Archive for Angel

AWESOME-tober-fest 2016: Angel vs Frankenstein (2009)

Posted in comic books, Frankenstein, Halloween, holiday, horror, monsters, TV shows, vampires with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 25, 2016 by Paxton

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Back in 2011, when I did Dracula/vampires for my theme, I covered the appearance of Dracula in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  This included several comic book appearances with Buffy and Spike.  So, I thought I should next cover another Buffy character teaming up with another classic monster.  Let’s see if this one fares any better.

In 2009, IDW released a one-shot called Angel vs Frankenstein. It was written and drawn by the great John Byrne.

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The story takes place after Mary Shelley’s novel, which we get a brief recap of in the comic. It also takes place before Angel is cursed by the gypsy to have a soul.  So, after Frankenstein discovers Victor dead in the arctic at the end of Shelley’s novel, he decides to return to his home to claim the right as the last heir of Frankenstein.  However, the monster realizes he can’t do it alone, so the monster hires Angelus to return to Castle Frankenstein with him to help. However, Angelus has different ideas and throws the monster out of the stagecoach and over a cliff.  He then goes to the castle to claim the fortune for himself. But the monster didn’t die, and it makes its way back for his revenge. Queue Frankenstein vs Angelus fight.

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It’s a pretty good story. I like the setup. I love Byrne’s art. I enjoyed reading it. It’s only a one-shot, so it’s short, but Byrne makes the most of it.

Then in 2010, IDW released a sequel called, appropriately, Angel vs Frankenstein II.  This one-shot was also written and drawn by John Byrne.

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This takes place many years after the first comic. Angelus is now just Angel. He’s in America and working as a janitor at a mental hospital. He discovers the monster bound up in a hidden set of rooms in the hospital. Angel tries to sort out the mystery of how the monster got there but when the monster sees Angel, he goes off on a rampage thinking it’s Angelus and Angel has to stop him from tearing apart the city. We also learn a few secrets about the nature of this Frankenstein monster.

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Again, this is a good, if a bit more understated comic story. It’s another one shot, but Byrne makes good use of the characters and his art is great. I like the wrap up of the Frankenstein monster here. I’d definitely recommend these comics to a fan of Angel.


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Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

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AWESOME-tober-fest 2011: Dracula and Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Posted in Dracula, Halloween, holiday, monsters, pop culture, TV shows, vampires with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 19, 2011 by Paxton

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Here we are again at hump day. Hump day in the middle of Dracula TV show week. Today we are going to look at Dracula’s appearance in one of my favorite shows, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

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Dracula would make his Buffy-verse debut in the first episode of Season 5 in Fall 2000. Why it took Whedon 5 seasons to get Dracula in this series is beyond me, but here he finally is.  To me, having Dracula as the “big bad” for a season makes perfect sense.  You make him evil like Angelus, but calculating and cold.  AWESOME.  In spades.

Anyway, Dracula travels to Sunnydale to meet the famous Buffy and make her one of his concubines (you and me both, Drac).  After a nice battle in the cemetery between Buffy and a nameless vamp, we get a misty reveal of the Buffy-verse Dracula.  And he looks like the living embodiment of nerd rage.


F**K. YOU.

THAT’S Dracula. WHAT. THE. F**K, Whedon?  He looks more like a douchey street magician than he does Dracula. Oh, Whedon, you sonova—-.  Why?  Why do this?  It’s like you are mocking the entire idea…….wait, hold on, just…..(calm blue ocean, calm blue ocean) let’s talk about the episode, shall we?

Like I said, “Dracula” comes to Sunnydale to make the famous Buffy Summers one of his concubines.  And to go along with that ridiculous outer appearance he also has a douchey Euro-trash accent.  So, the writers are checking off ALL the boxes under Dracula Cliches.  Vaguely European accent?  Check.  Long hair? Check.  Red lined cloak? Check.  Incite murderous rage in Pax for the lazy Dracula portrayal by the writers/producers of a show I love?  Double check.  But I digress.  AGAIN.

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Movie Novelizations #3: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Posted in books, movies, pop culture, reviews with tags , , , , , on May 15, 2006 by Paxton

Everyone has heard of the tv show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, the show is a darkly humorous take on horror movies and teen dramas that has captured a very specific and loyal audience. The mythology of the show is very intricate and the rules very strict. In fact, the tv show Buffy the Vampire Slayer bears little resemblance to the 1992 movie that birthed it.

Back in 1992, 20th Century Fox decided to release Joss Whedon’s creation about a cheerleading vampire killer. Unfortunately, they also thought his vision was too dark. They decided to re-write it and make it more humorous and remove some of the darker aspects of the slayer myths and much of the killing. They continued to re-write throughout filming. So much so, that Joss walked off the set never to return. 20th Century Fox went ahead without him and we all saw the result. The movie tanked. I saw it in the theater because I thought it had a very interesting premise. While the underlying ideas were very cool, the execution was a complete disaster. If you are familiar with the tv shows Buffy and Angel, then you can hear parts of the movie that shadow what may have been. Donald Sutherland is great as the watcher, Merrick. Kristy Swanson is a pretty good, Buffy, too. The movie falls apart with the performances of two people. Rutger Hauer as Lothos, and Luke Perry as Pike. These two are bad, laughably bad. Not laugh ha-ha, but laugh “oh my god this is awkward” bad. I expected this from Luke Perry, as I was never a fan of him, even when I was watching 90210 religiously. But Rutger Hauer has had some really good roles. I have no idea what happened, but it wasn’t good whatever it was.

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Since the movie was so bad, it took Joss another 5 years before he could begin to get the ball rolling on the Buffy storyline again. Figuring the damage done by the movie had long been forgotten, he wrote a somewhat “sequel” to his original Buffy script that became the pilot to a new show about the same character. To further distance the show from the movie, he moved the setting from LA to the fictional Sunnydale, CA and recast the lead actress. The show became a hit and spawned a very successful spinoff, Angel. I didn’t jump on the Buffy bandwagon right away. It was one of the first shows on the new WB in 1997 and I was just not convinced. After hearing about it for several years I checked it out but was a little lost because the storyline was so involved. Although I didn’t like it, I watched Angel which aired right after it. This show, while also confusing, had several characters I very much enjoyed and a darker premise. I really enjoyed Angel and watched it off and on until it was cancelled in 2004. I joined Netflix while consulting so I could watch the entire 5 season DVD collection of Angel. I finished it in Spring 2005 and the show stands as one of my favorite shows of all time. Buffy has been harder to finish. I am currently working through the season 3 DVDs as I have time (I bought the seven season Chosen Collection cheap during a sale last november). The show definately improves each season.

Anywho, that brings me to the 1992 movie novelization. What I was really hoping for was that the book would reflect the original Joss Whedon script and not the shooting script. I was wrong. There are several differences between the book and movie, though. Don Sutherland’s Merrick kills himself in the book to save Buffy, but he gets killed in the movie (like a bitch). The prologue in the book gives more information on the history of the slayers as opposed to the movie. Also, in the end, you see Buffy and Pike ride off into the sunset on a motorcycle. In the book, you see them ascending a long staircase at an old stone building, I guess alluding to their further adventures. The rest is pretty much the same. I enjoyed the book and there was definately more evidence of Joss’ writing in the book than in the movie. It’s an interesting proposition to think what would have been the result of the movie and tv show if they had used his original, and darker script. Would the movie have been successful? Would that have led to more movies and no tv show? Who knows.

A final note on the 1992 movie. I was suprised how many famous faces show up in this movie. One of Buffy’s group of girlfriends is Hilary Swank. Luke Perry’s buddy is David Arquette. If you watch closely at the end during the final basketball game, you’ll see Ben Affleck in a quick scene. The school’s counselor is Stephen Root who played Milton in Office Space and Jimmy James on the TV show NewsRadio. Several suprises I didn’t expect. Doesn’t really help the watchabilty of the movie, though.

Other Movie Novelization Reviews:
Clue: The Movie
Back to the Future Trilogy

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