After the Fall was just picking up steam after Issue #5, but now we head back to “First Night”, the tale of just what happened in that alley at the end of “Not Fade Away”.
The series is broken up into individual short stories for each character and barely shows the alley at all. In Spike’s story, it’s literally half a page. As for the rest of the story, it basically covers Spike, realizing he’s in hell, coming to enjoy the moment, then being forced back into a champion role (that he hates). The one thing that gets him to embrace it is the sight of Fred, who quickly turns back into Illyria. It’s kind of a rehash of what we already knew, but does bring back into play the affection (not in a loving way, but a friendship way) that Spike had for Fred in Season 5.
The Connor story is a little more complicated, since he wasn’t actually in the alley, he was just headed there. Same deal though, transported into a different part of Hell-A (Compton to be specific), demons all around, then the special W&H touch on hell (in this case, he gets his full memory back).
Look, we’ve got 2 more issues of this, so I hope to God that they don’t all follow the same formula. If so, that’ll get pretty boring.
As for Lorne, the final character to get his tale in this issue, I can’t say I liked it. In fact, I hated it. Poetry and weird art, not my thing. Also, there wasn’t anything new revealed in Lorne’s tale. All of it could have been inferred from previous issues.
All in all, First Night is off to a slow start. Really, though, the whole mini-series comes down to 2 characters: Gunn and Angel. Once we get their tales, we’ll be all set.