Angel: After the Fall, Issue #2 Review

After reading the first issue of “Angel: After the Fall”, I wasn’t sure what to think. Just like “Buffy: Season 8”, we were dropped into the story at some point after we’d last seen the characters, but a lot had happened that wasn’t going to get much immediate explanation. However, unlike “Buffy: Season 8”, the situation didn’t immediately lend itself to an obvious explanation either.

So I decided to withhold judgment until after issue 2, when I figured we’d get some more back story.

I was wrong, to some extent. So far, Joss Whedon and Brian Lynch are plowing ahead with their story, only revealing information when it advances the plot. Now, in most cases, I’m in favor of this, but with the way “Angel” ended, there needs to be a more satisfying resolution to the alley scene.

Then again, I shouldn’t hold the absence of an “Issue 0” against the actual Issue 2. For the most part, I really liked where the story went following issue 1 (which, as an aside, I had trouble following the first time I read it). The re-introduction of characters like Nina and Gwen was very welcome, and it’s good to see that in the face of the worst disaster team Angel has ever faced, they’re not all banding together to fight the good fight -- they’re reacting as individuals, which is a refreshing break from some of the characters we see on TV these days.

Two things I could do without:

-Wesley. His death was absolutely PERFECT on the show, handled just like it was meant to go down. His re-emergence, even as a contractually hell-bound employee of Wolfram & Hart, cheapens that moment.
-Gunn as a vampire. Just no. No. No. No. A thousand times No. I have no real detailed explanation for why I didn’t like this, I just don’t (and I swear, it has nothing to do with the fact that making a good person turn into a vampire was going to be a major plot point of a future arc of MY comic -- I’m still planning on doing that, and I’ve been planning on it for about 6 months now, so if mine ever comes out in the next decade or so, don’t call it a ripoff, OK?)

That said, at this point, they’ve committed to that Gunn storyline, so I hope they don’t cheapen that by giving him a soul, or, even worse, reversing his condition. If you’re making him a vampire, then stick with it. Make him a mortal enemy of Angel. Make him the anti-Slayer as it were (and I wouldn’t be opposed to a “Buffy” crossover).

Oh, and while I love seeing old characters in this series (Illyria and Connor also showed up in this issue), I would be vehemently opposed to an appearance by Cordelia. She’s dead. She never worked for W&H. And she better be in heaven. So there.

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