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February 17 2010

(SPOILER) IDW's Angel comics for May. Angel #33, Angel: Barbary Coast #2, Angel Volume 6 hardcover (collecting Angel #23-27 and Last Angel in Hell), and the trade paperback version of Spike: After the Fall.

Will be picking up the two Angel comics.
Will be dropping 'em. I know, I've been on the edge before, but issue #30 has torn it.

I thought Only Human was better than After the Fall, which I was on the fence about. Aftermath was truly regrettable, the Dru comics were enigmatic and opaque (and that's generous), but the ComicCon spoof was genuinely funny.

Now that we've got a different writer gearing up, though, it strikes me just how incomprehensible the new arc would be to someone who hadn't suffered through aftermath. We've got a net +2 worthless, soulless, voiceless characters (Des and the angelic dude who looks mostly like Spike) and two older characters back as regulars (Kate and Connor). That gives us only 4 (50%) of the cast--Angel, Spike, Gunn, Illyria--who interacted with each other in S5 of the show.

I think the straw that broke this one was Illyria wanting to breed with Connor in #30. It smacks of all the "ick" of S4, but also ignores (or retcons) the fact that Illyria, the demon, is fundamentally male. The schtick about Spike's severed leg dusting, him needing a day to regrow it, and human blood being "better" for his regenerative process also concerned me--the new writer isn't content to stay within existing mythos, but wants to push the envelope.

For all the complaints about Buffy S8, that at least still feels like somewhere a Joss-made TV show might have gone. The Angel comics do not, and no matter how much I want them to, they never will.
I've already cancelled all IDW Angel comics unless they are written by Brian Lynch (in fact the order reads to just get anything written by Brian Lynch). I just don't think the current titles have anything to do with Joss and/or the show I loved.

But I am more into Dark Horse's Buffy Season 8 than ever, and I'm really looking forward to Dark Horse putting out Zack Whedon's Terminator and Felicia Day's The Guild comics!
I'm not the biggest fan of the new comic-only characters such as Des but they aren't enough to get me to drop the story yet. If I'm honest I've not loved everything that has happened in Buffy Season 8 either and I have a few problems with the canon Farscape series that Boom are producing so maybe it's just a television-to-comics-not-a-good-thing kinda deal for me. I think it's simply that the comic book medium has allowed a little too much freedom for the writers and therefore has allowed them to get a little too far away from what I was used to seeing on telly.

Whatever it is I'll stick with all three series because I love the characters and want to see where their lives go regardless of the format I see it in. Loyal to the end, that's me!
Was it ever definitively established that Illyria, particularly in ferocious native form, even had a gender....much less one as we typically know and define them? All throughout AHITW, for instance, there were the constant references to "it" and "this thing", but never the label of anything properly male or female.

Granted, yes, there is that title of God-King and then the fact that Knox did address the reborn Illyria as "King" several times over, but I've never gotten the impression that this was any kind of indication of true God-Kingly gender, one way or ''s more like just a title Illyria was crowned with, a formal appellation, but I never interpreted it to mean that the original gender had been male....

Just because "King" is in itself a word we typically think of for the male of the species, I'm guessin' as the same Earth logic doesn't so much apply to Primordium rulers and Shapers of Things. :D So-o then, yeah, my presumption about Illyria had, accordingly, always been that back in the ol' days....she had been genderless, asexual, existing so far beyond any such mere-mortal definition there'd likely be no point in trying to figure her out that way.

And perhaps that would make for only all the more reason why she expressed such desire to "explore it further" with Wesley; because between the wanting involved - what she felt in him, and how her own assumed body surely responded to his as well -of course it was a completely new, utterly foreign and curiosity-provoking idea and experience for her. 'Least, yeah....that had always been my own few cents' worth on the matter. :)

Now, all this being said, I really have absotively no idea what to make of what I'm hearing about these latest happenings in Angel #30.... (apart from - whoa!) ....and not just because even now I'm a devoted WesLyria shipper and that's all there is to it. :D *tee hee*

The comic art seems mighty strong, though, very vivid and evocative (definitely got a chuckle out of Spike's reaction to the loss of his leg, in those preview pages)....suppose I'll give it a glance-through, at the very least. :) For my own part, though, I'm just re-reading the Fallen Angel/Illyria crossover and "Only Human" to boot, and now keeping up with the AHITW/"Shells" adaptation...still very much awesomesauce, by my reckoning. :)
On the Illyria thing....
Ok, Let's assume Illyria really was male before dying. And? Seahorses! Male doesn't mean it can't get pregnant necessarily.
Really, the sex of Illyria, both past and present is irrelevant and probably non-existent.
But the idea of a primordial Old One, from all language used formerly either male or genderless, having a fertility cycle thousands of years long (?), and knowing about it a few years after taking possession of a formerly human (and presumably fertile essentially monthly) female body, just strained my suspension of disbelief to tbe breaking point. Oh, sure, you can make up a reason why it would work that way... but I don't buy it.
I've decided to drop the main Angel book, #30 broke the deal for me. I won't elaborate since I already did a longish review over at Slayalive. But mostly, the characterization of Spike was completely OOC and annoying, I'm not liking where the Illyria plotline is going, and most of the characters don't sound like themselves at all. Plus the glaring weirdness of Spike's leg dusting and gwowing back. I don't care how they explain it away, it's still nonsensical and useless. This is my first post here, I'm glad to finally be a Whedonesquer! Wish I could have had more positive stuff to say, but on the bright side I'm so excited for Buffy 33 in 2 weeks.
* I'll probably be picking up the Angel Hardcover Volume 6 though, Since I liked parts of that such as 'Boys and Their Toys' etc.

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