After the fall is a whole different story, I can babble about it for hours :)
The frame story is about the fish in distress again and I'm afraid the artwork is rather dreadful (as is the variant cover). Somehow the artist managed to make Spike look square jawed, like Captain America or something *shudders*.
It's very interesting though as is about everything involving Gunn these days. Why is Gunn so keen on having a telepath? There are obvious reasons but I'm pretty sure Gunn has a special plan for Beta George. Also nice that he wants to look for Spike to help him.
The first story is about Wesley this time with artwork by Nick Runge. It hurt in a good way to read in the beginning and then went from heartwrenching to pretty chilling in the end. To me it was maybe the best short story so far.
What surprised me was that the Fake!Fred was Eve (at least that's what I made of the snake and the fig leave). I figured that it was a set up from the beginning but I was pretty sure it would be Lilah's turn to show up. She was after all a very cool character and had some history with Wesley. Also we knew that she works for the senior partners and that Wes is fond of her, so that he might take her advice in this situation (I'm still hoping that they'll meet s ghosts at some point). Eve on the other hand worked with Lindsey against the senior partners and it's a bit strange that they entrust her with an important mission again. They obviously have the measures to control her, but she fucked up last time and she sure isn't the best girl to get Wesley to comply.
So Wesley's the reason they'll win, huh? I can see, where Wesley is going to be a problem. Since all signs (see icon) point towards Spike and Illyria getting involved in some way and Illyria now has more Fred inside herself than she used to, Wes is not going to be happy about this. He might see no way for himself with Fred but he sure would be willing to go some lengths to get her back. Maybe even sell out Angel. Assuming that the "he doesn't know yet"-phrase in the end really referred to Illyria's change.
Unfortunately Wes' story didn't fit with my little pet theory that everyone got something back that they lost in the W&H deal but that might be because Wesley's contract isn't terminated yet.
Artwork was pretty ok, obviously from photos and scary when they smiled, but they both looked very much like themselves.
Connor's story: I adore that three-dads-thing he does. His situation really is quite unique, which is illustrated nicely when he meets Kate. It was so funny, how both of them kept bringing up Angel, not realizing who they both were to him, especially when Connor found that Kate's "quote" sounded very selfimportant. And of course he had to try and hit on her...hehe..I wonder what would happen if he ever met Buffy. There where no terribly important revelations in this chapter though, well except that Kate is in Hell A. too, but I'm not terribly excited about this.
As for the artwork: Grrrarhggg...Kate's face looked different every time and never like it did on the show.
And then comes the big bang in the end. So there are slayers in Hell A. and Gunn pitted his vamps again them! Ok, some of them must have been there, when the transition happened but how did Gunn get a hold of them (if he did) ? Are they still around or did he kill them all in his little training program? With his twisted world view I even wonder if he sees them as the enemy. Anyway all of this makes me even more excited about the next issue where Gunn's story will finally be told . I think Brian even said somewhere, that we'll find out who sired him.
He's answering questions on the issue on his blog, which is very neat by the way.
ETA: Brian said Fake!Fred is not Eve!, courtesy to moscow_watcher for the link.