Angel – After The Fall: Spike – After The Fall
Okay, so this one isn’t technically part of the After the Fall series, it’s a spin-off, but, as you can see by the title, it’s clearly related and intertwined, and I need an immediately-post-Not Fade Away story to get the horrible taste of First Night out of my mouth (Gunn’s one small important bit at the end there not enough to do it entirely), so this one gets the full review treatment. Spike and Illyria team up — which is odd, but okay — and somehow end up working with Connor. Also odd, but — okay. I’m willing.
And jumping crawfish, this is so much better. Fits in so nicely with everything else, you can tell they had all this stuff mapped out before they even started AtF. This is the story they should have told instead of First Night (okay, I’m done complaining about First Night now . . . maybe).
It’s kind of funny how, now that there are Slayers everywhere, they decided to use them as fodder to prove how strong certain bad guys are. Non. Gunn and his crew. But, again, if a whole whack of Slayers disappeared somehow into Hell Angeles, wouldn’t the Buffy crew know? Or are they conveniently of those Slayers who are not affiliated with the army? Probably the latter (okay, I’m done going on about when there’s going to be an eventual link-up between AtF and BS8 . . . maybe).
Seems they’re giving Illyria the whole Glory/Ben thing — namely, Illyria is invincible when Illyria, but can be killed when in Fred-mode, and seeing people she cares about puts her in Fred-mode, which just keeps tending to inconviniently happen in big fights (as in AtF issue 5). Not bad, I guess, even though that trope has been used before; or, is Spike just waxing poetic? Once again, wait and see blah blah blah.
As for the romantic sub-text with Spike and Illyria/Fred; well, I guess it’s inevitable. She is pretty much everything you could in a woman, in that she’s two women — the one, strong, kind of crazy, attired in quasi-dom gear; the other, small, cute, smart, vulnerable. It’s the two main female types all in one package, how could any warm-blooded (or, in Spike’s case, cold-blooded) man not fall for her? But does this mean a confrontation with Wesley somewhere down the line? As we saw in First Night, being with Fred is clearly his version of heaven. But he’s incorporeal now, what could he do? And what about Gunn? Gunn was the only one actually with Fred for any great period of time. Triple-Threat Match? Wouldn’t surprise me.
And can I just say, the way Spike envisions his life, right the end there . . . wouldn’t that be perfect?
So, last thing we have to discuss, that cryptic message from Gunn that Spike’s not gonna make it to the end. Red herring? Probably. We’ve seen this before. So I’m not too concerned with it. But, you’d have to think they’re nearing the end of the whole Buffyverse sooner rather than later, so maybe it’s for real this time. Ha! Listen to me. Haven’t learned a thing.