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#27 Angel: After the Fall Vol 2 (First Night)

Huge spoilers for the fist volume of After the Fall! Do not read any further unless you want to know what happens!


The first volume of Angel: After the Fall presented us with a Los Angeles torn from our reality and stuck straight into hell, a move the redefined the lives and roles of all of our favorite characters, but it didn’t really explain how all of those characters got into to those new roles. That’s where First Night comes in. This mini series takes us back to what happened right after the camera cut off on Angel’s Final Episode, Not Fade Away. This series of short comics attempt to answer all of the reader’s questions, such as: why is Wesley back as a ghost, how did Spike and Illyria come to travel together, and how did Gunn become a vampire? By focusing on the side characters, First Night takes the focus off of Angel, who was once the vampire with a soul, and gives us different perspectives on this new world.

Only… it doesn’t really work.

Don’t get me wrong there are some stories here that do wonderful. The artwork and story behind Wesley’s tragic tale is very satisfying. Kate’s cameo was unexpected, but appreciated. Gwen’s tale of how she got her shocking powers back is heartbreaking. Gunn’s realization of how he became a vampire is very well played out. Still, a lot of the other stories left me cold. I found Spike’s comic to be unremarkable, didn’t see the point of the civilian comic, was left cold by Connor’s story, and (don’t kill me Brian Lynch!) don’t really see what the big deal about Beta George is. I don’t really have an opinion on the Lorne comic quite yet. After hearing of the actor’s Andy Hallet’s death, reading this lighthearted story turned out to be a rather strange experience. Each story also has a different artist, a move which was probably meant to give each comic its own flavor, but ends up feeling a little disjointed.

I guess you can say that First Night does what it set out to, tell the side character’s story, but it ends up as feeling very average, while the first Volume of After the Fall had such spice. Fortunately, IDW gives this volume the hardcover treatment again. Although it doesn’t have as many extras as the first, the artwork gallery is great, and the commentary from Brian Lynch was a lot of fun to read. I especially like his summaries of the First Night comics he didn’t get to write. The one I would have liked to see the most was The Groosalugg’s. One thing I wish they had included in this volume as they did with volume one is the ribbon bookmark. That was a really nice touch.

Even though I found this comic to be rather average, I do still plan on reading more of After the Fall, as the next volume does bring us back to the main storyline.




Rating: three out of five stars
Length: 104 pages
Source: Newbury Comics
TBR Pile: 150 books
Similar Books: Tales of the Vampires and Tales of the Slayers by Various Authors.
Other books I've read by this author: I’ve read Joss Whedon’s contributions to Season Eight (The Long Road Home, The Chain, Anywhere but Here, A Beautiful Sunset, Time of Your Life), Fray, Sugarshock (which can be Found in MySpace Dark Horse Presents Volume 1), Serenity: Those Left Behind, Serenity: Better Days, his contributions to Tales of the Slayers (First Slayer, Righteous, and Tales), and Tales of the Vampires. I have also enjoyed his movies and TV shows. For his collaborations with Brian Lynch, I have read the first volume of Angel: After the Fall (my review)

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Up Next: My review of Peony in Love

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