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April 22 2009

(SPOILER) Discuss Angel #20. This is the third part of Kelley Armstrong's 'Aftermath' arc.

Is this still being called "Aftermath?"
Yes,it's Angel Aftermath Part 3 of 5.Aftermath and Kelley Armstrong's arc concludes in Angel#22.

Angel#23 is the Gunn one-shot by Brain Lynch titled,"Become What You Are."

Angel #24-25 is Brian and JL two part Dru story.
I'm really struggling to stay engaged in this story. There are just some plot elements that seem a bit half-conceived. Des' backstory is compelling, but really somehow tacked on, because so far, we have no idea exactly what reason she'd have to help the Strange and Suspicious Bureaucrats, let alone why in the hell the SSB apparently want to turn some people into giant gorillas. Is this really some sort of Deepest, Darkest Africa threat brought to LA? Really? It seems that way so far, and I sincerely hope not, since the SSB appear to be set at odds with the "potentates", or warrior angels that have now appeared.

And, about them -- I dunno. I was actually enthusiastic about this idea, and so far, it's not bad, but it's not compelling the way that, for instance, "Supernatural" Season 4 is compelling. I would have fewer problems with it if it didn't have what appeared to be an unabashed continuity problem with "Angel: After the Fall", wherein Cordelia's involvement was extremely minimal and came at great cost because it was almost impossible for the Powers to reach into the moment of time Wolfram & Hart had used to make Hell-A. Great, I'll go with that. So now, though, we're told that there was actually a small army of these angels sent in to fight the demons? Um... what? How? Was Cordy just trying to make it sound more impressive, her being there? That I don't quite buy, and it's hard to immerse in a new arc if it appears to be ignoring the previous one. Right now all we have for these angels is that A) their back story lacks continuity credibility, B) they have poorly defined motives and may in fact be suspicious, and C) they are opposed by the SSB who also have poorly defined motives. It's all too amorphous, IMO. When your characters are caught between groups of possible antagonists whose motivations you just have no clue about, it helps to at least have a general emotional investment in them. Take "Lost" Season 4 -- In "Aftermath", there is no clarity around which you can say "yay angels, boo SSB" or "yay SSB, boo angels", so without knowing more of their motives, there's just no emotional investment.

That's the bad, now the good -- I do actually like Gwen's characterization and usefulness here. I like her using her thief skills and her wits to be a worthwhile detective (remember when this franchise was still nominally about solving cases? Sigh) and a worthwhile part of the gang. No over-emphasis on her obsession with Connor, and that's good. I also liked her interaction with Kate, those are characters I think would be interesting to have stories around, the former cop and the former thief. Of course, Kate's characterization seems a little further off in each passing issue -- not in big ways, but in small ones. She's so danged... doe-eyed. "what if I don't want to (stop acting like a cop)"... This is Kate Lockley! She's sardonic and worldly on the best of days. I totally by that she'd be in that emotional state, of questioning how un-like a cop she's willing to be, but I just don't think she'd articulate it so plaintively, even in her head. Oh well. Still, Kate and Gwen is a good read.
I'll have my copy tonight but the Cordy stuff sounds god awful and really is represnting my problems on this matter of bringing dead characters back especially ones who got such great send-offs.

Not only did they dilute YW once in ATF but they dilute it again in Aftermath and for the worst from the sound of it.Even though I didn't agree with her appearence in ATF,I could buy why Brian did it and the context.I didn't agree with it but I got why for many it worked.I still think it cheapens YW but I get why it felt right for Brian to do it as presented in ATF.

But this,they manage to make the dilution worse and in the extreme,I really wish they left Cordy alone from the beginning because this is exactly the sort of thing I was dreading they couldn't help themselves from doing since they did the small appearence in ATF.

This is enough to actually really put me off because it really cheapens Cordy's exit in the worst ways and death in the verse in the extreme.It represents all the worst aspect of this sort of thing.They might as well just bring Doyle,Joyce,Anya,and everybody who's died in the verse back and be done with it.

The Gwen and Kate stuff sounds great and I'm still very interested in the Dez mystery.

I need to read the issue myself to see what is actually going on but this is just my initial reaction to King's review.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2009-04-22 18:50 ]
Cordy didn't actually appear in this issue, I didn't mean to suggest she did. But she had a "message" for Angel, at least James, the warrior angel guy, claims (we seem to be asked to question his truthfulness), and he gives background for the angels that includes them having been sent into Hell-A to fight during the last few issues (all off-screen).
Hmm. I bought the first two issues of this set off the strength of ATF (which I loved) and was distinctly unimpressed. It doesn't sound like I particularly want to spend money on this one...
Cordy didn't actually appear in this issue, I didn't mean to suggest she did. But she had a "message" for Angel, at least James, the warrior angel guy, claims (we seem to be asked to question his truthfulness), and he gives background for the angels that includes them having been sent into Hell-A to fight during the last few issues (all off-screen).
KingofCretins | April 22, 19:28 CET

Thanks for the clarification,King.I was getting the impression from your review that Cordy actually came back as one of these warrior angels who was sent to fight in Hell-A off-screen.Again,thanks for the clarification.

I should have my copy in a couple hours.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2009-04-22 20:23 ]
I'm not feeling this series at all, I don't hear the character's voices, and I can't wait for Brian Lynch to return! I'm continuing to read this, but I'm afraid I have nothing good to say about it.
Did Armstrong really read After the Fall? She seems to be making some serious bungles in continuing its story. Meh.
I'm not really feeling the were-people stuff, which means I'm not feeling 60% of this story...oh well, July will be here soon enough.
I agree. I miss Brian!
... I miss Season 2...
I miss Brian as well. I cannot stand the writing and especially the art in this Aftermath arc.

I will not buy the rest until this arc is over. I've never done this before in a comic book series. Until now.
Anyone know why Joss' involvement has been so minimal even with After the Fall, compared to his involvement with Buffy Season 8 (this isn't about canon vs non-canon btw)? Is it just lack of time due to Season 8 and Dollhouse because Angel was his second masterpiece and I feel like they're being negelected. Brian did an awesome job with ATF, but I would love some original Jossness.
My best guess is that right now, the path of the "Buffy" story is the one he has the most to say about and emotion invested in. That's the one he took on at the outset, the "Angel" continuation was brought to him.
The ANGEL continuation was not brought to him. He came to IDW after reading SPIKE:ASYLUM.
I have my copy now.I think the story is starting to move now.My favorite parts was the Kate/Gwen interaction.

The stuff with Dez I was a little confused on .Is she part of a group of werecats?

The Potentates concept,I'm not sold on yet but I will see where this goes.So they are warrior angels for The Powers.Hopfully the next two issues give more info.I agree that this seems to be a continuity glitch with ATF.The fact that the Powers sent them to help Angel in battle during Hell-A goes against ATF and the fact the Powers couldn't help.

And the messege from Cordy that James has for Angel is that she would like him to help James free the other Potentates who have been kidnapped like James was.I'm hoping that's the extent of Cordy's role overall.

Kind of interesting that the End of Days is brought up here.The last time that was mentioned was way back in Angel season 1 in the episode,"I Will Remember You."Wonder if we are going to be returning to that concept more as the Angel monthly continues?

I don't really have a problem with the art.I'm sort of easy on that front.As long as the art is clear and I can make out everything,I'm good.

I would rate this better than the first two parts.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2009-04-23 00:45 ]
My mistake, then. Still, I'd figure his choice to stay very hands on with Season 8, writing much himself and bringing his role as a producer to it -- as opposed to breaking the story with you but otherwise leaving "Angel: After the Fall" to your admittedly very sound offices -- suggests that his personal investment as a storyteller is in Buffy and her story, not in Angel and his, at least not right now.

I've never met the guy, just inferring based on what we can observe as an audience.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2009-04-23 01:28 ]
After reading this I'm glad that I'm not the only person who isn't really totally in for this. I'm trying really, really hard to like it, but I just can't, it isn't up to the standard of the rest of the issues. I really loved the "After The Fall" stuff, but this seems kinda phoned in. I'm looking forward to what comes after the next two issues.
"Angel: After the Fall" took some effort to immerse in, but once there, the story was tight and compelling. It missed some opportunities, IMO, but it was this excellent ride and felt like watching a movie.

"Angel: Aftermath" feels like two things so far -- 1) a story that probably should, unlike the clearly cinematic pace of "Angel: After the Fall", be developed over the course of a TV season were it on screen, compressed into 5 issues (we've had three already and still only have the vaguest outline of the plot -- we got a 2.5 hour movie in 17 issues followed by 20 hours of TV in 5 issues, is what it feels like), and 2) something that seems like it shouldn't be the direct follow-up to "Angel: After the Fall". There are too many thematic disparities between the two -- as though a year's worth of time for the characters should have gone between Issue #17 and Issue #18.
My problem is entirely different, Angel: AtF was ALL directly hinging on the characters we loved, and IMO it was dire and involving from the first issue, and never let up. Brian Lynch knew these characters inside and out, he hit each of their voices and included all the snark and humor we had always enjoyed on the TV show.
But After Math has no snark and I can't find much humor, with characters seem like stock instead of the individuals with complicated back stories we knew from the show. The story seems to be 90% about the were-animals and not much about our heroes (I continue to read, in hopes of that changing), but it is the lack of interaction that leaves me cold. Angel would use every second with Connor to try to connect, and Connor would changeable with the teasing and insight. Heck they've brought in BOTH Kate and Gwen, and there is no flirting going on? These people all have history together and it does not show at all in these comics. It is like Kelley Armstrong has never seen the show, and is just using this as an opportunity to tell an unrelated story.
I 2nd nearly everything KoC wrote. Especially the TV time vs comic time breakdown.
I am interested in Dez' backstory now, but i am more interested in the return of Mr. Lynch.
This mythology really does not belong in Ats. I think it contradicts both the series and ATF. And I mightily dislike the Cordelia thing too.
I have no problem with the Cordelia reference -- a mere reference -- and using it to reaffirm that, yes, she still signifies on some level. But I'm not feeling the execution of this warrior angel thing. It's working -- somewhat -- on "Supernatural", but this is much shadier. Not that it undercuts Angel's destiny, but rather it draws the entire concept of champions into question as the agents of the Powers in the whole battle against evil. Seems like something we'd have run across by now. I was in favor of it in theory but am not quite believing it in practice.
My problem with this introduced mythology is that it's too serious, too on the nose. There's no humor or ironic self-awareness. Aftermath is taking itself far too seriously while still managing to miss the mark.
That's a very good observation -- Des backstory doesn't make any fun of itself, nor do the warrior angels. The SSB do, though, I'll give them that.

I don't mean it to be a cheap shot, but I just realized that the Buffyverse officially has cat girls now. Hehe.
Cat girls? LOL. And wow, now I have the sudden desire to go watch Luminosity's vid "Putting Out Fire".
About time; in my futurefics Oz is married to one. Her name's Jayneesha, also professionally musical.
Okay, so these aren't your normal were.

And I was wrong; I guess racially they're Amerinds.
I genuinely feel like Kelley Armstrong doesn't get it. I kind of dug her first issue, but I feel a lot like the writer was handed a list of characters and a few key storyline points from after the fall and was just told to run with it.

First of all, the warrior angels. No. Bad. Stay away from Angel. For a series which has often been about a hero who can never actually "win" the fight against evil, and was playing this role for the Powers That Be since they did not directly intervene, an army of angels sent out to help him with his fight is contradictory and lame. Even it turns out that they AREN'T angels, the fact that Angel genuinely believed it with so little proof is equally terrible.

I hate the animal people. I hate Kate's characterization. I hate the art (look at Gwen's eyes throughout the issue and search for any human emotion.) I hate Gwen. I just hate this. I can't wait for Brian Lynch's return.

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