Angel: After the Fall
Plotted by: Joss Whedon & Brian Lynch, Scripted by: Brian Lynch,
Illustrated by: Franco Urru, Colored by: Jason Jensen, Lettered by: Robbie Robbins,
Edited by: Chris Ryall
Cover by: Franco Urru, Colors by: Paolo Maddaleni
Where we Are: In Hell. Specifically we’re in the
Page 01: Flashback to the night in the alley: Angel is wrestling with a demon and hoping that Connor was able to make it far enough away not to be endangered. He notices that Gunn is missing…
…And undergoes a wrenching teleportation. Now he is on top of a building and there are signs in the background that they’re not on Earth anymore.
Commentary: As we know, Team Angel was separated during the battle. This explains how. We also know that Gunn is missing because he’s been dragged off by vampires to be turned. And, Connor didn’t make it out, either.
Page 02: On the streets below, a zombie is attacking a confused and terrified couple. Angel jumps to the pavement to get back into the fight… but there’s a problem that he doesn’t notice until after he jumps… his heart is racing.
Commentary: Notice as well that behind Angel, we see both the sun and moon sharing the sky. This plays havoc with Nina the Werewolf.
Page 03: Angel lands atop a car… he’s bleeding from the nose, his legs are broken, back too. And his heart continues to race.
From a short distance away, Wesley strolls up to him. Around them a fire burns and a tentacle is breaking up through the street, grasping.
Page 04: Wes tells Angel he’s sorry about what has happened (whether about Gunn specifically, or more likely, about the Hell around them is unclear).
Now: Angel continues healing using a slimy creature and a bunch of those mystic, made-up words that BTVS and Angel regularly threw out there. This would be following his injuries caused by
Commentary: By the way, I dutifully started looking up Angel’s gibberish to see if it was an actual language being used… even though that seems a bit geeky. It appears that it must be some sort of demon language that hasn’t made it to the internetz yet. And also, notice the demonic face on the book – W & H apparently had their own version of the Necronomicon at some point and it remained in the
Page 05: Angel completes his healing and he and Wes exchange words.
Page 06: Angel complains to Wes that he wants out of Hell. And, the only way to do that is to pretend that nothing’s changed, because W & H purposely took away his vampire nature in order to bring him low. He’s going to prove that even as a human being, he can still fight against them.
Page 07: Wes sympathizes with Angel’s desire to continue fighting like he always had, but since Angel is now human, it appears foolish and untenable.
Two beautiful ‘women’ appear in a warm light behind Wes. And, well… I have to quote Wesley here:
Oh, my. Maybe it’s my time… maybe I walk into the light… I can’t leave now! He needs me! Angel, you need me, right? Because if you don’t—
But of course, the two sudden women grab Angel to tell him they’ve come for him and completely ignore Wes… who responds:
Well that was a short-lived excitement.
Commentary: Well, I found it funny, anyway.
Page 08: The two women continue with their summons of Angel, thusly:
Come with us.
Into the light.
Walk into the light.
Light blue Acura.
Walk into the light blue Acura.
It’s in the garage.
Commentary: And, I remain amused. We also get to see the Dragon, hanging out in front of W & H. He follows behind Angel, but what’s important here is Gunn is watching all of this occurring from the shadows.
Page 09: Gunn and two of his followers swing for W & H from the roof their on. Meanwhile, Spike is being confronted by the SharkHead Lord. He’s there to inform Illyria that she should send a champion to challenge Angel (as per last issue when Angel challenged all of the Lords for control of
Commentary: The chick in the bikini is Maria from Spike: After the Fall. She may look human, but she gets spider-legs that erupt from her spine. And also, notice that below Gunn is a pair of eyes and a couple of fingers poking through a fence… and those hooks hanging from the roof – creepy.
Page 10: The Lord presents a gift for
Page 11: In the meantime,
Page 12: Maria (aka Spider) and Spike continue discussing Angel’s unlikely survival no matter which way Spike goes. In the meanwhile, Angel and Wes are being driven in the car to
Page 13: Which makes sense, as Lorne is the Lord of Silver Lake?!
Yep – ‘tis true. And, he has a harpy on his side whose song keeps “everyone centered”.
Commentary: In case you don’t recall, Lorne was feeling pretty crappy in Not Fade Away. First and foremost because he abandoned his friends when the chips were down, but also, because he shot Lindsey dead. Violence was never something that Lorne was into and he needed to retreat once he’d slain the evil ex-lawyer. Now we find out that he didn’t get far before
Page 14: Lorne tells Angel he’s been keeping an eye out on his friends from this sanctuary. He also tells Angel that he knows about the Challenge and isn’t very happy that Angel is risking his un-life so foolishly (not knowing that it would actually be risking his un-un-life at this point). But Lorne assures Angel that he’s still on his side:
I told them to go screw it. It came out “No, thank you, Sir, please leave my little safe haven alone,” but the tone was 100% “Go screw.”
But, he also has something important to show Angel….
Page 15: Lorne shows Angel the champions that are being gathered to fight on the Lord’s behalf… since, you know, the Demon Lords of L.A. would never actually risk their own necks. Among the contestants is a T-Rex and, more worryingly, a She-Skip… all armored the way he was and we remember, don’t we, how tough Skippy was?
But, Lorne has a plan to help unofficially (as officially, he’s sworn to stay well out of things in order to protect
Commentary: I’ve always felt badly for Lorne for being pushed into killing a human being, but I’m disappointed in him here for not fighting. I guess I can understand his reasoning (and the fact he just isn’t a warrior), but still… disappointed. And, he looks awful in that yellow suit… with red epaulets?! Grotesque. You have to admire the fashion-bravery though, especially the over the top crown.
Page 16: Lorne’s unofficial help is to re-introduce Groosalugg! We haven’t seen Groo in forever since he realized that Cordelia was too attached to Angel to ever actually fall in love with him. Somewhere along the line, he’s managed to get himself a winged stallion, too.
Commentary: Alas, Groo doesn’t look a thing like Mark Lutz. Not One Iota.
Page 17: Wes and Lorne have a discussion about Lorne’s less than thrilled reaction to Wesley being there… basically Lorne acknowledges that he’s not sure that allowing a ‘representative’ of the evil law firm into his sanctuary was a great idea. But Wes tells him he may not have had a choice in working for W & H, but he intends to help Angel, anyway.
Meanwhile, Gunn and his vampire cronies have just finished searching for something, but failed to find it.
Commentary: It’s possible that Gunn is looking for another glowing orb, like the one he stole off of Kr’ph’s dead body in the arena. I can’t recall if Angel has something unique in his HQ and I don’t have the other three issues in front of me.
Page 18: Gunn doesn’t get what he wanted, but he does snag a snapshot of the gang with baby Connor before things went bad.
He’s also left Angel a surprise.
Page 19 & 20: KABOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM.
Good-bye W & H,
Commentary: I also have to mention here that the electrical dude that Spike got zapped by in Spike: After the Fall #2 was never, ever seen in W & H, except in that issue. So, that entire interlude that I bitched about so much over in those reviews has even LESS point in retrospect. That still pisses me off. But, back to THIS review….
Page 21: Gunn stands in the midst of the destruction he’s rained down and feels good, grinning with those vamp-teeth.
At the same time, Wesley, while talking to Lorne, suddenly fades away. We do hear enough before he vanishes to know that he’s afraid for Angel’s state of mind. He believes that Angel may be on a martyrdom trip, and well, that never works out well for the guy doing the martyrdom.
The Good: The answer to the cliffhanger last issue where Angel reveals to us that he’s now human.
The little bits of humor were welcome since this storyline (like much of Angelverse) is so dark. Among these were the lovely ladies Lorne sent and of course the green demon himself.
Seeing Groo, again! I really want to know what in the world he’s been doing with his time… and where did he get a flying horse?
Gunn’s destroying Angel’s HQ. Was he destroying it because it was W & H’s or because it was Angel’s?
The Bad: I didn’t find anything badly done in this issue. But, I do have to mention that Groo doesn't look one whit like the actor who portrayed him.
The Score: This issue did a good job of providing explanations to what happened to Angel, Groo and Lorne while moving Gunn’s plot arc ahead. Everyone’s reaction to Wes continues to sadden me, as does Gunn’s fate. But, I have to say his blowing the high rise sky high was pretty awesome.
4.25 out of 5.0 stars.