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Old August 22 2012, 10:05 AM   #1
Plain Simple
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Buffy & Angel comics

I recently got a craving for more Buffy and Angel stories, so I tried some of the new comics. I read Tales of the Slayers, Tales of the Vampires, and the first few stories of Buffy season 8 (I got the Tales and BtVS s8, part 1 'library editions'). Tastes like more, but looking up which other Buffy and Angel comics are out there, I get completely overwhelmed by the quantity (one of the reasons I'm usually not much of a comic person). Season 8, season 9, After the Fall, after-After the Fall, Spike, Illyria, Willow, Riley, ... ?!

So here's a question ---it's probably been answered before on this board, but I did some searching and couldn't find any (recent) threads on this topic---, which comics (series and one-shots) are the 'official' continuation of the show? And a second question: Within those 'official stories', which ones tie together as one story, and which ones are just separate one-shot stories? And finally, are these 'official stories' bundled in large volumes like the library editions, or do I have to track down all the one-shots and spin-offs separately, if I want to read them?

Thanks!
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Old August 23 2012, 02:50 AM   #2
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Re: Buffy & Angel comics

Plain Simple wrote: View Post
So here's a question ---it's probably been answered before on this board, but I did some searching and couldn't find any (recent) threads on this topic---,
The last post in this thread was only 9 days ago.

Which comics (series and one-shots) are the 'official' continuation of the show? And a second question: Within those 'official stories', which ones tie together as one story, and which ones are just separate one-shot stories? And finally, are these 'official stories' bundled in large volumes like the library editions, or do I have to track down all the one-shots and spin-offs separately, if I want to read them?

Thanks!
Everything published in the last five years or so by Dark Horse is canon. Angel: After The Fall and some of the Spike material from IDW is canon as well. Also, Joss' Fray mini about a 23rd centrury Slayer from some years back by Dark Horse tied into season 8.

Here are Amazon search results for Buffy season 8.
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Old August 23 2012, 11:32 AM   #3
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Re: Buffy & Angel comics

Turtletrekker wrote: View Post
Plain Simple wrote: View Post
So here's a question ---it's probably been answered before on this board, but I did some searching and couldn't find any (recent) threads on this topic---,
The last post in this thread was only 9 days ago.
Thanks. But since I've only just started season 8, a thread about season 9 seems a bit too far ahead. And anyway, it doesn't seem to address my larger question.

Turtletrekker wrote: View Post
Which comics (series and one-shots) are the 'official' continuation of the show? And a second question: Within those 'official stories', which ones tie together as one story, and which ones are just separate one-shot stories? And finally, are these 'official stories' bundled in large volumes like the library editions, or do I have to track down all the one-shots and spin-offs separately, if I want to read them?

Thanks!
Everything published in the last five years or so by Dark Horse is canon. Angel: After The Fall and some of the Spike material from IDW is canon as well. Also, Joss' Fray mini about a 23rd centrury Slayer from some years back by Dark Horse tied into season 8.

Here are Amazon search results for Buffy season 8.
Thanks!
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Old August 23 2012, 05:53 PM   #4
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Re: Buffy & Angel comics

Well I'll give it a go, "officially" you'd have Dark Horse's Buffy Season 8, IDW's Angel: After The Fall (along with Spike: ATF,) and the 8 part IDW Spike solo series


For the best reading order I'd say read the Fray TPB first if you haven't already.
Then Angel: After The Fall, this is split into 4 TPB's and Spike:ATF making 5 all together (there is a big collection of all 4 A:ATF's you can get too)

Angel: After Fall v1 first, then v2, then Spike:ATF, then Angel v3 and v4




*Then* you can keep reading the following IDW stories if you want, some are good fun, some not so much. They're not really 100% canon, Dark Horse is treating them like "maybe they happened, maybe not, either way we're not really gonna be mentioned too much from then anyway."
The one arc immediately following ATF, Aftermath, is awful! So much so the writers of the following arcs ignored most of it and retconned the rest.

Vol.6 'Last Angel in Hell' isn't bad, there's a nice ATF epilogue story in it, a Drusilla 2 parter, and a fun Angel & Spike at Comic-con tale. Then there's three more Angel books- Immortality For Dummies, The Crown Prince Syndrome, and The Wolf, The Ram and the Heart.
And there's a also an Illyria miniseries too.

Oh yeah and there's a little Lorne one shot too, which basically just has Lorne written out of the series because of Andy Hallett's death.




Then there's the Spike series, which is considered pretty much canon, simply called 'Spike.' This is available as either two Hardcover volumes, or they've recently released a full TPB collection of it.





Then after those start on the Buffy Season 8 stories (all the Angel & Spike stories take place before it.)
These are available as 8 TPB's. Though recently the big Library editions have started to be released, which sounds like what you've got. These are just a big hardcover with 2 TPB stories in each, so they'll be 4 by the end. Only one has come out so far so either you wanna wait till they all come out or just make a start of the remaining TPB's (vols 3-8)

The two Willow and Riley one shots are included in the TPB's so don't worry about those.
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Old August 23 2012, 06:15 PM   #5
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Re: Buffy & Angel comics

If you wanted to go out and read everything post TV, I'd say this is the best order

Angel: After The Fall v.1
Angel: After The Fall v.2- First Night
Spike: After The Fall
Angel: After The Fall v.3
Angel: After The Fall v.4
Angel: Aftermath
Angel: Last Angel in Hell
Angel: Only Human
Angel: Lorne- Music of the Spheres

Angel: Immortality For Dummies
Spike: The Devil You Know
Angel: The Crown Prince Syndrome
Illyria: Haunted
Angel: The Wolf, the Ram, and the Heart

Spike: The Complete Series
Buffy Season 8 vol.1: Long Way Home
Buffy Season 8 vol.2: No Future For You
Buffy Season 8 vol.3: Wolves at the Gate
Buffy Season 8 vol.4: Time of Your Life
Buffy Season 8 vol.5: Predators and Prey
Buffy Season 8 vol.6: Retreat
Buffy Season 8 vol.7: Twilight
Buffy Season 8 vol.8: Last Gleaming
Angel & Faith vol.1: Live Through This
Buffy Season 9 vol.1: Freefall
Angel & Faith vol.2: Daddy Issues
Buffy Season 9 vol.2: On Your Own



But the ones highlighted aren't that necessary
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Old August 23 2012, 08:34 PM   #6
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Re: Buffy & Angel comics

Ethros wrote: View Post
Well I'll give it a go, "officially" you'd have Dark Horse's Buffy Season 8, IDW's Angel: After The Fall (along with Spike: ATF,) and the 8 part IDW Spike solo series


For the best reading order I'd say read the Fray TPB first if you haven't already.
Then Angel: After The Fall, this is split into 4 TPB's and Spike:ATF making 5 all together (there is a big collection of all 4 A:ATF's you can get too)

Angel: After Fall v1 first, then v2, then Spike:ATF, then Angel v3 and v4


Edit: Btw, does anyone else have to stop themselves writing TPTB when discussing Buffyverse TPB?

*Then* you can keep reading the following IDW stories if you want, some are good fun, some not so much. They're not really 100% canon, Dark Horse is treating them like "maybe they happened, maybe not, either way we're not really gonna be mentioned too much from then anyway."
The one arc immediately following ATF, Aftermath, is awful! So much so the writers of the following arcs ignored most of it and retconned the rest.

Vol.6 'Last Angel in Hell' isn't bad, there's a nice ATF epilogue story in it, a Drusilla 2 parter, and a fun Angel & Spike at Comic-con tale. Then there's three more Angel books- Immortality For Dummies, The Crown Prince Syndrome, and The Wolf, The Ram and the Heart.
And there's a also an Illyria miniseries too.

Oh yeah and there's a little Lorne one shot too, which basically just has Lorne written out of the series because of Andy Hallett's death.




Then there's the Spike series, which is considered pretty much canon, simply called 'Spike.' This is available as either two Hardcover volumes, or they've recently released a full TPB collection of it.





Then after those start on the Buffy Season 8 stories (all the Angel & Spike stories take place before it.)
These are available as 8 TPB's. Though recently the big Library editions have started to be released, which sounds like what you've got. These are just a big hardcover with 2 TPB stories in each, so they'll be 4 by the end. Only one has come out so far so either you wanna wait till they all come out or just make a start of the remaining TPB's (vols 3-8)

The two Willow and Riley one shots are included in the TPB's so don't worry about those.
Thanks! That helps a lot. I actually did read Fray years ago. Perhaps I should look that up again.

I found the Spike Complete Series TPB yesterday. It was a good read and made me want more. So I ordered Spike: ATF. Should come in next week or so.

What about Spike: Asylum and Spike: Shadow Puppets? I've seen these titles mentioned in places.

I might read the 'unofficial' titles later as well, but since there's so much out there, I want to focus on the 'official' (canon, if you want) titles first.

What about the ATF epilogue story in "Last Angel in Hell"? What's the status of that?

As for the first library edition of BtVS season 8, it actually has an extra story in it that the TBP don't have (I think), and which was only (?) published online before. Do you know if the future library editions will have these extras as well, or will they contain the same material as the corresponding TPBs?
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Old August 23 2012, 08:46 PM   #7
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Re: Buffy & Angel comics

Ethros wrote: View Post
If you wanted to go out and read everything post TV, I'd say this is the best order

Angel: After The Fall v.1
Angel: After The Fall v.2- First Night
Spike: After The Fall
Angel: After The Fall v.3
Angel: After The Fall v.4
Angel: Aftermath
Angel: Last Angel in Hell
Angel: Only Human
Angel: Lorne- Music of the Spheres

Angel: Immortality For Dummies
Spike: The Devil You Know
Angel: The Crown Prince Syndrome
Illyria: Haunted
Angel: The Wolf, the Ram, and the Heart



But the ones highlighted aren't that necessary
I know that there is a larger hardcover collection out there called "The End" which features Immortality for Dummies, The Crown Prince Syndrome, and The Wolf, the Ram, and the Heart. Would you say it's necessary to read any of the previous comics to understand what's going on? I have read After the Fall, and I definitely want to continue with these stories, but I'm sure if I should bother with the stuff in between.
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Old August 23 2012, 10:11 PM   #8
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Re: Buffy & Angel comics

Plain Simple wrote: View Post
What about Spike: Asylum and Spike: Shadow Puppets? I've seen these titles mentioned in places.
When those stories take place was left purposefully vague when they were written as they were just to be fun stories. As it stands they have to really happen during Angel Season 5, Asylum around the mid point, and Shadow Puppets near the end of the season. They feature characters who appear in After The Fall, and later the Spike series, so yeah if you can read them first that'd be a good starter.
(These were the comics that made Whedon give Brian Lynch the job of writing Angel: ATF btw)


RoJoHen wrote: View Post
I know that there is a larger hardcover collection out there called "The End" which features Immortality for Dummies, The Crown Prince Syndrome, and The Wolf, the Ram, and the Heart. Would you say it's necessary to read any of the previous comics to understand what's going on? I have read After the Fall, and I definitely want to continue with these stories, but I'm sure if I should bother with the stuff in between.
Do you mean inbetween After The Fall and IFD?

Not really I guess. Aftermath is just awful, in terms of art, dialogue, plot etc. It seemed the writer and artist had never seen an episode of Angel ever. All you need to know from that arc is that Kate Lockley comes back to LA and semi-joins Team Angel, as do Dez, who can morph into a big cat, and James, a former angel.



Last Angel in Hell has an ok story about Gunn post ATF, the other tales in it are fairly superfluous.

Only Human
is just about Gunn and Illyria going on a road trip post ATF to deal with their issues, again its pretty pointless and doesn't reveal anything really.

And the Lorne story is just a little tale of him going off to some other dimension to save the world, and that he's trapped there IIRC, but that maybe he could get back possibly. It's mainly because the writers weren't too keen on keeping on using the character after Andy had passed on.


Spike: The Devil You Know
is also a waste of time. It's just a team up story of him with Eddie Hope, the characer created for the back up stories of the IFD and CPS arcs. I think the plan orginally was to introduce him slowly that way and then have him come over to the main Angel stores, but once IDW knew they were losing the rights to Dark Horse, he was abandoned and his tale quickly wrapped up.


Illyria: Haunted is great for the first two issues with her and Spike, the last two issues you can read through in about 4 minutes. They also feature her going through a change, slightly in her looks and also in her powers. Seen as she hasn't been seen yet in Angel & Faith it's unknown yet whether these will incorporated or not. If I were a betting man though I'd wager not.

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Old August 23 2012, 11:34 PM   #9
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Re: Buffy & Angel comics

Thanks Ethros! I appreciate you going into all this detail.

What do you think of the quality of the stories? I thought Tales of the Slayers and Tales of the Vampires were okay. Not great, and varying quality between the different stories, but fun overall. Perhaps I just missed the familiar characters. What I've read so far of BtVS s8 and Spike has impressed me quite a bit. It really feels like continuations of the characters I've come to know and love through the tv series. Is the quality of ATF and BtVS s8 and s9 stories fairly constant and on par with what I've read so far (in your opinion, of course)?
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Old August 24 2012, 01:03 PM   #10
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Re: Buffy & Angel comics

Plain Simple wrote: View Post
As for the first library edition of BtVS season 8, it actually has an extra story in it that the TBP don't have (I think), and which was only (?) published online before. Do you know if the future library editions will have these extras as well, or will they contain the same material as the corresponding TPBs?
The extra story is "Always Darkest", the 3 pages web comic written by Joss Whedon? I love that one, it's one of my favorite issues of season 8.

I don't have the library editions, but according to Wikipedia, the other 3 library editions don't have any of the other web comics. Which is fine, since the rest of them aren't really particularly interesting or good and you don't really need them to understand anything. All the web comics can be found on Dark Horse's Myspace page under "Dark Horse presents", but you have to search a little. Most of them aren't about the known characters, except a couple that feature Harmony.

However, it seems that the library editions don't have the Willow one-shot and the Riley one-shot? Neither of those is crucial for understanding the story, but the Riley one-shot (written by Jane Espenson) does include more info on the main arc and a surprising (?) appearance by one character who is important to the mythology, which gets followed upon in season 9 (Angel & Faith). The Willow one-shot (written by Joss Whedon) is well written and focused on her character, so while it's not essential to the story, I recommend it if you want more insight into the character in season 8, and it explains some things about her relationships in season 8


The trade paper backs seem to include more material than the library editions: the Willow one-shot ("Goddesses and Monsters") and the Riley one-shot ("Commitment through Distance, Virtue through Sin") and, besides "Always Darkest", it also includes 3 other short web comics).

There was one other one-shot in season 8, but it's not really connected to the season 8 characters or arcs except very tangentially, it's "Tales of the Vampires: The Thrill", and it's just OK, nothing that special, has no known characters, and the art is rather poor.

The only things you really need for season 8 are the issues 1-40, plus the Willow and Riley one-shot and "Always Darkest", which give some more insight into the characters.

It's better to only talk about season 9 once you finish season 8, to avoid spoilers. Season 9 is ongoing and contains not just the Buffy title but also Angel & Faith and two other spinoff miniseries featuring
Plus there are two little mini-stories. I believe the first one, set before the beginning of season 9, is included in the first season 9 trade paperback.

Plain Simple wrote: View Post
Thanks Ethros! I appreciate you going into all this detail.

What do you think of the quality of the stories? I thought Tales of the Slayers and Tales of the Vampires were okay. Not great, and varying quality between the different stories, but fun overall. Perhaps I just missed the familiar characters. What I've read so far of BtVS s8 and Spike has impressed me quite a bit. It really feels like continuations of the characters I've come to know and love through the tv series. Is the quality of ATF and BtVS s8 and s9 stories fairly constant and on par with what I've read so far (in your opinion, of course)?
Which issues have you read so far?

I would say that the first half of season 8 is of consistently high quality. Then it sags a bit, since the standalone issues from 21 to 25 differ in quality. And then... well, the climax of the season is very divisive and controversial, and many people thing that it ruined the season, but there are people who like it... I like some parts of it and I can appreciate the story as a whole, but it does some very problematic things and some issues are awful. The last issue, 8.40, however, is one of the best comic issues of Buffyverse, it managed to salvage the season as far as I'm concerned.

However, I have been less than thrilled by season 9 so far. I think the writing is rather flat and the characterizations poor (Andrew Chambliss and Scott Allie have been writing the Buffy title since Joss is too busy and has only written 9.01 and given them storylines and guidelines) and, while many people love Angel & Faith, I think it's failed to follow up on season 8 properly and that the characterization of Angel is very cardboard.
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Old August 24 2012, 09:01 PM   #11
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Re: Buffy & Angel comics

Plain Simple wrote: View Post
Is the quality of ATF and BtVS s8 and s9 stories fairly constant and on par with what I've read so far (in your opinion, of course)?
I would agree with DevilEyes in regard to Season 8, that it starts off well, sagged a bit in the middle with the pointless one shots, and then towards the end felt in places it had lost the plot quite a bit. But was still overall a very fun read and definitely worthwhile.


As for After The Fall, yes if you're a fan of Angel you should definitely enjoy it. I thought the story was compelling all the way through, though I do remember being slightly disapointed at the way the "Hell-A" story was wrapped up, but yes overall it's awesome.

The art however is another thing. Unlike Season 8 it didn't really have a regular artist. They should have just kept Franco Urru on it all the way through (he did #1-5, then went off to do Spike:ATF, and came back for the last three issues #15-17)
The 'First Night' stories of #6-8 feature some great art to be fair, it's after that it suffers. Nick Runge did #9-11, and from the Wesley story in #7 you can see he's capable of greatness, I guess he was just rushed doing a monthly series as though he does some good work, some panels are pretty bad.
Then Stephen Mooney does #12-14, and I just find a lot of his stuff for IDW's Angel & Spike comics really static and awkwardly drawn. Again, some panels great, some not so much.

So thank god when Urru returned for the last three issues and delivers some of his finest work, wowza.
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Old August 25 2012, 12:21 AM   #12
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Re: Buffy & Angel comics

DevilEyes wrote: View Post
Plain Simple wrote: View Post
As for the first library edition of BtVS season 8, it actually has an extra story in it that the TBP don't have (I think), and which was only (?) published online before. Do you know if the future library editions will have these extras as well, or will they contain the same material as the corresponding TPBs?
The extra story is "Always Darkest", the 3 pages web comic written by Joss Whedon? I love that one, it's one of my favorite issues of season 8.
Yes, that's the one. Nice little story.

DevilEyes wrote: View Post
I don't have the library editions, but according to Wikipedia, the other 3 library editions don't have any of the other web comics. Which is fine, since the rest of them aren't really particularly interesting or good and you don't really need them to understand anything. All the web comics can be found on Dark Horse's Myspace page under "Dark Horse presents", but you have to search a little. Most of them aren't about the known characters, except a couple that feature Harmony.
I did find these, already, but thanks for pointing them out! One of these stories, "Carpe Noctem", is included in the "Tales" library edition. So is "The Thrill", which you mention below, btw.

DevilEyes wrote: View Post
However, it seems that the library editions don't have the Willow one-shot and the Riley one-shot?
They don't? Hmmm... I was hoping that by going with the library editions I would get all the stories, including the remaining Dark Horse MySpace stories and the one-shots. I was even about to ask if anyone here knows if there will be season 9 library editions as well, but I'm starting to lean towards the paperbacks now.



DevilEyes wrote: View Post
The trade paper backs seem to include more material than the library editions: the Willow one-shot ("Goddesses and Monsters") and the Riley one-shot ("Commitment through Distance, Virtue through Sin") and, besides "Always Darkest", it also includes 3 other short web comics).
So the TPBs include all these stories? The one-shots and the web comics? If TPBs include more material (or at the very least the same) as the library editions, than I will go for them. And as a plus that means I won't have to wait that long , and they take less storage space. Can anyone confirm this?


DevilEyes wrote: View Post
It's better to only talk about season 9 once you finish season 8, to avoid spoilers. Season 9 is ongoing and contains not just the Buffy title but also Angel & Faith and two other spinoff miniseries featuring
Plus there are two little mini-stories. I believe the first one, set before the beginning of season 9, is included in the first season 9 trade paperback.
Have these spinoffs started already? I've seen TPBs for the main Buffy and Angel&Faith series, but not for any spin offs... I think.


DevilEyes wrote: View Post
Which issues have you read so far?
A long time ago I read The Origin, Fray, and Angel: ATF vol.1. I cannot remember too much about them though. I also read BtVS s8 vols. 1 and 2 back then, but those I reread recently. Also Tales of the Slayers, Tales of the Vampires, and Spike (the 8 issue series).

DevilEyes wrote: View Post
And then... well, the climax of the season is very divisive and controversial, and many people thing that it ruined the season, but there are people who like it...
I've been spoiled already on a couple of major plot points. I'm curious to see how they get there though.

Thanks for the feedback! I've been really enjoying reading these stories so far, and this discussion, as well as helping me figure out which books I want to read/buy, is also a lot of fun.
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Old August 25 2012, 12:23 AM   #13
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Re: Buffy & Angel comics

Ethros wrote: View Post
Plain Simple wrote: View Post
Is the quality of ATF and BtVS s8 and s9 stories fairly constant and on par with what I've read so far (in your opinion, of course)?
As for After The Fall, yes if you're a fan of Angel you should definitely enjoy it. I thought the story was compelling all the way through, though I do remember being slightly disapointed at the way the "Hell-A" story was wrapped up, but yes overall it's awesome.
Yes, I loved that show. If ATF can keep that level up, I'll be happy. As I said above, I actually did read vol. 1 when it came out I think, but not really being a comic person, I never followed up on it. I think I liked it okay though.
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Old August 25 2012, 11:56 AM   #14
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Re: Buffy & Angel comics

As for the Willow and Riley one shots not being included in the Library editions, of course they will. Why on earth wouldn't they when they're in the TPBs?

I wouldn't trust Wiki's descriptions for a start, and the main reason is the Willow tale was in TPB 7, and the Riley tale in TPB 8.
Volumes 7 & 8 will make up the 4th and final Library edition, which has yet to be announced anyway (with the 2nd out September 12th, and the 3rd out December 12th.) Look on the Dark Horse website.
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Old August 25 2012, 10:31 PM   #15
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Re: Buffy & Angel comics

Wiki isn't right about library edition Issue 3 at least. It says here (don't open the link, the cover pic is spoilery) that it contains 3 web comics (titles tagged as potentially spoilery)
that take place around issues 21-22.

If they're including the web comics, I assume that they're including the one-shots as well and Wikipedia just has incomplete info, since those library issues haven't been released yet. My guess is that the Willow one-shot is in Issue 1 or 2, and the Riley one in Issue 4.

According to this, Issue 1 contains two one-shots. If they meant Always Darkest as one of them, which is the other? http://www.darkhorse.com/Books/18-89...on-Volume-1-HC
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my Buffy/Angel rewatch
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