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May 26 2010

(SPOILER) For the discussion of Angel #33. This is out today in the US but *not* in the UK or Ireland - all IDW titles have been delayed a week this side of the pond.

I have my copy of Angel #33.This issue does start answering things.

1)James isn't a angel.We don't know what he is yet but he is evil.He's involved in using the world to farm demons using human hosts.At the end of the issue he sends that freaky lady from the cover of Angel #36 after Angel and Spike.She is a soul eater and Angel & Spike being souled vampires make them look very appetizing.

2)The whole dusting of appendages and growing back limbs is explained in this issue.Angel gets both his hands and feet ripped off by James and they begin growing back shortly afterwards.In ancient times,vampires could do this but not for many centuries.It's speculated in the issue that something very old from the first age of vampires has returned and vampires are now reverting back to their old ways hence the dusting of limbs and the growing back of body parts.Something ancient is causing this.

3)We get more talk about how a large of amount of prophecy and fate surrounds Angel.He's a player on the larger stage.

4)James goads Angel during their fight about how much of Angelus is on Angel's surface and shines through.Angelus informs everything Angel does from every thought to every mood.

5)In the Eddie Hope backup,Eddie goes after Gunn even though he's not on Eddie's list.But Eddie thinks he should be.Even though Gunn isn't a vampire anymore,Eddie feels Gunn is still guilty and needs to pay.
I'm guessing this issue won't be out in the Netherlands this week either... too bad, sounds like a good one!
I'm really glad to see Elenea Casagrande doing the art for this book. As pretty as Denham's art can be, it sometimes felt a little static to me. Elena knows how to handle action and it really shows that she's had lots of practice drawing these characters. My only criticism so far is that some of the backgrounds feel a little flat. That's me really nit picking though.

Having Angel back in the line up changes the feel of the book completely and very much for the better. As much as I appreciated Connor getting some much needed love, the book is called "Angel". I kind of like that dude so, the more I get of him the better, you know?

As previously mentioned, we're getting some answers to nagging questions like "Who the hell is James?" and "What's up with the dusting and regrowing of limbs?". We're also getting what looks to be a big bad finally. I think Bill Willingham is best when he gets to focus evenly between the established Angel cast and the new characters he's creating. One criticism for the writing: there was an awful lot of exposition by way of letters being written between two characters. As much as I want to know more, I don't want to be overpowered by blocks of text.

Frankly, I thought this was the best single issue of any Whedon-related comic all year. It really felt like an episode of Angel to me. The characters, the story, the mood... it all felt right. Kudos to IDW on a job well done.

[ edited by project bitsy on 2010-05-26 21:20 ]
Woah, that sounds promising. Can't wait to read.
From what I'm reading, this may be worth checking out. ;) glad to hear it!
Um, I'm kinda dumbfounded. That was good. Huge improvement in the writing. Best of Willingham's stuff by miles. Well, actually, by hundreds of miles. Holy wow. Not Lynch level stuff, but... but good.
This issue actually changed my mind towards how Willingham is treating this. I agree with everyone thus far that this is his best work on the title. Makes the other issues feel almost worth this one. Now I'm wondering if Willingham used James as a big bad as a way to whittle down the superfluous from Angel Investigations and how this affects the story James told him about the angels trying to help out during the Fall.

And while this issue did blow me away as far as the story went and explaining the set ups of dusty vamp limbs and etc., it still feels like he's missing the beat and tones of the characters. Idk. As patxshand stated, "Not Lynch level stuff, but... but good."
Well, to be fair... most writers that we have claimed to "understand the tones" of Joss's charecters have had the benefit of... you know... actually working with Joss. Which means presumably, they'd make mistakes like Bill, but Joss would probably see it in draft form and get it fixed.

Lynch got to work with Joss. And every writer for Season 8 I assume is having their work proofed. It's probably not easy trying to immitate tone and having to get, at best, non-authoritative criticism.

Not that Bill didn't...perhaps... burn his own bridge on that score.

[ edited by azzers on 2010-05-27 04:53 ]
So it looks like people have changed their minds on what they thought of Willingham's arc? Or is it still too early to tell?
Probably too early to tell...but I like what I hear about this issue so far.

Although I was scolded by someone on another board about my enthusiasm for the last what do I know:)
I don't think this series can be saved Simon. The very little to no buzz that Willingham's series has, i wouldn't be suprised that sales continue dwindle.
Have sales really decreased that much since he came on? I don't think they have.

Not to say his first arc was good. It was pretty terrible. I think that most of those who stick with it are sticking with it, though.

Azzers, I do have to disagree. Brian nailed the tone and characters in his SPIKE stuff before he even met Joss.
Ironically the Buffy comic has lost more readers than the Angel.I'm not saying that as B v A thing-just that Whedons involvement may have meant big sales figures,but not meant that people will stick around.
Gotta agree with Pat's last point to Azzers.....wasn't it Brian's ability to hit the right tone that led to Joss suggesting a collaboration?
Also, not to go all conspiracy theory, but between the fact that the contents of the issue have changed from the original solicitation, and what feels like an after the fact explanation of the limb dusting (Spike and Gunn seemed to be expecting his leg to explode originally), does anyone feel like IDW may have moved up their plans in response to readers' complaints?

Whatever the truth of it, I'm kinda excited for the series again....
I prefer to not worry about the reason for story telling. If you are blissfully unaware of the reasons behind things I think you enjoy them better.

For example on Lost (no finale spoilers though:P) originally Ben Linus was originally supposed to only be in 3 or 4 episodes, but they liked him and made him really important. Now some people would criticise this and say it as bad planning. But if I didnt read all the behind the scenes stuff then I wouldnt know and presume it had been planned from the start. Who cares either way when the result was so great.

Same here - maybe the whole 'James being a villain' wasnt planned from the beginning...but who cares? If the result that people like the development then great. If people pick up these comics in a few years they will not know and just enjoy the story.
I'm curious to see what Kelley Armstrong's reaction would be hahaha. She *obviously* didn't plan this. I do dig that Willingham is retconning her mistakes. This means that all the potentate stuff, probably those two suity-types, and OOC-Cordeliaghost were all... fake.

Um. I never thought I'd say this after the suckage of his first arc, but... Willingham? Thanks for saving Angel the Series.
Huh. Interesting reactions.

James actually becoming something interesting is the only thing (probably) keeping me from dropping this series right now. None of the regular characters of the series feel right to me, the new demon types James - or Myr, I guess - name-dropped don't particularly appeal to me, the one original character in the series I did somewhat like has been quickly dispatched... And I cannot stand the Eddie Hope "feature". Ugh.

I will say that I did like the letter-exchange narration, however. I found the interplay interesting, and it ended up making the issue feel more substantial - to the point where I actually went back and counted the pages, to see if it was an extra-length story....

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