Angel: After the Fall
"First Night, Part III"
Plotted by: Joss Whedon & Brian Lynch
Script By: Brian Lynch
"Gunn" co-scripted by Scott Tipton
Betta George Illustration: Tim Kane with coloring by Jeremy Treece
Gwen Illustration: Fabio Mantovani
Civilians Illustration: Kevyn Schmidt
Gunn Illustration: Mirco Pierfederici with coloring by Fabio Mantovani and Michele Buscalferri
Lettered by: Neil Uyetake Edited by: Chris Ryall
Cover By: Brian Miller
Page 14: We open Charles' tale with a blurred image of some guy calling his name. The next panel shows us Charles, lying in a bed, bandaged up and bloody. He's asked how he is feeling. Charles wonders if he's the last one to survive the alley for surely someone would have saved him from this fate if there had been someone still 'alive', besides him.
Page 15: The vampire with him tells him that he'd been wanting to talk to Charles for weeks. They other vampire asks what the last thing he remembers is, to which he answers 'I remember the odds.'
Commentary: Finally, we return to a main character and how he found himself in his position. This is where the focus should have been for "First Night", as Gunn's current status is integral to the greater 'After the Fall' story in a way that Gwen, for instance, isn't. And, why is Illyria drawn with HUGE breast plates on her costume? It looks like her boobs have grown... a lot.
Page 16: In a flashback, Gunn remembers being overwhelmed by the Wolf, Ram & Hart demon army. He lies, grievously injured - missing an eye - on the alley ground in the rain. Angel tells him that they'll get out of this, but Gunn is pretty sure that's a comforting lie. Angel has to leave him to defend.
Commentary: Wow. The drawing of Angel looks really good for an original character, but his face in no way appears to be David Boreanaz - I mean, not even in the ballpark - wth?
Page 17: Charles relates amusedly that it was an ogre that drew Angel away from him. Ogres and dragons....
We also see in the background of panel one, Spike and Illyria fighting....
Page 18: We get an inkling of why Charles is so angry at Angel here, as (1) he wasn't listening to Gunn because 'he had a plan' and (2) he didn't come back for his teammate.
He did free the dragon from its enslavement however, and turned it to Team Angel.
Page 19: The fire breathing lizard went a long way toward turning the tide. But for Gunn it was too late. Some hands had grabbed him and dragged him away. And the vampire now talking to him, turned him.
The vampire says something interesting here, "You were dying and no one else was going to do anything... nobody else was going to save you."
It's very clear from this page and page 15 that there is some far larger plan going on, here, than turning a former Angel ally into an undeader.
Page 20: The vampire makes it equally clear here that this isn't W&H's plan. He's working 'under their radar' and has been told that Gunn is of extreme importance to some greater plan.
Gunn tries to convince himself he's still human and in control, but his rage at what was done caused the fangs to come out. He grabs up a stake and shoves it into his sire's throat, to shut him up.
Page 21: With his sire on his hands and knees bleeding out on the carpet, Gunn demands to know what else has been happening during the last few weeks he's been recovering from his wounds (his eye is completely healed, now). He feels forgotten and betrayed by Angel and resentful of being a vampire.
Taking control of the gang around him, they show him the current state of L.A. through the window.
Page 22: Charles turns his anger on his sire, staking him (and calling him Angel when he does). He turns on the others in the room and asks them who is in charge of the bigger picture and informs them that he's getting out of Hell.
The Good: Getting Charles' tale was both important and worth the telling.
The artwork for Charles' tale was also excellent (with that one caveat). I especially liked Gunn's vampire look on page 20, panel 3.
The Bad: "Angel" looking so far off from Angel, that not even the general look is correct.
Other Thoughts: I like that Gunn wasn't changed just to screw with Angel, but that there is something else going on... something that seems more directed against Wolf, Ram & Hart than against the Angel team.
The Score: Gunn's story is the most interesting of the tales here and it actually has something to do with the greater arc. A mystery is touched upon, explaining how Gunn ended up turn and why he is targeting Angel in the series proper. Although I like this story generally, and it suffers less than the other segments from its abbreviated length....
Like with the first two parts of "First Night", each segment's story is so short, it's hard to judge it. This is especially true with the 'Civilians' 5-pager, that gives the impression of being even shorter, believe it or not. I'm afraid that Gwen's story really didn't add anything either, leaving Gunn's story the only one that really impressed.
3.0 out of 5, but that is almost wholly due to Gunn's story.
"First Night Score": Averaging the three parts, this mini-collection of stories receives: 2.92, just under the middling scoring of 3.0, which is unfortunate because it just points to the fact that other than Connor and Gunn's stories, this just wasn't necessary to the larger plot. Also, the Betta George wrap around was utterly superfluous and a poor use of the limited number of pages that the individual segments were already running up against.