Joss Whedon, Brian Lynch & Various
The sixth issue of Angel: After the Fall takes a hiatus from the story that has built up thus far to flash back to exactly how things went down for the characters of the universe after the final scene in Angel the television series’ season five, where a handful of good guys are in an alley facing down Armageddon. In those moments, we see Los Angeles transported to Hell, events unfolding through the eyes of several characters in short stories focusing on one or two of them, each illustrated by a different artist. Bookending these short stories are scenes taking place in current continuity, of the psychic fish Betta George, wondering about how the transition to Hell went for other people of LA, and recounting his own underwhelming story. After this, we are treated to a story of Spike as he is reunited with Illyria, then of Connor and the effects that the transition to Hell had on him (the transition has effected several people in different ways, including Angel himself in one of the more shocking revelations of the series so far). These two stories are competently illustrated by David Messina and Stephen Mooney, respectively, but aren't exactly of the highest quality art, something that I think the series overall suffers from. The final short story is a fun one following the fun-loving musical demon Lorne which is, appropriately, told in verse and drawn by none other than John Byrne. A surprise cameo for me, at least. It was kind of an odd choice to take a break from the current story for a few issues to focus on the aftermath of the big battle in that alley, but it’s what people have been wondering, myself included, so I was happy to see it. It just could have been integrated into the series at a more appropriate time. But I had a lot of fun with this issue and can’t wait for the next couple of issues to come out. I’m curious to see Wesley and Gunn’s transition to their new…circumstances…more than any other members of the cast.