Monday, May 11, 2009

My Review of Angel's 6x20: "Aftermath Part 3"

Written by Kelley Armstrong
Artwork by Dave Ross

Gwen (to Desdemona): “This is no time for a catnap. Get up or I’ll deliver a wake-up call you’ll feel for -”

Desdemona. What a mystery. Is she really evil or secretly good or misguided? This issue doesn’t really clarify which side she’s really on (aside from her own). Gwen’s little detective skills showed Desdemona in a very questionable light.

So who was the unfortunate bloke she put the voodoo on and why did she turn him into a gorilla? Who are the people that she’s working for and what are they getting out of people being turned into animals? Can’t be good whatever the answer may be.

Kate deciding to withhold this information from Angel but sharing with Gwen is mixed. Maybe she should wait until she knows everything about Desdemona’s antics before getting Angel involved but at the same time, it’s not like he’s going to appreciate being kept in the dark either.

Not that Angel seemed all that bothered about Desdemona anyways. Kate and Gwen did all the heavy lifting with that plot end this issue, which included having both of them facing Desdemona with predicted results.

It’s not Kate, Gwen and Desdemona were going to sit down and actually have a rational conversation. When Desdemona realised that she had uninvited guests, she immediately went to attack them and she didn’t stop when she realised that said guests happened to be Angel’s trusted lady friends either.

Of course knocking out and locking Desdemona didn’t exactly unite Kate and Gwen either. Both women may want to find out what the kitty shape shifter’s motives are but both of them are critical to the others methods. Personally I side with Kate a little more.

As for the kitty, are the cubs belonging to Desdemona? It looks like it and it certainly generates some sympathy if her children (or whoever they belong to) are being held in captivity. Wowsers, this might actually explain a lot of Desdemona’s motives and why she’s eager to side up with Angel.

There also seems to be two sisters as well talking about being held against their will. However it seems like they’re recovering from the effects of turning into animals and are bound to a cult/sect/whatever they are in case they become animals again. With only two issues left in this arc, they better be good.

What was good about this issues was Angel and James Smythe, who might end up becoming my favourite character actually introduced into this comic form sixth season. After all, Betta George predates the damn thing.

Why did I like James Smythe? I don’t know. Maybe it was because Angel could always do with an extra pair of hands but mainly because it was some connection to Cordelia and at the end of the day, I think anything Cordy related is going to hold my interests even if the writers refuse to resurrect her, Wesley and Fred.

Angel’s search for the mysterious angel didn’t really take all that long. Smythe wasn’t exactly hiding from Angel and when the two of them did meet up again, we saw some very cool moments. Having the two of them team up for a spot of demon fighting felt more in line with the series than anything else we’ve seen in this comic form so far, fighting wise.

Smythe explained that he needed help with the demons and he also made an effort to make sure that Angel was packing the right ammunition as well. As for his race – the Potentates, well they’re warrior angels and did some background work during the hell segment of this whole comic season.

The snag is that Smythe’s people are also missing and he obviously wants/needs Angel’s help in getting them back. That means he’s coming back for more and it also gives us another mystery. Who would go about kidnapping warrior angels? Assuming that Smythe’s race are not either dead, corrupted or that Smythe is making the whole thing up.

Personally I hope not. I like the character and I actually want him to be a good guy, is that naively silly of me? As for Angel’s disgruntled employers, I wasn’t that much interested in them two issues ago and I really didn’t care that Angel relinquished his services with them in this one.

As for the cat sisters, one of them got snagged (Penelope) while Gwen was still frustrated with Desdemona being out for the count. Now I really do want to find out what’s going on here.

Also in “Aftermath Part 3”

The cover for this issue showed Kate whaling on a demon that I don’t think we actually saw in this issue at all. No, we didn’t.

Angel: “The people we’re rounding up. From now, they come here.”
Kate: “Whoa. Here? We’re not equipped?”
Angel: “Then we’ll get equipped. We’re holding them here until we find out what’s wrong with them. We need to research -”

Angel’s latest plan of rounding up the people they have and bringing them to his new digs might not be the best of ideas. Times like this, you’d need some SD-6 type of cells.

Angel: “Two choices, Kate. Either we bring them here or we leave them on the streets.”
Kate: “They’re dangerous – to themselves and others.”
Angel: “Then you have your answer. Get the cells ready, then get hunting. I’ll join you later tonight. I have something to do first.”

Gwen: “You think I’m being too harsh.”
Kate: “I just think we didn’t need to -”
Gwen: “We did. Every cop knows it’s easier to get a confession when you don’t have to follow the rules. You’re not a cop anymore, Kate. Time to stop acting like one.”
Kate: “What if I don’t want to?”

The other cover for this issue had Desdemona in chains in a dungeon with her cat eyes.

Angel: “We don’t have time for this.”
James: “In quite a rush for an immortal, aren’t you? All right, I’ll take it with me.”

James: “The name’s James by the way.”
Angel: “Why couldn’t we have just walked out?”
James: “Oh I could have. The spell works very well on humans. There’s only one problem … not everything in this world is human.”

More confusing chronology as James mentions 2005 and Angel had to touch a sword that could burn him.

Angel: “Kidnapping Angels? That’s ballsy.”
James: “I thought so. I’ll be back. First, you need to deal with your disgruntled employers. They’re waiting for you.”
Angel: “Inside? How do you know?”

The next issue will be out towards the end of May. I know I’ve complained but why can’t IDW just add dates on like Dark Horse do with the Buffy comics?

“Aftermath Part 3” might be my favourite issue from this arc anyway. With two issues to go, it’ll be interesting to see what happens next and whether or not characters like Desdemona and James will be around for longer.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

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