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(Review) Angel 6.04 'After The Fall'

28th February 2008 (18:38)

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...

Comments

Posted by: My Sanctuary (married_n_mich)
Posted at: 28th February 2008 20:18 (UTC)

*Flies by post as not to be spoiled*

Mine hasn't even been shipped yet!

*Face palms*

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 28th February 2008 22:23 (UTC)

Pretty much what I was doing for the last week...

Posted by: satsux (satsux)
Posted at: 28th February 2008 21:28 (UTC)

I always like to read your reviews on the comics, but I wanna know if you missed this cause it was late and rushed or you didn't noticed.

In the time warp scene, Spike clearly holding the Scythe in his hands, and this seems to be happening in Fray's future (Flying cars.) And given the recently release Jo Chen Cover for issue 16, could this be how Spike will appear in Buffy Season 8, or was it a mere clue that we should assume Spiders a slayer and was nothing but a nod to the other comic.

I just point it out, cause it was strange, though kinda awesome if Spike is among the Lurks in the future.

Also, the cover for the next issue. I ID'ed most of the cast, but there's the guy in the far left side, that looks angry who I can't seem to remember.

Illyria, Angel and Spike make the first row. Gwen, Wesley, Connor and Lorne make the second row. Then that guy, Gunn and Nina. With both George and the Dragon behind.

I'll stop my rambling now.

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 28th February 2008 22:10 (UTC)

In the time warp scene, Spike clearly holding the Scythe in his hands, and this seems to be happening in Fray's future (Flying cars.) And given the recently release Jo Chen Cover for issue 16, could this be how Spike will appear in Buffy Season 8, or was it a mere clue that we should assume Spiders a slayer and was nothing but a nod to the other comic.

Apparently, Lynch has gone on record stating something like this: it's a) not THE scythe, just some axe Spike made himself; b) there will be no crossovers; and c) the flying cars and futuristic landscape showing up in both comics at the same time is just a coincidence. Some coincidence, eh?

He also said the guy on the next cover would be revealed in this issue, so I guess that's Groo. Not easy to tell with Urru's art, but...

Posted by: satsux (satsux)
Posted at: 28th February 2008 22:32 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 28th February 2008 22:29 (UTC)

Posted by: satsux (satsux)
Posted at: 28th February 2008 22:42 (UTC)

Posted by: Elena (moscow_watcher)
Posted at: 28th February 2008 21:35 (UTC)
Duster_by_awmp

Great review.

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.

I think it is the logical progression of Lorne making the anti-violence spell at La Caritas. (Maybe he could distribute the spell over the whole Hell-A in the future issues?)

Did I get that he was trying to steal something from the W&H building ("the package was missing") but couldn't find it?

I've got the impression that he was looking for the hagun shaft.

Also, his desire to save the photo of his human self from season 3 is both touching and creepy.

Yes - I wonder if he did it because he's nostalgic or because he needs a photo of Angel to make a "Wanted!" poster.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 28th February 2008 22:34 (UTC)

anti-violence spell at La Caritas

I suppose... although people could choose to go to Caritas knowing the rules, Lorne didn't cast the spell over an entire area of the city. Still, I suppose people could also leave Silver Lake and go and live somewhere else if they really objected to the harpy-song.

he was looking for the hagun shaft
But Angel doesn't have one... unless he thinks Spike would have given him his?

because he needs a photo of Angel
Ooh. That's an aspect I'd not thought of, that he needs the photo for sinister purposes...

Posted by: Elena (moscow_watcher)
Posted at: 28th February 2008 22:50 (UTC)

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 28th February 2008 22:19 (UTC)

Nicely done as always!

I have to say, I can see a few small problems with this storyline from a feminist perspective...

Arguably, that's in keeping with the comic so far.

I assume he's just destroyed the White Room and with it the Senior Partners' main link to this dimension.

Technically, the White Room isn't IN the W&H building, so I'm guessing he just ruined the connection to it. Not sure if that matters, though it's interesting that in the issue where it's made clear that W&H doesn't actually run this hell but simply arrange trips to it, the connection to W&H is suddenly severed, leaving Angel and whatever friends he can round up without an evil law firm in their corner...

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 28th February 2008 22:38 (UTC)

Well, okay, he destroyed the elevator that leads to the White Room. :-) (Ooh! What about the other lift that leads to the W&H 'home office'? The one that has Holland Manners as its elevator boy? I assume that must be out of action, because otherwise it would lead back to Earth...)

You're right... it is an interesting coincidence. Now i'm wondering exaclty what Gunn has planned; is it as simple as "W&H wouldn't let Angel be killed, but now they can't intervene to stop it"?

Posted by: eowyn_315 (eowyn_315)
Posted at: 29th February 2008 02:11 (UTC)

Wow, I think this is the first time I've ever gotten a comic before you, and thus could read the review in a timely fashion without spoiling myself. My mail is sooo slow...

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.

Am I the only one wondering how Angel got out of the street with broken legs and a broken back? Wesley couldn't pick him up, nor could he open the books to do some magical healing right away. Maybe Wesley got Connor or someone else to help, but that would mean others know that Angel's no longer a vampire. I got the impression Angel's humanity was just between him and Wes.

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.

Somebody (maybe on Whedonesque?) suggested that they were the furies that cast the non-violence spell on Caritas, so that was the first thing in my head when I saw them. But if they were the furies we'd seen before, why didn't Wesley recognize them, and what happened to the third one?

Giant Dawn taking Angel's dragon for walkies...

I have to admit, that gave me a giggle. At least it would give her something to do besides whine...

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 29th February 2008 15:41 (UTC)
angel-dragon

how Angel got out of the street with broken legs and a broken back?
Now that is a very good question. :-)

It does seem like even in his disembodied state Wesley can use magic though (although presumably not if it involves picking things up). Maybe he cast a spell on Angel allowing him to walk (or crawl) temporarily, just long enough to get to shelter?


I didn't think that the two women were the specific Transuding Furies; there have been several similar characters on the show ove the years, so I assumed they were just more of the same.

Posted by: eowyn_315 (eowyn_315)
Posted at: 29th February 2008 20:14 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 1st March 2008 08:55 (UTC)

Posted by: eowyn_315 (eowyn_315)
Posted at: 1st March 2008 15:48 (UTC)

Posted by: mrs_underhill (mrs_underhill)
Posted at: 29th February 2008 16:35 (UTC)
S&A

Am I the only one wondering how Angel got out of the street with broken legs and a broken back?
I wondered about that too! And decided that it must have been the Dragon. Dargon could take him to W&H at Wesley's bidding, but then Angel would need to be alert enough to work magics on himself... So still doesn't cut it. But maybe Dragon could fetch something, the potion or the parasite or what not, to do the first batch of healing, after which Angel would be more capable to do other magics?

Posted by: eowyn_315 (eowyn_315)
Posted at: 29th February 2008 20:34 (UTC)

Posted by: 2maggie2 (2maggie2)
Posted at: 1st March 2008 04:43 (UTC)

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 1st March 2008 18:47 (UTC)

Posted by: mrs_underhill (mrs_underhill)
Posted at: 29th February 2008 02:57 (UTC)
S&A

Wonder if the vision of the future where Spike has just cut off Spider's head is symbolic of this?
I don't think we should assume Spike has *just* cut her head off. She's wearing the same bikini as in the scene before, and she looks like she's been dead and headless for a long time. And Spike's axe has no trace of blood on it.
I read this scene as Spider being beheaded some time soon in this time, and so she would appear as a headless corpse in all the future moments after her beheading.
I also read her flashback appearance as being alive in those years. Which makes her a demon (Duh!). I.e. we were shown states of Spider in the past and in the future.

And you made me wonder too - what if Spider got nasty only because of the shaft? And was a nice demon otherwise?

I agree about feeling uneasy about Lorne's paradise. There must be a catch, a price to pay, otherwise it's too sweet. Maybe brainwashing his charges would be not as harmless as Lorne thinks?

And I'm a bit disappointed that it's so easy to destroy W&H, along with its magic conduits. Just blow the place up? I thought better of them. But maybe Gunn did something more behind the scenes, to really harm it.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 29th February 2008 15:48 (UTC)

I suppose Spider's body did look like it had been, um, dead for quite some time in that picture. So maybe she does end up dead over the course of this story.

Incidentally, Spider's use of words like "a tad" and "lass" - are these recognisable International English, or specifically British slang?

it's so easy to destroy W&H
Well, while it was up and running they had all sorts of security measures set up to stop anyone walking in and wiring up demolition charges all over the place... I imagine most of that security vanished along with the employees. As for any remaining automatic systems - well, in season 5 it was Gunn who seemed most familiar with the building's security, so presumably he knows the best ways to get around them now. And in the end, the building is still concrete and glass and steel...

Posted by: mrs_underhill (mrs_underhill)
Posted at: 29th February 2008 15:52 (UTC)

Posted by: Shapinglight (shapinglight)
Posted at: 29th February 2008 09:24 (UTC)
Comics Wesley

Hmm, I think our reviews are pretty much in agreement about most things, though personally I'm not expecting to see any more old characters reintroduced except maybe in flashbacks.

I too find the Spike/Spider scenario problematic, for similar reasons to you, plus others, as stated in my own review.

And yes, Chris Ryall and the IDW lot are refreshingly non-pissy about the 'other book,' compared to Scot Allie.

Edited at 2008-02-29 09:24 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 29th February 2008 16:28 (UTC)

Chris Ryall and the IDW lot are refreshingly non-pissy about the 'other book,' compared to Scot Allie

I kind of get the impression that IDW are fans, Dark Horse are publishers... Though I don't know the relative size of the two companies.

Posted by: eowyn_315 (eowyn_315)
Posted at: 29th February 2008 20:39 (UTC)

Posted by: mrs_underhill (mrs_underhill)
Posted at: 29th February 2008 20:40 (UTC)

Posted by: Shapinglight (shapinglight)
Posted at: 1st March 2008 22:08 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 2nd March 2008 02:26 (UTC)

Posted by: Shapinglight (shapinglight)
Posted at: 3rd March 2008 12:50 (UTC)

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