Angel: After the Fall, Issue #4

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“Hell has been kind to you, old friend! And Wesley! I heard you’re without mass! Good for you, always keep your enemies guessing!” – Groosalugg to Wesley

Issue #4 of “After the Fall” starts with a very short flashback of the series finale battle that clearly has Angel a bit confused. Perhaps he’s still suffering residual Illyria time jump effect? Anyway, in the present, he forgets he’s not a vampire, and jumps off a building to save some humans from a zombie, and breaks his legs in the process. Wesley takes him back to the office for some voodoo healing, while Angel reads something that looks like the Necronomicon from the Evil Dead movies. We learn that for months, Wesley has been healing his wounds and casting glamors to make everybody in Hell perceive him to still be a vampire. Angel believes that making him human was Wolfram & Hart’s way of defeating him — taking away his power when he needs it most — and that keeping up the illusion is the only way to beat them.

A pair of colorful females arrive, and escort the two of them to Silver Lake, a happy haven of sorts, lorded over by none other than the Jolly Green Demon himself, Lorne, who is much loved in this little corner of Hell. Meanwhile, back at Bikini Central, Spike has received less attractive visitors — demon henchmen who have come to give Illyria an artifact called a Hagun Shaft, which each of the lords possess, and which is to be used to kill Angel painfully in the event that he manages to defeat all of their champions. Illyria herself hears none of this, however, because she’s busy gnashing her teeth while locked inside a vault. Not sure why.

At Silver Lake, Lorne warns Angel that the other lords don’t plan to fight fair, and gives him a glimpse of the champions he’ll be fighting, which include a T-Rex and a “She-Skip”. To help level things out a bit, in flies Groosalugg on a black pegasus, throws his arm around Angel, and starts talking weapons. Left alone, Lorne and Wesley discuss the fact that Wolfram & Hart don’t have nearly as much control over the Hell situation as they’d like. Then Wesley suddenly disappears. Unbeknownst to them, Vampire Gunn and his Fang Posse have blown up the Wolfram & Hart building, which has apparently severed Wesley’s tie to Hell.

Next issue, I’m guessing we’ll see the outcome of Angel’s Big Fight. Then in issues 6 to 8, it’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for — “First Night” — the story of what happened during the big series finale battle. Spinning off the heels of that this summer will be a miniseries called “Spike: After the Fall”, also created by Lynch and Urru, which will document how William the Bloody went from “First Night” to becoming a co-lord with Illyria. So warm up your wallets!