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May 02 2007

(SPOILER) Herc's seen Buffy season 8 #3. Couldn't get a hold of the issue? Want to know what happened? Then read on. Spoilers await (and if you want even more juicy details, then head off to the Wikipedia recap).

Hooray! A new spoiler laden Buffy discussion thread.

I posted this in the other thread about issue #3, but it seems it wasn't the proper place to do so. Sorry.

Posting it again:

I found this issue of Buffy not quite as kick-ass as the second one, but chock-full of interestingness.

Quick review:
-Ethan took me by surprise.
-Loved Buffy's dirty dream. LOL! Joss said he would use Angel and Spike sparingly, but for one panel he sure gave us a lot of them. The imagery was fantastic.
-How is Warren alive? He was burned to a cinder. Where'd his body come from? Yeah, yeah, he was magically flayed and burned. But I thought that Buffy's death was "mystical" because it was the magical energy of the portal that killed her. In Warren's case, it was the removal of his skin that killed him. Magic just happened to be the means by which it was removed. It all feels very retconny to me.
-Yay! Renee's not dead!
-I've been expecting Banderiness ever since the release of the cover of issue #2, and I'm still expecting it to materialize eventually, but I don't know what to make of the whole kissing-thing. If Xander is in love with Buffy why not show the kiss? What is to be gained by continuing to string us along like this? Unless Xander isn't the kisser. In the panel where Buffy wakes up Xander looks kind of shocked, while Willow looks happy. Maybe Willow is in love with Buffy? Which would be a twist. To the best of my memory she's never shown any indication of being attracted to Buffy before. Maybe it's one of the potentials? I think that's even less likely though. And is Xander flirting with Renee or just being friendly with her?
-Love Giles doing business with the demon, but I seriously need more Gilesiness than two pages per issue.

About the XXX thing:
I think that thing with the x's in Buffy's dream is interesting. I think Ethan being in the cage of x's may be symbolic of him actually being held captive somewhere (by the military, still, which is how he would have found out that Buffy was in trouble. Maybe he's thinking if he helps her she'll help him?)

My sister pointed out to me that the "X" is also St. Andrew's cross, which, as we all know, is the flag of Scotland, and also carries on the crucifixion motif from issues #1&2, albeit in a less overt way (St. Andrew was crucified on an X-shaped cross by his own request, deeming himself unworthy to be crucified in the same way as Christ. In issue #2, in her dream, Buffy was pierced through her hands and feet and posed spread-eagle as if hung on a Saint Andrew's Cross). If it turns out that Giles is Kyiv, as I have been hoping, rather than somewhere else in Eastern Europe, that would be cool because Kyiv, according to legend, is as far as St. Andrew himself traveled. It was a sparsely populated area at the time, and it's said that he erected a cross there and prophesied the foundation of a great Christian city.

Ethan's comment about Romans, meanwhile, may very probably mean that the x's stand for the number 30. Why that number would be significant, I have no idea.

My sister sister also pointed out to me that Ethan's comment about Romans and Danes is a Shakespeare reference.
lorelei_frolick, I had a few things to say about #3, but I believe you've covered the landscape more than adequately!

Oh, how'd Dawn guess about the thricewise (and what the hell is that?)
I adored this issue... much, much better than the previous ones. Twisty, turny, Willowy... I love it.

Willow/Buffy 4evah. (j/k)
Great issue.It's so great seeing Ethan Rayne again.The Angel/Spike scene is exactly what I figured so no surprise there other then Buffy wearing a nurse outfit.

The kiss of true love is ambiguous although it looked like it was setting up to be Xander.Also noticed his reaction when she shoots up and shouts,"Cinnamon Buns."I guess we'll have to wait till next issue or farther down to see if it actually was Xander who kissed her or someone else in the room.

I loved seeing Dawn squash Amy with her foot.Nice call back to season 4's,"Fear itself" when Buffy did the same thing to Gachnar.

I think Joss was playing with the whole Andrew is gay thing here.Him playing what looks like strip poker with a bunch of girls in their underwear and saying he's

Was that one girl starting to take off her bra?

The talk about Kennedy had to be a nod to the ones who don't like her or the pairing.Sort of like he's giving a small tweak to the nose.

The last page reveal was great with the skinless Warren.No wonder the army guy said try not to picture them together in issue 1.
I've put in Herc's recap as the main link (cause like it's tradition). I really can't wait to read this issue.
@Buffyfantic - very true... I was kind of hoping for Adam, but Warren was awesome.
I was so sure it would be Rack. That'll teach me ;).
I absolutely loved the page tha had all of Buffy's dreams in cubes. The clips from past episodes were great...

Joyce on the couch in "The Body"

Caleb is way in the back on a small cube.

And the best one, Joss himself on the cube that's bottom center! Or at least it resembles Joss. And by resembles I mean looks exactly like him, in cartoon form.That was pretty damn amazing.

Anyone else recognize any other boxes?

Also, in the scene with some Potentials playing cards, there is one girl in the background reading Fray.

[ edited by Kaylee245 on 2007-05-02 23:20 ]
Well, there was Buffy reading the Vampyr book with Giles, which I loved. Nice to know they actually used that thing. Faith's on one of the boxes too. Angel/Angelus appears to be on a few of them. On one of the harder to see sides it looks like he's shirtless (circa "Innocence," I'm thinking) and Riley is on a couple too (you can tell it's him because of the floppy hair).

I love that Joss has a place in Buffy's subconscious. I guess she really is a Serenity fan, she wasn't just wearing the shirt because it looks cool. :)

I did notice the Slayer reading Fray.
I continue to be impressed and was quite surprised by the apperance of Ethan. The dream panels were gorgeous. Loved Dawn stomping on Amy. And the Warren panel was very vivid...and boy, he looked insane. Simply cannot say enough about the Angel/Buffy/Spike panel...I think I made some kinda noise, then turned red cause it's just a comic. Whoever drew that one rules.....

All in all, excellent!
I see in one cube 'Buffy&Angel 4Ever' from her notebook in The Prom.I see a group shot in another cube from the end of season 7.You can see Xander with his eypatch in it.
I was walking down the street from the comic reading and went HA!!!!! really loud when I got to the image burned in our minds....

Good thing people in Chicago don't notice such things.

I SO knew it wasn't Spike.

[ edited by BrownCoat_Tabz on 2007-05-02 23:33 ]
It looks like one of the cubes shows Buffy and Angel from "I Will Remember You".
Loved the page with all the cubes. Definitely have to look at it more closely.

Also, loved! the Wicked reference when Xander was talking to Willow.

Loved the whole damn thing!
Ha, Warren! I was so correct :)
Well, I once woke up from a before-dinner nap yelling "Patric Knowles !" but the story behind that is boring. . . .

As for Warren, well, he might not have been so much raised (meaning called back by an earthly power) as sent (meaning re-embodied and returned to earth by the Demon Lord or Arch-Devil who rules whichever Hell dimension he's been rotting in) which is to say he's just an agent and not "the " enemy. Maybe I'm remembering too much AD&D from the early 80s but I figure MEga-Fiends can do that.

I still hope AMy's being forced or controlled somehow. Maybe KAtherine is in there again? What can I say, I'm an old softie, just a Republican Gentile version of the Off-Camera Edward G. Robinson but without his talent.
1. I'll always regret not getting new filmed stories, but I can hear the actors saying these lines, so I can live with second-best.
2. It was so Willow who gave Buffy the wake-up kiss...
3. Joss' tweaking of the Kennedy-haters tickles me no end (and I'm glad he didn't cave in and really kill her off in the first issue.) But I wanta hear what happened - Details, darn it, details! (But the telling of the story was absolutely Willow. "I always tell that wrong." Hee!)
4. Buffyfantic: Yes, that one Slayer was starting to take off her bra (and, I might add, filling it out quite nicely for a 2-dimensional image, thank you.) If there was ever any question about Andrew's orientation, this should settle it.
5. It's a toss-up between Buffy and Xander as to who most desperately needs to get laid.
6. Blue-eyed Willow is still a bit distracting, but it was fun seeing black-eyed Willow again, if only for a moment. Guess she still has some issues to work out.
By the hammer of Thor! I couldn't wait and opened the issue at a red light and might have missed it turning green as I was gawking over page three.

Great issue. My quibble is the art this time around. For example, the panels where Willow and Buffy are talking over Amy's magically manacled body. Particularly that panel at the bottom in the middle -- Buffy looks like an eight-year-old girl and Willow just looks crazed and slightly deformy.

I loved the cubes but am a bit stumped as to who some of the people are supposed to be. Who is that woman on the same cube that Faith is on (surely that's not supposed to be Joyce)? And that scrunched up girl on the cube in the lower left? The Joss cube made me cackle with delight, though.
The issue starts with Ethan, symbol of Giles's darkest side and past, and ends with Warren, symbol of Willow's darkest side and past. This plus the crossbow wielded by a cute Hallmark cupid says we're going to confront some beloved characters' dark sides. Love it!
4. Buffyfantic: Yes, that one Slayer was starting to take off her bra (and, I might add, filling it out quite nicely for a 2-dimensional image, thank you.) If there was ever any question about Andrew's orientation, this should settle it.

I think so
Loved Dawn stomping on Amy.

Bwah! On here last ish I said Dawn should stomp on Amy.
This issue rocks so damn hard. I love it.
I guess we can put the question to rest...Did Buffy and Xander have sex over the past year? I love the way Joss answered that question too, this comic reeks of Mr.Whedon.

The cubes were a nice reference to the canon of the series and one of my favorite things about this issue. Warren was quite gross at the end, as he SHOULD be. The B/A/S dreamscape is laced with metaphor and you have to love the return of that sort of Joss Whedon goodness. The Art is brilliant, the text is right on and all the Scooby gang interactions and shout outs are to die for. Can't wait til Giles takes his rightful place at Buffy's side but any Giles is of the good. I give this issue a 10. It will be hell waiting for a month for the next issue.
I don't think anyone has mentioned the dream cube of Willow, Buffy, and Xander in the caps and gowns. And the Master one.

Maybe it is Willow that gave Buffy the kiss but I think it's probably Xander. His expression is why I'm leaning towards him.
Also on cube: the First Slayer ? (very bottom)And possibly Sid, the Dummy above that. Totally incredible issue. Almost better than TV. Willow kissage and Warren were so amazing, and I didn't even see them coming. Stomp-action Dawn made me put the book down and get up to walk around for a second. Because I was reading at a cafe and had to hold back the shouting and tears (all good things).
Called it on Warren! Well, speculatively, I guess. So as soon as I flipped to page 2, my eye was caught by the centerpiece panel on page 3, took a few minutes before I could tear myself back to the story. Genius. I especially love the exploding volcano and train entering the tunnel metaphors, Joss. Subtle! And wow, was I not expecting Ethan Rayne. That's kind of his M.O., though.
Good catch on the X's possibly being Roman numerals, lorelei_frolick. Although antique Roman vs. a Dane? I'm thinking Julius Caesar vs. Hamlet, although I don't understand what that means. Will Ethan (or Buffy, since it's her dreamscape) be stabbed, a la Et tu, Brute?
And dammit, now he's just teasing us with this thricewise thing. I did get a big laugh out of "Fee, fi, fo f&$@!ing fum," as well as zombies enacting Pride and Prejudice. I want to see that remake. Who kissed Buffy? All signs point to Xander, but I'm thinking this is classic Joss misdirection (Jossdirection?) Andrew continues to not care about hot chicks in various states of undress.
Poor Willow! Giles needs to reunite with the Scoobs, stat. God, this is so much fun!
I liked the trains going through tunnels, the stakes penetrating flowers, and the volcano erupting in the image-burned-into-our-retinas, too. Those are metaphoric, you say? Hmmm.

Poor Scoobs! Xander's not the only one not gettin' any. At least Xander has a shot with Renee. I don't see anybody on the horizon for Buffy. Maybe she's using the back massager Willow gave her for her birthday. In which case, Xander's not the only one in danger of going blind.

I don't think Willow would say "boned".

There are a couple of lines I don't understand. One of them is Buffy saying "I'm starting to miss my giant dragon" while wandering around in one of Amy's memories. The other is someone saying "You're lying. That can't be happening." in the panel just above where they drift through all of Buffy's cubed memories. Anyone have an idea?

And what is the story that Buffy's telling Willow that's "a girl thing"? Part of the dream, or another Buffillow hint?

And Ethan Rayne only helps Ethan Rayne. Why would he help Buffy?

[ edited by shambleau on 2007-05-03 01:59 ]

[ edited by shambleau on 2007-05-03 02:13 ]
Yes! I was so right on the Warren front. When I finished the comic and yelled "Haa! I was right!" I ruined it for my hubby...cuz he apparently listens to me when I talk!

BTW, a minor irritation, I went to the comic store and the guy sold me on a Jo Chen signed litho, and said that the ones signed by "Josh Whedon" were all sold out. He said it like 3 times, and I had a hard time not correcting him...c'mon, what kind of self-respecting nerd are you?!
Why hasn't anyone considered that it might be Giles that loves Buffy? Love cuts many ways, you know?

Joss' tweaking of the Kennedy-haters irked me no end. Keep that up and I will cut out on the comic. But I have a theory anyway on this, so it may not matter.

As to Warren, this was an easy call. I should have, however, forseen Ethan Rayne.

I hold very firmly to the idea that you do not bring Warren back unless you address Tara. This is not simply wishful thinking. He raises too many spectors regarding Tara, and I cannot see why you bring Warren into this tale if somewhere down the line you do not deal with Tara. And I see it this way: Kennedy died. For a short, magical while. But this puts the universe out of balance; this we know from past episodes. Something has to give to bring the universe back into balance. My prediction is that Kennedy will sacrifice herself to allow Tara to return. You heard it here first. But I truly think it will play out this way- just 15 issues or so from now. You bring back Warren, you better deal with Tara. Pragmatically, you run the risk of losing some of your audience otherwise.
Right at the end of the dream, Ethan says, "Twilight is falling. You're going to need all the help you can get."

That symbol is soooo a sunset.

I think my favorite panel artwise is the middle one on the page before the Warren reveal, where Willow asks "We?" It's just Willow's face, but it is such a perfect representation of that scrunched-up angry face Willow is so good at.

I completely saw Warren coming, but I still gasped when I turned the page. Absolutely horrifying. I had trouble reading the letters page because I had to see that page while I was doing it.
Dana, I think the fact that Warren is here will mean more Tara, how could it not. You're right when you say with the return of Warren, Tara will have to be too.
Yes and Yes, I hoped and prayed that Giles would deliver that kiss. Still don't believe it was Xander, in fact, THE kisser wasn't all that important at all.
Sorry, I guess I am one of those Kennedy haters, I got a thrill when I read she was dead. Short lived but better than nothing, imo.

The Dragon issue...Maybe Buffy is remembering the Dragon that she helped Angel slay from NFA. That would fit quite nicely.
I can't wait to get my issue.
Dana5140: "You bring back Warren, you better deal with Tara. Pragmatically, you run the risk of losing some of your audience otherwise."

At this stage in the Buffyverse fandom, it's going to lose part of its audience no matter what Joss does, so he might as well tell the story he wants to tell.
Although antique Roman vs. a Dane? I'm thinking Julius Caesar vs. Hamlet, although I don't understand what that means.

It's a line from Shakespeare's Hamlet. In Act V, Scene 2 Hamlet tells Horatio that he's dying. Horatio replies, "...I am more an antique Roman than a Dane. Here's yet some liquor left." Horatio plans to drink the poison and kill himself, but Hamlet tells him to live to tell Hamlet's story.

As for what it means in this context, I'm not sure. Ethan never seemed the suicidal sort. I wonder what he's gotten himself into.
I never metaphor I didn't like Shambleau, YMMV.
Sorry for the groaner.

The giant dragon refers to the dragon that crucified Buffy when Amy first sent her into the dreamscape in the last book. Um, the "you're lying, that can't be happening" bit seems to be Ethan, either talking to someone else (?) or possibly seeing Amy's memories in with Buffy's and being momentarily confused. That's a wild stab. The girl thing, could be anything, maybe Buffy relating her dream to Willow.
What confused me was Xander's line, "According to my parents the action I'm getting right now should make my last remaining eye go blind.." WTF? Xander and his folks are not close enough for sex gossip. Maybe they just disapprove of his choices?
Those kinds of veiled threats (re: Tara) pretty much makes me want to go away.

I love the comic. I can't wait til next month to see where it goes next. I'm along for the ride no matter what.
Great issue. So great to see the gang again.

Ok firstly - Yay! Renee is alive! Strange that Joss could make me worry about a new character introduced in a comic - but he did dammit!

Now as far as *that* image on page 3 goes...well theres nothing I can say. Its either the funniest/most disturbing/sexiest image possible. Personally Im leaning towards the funny(In a good way) - but Im sure many other will lean towards the last;)

Great to see Willow again. And I enjoyed the whole march of the undead turning into the dance of the undead.Hilarious:)

Ethan Raynes an interesting one. We never did find out where he was taken in season4. Maybe this military organisation has a massive containment facility for wayward witches/wizards and general magically inclined evildoers? Thats how Ethan saw Amy - and maybe he figures that he could find a way to escape by using Buffy? As shambleau said above 'Ethan Rayne only helps Ethan Rayne.' Maybe thats why he is helping Buffy - in order to help himself.

Also the last page. Digusting

In a good way:)
Ah, thank you, Bobbi. Been a while since I read the Bard. Good puzzle, though! Yeah, I really am turned off by people thinking they have the right to give the creator ultimatums. And that's all I have to say on that topic.
Same here, TamaraC. I can write my own fanfic if I want to see a specific plotline, but I'd rather see where Joss takes the story (it's less work for me to read than it is to write, anyway...)

angeliclestat: "Now as far as *that* image on page 3 goes...well theres nothing I can say. Its either the funniest/most disturbing/sexiest image possible. Personally Im leaning towards the funny(In a good way) - but Im sure many other will lean towards the last;)"

I would have considered it the second, if it wasn't for Buffy's reaction to it - which so closely mirrored what mine would have been otherwise that it completely cracked me up!
Well the same thing is happening on the Angel forum over at IDW. We were all nice and happy when we enjoyed the non-canon comics.....then as soon as the canon comics were announced there was an influx of :

'Joss and Brian better do XYZ and bring back character X and acknowledge ship Y or you'll lose all your readership'

I despair. Cant we all just get along:)

[ edited by angeliclestat on 2007-05-03 03:15 ]
Warning: Potentially painful logic problem follows:

Edited for medical reasons. See below. Author refuses any responsibility for robot malfunctions.

[ edited by Pointy on 2007-05-03 03:28 ]
Okay, now my head hurts. Thanks, Pointy.
Loooooved it! Love the Ethan reveal, loved giant Dawn, loved Xander flirting, really loved the un-dead threesome (maybe there was oil involved). The series really feels like it's taking off now and I can't wait for number 4.

greentara: I think Xander was referring to the fact that the only action he's getting is his hand and that his parents told him at one point that it would make him go blind. Oh Joss, how I've missed your masturbation jokes.... -bater.
I tried to decipher that for about a minute.

Then a migraine set in:)
Ciella - you you bring in the oil. Is there any way that image can be more funny/disturbing/sexy? :)

I challenge you all!:)
OK, seriously loved the comic.

The Buffy/Angel/Spike page is perfect. I mean, perfect. It's a demented parody of Joss' whole "give them what they need, not what they want" while acknowledging Buffy's sexuality in a way that might be a little hard with actual actors to do. (Although he put Gellar and Marsters pretty much through hell in S6...)

The return of Warren and Amy is a great way of confronting Willow's darkness (they are both sort of doppelgangers for her after all), which I think season seven disappointed in somewhat. And Ethan's return is so out of nowhere, but I love it. My one concern is that this is just going to become a parade of old characters, but for now they are being used very well (if not, you know, sparingly).

Obviously Giles didn't kiss Buffy. He wasn't there. Unless he suddenly trekked halfway across the world, got into the room, kissed her and then took off. I suppose anything is possible.... Anyway, it sounds like it's either Xander or Willow, and I'm sort of uncertain as to which I'd rather it be; I'm not entirely sure I'd be happy with either, in point of fact.

(As far as callbacks: notice how the bugs crawling all over Willow are a reference, probably, to the beetles crawling along Spike when he went to get his soul in "Grave"?)

Yes, I caught the various Joss references (the picture and the Fray comic).

Have to reread to absorb the plot all goes by so fast! Anyway, while I'm still a bit nervous about aspects of this (mostly his unrestrained use of old characters, which is definitely cool but could get a little tired if overused), this is so much fun.
Hmm, well, I hope it's Xander that kisses Buffy. I'm getting very interested in the idea of B/X or at least some UST between the two.
I just want to say that I think Dana's words are being taken grossly out of context. It isn't a crime to state your opinion or disinterest in certain aspects of the story. I don't feel any guilt in saying that I wouldn't continue in this series if the character Buffy was slaughtered, never to return or if Joss wasn't as involved as he is. It isn't a threat it's my honest to god feelings on the topic at hand.
Right or wrong, I understand why certain viewers wouldn't want to continue without their favorite, whether that be Tara, Buffy, Angel, Giles, Faith, Willow, Xander or Spike.

FTR, Dana's comments are nothing like the threats being made at the Angel forum over at IDW. Those people are stating numbers of fans who will only buy the comic if this, this and this happen. Dana, as far as I can tell, was talking about one person. Dana.
I loved this issue more then the first two combined! So many more questions, it was great seeing Ethan again, I so didn't expect that. Buffy's dream... naughty naughty....train going into a tunnel, valcano erupting.... The art is a lot better. I loved the little Kennedy part and I like how we don't know who kissed Buffy, not yet anyway, but I think it was Willow, she told everyone to close their eyes, maybe she didn't want the others to see. I'm so happy Renee is still alive, I really hope her and Xander get together. I hope they explain how Warren is back, didn't he combust into flames? Can't wait for the next issue!

And I just about died when I found out my letter was in the Slay the Critics section, so so so so thrilled.
Pointy- I'm still trying to follow that logic. It's taken me into Amy's dreamtime. :-)

TamaraC- what veiled threat? Like all of us, I have my preferences, and if I find that I don't like what I'm reading, I'll stop. That's just a personal choice. No threat and no big deal. BUt this is moot, for I think that the storyline will devolve toward Tara as part of the main thrust of the tale, beyond the big bad that we do not yet know. Think about it- you want to bake people's cookies, have Kennedy sacrifice herself for Tara. This is ironic in the extreme, if you really think about it. :-) My head hurts as bad here as it does trying to follow that pointy logic, which keeps going in circles on itself, like Ouroboros...

ETA: Thanks for the support. I only visit Whedonesque to comment, so am not familiar with other more angry sites. And I really am only talking about myself.

[ edited by Dana5140 on 2007-05-03 03:46 ]
Ow! *slapping hand to forehead stings a bit* Thanks, Ciella. I'd totally forgotten that old chestnut. Will actually try to digest these comics before posting all willy-nilly in the future.
I know what you mean cheryl. And I wasnt reacting to Dana's specifically myself - just to the return of the general 'If such and such does/does'nt happen Im not reading/watching ever again' type of comments , and how it's funny that it never happened for the non-canon comics, which people enjoyed for what they were - great stories.

I just remember too many fights on boards back in the day.I hope it doesnt occur to often if you know what I mean.

IDW's boards have calmed down though....for now:) Wait till season 6 starts!
Alright here is what I thought, and a theory!

LOL, yeah when I saw paged 3 I busted out laughing. At a Mcdonalds no doubt after work (it was really bad stormy here so I had to pull over), so there that is. Bad Buffy...but in a great way! You guys catch the train going through the tunnel, the volcano exploding, the stakes, and the flowers? Real subtle I gotta say!

I loved the issue, the scooby loving was cool, and Dawn was great when she stomped on Amy. I have no idea about the kiss but Xander was closest, though I would laugh out loud if it was Willow.

So here is the part where I throw something out there: the three X's. Hmm, I wondered about what he meant by antique Roman vs a Dane (Italian vs Danish), and it got me to thinking. Jesus would be an antique Roman, and the X's could be a cross. When he says twilight is falling, it made me think of Exodus 12:3-13

Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household. 4 If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbor, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat. 5 The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats. 6 Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the people of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight. 7 Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs. 8 That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast. 9 Do not eat the meat raw or cooked in water, but roast it over the fire--head, legs and inner parts. 10 Do not leave any of it till morning; if some is left till morning, you must burn it. 11 This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the Lord's Passover. 12 "On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn--both men and animals--and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord. 13 The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.

Its passover, and it could be a reference to an attack on the slayers themselves. So when Ethan says that twilight is falling, it could be a reference that something major is going to happen and the gang needs to be prepared so that they can fight. For instance, what passover means is that God came down and smote all the first-borns of Egypt, except those with blood on their front-doors, and there will be deliverance for those covered in blood.

So what does that mean? It sounds like a war between those slayers who choose to fight and those who do not, like a major battle is coming and some slayers will turn evil (those not covered in blood--i.e those not in the fight). The evil that envelops those slayers will passover those already in Buffy's sted and it will affect those that arent.

What do you guys think?

ETA: Think of it this way, it could be the case that someone has found a way to channel the energy that Buffy and the gang used to empower the potentials into some other form of magic. A magic that would make those not in the fight, those who choose not to fight, into evil people against their will, and it will passover the people already in the fight, just like the blood on the door at passover caused God himself to passover. Sounds interesting to me anyway...

[ edited by jerryst3161 on 2007-05-03 04:02 ]
No problem Angeliclestat. I just thought Dana was getting a bad wrap for sharing opinions. :)

Jerry...I think that theory is as good as any other I have seen. We pretty much knew that something would have to happen eventually. The whole Whistler issue with keeping the scales balanced and all.
I think I want to see the Groosalug at some point, whether in the Angel comics or the Buffy comics. If I don't see the Groosalug, I'll...I'll keep reading and hope I see the Groosalug.
Not being snarky, I actually do love me some Groo and I've missed him. I always thought he would be a nice fit in the Buffyverse too(as opposed to just Angelverse).

And of course, the imagery that much fanfic and fanart is built on: Buffy taking it in both...tunnels. Joss is such a freakin' naughty freak! Couldn't love him more if he brought Groo back.
I wonder if Pointy could pose a problem in logic so ouroboros-ian or fractalian that even He could not solve it?
The other is someone saying "You're lying. That can't be happening." in the panel just above where they drift through all of Buffy's cubed memories. Anyone have an idea?

shambleau, I read that as Buffy in the the next dream panel speaking, leading in to her complaint that she's finished school. It's being back in high school that can't be happening. I think.

In the cubes - very young Dawn with part of her head cut off in the panel below Buffy and Giles with the Vampyr book. But who's the red-haired woman with Giles(?) in the third visible side of that cube? In the cube above that, barely seen, it's either Batman or is that Acathla? I was also wondering about the dark-haired woman above Faith. She could be the teacher from "I Only Have Eyes For You" Looks like Buffy in the uppermost lefthand cube looking into a handmirror - maybe an allusion to the body-swap with Faith.

[ edited by barboo on 2007-05-03 04:24 ]
As for Warren, well, he might not have been so much raised (meaning called back by an earthly power) as sent (meaning re-embodied and returned to earth by the Demon Lord or Arch-Devil who rules whichever Hell dimension he's been rotting in) which is to say he's just an agent and not "the " enemy.

Ooh. I like that idea. Much easier for me to comes to terms with than him being resurrected.

Can't wait til Giles takes his rightful place at Buffy's side but any Giles is of the good.

Same. I don't know how that's going to come about in the next issue though. It doesn't look like he's getting a reason to go to Scotland, and no one's expressing any dire need to see him like they were with Willow.

I love Giles the bestest, but my hopes and expectations have been so consistantly disappointed (especially by season 7) that I've learned to keep them very low.

Why hasn't anyone considered that it might be Giles that loves Buffy

I've considered it. As soon as Amy said that Buffy needs to be kissed by someone "passionately devoted to her" I thought "Giles!" But then the smart part of my brain told the shipper part to sit down and shut up. Never ever ever gonna happen. The best we can hope for is subtext.

I don't want Tara back. I really don't understand the Tara-love. She was boring. *shields self from tomatoes, rocks, ninja throwing stars...*

Right at the end of the dream, Ethan says, "Twilight is falling. You're going to need all the help you can get."

That symbol is soooo a sunset.

Ooh! Good call! I didn't catch that!

It's a line from Shakespeare's Hamlet. In Act V, Scene 2 Hamlet tells Horatio that he's dying. Horatio replies, "...I am more an antique Roman than a Dane. Here's yet some liquor left." Horatio plans to drink the poison and kill himself, but Hamlet tells him to live to tell Hamlet's story.

As for what it means in this context, I'm not sure. Ethan never seemed the suicidal sort. I wonder what he's gotten himself into.

I never would have remembered that line. It's interesting. Ties in with the sacrifice/crucifxion thing maybe?

jerryst3161: Joss has definitely been putting a bit of crucifixion imagery into every issue. I definitely think the X's signify Saint Andrew's cross. I don't know if the twilight thing is a reference to Exodus, but I think the scenario you outline could very likely transpire.

Before Bobbi pointed out that the line was a direct quote from Hamlet I went and read a synopsis of every one of Shakespeare's Roman plays to see which would be the most relevant. With its themes of leadership, democracy Vs. dictatorhip and betrayal I actually saw a lot of parallels between Julius Caesar and season 7 (especially "Empty Places") so I started to think that maybe season 8 will have paralells with Anthony and Cleopatra (which is the story of what happens after Julius Caesar, of course). Joss had Romeo and Juliet in mind when he wrote Buffy and Angel, I started thinking that maybe he'd base Buffy and her new love interest on another famous Shakespearian couple.
I know Joss has too much integrity to heed threats, veiled or otherwise, that he will lose a share of his readership if he doesn't write the storyline that share wants. I just find them disturbing, like hearing someone say, "Nice little store you've got here, hate to see something happen to it." I know it won't have an effect, and there is something comic about that, like the scene in this season of the Sopranos where the mobsters try that line on a Starbucks manager and discover that he simply cannot yield to their extortion.

Yeah, if he doesn't resurrect Tara, he'll lose some readers. If he resurrects her for the wrong reasons, he'll lose himself. Some choice. My first thought for a screenname here was NoNotTara!, which pretty much summarizes how I felt at her death. But Joss has a storytelling muse to follow, and follow it he must, or he'll lose something much valuable than some readers who don't want to hear the story he needs to tell.
Wow ... I do not envy Joss because he creates this amazing verse with all of these amazing characters and then is told not to do anything to change or kill a loved character/coupling/etc., but sometimes a story needs that to push the story where the readers and the characters (and when the show was on, the actors) don't want it to go. I love that Joss gives me what I don't want. If he gave me what I wanted all the time, well ... who would want to read that? There would be no risk for any character I liked. I can tell you guys right now that it would be crap. When Tara came on the show, I was still on the Willow/Oz train, so I was a bit perturbed. Tara grew on me. She became one of my favorite characters, and then she got shot. I cried, felt silly for crying, then cried some more. What is the risk if all of the characters that we love or the ones that have a following can't be truly harmed for the long-term? Anyway, if it's in the plans to bring Tara back to life, I'm interested in seeing how Joss will do it. Knowing his work, I'm sure it'll be with great finesse, but I'm not demanding anything or making ultimatums because I'm in it until he says it's the end of the line. Joss is my fat lady, so to speak. Plus, did anyone else squee when Scott wrote about extending the length of this season because of all of Joss's ideas and the unlimited special effects possibilities? Was that just me?

Anyway sorry if I'm off topic, but back to the thread. I think the pg. 10(?) dialogue "You're lying. That can't be happening!" is connected to the dream/nightmare in the next panel about the French exam. I think the speaker is the Buffy in that dream. I may be wrong, but that's how I read it. About the true love kiss--I feel like I'm being led to think it's Xander, which makes me think it's not him. Maybe it's one of the slayers or Willow? I'm leaning toward one of the new slayers, just because I don't think it's likely that Willow stopped by a Cinnabon before her big battle with Amy. But then again...;) As soon as I saw the Warren reveal, I thought of this board because someone called it. I wonder how this will affect Andrew.
"Before Bobbi pointed out that the line was a direct quote from Hamlet I went..."

Well, in the context of Hamlet, I think Horatio is meant as sort of the great leveler, Horatio is the one who grounds the play, he makes us believe that Hamlet isn't crazy, and in that sense, he is the metaphor of acceptance. I can't remember where I read this and so I must say that it isn't mine, but I remember reading an analysis of Hamlet that maintains that Horatio has accepted fate and the inherent evil in all mankind, and that Hamlet, at the end, becomes more like Horatio by more fully accepting this notion. It could be that Ethan is playing this role in the play, he is the person meant to be a leveler, to allow us to believe Buffy, and in turn, Buffy will learn lessons about evil, fate, and destiny while becoming like him. Hey wait, I found it:

"Thus Horatio has reached an apex that Hamlet recognizes is the freedom from emotional upheaval. Horatio feels deeply; he loves Hamlet with all his heart; but he feels nothing to the extent that it will overrule him. Horatio is not "passion's slave." His stability has made him the posterchild for the classical world and Hamlet, in his deep friendship and admiration of Horatio tries to learn from him. As Cicero says, surely envisioning someone like Horatio, "there is no human being of any race who, if he finds a guide, cannot attain to virtue" (Laws I.30). When Hamlet lies dying, Horatio is prepared to commit the very passionate act of suicide so that he will not have to live without his beloved friend, but even in this he is resolute and level-headed, acting not out of uncontrollable emotion but a sense of honour and duty. Horatio refers to himself as "more an antique Roman than a Dane" (V.ii.346) (reminiscent of Brutus and Cassius). Horatio's virtue is even more vivid in the light of Macbeth's cowardice response: "Why should I play the Roman fool, and die/On mine own sword?" (V.iii.1-2). In the final analysis, Hamlet does become a little more like his idol Horatio in his acceptance of fate and the evil inherant in all men. "

Interesting...especially the passion's slave part...

[ edited by jerryst3161 on 2007-05-03 05:05 ]
Ahhh... I took too long writing my post. Sorry for the repeat info!
I really, sincerely hope that Tara never comes back; her relationship with Willow was the best the series ever had, and the emotional and plot-related significance of her death is so weighty that I do not want to see it undermined. However, if Joss does bring her back, I'm not going to stop reading, and I'm not going to tell him what to do. I find it a bit disturbing that so many are putting conditions on him to do what they want or else that's it.

This was by far the best issue so far, just greatness on every single damn page.
What Pointy said3, only not even close to as well...
Hmm, Buffy as Cleopatra? Now that has some interesting possibilities.
Celina, I was wondering how Andrew will react to it too. I wonder if he'll even find out about it before Warren is defeated? I'm thinking he wouldn't be as eager to hug him as he was in "The Killer in Me" at any rate.

jerryst3161, that is interesting about Horatio. I really don't see Buffy wanting to be more like Ethan though.

greentara, I was thinking more of Buffy as Mark Anthony. :)
I don't think it's Xander or Willow. It doesn't feel right.

[ edited by thatweirdgirl on 2007-05-03 06:23 ]
I enjoy that things have surely progressed in 3 issues, even though going 1 issue a month slows things down considerably. I was hoping we would stay in Buffy’s head for a bit longer than we had. Dreams in the Buffyverse have proved to be entertaining. I wasn’t surprised it was neither Angel nor Spike that called Buffy “my love,” but was mad at Joss when I saw that for making me stir for a month. Page 3 made up for it though. I broke out laughing at that image. Then I stopped reading and drove to class, so that image was burnt in my mind with nothing getting in the way for a good 4 hours or so. It’s just so over-the-top, this-could-only-happen-in-Buffy’s-mind that it made me laugh. I mean, the naughty nurse outfit, the chains, the erupting volcano with 2 trains going into its tunnel (hubba hubba), the stakes and flowers, and cherubs!

The cubes page is my favorite of S8 so far. I keep going back to look at it to try to see if I can see if there’s any new information there. I don’t see Spike in any of the cubes. And that’s totally Joss toward the bottom, no matter what’s said to the contrary. Although you can’t really just “make up” a person and have them turn up in a dream. So Buffy must have seen Joss somewhere someplace at some point in time, whether it be briefly or by accident or whatever. I think the cube at the top toward the left from “Once More with Feeling.”

Clues from Buffy’s dream:
- Why/how is Ethan connected to Amy? Okay, I thought of something. Riley had him taken after he turned Giles into a demon for a day. So we have Amy and Ethan connected to the military, who want a piece of Buffy.
- Ethan may be the key to figuring this thing out; I think he was in Buffy’s dream for a reason. (“Well, a man that worships chaos and tries to kill you, is a man you can trust.” --Buffy in ‘The “I” in Team’)
- The cage: thrice X’s?
- “Twilight is falling” => the symbol from Issue 1 could be a sunset, but we still don’t know what it means based on that.

Willow is drawn well. Willow has no problem floating around. Maybe they were *her* boots from Issue 1.

Willow telling everyone to close their eyes may not be so Xander can kiss Buffy without anyone seeing. Maybe she thinks one of the girls could potentially have a crush on Ms. Summers, and since she went through a thing where she found herself in love with another woman, she can sympathize with the possibility that one of them loves Buffy.
Then someone yells “cinnamon buns!” I got it! Buffy loves cinnamon buns, it’s that simple. No one even kissed her, someone just finished baking a batch of great gooey cinnamon buns. I’m not selling this to anyone, am I? I’m hungry.
It was Xander.

In the first issue, someone set up a forcefield that kept the demons in the building with the 2 sacrificed guys. Giles talking to these demons is an interesting twist, but now we know that someone wants the Slayer’s attention. I’m thinking Ethan.

There are some comments about Andrew’s sexual preference. I think he was lieing to Xander the same way you would lie to your parents about being at the library on a Saturday night. I still don’t think he’s gay, just very bad at liking girls.

I’m glad Renee isn’t dead. Maybe I like to see Xander flirt in comics. I loved the little “go blind” comment from Xander, but the man needs to get laid. By either Renee or Buffy.

I’m scared for Willow in the hands of Amy and Warren. What did Buffy do to either of them to piss them off? It seems like they keep poking her with a dull stick and she doesn’t even say “ow” so they try again with a bigger dull stick. I know they’re just going after her because she’s the slayer, plus its personal now, but it doesn’t seem like enough. They seem to have more of a reason to hate Willow rather than Buffy is my point. And is it just me or is Skinless-Warren drawn beautifully?
Many people have been regretting that season 8 is not taking place on television, and of course an hour of TV every week is definitely a plus, but we got something in this issue that we would have never EVER gotten on TV! Exploding volcano, trains going into tunnels, naughty nurse outfit, and threesome bondage fun are more than we could ever hope for in any other medium. You gotta love comic books! LOL

I'm coming up with a theory about Adam Warren's return: he may have gotten something from Wrack that actually kept him alive on some level in spite of everything Willow did to him.... I know, I'm always wrong. But I am loving this series so much, I don't care who kissed Buffy (was there a puppy in the room?).
Hey, you'll all be grateful I will not bite on the "Joss is the writer and has to write what he writes" argument. ;-) And I really did not want to ignite the umpteenth Tara argument. But I do find it interesting that I am being taken to task for wishing that Joss write the story in a particular way by people who then go on to say that they hope he does not bring Tara back, which means that they also have a desire that Joss write the story to their satisfaction, which only differs from mine in direction.

Stepping outside that for a minute, what I take from this is that we all invest in the tale in different ways, and we have our pleasures how we do, individually. That's the beauty of a well-written story. As to my comment that I'll cut out, that's a "so what?" kind of thing. I no longer watch Lost, you know? I did, but it got to the point where I thought the writing was so bad and the contempt for the audience so large that I no longer enjoyed it. Cool. No different here. And I like Joss.

But again, all moot. Tara will be back. I have utterly no doubt. Warren's presence guarantees it. Let's just hope we remember this thread a year from now when it finally happens. The universe must balance. :-)

I still think Giles kissed Buffy- he has a father's love for her, which is also true love. BTW, what is a Giles Buffy ship called (squick!!!)? Guffy? Biles? And where did the entire idea of combining names for ships come from anyway? LOL.
okay....first i have to say i was SO excited when Willow said that Kennedy had died. gggrrr arrgghh, but only for a month. blah!!!
what WAS that picture of Buffy, Spike and Angel on page 3?!?? funny but, er..huh?
ethan rayne?? no one thought of him. no one!
is it me, or is Willow wearing Tara's "Once More With Feeling" dress???? because BOO YA KENNEDY! IN YOUR STUPID FACE! and if looks a like like it. awww, how sweet.
the page where buffy is all, "Why do I have to take french again?" there is a sort of collage. and is that Joss?? hahaha, awesome. also i see Faith, Sweet, The Master, Caleb, and Joyce's body from, The Body. awww, sadface.
Andrew is in a room with half naked chicks and he is bored???hahaha
i lmao when Xander told Willow, "Oh, I'm gettin' plenty of action, Elphaba." oh my gaaawwdd!!! hahahahahaha, right on!!
all of a sudden Willow is okay to do magik again??? uh, ok.
and i knew it was Warren. i'm glad he's....alive. that BASTARD deserves more punishment for what he did.

that concludes my Buffy S8-3 rant. now i have to get started on Runaways.
Great comments from everyone. Love chatting up all the possibilities for where this story is heading. Here are some things that struck me about this issue:

*A few have wondered who the dark-haired woman is atop the Faith cube in Buffy's dreamcube-scape. Cordelia. Yes?

*Jeanty did some of his best SMG-ish likenesses for Buffy in this issue.

*I completely missed that Willow's magic turned the undead Scots into dancing zombies (I only got it after I read the Wiki recap).

*Right now, a very good case can be made that the person who kissed Buffy is ... Willow. It can't be Xander -- that's too obviously a misdirect. How would Willow even know "someone in this room" is in love with Buffy? Willow hasn't been around for a year, so how would she know anything about the Slayers in the room? If I had to bet, I'd bet on Willow ... or someone entirely new. In any case, I don't think we'll find out for a long time.

*Did anyone else catch that we're heading for a 40-50 issue series? Scott Allie dropped that little delight into the letters section. Looks like I'll be investing $150 in this thing :)
*A few have wondered who the dark-haired woman is atop the Faith cube in Buffy's dreamcube-scape. Cordelia. Yes?

That was my original thought, but what about Jenny? The dream cubes show a lot of important people and events in Buffy's life, the death of Jenny had a big impact on her.
but what about Jenny?

She doesn't really look like Jenny. That's Cordelia's nose, lips, jawline, eyes, eyebrows, hair. I've just cleared all doubt from my mind. It's Cordelia.
Great issue! Like Zander says, "Ladies and other ladies ... the indescribable Rosenberg." I was so looking forward to May and much Willowness and I was not disappointed, but, oh, one issue and she's in mortal danger already? My poor heart!

The 'cubes' are fantastic, but I think they might be memories not dreams, or else Buffy does dream very accurately. Amazing, though, how amongst all those images that of 'the body' is the most haunting.

As to the whole question of who kissed Buffy, Willow's words made me think it was one of the slayers. "Buffy needs to be kissed by someone who's in love with her/ and someone in this room is. They might not even have realized it and they probably don't want anyone to know about it." Yes it could be Zander, but surely his worries about what kind of love was needed on the part of the kisser in the last issue rule him out? (Unless he suddenly realized his evolved friend-love for Buffy had turned back to love-love, but that's pretty convoluted.) Yes it could be Willow, but there's never been any hint that she loved Buffy before and I don't think either she or Zander would be so embarrased that they wouldn't want anyone else to see. No, I think Willow's "so everybody's gonna shut their eyes -- and keep 'em shut if they wanna keep 'em" threat is designed to protect the feelings of one of the slayers. I think Willow walked into the room, saw the look on the face of one of the slayers and knew that she (said slayer) was in love with Buffy. In the panel with Willow's threat only the girl in pink at the end is looking at Willow. The others are looking at each other. I think pink-girl kissed her!
So what is "Elphaba" a reference to, anyway? And while I wasn't convinced the guy calling Buffy "my love" was Ethan, that was my prediction. Wish I had posted that before this ish came out so you guys would know I'm being honest but, I really was leaning toward Ethan.

Loved this issue though, and it raises some questions I really hope get answered.
Elphaba is the name of the Wicked Witch of the West, of Oz fame, in the novel and musical Wicked.
Willow's dress does resemble Tara's in OMWF, except the ties in front are extra large, plus the colors are a little different. But hey, clothes. Don't get used to 'em.

Also, I keep coming back to Willow's blue eyes. Either the eye color is one big flub where the color artist needs to watch more Buffy, or I'm thinking there's a subplot going on. It could be Willow's way of remembering someone, or it could be something so extra bizzare, given Joss' mind.

Maybe Willow has been experimenting? What did she have to do to bring Kennedy back from her "month dead" stint? Could someone have tagged along on Kennedy's way back from the netherworld? Someone with blue eyes and a penchant for dresses with vests? Maybe this was the point of Kennedy's "death" in the first place. Maybe Willow isn't as alone as she seems.

Naaaah, probably not gonna happen, cause Joss and I… different brains. Plus Kennedy? Not so big on the sharing thing, I think.

Still, it doesn't keep me from hoping a terribly butch Tara archangel pops up in the next issue and starts wailing on Mr. Skinless and his rat girlfriend. I love butch Tara. :)

[ edited by quantumac on 2007-05-03 16:32 ]
Actually, I had thought of Ethan Rayne, but only because the physiognomy of the character seemed to fit either him or Spike. Does that mean it was his boots we saw floating outside the castle in Issue 1? That's still a mystery to me.

Anyway, now we know what that sex was that Buffy was missing. It's good to know that Angel and Spike are both still in her, uh, heart. But poor Riley. No one seems to miss him.
It would certainly seem out-of-the-blue for Willow to be the kisser, but the clues pointing in that direction make her a suspect. It would be understandable for her to want to conceal her attraction from Xander, given how surprising and complicated that revelation would be. Also, this just occurred to me ... Xander's name begins with an X. Ethan's trapped in a triple-X cage in Buffy's dreamspace. Could be, may be something there.
Ok, for the kiss...Xander's too obvious, and besides, we all know he's loved her 'like that' since they were teenagers. So, not enough of a surprised. But 'in love'?? Probably not Willow, either. Here's my theory:

Buffy is a bit of a narcissist...Dawn was made from Buffy....Giant Dawn puckered up and kissed Buffy. After eating cinnamon rolls.

Yup, that's so it. Forget logistics.

OR...Who can make themselves blinvisible? A ghost, maybe? A Ghost Spike, maybe? He didn't disappear into Hell, he disappeared to Scotland!! SPUFFY 4 EVAH!!!! Suck it.

Ok, maybe none of that, but speculation is fun. With sugary coffee.
Plus Kennedy? Not so big on the sharing thing, I think."

Of course, by her own admission, neither is Willow.

That's strangely appropriate ;)
LOL, ziegeist. It struck me as an appropriate name. :-)

I think quantumac may actually be onto something here, and it posits the way that Tara can be brought into play. I'd watch this carefully, now. Good catch, qm!
Just got it, i thought it was better then issue2 which was too Xander-centric for me, i would love to see more of Buffy and Willow.
That dream was VERY naugthy, yet really can't blame Buffy, she's a young woman with a healty sexual appetite. It's only natural that she has fantasies about the two males that have been such a big part of her love-life.
I'm sure Spike has had a fantasy or two about Buffy and another female.

Warren was in short, very nasty. That boy just doesn't seem to go away, but him and Amy do make sense as team-up enemies, Amy had already tryed taking revenge in season7 and now she's got help. Warren's hatred of Buffy also makes sense, his hate for her was immense, mostly because she had THE power. And i think he definitely sees females as inferior.

I also like how Willow still has boundries and that she isn't all-powerful.
One issue to go for this arc. Then a one-shot which will be followed up by the Faith-arc, woohoo.
The only thing that i feel is missing is a vampire-ally, Buffy has always had a vampire by her side. In season1-3 it was Angel, in season4-7 it was Spike.
Plus i'm still hoping that Jo Chen will do a Spike cover someday.

Now i need to continue my search for Runaways, which was sold out by the time i got there, darn it.
Death is my gift, can you clean up your post a bit, correct punctuation, spelling, etc. No netspeak, please.
Woot! I got the variant cover. I have to order via Forbidden Planet Internation as my local comic book shop seems to sell out of the Buffy comics very quickly. I thought this was the best issue so far. Loved seeing Ethan Rayne again and Dawn squishing Amy was hilarious. All in all, a great read.
This issue really made me laugh. First I laughed at what I was supposed to laugh at and then I laughed at why Joss had included it.

Congrats to the folks who said they wanted to see Ethan Rayne, to Gossi for his stomping comment and to those who were hoping for Warren to show up. As I went through the book, I was remembering various people's comments and giving them kudos.

I was glad that Buffy identified Ethan Rayne because my first thought when I saw the image was, "What is Malcolm Reynolds doing in Buffy's dream?" This time I it took me a while to ID Andrew as well.

I thought that Buffy line about "That can't be happening." or whatever she said, had to do with what was actually happening in the real world with Willow/Amy/et al. If I recall, ER says something about her needing to deal with what is happening, she asks what that is, and the panels cut to Willow and Amy. I thought Ethan had given her a glimpse of what was happening while she was sleeping and her reaction was that it could not be true. After all, as far as Buffy knew Willow had not even been around when she went to sleep.

Wasn't it made clear last issue that the kiss could not be that of sister/relative love? That is the kind of love I would attribute to Giles. It also seems pretty clear Giles is not in the room. I don't see Willow feeling that way about Buffy and I doubt that Joss would want to go in that direction. To me it makes sense that Willow would know that Xander still has a passionate love for Buffy, even if he has dealt with it over the years to the point of it not being really obvious, even to himself, anymore. Unrequited love for that many years is a bit embarrassing and would not help his chances of getting laid anytime soon, so I could see Willow giving Xander the opportunity to wake Buffy up without having to reveal his feelings to the world at large.

That said, Joss usually goes for the misdirect, so I find myself looking for who else it could be. But constantly misdirecting becomes a direction after a while, so maybe bringing Willow in was all the misdirection needed and it will be Xander after all. Yep, I'm going for Xander, though I still really hope he and Buffy never actually get together for reasons I have said before.

I just have to say I loved the Page 3 dream image sooooo much. The combination of cutsie hearts and flowers, bondage, raw sex and romanticism just made me laugh and smile and laugh some more. Joss is such a sick a good way.
To Dana5140 RE: Giles, what newcj said about him not being there and relative-love not counting. And the Buffy/Giles ship is called BeeGee.
I'm now leaning towards Willow as well. Her "might not have realized it" sounded awfully defensive to me. Wasn't there one tiny hint of something back when she was inspecting the buffybot the first time? I'm not sure how I'd feel about this, but I'm sure it'll be entertaining whichever way Joss decided to go.

I know Amy's a witch, but she certainly seemed none the worse for the wear of being stomped on by a giant.

Loved all the cubies, page 3, and the issue as a whole.
If Willow's in love with Buffy, that could explain why she's been scarce for a year. Also, it would open incredible dramatic possibilities for exploring the relationship between romantic love and friendship. Or possibly produce a new Jossian love trapezoid, with Willow longing for Buffy, Buffy for Xander, and Xander for the chance to host the world series of strip poker.
Lorelei- thanks, got it. Given that, I have to think it is probably Xander, following the logic of the many misdirections becoming direction, so leading to future misdirections, etc, etc, ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

And I have to say, I'd have loved for Malcolm Reynolds to show up. We could have a triangle with Mal, Inara, and Willow. Boy, talk about some real wishful thinking!

Hey, what is best of all- we are talking NEW BUFFY again! There are things to figure out and storylines to interpret and predictions to make again, and I for one am loving it.
Fun issue. I'm really wondering who the big bad is now.

The Fray book is a bit of a mind-bender, if you try to bring it legitimately into the story. Maybe in this universe where slayers are real there is still a certain somone who writes or wrote for a certain TV show: years ago if on a Tuesday night in this universe Buffy turned on the television and switched to the right channel (not the near-ubiquitous TV land channel that shows timely news reports tied to plot developments) perhaps she would have seen herself watching television on a show created by the improbably named "Joss Whedon."

Maybe she was just too busy Tuesdays.
I think Xander kissed Buffy. It goes along with his persona. He allows himself to be in love with Buffy but would never ever say anything about it because it "wouldn't be the right thing to do".

Maybe Cordy was watching the events surrounding "the kiss" and decided to teleport from the heavens for a quick smooch. Maybe not realistic or practical for the story but it's still pretty hot to picture. (is that an overshare?)
I know Amy's a witch, but she certainly seemed none the worse for the wear of being stomped on by a giant.

Agreed! I expected to see her mushed into a pancake, not unscathed in a glowing coffin thingie.
As for Warren, it was, after all, Buffy he was trying to kill in the first place, for foiling his big plans, not Tara, so- not so strange that he is still after doing her in, as well as Willow, arabchick. But why is Amy so big on Buffy-destruction? I think there must be something about Amy I'm forgetting, apart from the Willow-jealousy thing. Anyone?
The Fray book is a bit of a mind-bender, if you try to bring it legitimately into the story.

Easily fan-wanked as: Its a comic called Fray that is:

a) unrelated to Slayage
b) related to Slayage and written by someone who knows about the Buffster
c) relate to Slayage and is completely coincidental
d) River is made of chocolate

Not sure about the first three, but...
Buffy and Giles shipping being called Biles is kinda fantastic. That is all.
Pointy .... I totally get and love your "logic problem" which no doubt makes me odd and twisted :)

Dana .... I found your fantasy triangle scenario so mind blowing that I'll have trouble thinking of anything else all day, & I'm a totally dedicated .... um, one of those Buffy shippers with someone else :)

Thanks a bunch for the Wikipedia link & so sorry I can't remember at the moment who's doing it. UnpluggedCrazy I think, I'll have to check on .org. At any rate it's much appreciated, no Buffy comics available in Hilo and I want to wait to order online until I can get several at once, thus avoiding a fortune in S&H.
Really getting anxious now though. I am so *not* into comics but I should have known that Joss could bring depth and complexity and metaphor and humor to even the two dimensional pages of a comic book.
Love the Ethan Raine thing, I'd actually thought of it & loved the idea, but didn't think it would really happen. And I was so hoping that the mystery bad guy would be Warren, with or without skin. And the thing about *still* not knowing who kisses Buffy is just so Joss, I love it.
Thanks to everyone for helping me follow the story even before I get my hot little hands on the real thing. The naked Spike and Angel thing is a major impetus :)
I'm not sure if I've missed it - have details for the stand-alone issue 5 been released anywhere?
bigsofty, there's a moment in "Lie to Me" when Angel & Co. are mingling with the vampire wannabes, and one of them brings up that Angel is in some internet fanfic.

Angel: "I'm on the internet?"

Heh, cute throwaway moment, but it shows that Josserific nod to pop culture. That's how I interpret the Fray comic thingy. It's just Joss. Does it even really need to make literal sense? :D
I think Angel says, "I'm in the chatty rooms!" :-)
I'm with those who are thinking neither Willow nor Xander. The girl in pink? The redhead? Someone who will cause awkward problems later?
Pointy, I *love* what you said about the relationship between romantic love and friendship and how a Willow/Buffy or Buffy/Xander romance could explore this dynamic.
I think Amy's involvement is mostly based on her Willow issues. Same with Warren, I think Amy found a way to bring him back because she knew that would be Willow's weakspot. Which also makes me think that Tara will be making an appearance, maybe finally as Evil Tara! Yeah!
I immediately thought the kiss was Xander, but a few panels after he is totally flirting with Renee. Not that this has to be exclusive to having feelings for Buffy, but I think Willow is a better bet. For one thing, (though I did like Kennedy a LOT) the one issue in the Willow-Kennedy relationship that kept coming up was Willow putting her relationship with Buffy above that with Kennedy. Sure it makes sense in a practical, fighting-the-first way, but Kennedy was always insecure that her ties to Willow could never compare to Willow's emotional connection to Buffy. Willow denied it, but she would still choose Buffy if a conflict presented itself.

Also- on the idea it could've been a more familial kiss from Dawn or Giles: I'm going with no for only one reason. It simplifies the situation. Cuts it off. There's no reason to even have Buffy fall asleep and must be awoken with the kiss of true love unless it further reveals something about the characters and their relationships to each other. Yes a Giles or Dawn kiss would make more sense than the other possibilities- but its precisely the reason it isn't true. Too neat. Too convenient. Too simple. And primarily- doesn't move the plot along AT ALL.
Hamletworks provides one-stop shopping for commentary through the ages on the "antique Roman" line at:

ETA: That's not as simple a link as I thought.

Once you're there, click on "EFOLDED HAMLET" on lower left. Then scrawl down to line 3826 and click on that number. Then click on "view commentary"

[ edited by Pointy on 2007-05-05 04:07 ]
The dark-haired woman on the cube at center left (below Buffy's tiny, tumbling body) looks a bit like Joyce.

Folks dear to Buffy seem to show up more than once here. There's Joyce's body on the couch, and Buffy's probably carrying around at least one other, happier image of her mom.
It's not just one train going into one tunnel - it's two trains going into two tunnels! Joss Whedon you dirty, dirty bastard :-)
crossoverman .... isn't that one of the main reasons we love him? :_)
edited for double posting.

[ edited by Shey on 2007-05-05 15:30 ]
Late to this but "And that scrunched up girl on the cube in the lower left?"

Hmn. I think you're right. I'd assumed it was Dawn, but it does look more like Tara.

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