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Angel – After The Fall (Ch. 14)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

angelfall14aSo great to have this one on time (and I would have had it even earlier had I known the release date had been bumped up one week).  Based on the cover I’d say more time-slipping is in order.  Let’s see.

***Spoilers (obviously)***

When we last saw our intrepid gang of heroes, Gwen, Cordelia (the dragon) and Illyria/Fred were all perchance dead.  Out of that list, I’m hoping only Gwen is actually kaput.  Oh, and as for Spike’s ‘death’ last issue, Brian Lynch — don’t do that.  That was cheesy.  Don’t nonchalantly kill off a main character in such a way that it’s obvious he’s not dead.  It’s cheesy and gimmicky.  Especially when it’s a ‘time-loop’ thing (even though it’s a detail related to Gunn’s master plan).  Boy, between this and Buffy – Season 8, time-slipping-travelling is getting to be a bit much, no?  Hmm, turns out Draco-Cordy is actually dead.  That’s too bad.

Okay, suppose it’s time I said something substantive.

One of the biggest strengths of the Buffyverse is how the writers always find creative and inventive ways to use each character’s personality, abilities, strengths and weaknesses to build the story; they also aren’t afraid to set them against each other, or simply have them act as agents of chaos either.  This is exactly what’s happening here.  From Spike offering to vamp-out Angel to save his life, to Gunn’s master plan involving George and Illyria, to Angel’s questions about the Shanshu and his fate — all these actions or story-elements run parallel to each other until just the right moment when they are intelligently brought together.  It provides for dense, layered plots that are somewhat confusing when you’re reading them, but extremely gratifying once you hit the pay-off and also eminently re-readable.

And, from a strictly adrenaline perspective, what a way to build to the climax.  Illyria, now in her true form, threatening to collapse time so she get out of the puny existence she’s trapped in and hates; again, it works because it plays to the core of the character.

I feel Gunn is being written very well here, combining the steadfastness and righteousness from his human days with the mangling ways of the vamp-demon now inside him; yes, he’s evil now, but he’s being completely played by Wolfram & Hart, again just a pawn.  I think it’s a very interesting characterization, and you’re able to feel sympathy for him at the same time you recognize him as the enemy.

And there is still this big question about the vision Angel saw of how he brings about the Apocalypse; I assume we all feel this can’t be taken at face value, and it’ll be interesting to see what happens.

This story-arc wraps up in three more issues, and then continues on as Aftermath, presumably with everything back to normal, and hopefully tying in with what’s going on in B:S8.

Why must wait three months?  Me want now.  Glargh.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. SarahP permalink
    Thursday, November 27, 2008 8:17 pm

    You should try your own Buffy/Angel Crossover Blog. BACOB for short. Like JACOB, only with a B.

  2. SarahP permalink
    Thursday, November 27, 2008 8:18 pm

    Make that 2 Bs. Not just one. Like Jacob has. BACOB has 2 Bs.

  3. tgjkennedy permalink
    Friday, November 28, 2008 9:09 am

    I haven’t read these yet. You’ve officially read comics before I have.

    Have you checked out any of the Omnibuses lately? They’re up to #5…

  4. James17930 permalink
    Friday, November 28, 2008 9:21 pm

    I’m actually not sure if I want to read any of the Buffy comics that take place after Season 1 had started, though . . . they’re all non-canonical, so I don’t know if I’d like the stories. See, Omnibus 1 and 2 are good because they’re all in the time between the movie and Season 1, where there were no other stories, anyway, so I can sort of pretend they really happened, but I’ll have to see Omnibuses 3, 4 and 5 first before deciding how I feel about them.

    You should really pick up AtF though. Aside from the ‘First Night’ arc it’s been really good.

  5. tgjkennedy permalink
    Monday, December 1, 2008 12:48 pm

    Oh, I’ve read most of them. I’m just missing the latest Spike and Angel, and the latest Buffy too… maybe the last two. But I can’t remember which ones I haven’t read so I can’t read your reviews yet. :)

    I’m still trying to find Spike: Shadow Puppets. I ordered it from Amazon, and then 2 months later they just told me it wasn’t going to happen. Any ideas? I’m checking Ebay…

  6. James17930 permalink
    Monday, December 1, 2008 9:15 pm

    No, I decided against that one. It just seemed like re-hash.

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