One of ‘Angel’s Most Heartbreaking Deaths Was Reversed in the Comics


The big picture

  • angel
    took the
    Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    franchise in a darker direction, exploring themes of evil and redemption.
  • Fred's compelling resurrection in the Angel comics adds depth to both his character and the series.
  • Angel's existentialist exploration of redemption through Fred's death and rebirth challenges the series' concept of heroism.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer is not only one of the greatest drama shows of all time, but an innovative example of fantastic world-building that inspired a wide universe of spin-offs from other storytellers. While the seven-season series of Joss WhedonThe coming-of-age fantasy series had its critical highs and lows, the spin-off series angel took the franchise in a much darker direction. Abandoning the teen humor and monster-of-the-week style premise for a much more disturbing analysis of the cyclical nature of evil, angel he often challenged his viewers by presenting more devastating stakes. While the mature tone of the show meant that not all fan favorite characters survived the series, Amy AckerWinifred Burkle was brought back to life in one of the most compelling stories ever angel comic book spin-off.


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20th Century Fox Television

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What happens to Fred in 'Angel?'

while Buffy the Vampire Slayer had a firm grasp of its core characters from the start of its first season, angelThe team of protagonists evolved throughout the five seasons of the show. The series began by showing how David BoreanazThe “vampire with soul” headline left memories of Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and Sunnydale behind it so he could start a detective agency in Los Angeles. In his efforts to help rid the “City of Angels” of demonic activity, Angel recruits the two Sunnyvale alumni Cordelia Chase (Carisma Carpenter) and former vigilante Wesley Windham-Pryce (Alexis Denisof). Although she is held captive on the planet Pylea at the end of season two, Fred is rescued by Angel and decides to join his team. In subsequent seasons, he demonstrates an essential force of reason within a cast of ethically dubious characters.

Before his imprisonment on Pylea, the home planet of the friendly demon Lorne (Andy Hallett), Fred had been an ambitious physics student interested in translating cryptic texts. Although a dimensional portal took her into unforeseen territory, Fred was forced to return to a world he no longer recognized. While his memories of his family were unfortunately steeped in the past, Fred began to develop strong friendships with Angel, Cordelia, Lorne, and rogue demon hunter Charles Gunn (J. August Richards). His ability to empathize helped remind the Angel Investigations team what they were fighting for; in angelThe season four finale of Fred helps heal the rift between Angel and her rebellious teenage son, Connor (Vincent Kartheiser).

angel's fifth season was arguably the best, as it placed the central characters in their most ethically challenging dilemma yet; Angel Investigations has the opportunity to join the evil law firm Wolfram & Hart, for which they have been fighting throughout the series on the path of evil. While it appears that the Angel Investigations team could turn the evil cabal from the inside out, Fred dies unexpectedly of a mysterious illness in the harrowing episode “A Hole In The World.” However, his physical presence is taken over by the ancient evil entity Illyria, who reluctantly helps Angel, Gunn, Lorne, Wesley and Spike (James Marsters) as they face an impending apocalypse.

Fred resurrects in 'Angel' comics

Amy Acker as Fred in 'Angel'
Image via WB

Although angel quickly proved to be a more thoughtful and ambitious series compared to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the show was sadly canceled during the height of its popularity. The angel The season finale, “Not Fade Away”, ended on an ambiguous note, not suggesting whether or not Angel, Spike, Illyria and Gunn would survive the horde of demons that had invaded the streets of Los Angeles. Despite this, stories for the future angel the seasons were adapted into a comic book series. I like Buffy the Vampire Slayer,angel he lived for many years after finishing his television career.

The stories thought for the sixth season of angel became Angel: After the fall, which examined how Los Angeles reacted to an all-out war between good and evil. Although he had already adopted the physical characteristics of his human host, Illyria shows signs of remembering Fred's personality. It is revealed that both Fred and Illyria are fighting for control of the body and that the anti-hero Spike has been trying to prevent Fred's personality from becoming dominant. Illyria later appeared in the spin-off comic series Spike: After the fallwhich shows that Fred's personality comes out in moments of empathy.

Although they started their careers angel, Fred and Illyria finally appeared in the comic extension of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Seven later Buffy the Vampire SlayerIn the final season, the new comic revealed that Illyria's powers had run out, leaving her trapped in Fred's body forever. While it remains ambiguous how much of Fred's consciousness still affects Illyria, his efforts to help save Buffy's younger sister Dawn (Michelle Trachtenberg), suggest that his compassion has won out.

Fred's return allowed “Angel” to become more existentialist

Although Buffy the Vampire Slayer it was apparently a coming of age story, angel proved to be a much more existentialist study of the merits of redemption. Fred's death and rebirth proved that angel he was not afraid to challenge traditional notions of heroism. While there are obviously reasons to empathize with Fred, fans were able to learn more about Illyria and her backstory, which shed new light on the initially villainous being. Acker does a great job of balancing these two people in a dynamic performance.

Despite the popularity of its predecessor, angel remains at underrated crime drama. Although his view of humanity is often bleak, angel it was still a very entertaining genre series where the evolution of the mythology was never secondary to the character development. With his portrayal of Fred, Acker gave the series one of its most heartbreaking and unexpected character arcs; Fortunately, it's one that has taken on new life through comics.

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