Angel: After the Fall
Page Seventeen: Okay, so far we’ve left Spike and Illyria in the aftermath of defeating some spidery-human faced demons and we’ve left Connor being dangled by the scruff of his jacket at the mercy of a demon horde.
Now, we get to find out just how Lorne ended up being a Lord of Silverlake in this new Hell…
The first page give us an abbreviated version of he time at W & H, Illyria’s arrival in Fred’s place, Angel’s brilliant plan (or “Neat Plans” as the parchment Angel is holding says) and his shooting of Lindsey.
Commentary: Lorne’s tale could have really crashed and burned, because of the way that it’s being told here. Basically, we have cartoony-drawing versions of our gang (with the typical John Byrne faces). The best part of it though, is the writing of the tale. It’s written in a Dr. Seuss style rhyme through the whole thing, which wouldn’t work – except – that this is Lorne. Somehow, I ended up enjoying his part of this comic more than the other two tales.
I wish I could just transcribe the whole thing, but it really is too long…here’s an example though:
The last year had made a bad place in his head, with all of his friends changing, or troubled -- or dead!
Page Eighteen: Lorne is depressed and wandering L.A., when Hell comes to roost. He’s surrounded by creatures from nightmares and the horrible suffering of people being picked off by the demonic hordes surrounding them.
Lorne ran for a cab, “I want out of this place!” But the driver had feelers, the taxi a face!
A ride is a ride, thought poor Lorne with a shrug. “Take me far, far away, crazy cab-driving bug!”
Page Nineteen: Lorne arrives in Silverlake, before his cab is destroyed. Being stranded in this part of the city isn’t any better. Until he notices that the humans have grabbed whatever weapons are to hand, and are fighting back. We’re told they fought for days to drive the demons out, and they had the luck of a sorceress on their side (explaining why when Angel and Wes show up, the town is pretty much running smoothly and peacefully).
The casualties had been many, the violence so thick, but they made a slice of heaven in H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks!
Page Twenty: After about a week, the survivors of Silverlake decide someone has to lead them.
Of course, they decide on him for saving them… although, I have to say, I don’t know exactly what he did – probably convincing a spell user to help out? I don’t know… this is all told from Lorne’s skewed viewpoint and it’s being told in a nursery rhyme format!
For what seemed so long, there’d been no joy at all. But slowly… but surely… in ways large and small… Lorne got his groove back, right after the fall.
Page Twenty One: Since we started the issue with the telepathic fish imprisoned by Gunn, that’s where the issue ends as well. The vampire guarding him is getting annoyed with his yammering and asks him if he ever stops talking.
To which Betta George points out:
Actually, genius, I never start. It’s called telepathy, which, I’m gathering, they don’t teach in douche lackey 101.
Alas, George’s humor doesn’t do anything to win him a new friend. And, things seem to be about to get a little unpleasant for him….
The Good: Lorne’s tale was told exactly right for him. It’s whimsical and cutesy, but gives us the information we need to find out how he got to Silverlake and why it isn’t in ruins like the rest of the city. Your mileage may vary.
The best part though, is that Lorne’s story wasn’t badly hurt by the brevity of it. I also liked the first page’s Lorne with his exaggerated sad face loosely holding the pistol. And, nearby, there lies Lindsey with an X over each eye.
The Bad: Lorne’s ascension to “ruling” over Silverlake – rather than say, the sorceress – is skated over rather baldly. They don’t even try to explain why he was chosen out of everyone there.
I still find Betta George to be a ridiculous character (but at least he has a snappy personality).
So, finally The Score: Talk about a tough one to grade… does this add anything to the story arc of ‘After the Fall’? A little bit, especially in Connor’s story. Is it enthralling – no. Each tale is far too short for that, and Spike’s really wasn’t necessary considering his spotlight in his own 4-issue series.
Artwork wise, it’s strong in Spike’s story and the wrap around, purposely cartoony and ergo appropriate for Lornes… Connor’s has some problems – especially with the main character himself.
Is it worth breaking up the momentum of the main story for these flashbacks… not from what I’ve seen in this one: If 3.0 is average – I’d have to give this one slightly less… 2.75 out of 5.0 stars.
And, also: I have to throw in a concern: Like with Willow's treatment at the hands of Warren, I see no way of resolving this without a "reset"... which I always find vaguely annoying. If this whole thing has no concrete consequences, I'll be pissed that I wasted my time (future me - they split the difference - there do bring L.A. out of Hell without its being totally annihilated, but consequences remain... I'm good with it).