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Date Posted: 09:38:33 11/24/07 Sat
Author: KdS
Subject: Angel: After The Fall #1 (SPOILERS)

Slightly disappointed that Whedon isn't actually writing this, but Lynch's grasp of character voices is excellent for someone who didn't write on the actual TV show.

I said when the opening pages were released that I liked the way that this story appeared to back away from the ideologically unfortunate "all demons are evil and human evil is all their fault" vibe of Season Five, and this issue thoroughly confirmed it with not merely the dragon involved but all the demon members of Connor's Last Redoubt. It is also generally nice to see just how catastrophic the results of Angel's actions turned out. I'll be interested to see whether our assumed reconstructions of the events between Not Fade Away and this are correct or whether there are some surprises lurking in there.

I must admit, I almost squeed audibly when ghost!Wes turned up as Angel's new contact with W&H. I wonder just what the details of Angel's current situation with the firm actually are. However, the immediately glaring fact is that, with the developments involving Wes and Gunn, all of the originally human Angel regular cast are now dead or undead, which I'm sure is significant, and may even be a metafictional commentary on the nature of a cancelled series surviving in a different and less visible medium.

The art's atmospheric and despite its impressionism manages overall more recognisable liknesses of the TV characters than Jeanty's art for BtVS. The only downside is the generally tacky treatment of the female characters, all with tits out to t h e r e and scanty clothing (OK, Hell's hot, but the human guys aren't stripped unless they're forced to be). There's a spot of skankiness in the writing as well, not so much with the demon harem thing people have been complaining about as Nina going around licking people. I nearly chucked the book across the room when Gunn made a crude sexual pass at a woman who had been a demon sex slave for however long, because NO F***ING WAY is that in character. But I'm glad I trusted the book because soon we found out why.

Which brings us to the biggest question of the issue, Who Sired Gunn? I think we have to assume Angel, because there didn't seem to be any other vampires floating around at the end of S5 and Spike wouldn't have done it, partly because he wouldn't care about Gunn so much and partly because I think the disaster with his mother would have cured him of any illusions about "saving" people that way. The question will be whether Gunn will turn out to have a semi-soul like Lawson and whether as such he can be redeemed now Angel hopefully isn't in as black-and-white a mood as he was when he killed Lawson.

But at the end Angel's still going on about winning against W&H which is a very bad sign. Because in the past we've seen that Angel tends to make extremely bad choices when he gets more concerned about "winning" against the forces of evil than about doing good. If W&H didn't exist, he'd be far more effective as a force for good...

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