harsens_rob (harsens_rob) wrote,
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harsens_rob

Angel #5 Review - Part 1 of 2 (because of LJs posting limits)



Angel: After the Fall

Issue 5






Plotted by: Joss Whedon & Brian Lynch, Scripted by: Brian Lynch,

Illustrated by: Franco Urru, Colored by: Jason Jensen & Art Lyon,

Lettered by: Robbie Robbins, Edited by: Chris Ryall

Cover by: Franco Urru with coloring by: Paolo Maddaleni





TBC in second post

Where We Are: Currently, we’re in what is left of Hell Angeles. Angel has been revealed to be mortal, stripped of his vampiric powers in order to make him feel overpowered and hopeless in the Hell to which Wolf, Ram and Hart has sent him and the rest of the city. But Angel, being a hero, refuses to go down without a fight. He’s challenged the various Lords of the Suburbs to a dual with their best champions for control of this corner of Hell. Lorne, keeping an eye from Silverlake – where he is His Lordship, has recruited some help to keep Angel alive, though he doesn’t know that Angel isn’t a vampire anymore. His help comes in the form of the Groosalugg.

Start at the Beginning: Before we go to page one, I should mention the cover. We have a group shot of our heroes looking all determined and stuff (and two not so heroes). So for the record: The far right, front is Spike (of course). Center front is Angel (of course). The far left, front is Illyria (obviously). Behind and to the right of Spike is Lorne, without the yellow suit (he’s wearing an orange jacket with a blue shirt – I shudder). Next to him is a generic looking young man, but you’ll have to trust me – it’s comic-Connor. The man in the blue tinted glasses is Wes (but why his glasses are tinted, I know not). Next to him with the bi-color hair is Gwen, the electricity shooting woman, who is currently sort of Connor’s girl. In row three, near Lorne, is Nina – the werewolf woman. Standing next to her would be Gunn, who is currently a vampire. And the white guy grimacing in anger is a mystery, but I would guess it’s supposed to be Groo – except he’s wearing short hair (rather than shoulder length as in the actual comic) and doesn’t look anything like either the actor who portrayed him, nor his actual comic appearance, so maybe I’m wrong. Last row and just squeezing onto the cover, on the right, is the Telepathic, floating fish-demon who is currently acting as sort of an ally to Angel (for the moment, at least) and on the left is Angel’s dragon pal.



Page One:
Wesley (having faded out of Silverlake last issue) is in an extradimensional version of the extradimensional white room. He is being dressed down by W & H, his ‘employers’/slavers. He is assuring him that everything is under control, but since the L.A. office has been blown to kingdom come, they’re not buying it. Gunn is the one who toppled the building, while Angel and Wes were meeting with Lorne.


Wes to W & H:
So in addition to the other unwanted duties I’m also in charge of caretaking your property. In my defense, I had no idea, but now that I’m aware I’ll make sure that nothing further happens to the rubble.


Commentary:
I like Wes’ snark here, but really, he shouldn’t be pushing the evil law firm, considering how his fate is directly tied to their moods. As we see here, when they strip him of his mouth in order to shut him up! They also take this opportunity to point out, not unreasonably, that his ‘duties’ DO NOT include cheerleading Angel.



Page Two:
Cut to a diner in Silverlake where Lorne is fretting about Angel’s upcoming ass-kicking as he is far outnumbered. Lorne is out of the hideous orange jacket of the cover and back in his equally nightmarish yellow suit with the red epaulets. And the red tiara/crown.

He decides that he cannot allow Angel to fall and needs to rally the troops.



Page Three:
Meanwhile, elsewhere in an abandoned and trashed K-Mart, Angel is shaving in order to disguise the fact he is not an unchanging vampire (well, except for the fluctuating weight and look of exhaustion, right David?) and complaining that keeping his hair cut has been a chore.


Commentary:
Okay, I was admit to cattiness. I haven’t slept yet… effing insomnia from Hell. Anyway, I’d also just like to say that Angel’s ass looks really good in those jeans for being an inked in drawing.



Page Four:
Angel meets up with the dragon. He doesn’t know it, but he will not be going into a hopeless battle alone… Spike’s all-girl/girl-demon army will be there also. And, interestingly, they’re dressed in the armored outfits that we saw during one of Illyria’s jumps where Maria (spider-legs gal) was lying beheaded… foreshadow? We’ll see….



Page Five:
Within the manor, Spike lets us know I was wrong. He’s not going to go help Angel… he plans on packing up and moving to an undisclosed location so as to keep Illyria/Fred from ending up hurt. However, Illyria does not want to ‘retreat’… she wants to fight and I get the feeling she doesn’t care if it’s for or against Angel.


Commentary:
And in one panel we see someone teleporting in… It took me WAY too long and multiple reads before I figured out this was Lorne… duh and double-duh. And, also – on panel one, is Spike sporting some major bulge?



Page Six:
In Santa Monica, on a rooftop, Connor, Gwen and Nina are awaiting the fight. Regular humans, slaves of the Lords, are being marched in to see the slaughter of their would-be savior. Nina is sitting behind a frikkin’ sweet anti-aircraft gun. Now, how they managed to get it on the roof of a building, I don’t know… I’ll just assume that Lorne magically teleported it there for them.



Page Seven:
Gwen suggests they go down to street level to be ready to help, but Connor tells her that Angel wants to do this alone. I’m thinking that Connor’s team is there to help the humans escape, but does anyone imagine that they won’t be jumping into the fray?


Yeah, me neither.


The Lords arrive, floating on a hunk o’ rock and announcing it’s only “five minutes until the blood”.



Page Eight:
The shark-headed guy gives us a snarky…


Lots of people tonight. That’s nice. Humans always add that extra dose of ‘who’s gonna die out of nowhere’ that you just don’t get with demons.”


On another rooftop, slightly behind the demon Lords (and ergo not noticed by Connor’s team) is Gunn and a few vampire lackeys. Gunn is also concerned about the humans… if the demons start going for them, he’s going to jump in.


Commentary:
Alas, as we know from when he killed Kp’th and rescued some women from captivity, they end up getting drained. He tries so hard to be the hero, but he just can’t do it, being soulless.



Page Nine:
Bruge, who’s son started this whole thing by forcing Angel to kill him, warns the humans not to start rooting on Angel. They better remember that when all is said and done, they’ll be depending on their Lords not to be annoyed. He plucks one random guy to make an example of, throwing him to his death.


Gunn goes to save him, but his vamp-lackey tells him to hold on…



Page Ten:
Angel swoops in on the dragon and plucks the falling guy from the air. He reminds the demon Lords that this is for the whole ball of Hell Angeles-wax. Bruge gloats that Angel is delusional and further more is responsible for them all going to Hell in the first place.


Commentary:
Um… physics? What’s that?


Seriously, Angel catches the guy BY THE ANKLE in mid-air. Well, he is screaming, but I get the sense that it isn’t because his leg just snapped. In addition, the next panel clearly shows the guy being held by his WRIST. So… Angel swoops in, plucks the guy from the air by the ankle… and then… uh… flips him into the air so he can catch his wrist?! Wow… talented.



Page Eleven:
Angel goes through a spiel for the crowd about how he tried to do the right thing (taking down the Black Thorn) but made things worse for everyone. But, he’s here again to try to make things right… again.


It’s an awkward speech, which Angel acknowledges by asking if they could just get to the fight now.


But Gunn is overlooking him, though it’s unclear what affect his words may be having on his former friend and ally.



Page Twelve:
Also, a shadowy demon also tells Angel that his last words were really awkward. And then the ‘champions’ of the Lords surge forward to see who will get to be the one to ‘dust’ him.


Commentary:
And, though of course, I know Angel has to win or it would sort of end the series with issue 5 I sort of want to call ‘bullshit’ anyway. The one to draw the first blood is She-Chip… which sort of makes me think that Angel would have had his jaw utterly shattered. Like when Illyria hit him, they’re cheating a bit to keep Angel’s mortality hidden (though not from the audience at this point).



Page Thirteen:
As blood fills his mouth, he takes a sword given to him by Groo. It is of the obvious flaming magic kind. Which helps even the odds a little bit, anyway, but how much good it’s going to do against the talking T-Rex is anyone’s guess.



Page Fourteen:
As Angel is being knocked down by the surging champion-demons, the Lords are distracted by a light show. One that saves Angel from being pulverized….



Page Fifteen:
Interlude, back to the White Space: Wesley is being a bit tortured for his insolence. Wes shows some backbone here and the Powers-That-Be at W, R & H send him back, though they warn him he can be replaced and we get shout outs to Lindsay and Eve.


Commentary:
Wes’ exact job in all of this continues to confuse. The disembodied voice in the White Space really doesn’t tell us. It appears that maybe he’s supposed to be dis-encouraging Angel so that he’ll fall into despair. That would explain why they’re so annoyed at his ‘cheerleading’ of him, but not the fact that he’s been helping Angel heal (and explains why they left the healing leech-thing and the demonic faced Necronomicon knock-off in the office tower for him to find). Okay – it isn’t all that confusing after all – never mind. Although, it does seem more than a little childish.

 

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