Hayley Knighten

Buffyverse Comics: Fray, Angel, and Spike: After the Fall

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With new seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel & Faith just beginning, it seems like a good time to reread the Buffyverse comics so far. I will be reading and reviewing the series’ that are considered canon with the television shows they were based on including Buffy Season 8, Fray, Spike, Angel & Faith and Angel: After the Fall among others.

Angel & Spike Comics

Anyone familiar with these comics knows that there are many crossovers, mini-series and off-shoots so it is somewhat difficult to know what the reading order is. I will be posting reviews in the order I recommend reading them and will post a final list when I’ve caught up to season 10.

Let’s get started:

51T6UnHjKDL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Fray (Issues 1-8)

Fray is the chosen one of the future. While the world has become like something out of Blade Runner, some things never change. There are still vampires, demons, forces of darkness and, as it all began, one girl to stop them all. There is so much to love about this series: detailed world-building, unique characters, and beautiful illustrations. I would love to see this become a movie some day. There are some epic high-flying fight scenes, and demons that would look amazing on the big screen. I started my reading marathon with Fray because it is the first BTVS comic that is considered canon with the show, and while it takes place in the future, you will need to have read this to make sense of Fray’s reappearance in Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Eight Vol. 4 – Time of Your Life 
Fray is a must-read for fans of BTVS, science fiction, and dystopia.

WRITTEN BY: Joss Whedon
ILLUSTRATED BY: Karl Moline, Andy Owens, Dave Stewart, & Michelle Madsen
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse
RELEASED: January 2001 (issue #1)

Buy this volume from us here:
Fray: Future Slayer TPB – $17.95
Retail Price: $19.95
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2249571Angel: After the Fall vol. 1 (Issues 1-5)

I loved the television show so it is wonderful to see what became of the characters after the season finale. While Joss Whedon’s involvement with the plot is evident, this reads more in the style of his work with Marvel than what fans of the TV show are used to. For starters, Angel has traded in his Plymouth GTX for a fire-breathing dragon that he flies around LA on. Yeah, it’s awesome. The scope of the story is bigger and more fantastic. It is beyond anything that would have been possible on the television show. I enjoyed it, though I do miss the realism of the TV show. Episodes that dealt with the world as I know it with demons under the surface were my favorite. Episodes like I’ve Got You Under My Skin, Smile Time, Waiting in the Wings and I Will Remember You. Writer Brian Lynch’s brings his own style to the writing. I’m loving his sass and humor. He writes Angel as less broody and more snarky. We’ve seen some of this in the show, but in the comics it is more consistent and at times has more bite, sort of a cross between Angel and Angelus. However, this is the apocalypse and Angel has many new reasons to make himself seem unaffected by the destruction of the world around him.

Fans of the show will enjoy this one, and if you haven’t seen the show, crawl out from under the rock where you’ve been hiding and watch the TV series before you pick up After the Fall. This series is canon with the show and won’t make any sense if you haven’t watched the episodes.

WRITTEN BY: Brian Lynch, Joss Whedon (plotting)
ILLUSTRATED BY: Franco Urru
PUBLISHER: IDW Publishing
RELEASED: November 2007 (issue #1)

Buy this volume from us here:
Angel After The Fall TPB Vol. 01 – $17.99
Retail Price: $19.99
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3058907Angel: After the Fall vol.2- First Night (Issues 6-8)

Angel: After the Fall vol. 1 started after the apocalypse was well under way. As the title suggests, First Night takes us back to television series finale and shows us how the characters of the comics found themselves in their current predicaments. First Night is separated into mini stories, each only a few pages long, each named for the character they follow, and each with a unique look and feel to match. I particularly enjoyed the Lorne story. The art looks like an old cartoon and reads like a Dr. Seuss book. There are many shout outs to the television series including a character that we haven’t seen on the show since the early seasons, Kate Lockley.

I highly recommend this to anyone that was disappointed with the Angel television series finale. First Night ties up all the loose story ends and leads nicely into the new conflicts introduced in the Angel: After the Fall series.

WRITTEN BY: Brian Lynch, Joss Whedon (plotting)
ILLUSTRATED BY: Franco Urru
PUBLISHER: IDW Publishing
RELEASED: April 2008 (issue #6)

Buy this volume from us here:
Angel HC Vol. 02 First Night – $17.59
Retail Price: $21.99
You Save: $4.40

 

18949605Spike: After the Fall (Issues 1-4)

Spike: After the Fall is my favorite of the After the Fall series so far. This installment continues where First Night left off. The story follows Spike and Illyria from the television cliffhanger up to where Angel runs into him at the grotto with a harem of loyal Spike followers in Angel: After the Fall. Brian Lynch does a fantastic job of writing Spike. The character is every bit as enjoyable as he was on the television series. Lynch also writes fantastic dialogue and he’s managed to do the impossible: he writes Angel’s son Connor in such a way that I am beginning to like him. With talent like that, imagine what he could do with annoying BTVS characters like Dawn or Riley or dare I say it? Kennedy.

I highly recommend this to anyone who loves Spike. You won’t be disappointed!

WRITTEN BY: Brian Lynch
ILLUSTRATED BY: Franco Urru
PUBLISHER: IDW Publishing
RELEASED: July 2008 (issue #1)

Buy this volume from us here:
Spike After The Fall HC Vol. 01 – $17.59
Retail Price: $21.99
You Save: $4.40

Next, I will be reading the continuation of Angel: After the Fall, Brian Lynch’s Spike series and BTVS Season 8.

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