harsens_rob (harsens_rob) wrote,

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Spike: After the Fall

Spike: After the Fall



Creators: Brian Lynch & Franco Urru

Cover: Franco Urru



Set up: In the series ending episode of Angel, Not Fade Away, the Angel Investigations team was in some serious trouble. Angel and his allies managed to bring down an ultra-powerful group of evil known as the Black Thorn. Basically, they were the demonic version of the Hall of Doom.


Wolf, Ram & Hart were not at all pleased by this turn of events. Angel played them, signing away his right to Shanshu (become mortal as reward for his redemptive deeds) in order to get in close with the Black Thorn group. By doing so, he was able to identify their members who were responsible for much of the evil at the highest levels of government among the elite of L.A.


Now, in retaliation, the power behind the evil law firm of Wolfram & Hart has pulled all of Los Angeles into Hell itself. A new world order has asserted itself, locking the city and its inhabitants away from the rest of the world and leaving them vulnerable to the legions of devils, demons, and exotic Hellspawn.


The team ends up split apart – separated from one another across the expanse of the new Los Angeles… this is Spike’s story.



Page 1: Spike is ‘somewhere’ in the hellish wasteland of the L.A. region. He’s doing his best to protect the humans who are basically standing around “like deer in headlights” as they try to comprehend what’s happened to them. Their easy pickins for the lizard-man/dinosaurian demons who have found them free meals or tributes to their more powerful Lords.


Things go less than well for Spike.



Page 2: ( Spike’s narration): These loser freaks are better brawlers than the previous loser freaks. Or maybe I’m still tired from the last ones, can’t tell.


Spike finds himself getting a bit beat up by the long-tongued, orange-brown skin lizards. And his feeble attempts to talk himself out is, well – lame and unhelpful.



Page 3: (Spike’s narration, continued): Fortunately for me… I’m not going this alone.


As one of the demons asks where another of their party is, Illyria shows up. With her arrival, and her decimation of the ranks, Spike gets a new lease to go for the leader of this demon squad.



Page 4: As Spike gets ready to kill the leader-dude, Illyria takes it from him. He complains. She ignores him.


With the demons killed, its time to deal with the humans rescued by their daring-do. Alas, its Illyria who picks up a crying toddler:


This one is wet on both ends. We should end him.


As Spike’s monologue informs us, Illyria is: Great in a tussle, slightly less so when it comes to human interaction.



Page 5: Spike steps in to grab the kid from Illyria and then turns to the large group of bewildered people they’ve just saved. It’s been ‘weeks’ in Hell at this point, though I imagine keeping track of time would be difficult. The sky is a constant reddish-orange. And as we’ll find out (though, I believe its in Angel: After the Fall – both the sun and moon are sharing the sky 24-7.



Page 6: Oh! Here it is on page 6… the sun and moon are up simultaneously. Spike’s group, for lack of a better name, have taken refuge in the ‘Happytime Studios’ theme park. Uh-huh. Anyway, while not exactly comfortable, at least it has food designed to survive the apocalypse… tourist park hotdogs!



Page 7: Spike has a quicky flashback of what he’s been going through, lately. The fact that Los Angeles “up and died” and went to Hell. He ran into Fred, but she didn’t stay for long as we know that Illyria owns the body now. Still, she’s one tough god-broad, so it’s a good thing she found him.



Page 8: Still in flashback, Spike tells us that after he and Illyria and their few survivors began traveling as a group and looking for some sort of permanent base, the few became a lot. And, that became nearly too many. He tells us that the demons began their rule and he wasn’t enough to fight them all… he had to pick his battles. Something a bit more difficult when you’re traveling with Illyria:


She chooses a lot of battles, actually. Even if that’s not one of the choices, she’ll find a way.



Page 9: Spike confers with a guy named Jeremy that they’ll need to move on soon, as there are more and more demons encroaching. This is interrupted however when Spike hears Fred’s voice trying to comfort the toddler they rescued. For some reason this upsets Spike mightily and he grabs and drags her away.



Page 10: Another confrontation as Spike tosses responsibility for the toddler to a random set of people. He makes it absolutely clear that Illyria/Fred is to have no contact with the bratling. Jeremy is forced to accompany Spike and Fred, as well.



Page 11: Jeremy is able to work the electronics of the amusement park. Spike’s goal is apparently to distract ‘Fred’, so she’ll re-become Illyria. We see that sometime recently, Illyria was injured in her abdomen… probably while she was looking like Fred. It appears that while in Hell, taking on the form of Fred gives Illyria all of her vulnerabilities.


Page 12: Giant robo-duck, amusement park gimmick attack! Fred quickly vanishes and Illyria reappears.



Page 13: Jeremy is given orders to send Illyria to the House of Horrors if she manages to destroy the duck-o-bot. He asks Spike why he’s so concerned with keeping Illyria in demigoddess mode. Spike snarks… and slaps him.



Page 14: More snarkage, more slappage.



Page 15: Spike confirms my hypothesis: For now, Illyria has to stay Illyria to survive.


Jeremy offer some words basically stating that Spike doesn’t like to see Fred because he has… had… real feelings for her.



Page 16: The mood is about to get all sickly sweet, which isn’t Spike in the least. Fortunately, a group of teen brats interrupts. And, like teens everywhere, they’re bored and want to do something fun… despite the fact that they’re in the middle of Hell and surrounded on all sides by hostile demons. They want to start up a few rides. After all, they have taken refuge in an amusement park.



Page 17: The kibosh is put on the plan, due to noise. Noise attracts attention, attention in Hell is bad. And, also, in Hell – the television only plays “that awful show about the witch sisters”. Spike suggests that instead they go play with Illyria and they can get their asses kicked for fun.


Spike decides to take off for awhile. Unfortunately, he’s being watched by the members of the earlier slaughtered demon group. Their plan – slaughter the men, kidnap the women for tribute.



Page 18: While Spike is out scouting for the next location to move to, the lizard demons are in turn slaughtered by a new group. A greenish-blue woman easily rips through them, while accompanied by a brown, bald woman. Spike lets us know there is a mystic wall that has trapped everyone within the borders of Los Angeles, including the suburbs such as Westwood and Silverlake. The Westwood location has possibilities since the Lord is rumored to be a pushover. Spike rules out Silverlake because “… I’m going to do a friend a favor and stay away. He doesn’t need me dragging my problems to his doorstep”. Clearly one of the Angel team is in Silverlake, which apparently isn’t being overrun – at least not yet.



Page 19: Spike finds his way to the Wolfram & Hart building, which he is seriously considering as a good place to hide out.



Page 20: At least, until a really large, fire breathing dragon pops up.



Page 21: As Spike is having his confrontation with a dragon, Jeremy is being hounded by the bored teens. And, he’s getting a bit miffed that he’s being called on to ‘be in charge’ when Spike can’t even remember his name (he keeps calling him Jerry, which everyone else is picking up on). As he’s trying to tell the teens it’s a bad idea to activate a dinosaur ride, he suddenly becomes aware of a more pressing problem.



Page 22: A squad of women in tight black cat-suits (including the ones who just killed the lizards planning an attack) swoops in. The humans are ordered to submit to them, or they will face certain death. The teens are cluelessly excited by the interruption of their boredom. Because, apparently, their eff-ing morons.



The Good: The cover is really nice and the first few pages are really good. Spike trying to deal with an unstable Illyria has possibilities for the mini-arc (this is a 4-issue series). Seeing L.A. turn into a literal Hell is a neat idea… and an appropriate action that you could see Wolf, Ram and Hart carrying out for Angel’s “betrayal”. Most of the art is well done, especially on the lizard-demons.


The Bad: The nature of the story gets repetitive. And, the explanation of why Spike needs to keep the Fred personality in Illyria suppressed is drawn out unnecessarily. It has the feeling of filler in order to give the book enough pages.


Scoring: While I wanted to see how being sent to Hell impacted Spike, this is mostly just battling one set of demons after the other. Illyria’s situation and the occasional appearance of Fred could have been handled with emotional angst, but I just didn’t feel it. Nothing after the first few pages of the issue really stand out (especially for a $4 comic!) so I grade it 3.25 out of 5 stars.<o:p></o:p>


Tags: angel, btvs, comics, spike after the fall review

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