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Comic Book / Angel (IDW)

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From 2007—2011, IDW Publishing published a series of tie-in comics based on Angel. The first arc, Angel: After the Fall, picks up in the aftermath of the last episode of the TV Series. After the Fall was penned by series creator Joss Whedon and is considered canon to the Buffyverse. Everything after that is either non-canon or Broad Strokes, as Season 8 comics show what happened with Angel right after L.A. is restored to normalcy by the Senior Partners.

This page is intended to cover all Angel and Spike comics between "After the Fall, Part One" and "Stranger Things". For the subsequent - and canonical - Dark Horse Comics series, see Angel & Faith. Also, keep in mind that spoilers from the televised Buffyverse are not tagged.

Not to be confused with Fallen Angel, another IDW-published comic book with "Angel" in its title. It is worth noting, however, that Illyria made a crossover appearance in Fallen Angel: Reborn.

Tropes included in the series:

  • Accidental Misnaming: Spike keeps mixing up his friend Jeremy's name and calling him "Jerry".
  • Amazon Brigade: The demon lord Non has one made up of demonic warrior women, which Spike and Illyria inherit after defeating her. Although it turns out most of them didn't know much about fighting without a telepathic assist from Non's Sadecki demon.
  • Back for the Dead: Kate Lockley appears in one flashback story, showing up to save Connor right after LA goes to Hell and then performing a Heroic Sacrifice. Fortunately, with the Reset Button being pressed at the end of the miniseries, she comes back to life after the first arc.
  • Broad Strokes: There are several differences between the film's events and the "real" events.
    • Wesley survives longer in the film than the "real" Wesley did.
    • Lorne is a minion of Satan going by the name "OverLorne".
    • Betta George becomes Angel's dog and the Team Pet, George.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • Kate Lockley returns after her last appearance in late Season 2. Since being suspended from the police force, she's become an antiquity store owner, but still carries More Dakka.
    • The Groosalugg also returns, and has his groove back.
    • Gwen Raiden is helping Connor and Nina Ash take care of human refugees at the Hyperion.
  • Call-Back: Teeth, the Loan Shark from "Tabula Rasa", resurfaces as the demon lord of Santa Monica, and is revealed to be really named Bro'os.
  • Care-Bear Stare: Referred to by name by Betta George when he overwhelms Old One!Illyria with Wesley and Spike's memories of Fred.
  • Comic-Book Fantasy Casting: Spike's friend Jeremy is based on Jim from the American version of The Office.
  • Continuity Nod
    • The lot formerly occupied by the LA branch of Wolfram & Hart is now a Doublemeat Palace.
    • The Doublemeat Palace gets another nod in "Last Angel in Hell", as the Palace is promoting the titular movie.
    • Possibly accidental: A prophecy regarding the title character's death is fulfilled with a "death" that causes a Reset Button, just like the death of Wishverse Buffy.
  • Cool Uncle: Spike to Connor, working with him to save innocents in Hell A and training him, which makes Angel mildly jealous after he wakes up from his extended recovery. When asking Angel for romantic advice, Connor also mentions that Spike's advice is more of the "weird uncle" variety. Technically, Spike is Connor's uncle, by "blood". But Connor is also Spike's uncle. That family tree is twisted.
  • Demon Lords and Archdevils: The various territories of Los Angeles have been divided up between a group of powerful demons who call themselves lords.
  • Don't Explain the Joke
    Spike: Illyria, have you lost weight? See, because—
    Illyria: Because I was a massive creature. I understand. It was a marginally successful attempt at humor.
  • The Elevator from Ipanema: Mocked in Spike: After the Fall, when he ends up on one of these elevators.
  • Faceā€“Heel Turn: Gunn, who was sired during the unseen fight that happens following the cut to black in "Not Fade Away".
  • Glamour: One would think Los Angeles being literally dragged into Hell would be freaking out the rest of the world. But when one of Angel's allies manages to contact a friend outside, they flip on the TV...and see just a regular night in L.A. with police chases and such. While Betta George is stunned, Gunn relates he already figured out the Senior Partners cast a spell so the outside world doesn't see anything is wrong (or find it at all odd travel in and out of L.A. has stopped).
  • Humanity Ensues:
    • Angel is made human by the Senior Partners in After the Fall, albeit using magicks to give himself his vampiric abilities.
    • Gunn is reverted to being human when the Senior Partners push the Reset Button and everyone in LA is snapped back to where they were at the end of "Not Fade Away". However, he still remembers what he did as a vampire.
  • I Choose to Stay: It turns out that Nina Ash didn't board the plane out of LA with her sister and niece in the finale, and is working with Connor and Gwen Raiden to shelter refugees in the Hyperion Hotel. Fortunately for her odds of survival, the environment of Hell A makes her werewolf traits come to the surface.
  • Inconsistent Spelling: As is usual, there is no agreement on how to spell Wesley's last name. It's given as "Wyndham-Price" in After the Fall #1 and "Wyndam-Price" in After the Fall #17, both of which conflict with the canonical "Wyndam-Pryce".
  • Ironic Hell: The Senior Partners force the ghost of Wesley to appear as he did in his early appearances in Buffy, essentially forcing him to regress back to a point in his life he's grown beyond.
  • Klingon Promotion: Illyria and Spike become lords of Beverly Hills in Hell A after killing Non.
  • Life Drain: Non's attack and source of power.
  • Likes Older Women: Connor's predilection for this strikes again. He and Gwen are now dating.
  • Prophecy Twist: Angel's "death" in After the Fall technically fulfills the Shanshu Prophecy, even though the Reset Button is pressed.
  • Reset Button: After the Fall ends with Angel forcing the Senior Partners to revert the Fall by getting himself killed so that they have to turn back time to the last moment when he was "intact". The citizens of Los Angeles temporarily kept their memories, but the memories eventually faded out and only Angel remembered. note 
  • Retcon: It is revealed Angel is still a candidate to the Shanshu Prophecy because the Circle of the Black Thorn never got around to filing the scroll with Angel's signature renouncing his potential fate, and the renunciation was actually a Secret Test of Character all along. The Senior Partners still want him to play a pivotal role in the apocalypse, after all, on their side.
  • Sexy Cat Person: The Kelley Armstrong run introduced Dez, a sexy assassin and Shameless Fanservice Girl with several nude scenes, who is a Mayan Jaguar Warrior - a jaguar with magically augmented intelligence and the ability to shapeshift into a human.
  • Shapeshifter Mode Lock: In Hell A, with the sun and moon both being out all the time, Nina is stuck in a Little Bit Beastly mostly human but partly werewolfish form.
  • Sharing a Body: It initially seems like Illyria and Fred are doing this, but the latter is just Illyria mimicking Fred's personality and appearance in moments of emotional instability. Later, in the Buffy comics from Season 10 onwards, this happens for real.
  • She Is the King: Female demon lords are called "lords".
  • Shout-Out: Immortality for Dummies features a vampire wearing a PvP shirt.
  • Take That!: A survivor in Spike: After the Fall says that "that awful show about the witch sisters" is the only program playing in Hell A. Later one of Non's Amazon Brigade refers to "that awesome show about the witch sisters".
  • Team Pet: Angel has tamed the dragon from the end of the TV series, who as it turns out was Good All Along, and accidentally named him "Cordelia".
  • Token Good Teammate: The only non-evil demon lords in Hell A are the lords of Beverly Hills (Illyria and Spike, after defeating Non) and Silver Lake (Lorne), with Silver Lake being the most pleasant territory to live.
  • Token Nonhuman: Well, multiple members of the cast aren't human or fully human, but Spike's old buddy Betta George is the Token Non-Humanoid, being a Splenden Beast: a large, floating telepathic Betta Splenden (Siamese fighting fish). He's also meant by Brian Lynch to be the Audience Surrogate, oddly enough, reacting to events the way a normal person would, and par for the course for the Buffyverse he's a Deadpan Snarker.
  • T. Rexpy: One of the five champions that the lords send against Angel is a demonic T-Rex (that can talk), named Kenny.
  • Tricked to Death: Bro'os, AKA Teeth, provides the other Demon Lords with Hagan Shafts, allegedly weapons that can kill an immortal and could be used to kill Angel. However, Angel reveals that he provided Bro'os with the shafts as he guessed that Bro'os would be the one most eager to betray the others; the purpose of the Hagan Shafts is to allow immortals to kill themselves in a suitably dramatic manner.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist:
    • Despite being sired, feeding on humans, and having his own vampire crew, Gunn is still trying to be a "good guy" in his own mind. Unfortunately, being a vampire comes with a warped sense of right and wrong. He stabs Illyria in Fred shape to make her assume her full gigantic Old One form so that she can take back time to before Hell A. When he learns that she's instead trying to take time back all the way to before the universe existed, he considers that an acceptable alternative.
    • Likewise, Illyria tries to Mercy Kill all of existence this way because she thinks it's what Fred would want (mixed with a bit of Never Be Hurt Again after Gunn's betrayal), until a deluge of memories of Fred from Wesley and Spike telepathically sent her way by Betta George convinces her otherwise.
  • We Named the Monkey "Jack": Angel's dragon and Groo's black pegasus are both named "Cordelia" after the deceased Cordelia Chase.
  • Wham Line:
    • Angel's narration for the first three issues neglects to mention certain events, leading into:
    Angel (narration): "[Vampires] can still mend quickly. Which, of course, would mean so much more... if I were still a vampire."

Tropes included in Last Angel in Hell, an in-universe film about the events of After the Fall:

  • Adaptational Heroism: Gunn is still loyal to Angel's team within the film, as opposed to being a vampire during the actual Fall of Los Angeles.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Lorne is portrayed as one of Satan's top henchmen.
  • Adapted Out: Several characters get no mention at all, including Nina, Spider and the "Spike-ettes", and Wolfram & Hart.
  • Babies Ever After: Sara returns at the end pregnant with Angel's son, mirroring the "real" Darla becoming pregnant with Connor.
  • Big Bad: Satan, of the Big Red Devil variety.
  • Composite Character:
    • Sara is a composite of Spike and Darla.
    • Fred is a composite of Fred, Illyria, and Gwen.
    • Gunn is a composite of Gunn and Cordelia the dragon.
  • Gender Flip: Spike/Sara from male to female, as a result of being a Composite Character with Darla.
  • Phlebotinum Killed the Dinosaurs: According to the movie, a T-Rex was the first vampire, and killed the rest of the dinosaurs.
  • Race Lift: Fred from Caucasian to African-American (via Composite Character with Gwen), and Gunn from African-American to dark-skinned Hispanic. note  Also, this Gunn is still (mostly) human, unlike the "real" Gunn who had been turned by vampires by this point.

Alternative Title(s): Angel After The Fall