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Joss Whedon – Angel: After The Fall, Vol. 1

August 14, 2009

93. Angel: After the Fall, Volume 1 by Joss Whedon, Brian Lynch, Franco Urru (2008)
Angel: After the Fall, Vol. 1 (Issues #1-5)

Length: 192 pages
Genre: Graphic Novel, Fantasy

Started: 02 August 2009
Finished: 02 August 2009

Where did it come from? The library.
Why do I have it? Predators and Prey, the fifth Buffy collection isn’t coming out for a while, and I did just watch all five seasons of Angel

Things have gone to hell.
Really, it’s Angel, did we
expect much different?

Summary: After The Fall picks up some time after the big battle that ended Season 5 of Angel. It turns out that the senior partners Wolfram & Hart weren’t too happy about Angel & Co.’s part in that fight, and as punishment, they sent the entirety of Los Angeles to Hell. The gang’s all there… although most of them have undergone some pretty heavy changes from when we last saw them on our TV screens. Regardless, they’re still fighting the good fight, which currently involves trying to wrest control of L.A. from the various demon warlords who hold power over demons and mortals alike.

Review: Eh. This Joss Whedon TV-to-comics spin-off thus far is not wowing me nearly as much as Season Eight of Buffy. On the other hand, I was much more into Buffy than I was into Angel as TV shows, so it shouldn’t be surprising that the same pattern holds true in the graphic novels. One of my main problems with Angel was the systematic assassination (literal and figurative) of the characters that I most liked in favor of storylines that I didn’t particularly care about. And, while a lot of things have changed between the end of the TV show and the beginning of After the Fall, and while a lot of those changes are very interesting and could potentially play out in very cool directions, I was kind of going into this book with strained patience… which was not fully mollified by the directions taken by the story in this first volume.

Lynch, for the most part, does a good job with the writing. People sound like themselves, and although the speech patterns on Angel weren’t quite as idiosyncratic as they were on Buffy, the dialogue matches up with the characters without any noticeable flaws. Likewise, the artwork is fine – everyone is very recognizeable as themselves, with the possible exception of Nina (who wasn’t really on the show enough to make a huge visual impression). The drawings and the panelling are all well-done, and dramatic, and dynamic, but they’re just not really to my taste – I think it’s the air-brushy style of painting that I don’t care for.

Overall, I’m going to keep reading; I’ve got enough invested in these characters that I want to find out where this story is going, but so far, it’s not bowling me over the way I’d hoped. 3 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: Only for those who have watched all five seasons of Angel and want more; for those people I think the way you feel about Angel the graphic novel is going to depend largely on how you felt about Angel the show.

This Review on LibraryThing | This Book on LibraryThing | This Book on Amazon

Other Reviews: Stella Matutina, Everyday Reads, Book Dweeb
Have you reviewed this book? Leave a comment with the link and I’ll add it in.

First Line: It all started with a girl.

Cover Thoughts: Well, it does mostly look like David Boreanaz, and the flame coming out of the dragon’s nostril is cool (and strangely shiny on my copy), but… hellllooooo, guy-liner! Seriously, I’ve never worn that much eye makeup, and I’m a girl.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. August 14, 2009 7:30 am

    I feel pretty much the same. I enjoyed Angel the series on and off (mostly off. I loved all of Season 5–Illyria is the best thing ever and Spike rising from the dead was nice, but unnecessary, let the man die a hero!) and that’s how I feel about the comic. Some parts are good, some parts are not so good and the rest of it makes me want to hide my eyes in shame.

    Definitely nowhere near as good as Buffy Season 8, but it had a weaker original to work with.

  2. August 14, 2009 7:55 am

    I loved Angel but I thought it went dramatically downhill in the fourth and particularly the fifth series. The problem may have been making Wesley a jerk and getting rid of Cordelia – it screwed up the dynamic! So I haven’t much wanted to read the comics.

  3. August 16, 2009 10:43 am

    Guy-liner! Mwahaha :) So true, so true :P

  4. August 16, 2009 9:37 pm

    In my opinion, this first volume is the best of the ANGEL: AFTER THE FALL comics, so I think you’re going to want to stick to getting these from the library. :)

  5. August 18, 2009 9:12 am

    Lexie – Ahh, I wasn’t crazy about Illyria, since it basically meant they got rid of Fred right after they got rid of Cordelia.

    Jenny – I am right there with you about 4&5 being my least favorites, although I think making Wesley a jerk did make him a more interesting character.

    Lightheaded – :-D

    Memory – No worries there – I don’t buy graphic novels at all, so Angel 1-4 are all coming from the library (I’m picking up Vol. 4 this afternoon!)

  6. August 26, 2009 8:20 am

    Thanks for your review. I’m still not sure if I want to read After the Fall or not. Part of me wants to know “what happened” after Season 5, but a larger part of me wants the series to live on in my imagination only. More importantly, Wesley’s my favorite character, and unless I’m really missing something from all of the reviews I’ve read, it sounds like he doesn’t fare too well in After the Fall.

  7. mikaela permalink
    March 28, 2010 2:11 pm

    I loved all of the Angel books that i have which are six but, the book stores in east london which is in South Africa arn’t getting any more and i’m trying my hardest to get more. Can anybody help me get more?

  8. keith permalink
    November 2, 2011 12:45 am

    ok on angel season 1 to 3 if u loved this show then it made u like the characters so much having them around, season 4 then came witch was horrible seeing cordy like that was confusing then she dies u cant let cordy die ! season 5 drags way off from what the whole storyline was about but all that has happened makes u want more so much more feels like 10000 q’s need answers thats what its about thats what makes me watch season 1-5 now and then love this show some dissapointments


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