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"I'd like to keep Spike as my pet."
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May 04 2007

(SPOILER) TVSquad Review of Buffy Season 8.3. A very positive review, which obviously contains spoilers. They give it a score of 6 out of 7.

I love the fact that they're reviewing the comic on TV Squad, even categorizing it under "Episode Reviews."

[ edited by zeitgeist -periods at the ends of link titles please!- on 2007-05-04 17:43 ]

Woohoo! Yeah, I myself am having some issues with the whole Warren thing, but it appears as though Joss is wrapping up some of the old issues that people had with season seven so that he can move the story along for season 8.
One thing that did suprise me, was that Spike is no where to be seen in any of the boxes. I'm assuming they are sorta like memories,dreams, yet i could not find one white-heard male in them.
And this isn't shipping, it's been quoted by Joss that Spike means alot to Buffy, hence my confusion.

Warren did seem a possible option to me, simply because those military guys were talking about how disgusting it was. A skinless Warren definitely suits that description.
I thought it was strange too Vergil. The only thing I could figure was that the memories involving Spike were deeper under the surface.

...of her consciousness that is. Minds out of the gutter, folks.
Ahhh, skinless Warren basting over a Tara flame with extra-hot Willow sauce. Yummm.

Why are you looking at me funny? Get your mind out of the gutter! I'm talking ravenous red-and-yellow-headed retribution folks, not sex. Who needs Buffy to the rescue when you've got two mightily pissed off witches in the mix?

Warren is so bad he's gonna get his butt nailed twice!
Since naked spike is featured so prominently in another panel, it doesn't bother me he's not in one of the memory cubes.

Did anyone else notice Joss in one of the cubes? Toward the bottom...
A skinless Warren is not going to be easy for Willow to deal with from any perspective. I mean, putting her in a situation where she has to kill him (again) to stop him? Is he still human?
Another thing missing from the cubes are the slayer dreams and memories that Ethan tells her exist in the dreamscape as well. Maybe the slayer stuff and the Spike stuff are hidden deeper or maybe their absence signals that Ethan is more con man than ancient roman:)
It's interesting that Spike is missing from the dreamcubes. They certainly show a lot of important aspects of Buffy's life through all the years, so it's probably significant that he's not represented with everyone else. However, I don't think memories of him are deeper under the surface, or that Ethan was manipulating her.
Did anyone else notice Joss in one of the cubes? Toward the bottom...

I thought that was Joss too! I don't know why Joss would be in Buffy's dreams though, I don't think they've ever met.
Another great issue. Really enjoying the writing on this and seeing the story venture far beyond the restraints of a TV budget. It was especially great to see Ethan again. He was always one of my favorite reoccurring characters in the series. And I hope that the next time he appears, he brings up the... interesting peek he got into Buffy's dreams.

quantumac: You're comment REALLY made me want some buffalo wings. Which is weird, because those HAVE skin.
I just received the past three issues yesterday and I found the stories just as Joss described a season eight. I loved them! Looking forward to issue four.
Spike/Angel are very much on the surface and are too prominent in Buffy's mind to fit in a box, they have to be wrapped in chains :)

My initial reaction to Ethan being there is that he was, essentially the Cheese Man, but last time we saw him, he was being sent to a military installation. It could go either way I guess.
Loved the picture of Spike & Angel with Buffy. The nurse uniform is interesting...According to the last statement in the letter section there will be 'some very strong opinions about Spike' in the next issue. I hope they're not going to be all negative, and besides why bring Spike up anyway? He isn't going to be in this comic very much. I just get all defensive when it comes to Spike, cuz I just luv him.
Yeah Luvspike, i also saw that, it seems like it's gotten real popular these days on forums to bash,flame Spike. I still hope that Joss has got faith in this character.

I did notice one thing that could relate to Spike, Buffy tells Ethan to not call her love or pet. Not much but it is something.

[ edited by Vergil on 2007-05-05 11:57 ]
Finally got to read mine, and I thought the little dream image of Buffy with Angel and Spike was easily the funniest single page of a comic I've read in a loooong time. The trains chugging their way to the, ahem, mountain, clinched it. It easily ranks up there with a few pages from Quantum & Woody and The Tick in my "Funniest pages ever" list.

I was wondering if Ethan was just some sort of defense mechanism, but there's not really anything to indicate that, so it'll be interesting to see how he ended up there.
I'd think Warren would be more likely to provoke an appetite for ribs . . . .

And the sites i go to have always ahd their Spike and Angel bashers and boosters and I haven't seen any real changes there. Then again, as hard as it is to believe I don't go to every site, only about seven or eight.

And Ethan can easily be an image in a dream without being active himself. If he's managing to work mojo from behind barbed wire that'll be interesting. LEss itneresting if he's escaped; so many of the BtVS novelizations used him as a plot device that I'm sick of him, even tho none of that's canon. (a friend of mine on another site wrote a fic where she disposed of him by having a dullahan drag Ethan into Dark-Faeryland.)
OK, i'm gonna 'splat' a bit cos i've just read it and this is the nearest handy thread (bloody work and bloody having to scrap my bloody car meaning I can't get to the bloody shops until the bloody weekend. Bloody ... bloody ! ;). This was the best yet (and i've absolutely loved the first two issues).

Trains and tunnels, and the Buffy sandwich, absolutely hilarious (and as crossoverman pointed out, notice, two trains and two tunnels ;-). She so totally needs to get laid.

Combine that with "... Kennedy ?" ... "She died" as well as NOT showing the kiss and it's clear that Joss is playing with us big-style and I absolutely love it ! That is the truest way to deal with fan demands and wishes i.e. take the piss but with affection and then carry right on telling your own story. Bravo sir, bravo.

Ethan Rayne was a total surprise and a good one, Warren not so much ('weapons lab' meant either him or Adam, by the time it became clear Willow was also a target it had to be ol' Skinless) but the art delivered on the yuck. Scared for Wil.

Andrew's boredom with the strip poker made me laugh. Out loud. He's totally right too, Xander would be bored 'stiff' ;). And "...army of the undead playing Pride and Prejudice ..." ... "Don't worry as soon as the ball ends they'll leave". Vintage Joss. And "I always tell that wrong". And Xander's line about going blind. And about 'funny bonhomie'. And 'girl parts'. And, and, and ... ;).

Not enough Giles but what there was felt definitively him this time around. And I like how it's him that walks the line and negotiates with the demons. It was always his way to do what Buffy maybe couldn't and still stay true to herself.

Hmm, triple X. Well, '30' seems to be part of it (if the number wasn't significant why have a 'cage' with only three sides ? Maximum security it's not ;) but the quote, as others have said, is from 'Hamlet' (by Horatio, possibly the one unalloyed decent, loyal man in the whole play and unmentioned witness to many events - which makes me think of Xander). Is it saying Ethan can be trusted ? And 'antique Roman' makes me think Julius Ceasar (and also - tangentially i'm sure - 'The Lays of Ancient Rome' by Macaulay which talk about Horatius and how he, alongside his two stalwart companions, held the Sublician bridge against 'fearful odds', saving Rome).

But why 30 ? Ceasar was long dead by 30 BC (and, obviously, 30 AD ;). 30 pieces of silver ? A warning about betrayal by a trusted friend (Xander again ?) ? Some traditions have Jesus crucified in 30 AD (and Judas' suicide the same year), added to the previous cruciform imagery it could be significant. Is Joss finally really examining Christianity in a way he probably couldn't on TV ? In Scotland we note (I say 'note' because I don't especially celebrate it ;) St Andrew's day on November 30th.

If the symbol represents twilight as Ethan indicates then the star could well be Venus, sometimes called the Evenstar or Morningstar (the times when it's brightest). Venus was the Roman goddess of love and fertility and was partner of Vulcan (maybe the volcano wasn't just a cool image after all ?). Lucifer is sometimes called Morningstar. Is Buffy going up against the biggest Judeo-Christian Bad of them all this season ?

Questions, questions. Luckily there's only a whole frikkin month ! to wait for answers ;).

[ edited by Saje on 2007-05-05 20:36 ]
Three down one to go. Mystery man is Ethan Rayne. Excellent, I knew there was something familiar about the theatrical hand gestures and boneless over the top Englishisms but I’d forgotten that those things weren’t unique to Spike/Marsters. Buffy is sceptical at first and then gets distracted by OMG the naked, the outfit, the trains into tunnels, the lecherous cherubs, the stakes raining on the lilys, the Georgia O’Keefe lily parts, the fleshy folds of volcano erupting, THE PINK. And the whole thing looking so shrink wrapped. Porn or kitsch it’s hilarious and hilarious with the loving attention to detail that tells you it’s laughing with the subject not at her. Like the name-tag that recalls and reverses the time she tried to escape from herself and hide behind “Anne.”

Some people (not here) seem to be getting the impression that Buffy is being side-lined so far, which I can see if I squint, she’s not be involved in the action much and the dream space turned out to more a diversion than a revelation. But then the classic Buffy pattern is the one seen in for example The Freshman where for over half the episode she falters and struggles with self-doubt until something happens, Sunday breaks the protector umbrella, Spike goes an innuendo too far, the First gets into her face when she’s down. Then she turns. Speaking of the Freshman it’s interesting how Xander’s talk with Renee resembles so many of the pep talks that have been given to Buffy over the years and Buffy’s reaction to being played in her last panel is classic.

Willow takes on Amy by using her strength against her. Nice mention of Catherine because mothers are important (dead Joyce central in the puzzle cubes of Buffy’s brain) and she was her own undoing too. Willow a little overconfident, however, Amy re-groups and pixelates. I love how Willow’s image breaking up into pixels mirrors Buffy’s dream space being broken into jigsaw pieces on the next two pages. Isn’t it a bit creepy having Ethan stalking your private dream space? Rayne leads Buffy to the clue to her enemy’s identity but is he working for her or just for himself? Nothing he does helps her escape the dream, Willow does that and Willow already knows Amy’s name where Ethan didn’t. “I can’t see outside myself,” another self-involved villain? Sounds like the Dane, do we know any ancient Romans? Scandinavia brings Odin to mind for some reason. Twilight (of the Gods)? Janus?

Xander’s reaction to the indescribable Rosenberg was joyous, Fee Fi Foe and I was still stuck on the dream reveal and thinking Englishman but no it’s giant Dawn for the win. The dreamer wakes so easily you’d think that wasn’t the big picture and so it turns out but first Xander/Renee awww and Kennedy’s dead? Willow’s awfully shifty about what she’s been doing and now they’re taking things slow, could there have been a repeat of the scare Kennedy got in GiD? I always hoped they’d follow up on that more. Not yet, now it’s Willow’s turn to be the strong woman tied to the tracks. Cue Warren in the not-so-tasty flesh.
I saved this comic for last, out of an excellent group of books, and it was worth saving. Excellent, excellent issue. Thank you, Joss!

I was hoping that Dawn would be involved in the battle, but I didn't expect her to take Amy. Or foresee how the zombies would be dealt with :) Willow's characterization was great, of course, and so many great moments already discussed here. I also like that Dawn actually got to curse (and Willow's "Language, sweetie," was cute - though really, if Sunnydale schools were like the schools I'm familiar with, Will should know that Dawn was hearing "bad words" every day since about fifth grade... Well, or would have, if she'd actually had fifth grade...)

Still working on thoughts about the dream mystery, but one thing I noticed: the Amy part starts in her rat cage. Then, with the Xs: "So what are you doing in there?" "Where am I?" - why does Ethan need to ask? Does this tie into his "I can't see outside myself" remark above? And/or does he need Buffy to think about what she's seeing? The first thing she says is "Cage." I think part of what the dream is telling her may be that Ethan is imprisoned in the same facility where Amy (and Warren) are. I'm still going through a few different thoughts on what else the Xs may mean - probably not a reference to X-Men 3 and a character coming back from the dead, for example (oh, not the least because the movie presumably hasn't come out yet in Buffyverse time)... Might as well throw this out there, though: thirty; three zero; three zeros? The Trio? There's not some sort of "X" card in Uno, the sinister yet addictive card game, is there?

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