Angel: After the Fall #5

With this issue Brian Lynch dispels all doubt about whether or not he belongs on Team Whedon. Lynch knocks it out of the ballpark with this one as several elements from the previous four issues come together here. Wesley, existing only as an ethereal spirit, is in trouble with the Wolfram & Hart Senior Partners for giving Angel too much help. Lorne, the Lord of Silver Lake, is feeling out of his depth and drowning his inadequacies in a few well-made drinks. A now-human Angel is preparing for a battle against what will most certainly be overwhelming odds. The Lord of Beverly Hills, Spike is planning to make a strategic withdrawal (IE: run away) with Illyria. Connor, Gwen and Nina are digging in and planning for the worse. And a bitter, now-vamped Gunn is watching the whole thing from the sidelines. Definitely sounds like it could be the beginning of a typical mid-season episode of the Angel TV series, not that any Angel episodes were usually what could be called typical. My favorite part of this issue is that the rallying cry for everyone, save Gunn, to regroup to help Angel is given by Lorne. Considering the way he exited in the final episode of the TV series, it was a touching detail. The only maddening thing about this issue is that the nifty cliffhanger won’t be resolved for three months.

I absolutely love Franco Urru’s artwork on this series. He does a fantastic job at composing a page and has superlative storytelling skills. Admittedly, the characters don’t always look like the actors that portrayed them on the screen, but I’m much more satisfied seeing the attention firmly on interpreting the script in an exciting way than page after page of copied-from-photos “posters” as seen in many other media tie-in comics. Besides, the sequence of Angel with a flaming sword battling a T Rex is full of more geek glee than should be allowed. I sure hope he is returning after the three issue flashback coming up.

Whether or not you know anything about Angel the TV series or not you really should be reading this book. You’ll get a fun, interesting story and some fantastic art and you really can’t ask for much more than that in a monthly book. This is a media tie-in well suited for the comics medium and isn’t hindered by being tied to a property. Buy it, read it, repeat each month.