought of Reavers, which made me grin. I like the idea of returning to the world of season one, except that everything has gone askew. I mean cockeyed.
Setting up in the church was Kate's idea. Angel was hesitant but didn't put up a fight on the subject. Being that he's Angel, he might actually like it a bit -- we know that vampires can at least temper their reaction to the cross, like Spike did in "Lies My Parents Told Me".

Probably the only line that rang false was the idea that Angel thinks he's redeemed his past -- that is a direction contradiction of "Orpheus" if you take it at face value. Right now, I'm fanwanking that as him thinking he's redeemed the mistakes of going to Wolfram & Hart.
I like the idea of the church although I'll miss the hotel.

Kelley Armstrong has talked about the idea of Angel being redeemed now in some interviews.That might be a big part of this storyline.It could just mean that Angel is not going to focus anymore on trying to make up for his past crimes as Angelus since he really can't and is going to instead focus on the here,now and future by helping people.

Taaroko,the Reaver comparison is a good one although it does seem these people have enhanced strength.I wasn't real clear if they are super strong or just so nuts/feral that there adrenaline is making them appear stronger than normal.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2009-02-25 21:55 ]
How's the art?
I liked the art.Very different style from Franco's though.
my question is, why are Buffy and Angel, or Buffy and Spike trying to locate each other?
Angel thinks he's redeemed his past completely? Does that mean he's not feeling very guilty?
I like the art quite a bit. I'm sure the regular array of complaints will pour in. I will admit that Kate wearing a tactical vest but a bare midriff is a bit much.

Mikey B -- because Buffy is not the single most important thing to tell a story about in Angel or Spike's life, and vice versa.

Emmie -- the whole thing calls to mind "Amends" -- "Because, sir, to be blunt, the last time you became complacent about your existence it turned out rather badly."

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2009-02-25 22:19 ]
Mikey, Joss said that he's being a bit hands-off with the crossovers because Spike and Angel are owned by another company, but that "he won't wait forever". That's on a meta-textual level. My textual explanation for the lack of contact is that, last Spike and Angel heard of Buffy, she had moved on from them (The Girl in Question) and didn't trust them (Damage), so they must be feeling comfortable enough doing their own thing.

Could someone point out to me what happened in Angel: After the Fall to "redeem" Angel? 'Cause that makes the kind of sense that's... not.
Well, death. Maybe that was too obvious to be seen in that context. Angel was killed, though. He saw all that he had built through his mistakes (if you limit the scope to going to Wolfram & Hart) fall to ruin, all his purposes thrown aside, Connor gone, Gunn gone, Cordy gone, Wes gone, Fred gone, and then he himself died in arguably the (second) most overt messianic metaphor of the Buffyverse.

But, I agree, if he's coming to the idea that he's just totally cool now for everything prior, that's a problem.
Could someone point out to me what happened in Angel: After the Fall to "redeem" Angel? 'Cause that makes the kind of sense that's... not.

a. He let himself get killed for a second and that takes care of it.

b. Redemption? Why would Angel need redemption?

c. Buffy feels more for him, and that's all that matters.

d. All of the above.
King, that's exactly what I'm thinking. Complacent Angel leads to badness.

Enisy, yeah where did this redemption come from? *scratches head* Hamnoo?

Considering Angel's responsible for sending LA to Hell, I'd say at best he broke even. Yeah, he messed up the Circle of the Black Thorn, but he also gave the millions of residents in Hell-A memories of death, rape, torture and..Hell. On a generous day, broke even. But since when does Angel go easy on himself? This guy has trademarked self-flagellation. Angel without guilt is no bueno for me in my characterization book. OOC plus extremely dangerous.
Maggie, Angel didn't have a sure thing when he got killed in Hell-A. It was his and Wesley's best guess, but it wasn't a sure thing.

Emmie, it's one line. OOC and extremely dangerous are probably not the impressions you'll get from the book itself. It's not a hard line to buy back. It's not like Star Wars fell apart when Obi-Wan said that preposterous "only the Sith deal in absolutes" thing.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2009-02-25 22:30 ]
Caritas is back? Awesome! =D
Not Caritas itself, but Lorne is opening a cafe. Odds are, it'll have a karaoke machine.
You know your Star Wars refs fly right over my head. My ticket has been punched for Buffy geek fandom refs only. You speaka my language? ;)
Well, Buffy's had stinky character/continuity lines that are easy enough to buy back, too. I can't think of any off hand, though.
Right, so Angel, who has lost everything and who consequently lets himself get killed with his best guess being that he'll get resurrected and everything that he's lost will be restored to him, has thereby redeemed himself from all his sins as Angelus, mindwiping his friends, selling out to Wolfram and Hart, killing Drogyn, executing Lindsey, and leading a suicidal mission that has no shot at changing things but which does get LA consigned to hell for several months. When you put it that way, you're right... it's obvious.
When you put it that way... it's obvious... that you didn't read either of my posts on the subject.

Maybe that was too obvious to be seen in that context. Angel was killed, though. He saw all that he had built through his mistakes (if you limit the scope to going to Wolfram & Hart) fall to ruin, all his purposes thrown aside, Connor gone, Gunn gone, Cordy gone, Wes gone, Fred gone, and then he himself died in arguably the (second) most overt messianic metaphor of the Buffyverse.

But, I agree, if he's coming to the idea that he's just totally cool now for everything prior, that's a problem.


Which I posted before your initial reply.

Look, you haven't read the book. Not saying "don't discuss it until you've read it", but don't just assume the people who have don't "get it" and you do. You're assuming completely erroneously that Angel runs through the whole book as if he's never done anything bad ever and is just the bestest cheeriest smug little bastard of a vampire ever. That is not the case. It is one line, and it's in the context of the initial exposition, the point of which is to establish that Angel has all the big wild "fighting against fallen powers, running evil law firms, getting people sent to hell" stuff done and wants to get back to his old work of helping people one at a time and is finding it hard to do.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2009-02-25 23:00 ]
My reading of the line,and I just read the issue a second time,is that it's just the idea that Angel is focusing on the here and now of just trying to help people rather than worrying about some form of cosmic redemption.

I think it really brings Angel back to where he was at the end of the Beige Angel arc of season 2.Not worrying about achieving redemption,just helping people to help.Which is why he went to work for Wes,Cordy and Gunn rather than having them come back and work for him.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2009-02-25 23:09 ]
Any word on how much involvement Joss has on this? Still not sure whether to buy into it as canon, or skip it as glorified fan fiction.
I agree. It's sort of a combination of "City of..." Angel and "Epiphany" Angel, with a dash of "Get It Done" Spike, all put together and dropped into the role of Jonathan in "Superstar".

Is it time for the canon argument now?

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2009-02-25 23:16 ]
King, didn't Maggie give you an adequate counter-argument to the "Joss has always explicitly said ..." thing a while ago? :P

But yeah, the mods probably won't approve of the canon talk.

[ edited by Enisy on 2009-02-25 23:15 ]
Is it time for the canon argument now? I say it is.


I'm enjoying the sensation of people discussing the issue. It's nice and I like it. Because if we keep getting bogged down on the canon issue everytime I post a "discuss Angel #x" thread on the front page then I'm not going to bother.

Though if someone wants to write a serious lj/blog entry about the canonity of the Angel comics, let me know and I'll quite happily link to it for those who want to discuss the topic.
I edited out my initial argument.
I haven't got round to reading the issue yet but isn't it a good thing that Angel thinks he has redeemed himself? It's what he has been working towards all this time. It doesn't necessarily mean he won't brood anymore:

1)His past has a tendency to come back and bite him in the ass from time to time.

2)Some of his helping-the-helpless work might be the cause of some more (only this time, he might be able to deal better and the brooding sessions may get shorter)

3)He's Angel - he will find something to beat himself up for.

And complacency is only dangerous when it leads to the Big Happy, so I don't really mind as long as there's that little bit of depression keeping him from pure bliss and 'Grrr'-ness.

But I guess I'll wait until I read the issue to see what to really make of it.

[ edited by Shep on 2009-02-25 23:20 ]
Angel feels he's redeemed his past and wants to get on with his life..

Oh. Really? Y'all are kidding, right?
re: Angel's redemption. Go back and watch our interview with Brian Lynch and I think you'll gain some insight as to where Angel's head was at when ATF ended. Angel isn't completely redeemed but, while visiting Gunn in the hospital, he did realize that he couldn't blame himself for the things Angelus does. That realization did bring him his own kind of redemption and even a little peace. That's what made ATF so great. Even after the dreaded reset Angel (and everyone else) is forever changed. I'm so glad Kelley is keeping that character growth in mind here. I think the line is Angel's way of telling himself to put the past behind him and focus on what he needs to be doing now: helping people and, perhaps even more importantly, bonding with Connor.
King, the second part of the argument was just there for rhetorical flourish. The first part, spelling it out for you nicely, is that when the guy has nothing left to lose, and he lets himself get killed because he thinks it's a good bet that he'll get resurrected and will get everything back as a result, it's not obviously a big messianic sacrificial death situation. More like a hail mary.

And no, I'm not going to read the book. Nothing said in this thread suggests it's worth the coin.

[ edited by Maggie on 2009-02-25 23:54 ]
I'm afraid this seemed very tame to me, all of Brian Lynch's issues seemed to go from dire to more dire, right up until his resolution. I'm not sure if I'll be continuing with this series or not. Basically I'm really missing Brian Lynch (and Franco Urru too).
project bitsy-Should Angel then hold himself blameless for the things he's done since he moved to LA?
Not at all but he also shouldn't take everything on his shoulders as though everything that happens around him is somehow his fault.
I think I'm with Maggie and embers on this one. Don't think I'm gonna be doing this one.
The exact quote is --

"As much fun as it is, chasing down scumbags like you... I don't feel I'm really making a difference any more, you know? I've redeemed my past, and am coming to terms with my possibly uncertain future. So now what?"

This actually invites the interpretation that he's only talking about this in the context of "things he's spent time using as his sense of purpose". In fact, it's almost certainly exactly what he's talking about. In a later discussion (he's actually talking to hitmen he's beating up in these scenes) he continues "Everything's changed again. It's simpler now. Quieter. Like when I first came to L.A." The vampire he's fighting asks...

VAMP: So what did you do then?
ANGEL: What?
VAMP: What'd you do then? When you first arrived? Do it again.
ANGEL: Now that's an idea.

So, the thing only comes up in the context of Angel looking for what to do with himself, and a reason to do it. On further reading, it's a completely overblown statement. His driving motive throughout the issue is that he wants to do good, help people, and doesn't know how in this new setting. He has not become complacent about his existence.

Honestly, it's silly at this point to miss a writer or miss an artist or know for sure this won't be worth your time just reading other people's discussion.

So far, the tone of "Aftermath" is much closer to the tone of the earlier seasons of "Angel" than anything in "Angel: After the Fall" was. This is much more like TV series writing, that was much more like epic-movie writing. And, oddly enough, when that series started everybody was ripping his writing to pieces, too.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2009-02-26 00:46 ]
Totally agree, King. Brian talked about this a bit too. By the time Kelley ends her run people will be saying Oh, I miss Kelley! and I won't be reading the Angel comic now that Kelley is gone.
So Angel is going to have another epiphany? I don't think you can top season 2's.
It doesn't seem really much like he needs one. The guy just comes off as a bit restless. Kate pulls him in the "reopen AI" direction, Connor coming aboard convinces him its the right thing to do, and while it's not explicitly stated, I think these two magical bureaucrats (I think angels in disguise) show up with a job offer, I think he has found a mystery to dig into. It reads a whole lot like this is the season premiere of a hypothetical Season 6 (not the one Joss was planning originally), and that between Season 5 and Season 6, there was a 4 hour miniseries/full length feature/"24: Redemption" TV movie called "Angel: After the Fall".

The more I reread it, the more I like it.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2009-02-26 01:03 ]
This is how Armstrong described Angel's situation in her interview:

"Angel is the classic tormented hero. He’s the guy with a past that he’s always trying to overcome. With the events of After the Fall, though, he’s finally paid his dues. So now what? That’s the big question. He’s spent most of his life fighting, and that’s really all he knows how to do. The forays he’s made into interpersonal relationships haven’t worked out that well. He doesn’t have a wish-list of places he’d love to visit or hobbies he’d love to take up. So when he’s finally fulfilled his mission, he’s going to be a bit lost."

http://popculturezoo.com/archives/1940

That interview, plus Whedon's non-involvement pretty much decided me on this. It's taken everything that was interesting about Angel's story and dumped it.
Well, have fun with that.

Whatever she said in her interview, it is emphatically not what has come across in the book so far.
I'm very much looking forward to asking Kelley what she meant by that quote. The book is very good so far and Angel definitely still has those dark, tormented undertones.
I guess a lot of my frustration/disappoint is that they have all been through a harrowing experience, and then... nothing. I mean Gunn turned into a vampire and the experience made him completely insane, and now to 'deal with it' he is driving around in a sports car? Really? That's it? Seriously? Everyone remembers what happened but no one is traumatized? I'm sorry, but seems like a let down to me.
Overall, I was impressed with the issue. For a first issue in an established series with a new writer AND artist, I was impressed with Kelley's writing and character voices (for a first effort), and Dave's art was good for the most part.

Some really interesting stuff was set up and I am really excited to see what happens next.
Embers, I didn't say he looked happy. It's from a distance, but he looks pretty sober. If it's Gwen with him, it's probably her car, since she's stinky, stinky rich.

If it is Gwen with him, that's probably not the best way to go about getting Connor back, seeing as Gunn is the guy she sold him out to help -- well, as a vampire, but still.
Gunn is also the guy who killed Connor.

I hope people enjoy the issue. I thought it did a good job of shifting status quo. I am glad Kate's back, and I love Angel's using his opponents as therapists.
Nobody seems particularly happy to me. The whole group has been completely disbanded. That's not happy.

By the way, I think that's Illyria in the car with Gunn. I suspect Gunn is getting the heck out of dodge as fast as he can. It doesn't matter if he's driving a sports car or a bug, he's clearly running away. Regardless, Kelley won't be telling his story, Brian will.

And speak of the devil. Hey, Brian!

[ edited by project bitsy on 2009-02-26 01:42 ]
I'm more than ok with Angel getting over his guilt and trying something different. A lot of characters have things to atone for and it doesn't completely define their character. How many fans are still asking Willow or Gunn to still be paying for their sins?

If anything ‘After the Fall’ basically showed Angel, Lorne and maybe Connor as the only people who actually accepted responsibility for their actions and part in sending LA to Hell so I’m more than ok with them being redeemed by it. We’ve got nothing of Gunn, Illyria or Spike admitting their part in it which is the first step of atoning, so I’m not sure why people have a problem with Angel when a lot of other characters tried to pass the buck.

Angel killed Drogyn because he had no other choice. He never intended for the Blackthorn to capture Drogyn that was never part of the plan. As Angel states, “they would have killed us both.” Where’s the sense in that? Angel did what he had to do. The only thing you fault here is that Drogyn wouldn’t have ever got caught if Angel dragged him into this, but he did the right thing by killing Drogyn even if it was painful to watch.

As for Angel having to atone for his plan, there’s nothing to atone for. People may regard it as a suicidal plan but who cares, does this make it something he has to feel guilty for? And he’s not the only character either, ‘PowerPlay’ made it quite clear Angel didn’t order any of his team to join him, “I can’t order you to do this, can’t do it without you. So we vote, *as a team.* Ask yourself if this is something worth fighting for” The team all raised their hands, some even asked for clarification “kill them all, burn the house down whilst we’re still in it?” which meant they all chose to take part in this plan and all believed in what they were doing.. Why does Angel get the sole blame, it’s so ridiculous you have to ignore pretty much the entire end of that episode.

In regards to Angel being responsible for LA going to hell.. What a joke. The Senior Partner’s did that, not Angel. Next people are going to blame Angel for the shop assistants Dru and Darla killed because the Senior Partners only brought them back to get at Angel, or blame Angel for when Lilah hired that guy to disfigure Cordy because it was all about destroying Angel’s link with the powers… The good guys can't be blamed for how the bad guys might push back. If they are then they should all basically quit fighting evil because heaven forbid the bad guys actually fight back...

Angel’s focusing on helping the helpless again, that’s great. What’s the big deal?

[ edited by vampmogs on 2009-02-26 01:44 ]
How many fans are still asking Willow or Gunn to still be paying for their sins?

I am. I think one of Angel's great speeches (he tends to get a little speechy) was to Gunn: "I know you feel bad...and you should. For the rest of your life, it should wake you up in the middle of the night. And it will. Because you're a good man. The thing about atonement is, you never run out of chances, but you gotta take 'em. You can't hide and pretend it's all going to go away, 'cause it never will."
As for Angel having to atone for his plan, there’s nothing to atone for.

No? How about Lindsey's death? What about setting Lorne up as his murderer?

Are we supposed to think that since it was only Lindsey that it didn't matter, any more than it mattered when Angel shut a roomful of people in with Darla and Drusilla?

Guess Angel "got his groove back".

[ edited by menomegirl on 2009-02-26 02:32 ]
I really like the tone. I lol'ed at the one vamp giving him advice to "do what he did before". Fantastic. I'm also loving that it's an early Season 1 vibe with a twist. The whole "screening process" bit was really cute and funny. Verdict is still out on Kate, though. Not because of the writing at all..I just always really, really disliked her. I'm going to keep a very open mind about her, though. She's kind of a Cordy meets Justine or something. What's with her outfits? Hope that's explained.

Hope we see Lorne soon. SO EXCITED that he's possibly building a karaoke bar! Sad about the church, though. I've missed the Hyperion since Home and was really looking forward to seeing it in print, on a regular. Definitely want to ask about it.

Speaking of, if anyone has questions for Ms. Armstrong we're interviewing her tomorrow and would love to include everyone else for the fun. Here's the link, if you're interested.

http://buffyfest.blogspot.com/2009/02/wanna-ask-kelley-armstrong-question.html
That is definitely Illyria with Gunn in the car.

I did like the issue, quite a bit. Flaws and all, it was a good book in the end. Not sure about the art, especially Kate's likenesses, but damn Dave Ross can draw some demons. It bothers me that so many people are getting so ruffled over a throwaway line of dialogue, because there is so much to like about the book. It's flawed, yeah, but it's also Armstrong's first take on the title. Give it a chance, everyone.
patxshand-I plan to. I've decided to go ahead and pick up the issue over the weekend. I always liked the character of Kate so there's that to look forward to, at least.
I honestly am really pleased with this. I loved the "Lord of the Rings" epic scale of "Angel: After the Fall", the huge fight between Gunn and Angel all layered with meaning and all very Mount Doom, but it didn't feel like the *show*, it felt like a movie based on the show. This... feels like the show. Albeit with a "Heroes" or "Lost" budget.

I thought the likenesses were good -- the panel of Spike was great. Kate's characterization is something I'm enjoying, too -- she's more pleasant, conversational, like we haven't seen since before "Somnambulist". Same as in "First Night", the epiphany conversation seems to have really had an effect on her.
The only thing I disliked was the redemption line. Angel has said himself that redemption is not something that ends. Atonement is forever. The stupid thing is that he still intends to save people and their souls, but he chooses to call it "not redemption."

Doyle: "It's not just about saving lives, it's about saving souls. Hey, possibly yours in the process."

That level of depth is just... missing here.
Angel isn't completely redeemed but, while visiting Gunn in the hospital, he did realize that he couldn't blame himself for the things Angelus does.

Except Angel is Angelus only with a soul. Or at least so the debate goes. Others view Angelus as a separate identity. It depends on what episode you're watching. Angel is Angelus cursed with a soul.

Angel #18: "As much fun as it is, chasing down scumbags like you... I don't feel I'm really making a difference any more, you know? I've redeemed my past, and am coming to terms with my possibly uncertain future. So now what?"

I fail to see how this isn't Angel making the statement that he no longer has anything to atone for. "Redeemed my past" - I don't see how that's limited to whatever it is that folks are saying it's limited to when Armstrong says in her interview that Angel has "paid his dues". The whole point for Angel is that atonement never ends. Not when you're "the greatest mass murderer [you've] ever met."

Armstrong: With the events of After the Fall, though, he’s finally paid his dues.

In fact, Armstrong's statement that Angel has paid his dues directly contradicts text from Orpheus in Season 4:

Angel: I used to think that. That there'd be a point when I'd paid my dues...Faith, listen to me. You saw me drink. It doesn't get much lower than that. And I thought I could make up for it by disappearing...Our time is never up, Faith. We pay for everything.

Angel's always believed that atonement was something he'd be doing for the rest of his life. And frankly, Angel only got even darker after Season 4. He just created more things to atone for in Season 5 and After the Fall. So where was this shift, where was this epiphany that showed Angel now believed he didn't have an eternity of rape and murder to atone for?

This reaks of whitewashing the issue here. Again, I'm getting the issue tomorrow, but the text and the interview aren't painting a good picture. I'm reserving final judgment, but it's not looking that great. I'm wondering if Angel working out of a church is symbolic of Armstrong viewing Angel as already redeemed and paying his dues.

[ edited by Emmie on 2009-02-26 04:48 ]
I seem to recall you likening yourself to a shark smelling chub, Emmie, and, gosh, do your comments ever smack of that particular metaphor. An author makes one comment and you flash your teeth and go in for the kill. Let's relax a second, put the daggers away, and consider that maybe, just maybe, it's not as bad as all that.

Has Angel redeemed himself completely? No. Of course not. In the end, none of us ever completely redeems the mistakes we've made. Not you, or me, or even Big Bird will be totally redeemed. So it is with Angel.

But if you want to tell me Angel hasn't paid some of his dues then, kiddo, I think you're being a little extreme. You're being as extreme as Angel often used to be. One of the big things Angel learned from the events of After the Fall is that, while he may be far from perfect, he's done pretty alright for a vampire with a curse. He might, heavens forbid, even be one of the good guys despite all this insistence that he's destined to fight for the side of evil.

One of the best things about everyone knowing who Angel is now is that you get to see something that almost never happens: people being grateful for what Angel has done for them. They thank him, they want their pictures taken with him, they want to be his friend, his lover and, as complicated as that may make his existence, he kind of needed that and, even more so, deserves it.

I just don't think Angel can torture himself every second of every day and continue to be an effective hero. If he wants to be the hero in the end and not the villain, he's got to learn not to carry the weight of every mistake he's ever made and start focusing on what he can do in the here and now.

Make no mistake: he's still fighting the good fight wherever he can. If Angel (or Kelley, for that matter) thought he'd been completely redeemed, he wouldn't be fighting anymore. He'd kick off his shoes and watch some 30 Rock over a few beers with me tomorrow night. He's still atoning. He's just learning when to let some things go. Sounds pretty healthy to me.

And as for the Angelus thing: it's Angelus himself who always insists that he and Angel are one in the same. Angel only agrees out of guilt and, when he saw Gunn lying on that hospital bed, he realized he'd been wrong to blame himself for Angelus's actions. What Gunn did isn't his fault but he'll have to live with it. What Angelus did wasn't Angel's fault but he still lives with it. That's a subtle change in Angel's attitude and I think it shows. He's evolving, slowly but surely.

Whitewashing? I don't think so. Just my opinion though.
I'm reading a few unsatisfied reviews from other people whose opinion I also value. The best I'm getting from this is that Aftermath is okay. Even the diehard AtF fans (who didn't have some of the problems I had with AtF) I know aren't exactly singing it's praises - they're using words like "decent" and "liked it". So I'm not exactly brimming over with sweet anticipation here..

Bitsy, about Angel and Angelus being different personas - that's a huge debate that you're going to find the fandom split 50/50 on. There's textual evidence for both interpretations but you're not going to come out with a definitive answer on this really. And I don't think this is really the venue to debate the topic.

As for being a shark smelling chum, I'm using the same analytical reading style I apply to all the Whedonverse stories. It's why I view the original "Echo" script as vastly superior to "Ghost" in terms of the story. I'm not going in to this to tear it down, but I will hold it up to the high standard I have for the rest of the Whedonverse. If it doesn't hold up, oh well.

[ edited by Emmie on 2009-02-26 04:59 ]
project bitsy-In a way, yes it is whitewashing. There are a lot of fans who think the worst thing Angel ever did was in Not Fade Away-and that really hasn't been dealt with (or even so much as mentioned by Angel.)
Emmie, you can't apply an analytical reading style to something you haven't even read yet. You're interpreting one line of text when there are how many issues in this arc? I'm just saying. I think you're putting the cart way before the horse this time.

And as for the events of Note Fade Away, menomegirl, there are just as many fans who would argue that what Angel did was the best he could do in desperate circumstances. The character (or the writers, take your pick) may not feel a need to justify those actions.
I was thinking about it... maybe Angel is working out of a church because he's just going through the motions right now. But that would only make sense if you subscribe to the notion that Angel is off track.
bitsy, that's what I'm saying. I've said repeatedly that I haven't made any final judgment. If anything, I've been asking questions in this thread. I've not passed a judgment on this issue. I've expressed some serious concerns based on reading an interview and from quoted text from the issue.

My point was that I will be applying this to the issue when I read it tomorrow. And I'm the one the who couched my criticism with the statement that my posts are limited to what I've read here. I'm not discussing the art, the character development at large. Only those specific quotes and my reaction is to be apprehensive about the issue. I think that's a fair judgment. I said I don't like what I'm reading here and I asked for clarification. Ultimately, I'll make up my mind for myself. And I'm bowing out of this discussion until I do so. Because I apparently can't speculate concerns in here without being accused of attacking the issue without due cause.
I'm sorry if I ruffled your feathers, Emmie. I do understand what you're saying I just don't want you to presume the worst until all the facts are in. Elsewhere you said you wanted to smack your forehead into a brick wall and all I'm saying is hey, don't do that because, you know... it would hurt. Who wants a hurt Emmie? Not I.

Regarding the church: I totally think Kelley's been reading Kim Harrison's Hollows series because, in the first book at least, the main characters set up shop in a church and one of them is a vampire. That's one of the first things I thought of while I was reading this issue.
Bitsy, the problem is that the series allowed for both readings. Angel went charging into the alley way to take a stand. He's a hero. He ordered Lindsey's assassination. He's despairing and wildly off track. He had to do what he did to make the best out of the circumstances. He's a hero. He compounded his sins by rushing off into a futile battle, which at best would kill him and his team, and at worst would have severe repercussions for innocent by-standards. He's pretty dark. I think it's all there. That was the beauty of the show.

I don't think that range of meanings is present in the comics. It's all been flattened out, and the particular set of meanings that it's kept have been the ones that you favor. And great. There are fans who want Angel to just forget about his dark nature and his dark past. But the transition from NFA to Aftermath runs through AtF, which conveniently forgot that Drogyn ever existed, swept Lindsey's assassination (and the impact on the assassin) under a rug with a panel and a rhyme, and which never asked any hard questions about the mind wipe or the nature of Angel's plan in the first place. So I can't get from NFA to really anything after. The story I was watching died in the alley way and has been replaced (from my point of view) with a much more conventional (and ultimately dull) story. It's too bad. AtS was really very cool. So where there was room for all sorts of fans in AtS, there really is only room for fans like you in the comics.

Do enjoy it, though. I think you are settling for a lesser work, a garden variety hero story. But de gustibus non est disputandum. People like me who wanted more will just have to be pleased with five seasons of really gripping television.
I couldn't possibly disagree with you anymore, Maggie. What about this story has been flat? We have Angel's continuing challenge to come to grips with his place in the world, his destiny versus his free will. He openly questions whether or not he did the right thing, he doubts himself. He has to cope with being human under the worst circumstances possible. He's surrounded by people he cares about but doesn't know if he can trust anymore, like Wesley whose turn as both a literal and figurative apparition I found to be both rich and complex. We have Spike who endures his own journey, one that leads him also to question his place in the world, one where he has to question the feelings he has towards a demon who is partly to blame for the death of his friend, Fred. Which brings us to Illyria who takes such a huge journey, so huge that her body cannot even contain it. Which leaves us with Gunn who still has the longest road ahead. He, like Angel, has to begin the road to redemption that has no end.

Right now Angel is choosing to see that he can't undo the decisions he's made and that, ultimately, some good has come of those decisions. He's building a relationship with his son and, to me, that's a beautiful story worth telling. I expect Aftermath to be a fun romp, full of surprise twists and turns and, every once in a while, I think a dark and complex story needs an arc like that.

I'm sure Angel is destined to screw up, doubt himself, get his brood on, and do all the things that we've come to see as the very definition of his character. I'm sorry you think the comics took such a sharp turn just because they didn't resolve the Drogyn or Lindsey issue or whatever it is that you quantify as the "more" that is missing. For now, yes, I am happy with what I'm getting. Brian did a great job and I'm giving Kelley and anyone else who comes in the future the chance to do the same.
Good, menomegirl :) I hope you like it.
Angel's "I've redeemed my past", I read it in the context of what he's talking about throughout the scene -- trying to figure out what to do next. As in "I've done the fight for redemption thing, I'm trying the 'accept my dark destiny' thing". This is supported as the sense in which he is speaking because when the guy he's fighting tries to suggest he die, he declines, saying that he has "been there, done that". Fight for redemption, accept his fate, die -- three options of things he could be doing with his time, things that could motivate him.

He could have said "I've taken piano lessons, I'm trying to get into wine-tasting, so now what?" and it'd be the same. Just because you've taken piano lessons doesn't mean you've taken all the piano lessons ever.

Do enjoy it, though. I think you are settling for a lesser work, a garden variety hero story. But de gustibus non est disputandum. People like me who wanted more will just have to be pleased with five seasons of really gripping television.


And the rest of us philistines will just never understand "Angel" in its pure form, clearly. Reading "Aftermath" has deprived us of the perspective necessary to realize how bad it is.

Look, no fiction ever ends "perfectly". "Not Fade Away" was arguably a perfect place to stop, doesn't mean everything after is unworthy. The best place "Buffy" could have ended for something genuinely, poignantly perfect was actually "Graduation, Part II", but I don't think anyone is going to sign up to throw out the subsequent five seasons.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2009-02-26 06:35 ]
I *also* miss Brian but am going to give this a fair shot. KA has got off to a good start, imo. Nothing to complain about here.

I don't agree with Maggie's declaration that it takes a certain kind of fan to like these comics. Brian did an amazing job showing us what happened in that alley and after. I'm not even sure what kind of a *fan* Maggie is referring to with that statement?

Also agreeing with project bitsy concerning Angel FINALLY getting it that he isn't responsible for the crimes of the demon inside him. I like the way we are shown that through Gunn. Maybe Angel has paid his dues, doesn't mean he won't stay and fight just like Buffy stays and fights. He's a hero and not after a reward, he wants to help the helpless. I kinda love that about him.
No? How about Lindsey's death? What about setting Lorne up as his murderer?

menomegirl, Personally I was never all that fussed about Lindsey’s death. How many times had Angel given that guy a chance to atone and change and how many times did he completely blow it, trying to kill Angel in the process? When Lorne says “I’ve heard you sing” I interpreted that as Lorne reading his destiny and it’s not a great one for Lindsey which is hardly a surprise given the guys track record.

As for setting Lorne up for murder, Lorne agreed to it and was never forced into doing it, it’s as much Lorne’s issue as it is Angel’s. I think the only people who were disappointed with Lorne’s reaction to Angel in ‘After the Fall’ are the people who like to bash Angel’s character and blame him for everything. I liked Lorne’s characterisation because it showed a maturity in the green man and an understanding that he’s just as guilty and what’s done is done, you have to go on moving forward. People didn’t want that, they wanted a whole speech about how bad Angel was for *asking* Lorne to do what he did, whereas Lynch wrote Lorne as the bigger man aware of his responsibility in everything.

Maggie I’m sorry but from what I gathered from all your posts which I’ve read on various forums, what you seem disappointed in is that ‘After the Fall’ didn’t consist of an entire series of other characters hating on Angel and blaming him for everything that happened. You didn’t get that, you got something different, so in your eyes it’s “garden variety” and “lacks depth” because it didn’t jibe with your opinion of his character and the others. All I've seen from your posts is how it's all Angel's fault what happened, that Spike is superior to Angel in practically every way and shouldn't want to be friends with him, that all the characters should dislike Angel for what happened to Drogyn, that Angel isn't a good person ect. Personally I’m very relieved we got Lynch’s version and IMO it's far more in tune with 'Powerplay' and 'Not Fade Away' and the whole series in general.

[ edited by vampmogs on 2009-02-26 06:57 ]
Angel is a great, great man. One of the best people in the 'verse, and probably the best leader. Flawed, of course, but not as much as a lot of people seem to think, in my opinion. He's a good'n.
Agreed, Pat. That Angel... he's pretty swell.
Who really knows, anyway? Joss will probably end up having Lindsey revived by Amy's Mom (who figured a way out of the statue and could escape before the destruction of Sunnydale, of course) in an upcoming issue.

[ edited by archon on 2009-02-26 07:26 ]
project bitsy said:
"By the time Kelley ends her run people will be saying Oh, I miss Kelley! and I won't be reading the Angel comic now that Kelley is gone."

That's a little presumptuous. This arc could be a complete disaster. I'll probably give it a look to be fair, though my mind could be changed by exceedingly bad press if that unfortunately happens...plus it's a long way off for those of us who're following this title in hardcover form, even longer for those waiting for the softcovers! I still hate that comic books are veering more and more toward prose novel territory with that trend, by the way--releasing the more expensive hardcover months or sometimes a year before the much cheaper softcover. Comics didn't usually used to do that. You'd either get both versions at almost the same time--I'm thinking Strangers in Paradise kind of--or the hardcover would be the extra special edition that would come around later for the diehard fans or late discoverers. This isn't a slag against IDW's Angel comics, really, 'cause they've been putting out some beautiful hardcovers and I've been gift carding them rather than being gouged by them.

As far as what someone implied upthread about people who complained about Brian Lynch's early issues and then later applauded...how do we know for sure that some of those early complainers simply didn't stick around ? Or did stick around until the end of Lynch's run but stayed quiet on here because the word in the issue threads is overwhelmingly positive at this point and they didn't wanna mess with that vibe ?

I'm not passing judgement myself, I'm only up to issue 8 of "After the Fall" and have liked some of what Brian's done (and I know some of the directions are taken from Joss' original plans for Season 6 anyway, so that's encouraging). I've also found some of it sketchy and some of it pending, dependant on how things play out over the remaining 10 issues of his run. This is the first time I've risked an Angel comic thread in a while, I skimmed, I caught maybe one major spoiler I think, but I'm not as spoiler-phobic for this project as I am for Buffy Season 8.

Does the comic still have Joss' name in the credits ? I mean aside from "Created by"...? Does his name still have the same placement it did when he was credited alongside Lynch ?

If it becomes non-canon officially at some point (or as of this issue), it doesn't mess up what Lynch accomplished. The comic simply will have transitioned into early Dark Horse and early IDW-licensed territory.
I agree Pat with everything you've said. He is very flawed and has made some big mistakes but he's not an inherently bad person trying to do good as people claim. He's a good guy with a dark past who can stumble and fall and needs people around him to pick him up, but he's not inherently bad whatsoever. If he was he wouldn’t have went out his way so many times to help “one soul at a time.” Out of all the characters in the verse Angel’s probably the one and only character who’s truly spent a great deal of time helping innocent people on a truly person level and not just saving them from a scary monster. A bad guy would never do that, Angel loves humanity. One of his biggest achievements, Faith, now seems to have taken after Angel and is doing the same with Giles in season eight. So go Angel!
There was talk upthread about Angel being Angelus with a soul. But here's another perspective- having spent time in ATF as a human, is Angel beginning to take on a little more of his human persona, Liam No-Last-Name?

It might explain why he's dropping the self-flagellation and literally just trying to make the most of things. We've done tortured 'no redemption' Angel (and then some) but really, he seems to be getting back to his 'All that matters is what we do' philosophy. But I haven't read the issue, which makes this pure speculation.

My reason for being cranky at Lorne killing Lindsay is that it should have been foreshadowed, and not just abruptly chucked in because the series was ending. Can you imagine how great the scenes between the two could have been if Lorne had to work/fight alongside Lindsay, knowing he would eventually kill him? SUCH a wasted opportunity...
Wow, I come back to find a fairly impressive pile on. Vampmogs, I'm going to address this to you, because I think you have really mischaracterized/misunderstood my position in your little tirade.

I really, really, really like the Angel of the TV series. He is a great man in the classic sense of the term -- the kind of guy who always makes a difference. The rub, of course, is that he can make a big difference either way. That's why the Shanshu has to be about him. I love Spike to pieces, and I can sing long odes to all the things that make him special. But he's not the sort of dominating figure Angel is.

I adore the way Angel deals with Faith in the first season. That scene in the alley way brings me to tears every time. I admire his leadership, and the compassion that he can sometimes bring to his work. You can see fragments of the great good man that he could be.

But at the same time there are fragments of the great evil man that he can be. when things don't go his way, he can be utterly ruthless. Lawyers, strangling his best friend, dealing in black magics and torture, mind wipes, deals with the devil.

The great character that I love is both a great good man and a great evil man. He's like the Greek warrior who can save the day, but who can also let his whole city perish because he's having a temper tantrum. My complaints are not that Lynch hasn't portrayed him as a villain. My complaints are that by removing some of the dark shards, and downplaying others of them, Lynch has taken this epic figure, a man of arresting contrasts, and reduced him to the rather ordinary hero. It's a diminution in the scale of the drama. And sorry, I loved Angel the complex protagonist, but am lukewarm about Angel the whitewashed good guy. There was just something arresting about a man who could stand squarely for mercy with respect to the apparently unredeemable Faith, but who could also decree that another person is unredeemable and should be executed in cold blood after he had served his purpose. I will always miss the Angel who could be both.
For some reason I think Whedonesque is being used as a proxy for battles fought elsewhere. If I keep thinking this, then people will be shown the door. If there is tension between people, I'd rather not see it here.
Maggie, where we differ is that I don’t see why this all has to fall on Angel’s shoulders. Lots of the examples you’ve used to highlight Angel’s dark side are apparent in many other characters but they don’t get called out on it. As for example torture, Spike tortured the human doctor in ‘Shells’ and no one faults him for it, the series passes smoothly by without even focusing on it, he’s let off the hook.

It’s either that or I feel some of his actions have been taken greatly out of context. “Strangling his best friend” IMO isn’t a sign that he has the potential to be an “evil” man. When you apply it to what actually was going on in the story at the time, it’s a father who’s lashing out at his best friend who just kidnapped his baby boy, lost him, and now that baby boy is dead. Wesley betrayed Angel and lost the only son Angel was ever going to have. That’s not evil, who wouldn’t react in such a way? I mean his baby son was kidnapped from right under his nose and for all he knew, killed. Same goes for the black magic’s, what father wouldn’t do anything in his power to get his baby boy back from a *hell dimension.* To say these are signs of an “evil man” is just so bizarre to me. It feels as if you’re looking at the cold hard facts “smothered his best friend” “used dark magics” without applying the emotions to the scene or placing them in context. When you do I don’t know how anyone could ever describe either situations as proof he has the potential to be an “evil man.”

Really when you lay out two columns, ‘Column A’ filled with all the good things Angel has done and ‘Column B’ with all the bad things Angel has done (with a soul) ‘Column A’ is far more full than ‘Column B.’ What you see as “fragments” of good, I see his true nature, he’s a good person at heart and has done far more good than a handful of mistakes in five seasons (eight if you count Btvs.) I’m just not sure why the few notable bad things he’s done takes precedent over the good he does on a daily basis. Especially when most of the grey area things he has done such as torture or lashing out at his friends in a violent manner are things other characters are guilty of, such as Spike and Wes, and yet they aren’t used to define their character.

Angel deserved an 'After the Fall' where the character got to shine again and prove to people why he's a hero. He was put through the ringer in season five of Ats and I think it's only fair we get a series that's not heavy on dragging his character through the muck. Season Five focused on why Angel and *his team* lost their way, ‘After the Fall’ was all about Angel regaining his true champion status. I’m not sure I understand why he can’t get that.

Simon there's no tension here, at least not on my part, we’re just discussing a fictional character.

[ edited by vampmogs on 2009-02-26 12:57 ]

[ edited by vampmogs on 2009-02-26 13:00 ]
Angel deserved an 'After the Fall' where the character got to shine again and prove to people why he's a hero.

I think if he is trying to prove something to the people, he's in it for the wrong reason.
I meant from an external viewpoint, as in the character go to prove it to the audience/readers, not that it was Angel's actual motivation within the story.

And from my POV he did prove it to the readers. He openly admitted his part in what happened to LA in front of an entire stadium of people who were looking for blood, liberated people from slavery, put himself in the line of fire against the lords of LA whilst being a vulnerable mere mortal, gave up his humanity for the greater good again, allowed himself to be killed on nothing more than a theory that it would save the city from Hell and forgave Gunn for everything that had happened because he realises the hypocrisy if he didn't. He also is now a bigger man in easily being able to thank Spike for all his help. The guys a champ.

He went through both intense emotional and horrific physical pain, remember the unbearable pain he went through to mend his broken back, Gunn stabbing him through the gut. and Illyria knifing him through the hands and side, and kept on fighting. He suffered and paid the price for what happened, I think it's time he can move on like all the other characters get to and concentrate on a new mission.

[ edited by vampmogs on 2009-02-26 13:40 ]

[ edited by vampmogs on 2009-02-26 13:42 ]
The one thing I think I agree on here, if I'm understanding it correctly, is that Mogs is saying that Angel has used his need to redeem himself as the reason to do all this heroic stuff. Read correctly, he could now be seen as having evolved beyond that to finding his reason to help people and fight evil not to save himself, but because it is the work that needs doing. That, incidentally, is closer to where Buffy has always been, Buffy and the Scoobies.

And it actually *does* reconcile with what he told Faith in "Orpheus", because the next logical conclusion beyond that you can never make up for what you've done, you don't get to stop, you keep fighting, is to realize that that isn't why you're really fighting at all.

Regardless... and nothing can be more worth emphasizing about this issue... the line still reads as a throwaway, the interview comes off as irrelevant, because nobody can actually read this issue and conclude that Angel has no guilt over his past anymore and any complacency over his existence.
Agreed, King, I think that sums up this entire "redemption" line perfectly. *thumbs up*
My complaints are not that Lynch hasn't portrayed him as a villain. My complaints are that by removing some of the dark shards, and downplaying others of them, Lynch has taken this epic figure, a man of arresting contrasts, and reduced him to the rather ordinary hero. It's a diminution in the scale of the drama.


Well I understand what you're saying Maggie, and I have to say I totally agree.
Heck,a complex character is going to have the extremely light-and-bright phases, anyhoozy.
Fairly early on, it becomes obvious that Kelley doesn't have the voices down quite as perfectly as Brian did (certainly near the end). Though she definitely hasn't gotten them wrong either.

The story was okay. It's clearly only setting things up, but I like the general directing of the plot. I could perhaps have been a little sharper, more original, and refined. Since it's the first issue, the focus was probably on getting the characters right and that is more important.

As for the cast of characters. It's nice to see Kate is back, even though her inclusion was a bit sudden. She looks different, younger. And what's up with women clad is black-ops outfits. First the Slayers, then Spider and the Spikettes, now Kate?

The two city council figures are awesome! If Angel is going back to his roots, having an old-fashioned corporate evil with human agents to oppose him works out great. (BTW, is the blonde guy supposed to be African American?)

I'm glad they kept Angel's thought-balloons. They really improve on the story. I liked how he wanted to keep the new office open only after he knew Connor wanted to be involved.

As for Connor, I'm curious to see where he and Gwen end up. I wonder where his "parents" are in all this? Do they still live in LA and is he in contact with them? Also, wasn't he attending Stanford before the Fall?

I wish the issue could've been a little bit longer, but that's not a complaint against this issue, because I feel that way about almost all Buffy/Angel issues. The closer they are to 30 pages, the better in most cases.

As for the art, I can get used to it, but I still prefer Urru on it.

Finally, is it just me, or was the subtitle Aftermath mentioned nowhere?
It's not just you.

Well, the art's no' bad (although Kate is not so much with the likeness) and it made me laugh, which is more than issues 1-17 did.
Being a Brian Lynch fan, and not being enamored with Kelly's short stories I'd read, I expected not to like it. But I did like it, so yay!

I hadn't followed a Dave Ross book since West Coast Avengers but I think his art has improved.

I'll keep reading and look forward to the Spike series. Life is good.
I'm not loving the new art. Kate looks nothing like she did on the show, and I didn't recognise Connor at all in a few panels - I found myself thinking, "Who's the brunette girl? ...oh, right."

Maybe I'm just tired.

Well, Angel was wishing for better assassins - I reckon his first words next issue will be, "Now THAT'S more like it!"
I'm missing the characters. That's kind of what the show was about.

not to mention the absence of W&H and of course I don't like Kate.

[ edited by Chris the Bloody on 2009-02-27 02:44 ]
Could you please stick this to the front page?

Interesting first issue...I'm not really sure where Connor is during his first scene...his new parents' kitchen? Also, not sure if I'm keen on the change of location, but perhaps it will revert back to the Hyperion at the end of the arc.

I kinda thought Gunn would linger in a coma til this arc was over, so it was interesting to see him leaving town. Was that Illyria in the car with him?

The art's not thaaat special, but I'm not gonna be too hard on part 1 of a 5 part story. If I'd judged After the Fall based on the first issue, I'd be kicking myself. So let's see where this takes us!
Ask and you will receive.
If After the Fall were Season Six, Aftermath feels like the beginning of Season Seven.
So I finally read this issue. And I have to say, firstly, that I've come to the conclusion that I'm never going to be a fan of these comics. I like the written word, love the way my imagination takes flight at the way things are written and phrased. And I like the experience of film, of having all my senses engaged while watching a story unfold onscreen. I think perhaps a comic should fall somewhere between the two and for me, they just don't.

That being said, I liked this one. I found the art cleaner and clearer than Angel: After The Fall and had no trouble distinguishing one character from another.

The story does have a season one feel to it and also a bit reminicent of the episode "Epiphany". (and have you ever noticed how Angel always seems to have one of those after he does some really bad things?) Anyway, I liked that Kate's in this and that Connor is willing to help his father. The couple from the city council reminds me of the Oracles from season one.

I mightily dislike even the idea that Angel's been redeemed but all in all, it's not a bad first issue.
I really liked this issue as well, I was worried there might be a drop in quality but there was nothing to worry about. This felt like classic Angel. Kudos to Kelley for such a strong debut.
All right, finally read this and thought it was terrible. Like, poor dialogue, art, flow, just about everything. Reminded me of the old, bad Buffy comics. It makes a mess of Brian's perfect finale, and just feels really inauthentic, like second-rate fan fic.

I wasn't expecting to continue with this series after After the Fall anyway, because from everything that I've read, that's the official end of this story (for now). So this is probably it for me. I might hang on for the next issue, but it ain't looking so good right now. I have no ill will towards Kelley Armstrong, being entirely unfamiliar with her apart from this, but I really disliked this.

It should be noted, though, that I am loving the non-canon Blood and Trenches, and whether or not Brian's Spike series turns out to be canon, I'll be picking that up every month.

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