Angel: After the Fall, Issue #1

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In issue #1 of “Angel: After the Fall”, we learn what happened after the big showdown at the end of Season 5 … sort of. We’ve jumped ahead a few months, which means that Joss plans to feed us details of the showdown and its immediate aftermath bit by bit. But we do know a few things. For one, Angel still lives (you know what I mean), thanks to the help of a dragon who was also working for Wolfram & Hart and decided to go rogue. Los Angeles is now in Hell, being ruled by assorted demon warlords. Angel’s son Connor and two of Angel’s ex-love interests — Electric Gwen and Werewolf Nina — are running a kind of sanctuary for humans and good demons. Wesley is now a kind of ghost, contractually bound to work for The Senior Partners but helping Angel when he can. And in a hugely ironic move, Gunn the diehard vampire hater is now a vampire himself. No sign yet of Fred/Illyria, Spike, or Lorne, but I’m sure they can’t be far behind.

All in all, I’m really loving this new title. Joss’s plot direction is clear, the storyline is satisfyingly twisty, and the clever dialogue always makes me smile. If Whedon couldn’t do it himself, Brian Lynch was a great choice for the writer here. If you haven’t already, buy the “Spike: Asylum” trade paperback, on the basis of which Joss hand-picked Lynch for this job. I’m eagerly waiting for “Spike: Shadow Puppets” to come out, so I can read that one too.