Thursday, August 8, 2013

Angel (IDW)

After the success of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer there was a spin off based on the life of her ex-boyfriend, the first vampire with a soul dubbed Angel. I loved that show and preferred it over Buffy. The themes of redemption were explored in interesting ways and the characters were great. While Buffy ended on a positive note that didn't really need expanding on Angel left on a more ambiguous note. Since all plans for more spin offs and movies fell through that left comics. The books weren't selling well at Darkhorse when IDW brought the rights for Angel. With Joss Whedon not giving approval for anyone touching what happened in the last episode the writers had to either write prior to those events or sometime in the future. The tales taking place in the future got the interest of readers eager to learn of the fates of the Fang Gang especially with Angel the Curse focusing on the title character. A number of mini series came out after this.

Such as Angel Old Friends which had Illyria, Spike, Lorne and Gunn all shown alive. Since Gunn already was near death when the series ended this was somewhat surprising. For some reason he had a eyepatch which seemed like the an attempt to show he was the most vulnerable as a human but instead came off as stealing an idea from Xander. Characters that died showed up and the group had to figure out what was going on. While it wasn't one of the better books it did promote more interest in the alleyway fight and gave more attention to comics for possible resolution.

Spike's popularity also lead to him getting one shots and mini series. They happened before the end of season 5 both in his soul days and in his more violent days. Most of them were excellent character work with the classic Whedon feel. One such series had Spike dealing with a mostly brand new cast with the exception of Lorne. The writer Brian Lynch impressed Joss Whedon so much that Whedon offered him the chance to write the story of how team Angel got out of the alley way. And it was glorious, there were twists and turns at every corner. Characters that never met did and even old allies showed up. I really can't praise this series enough.

Eventually IDW stopped publishing the Angel comics due to Whedon deciding to move the characters over to Darkhorse with Buffy. My thoughts about the Buffy comics aren't so glowing. But I figured with fall upon us it was a good time to look back on something I loved so I'll be bringing up some of these comics later on. If anyone's a fan of the tv show I can say that Angel after the fall works wonderfully to build off how it ended. The scale is epic, it's driven by emotion and even if there's a few fake outs nothing ever feels cheap.

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