Thursday, May 07, 2009

My Review of Angel's 6x19: "Aftermath Part 2"

Written by Kelley Armstrong
Artwork by Dave Ross

Angel: “The Lords are really scraping the bottom of the barrel now. Some job advice? I’m supposed to be the one running away.”
Desdemona: “Where’s the fun in that?”

First of all, I have to apologise for being extremely late with this comic. It’s just only now that I’ve gotten my hands on it and with various other reviews, I have to admit that I also got a little side tracked as well.

From the last issue Angel was about to meet his maker thanks to a lady who seems to enjoy morphing into a cat mainly. The lady in question gets the novel name of Desdemona but it seems that she’s not in a big rush to actually kill, even though she’s got a reasonably incentive to do so.

Owing the Lord of Sherman Oaks, Desdemona can only pay off the debt by offering Angel’s head up. The funny thing is that she spent way too much time in this comic flirting with Angel that she decides to re-evaluate what she wants to do with him.

Nakedness aside, Angel is still able to keep his wits about Desdemona, asking her the entire right question. The idea of them teaming up together in order to rid both of their problems (her debt, his various would be destroyers) isn’t exactly the most unrealistic of plot but can Angel really trust the woman?

Sure, she’s fun, seemingly more amoral than evil (not that amoral is a character strength) and while she does lead Angel up to seeing a certain Lord, she also had no problems in turning on Angel as well. After all, it’s not much of a shock that Desdemona was more interested in solving her own problems rather than Angel’s.

She did however kill two birds with one stone by essentially killing the Lord Of Sherman Oaks and making it look like the Lords were all backstabbing each other. For the time being, it could be a temporary solution and let Angel not have to worry about himself and Connor being hunted down but it’s unlikely to make for a decent permanent solution though.

Desdemona then also seems to have problems with attacking others as well. In this issue she attacked a stranger and took his clothing (I guess you can’t go around naked all the time, even if you can morph into a jaguar). Also she did Angel one of the people after him but her origins are a mystery.

Gwen made some headway into researching Desdemona but her theories on the cat creature largely got shot down by Angel. I suppose given that it’s clear that Desdemona will be around for this arc that we’ll learn more about her in the upcoming issues.

When Angel wasn’t dealing with feline frenemies, he spent a good deal of his time worrying about Connor’s safety. He even made a point of not asking Connor and Kate to accompany him and Desdemona when they went to see the Lord Of Sherman Oaks. Of course, Connor also pointed out that Angel was overreacting yet again to trying to baby him.

As for Gwen, I have to admit to feeling pretty bad for her. What she did in hell was wrong but the girl thought she was doing the right thing at the time and I’d like to think that Gunn was far more convincing in getting her on side than he ever was during the “After The Fall” arc.

Stalking Connor relentlessly throughout the issue didn’t exactly do her the best of favours. Connor’s pretty good with maintaining grudges and unequivocally stubborn that Gwen really is going to have to go above and beyond in order to actually prove that she really wants to help.

Being hostile with Kate wasn’t Gwen’s smartest decision either. Right now, Gwen should try being civil with as many LA Scoobies as she can if she really wants to get Connor back. That and of course showing that she’s genuinely sorry for her contribution to the Gunn mess in hell.

Besides Kate is the only who actually didn’t treat her like an eyesore and both of them also have a shared mutual distrust over Desdemona. That should give them something to bond over at least. Kate deciding to keep tabs on Desdemona made sense. I’m not sure the new girl can be trusted either.

When Connor and Kate weren’t making sweeps around the town and questioning Desdemona’s motives, they were also at the hospital with Angel. Angel getting that cryptic from Cordelia via the patient at the end was an interesting move. Does that mean we’ll be lucky and actually see Cordelia in this arc?

Also in “Aftermath Part 2”

The cover for this issue had a vamped out Angel not looking best pleased with being photographed.

Angel: “I’ve never seen a naked assassin before. Is that supposed to distract me?”
Desdemona: “Heaven forbid. That would be terribly unprofessional.”

Why is Desdemona not fond of clothing? And how many forms of were-kitties can they be? Angel and Gwen at least mentioned two, both of which don’t seem to match Desdemona.

Desdemona: “I’ve been sent to kill you.”
Angel: “You seem to have trouble with the key part of that concept.”
Desdemona: “I prefer peaceful methods of conflict resolution. So, I’d like to offer you a deal.”

Kate: “Department of post apocalyptic clear-up. Please stand by.”
Connor: “They gave you a badge?”
Kate: “It’s a library card. Most people have never seen one.”

The creature that Connor and Kate apprehend ended up escaping later on in the story. I’ve seen a preview for the next issues so I know what happens next.

Connor: “I have nothing to say to you. Now get out of my sight before-”
Gwen: “Okay, I get it – I know what I did in hell. I don’t expect you to forgive me. Not yet but just let me help you take these three-”
Connor: “We don’t need your help. Didn’t then, didn’t now.”

Gwen (to herself): “The last time I opened a book was … I’m not even sure. I said I’d do anything to prove myself. Did I mean it?”

Gwen’s library chatter seemed a little on the Faith side of things to me.

Desdemona (to Lord of Sherman Oaks): “Do you know the problem with hiring criminals? If you can buy them, so can anyone else. Perhaps a fellow demon Lord looking to thin out the competition and blame a certain rogue vampire.”

Desdemona: “Nope. Sorry. Hate to disappoint but I’m just a plain and simple were-kitty.”
Angel: “I suspect there’s nothing simple about you.”
Desdemona: “Or plain, I hope.”

This issue had no Lorne, Gunn, Illyria or Spike. Are they gonna be no-shows for this arc completely?

Mr Smythe: “I have a message for you, Angel. From Cordelia.”

The next issue came out during the last week of April. Hopefully I’ll get round to reviewing that quicker than this one.

Two issues in and while the artwork is taking a surprising downtown (none of the main characters are recognisable in certain panels), “Aftermath Part 2” is still a vast improvement on what we’ve had before. Just hoping the assassination threats and Cordelia’s heavenly pal play a significant role is all.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

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