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May 16 2007

(SPOILER) Buffy Season 8 #4 preview is now available at Dark Horse. Several pages are available for viewing.

Some pretty big reveals in them too.
And before anyone asks... the First could totally appear as Warren as he clearly died briefly in his childhood and was resuscitated. Maybe he drowned. That works.

Also: really liking this series. Can't wait for this issue.
And before anyone asks... the First could totally appear as Warren as he clearly died briefly in his childhood and was resuscitated. Maybe he drowned. That works.


Ha! That never occurred to me before. I like the preview pages, big epic drama and family drama as well. That's my Buffy.
They were the last days of his "human" life- he died as a human. He's something else now, anyway jackal-so no problemo as the First.
But he said Amy saved him with less than four seconds before he died of shock. I'm confused.

Still great, either way.
is it me, or does Georges' art look a lil sloppier? It still looks great and everything, but his depictions of Buffy, Dawn and Amy in this 4-page preview don't look like the actors at all - in the first three issues, he still managed to get their looks down in most shots. The image on the first page of Warren as a human looks like it was drawn by a dif't artist
Big spoilers. Amy saving Warren, I'm not sold on yet. But the "family drama", as Simon put it, I'm loving.
I think Amy had to kill him magically before he died of natural causes so as to be able to bring him back magically.

Anyway, besides Joss creating amazing new stories, he's still managing to augment past stories. "The Killer in Me" is way better now (and logical) knowing that Warren was involved in the spell conjuring.
Yeah, the ret-con is a little confusing on the First as Warren issue. The rule on the First was it could only take the form of people who have died, so if Warren didn't die by Willow's hand, how does that work?

I suppose maybe Joss messed up. He's human. As a writer myself, I know how hard it is to maintain continuity after a few thousand pages. All the gray cells start to blend into the ink, and pretty soon you have an icky mess.

If it is an error, I hope Dark Horse has time to correct it before the actual pages get printed. Anybody here know Joss personally? Give him a ring if you do.
Magic seems to use the clinical definition of death, at least Buffy's heart stopping was enough to trigger Kendra's calling. And vampires apparently get turned just as the heart starts to slow, before it stops. Maybe Warren just meant he would have died in the non-refundable, Norwegian blue sense of the word.
"Her magic was (is?) [his] skin"? It is confusing, but I sort of thought that Amy changed him into something not human, just in time, as he died as a human death. Somehow I think it's unlikely that there is a mistake involved re the First. Guess we'll have to wait and see. I agree that "The Killer in Me" makes more sense now, CaptainB.
I hope we find out who kissed Buffy!

And who the floating shoes over the castle were...
Maybe I'm missing something, but where is everyone getting the "First" connection with this? I don't see anything about the first. Help!
ChosenGuy317, everyone's saying The First because throughout Season Seven, the First took the guise of Warren several times. The First can only do that if Warren was dead.

I doubt Joss was planning Warren's return in Season Eight when he was scripting Season Seven. The fact that the idea is so good to bring him back, who cares about a minor detail of the Warren technically needing to be dead for the First to take his guise, just enjoy the story. Its a whatever minor technical lil detail
I actually just watched the episode where Willow skinned Warren last night. It looked pretty definitely that Willow was the one that incinerated him. And at that particular moment, with her being the "most powerful witch in the Western Hemisphere", I think she definitely would have noticed if anyone had been messing with her magics (especially if it was to save the guy who it was her singular mission to kill. I mean, she was willing to kill the Scoobies if they got in her way... if someone else had, I think she would have sensed it and gone evil jedi on them in a heartbeat).

That nitpick aside, looks to be another great issue. The likeness of Dawn on page 2 or 3, the one where she hits the wall, is the best rendition of her so far.
I love it... and I think Joss is gonna make Willow pay some more for killing Warren.

Which she really did... even if Amy saved him. She killed Warren.. skinless is no way to live.

And I do like that they're saying Willow isn't "all that" in the magic world. She was running on vengeance, doesn't mean she was powerful.

[ edited by BrownCoat_Tabz on 2007-05-16 21:52 ]
Hmm...very interesting stuff. I dig it a lot, and I don't think it's retcon-ish, because they're not saying that Willow didn't kill Warren, right? They're just saying that Amy managed to intercept right before he ceased to exist. Maybe. I should probably read those pages again before passing judgment.

But interesting stuff nonetheless.
Hrm. I'm pretty much willing to accept whatever Joss comes up with, but that ret-con is pretty fishy. I just rewatched the clip and I think it's going to be a tough sell that Amy was the one who sizzled Warren out of there and not Willow, especially since Willow exits the scene in the same way. And it was way longer than four seconds from the time she flayed him, too. Oooh! Unless that means that Amy stole Warren's soul out of his flayed body before Willow incinerated him? I guess I'd buy that.
This looks awesome. I love the Buffy and Dawn exchange. Couldn't care less about any possible retcon.
I'm idly wondering why Dark Horse released these preview pages 10 days early than they usually do. If I was a starking raving paranoid fanboy, I'd say these were foilers (not as if this has happened before - Astonishing X-Men #4 anyone?).

But in all seriousness, it's an interesting ret-con and is sure to be debated in days and weeks to come.
DarkHorse released the preview pages for Issue #3 also pretty early remember? so i don't think they're pulling a 'Marvel' on us
At this rate, the Scoobies are going to be renamed The Eyepatch Brigade.
Which she really did... even if Amy saved him. She killed Warren.. skinless is no way to live.

Except she really didn't now. I think we agree: she had the intent, she carried out the act, and that alone should be enough to haunt her the rest of her life. But this is now even more complex now than before. He's alive, but very maimed (heh), and still ruthless, violent, and angry.

Neat.

And I do like that they're saying Willow isn't "all that" in the magic world. She was running on vengeance, doesn't mean she was powerful.

I'm very intrigued by this. Especially given the glipses of Veiny Willow we've seen recently. Will the new Willow be able to fight Warren without becoming evil again?

It feels like we're just now getting into the real story for Season 8, and I think I really like where it's going.
The cover art keeps getting more and more gorgeous. Love it.

I'll reserve judgement on the retcon till the issue comes out and we see it in context.
It feels like we're just now getting into the real story for Season 8, and I think I really like where it's going.

I agree. I was very happy that Willow can still go dark... I mean, we all contain the capacity for good and evil. To say she'll never go evil again is just stupid.

I am really intrigued. And Joss is allowed to retcon to his heart's content. Comeon, retcon's been going on forever (Sherlock Holmes didn't really die... come on...). This is a comic! Don't forget... this is a comic!


OH and I figured it out.. Warren's skin died! That's how the First could appear as him.

[ edited by BrownCoat_Tabz on 2007-05-16 23:32 ]
Well, it doesn't have to be a retcon and Amy didn't have to "mess with" Willow's magicks but rather with the situation around them. I mean, if you move a wastebasket near the target point to catch some of what the explosion throws around, it doesn't mean anything to the bomb or the bomber but it means a lot to whatever you catch. (and that analogy kinda-sorta also alludes to what this sometime-Kitten thinks of Warren .) It's logical in a way;what hell-dimension worthy of the name would let Warren go after they got him? I mean he's exactly the kind of jerk it'd presumably ne msot fun to torment.
And again Willow is powerful, it's just 1-she's not the only one who's powerful (recall "You just don't want to meet them.") 2-magick has its specialties and subspecialties (as stated in "Smashed") and Willow's and Amy's strongest talents lie in different areas.
And it raises a point which has been raised at Essence of Amber; if Willow didn't really kill Warren,e ven if intent was there, it changes the whole moral aspect of things. And perhaps in a less interesting way.

And, unless she's been possessed by Catherine the Great again, Amy has gone wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy past being what in one fic I called "well...pretty much evil now." (the narrator had a reason to say that)

And,assuming that "in the real Buffyverse" Dawn looks like Michelle, that giantess on the cover didn't look like Dawn.
DaddyCatALSO, are you saying Jo Chen didn't capture the look of Michelle/Dawn on the cover? Because I think she rocked the likeness hard on this one.
Poor Giant Dawn! Don't you just want to hug her ankle?

I bet she has nightmares about being on stage, in chains, with photographers taking flash pictures . . .
Just to comment on the comments about the likenesses of the comic book characters to that of the actors: Someone posted, not too ago, a link to an interview with Georges, in which he stated that Joss told him not to worry about depicting the actors accurately. So when I see an Andrew that isn't Tom Lenkish enough for me, I know it's not proof of Georges' skills and efforts as the artist for this comic. For me, it's about the characters. SMG played Buffy, but she isn't Buffy. I would like for the original cast members to always portray these characters, but chances are if the Buffyverse ever appears on the big or the little screens again, it might be when the actors we love and prefer are too old to play their original characters. As long as there isn't a dramatic, unexplainable departure in the look of a character I'm familiar with, then I'm not going to point out every panel in which Georges' art isn't on the money. I think he's doing a great job, and I'm anxious about the conclusion of this arc and the stand alone issue to follow.
is it me, or does Georges' art look a lil sloppier?

It takes a lot longer to painstakingly reproduce a person's exact likeness than it does to simply capture their essence. He probably put more time and effort into it early on so people got comfortable with the medium. Most comic artists don't typically have to draw real people and it's unfair to expect them to do so all the time. The ones who consciously try to make their drawings look exactly the people, it typically looks really artificial. Some of the Angel comics literally had the artists tracing stillframes of the actors in half the panels. Not only does that deaden an artist's personal style, but it reenforces the idea that these characters ARE the actors and cannot exist independent of them.

Yes, there should be a resemblence so that people can recognize the characters they're familiar with. But like James Bond, Buffy and her friends are fictional characters and can be portrayed in any manner their owner/creator decides. And I've never heard anyone complain that Daniel Craig doesn't look like enough Timothy Dalton. ;) I'd rather have the artists do their thing in a way they're comfortable with. It makes for better art.
On this I agree with daddycat; if Willow really did not kill Warren then that changes the entire calculus of S7 in ways I find extremely troubling but hard to articulate. As a retcon, this is one I really, really don't like and almost wish I had not come here and read all this because the implications did not occur to me until I had. Oy.
@Dana5140 that's what happens when you think too much. I'm with Joss, I'm just in it for the story.
dingoes8, that's exactly what I was trying to say, but you did it so much better. I took an English class on comic books and graphic novels a few years ago, and I believe our text "Understanding Comics" went into the "why's" of the comics medium very well. If anyone who wants a better understanding of comics art and readability, I definitely recommend that book. It's written/drawn by Scott McCloud.
Since Joss and Georges reference "Villains" here (even though Willow's hair remains red), I'm pretty sure they thought all this through. Including Warren as the First. Even if it's not such a huge thing, it's pretty big to us, and the issue's weeks from coming out. I still stand by my theory that Amy killed Warren magically, thereby making it possible to bring him back. Hey, maybe even Willow magically tearing off his skin counts as a magical death? THen we bypass all those technicalities. This, as well as in-book likenesses, I say just relax and enjoy. It's in Joss' hands and that should be enough.
Reeeeetcoooon. I don't mind so much that it's there, as that it takes so long to explain, and still doesn't make a whole whack o' sense. Whatever. As long as that's out of the way and we can get on with the story.

At any rate, Warren seems fairly fond of talking and explaining himself, so maybe he'll amuse himself with that for awhile, thereby giving the cavalry a chance to come in and save the day.

Looks like the shoe's on the other foot now with one of the Summers sisters feeling replaced in a familial capacity. I like how this is playing out.
I loves me some retcon. And Splatty-Boy is great at the art of retcon. He's done it before, and he always manages to make it not only make sense but also cool and fun. I'm sure he has an explanation for the First-as-Warren thing.
This reminds me... The First never took the form of Tara. Should we suspect that Tara might be some kind of alive? Maybe she's ascended and turned into a voice over, like Obi-Wan? Or a higher being, like Cordy? Or maybe we should just keep reading and enjoying the comic and just see what happens.
I don't suppose it could be that the First is reappearing as a (skinless) Warren?
Everybody's worried about retcon when Willow's got a razor blade held to her eyeball?

My Gawdy we gots perspective problems here
In the corner with malformed.
@toast since Warren was holding a saw.. I don't think so. With the First being all incorporeal and such. But interesting theory.
Joss has said in the past that he's willing to change/ignore continuity occasionally when it suits his purpose, when he has a particular idea he needs to get across. I think he said it concerning why the ubervamps were so hard to kill at first and so easy to kill in the finale.
Everybody's worried about retcon when Willow's got a razor blade held to her eyeball?

It'll be a few weeks before I see how that ends! So of course I want to talk about other things in the meantime. The suspense will kill me otherwise. ;)

OH and I figured it out.. Warren's skin died! That's how the First could appear as him.

Had to say: awesome.
"Last two words of my human life."

Sounds like Warren thinks Warren died.

ETA: So, there's no First problem.

[ edited by Pointy on 2007-05-17 04:45 ]
I think he said it concerning why the ubervamps were so hard to kill at first and so easy to kill in the finale.

No the ubervamps are like ninjas... hard to kill one on one, easy in groups... ;)
It's very sloppy writing and it's too easy to just say "It's Joss, let's go with it!" Joss is not beyond criticism. HOWEVER, this is only the first four pages. It may make more sense by the end of 8x04... I doubt it, but it may. Criticism, if it's deserved, should come then.
[I]s it me, or does Georges' art look a lil sloppier?

I actually really liked some of the art here. I thought Dawn's expression on the line "I'm too big . . . I'm useless," was one of the best Dawn-faces so far.

. . . like James Bond, Buffy and her friends are fictional characters and can be portrayed in any manner their owner/creator decides.

To an extent, of course I agree. But because Buffy & the Scoobies were originally created in a TV format, the actors had a large share in shaping them--I'd be inclined to call them co-creators, rather than interpreters, of the characters. (I just watched the Buffy movie for the first time a couple of nights ago. I'm used to admiring Joss Whedon's dialogue, but the movie really made me appreciate what Sarah Michelle Gellar brought to said dialogue.)

I don't mean to suggest that the characters can't work in a different medium. But, for me, it's really important that the new medium acknowledge what the actors brought to the characters. And I'm liking Jeanty's art a lot, because I feel like it does exactly that.
Hmmm Warren said "Last two words of my human life." just like Pointy pointed out, so like what's the problem? Apparently in those four seconds Amy did something to Warren, like killed him magically or transformed him but whateva it was . . . he stated he died so like theres no problem with him showing up as the First. And more importantly, we only saw four pages so I imagine we'll find out what exactly Amy did.
I'm so excited about this series! It's been so great!
Maybe Warren isn't Warren afterall? We already know that Amy is capable of making people BECOME Warren and we also know that Amy can suck people into dream-like trances... whats to say that Willow isn't going through a similar dream-like trance like Buffy previously went through? Or that Amy made SOMEONE become Warren?

I think its all a trick/trap!
Celina, oooh, you had Understanding Comics as the official text for a college course? I referenced it a couple of times in papers, but I don't believe anyone knew what I was talking about.

BrownCoat_Tabz and others in the same discussion, I can never really fathom that argument. I'm in it for the story too--so that makes it all the worse if the story doesn't seem to work. (Kinda like Angel said, "If nothing we do matters, than all that matters is what we do.") Of course, I've doubted Joss before and later come to repent my lack of faith--but until I read how they're going to be fixed, seeming inconsistencies will bother me.

[ edited by Telltale on 2007-05-17 09:41 ]
If only Tara's spirit would arrive to rescue Willow I'd pee my pants!
Sigh. Come'on Joss, make up for a bad mistake... pretty-please...
(not holding my breath but people keep whispering me rumours about Tara in S8)
TaraLivesOn: I agree, it'd be a wonderful moment to see a butch archangel Tara appear and start pounding on Warren and Amy. Probably not gonna happen. Joss loves Amber as most people do (she's a talented and caring person), but I don't think he appreciates Tara the same way. Tara just isn't in the forefront of his cerebellum. It's like if he lined up the characters in order of importance, Willow would be number three and Tara would be around twenty.

I could be wrong. I could be presuming too much. Probably am.

If Tara does come back, I'm sure Joss will suprise us in the way he does it. It'll be the moment we least expect it.
Telltale, yep I had that book as an official textbook, and it's one that I still own. My school actually offers a topics English course specifically about the graphic novels, but since a lot of people take the class without comics experience, the class actually goes through the history of comics, starting with comic strips like Little Nemo and ending with all of the interesting things that are being done with the medium today. My professor was very pro-comics, of course, and believes graphic novels will be more accepted "literarily" in the future. It was a fun class, and it's what got me into comic books because I realized it wasn't child's play and geekverses (and since I was already a Whedon fan I realized I was already a fan of the verses and came out of my denial :)

About the retcon debate: I'm with the just-enjoy-the-story camp, but really I feel like it's too soon to tell how good or bad the retcon is. I mean it's only 4 pages. It's such a tease.
Celina & Telltale - I just finished "Understanding Comics" a month ago. When the Buffy comics started coming out, I borrowed it from a friend as I wanted to know more about the artform and the way it engages the viewer's eye, mind, ear, and imagination. It has helped my appreciation of the Buffy comics and my interaction with the story.

Retcon - I'm waiting impatiently to see the full story before I state an opinion.
Eh dear!

Oh well, I suppose it's still early days.
I'm with Pointy "last two words of my human life...." Warren is dead. Maybe it was like the guys in The Zeppo.

[ edited by BrownCoat_Tabz on 2007-05-17 19:53 ]
"I hope we find out who kissed Buffy!"

I don't get this comment- isn't it obvious that it was Xander?
@wrecks no! Willow/Buffy 4evah.
But what about Warren/Amy 4evah? That little twinkle in his skinless eye when he's thinking back on how she saved him so cleverly while she listens to him ranting with almost motherly pride. It's love I tell you. Convenient, creepy love but still more than Warren ever felt when human. I hope Willow doesn't kill them immediately.
quantumac, you really think that Joss doesn't value Tara much? I think just the opposite, in that he probably values the significance of her death enough to handle it with respect. I mean, I'm hoping he doesn't bring her back just so that her death retains its integrity, but if she comes back in some supernatural form without actually being resurrected...that I could dig.

And even if the girl ends up resurrected, I'm still reading. One thing I've learned is never to underestimate Joss' storytelling ability.

Which is why I'm waiting to pass judgment on the interesting/huge retcon.
We may not have seen Tara after Season 6, but Willow did - when she performed the Slayer spell in "Chosen", and was looking into that bright light and smiling through her tears at Something.

That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it... ;-)

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