Sunday, June 07, 2009

My Review of Angel's 6x21: "Aftermath Part 4"

Written by Kelley Armstrong
Artwork by Stefano Martino

Angel: “Cordelia.”
Cordelia: “In the flesh. Well, sort of.”

Heading into the penultimate issue of this arc and things are certainly not what they seem around here. For instance, Desdemona is a lot less sinister than Kate and Gwen would like to believe.

Ever since she helped Gwen trap the kitty gal, Kate’s been feeling a touch guilty about the whole. She even wondered by Angel’s attitude regarding Gwen if he was onto her about Desdemona. Personally I didn’t see it that way but this is an issue with a fair amount of Kate angst in it.

The one thing Kate did after her brief meeting with Angel was to talk to Gwen about Desdemona. This is where both ladies were on disagreement. Kate seemed annoyed that Gwen didn’t wait for her to question Desdemona and Gwen got pretty thick with her as well. Stupid on Gwen’s part given how eager she is to prove herself to Connor.

As for Kate, more bathroom angst moments. Whiny Kate isn’t fun, whether it’s this series or Lost for that matter but at the same time, maybe Kate shouldn’t be so shocked that grey area moments have surfaced. It’s not like they’re in hell anymore and that place was a mass of contradictions and the like.

If Angel was supposed to be suspicious of Kate, he failed but with James, he is actually dubious of the angelic being. Maybe Angel is a little territorial about the heroism. James revealed a little more about being on assignment but other than that, the mystery of the disappearing Potentates lingers on in this issue.

With two heroes, the demon population of LA certainly have more to deal with. There’s a good moment where one demon actually begged James to kill him quickly to which the Potentate refused to do so.

The other interesting part was that the demon also revealed that the Potentates are in LA on a hunting trip before getting James to end his life. Angels killing demons. When it comes to these Lords trying to bump off Angel, I’m not exactly seeing a disadvantage in thinning the demonic herd so to speak.

When we’re not onto the killing of demons, the true motivations of Desdemona gave this comic a very interesting twist. Last issue it did look like she was turning people into animals but apparently it’s revealed her that she’s instead turning animals who were turned human back into animals. I have to admit to not seeing that coming.

Desdemona’s first course of action upon regaining her freedom was to toss Kate aside before going into further detail on things. I like that Kate manned up and apologised to Desdemona about Gwen’s brutality and by extension, her own mistrust of the cat lady.

However the best part of this issue was of course the return of Cordelia. I was surprised back in “After The Fall Parts 12 and 13” when she reappeared and I was surprised to see her again. I thought with the presence of James, the writers would use it as an excuse not to bring her back. Of course I was also delighted to see Cordelia again.

On the flip side, her appearance in this issue is very brief and apart from hyping up the Potentates (who are clearing out every demon – maybe that’s not entirely a good thing – think of Lorne and Betta George. I don’t want them cleared out.) when she’s not acknowledging that a few of her winged soldiers are taking their order a touch too far.

The other flaw is that Cordy and Angel don’t get any personal time to themselves. I really wanted some genuine Angel/Cordy moments akin to “You’re Welcome”, maybe with some astral sex or mild snogging. What, I like Angel and Cordelia? I am so not apologising for it.

As for the rest of the issue, we did have Desdemona, Connor and Kate going around changing virtually every original animal back into their form. There’s a hilarious moment where Connor’s hopes for a pet are dashed by a pretty disobedient dog. He count himself lucky as Gwen can attest that cats are not the best of creatures to have around either.

Desdemona certainly managed to get a few clean smacks into Gwen as payback for being shocked a lot in the previous issue. Although Gwen did deserve a smackdown for her incredible recklessness, I did feel a little bad for her as well. She’s gonna have to try a lot harder to prove herself to Connor now.

The last few pages have their moments as well. Angel managed to slay a few vampires and a minion lord and it was revealed that the insanely cheerful duo from the first and third parts of this arc Needless to say, that pair are also problematic. Oh boy.

Also in “Aftermath Part 4”

The cover for this issue has Connor and Gwen with a dagger and broken glass. I’m guessing it could be symbolic.

Kate (to herself): “Everything was so simple when we were in the hell moment. The bad guys were the bad guys and I could kick butt with the best of them. I thought I’d found my purpose. But now I see the shades of grey again. Am I’m back to being whiny, indecisive Kate? I don’t want to be. God, I don’t want to be.”

This issue had a page dedicated to recently deceased Andy Hallett (1975-2009). I recently joined a Facebook group in memoriam of the actor.

James: “It doesn’t get any more trustworthy than me. I’m an angel.”
Angel: “So you say.”
James: “No-one else goes around calling themselves angels. Present company excepted of course.”

Kate: “I wasn’t the one who interrogated you.”
Desdemona: “No, you just stood back and let it happen. Do you know what that makes you?”
Kate: “A coward.”

Desdemona’s sister is the one who has gone missing from the previous issue.

Angel (re Potentates): “Great. We can always use the help. Only one problem. They’re clearing out all the demons – good, bad, neutral …”
Cordelia: “Are you sure?”

Cordelia (to Angel): “Now that we’ve taken care of business, how about a little us-time before the powers whisk – hey come on guys! That’s not fair. Give a girl a -”

I saw in this issue that there were some comics on Barrack Obama’s first 100 days of presidency coming out. Not sure it would be my thing.

Gwen: “I’m sor-”
Desdemona: “No, you’re not. But they need a librarian and I’m sure not volunteering for the job. Go back to your books and stay the hell away from me.”

The next issue is out on June 24th and then we have the return of Gunn.

“Aftermath Part 4” is solid, maybe even the best of the whole arc but I think that’s probably down to my Cordelia love hitting in. It’ll be interesting to see how everything else is resolved in the next issue.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

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