harsens_rob (harsens_rob) wrote,

Issue 28 Review - Angel

Angel: Aftermath

Issue 28

"The Crown Prince Syndrome, Part I"

Written by: Bill Willingham, Art by: Brian Denham, Colored by: Alfred Rockefeller, Lettered by: Robbie Robbins,
Edited by: Mariah Huehner

Cover by: David Messina & Giovanna Niro

Note: There is a second story (4 pages) introducing a new character. Eddie Hope's story will get its own review post. This is concerning Angel's 18-pages only.

Page 01: We open on Connor in a rainy Los Angeles facing down a group of crocodile-faced demons....

Commentary: And the first and foremost thing I want to point out/gush over is the artwork. This issue is gorgeous! Later, when we see the gang, they all look fantastic and Kate not only looks like Kate, but she's even dressing more conservatively like the Kate we're familiar with! I'm giddy with happiness to see our characters looking so fantastic.

Page 02: The demons are hulking brutes and Connor seems in a world of trouble... except, you know, he's got those nifty powers of his.

As he fights he reflects on the false family that Angel had set him up with to keep him safe and to give him a 'normal' existence following his meltdown post-Jasmine.

Page 03: Connor reflect further back at his time in Quor-Toth, where by the way, his current foes usually reside. They are Horagers.

Page 04: As Connor fights the trio of Horagers, he remembers his "foster father's" rules about Horagers. If there are three, he shouldn't be engaging them. He might be in a bit of trouble. Especially when he takes a spiked tail that is strong enough to lift him 15 feet into the air and smash him against a wall.

Page 05: Connor recovers enough to fight back a bit more, but runs into more trouble when he loses his sword (it's lost in the chest of one of the Horagers). Connor has managed to kill two, but the leader of them is able to knock Angel's son to the ground.

Commentary: Again, artwork... I'm in love.

Page 06: The Horager has Connor dead to rights... so it is a good thing that there is an interruption.

Page 07: Out of nowhere, Connor is joined by a group of warrior women decked out in copper colored armor. They kill the remaining Horager, as Connor is all WTH.

Page 08: These new players tell Connor that they are there for him as he is their 'chosen one'. Naturally, he has no idea what they're talking about. They explain that he is the miracle child between Angel and Darla which makes him their promised one and therefore they are pledged to him.

Page 09: This new and mysterious army leader gives Connor his sword back. She explains that they'll clean up the demon-body mess and he should leave the area before the local authorities arrive.

Sorry about the crooked - another case of my scanner not liking the page's layout and being unable to scan straight.

Page 10: In the cab ride back to Angel HQ, Connor reflects on his childhood memories of being in a 'normal' family and being exiled to a hell dimension. He's made himself happy with both sets of memories. Even with his past, he recognizes that his life just took a weird right turn with the army of female warriors showing up out of nowhere.

Page 11: At Angel's, Spike is complaining about having wiped out a pack of Lis demons and not being thanked by the den mother....

Gunn is worrying over Angel not having been in contact with any of them in the last few days. Kate, quite rightly, points out that Angel has gone longer without checking in in the past.

Commentary: OH! OH, Kate looks like Kate ... I might weep with joy.

Page 12: Spike is continuing his tale of woe and being unappreciated by the woman he saved, just because she watched him wipe out a bunch of "children", while Kate is instead going on and on about Angel's probably having met another woman that he can hang around with for days on end, while also telling her over and over that it can never go anywhere due to his 'always must be alone' curse. James also mentions that Angel's "I can't be with you 'cause I might love you" thing seems to draw in the women like catnip.

Commentary: This page is pretty funny with Kate and Dez clearly being jealous of Angel's attention for anyone else and Spike being jealous about their attention being focused on whatever Angel might be up to. I might call Kate a bit out of character, but since this whole series has had trouble deciding on what her character actually is, I'll just enjoy her not being dour and being dressed in 'real clothes', instead.

I do wonder why Dez is still hanging around, though.

Page 13: Kate and Dez glare at James. He tells them it isn't his fault that after so much time of watching humanity, he's noticed certain patterns in their behavior. He offers to start talking about male insecurities instead, but Gunn tells him he should probably just drop the whole subject.

Connor makes his entrance then, which Kate uses by telling him they were all worried about him. Spike, jealously, tells him they weren't. He says they were too busy obsessing over his dad, instead of listening to his story of heroics in Vegas [I do have Spike's series and am reviewing it].

Commentary: I like two things here: The continued humor toward our characters and a bit of meta on the fans loving Angel's whole "tortured vampire" schtick. And, the fact that even though I think the whole storyline has been crap, at least we're getting back to James and whatever is going on with the probably-fake angels.

It's also been awhile since Connor has been effectively used and it looks like we're starting an arc for him, so yay to that.

Page 14: Spike complains that everyone keeps acting like they're bit players in Angel's show, but he isn't going to play along with that. Everyone now notes that Connor's got a pretty ragged wound across his chest. Illyria tells him she's disappointed; she had thought he'd be tougher that that, to allow some simple Lake Demon larva to so injure him.

Connor corrects her, stating that the actual injury came after that from the Horagers.

Gunn has never heard of these, but Illyria has and the fact that Connor survived a brush with three of them causes her to reassess his fighting qualities.

Commentary: Some more meta humor here? It seems like the writer might be tweaking Spike's overpowering Angel's show in S5 and that he might be making fun of past writing of Connor in forgetting that he is supposed to be a badass in his own right, instead of getting beaten up so much - which has been especially prevalent in S6 {see the despised Issue 21 for only one example}.

Page 15: Connor also shares that he had some last second help and thinks they need to talk about the nature of that help. He asks after Angel. Kate tells him he hasn't been around in a few days and Connor immediately asks if he's met another girl-in-need.

Commentary: This is a pretty funny issue. I especially like Dez' huge grin and Kate's smirking....

Page 16: With Angel not checking in, Connor decides that they should keep things running as normal to show his dad that things won't fall apart everytime he goes off on his own missions.

Spike agrees and states he'll be in charge, 'First thing to do: Organize all requests for help in a ranking of "How hot is the client?" and does she need immediate comforting?'

Connor states that actually, he was thinking he'd take over.

Everyone questions this, but Illyria agrees that if Angel is like the King of their company then Connor is the closest thing to a crown prince [interestingly, also the turn of phrase used by the mysterious Amazons].

Commentary: I'm again enjoying this bit of comedy. No one, but Illyria, thinks that Connor can handle this task. I love Kate in the background of panel five. You can just see her thinking, 'This is going to be a disaster'.

Page 17: So, where is Angel?

He's been locked away in a highly secured location by an outfit called Innovation Labs.

Through his monologue, we find out that he's been strapped to a gurney. For reason unknown, but can't be good, he's being kept fed through a tube. Another tube has been extracting his vampire-infected blood....

Commentary: It's not that I don't like this turn of events, but shouldn't James and the angel storyline be wrapped up first? Were the writers as bored and confused with their own messy storytelling as I am? Did they suddenly feel a need to get away from it to figure out how the hell they could explain what is happening in order to wrap it up?

The last issue addressing them was issue 22 ... we're now on 28 and although James is in this one, his story arc isn't. Interesting. And, a relief, frankly.

Page 18: We end this issue (there is another story featuring a new character that I'll review seperately, explaining why Angel's being short-shrifted in the pages department), seeing Angel strapped down in a mummy bandages way to the gurney. He complains of being bored.

The Good: I love this dramatic cover [cover art doesn't affect my scoring, but I like to show my appreciation of it].

I love the internal artwork. It has been so long since I've loved the interior of Angel: Aftermath/S6.

I like the beginning of Connor's new arc and his flashback.

I really love Kate in this issue. Her clothing, her personality and her look are all in character, which has also been mostly missing for so long in this title.

The Bad: I can't say anything bad enough to go here about this issue.

Other Thoughts: I will only say that I'm of two minds about James' story being pushed so far into the background. I really want that whole thing to just be finished since it has been so drawn out and really not interesting.

I'm also a little annoyed with Angel being short changed in order to focus on original character Eddie Hope. I'll give more attention to him in my review of part one of his story (which lasts all of 4 pages).

The Score: There isn't a lot happening in this issue since it is a set-up of an arc, but I liked what we got with Connor and with the last two pages telling us where Angel is and what is happening to him. The continued interruption of James' tale is a bit annoying simply because it would be nice to have it wrapped up and done away with but I also can't really complain about the lack of 'angel' and 'balancing powers' in the issue, since that whole storyline has been so badly approached. The same thing with Dez - she's in here and she's funny - but her were-people arc isn't featured, the whole of which hasn't made much internal sense, anyway. These two new arcs (Connor, what is going on with Angel's predicament) seems to have the feeling of an end point in sight, rather than feeling not thought out.

3.75 out of 5

Tags: angel s6 review

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