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"Emma? Honey...? War?"
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June 15 2011

(SPOILER) Scott Allie posts images from 'Angel & Faith'. A bunch of preview images were posted in individual tweets. Not sure if they are going to permanently live on DH's site so that link points to his twitter for now. Anyway, check out the pics!

Direct links:
Image 1
Image 2
Image 3
Image 4
Image 5
Image 6
Image 7
Image 8

Enter the first major retcon.
Great preview.I really love the art too.
I added the direct links in. And a spoiler tag. And I don't think hash tags really work with our headlines.
Faith looks like Faith! And Angel looks like Angel! Look at the last panel in the first picture; that is Faith through and through and I am so excited. Hopefully the characters will more consistently look like themselves, rather than either not looking like them at all or switching between kind of looking like themselves and looking like a twelve year old with a big head.

Also, I'm glad they'll be acknowledging that Angel's killed both Jenny and now Giles, but it will be a bit odd to hear about Jenny when the show didn't talk about her much and Giles had relations with other women after her (Olivia).
The art is amazing. I really like Issac's Faith in those close up panels.

I love that we got a whole page of Giles/Jenny imagery, and that they're not holding back making his death echo what happened in S2. Angel's line that "Giles forgave him. And he paid the price" is just brutal. I am now 100% convinced that the red roses on Giles' coffin in #40 were a totally intentional reference to Passion. It's all very creepy and sad.

I can't wait for this.
Enter the first major retcon.


Well you fanwank it away by saying it happened later on in Angel's timeline and something there pressed the reset button which had a cascading effect backwards. Or just go lalalala which I do on occassion.
I'm going with the retcon; only Angel remembers LA being sent to hell.

Two options: I either accept the retcon (which I'm more than happy to) or I can think that Angel is so egotistical he just dismissed ~10,000,000 people by calling them "no one" (as if only his POV mattered).

So... retcon. Lalalala.
Does that mean the dog mentioning the dragon in #36 is retcon also?
Is a retcon a retcon if it's explained? I think it is but I'm never sure because a lot of drama revolves around learning and adding to pre-existing situations and don't think it applies because of it. Hmm.
What the fudge?! Now no one remembers that LA went to Hell? UGH! That was the perfect way to lead into the world accepting the presence of vampires (a thread from Season 8 I *still* have a problem with given that it wasn't explained or executed very well).
There's a thin wavy line between retcon and development. Sometimes it's very clear and sometimes it's in the eye of the beholder. (For example, Simon rescuing River himself technically is a retcon, in that when he tells the crew he paid others to do it that was the original writerly intent; but since it's "Simon told people" versus "we saw Simon do something else" it was able to become not so much a retcon as simply a new revelation, and that Simon had lied tot he crew.)

Technically speaking, if everyone was supposed to have remembered Hell-A, but now it's just Angel, that's a retcon. However, it can become revelation instead if it was, say, everyone remembered originally but that memory faded over some period of time.

For me, if there's a way to get from Plot Point A to Contradictory Plot Point B in a way that makes sense, a retcon can work just fine. I mean, technically speaking the monks creating Dawn was a massive retcon within the narrative itself, but it had an explanation.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2011-06-15 22:53 ]
I do like Christos Gage's dialogue so far, it rings true.
What is the point of making people forget they went to Hell when the existence of vampires is public knowledge now? I have a problem with this.
Actually, people remembering their Hell-A experience would've logically led to the opposite reaction than embracing vampire culture. Sure, they were saved by a couple of vampires, but the other vampires weren't playing nice.
So remembering Hell-A logically wouldn't have led to the popularity of vampires skyrocketing.
I disagree. Not everyone reacts to trauma by recoiling; emotional reactions to traumatic experiences can and often do defy logic. Anyone here watch the BBC's Sherlock? Spoilers:

[ edited by Emmie on 2011-06-15 23:39 ]
What is getting me with this possible retcon is not so much that the general public won't remember Hell-A, but that Angel's Team will not remember it, Gunn in particular. His story post ATF is pretty dependent on him remembering what he did there. Illyria also had some pretty serious things happen to her, and she changed dramatically as well. I do get the feeling that we won't be seeing much of them anyway (except we've been told we'll see Connor), so maybe it doesn't matter.
Will we really not get the Angel cast in the merged series? That seems like a horrible waste of characters and character development, and Joss isn't usually one for that. Plus it'd just be a huge shame to lose Gunn, Illyria, Lorne, and everyone.
@Emmie: While what you're saying is true, that not everyone reacts to trauma by recoiling, you're then taking the stance that (almost) everyone reacts to trauma by doing the exact opposite of the logical.
I'd imagine a more realistic depiction of the fallout of that revelation would have been more like how mutants are treated in the X-Men stories (X-Men First Class, for example). In other words, with apprehension, fear, more than likely some bigotry, and then the politicians would've started debating civil rights in order to win more votes by exploiting a hot button topic. :)

I guess what I'm saying is that the post-AtF stories just don't necessarily segue into the S8 storyline. People celebrating Angel. Sure. Then the craze about being sired by a vampire with a soul. Okay... questionable story development, but still tracks along the logical-ish. But the full-on adoration of all things vampire in S8... that makes absolutely zero sense to me.

[ edited by wenxina on 2011-06-15 23:51 ]
Just 'cuz Angel said it doesn't mean it's necessarily the truth.

Also, until I see otherwise, I choose to interpret it like this: in the later Angel comics, post-AtF, we see Angel as a celebrity figure...but lots of people start saying "Oh it wasn't real," or "It didn't really happen." Maybe Angel's just exaggerating this?
Oh thanks for adding the links/spoiler tag, Simon. I added hashtag bc I thought that maybe Twitter pulls the headline verbatim, but maybe not?

I wonder if we're really not going to see Gunn, Illyria and the rest of the cast. That will be super-sad :(
Ah, the old Angel remembers and no one else does trick. I hope we're not really going down that road again. Wesley's not around to reveal the truth this time
God bless the person who posted this on tumblr. Twitter was blocked and Slayalive wouldn't show me the pictures on the computer I'm using at the moment.

I don't mind the retcon, It seems they're going to throw out some contradictions to the whole Lynch run just to show that it's not completely canon. I'm kinda happy with that.
Does that mean when Angel came through that portal he was coming back from L.A. when it went to hell?! Cause yay, something explained!
This will be the third time they pull the "Only Angel remembers..." scenerio. Hard to argue about retconning when it's been done twice on his show. As if suddenly the realism is thrown out the door.
After the Fall wasn't exactly confirmed canon, it was always a little ambiguous, does it make it retcon if the original info was based on something that wasn't (and still isnt't) canon?
I don't believe it was ambiguous at all. It seems that those who didn't like it decided it was 'ambiguous'. I would love to follow that logic into Season 8.

Art looks great-can't comment on the rest.
After the initial comics that joss was part of for Angel, I don't think it counts as cannon, so this is kinda acceptable. But we all pick and choose our cannon. Some people reject S8, some reject everything after S3, so really it just depends on whether you go with what Joss says, or choose your own.

I like these, very cool. Very close to the actors. It's good.
The more I see of her art, the more I love it.
Love the art (as someone said upthread, Faith's expression when she says "Yeah. He did." is perfect. I'm also liking the dialogue, and I love that Angel's thinking about Jenny--I mean it makes total sense that he'd be thinking about her. But also she's one of the characters I didn't relate to much the first time around, and completely fell in love with when I was rewatching the first two seasons more recently.

Anyway, it just makes me happy to see her importance to Giles' and Angel's journeys acknowledged so overtly. (I loved the dynamic between Jenny and Giles, and am still sad that they had so little time together.)
I'm loving the dialogue, loving the art, and the general feel I get from the preview panels. I am even more stoked than I previously was for this book!
I have to admit I'm geeking out a little because it's always fun to see a comic reference a story published by a different company, like in "Knightsend" when Azrael referenced his battle with Marvel's Jigsaw in a DC/Marvel crossover.
It seems that those who didn't like it decided it was 'ambiguous'.


No, that's not the case. That's a misinformed, oversimplified assumption.
I thought "After the Fall" was pretty decent, but it's canon status has obviously been ambiguous for a while. It's not anymore, though -- these pages make it clear to me that the events of IDW's book are basically on the same level as the original Buffy movie. It's what happened... ish. In all areas of conflict, though, Season 9/"Angel and Faith" will trump IDW's books. IDW's story forms a template from which the canon will be drawn, but it has no weight independent of what corresponds with what they say in the Dark Horse books. You can't retcon it; if there is no continuity, it can't be retroactively altered.
I also like how Faith is depicted, and love the attention given to Jenny. I agree with vamps that it makes the roses on Giles' coffin in #40 creepy. It's good that Angel is addressing all of that in the first person and not trying to hide behind the Angelus smokescreen. I find that promising.

I really like Faith's take that Angel wasn't lying to the girls' mother when he let her believe Giles' had sent them. It sets up the role those diaries are going to play this season.

Good stuff!
I don't call After the Fall ambiguous cause I didn't like it. I did like it, I was harder to get into then Buffy, but it was still good.
I call it ambiguous because, Just cause Joss was partially credited with AtF it was fully admited that he had a few conversations with Brian Lynch and that was it. He really had hardly anything to do with it. I know at one stage it was pretty much believed to be canon, but I really don't think it is for the most part.
I think basically: LA went to hell. Angel defended it, there was Cordelia the dragon, Angel got back from hell and LA was restored. All the other details I'm deaming to be confirmed or denied. And the fact that apparently only Angel remembers is hopefully one of many details to help us really understand Joss' idea of what happened!
Are there now two Angels? Cause if this is one is from the future then where's the one from the present?
What do you mean future?
Are you referring to the portal Angel came through in #36, cause that wasn't time travel.
But did he not come back in time to see LA restored and make a comment about "it's like we never lost the war"?
yeah that seemed weird to me to. I didn't get that. Maybe that's another thing that will differ how we think AtF panned out.
I'm just going off the fact that Scott Allie was very adament about how it was not time travel. I don't know, we'll see in August.
I'm interested to see if anything from the final Angel and Spike IDW comics will be retconned in the future given how Dark Horse and IDW supposedly came together to ensure a relatively smooth transition. As for the canon-inity of After the Fall and post-AtF IDW books, I've got a feeling it's gonna be a lot of "picking and choosing" as to what stays going forward.
Very pretty art. Nice to see these characters depicted as adult human beings for a change.
I don't say this as an IDW detractor at all, but the good news regarding IDW and canon is that aside from After the Fall, the Spike and Illyria miniseries, and possibly the last Angel arc, nothing of real importance actually happened. So you can gloss over it all you want or assume every issue was 100% canon, but everything between AtF and the final arc was messy or inconsequential or both, and was basically a bunch of minor characters taking the spotlight. Until Angel specifically says "yeah, that one time I was trapped by a guy who was using my blood to create new vamps until an ex-Watcher burned down the factory", the IDW comics don't really have any impact on anything.

[ edited by Matt7325 on 2011-06-16 10:35 ]
Should we introduce a new term - "re-canonization" - instead of "retcon"?
This was my fear right from the first time I heard that two different comic book companies were going to be in control of the Buffy/Angelverse continuity. We've got exactly what I predicted. A complete mess.

In truth, I would have fully expected the non-Lynch IDW stuff to be ignored. Personal opinion only here, I didn't think that it was very good. More generally, I just couldn't see that Joss would have been happy to work with certain character personality changes made at IDW, most especially Illyria. I always felt that anything done with her post-AtF would be quickly forgotten. If that is what is going to happen then I won't complain too much.

No, what I don't like is that it now seems that even the supposedly Whedon plotted After the Fall (issues 1-17 specifically) is now also in question. Firstly, from a selfish viewpoint, because I very much enjoyed that run (Lynch rocks!) and secondly because it has been more than suggested, if not completely confirmed, to be canon. Which is why I bought the series in the first place! Admittedly, I made a choice to continue from issue 18, even knowing that its canon status was now likely to be an iffy situation (I'm a completist, what can I say?), but had I known from the start that the whole damn series might not be a true part of the story then I wouldn't have bothered at all. I buy the comics because they are supposedly a continuation of a television show I loved a great deal. Not because I want to read some alternate version of that fictional world. That's why I never bothered with the original Dark Horse Buffy run. I'm only interested in the true story.

I'd have been perfectly okay with Aftermath onwards being disregarded. To be honest, I'd be happier if it was! I only carried on buying the IDW series after AtF ended because I figured that there was a possibility that the continued involvement of Brian Lynch made the story 'potentially' canon at least, whether I liked the actual content or not. But to now have to possibly start assuming that even AtF is only partly accurate, according to the Dark Horse continuity? That, I do find annoying.

Like I said, I only became interested in the IDW Angel stuff once the word 'canon' was attached to it. Now I'm starting to feel like I might have been conned into buying something and caring about its developments under false pretences. That's not cool.

Rant almost over, but on a related note, assuming that what Angel said is true and he is the only one to recall whatever now did happen in Hell-A, then what was the point of having Bryan connect the continuity dots with his Spike series. Spike on the bug-infested spaceship was a direct continuation of the events of the post AtF IDW content, meaning that Spike, at the very least, would also remember Hell-A. Unless, of course, Spike became leader of the bug people in a completely different way in Dark Horse continuity now? Like I said, MESS!
We have only seen one panel. Doesn't seem like a complete mess to me.
Though with that one panel a group consensus will certainly begin to be developed through these discussions so that any cognitive dissonance from the storyline can be diminished...
Hope you're right, Simon. I'll be genuinely happy to be wrong on this subject because I hate the idea of having to lose any elements of AtS at all. Unfortunately, this one panel seemed to confirm in a single sentence exactly what I had already started to presume was going to happen. Even if the intent isn't to completely disregard the AtF continuity, the suggestion that only Angel recalls Hell-A goes against elements of the IDW story that we have been led to assume were set in stone. It might be one line in one panel but it immediately suggests that the new series is at least going to play fast and loose with the details of the old. For me, personally, that means a mess.
It reminds me of when we used to get details of casting sides and we made judgements on Buffy or Angel episodes and arcs based on two or three lines of dialogue. Different medium, same fan practice. It's nice in a way.
Ugh Simon. I can't believe that Joss is ruining the show with this new scrappy gang. Dawn being the next slayer is SO predictable!
I never got into the "scrappy gang" from sides, I assumed it was happening... because of the episode. And I still scratch my head a bit, because there still was no point to that whatsoever unless those two young folks just didn't have their SAG cards yet and Joss wanted to be a bro :)
I wish I had read the latest Spike series so I could just pick it up and check this myself, but, can anyone say where he was when he got his bug ship? Like, was he pulled into another dimension first, or did the bugs enter our dimension with their ship and meet him here? Likewise, do we have anything in IDW about Angel leaving the dimension?

I ask because this might go a long way toward explaining continuity. If Angel and Spike came out of their respective portals into the Dark Horse continuity, as shown in the flashbacks, they must have both been in different timelines, or both in the same timeline but not traveling together. If Angel was never shown to be leaving the dimension, that could mean that IDW is the alternate universe in which he failed to save the world; it's just something that happens after that series ends. Then there's the flashback with the portal shown in Last Gleaming, and then he becomes Twilight.

That way there's no time travel; the fall of the world could have happened concurrently with the time between AtS5 and S8, and Angel (& Spike) got yanked out of the fallen world and into Buffy's reality. Admittedly, it's a bit of a squeeze, but chronology has always been a little willy-nilly in the comics.
Regarding canon, just look at it this way: After the Fall (issues 1-17) are absolutely canon, complete with Joss' seal of approval. Everything after is ambiguous. It can be canon if you want but it can be NOT canon as well if you don't like it or don't think it fits. I don't think the absolutely-canon Dark Horse stuff will ever refer to anything that happened After the Fall.

It's like the original Buffy comics and novels that took place between episodes or between seasons: if they don't contradict anything and they tell a good story that "fills in the blanks", you can consider them your personal canon. If you hate them, they aren't canon. The main series will never refer to them so neither position can actually be proven correct or incorrect.

So the way I see it, Angel's last canonical appearance pre-Season 8 is the last page of After the Fall #17, and his next canonical appearance is in Buffy Season 8 #1 a few months later (where Twilight's hovering over the castle).
I look at it this way -- if it's directly contradicted by Season 9 or "Angel and Faith", it isn't canon and never was. What fits in any blanks left by Season 9 and "Angel and Faith" is close enough the canon, but again could be contradicted at any time like it's no big deal. The only courtesy I think Joss is giving IDW here is that their book is a template for the story he's going to make official -- much like how that one Buffy novel's main plot element sort of grew into being Season 7.
can anyone say where he was when he got his bug ship? Like, was he pulled into another dimension first, or did the bugs enter our dimension with their ship and meet him here? Likewise, do we have anything in IDW about Angel leaving the dimension?


The bugs come from another dimension, Spike in in Las Vegas at the time and joins up with them, then they return to said dimension. So Spike's timeline is essentially Buffy Season 7, Angel Season 5, After the Fall, (debatedly the rest of IDW's run), Spike's miniseries, then Last Gleaming.

As for Angel I'm not certain which dimension you mean... if you're referring to AtF-Hell he returned in #17, if you're referring to the future dimension he visited in IDW's last arc he returned in the final issue. How the dimension Angel escaped from in Buffy #36 ties into this is anyone's guess.


@KingofCretins: Which novel was that? I am intrigued.
I can't remember, but it was basically about a plot to extinguish the Slayer line by killing all potential Slayers. The details of Season 7, including the First, are much different, but I refuse to even consider the idea that the two shared the same basic central threat by coincidence.
Well, Kairos, as far as Spike is concerned, continuity seemed to be working pretty well with where we left him in his IDW series. I guess that I'd better spoiler-vision this, just in case...



The end of Angel's IDW story, however? Less easy to connect to the Dark Horse material.
Or what Matt7325 said, without the apparently unnecessary spoiler text. ;)
Ah, if anyone wants me to spoilerize my last post I'm happy to, but the issue has been out for a while now.

@KoC: I think that was "Pretty Maids All In A Row", the Spike/Drusilla novel. It kind of stood out from many of the other Buffy novels because it was one of the ones that was actually worth reading.
@Brierly,

"Regarding canon, just look at it this way: After the Fall (issues 1-17) are absolutely canon..."

See, that's my whole issue now though. If it was going to be exactly how you suggested, then I'd be okay with that. In fact, that is how I already understood it would likely be. My problem is that now it appears that not all the events you saw happen in AtF 1-17 are definitely going to be canon. That the whole run might only be a rough representation of what actually happened, rather than the true version of events as recalled by Angel.

Like I said to Simon, I hope I'm presuming too much and that this is simply one inaccurate line of Angel dialogue, rather than the first example of AtF canon reinvention. We shall see.

@KingofCretins,

Do you mean 'Pretty Maids All In A Row', the Spike/Dru novel?

@Matt7325,

Don't think it's you that's in error regarding spoilers, mate. Just me being overly cautious. :)

EDIT: Random apostrophe cull.

[ edited by RockPagan on 2011-06-16 15:42 ]
It was "Pretty Maids All In A Row". And I agree that it was one of the only Buffy novels that wasn't an environmental affront to publish. Well, my 15 year old self thought so anyway... who knows how I'd feel about it now.
So let me try to understand this;

Joss meets Brian Lynch face to face once to discuss the Angel comic (the famous 'breakfast meeting'.)

Joss meets Christos Gage face to face once to discuss the Angel comic (the writers summit.)

Joss doesn't have time to write Angel himself but decrees Lynch the writer.

Joss doesn't have time to write A&F himself but decrees Gage the writer.

Joss lays out a story and exchanges emails with Lynch about story, dialogue etc

Joss lays out a story and exchanges emails with Gage about story, dialogue etc

Angel:AtF is 'dubious canon'

Angel & Faith is 'true canon'


HUH?
Nah, I love that book too. It's actually really great and I love the Danish Slayer as well as Golden's characterization of Spike & Dru. And dare I say that the potentials in that book, as well as the Council, are much better developed than in S7? It's a very good book and basically the only BtVS novel I really love (the only other is the Lost Slayer series).
Honestly faith in Angel, I think that they were both definitely considered canon in their times (best way to market something, let's be honest here), but Angel:AtF is going to become "ignorable canon" just because the publishing company has shifted and Dark Horse has won the power of the story.

It's the very simple truth of the matter, even if it is a bit hard to swallow. I'm sure the Dark Horse canon will seem more real to people anyway because of the Joss constant, as opposed to the initial meeting only with brian lynch. That is certainly not IDW's fault, it just is what it is.
But when Buffy changed TV network the story didn't change.

When Garth Ennis' 'The Boys' moved publisher after 6 issues the story didn't change.

So why now?
TV show 'canon'! Dark Horse 'canon'! IDW 'canon'! Personal 'canon'! Add them all together and what do you get? A complete absence of anything remotely resembling the true meaning of canon!

To be honest, right now I just want Joss Whedon canon! I'll happily disregard any part of the story so far, whether I personally like it or not, if Joss would just go on record as saying what is and what isn't actual canon Buffy/Angelverse continuity. As far as I'm concerned, that is the only real source of canon anyway.

It's not a case of me wanting the canon to fit my own personal preference of the story. If Joss was to say that we should disregard everything that happened in AtF, even the previously thought canon material, then so be it. On the other hand, if Joss was to say that every detail from Aftermath onwards was to be considered canon, even the stuff I personally cannot stand, then that's fine too! It's just that I honestly want to know what part of the story and character development I've read up until now actually matters, you know? Right now, I have absolutely no idea.
faith in Angel - The difference is that Joss Whedon is serving as an "Executive Producer" for Angel and Faith, overseeing the project in a manner that he didn't do for After the Fall, for which he pretty much just handed old notes off to Brian Lynch. On a more subjective note, Christos Gage is seriously one of the best writers in the comics medium, but Brian Lynch isn't at that level.
But didn't Joss say he didn't have the time to do that? He didnt care as much about the Angel as the Buffy (not a criticism, just stating the facts) so that was what he was prepared to do for Angel. Of course we now know that Angel was Twilight, and that's what he was more interested in, but he was happy for the AtF story to be told...just not enough to do it himself.


I don't know...I feel now that people are just nitpicking. If we now have reference to Angel being in hell, riding a dragon etc then why not take AtF as canon? Why this fight by some people to have it discredited?
One brief note: if I recall correctly the reason effort was made to try to at least roughly match up the end of IDW's run to the switch in publishers wasn't to say all of IDW's run was canon, but to make the transition easier for whatever subset of IDW readers wanted an easier transition.

Although I kind of love the proposed fanwank above that the post-ATF IDW run was in essence an alternaworld. It makes Angel's portal in Buffy S8 kind of niftily meta -- he was portalling in from IDW.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2011-06-16 18:02 ]
The change in networks didn't change the creative minds behind the project.
And anyway, Christos Gage has posted a string of tweets regarding the memory issue. You can read his Tweet stream HERE.
In other words, almost exactly what several people have suggested as a workable bridging plot point. Sweet.
Glad to see some sort of explanation. I love how a passionate fanbase forces these guys to explain themselves. They can't say anything any more without being held accountable!
I really like that resolution.
Regarding Gage's tweets... the fading memory idea works pretty well for me so if that is the official line on how they are going to explain it away, then all good. Especially as Gage seems to suggest that all the supernatural types will still retain the memory, rather than just Angel, as that original panel suggested. I wonder what that means for Gunn though? He was one of the supernatural types during Hell-A but not after it all went away, so where does that leave him as far as what he remembers goes?
I love how a passionate fanbase forces these guys to explain themselves.


It's not necessary a good thing, see entitlement.
@Simon-Yeah, I totally get what you are saying. It can get messy, especially if the fanbase starts thinking they deserve to dictate how the story progresses.
Although it should also be noted that he just tweeted that these are his opinions, and Joss sets canon. ;)
The fading memory thing is actually in line with the post ATF stories IDW was doing.Brian Lynch introduced that idea as starting to happen in Boys And Their Toys/Last Angel In Hell.
Cool-glad to see an explanation!
The way I see it: ATF is still canon. This is what happened to EVERYONE. Sometime after After the Fall but before Buffy Season 8 #1, Angel "deleted" the Hell-A memories from the minds of LA's citizens. So ATF is "what happened", but no one except Angel (and probably Gunn, Illyria, Connor, etc.) remembers it that way.
@Simon, I know exactly what you mean.

Something that always annoys me about any given fandom is when an individual thinks that his or her own preferences matter more than those of the creator(s) of the story. That's where the whole idea of 'personal canon' seems to have sprung from, a concept that I just find kinda silly.

Like I said above, I simply want to know the official-Joss-sanctioned-accept-no-substitutes canon, whatever that may be. I don't want to write the story, I just want to know what it really is.

@b!X,

Dammit! ;)
What I'm trying to say is, don't throw out your copies of After the Fall just because "it may not have happened that way" or something.

In superhero comics, stuff like this happens all the time. Characters have their memories wiped but the stories still happened, they just don't remember it. For example, DC's Crisis on Infinite Earths was wiped from everyone's minds until 2005's The Return of Donna Troy/Infinite Crisis. Even though 20 years passed in between, it "still happened" and eventually ended up "counting".
But you're never going to get a definitive answer, RockPagan. At some point you have to decide for yourself what does and doesn't count. They aren't going to come out with a list that declares such-and-such stories canon and non-canon.

After the Fall has Joss' name on it. It's canon. Buffy Seasons 8 and 9 have Joss' name on it. It's canon. People not remembering Hell-A doesn't "de-canonize" After the Fall. Think of Superboy-Prime's wall punches that created continuity anomalies in the DC Universe. In the final issue of After the Fall, everyone remembers LA. But sometime after that point, their memories were erased. Now only Angel remembers that they remembered and treated him like a celebrity. Those people actually did remember Hell-A, but their memories were replaced by mystical memories.

Look at it this way: Buffy Seasons 1-4 are canon. The way we saw it is how it actually happened. But the characters have mystical memories of Dawn being there. The fake memories of Dawn being there are just that---FAKE. She wasn't really there in the original episodes we saw. So After the Fall happened as presented in #1-17 but after the fact many citizens of LA ended up with mystical replacement memories.

I hope this makes sense.
Oh and Re:passionate fanbase...that's all they have left now. And that fanbase is dwindling.

Not saying they shouldn't be able to write the story they want...but if the story contradicts itself or gets pre-established facts wrong, then they should be alerted.
Not really how I see it, Brierly.

I can decide what I want to acknowledge should I choose to do so, absolutely. But that's not going to change canon. We don't decide that. In this case, only Joss does.

See, up until the IDW Angel comics began we knew exactly what canon was. The events of the two television series and Buffy Season 8. Nothing else. Now we have a situtaion where we have a comic series that partly is and partly isn't. We're currently supposed to assume that AtF 1-17 (and Spike: AtF 1-4) is canon (a fact that I'm more than happy to go with) but everything else is in some weird could-be-but-might-well-not-be pseudo-canon that we can acknowledge or not, depending on if we want to or not. That, to me, is not what canon is about. I don't decide that based on what I want to have happened. Joss decides based on what he decides really happened. As such, without a true Joss stamp of approval, there ain't no canon to be had. For me, at least.
A gentle headsup - I don't want to see every comic book thread turn into a canon debate so as a courtesy to the interested parties, this will be the last one we have for a while.
Joss Whedon has said "After the Fall" is canon. Brian Lynch has said "After the Fall" is canon. Christos Gage said in an interview that "After the Fall" is canon. There's absolutely no getting around it. It's canon.

Which, yay.
People are mistaking "retcon" with "canon". What we've seen in the A&F panel is an example of a retcon, not de-canonization. Retcons aren't necessarily bad things. Whatever happened to erase the memories of the citizens of LA happened off-panel after AtF #17. If you've never read comic books, it can be a difficult concept to grasp.
Also, Christos Gage cleared stuff up on Twitter. He's not retconning ATF. It still happened *as is*. He's adding to the story, saying that as time went on, the memories faded from normal folks and only the supernatural remembered. He has said that Angel, Gunn, Illyria, Spike, and Connor still remember.
If canon, then we are basically getting a retcon already because I think that did come from #17. Starting with "Aftermath", though, I only care about what is explicitly acknowledged or at least implicityly presumed by Season 9 and "Angel and Faith". Is it in part because I consider those stories highly dubious? Sure. But they also have little if any support for canon status, either. I think Allie has been very careful not to imply that all those stories are canonical as such -- at best, loose references to canon events, like the movie.
Thanks for the update, patxshand! This is indeed a classic case of retcon (but that's not necessarily a bad thing), not de-canonization, just as I suspected.
Dark Horse is referencing my Yearbook story on the twenty-first page of Issue #4, so now it finally matters!
The canonness of non-AtF IDW Angel is a Schrodinger's Cat situation; you just don't know if it is or isn't canon until they say so in Season 9. I dub it: Schrodinger's Canon.
I think I'm feeling like, "Give me one good reason why I should care about or read this" after what Rock Pagan and faith in angel have pointed out. I seem to remember there being these same sorts of discussions when it was announced there would be a S8 of Buffy, and that it would indeed be considered canon.

Because a commitment to a belief needs to have something behind it and I don't feel that here. How can AtF be canon, and now not with something else to replace it. I take art I partake of very seriously and now it just feels like being jerked around. You just lose sight of what something was supposed to be because now there is no clear through line, but something completely different.
He's adding to the story, saying that as time went on, the memories faded from normal folks and only the supernatural remembered.


I wonder if it ties in with magic leaving the Buffyverse. Course does that mean that everyone remembers Connor now?
I had been sure, once upon a time, that no more magic would mean everyone would forget Dawn, although she would still exist. Which would have been a weird new twist on Xander's perpetual love troubles.
The shows Angel and Buffy didn't always connect either. On Buffy, she was Angel's one true love. On Angel, she was an ex who sent him to hell once.
@redeem147
I think that can be explained more as a matter of perspective in accordance with the shows' respective protagonists.
This book is going to feel awfully lonely if Angel's supporting cast doesn't play a role.
Sometimes less is more. (See: season eight).
Pat, you joke, but... yeah, pretty much. If I write a Buffy story and a billion people love it, it would still matter more if it was referenced by the direct and moving hand behind the Buffyverse.

That's pretty much where we're at with the IDW books, definitely post-"After the Fall", and even "After the Fall". Look... we've already had one glaring inconsistency that the writer has been kind enough to fudge, but it's probably not going to be the last. Those won't be plot errors, they will simply be plot corrections. Nothing that happened over at IDW was ever more than an outline for a season that never got made. Fleshed out into a different outline for someone else, as for Joss' involvement. He was a name brand on the cover. I think it's a great kindness and courtesy that he is choosing to shape the no-doubt canon around those stories as much as suit him.
Wrong, jaymii. Angel doesn't have as large a supporting cast as Buffy so that argument doesn't fly. I want to see Gunn and Connor (apparently Illyria won't be showing up because Joss has other plans for her).

Angel the Series never had more than 5 or 6 series regulars at a time so I think the comics can handle Angel, Faith, Connor and Gunn.
Kingofcretins, I don't see how you can deny After the Fall is canon when it has Joss' name on it.
"Pat, you joke, but... yeah, pretty much. If I write a Buffy story and a billion people love it, it would still matter more if it was referenced by the direct and moving hand behind the Buffyverse."

Nope, not at all. I don't understand this viewpoint one bit.
I literally meant two people. Angel and Faith. That's all I need.
Just to clarify, so that people who haven't read the entire thread don't think that the whole conversation about the potential now non-canon status of AtF 1-17 was a complete waste of time, when this topic first began it did appear that there was an intention to at least tinker with certain established facts from that series. The suggestion that Angel was the only one to remember Hell-A went against what was known to be true at the end of AtF. Especially with regard to the other key players in the story.

Assuming Gage's 'fading memories of all non-supernatural characters' explanation can be taken as fact (which as far as I'm concerned it can, given that Joss made him Head Angel Writer Guy) then that issue goes away. We didn't have that info originally though, leading to the whole canon uncertainty debate.

So I don't think anyone was actually mistaking retcon for canon, as was suggested above. I, for one, was genuinely worried that we were about to see the events of AtF become non-canon, or at the very least yet more questionable canon, rather than retconned. I'm fine with a workable retcon though. As long as the story still works and the details of AtF remain unaltered, it's all good!
That's enough for you, jaymii, but not me. Gunn and Connor (and Cordelia and Wesley and Lorne and Doyle and Harmony) were all important in making me like the Angel series in the first place. They should be in his ongoing as well, not cast aside like they didn't matter.
If it fits the plot, I don't think they should be crammed in just for the sake of it. Things change, many Angel fans didn't want him to have his own series back when Buffy Season 3 finished. But that turned ok in the end.
Being cast aside doesn't mean they don't matter. Faith is one of the most important people in Buffy's history and she spends a lot of time on the sidelines. I'd rather have a proper introspective look at a smaller number of characters than city-jumping and cameos abound that made season eight often meander a bit too much. If you have 40 minutes of screentime for twenty-two weeks a year, it's easier to service a big cast. These comics take minutes to read, and that fact matters. I'm a fan of season 8 and actually think it's well constructed, but it really did pander to the audience's love of the ensemble a bit much.

Side-characters, if they have a necessary story, should have dedicated one-shots, I think.
Then if not in the Angel series, they should get their own spin-off minis. These characters have fans too.
Regarding the loss of magic and what that means to the likes of Dawn and Connor, I'm not sure why anything would be likely to change.

Neither one of them is sustained by magic. Both had their existence either created or altered by magical means, but neither depend on it currently. Dawn, Connor and all the false memories that surround them are real now, regardless of how they happened to come about. Their existence is not dependent on continued exposure to magic. If that was actually the case then surely every other spell cast in the history of the world would have to come undone as well, when the magic went away.

As for the rest of the Angel cast, I'm sure they'll be used sooner or later. We know there are plans for Spike and Illyria (although admittedly with the two of them now over in Buffy's series) and so that really only leaves Gunn to miss. Hopefully it won't be too long until he makes his return too.
Nope, not at all. I don't understand this viewpoint one bit.

Of course it would. Canon is an objective status, there is no subjective component, ergo mine, and my billion-wide audience's votes, don't count. Only one votes count, and that's Joss'. If something is referenced in a work that he is directly overseeing, it is of more substance than that which he merely permitted -- or, in the case of FOX licensed products, permitted second hand.
Canon is anything but an objective status, KOC, but we've had that discussion before. And on that potential bomb I leave you for a much needed week-long vacation. :-)
Yep, we did. And while you thought you were subjectively right, I considered you to have been objectively wrong ;) If a billion BILLION people go to Joss and say "yo Joss, we just read this awesome 'Queen of the Slayers' book, it's great. That's what really happened to the characters!" and Joss said "... naw", Joss wins. Which, I suppose one could argue is still subjective for him, but it's sort of besides the point; it behaves as objective reality for everybody but him. Kinda like the old "'God is dead' - Nietzsche / 'Nietzsche is dead' - God" joke; if only one subjective view has any relevance to anything outside their own head, it's the substantial equivalent of objective.
Bottom line is DH isn't going to let the IDW stories constrain them in what they want to do. Already Allie said that the AtF panel of Spike in the future shouldn't be regarded as canonical fact.

Where possible, they'll smooth it out, as with the fading memories. Those flashforwards in AtF will now be possible futures. etc.

But the bottom line remains that AtF is at the mercy of what works for the story Joss wants to tell. Gage just tweeted that. Material supervised by Joss is totally going to trump an outline handed off to some other guy. And that's as it should be.
Maggie really sums it up -- I don't think anybody can really say right now that it's implausible that Joss could just blow up some major development from IDW, including "After the Fall". For isntance, if Joss had actually been tickled by GWONNOR awesomeness, and lo and behold, they show up as a couple again like they'd had no beef... oh well.
Totally with KoC on this.

Let's put it this way. I'm currently attempting to write a series of books based on characters that I've created. As such, I get to decide the canon. No one else. Just me.

Should the books ever get published (and given the amount of time that I've actually had to write anything recently, that's far from certain) anyone who chooses to read the story is free to pick which parts of the story they wish to accept and which parts they wish to ignore. They are also free to create their own stories based upon my characters. None of that, however, will decide what's canon. That's all mine. Just as Joss is the only one who gets to decide what's canon within the Buffyverse. As a fan you don't get to pick and choose canon. You only get to choose which parts of it you like.
If you're right, Maggie, I'm prepared to throw my Angel: After the Fall hardcover deluxe edition in the garbage right now. I don't any non-canon stuff stinking up my bookshelf.
I will admit I like that Faith is co-headlining this book. It beats a solo mini-series and beefs up her lacklustre role in Season 8. That being said, I really don't want them hooking up. Yuck!
Brierly, instead of the trash send them to me. I enjoyed After the Fall very much. These canon conversations always make me feel like I'm in a country where I don't speak the language. None of it is real, so what does it matter whether some is less real?
As much as I love After the Fall and the Spike series, the Armstrong and Willingham runs were awful to me, therefore, not canon. They just don't fit. Fortunately I didn't buy them and don't need to throw them in the trash.
Well for me I'll take a good story well told over anything, be it seen as 'canon' or not.

Personally I found AtF more enjoyable then anything Whedon has come out with so far. Shame really as I was hoping for so much better from him.
If Joss said Disc 2 of Season 3's DVDs were not canon any more and he was releasing a graphic novel of how he really wanted then to be...would you throw then out too?
@Xane,

"None of it is real, so what does it matter whether some is less real?"

Well, I can only speak for myself here but I guess it comes down to just wanting to know for certain, one way or another. I want to know what actually happened to a given character, rather than what might have, if you see what I mean? That matters to me.

It's like my CD collection. I'm a big music fan and I'll buy every official release from my favourite bands but I have no interest in owning unofficially released material, such as cheap greatest hits collections or bootlegs (apart from the ones sanctioned by the bands, obviously). For me, it matters that my music collection is as the band intended. As such, I like to be aware of what is official material, as far as they are concerned, and what is not.

Same goes for my love of fiction. I have no problem with non-canon material, as such. Like I said, I've read all of the later IDW Angel stuff, even knowing that it was unlikely to stick. I've enjoyed many excellent tv related novels (Star Trek, X-Files, Doctor Who, etc) that are most certainly not canon and never will be.

I'm even fine with enjoying two or more entirely separate versions of canon for one property. Whether that be two versions on television, such as the original and updated versions of Battlestar Galactica, or one version in novel form and the television adaption (Dexter, True Blood and so on).

So it's not about only being able to enjoy canon material, so much. I just like to know for a fact what actually is canon. Just so that I know, y'know?
KoC's got it goin' on here. Joss could choose to blow up various "facts" from AtF, but it would just be irritating to me in the same way that the rules of the Buffyverse canon were toyed with (or mistakes were just flat out made) in later seasons of the shows.
I suggest that anyone who is particularly hung up over what is or isn't canon stay far, far away from any and all Star Wars properties.
Or the original V series, the book that came out a couple of years back made V canon very complicated.
Not a problem, QingTing! I REALLY do not like Star Wars! ;)
Would have said Star Trek is much more blurry with canon, with the creator changing things multiple times. I wouldn't have thought Star Wars was that complicated, but it has about three layers of canon - right? The films, then the animated stuff/video games, then the extended universe?
Not sure what you mean by that, Jaymii? What is it that you think Roddenberry changed? I know of quite a few retcons and the occasional outright mistake, but the canon has never really been in question for Star Trek.
I bailed on the Star Wars EU after Timothy Zahn's agreeable second set of novels. Haven't missed anything from what I've heard :)

If Joss decanonized Season 2 (and this is not a novel idea in television; "Dallas", "Roseanne", "Married... with Children", etc), throwing out the DVDs would be your choice. Throwing out your expectations that he adhere to the content he just voided would be a given, though, and that's what we're talking about.

It would be suitably amusing if Joss ever doing anything that decanonized "After the Fall" since "After the Fall" is itself a reset story. Well, mostly. It's got the same sort of dilemma I found in "Inception", namely... if your big adventure, peril, daring, gallantry, cleverness, etc. are happening in a dream, did you really "do" them?
I am not sure what Jaymii's referring to, but I know that Roddenberry has declared Star Trek V non-canon. The other problem with Trek is that the primary creative force changes, with Roddenberry's death and all. Well, even before then, he didn't really have the final say on events in TNG. Star Trek is much more of a shared property than the Whedon verses are, which makes canon harder to define according to "the creator's wishes." You could say the same about Dr. Who, obviously.

Anyway, for me at least, the canon issue and the quality issue are not really intersecting. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead is obviously not Hamlet-canon, but it doesn't mean it isn't worthwhile in its own right, or that it isn't a work in and of itself.
You can end up with a collaborative canon, but like any other property right ("canon" status is nothing more, really, than a form of intellectual property, just not one over which there is any corresponding law as such; it's a law of etiquette), it can be delegated, assigned, and shared. Roddenberry laid hands upon Rick Berman once upon a time, basically. George Lucas did this in a way long ago when he decreed that post-"Jedi" EU novels had canon status since he'd decided not to make the post-quel trilogy, which is why (unlike "Star Trek" novels or "Buffy" novels), "Star Wars" novels have to respect each other's events.

With "Buffy", there has never been any sharing of the story stick in terms of getting to decide what "counts" as the story.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2011-06-17 16:39 ]
@KingofCretins

AtF wasn't a reset story. Everything in Hell-A happened. It's just that W&H brought everyone back to the point where they had originally taken them from.
It's at least as much of a reset story as, for instance, "A Christmas Carol" was.
I'm not a big Trek watcher, but I remember noticing and reading about some lines and then changes episode to episode. Depending how pedantic this is, that's more continuity than canon though.
I don't see what about After the Fall Dark Horse would want to change anyway, so the more I think about it, the less worried I am.
@KingofCretins

Is it? It's more like Angel's time in Hell at the end of Season 2. He was there for 'a hundred years'...yet on Earth time it was only a few months.

Same here. They were in this particular Hell dimension for a few months. But on Earth time it was an instant.

Angel suffered torture for 100 years. Connor lived in Quartoth for 16 years. LA was in Hell for a few months. All those things happened. Just that time moved differently than here on Earth.
No, it's not the same as those things at all. There were no permanent consequences to Hell-A other than in the character's heads... and apparently, not even all of theirs. Connor and Angel went to those hell dimensions as a physical reality with linear time. Had either one lost an arm, they'd have come back without the arm. Hell-A was a moment frozen out of time, so everything in it was basically insubstantial other than how it affects someone's mental state; if it was the same as Quor'toth, almost every major "Angel" character, including Angel, would be dead. Which brings us back to Dickens; after the fact, there's nothing outside Scrooge's own mind that could ever independently verify that anything had happened at all.
”In fact, I am talking to Brian Lynch who wrote Spike: Asylum about doing a sort of Season Six of Angel – a canon, post-Angel story. I was really impressed with Asylum. Brian really got the humor and the rhythms and told a story really well. I thought, “If they can do this, why shouldn’t they?"

- Joss Whedon.

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