Angel – After the Fall

I think the last comic book I picked up was V for Vendetta after seeing the film.  Over the years I wouldn’t call myself a big fan, but I’ve got a fairly decent stack of Terminator and Superman comics in the closet that I’ll pick up and read every now and again.  Angel of course, wasn’t always a comic.  It was and still is my favorite television series of all time – born of the mind of Joss Whedon.

Sadly, I never actually saw the show when it was on TV, I barely even caught on to Buffy until near the last season… But I caught up real fast via the DVD market.  5 seasons of Angel were wrapped up in a rushed episode where a team of heroes, broken and exhausted, unite one last time in a dark alley to battle the legions of hell.  I could only imagine the torment of fans who had actually tuned in for each episode as they were shafted one last time by the networks.

Anyhow, enough rambling.  After the Fall is a 4 part comic series which apparently picks up where the tv series left off.  It’s been labeled as the 6th season – a misnomer in my opinion.  The artwork is excellent, the story is in line with a Joss Whedon tale, but it again – seems rushed.  Unbenounced to me apparently they’ve been publishing Angel comics for years, and while this new series is in part tying up the aftermath of Season 5  – it really seems to be establishing the baseline for the comics.

Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed reading issues 1 and 2, and will readily pick up 3 and 4 – however it just seems like too big of a jump.

**SPOILERS**

Wolfram and Hart have brought about Hell on Los Angeles as a result of Team Angel annihilating the circle of the black thorn.  Angel is back, still utilizing the resources of Wolfram and Hart as well as caring for his extremely large dragon.  Remember the dragon from “Not Fade Away?”  He tamed it.  Wesley is still dead, and now a ghostly representative for Wolfram & Hart due to some mystery contract.  WHAT CONTRACT?!  It hasn’t been explained yet.  Gunn is now a Vampire.  Apparently in the heat of battle he was dragged off and sired, and blames Angel for it.  Not entirely sure if he’s a total good guy or bad guy yet, as he has no soul and particularly ruthless.  Connor is NOT ANNOYING, continuing the trend from Season 5 where the character was redeemed and stopped being a reason to change the channel.  He’s in charge of a safe area partnered with Nina the werewolf (who now hates Angel) as well as Gwen Rayden (the shocking little lady from Season 4 I believe).  Oh, the moon and the sun are both out – which allows Vampires to walk outside as well as causes both of Nina’s “personalities” to be active at once.   Spike?  He’s ruling Beverly Hills, residing at the Playboy mansion, surrounded by beautiful women and protected by Alleria who still considers him her pet.

I’m hoping that they catch up in Issues 3 and 4, but I may just start ordering angel comics online now to try and fill in some blanks.  If they DON’T catch up, I really hope people stop calling it Season 6.  They should call it 6.5 to be fair.  In the TV series, the transition from LA to Hell on Earth took an episode or two.  I need to see that, to fill in the blanks.  You can’t tell me a comic series is Season 6, then hand me Hell on Earth, a telepathic fish named George (Johnny Mnemonic anyone), and LA split up into different factions ruled by various demon lords… and not expect me to be confused.

It’s good for fans of the television series, but expect to be confused, I sure was.

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