StephenT (stormwreath) wrote,

(Review) Angel 6.04 'After The Fall'

Kind of late to the party here, but I've finally got hold of 'After the Fall #4' and so here are my thoughts.

This issue continues the trend of introducing a few more characters from the series. Now I'm wondering if this will continue, so by issue #12 we've got a reanimated Doyle and David Nabbit making cameos; or alternatively if the arc will resemble a sine wave, and from issue 7 onwards a few characters will die each episode until only Angel and Wesley are left by the finale...

I did like the flashback to Angel discovering he was human. Ouch. The repetition of 'heart racing' was a nice touch.. and presumably we are also learning the reason for why he 'couldn't move' for his first weeks in Hell.. a broken back will do that to you, even with magical healing.

It's doubtless highly revealing for his motivation that Angel's overriding desire is to get 'back to the fight' - and to help Gunn - rather than being relieved at his apparent escape.

Little touches like Angel seeing his reflection in the glass were fun - and we have confirmation that he is indeed human, and he doesn't think it's because of the Shanshu because he signed that away (though as I said last time, I'm not sure he's not mistaken there). I wonder if Angel's muttered "we agreed not to say the h-word" is a nod to the fan arguments?

At first I thought the two 'walk into the light' girls were from Spike, but with hindsight their sense of humour ("Walk into the light. Light blue Acura. It's in the garage") does seem Lornesque. And Wesley's making with the dry self-mocking humour...

We get clarification of the relationship between Spike and Illyria; as suspected, Spike thinks they're co-lords, the other lords think Illyria is in charge. Illyria's own views on the matter are unknown. (Though I can guess...). On the other hand, Spider is more of a mystery. Is she human, demon, witch, Slayer? Apparently she was the leader of the group before Spike came along, and in best pulp fiction dime novel style, they captured him, he won the heart of their leader and ended up the leader himself. I have to say, I can see a few small problems with this storyline from a feminist perspective... Wonder if the vision of the future where Spike has just cut off Spider's head is symbolic of this?

Spider certainly knows her mystical artefacts; I wonder if her eagerness to have this one is just part of her personality, or if it was having some sort of magical One-Ringlike effect on her?

Lorne's little paradise hideaway is funny... but also a little morally disturbing, in that he's apparently using demon-harpy mind control magic to suppress people's more violent emotions. And Wesley, being a ghost, is apparently immune. Hmm. Otherwise, Lorne did seem in character, and I thought his attitude to Angel was just right.

Wesley didn't see Groosalugg coming, but some of us did. :-) His dialogue was perfect; totally over the top and cheesy...

And then we have Gunn. Did I get that he was trying to steal something from the W&H building ("the package was missing") but couldn't find it? So he moved on to stage 2 of his plan, which was to blow the place up. His pleasure in the destruction surely came =both from his human memories and his vampire taste for violence... but the fact that Wesley fades from view immediately after the explosion is probably the real reason for it. I assume he's just destroyed the White Room and with it the Senior Partners' main link to this dimension. Also, his desire to save the photo of his human self from season 3 is both touching and creepy.

No big shocking ending this time, which kind of says to me that the introductions are over and we're now into the main meat of the story.

And finally, I continue to be impressed by the straightforward and professional way Chris Ryall and IDW are happy to talk about "the other comic" - to the extent of making jokes like the one in this issue's letters page about Giant Dawn taking Angel's dragon for walkies...

Tags: after the fall, angel, buffy, review
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