Aug 23 2010 1:59pm

Angel Joins Buffy at Dark Horse Comics

A recent announcement from Dark Horse, followed by a joint statement from Dark Horse and IDW, confirms that the spin-off comic series Angel will be returning to Dark Horse’s 2011 line-up. It appears that the storylines will intersect as Buffy season 9 will be released in tandem with the new Angel issues.

The fan reaction insofar is split. On the one hand, IDW’s Angel series has been popular, sold well, and previously IDW assured readers that the two continuities would be kept separate. The switch back to Dark Horse and an in-tandem release with the continuing Buffy comic, where Angel was revealed to be the villain at the end of the season 8 arc, suggests that that may not end up being true.

In January, after the reveal of Angel in the Buffy season 8 arc, Bill Willingham delivered a comment to Comic Books Resources that stated in no uncertain terms that he had never collaborated with Dark Horse, Joss Whedon, or anyone related to the Buffy comic during his work on Angel and absolutely did not plan on ever working his continuity to match the Dark Horse Buffy continuity.

That makes me a little curious as to how this whole switchover happened and how it’s going to work. Meshing together two comics that happen to be in the same universe but were never in any way connected might be, to say the least, difficult. It might result in some fantastic, huge plot holes and grumpy, grumpy fan audiences. (Or, I may be misunderstanding the various news releases, and Dark Horse does not plan on integrating the two series? Do they plan on keeping the writers the way they are and keeping the separate continuities? That would be—interesting. I didn’t get that vibe from their press releases, though.)

On the other hand, though IDW seems to have given up Angel, they have a Spike spin-off scheduled for the fall this year.

Thoughts, fellow comic fans? Tentative interest, disgruntled anger, what? (I happen to love Dark Horse, but I just don’t know how to feel about this whole deal. I guess I’ll wait and see?)

Brit Mandelo is a multi-fandom geek with a special love for comics and queer literature. She can be found on Twitter and Livejournal.

stephen banks
I recently read the "season 8" BTVS comics, frankly they were just "ok". I know they're supposed to be "canon" but the big reveal that Angel was "twlight" made absolutely no sense and was completely un-supportable.

The only reason Angel turned out to be Twilight was to give us a "shocker" to end the season on. Frankly after what, 36 issues, nothing really happens. The whole Buffy & Angel trying to "ascend" to the next plan of existence was just... silly.

It seemed to me that Whedon was trying to do all the things he could not do on TV such as move the show to Scotland and have Buffy engage in a lesbian affair.

I can dig these things are cool things, but they really don't provide much in the way of plot or development of the story line. Now that Angel & Spike are back in the story line, lets hope the plot moves ahead more quickly.
nicole rich
3. nrich
I tried really, really hard to like the Angel comics, but I never could get into them. The idea of the cross over irks me a little in that I will have to pic up where I left off so that I know what the heck is going on, but other than that, it seems like a natural thing since it happened fairly often in both tv series.
Scot Taylor
4. flapdragon
Ugh, really, "ascend to the next plane of existence"? The Wesley Crusher route? (No offense, @wilw!) I stopped buying the Buffy "S8" collections with volume, I dunno, 4 or so, and it doesn't sound as though I should bother catching up.

I didn't really care for the little of the "Angel" comics I read--Apocalypse in LA and then Angel and Wesley (not Crusher ;-), having committed the ultimate betrayal of WR&H, are still working for them. Meh.
Ashe Armstrong
5. AsheSaoirse
Firstly, keeping the titles completely separate was silly anyways. Occasional crossovers are kind of mandatory with Buffy and Angel.

Secondly, the Angel "season 6" series, After the Fall, was mostly good. Mostly. Once all that was restored, it got just boring and stupid. Although the comic con issue (where the article pic comes from) was pretty entertaining. Not having any of the Angel writers hurt it pretty bad. That's why the first part was tighter and more interesting, since it had Joss.

Thirdly, Buffy season 8 was...inconsistent and scrambled and there were really cool things and really silly things. Harmony revealing vamps to the public had a lot of potential for story. The whole thing with Twilight was just stupid and the reveal that it was Angel was confusing. The random lesbo act felt forced and the whole thing with Dawn and Xander was way weird (although I didn't completely disapprove...completely...mostly I did). I honestly don't know what happened with season 8. It really does seem like Joss went crazy now that he didn't have budget restraints. I read all the way up to Buffy deciding to forgo the ascension and save her friends and just gave up.

What happened, Joss? My loyalty is waning, sir.
Brit Mandelo
6. BritMandelo

Thank god, I thought I was the only one who didn't much care for these comics. It's still, you know, comics-news, but yeah, I'm not terribly likely to keep picking them up even when they are crossed over.

(/terrible un-fanish admission)
Ashe Armstrong
7. AsheSaoirse
No, even the worst Buffy episodes were overall more enjoyable than most of the comic. Ditto for Angel.
8. AndieN
I by and large enjoyed the whole Angel arc and was pretty much meh on the Buffy (disappointingly, because I wanted to like it) so having the whole go to Dark Horse seems like I will not even be getting my Angel fix anymore. (OK, remembers Spike series: brightens.)

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