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"I think I'm on the wrong ship."
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August 14 2015

'Angel: After The Fall' gets repackaged as 'Angel: Season 6'. The first volume in the two volume set is out in October. The IDW blurb says " Angel: Season Six brings all the best moments from Angel: First Night, Spike: After the Fall, and Angel: After the Fall".

Somehow this just opened old wounds.

Can't we just go back in time and have them actually film a season 6? Why is magic not real?

I pretty distinctly remember Joss saying, back at the time, that this series *should not* be considered as "season 6" of Angel.
I thought the canon status was questionable in this series? No? I'm thinking about Lynch's Spike series in particular.

Update: So Wikipedia says they are all canon but then it's Wikipedia. I really thought there were issues with the Angel After the Fall series "fitting" before the stuff of Season 8+. Hmmmm.

[ edited by hann23 on 2015-08-14 17:27 ]
Actually, when the rights to Angel for Angel & Faith and for Spike to be in Buffy reverted back to Dark Horse, they worked out a deal to make the stories intersect,so it is considered canon, but if you tried to film them in a TV series it would be near impossible to make the series timeline work like they were airing at the same time.
After the Fall did happen according to Angel & Faith in S9, most of the public just "forgot" about it. So the 17 issues of ATF and the Spike After the Fall mini are canon.

Lynch was going to do a Spike ongoing but the rights went back, so his series became another mini and an explanation for how Spike got a spaceship/bugs for his entrance in S8. It partly featured Willow who Lynch got permission for to close things out. They even drew her in that green dress from The Long Way Home.

So those eight issues (collected as Alone Together Now & Stranger Things) also are in official canon. Everything else is up to personal opinion as none of the Dark Horse stories really confirm or conflict with anything else from IDW.
I have only read the After the Fall series and Buffy Season 8. I felt both went a little too over-the-top for me. Those kinda put me off of the comic continuations for the most part.

Anyone wanna sell me on Angel & Faith and/or Buffy S9?
They are (reasonably) more grounded now. No more space sex or General Buffy. Most of S10 is stuff they could have done on TV except for flying Willow all the time and a couple of the more detailed demon designs.

Since you're on the fence I recommend A & F S9 Vol 1 Live Through This, or Buffy S10 New Rules. It sets itself up well giving the characters a personal mission while also setting up the Big Bads and supporting cast in ways that are engaging to me. Using Whistler as a Big Bad with a backstory that made sense bothin context of the show and the S8 mess impressed me.

The creative team of that is now the one on the Buffy S10 title which also got partially written by Nick Brendon. You can pick that up as well and should be able to follow it if you want to skip over S9. I enjoy it as well though some consider it too saccharine. While I can see where they are coming from it's better then the over the top S8 and unclear writing in Buffy's S9.

Angel& Faith S10 is good as well but more of a slow burn so Where the River Meets the Sea probably isn't the best place to start since your are iffy on the comics.

I personally dislike S9's Buffy book. Boring, no real reflection of S8, lackluster Big Bads, Illyria's characterization was way off. Xander and Dawn's emotional arc was obvious from before the book started but it tries to make it seem like a surprise therefore making the characters look stupid for not seeing this coming.

So get Live Through This and/or New Rules and see if anything grabs you.
So is Angel Season 6 going to be an edited version of After The Fall? The blurb makes me think that way.
This makes about as much sense as Dark Horse calling the second series of Angel & Faith, "Angel & Faith: Season Ten."
The Angel AtF issues are canon. The Spike AtF issues don't have Joss' name on them, they are just Lynch's. The Spike 8 also don't have Joss' name on them. I believe it was a back scratching agreement that Joss got to have the intro to the bug ship included if Lynch got to use Willow (which I believe Joss agreed to if he saw her script). So you could say the bug ship origin is canon, Willow's part in the Spike 8 at a push perhaps could be considered canon, but only Angel AtF has Joss put his name to.
Yes but there is a deliberate gap in Spike's story in the main AtF series that Lynch made the mini to fill. Joss must have approved that since he worked closely with the main story. Therefore the mini is inferred as canon.

Chronologically from Spike's POV the events go: NFA, First Night, Spike AtF mini, appearance in main AtF story. Some time passes, Lynch 8 with Willow, more time passes, S8 entrance.
Thanks folks.
I don't deny that they fill a time sequence but that doesn't make them canon, only Joss can do that. I could write a story that fits perfectly before Angel arrives at the Hollywood sign, that doesn't make it canon. Joss might have approved Spike AtF but we don't know he did because he didn't choose to put his name to it. And even if we know he did it does't mean it is canon. We know Joss gave the go ahead for Into the Light to be produced but he didn't put his name on it, and they have specifically clarified that it isn't canon. So his approval doesn't mean something is official canon. Spike AtF is a non-canon fill in for that gap. Where the main AtF confirms it, those details become canon but it in its entirety isn't officially so. That doesn't stop you taking all the details as your personal canon, referenced or not of course. Likewise the Spike 8 fills a gap but Joss barely touched that and only did so for a specific reason which is then confirmed by his use of the bug ship. But the main stories in that are Lynch's, not Joss'. I think they have always said that if they choose to use the details of parts of IDW they become canon by confirmation, but that doesn't sweepingly apply to all details that weren't referenced, just the parts they lifted.

[ edited by Stoney on 2015-08-15 03:40 ]
Because the aspects of Willow and of the bug ship tie-in to what Joss wanted, the whole story of those 8 issues gets validated as canon. Because aspects of the main AtF plot fit Spike AtF's plot and it stands to reason Joss knew Lynch would fill the gap Joss left in the story, Spike AtF can also be validated as canon.

Into the Light doesn't present itself as canon to a current comics-only story. S8, S9, S10 all build on canon with special mention the AtF was still canon in S9. ITL is set during the seasons of the show just like the pre-S8 Dark Horse comics and other novels which are distinctly non-canon. And Marsters did not work directly with Joss, Lynch did. So the major gap had to have been allowed by The Purple One.

It's a similar situation to the Love vs. Life Billy side-story at the end of S9. It was set up in The Core which does have Whedon on it as a Buffy story, but Jane Espenson wrote it and it was originally published separately in Dark Horse Presents, away from the main story. But the trade paperback of The Core has both the Buffy issues and Love vs. Life in one book. Spike AtF has the same relation to the main AtF.

The Dylan cameo does muck things up slightly but if she never returns it can just be that, a winking cameo like The Doctor being drawn in a panel once. If she gets an expanded role then we'll have to see what Gage or someone from DH says then.

[ edited by Dusk on 2015-08-15 05:18 ]

[ edited by Dusk on 2015-08-15 05:47 ]
It doesn't work like that imo. Joss' name and his statements about canon are what make things official. I would agree personally on Spike AtF as canon, I see it as such as it all directly (as far as I remember) ties to the main AtF, like with the Billy story, but without Joss' name on them it isn't official unless he outright says so. It is how he gets to control his product quality/value.

Sierra, whilst stating that Into the Light wasn't canon said that Dylan's appearance as someone from Spike's past could or could not be understood, it didn't matter. So no, even if she reappears it doesn't make ITL canon, only whatever details they confirm.

Lynch's writing around Spike's soul in the Spike 8 directly contradicts the show in how Spike is with and without his soul and S10 has also just directly and clearly contradicted it in Spike's attitude around it. The details therefore of the Spike 8 are refuted as canon by being overruled by the official writing, aside from the bug ship which was confirmed/used by Joss. Possibly Joss' happiness/willingness in sending over Willow was more than just getting agreement re: the bugship backstory and was also in getting to help end the soul story!! ;)

They have always said that they won't directly contradict the IDW stories if it doesn't clash with what they want to do (as in the better Spike soul characterisation under Whedon's S10 purview, even though the show already trumped Spike 8 on that front). So they probably won't overwrite those gaps, they are deliberately left for fans to choose if they want to use them as their personal canon until/unless Joss contradicts them (or it clashes with anything Joss has written of course). And that is the point, they aren't officially confirmed because Joss won't be limited by other people's stories but has said he won't bump them unless they get in his way.

[ edited by Stoney on 2015-08-15 09:32 ]
The key bit that I've not been able to reconcile is Angel's appearance at the Hollywood sign, mainly as it's written by Joss but seems to directly contradict the AtF version of how LA is restored...
Okay, it was specified in the closing issues of after the Fall that everyone remembered what happened after the re-set. There was evena wing of the Public Library named Burkle/Wyndham-Price. Was that later , what, forgotten when the Seed was destroyed?

(Hmm, since Wes and Fred are alive and happily married, running AI and even parents in my main f icverse, I could stand to have that library dedication forgotten, btu the problem is my 'verse rbeaks of abefore Issue 20 of S-8, hmmmmmmm......)
Agree to disagree I guess. I put Lynch's soul writing no worse then the miscommunication between different writers or retcons the show even occasionally did. It doesn't negate the canon to me. Gage admitted he messed up calling Archaeus "The Old One" when he's not actually meant to be like Illyria or Maloker. Didn't show-Spike once call Angel his sire?

A more questionable canon is John Bryne's IDW send-off for Lorne after Andy Hallet died. Since it's unlikely Dark Horse will use Lorne for that reason, I personally accept Bryne's story as the character's last act. Anyone else is free not too, I'd just be surprised if they ever used Lorne in a DH story.

DayydyCatALSO-Angel just says they fixed LA after in went to hell. Nobody remembers it now, but Angel does and it was the kind of thing he thought Twilight could prevent. No concrete reason was given for the forgetting. Although you could chalk it up to the same forgetting the Bronze customers did when Vamp Willow sired a girl in front of everybody or any other vampire/demon attack.
Leaving IDW open for fans to choose whether they use it as canon does do just that, but if it contradicts confirmed canon it is overruled for me, pure and simple. Rolling with errors that are made in canon, under Joss' name, because sure they do happen, doesn't mean I'll take non-canon poor characterisation and mythology changes over Joss' officially confirmed show/comics, like ever. Certainly we can agree to disagree. :)

(I believe Joss said that when Spike called Angel his sire in School Hard it could just be seen to be an acknowledgment of his significant role in Spike's fledge years and he didn't feel it was contradicted by later finding out Dru had literally sired him.)
Now I feel dizzy after reading the discussion. :D
After the Fall is really good. I like Lynch's writing very much. Okay, back to the canon discussion.
@D-e-f- Just go back up a bit to my other comment, like I said start with Live Through This or New Rules if you want a current book. :) The Wikipedia Season Nine page can give you a good summary of those books. For the Lorne thing check the Buffy & Angel Wiki if you want.
Thanks, Dusk, but I have this obsession about completeness and not skipping stuff and chronology's annoying. :D

I think I might just pretend the comics don't exist and live in ignorance for a while longer.
Haha I know the feeling. If you are ever interested since you already have the main ATF story, of the IDW stuff just pick up Spike ATF and Spike Alone Together Now/Stranger Things. If you want closure on Lorne then also grab The John Bryne Collection.

Then S9 and S10 are easy to follow in terms of reading order, assuming you have the bank account for it all. ;)
Spike ATF I do have! Though, hilariously, I forgot if I actually read it or not. :D

I'm the worst.
Heh. It's rather short so you can knock it out pretty quick, although you may want to reread the main story if it's been too long.

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