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Discussion of "Angel After the Fall #14" - Released 19/11/08 (IDW)

A

Allycat

Guest
Wow. Again, crazy-awesome issue. Finally, we get to see the real Illyria.

It's just too wow to fully describe, but all the little storylines are starting to connect.

I loved that Groo named his pegagus, Cordelia.
 

Enisy

Townie
Joined
Sep 28, 2007
Messages
49
Location
Europe
And the verdict iiiiis: "Oh man, that's epic". (IDW regulars will get the reference.)

I can only imagine how much more epic the ending would have been if we hadn't gotten those spoilery covers with Illyria's true form months back... but even so, there's a silver lining to our pre-spoiled condition, which is that the sheer originality of the storyline shines through. I browse all the main Buffy forums (and a few minor ones), so I'd heard speculation after speculation based on the aforementioned covers -- Fred would be restored to her body through the Resurrection Room and inadvertently release Illyria, Wesley had made an agreement about Fred with the Senior Partners that would come to fruition here, the cast would have to make a choice between Illyria and Fred, etc. -- and they were all off the mark. Needless to say I like Brian's version better, not least because it gave us one of the best Wesley/Illyria scenes in canon...

"There you are."
"Fred -"
"I tried, Wesley. I tried to be."
"I know you did."
"I don't think... I don't think she's here."

It's no secret that the Wesley/Illyria relationship tugs at my heartstrings like no other Buffyverse 'ship save Spike/Buffy... and I actually got a little teary here, which is very rare for me. (Brian, you weren't kidding when you said that Wesley and Illyria had more Big Moments to come.) I'm extremely glad that the Spike: After the Fall Issue #4 revelation about Illyria still holds true, and that it was addressed in an equally (if not more) emotional scene here. That these Fred-centric time-skips were a conscious attempt on Illyria's part to recapture what Fred had with Wesley, and perhaps even revive him, is a very organic development of her covert jealousy and longing in Season 5 of Angel, and the perfect icing to my recent Wesley/Illyria marathon. Even non-fans have to acknowledge that this takes Illyria's already-complex characterization to a new, higher level (and, by doing so, takes the plot to a new, higher level). This ups the stakes.

I can only say "thank you". The only complaint anyone can have about the Wesley/Illyria moment is that it should have been longer.

Now, the payoff of that scene suffers a lot from the colourist's insistent pinks and reds, but ignoring that, I'm rather fond of the chaotic, almost surrealistic feel of it all. ("Do you see?!" -- "See - what?") It felt right for the magnitude of the event. Also happy that Betta George is revealed to be more than a "filler" character, for realsies. I'll be interested to see what ammo the mandatory haters will find for their comments now. (I do hope the pacing in the remaining issues won't be as fast as it was in the final scene of this issue, though. It worked well as a one-time thing, but it has the potential of getting annoying, if used more.)

Another highlight of this issue was Spike learning about the Shanshu (shock, nervousness and jealousy all wrapped up in Lynch-quality dialogue and body language), as well as the Gunn/Illyria sequence. Illyria and Gunn have displayed the most interesting changes in the series so far, in my eyes, and that's evident in the panels they share here. Was particularly moved by Illyria's switch from her Fred-mannerisms to her usual self's honor and cold pride ("I enjoyed sparring with that dragon. It came close to being an equal"), Gunn's little speech about masks (his "teeth and Klingon brow mask" versus Illyria's Fred-mask, what a way to put it), and his breath in the time-skip. Another thing that was interesting to me is that he seems to harbour a resentment towards Angel's "Chosen One" title ("They want... well, they want who they always want. The one everybody always wants") -- reminded me of Spike for a second there, with his decades under Angel's shadow and his underdog status re: Shanshu and Buffy alike.

I've come to expect this level of awesomeness from Brian by now, but I was surprised how much I loved Mooney's art in this issue. Is he getting better, or am I getting more used to his style? The only thing I didn't like was his uniform rendition of the conduits (and the colourist is partly to blame for that, too). Still, you can't argue with panels like "I don't want to hear it! ..." (Spike), "I need Illyria" (Gunn), "Her memories haunt me" (Wesley/Illyria-as-Fred), "Charles tried to bring out ..." (Wesley), "That'll work" (Gunn).

Where do we go from here?

No idea, but I at least hope that Illyria survives, that there are no easy "saves" like a pre-Not Fade Away reset, that everything comes with a price, that Wesley and Illyria get more interaction (and I'll join the LiveJournal chorus in wishing for a kiss), that the next issues cut down on the spelling/grammar errors, and that the universe doesn't go kablooie.

Rating: 8.5/10 (might be my third favourite After the Fall issue, after Issue 4 of Spike: After the Fall and Issue 12 of Angel: After the Fall)
 
C
Clem Rocks
Mmmmm....copy pasta...

Clem Rocks

Scooby
Joined
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Just read it, pretty good issue actually, is it wrong thought that the bit i like the most is the explanation of what happened to Angel's tattoo? lol

The last line actually made me laugh a little

One thing that confuses me though, what is Angel now? Is he Angel? Angelus? Liam? Angelus with a soul? What?

And wow, Illyria's bloody big! I expected her to be about the same height as everyone else, like she is in the timeslip in S:AtF 4.
 

BuffyBot38

Dark Willow Is So Cool
Joined
Nov 13, 2008
Messages
53
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Sunnydale 1990-2004
Confused But Lovin It

:drunk:if u ask me ATF is kind of confusing but i still love it what was up with groo at the beginning that was weired but lovin real Illyria the cover for the next issue looks great but back to topic and whats up with fred'/illyria which person are they are and the part where angel got stabbed by gun was like though his heart but he is still human or is he a vamp or what:drunk: but cant wait for next issue it seems like ages away
 

Tranquillity

That'll put marzipan in your pie plate bingo
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I love After the Fall but I did find this one a little confusing. I thought that Wolfram and Hart sent the big army after Gunn because of what he did to Angel but then Gunn says to Illyria something like "don't worry, they're not after us". So it seems like the Senior Partners sent that whole army with the jet powered dragons and all just to get to Angel and put him on the demon guts shrine. Weird

Other than that - I loved it. I loved Spike's reaction to finding out that Angel as human (although some of the drawings didn't really convey the emotions of the words IMO), loved all the stuff with him wanting a smoke. Was a little bit surprised that he would offer to vamp Angel but after re-reading I could see that he was of the opionion that a vamped-type Angel (of whatever persuasion) was better than a dead Angel. I'm suspecting that without Angel there is no chance of escaping from Hell so there is that angle too. But I do think Spike was motivated out of concern for Angel and as i'm a big fan of the spyke/angel dynamic that was cool.
Wes and Illyria were heartbreaking. Her attempts at shifting time - it all makes sense! And I love it that she has finally come into play in all her glory. I'm wondering if she can revert back into Fred-form or is this the end for Illyria too. Also wondering:
*what is Angel and if he's human how the heck is he going to fight Illyria (or will the W&H army go up aginst her...no, it...keep forgetting)
*what happened to Connor - i'm starting to worry that he might die
*what happened to Spike
*What about those slayers?
*and George!?

So basically, I can't wait to see how they are going to get out of this, stop time collapsing and get out of hell before this series wraps up.
8/10
 

Clem Rocks

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I've been thinking, with Illyria changing into her true form so easily, and no-one outside of LA knowing about the hell thing, is it possible that Hell-A is actually Illyria's home dimension?

@Buffybot: Fred's gone, it's all Illyria.

@Tranquility: You just made me wonder. When it was said that Illyria is gonna end existance, did it mean everyone's or just her own by timeslipping back to before A Whole in the World?

And am i the only one that realises there is literally no way Ilyyria can wipe out all exitisance? That would mean every dimension gone, which would mean no time in the future for Fray to exist, which unless Buffy changes time over in Season 8, we know that time does exist...
 

Tranquillity

That'll put marzipan in your pie plate bingo
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Clem Rocks wrote
When it was said that Illyria is gonna end existance, did it mean everyone's or just her own by timeslipping back to before A Whole in the World?
Oooh that is a good question. I'm not completely adverse to the idea of taking back time (they've done it before after all)
but it could also be seen as a cheap get-out-of-jail-free card...depends how (if) they did it....
 

Buffy Summers

Yataro
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Sineya
It's so hard to keep reading this, because it's so stream of consciousness. The Gunn/Illyria stuff at the end is the only useful part of this issue.
 
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