This site will work and look better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.

Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Believe me, I've had my hands around a few."
11944 members | you are not logged in | 30 July 2014












June 06 2007

(SPOILER) Buffy #4 reviewed on 'A Comicbook Orange'. A different medium this time for a Buffy Season 8 comic book review. Herc chips in with his thoughts over at Ain't It Cool and there's a detailed recap at Wikipedia.

Well it gives us a chance to chat about all new Buffy.

Quiblet: Jeanty's art conveys emotion really well for me.
Oh, yikes, no one has commented yet as I begin to type this. *pulls on neckline of shirt* The pressure!

So I picked up #4 and read it over lunch. I'm going to have to reread it again to get all my thoughts in order, but my immediate impression was a little underwhelmed. I'm not sure if I can even put my finger on why. I feel as though perhaps so much plot advancement had to be crammed in to finish the arc that there wasn't time remaining for Scoobies being Scoobies? Not as much delightfully Jossy banter? Dunno.

In terms of plot, I guess now we know that it's Satsu who loves Buffy, although I 'spose the lip gloss could be a mislead. Truth be told I was kind of expecting her to bite it to save Buffy's life down at the faux-initiative. The mirror trick was cool, as was Buffy being all Willowy to defeat Amy, though that did smack of "Primeval." Nice deja vu for Buffy with the body of the dead soldier mimicing that of the dead orc-thing in #3.

Quesiton: So was the unknown cube woman in #3 supposed to be Amy's mom?
Hmmm. Something the Clockwork Orange reviewer said sums up my view on this issue: It lacks the "wow" factor. The reviewer was talking about the artwork, which I don't agree with, but I think the assessment applies to the issue overall. It's by no means bad -- but a few things didn't seem to work. Exposition seemed a little heavy and awkward, with Warren having a whole lot to explain in the first few panels as to how exactly he came to be alive again (exception: I liked the funny about the "flash-paper disappearing trick"). Willow and Amy both seemed to escape crazy peril -- lobotomization and an exploding grenade, respectively -- with nary a scratch, which has me scratching my head and wondering, "How???" Also, the scene in the lab takes place in a few minutes, yet "a few hours" have gone by in Scotland while the teleportation specialists create the portal. Finally, no big surprises this time around, like Buffy kissing Xander's head off or that fabulous chained-up Nurse Buffy in the last issue.
1starbuckstown, I understood the Willow "Problem?" panel to be a reveal of Willow having the magic to heal herself from an almost-complete lobotomy.

Another question: Who are the five that grant Willow refuge? Earth, water, and ... a Wookiee? Art and reason? Is that the inside of Willow's brain? *scratches head*
Whoof, just read it and it is good. The next several years will be wondrous with the Buffy-filled mayhem that will ensue. Jeanty is doing a very fine job. Honestly, much better than I was expecting, so kudos there. And, oh yeah, Joss ain't half bad, either. He seems to really have a handle on these characters.
karosurly, you're probably right about the "Problem?" reveal, although that begs the question: If Willow has the power to heal herself THAT quickly, did she really need to be rescued?

Yes, the Wookie. Ha! I was wondering about that, too.

So you see Satsu as the kisser? Missed that. I'm not so sure.
Satsu could be the kisser. Unless she's liberal with the sharing of her lip gloss.

I just did a quick read at my break, but was that a Dark Buffy moment? 'Cause that would be sweet.

Sad that there's no Giles. And even though Ethan is dead, it looks like he's involved in a good chunk of the plot. It's odd to think of him helping Buffy and the Scoobies...
1starbuckstown, I thought that's what we were supposed to believe since in #3, when Buffy wakes up after her Sleeping Beauty kiss she says, "Cinnamon buns!" and then the lip-gloss Satsu loans her is cinammon-flavored. Otherwise, that's some reaaalllly random dialogue.

But, as MadeToLoveJoss points out, it could be a Joss-lead and the kisser just borrowed Satsu's lip gloss. Or ate a cinammon bun for breakfast. You know, either way. ;-)
Cinnamon buns! Of course. I completely missed that retrospectively obvious clue. I think you're absolutely right, karosurly, although Joss could still be misleading us here.
The real question is who did Satsu get her lip-gloss from? I'm thinking Willow might lend hers out, being the sharing person she is.

Let's face it, a new character falling in love with Buffy - not so fun. It would be a side-note at best. However, Willow admitting she has the hots for Buffy? Lots of awkward to mine. Lesbian loves straight makes for plenty of angsty situations.

And sadly (for me anyways), no Tara joy. Not even a mention. I was hoping for Archangel Tara busting some bacon-butt, or at least Spirit Tara helping Willow out in the nether-realms. No such luck.

Darnity, darn, dagnamit. Oh well, there's always fanfic.
Well, it pains me to say it, but I'm also a bit disappointed. I was expecting a huge finale-type arc ender, but nothing consequential really happened. Willow was rescued, but I don't think anyone was really too worried about that. We still don't know anything about Kenny the thricewise or the frowny moon symbol.

All this waiting in between issues is making me pretty impatient with the slow story progression. Perhaps I'm just not cut out to be a comics fan.
I liked the arc ender.

Slayers vs. The Human Race

It's kinda badass.
Overall, I agree with those who are saying they are underwhelmed.

The Negative:

I think Joss is drawing out this true love's kiss thing too long. I'm beginning to not care so much.

I hate the Warren retcon. It takes far too long to explain and still doesn't especially make sense. And what was the point? Why did it have to be Warren who threatened Willow? The story wouldn't have worked any worse if Amy was working alone, or if her partner was some new character who just happened to hate witches. Warren's presence didn't have any meaning, it didn't cause Willow to develop in any new way, it wasn't necessary. So why go to all the trouble of the retcon?

What was with Amy's mom? I don't get why that was needed either.

Buffy having a part of Willow's magic in her was an interesting revelation. I hope that has some reprecussions and wasn't just done for expediency's sake. As it is now, though, I feel like there's too much magic. The problem with magic is that "there are no rules." Anything is possible. It destroys the tension because you know Joss can make up some magic, flabotnamy thing to get the characters out of whatever peril he puts them into. There needs to be rules, there needs to be limits. As it is our heroes' capabilities are unlimited, so they aren't believably vulnerable.

There was a serious lack of Giles. I mean, c'mon, he's Core Four! Why does he only get the same amount of attention as Andrew?

The Positive:

After all the fake-outs and magical healings Ethan's death was a reminder that people do still die in the Buffyverse, and death can still mean something.

The army-guy's little speech at the end about how Buffy and the Slayers will want to keep on changing the world to make it their version of "better" sounded very similar to Mal's call to arms in Serenity. Looks like we'll be getting into some deeply gray morality here. If the battle is between Buffy and the Human Race, is it really wrong to be rooting for the Human Race to pull through?...

ETA: Also, Floating Boots guy has yet to be identified.

[ edited by lorelei_frolick on 2007-06-06 21:34 ]
The army-guy's little speech at the end about how Buffy and the Slayers will want to keep on changing the world to make it their version of "better" sounded very similar to Mal's call to arms in Serenity. Looks like we'll be getting into some deeply gray morality here.


Yeah, it is similar, but in a different way. I think Buffy and the others would be acting as the Alliance would if they took this course.

On the other hand, what if this whole "master race" thing does come true? Would there be some kind of huge civil war? Maybe the Scoobies (if indeed they were on the side of good) would have to reverse the spell they used to change eveyrone's destiny.
Well I have to say that I didn't find it under-whelming at all: in fact I was laughing out loud, going into shock, and generally finding it pretty over-whelming!
I was freaked out by the Willow lobotomy, I loved the subtle reveal of Satsu being the true love kisser, I yelled aloud at the "magic, it's all done with mirrors" line, I loved Buffy being able to be a conduit for some of Willow's magic (kind of like when Willow could use some of Buffy's strength to heal in S7 Same Time Same Place) including freaking Amy out w/her Mom, and I was really upset that Ethan had been killed. I think that these four issues are a great beginning for an exciting series and I know I'm going to keep on loving it more and more.

But what is with the psycho letters to the editors?
The problem with magic is that "there are no rules." Anything is possible. It destroys the tension because you know Joss can make up some magic, flabotnamy thing to get the characters out of whatever peril he puts them into.

Exactly. That's partly why I didn't catch that Willow magically healed herself. My brain wasn't willing to allow that deus ex magica. The other reason I didn't catch it is because I'm still learning to read Comic. Little details flit right by me until I read the thing several times over -- or learn from the folks here what I missed. (Ashamed to admit, I also missed that Ethan was dead! But, there he is, with bloodied up forehead, against a blood-spattered wall.)
Oh well, there's always fanfic.


So say we all.

But what is with the psycho letters to the editors?


For reals. I didn't say anything 'cause I don't want to be startin' nothing, but dang. There are some seriously angry people out there.

What was with Amy's mom? I don't get why that was needed either.


I think this was Buffy getting all psychology on Amy's ass, since she wasn't fazed by the "lightshow." Buffy knew that was one thing that would get Amy's attention and freak her out long enough for Satsu to throw the grenade (in a very gosh-she'd-be-good-at-pool sort of way, no less).
At the end of the letters column there's a preview of issue #5 that hints at spoiler-hood, for thems fixin' to stay pure.
My only quibble is that if Warren didn't officially die (and the implication in the '4 second window' bit is that he didn't), how did The First use his visage?

Otherwise, I'm lovin' it.

(And seconding the nasty letters to the editor non-love; Personally, I buy the comic because I love it, not to read someone else trash it. There are plenty of places on the web for that, which I can easily avoid.)
I'm not ready to close the door on Ethan yet. He's too crafty to be done in like that. Plus, he isn't really in the business of randomly helping Buffy. He's a chaos worshipper, he's got to have some sinister reasoning for everything. Plus, if he's been incarcerated ever since A New Man, why is he still wearing street clothes like that? Wouldn't he be wearing some sort of prison uniform? I wouldn't be surprised if he turns out to be pulling the strings of something much larger, and his death/imprisonment was faked. I still think he might be the floater over the castle.

But then, I also wouldn't be surprised if he actually is dead. Just disappointed. He has so much potential!

I think Joss is drawing out this true love's kiss thing too long. I'm beginning to not care so much.

The kiss was only mentioned 2 issues ago, it happened last issue, and the cinnamon thing revealed who it was this issue. I take it you're not a regular comic reader, where plot threads and mysteries are sometimes drawn out for YEARS? ;)

But, I am beginning to feel the limitation of the medium. It does take a lot longer to tell stories than TV. This whole arc would have been one, maybe two episodes. That's two weeks compared to 4 months. And now there's no new issue until August. If it goes on for 50 issues as they say it might, even with no significant delays, we're already into 2011. o.o
I still say that doesn't loook likkkke Dawn.

Hey, it's obviously a hark back to the politically correct celeb-voiced cartoon Captain Planet;earth air fire water and heart.
And I'd imagine the Huamn Race versus SLayers is a salute to the oh-so-topical X-Men storyline form the late 70s-early 80s with Congressional committees investigating mutants and TV evangelists building computers to make them bleed from the ears. And of course oh so topical again like it was then; I'll have to try to find a console TV with a 3-inch screen so I can watch Tailgunner Joe's latest announcemnt of his next announcment.

And I'm also a little disapppointed we didn't see a certain ash-blonde country girl either, but then even if it does happen no way would "Dr. Joss" or any of "and His" authorized "Bunche" give it to us this soon or with so relatively few tears.
I don't read the letters to the editor myself, but after reading what people have to say about them I feel like writing one myself and giving them some positive feedback.

I think this was Buffy getting all psychology on Amy's ass, since she wasn't fazed by the "lightshow." Buffy knew that was one thing that would get Amy's attention and freak her out long enough for Satsu to throw the grenade
Okay. I get that now. But I still think it made for a kind of confusing climax and Joss could have done something simpler.

I loved the subtle reveal of Satsu being the true love kisser
I don't think the cinnamon lipgloss necessarily means that Satsu was the kisser. It might be a coincidence and a mislead.

As I said before, I took the reveal that Ethan was dead after Willow got out of such a dire situation unscathed as Joss saying "Yeah, Willow got off, but people still die. I'm still willing to kill established characters." On principle, I don't want Joss to take that back. If he appears again I hope it's only as a flashback or in a ghostly capacity.
Considering i see Ethan as a flat-out villain, if I never see him again I'll be "finedandy," and it adds to it if he had the chance to go out doing somehting uncharacetristically decent.
It's a shame Ethan was killed. I really liked that chaos loving guy. The issue was pretty good. The fight to get Willow was ok yet not outstanding, but I did enjoy elements of it. The mirror & using Amy's mom were nice touches.

The twist that it's humans vs. a slayer race is really interesting, especially for the fact they see themselves as good and the slayers as the demons. Of all the things the symbol could have meant, ending the slayer race was not something I would have ever thought of. So I'm assuming the symbol represents 'twilight'? Nifty.
Buffy and Satsu huh? Very interesting. Just so long as it wasn't Amy.

I was shocked to see Ethan Rayne killed, but that's what's beautiful about Joss' writing. He puts these little things in to get you thinking and wondering and then leaves them be, until you least expect it and then WHAMMO! He totally surprises you.

Awesome end to the Long Way Home arc.

Now what am I gonna do for 60 days?! And Jesus Lord, 4 months for the Faith arc to begin?!

I want someone to freeze me, like Cartman did while waiting for the Wii to come out. Where's Butters when you need him?
lorielei_frolick wrote: ... as Joss saying "Yeah, Willow got off, but people still die. I'm still willing to kill established characters."

It's just me, but if Willow dies, I'll jump ship and likely tread water to the first fanfic author who treats her better.

Joss already eliminated my favorite character. Yeah, it worked story-wise, but I don't have to like Tara's death. If he killed off my next favorite, what would there be for me?

It may seem "wierd" to you folks who don't get too attached to characters, but what can I say? To me, great loves aren't interchangable. In fact, it irritates me when Willow doesn't refer to Tara more, both in late Season 7 and in the comic. Her "Always" is gone, and it's like Willow says, "Kennedy helped me, so I moved on. End of story."

Seemed a little too fast. Too dismissive. For two and a half years, Willow and Tara were a big deal. They were played so close, like two halves of the same coin. So why didn't Willow melt down during this last issue, at least for a little bit? I mean, this is the guy who murdered her lover and he's back from the dead. Willow's like, "Problem? What problem?"

She's strong, but not that strong.

Anyway, back to the question of character death. In my opinion, Joss tends to kill off characters way too often. Death should be used to advance the narrative, not just to "shock" the reader or viewer.

But like I said, that's just me.
And Jesus Lord, 4 months for the Faith arc to begin?!


The Faith arc starts with issue #6, no? Won't that be out in three months?
Haven't been by the comic store yet (moving house and home), but Ethan dies? Hmm. Not so much liking that, but it's Whedon's world. I'm just along for the ride.
Does anybody,after reading the final two pages,get the vibe that Joss might be moving towards what was forshadowed in Fray?
I've got Earth, Wind and Fire and Hair and Math.
Earth, Wind, Fire, Instinct, and Logic? :)
karosurly- whoops, my bad. You're right. That would be 3 months. It just might seem like 4 to me.

Sorry for the miscalculation.
I got Swampthing, Toothpaste, Bigfoot, Picasso, and Homework.

I hope the next arc is a little less abstract, trains and tunnels aside.
Did anyone else think of Cadmus and The Justice League when the guy talked about humanity versus Buffy? That was just me? Ok, Ill be quiet now...
I wasn't at all underwhelmed by this issue. In fact, it might be one of my favorites so far. For the first time, I actually pictured SMG, AH and NB while reading. It felt like I was really there with them. The artwork was awesome. Great job Georges!

Some thoughts about the plot. I love the fact that Joss is acknowledging the fact that Buffy may have opened up a huge can of worms by performing the spell and sharing her power. IMO, one of the biggest messages of BTVS has always been, with great power comes great responsibility, and Buffy was one of the few characters strong enough to wear that hat. The scale HAVE been tipped and it will take an army of monstrous proportion to level it back out. I can't imagine that a group of new characters will be strong enough to fight what's coming in the future. Strong enough in every sense of the word. Whit, endurance, soul, etc..
Look to Faith and Robins Mom for examples. Brute strength alone does not make the best and longest living Slayer. Buffy is unique and I am really looking forward to Joss hammering that message home.

The nod towards the Willow and Xander bond that has been present from the beginning was a nice touch for all of us long term Scooby gang fans. The bond between the core four was one of the strongest building blocks of this Universe. Anything that repairs damage to that bond is a plus in my eyes. Keep it coming. :)

As to the comments at the end of the issue, the angry fans response isn't surprising, just look around the internet to read a lot more of the same, the one that got me was Scott Allie's response to the question about a potential spin off. "We don't need no steenkin spin off"....guess that says it all. LOL

One grip. Where is our glasses wiping, voice of reason watcher? Giles is sorely missed. Can't wait for the next installment. I'm really loving this comic.
buffyfantic, I got a Fray vibe as well from the ending.
At first I saw Wood, Water, and Fire (three of five Chinese elements). But the Picasso-ish-faced one doesn't look like fire without the flame in front of her.

I got nothin'.

I won't be surprised if the dead guy is not the real Ethan. Remember him tricking Eygon by tattooing Buffy and burning his off? And the Halloween costumes? Switcheroo is his M.O.
I was VERY pleased with issue 4! I loved the Xander/Buffy/Willow bondage! (uhhh not that kind of bondage) The scythe slayer's vibing without the scoobies was cool insight into how they interact with each other.

I loved loved loved it all. I'm seeing a big 'choose your side' battle coming between normal humans, slayers and mystical beings. It's gonna be awesome!

I didn't expect Ethan to be killed but I enjoyed it!

I only wish that we could have finished off Amy and Warren so that their story would be "dead" and done.
I thought the image of Amy's mother made sense. After all, Amy started out as one of the innocent who needed saving, and over the years she's become more compromised and more like her mother. In the third issue, while in Buffy's dream state Ethan leads Buffy to the part of Amy's dream state that's revealed because of the spell. He tells Buffy to remember what she sees...that what she sees will help her when she's awake. In this issue, Buffy tells Amy that she saw her dreams. It makes sense that psychologically Amy is still screwed up and scared of her mother. Who knows what's going in that dream? I also dig magic Buffy. I've always wondered what it would be like if there was a slayer who also had powerful magic mojo. But I suppose that would be too much power for one person.

Also, for those of you guys who are still missing things because of the medium, I can't recommend "Understanding Comics" enough. I first read it for a class, and I had no experience reading comics before. It does it good job at explaining how to read between the panels. Comics are such thin little things, but even then I find that that I need to slow down, look at the page and the arrangement of the panels, then finally focus on the image and text one panel at a time. Otherwise I miss everything. Granted, sometimes I can't do this until the second reading because with Buffy sometimes my eyes get too greedy.

Once again, I think Jeanty's doing a fab-o job. I had my doubts with the first issue, but I'm happy I kept the faith. Now I'm impatient for the August issue. The only way I'll be able to through the next two months is if I force myself to forget there is a Season 8 until #5 is released.
Add me to the camp that was a little disappointed with how the arc played out. It felt like too much was trying to happen, but in the end, nothing much really happened at all. I think I would've preferred if Joss had focused on, say, only half of the story points he introduced here, but had spent twice as long developing them.

But then again, I'll probably look back when it's all said and done and I'll recognise it as being utterly brilliant.

[ edited by NimNams on 2007-06-07 07:31 ]
NimNams, don't forget that even though the arc is complete, the story has just begun. Compared to squee-worthy images that we've been getting in previous issues, this issue felt a tad underwhelming I agree. However I'm going reserve my final judgment because I know all of this is just setting things in motion. As someone before, what we've read so far equates to about 2 episodes give or take a few minutes.
I thought it was brilliant. Such great Willow moments. The dialog was so damn good, you could completely hear the actors reading it.

I love this series.

What I don't love, however, is the letter column featuring this complete and utter Spike-hater. Burn in hell, Spike-hater!
Celina, you're right. This is just the first step, so I remain optimistic that it'll all turn out wonderfully.

I've also noticed a trend in Joss's comics that the issues themselves are usually quite fragmented and even a bit underwhelming on the surface, but when the arc is read as a whole, everything comes together and all is satisfied. I see it in Astonishing X-Men, and how I'm seeing it in Buffy and in Runaways. Though that may not make for the most gripping monthly read, it sure does guarantee some fantastic trade paperbacks.

[ edited by NimNams on 2007-06-07 08:12 ]
I thought it was fantastic. I think some folks are disappointed because they expected this huge slambang, operatic finale, but...dude, I'm thrilled. This entire arc has been setting up the story, and I was genuinely excited by the action here.

The ending gives me all kinds of chills, and especially because Buffy might be on the wrong side (backed up by the forthcoming #5's variant featuring that poster with Buffy saying, "I WANT YOU!").
I think people should be looking at this arc as the season premiere; those episodes are rarely named among fan favorites, but they were critically important in establishing the world, the themes, and the conflicts for each season.
It was great, of course. And it was very welll written but come on, this is Joss we'retalking about. The man has an understanding of writing people work a lifetime to get a splinter of. It wasn't my favorite of the 4 issues but that's cool too.
This issue is the end of the season premiere and it was a great season premiere that totally fits with the ones that came before it. Not only was it a good story itself but oh man did it get me pumped for the rest of the season.
I think my favorite thing about the series so far has been the new characters but Joss has always made just incredible characters. I enjoyed the potentials in season 7 and understand that they were supposed to be whiny and kinda suck so you could see that huge difference when they became slayers. Vi's entire arc works completely for me because of the ass she kicked the second she became a slayer. So getting to see all of these slayers each with a unique personality is just more than I could ask for.
And plus my guy Xander is finally the man I always knew he would become. Xander Harris, Watcher of SLAYERs (not an acronym so don't try unless you can think of one then by all means.)
And Dawn is so Dawn that everytime she's on the page it makes me giggle.
Sorry, I really didn't think much of this first arc at all.

And what on earth is up with Dark Horse printing that childish/mad rant on the letters page? They obviously want to stir things up between the 'hard core' fans out there, which is just so, so stupid of them, and rather unprofessional.
My worry is that the time scale for this comic is potentially going to be real problem. The next issue is set for August, two months from now. If this first 4-ep arc is an indication, there has not been a huge amount of movement. Joss needs to sustain interest, aking to putting Heroes or Lost on hiatus and hoping the audience will still be there when you return. If the story is slow to progress, and the issues are few and far between, interest will drop off.

I am on the underwhelmed side, but am reserving judgment. I think something happened that we don'tknow about with Willow, and I want to see what it is. Why are her eyes always changing colors? And so far,no Kennedy...
Whoa Brian, that's kinda harsh. The angry fan hates a little more than Spike in that rant but instead of becoming angry ourselves we should chalk it up to what it is. One persons opinion. I don't like the things the person said about Buffy but that doesn't mean he/she doesn't have the right to say it.
I'm not going to turn into a "hater" myself just to state my opinion. This comic is too damn good to be brought down by one angry fan and a couple thousand angry responses to that one fan.
I see each arc as a episode of the series so this was the conclusion of the premiere.

I really liked the issue and it seemed to set up what the arc of the season is.

I agree Brian,I can hear the actors delivering these lines.

I wish Ethan wasn't killed so early but he might still appear after this still.This is the Buffyverse after all.

As for the letter,it wasn't very nice to Spike,Angel or Buffy for that matter.Everybody has an opinion I guess but there are better ways to express them.
Hey Simon, I just realized the thread title is Clockwork Orange, but the show is called Comicbook Orange.
I loved this one, fast paced and scoobietastic.

Im not so bothered about Ethan dying, he was a villian, and not one of my favorites.

A lot happened, I see it more as a two part season premiere, like Bargaining.I loved how they went back to Sunnydale.

So is the Initiative esque group the big bad, Warren and Amy or something we havn't seen yet? They could just be the mini bads of the season...
Having now read my copy twice, I feel I can conclusively say I loved it! My pick of the greatest lines would have to be:'Magic. /It's all done with mirrors.' and Willow's:'Problem?'
I think the latter is clearly for the funny and intended to reveal Willow's thought processes as '(I'm fine now, thanks for asking. Is there a) [p]roblem (you'd like me to attend to)?'

My pick for greatest panel would have to be the 'He's lobotomising you. Do you have a plan?' panel. I think Georges Jeanty really capture's Willow's pain there. I almost cried.

Celina, I agree that Amy's probably still scared of her Mom. After the events of 'The Witch' you could never say Amy had a happy childhood and the idea that an image of her Mom could throw her off her game seems spot on to me. Also I think the idea of her Mom as a source of pain is deliberate and just another way in which the character is being written as a shadow of Buffy. I'm sure the 'she wants lots of cheese' line from issue one wasn't just a reference to Amy's ratty past but also a deliberate parallel with Buffy's love for cheese. Then I think there's clearly a Mom theme in the arc as a whole. Buffy misses her Mom, Dawn sees Willow as a Mom, Amy's scared of her Mom etc.

I really liked the ending. The idea of Buffy against the human race seems like a way to finally address the suspension of disbelief required by BTVS as a television programme. Okay so it's all fictional, but within that it was always necessary to believe that the one slayer in all the world could save the world from one Californian town. Now the many slayers are truely a global presence, for good or ill.

Finally, I think Satsu kissed her. I said pink t-shirt wearing slayer and Satsu seems to be standing next to her, so I'm quite pleased with myself. (At least until Joss retcons the cinnamom! - Not a phrase I ever thought I'd need to use!!)
This was my favorite issue of the arc so far. Like someone else said, I could really hear the characters this time, and I also definitely got the 'season premiere' vibe from all of it.

That said, I am kind of meh about the Amy/Warren reappearance. I think I would've preferred some sort of new villainy than something that muddled with established facts.

And I also agree that Willow probably should've had some residual angst about Warren - she was still guilt-ridden about killing him in S7, and even if she finds she didn't, he's still the one who killed Tara. Is her fire for "putting the blame where it belongs" really doused? Does she really have that complete a control over herself? Maybe, but I suppose time will tell on that count.
I am kind of meh about the Amy/Warren reappearance.

It just doesn't make much sense to me. Why would Amy want to rescue a skinned Warren? Why is she so evil all of a sudden? Clearly, she was no moral paragon before, but hardly the mustache-twirling villain we're seeing now in the comics. She's gone from malicious--humiliation spells in the Bronze, the Warren spell on Willow in The Killer in Me--to outright murderous, and the transition is a jarring jump cut for me. Being trapped in the Sunnydale crater did it, I suppose.
Hey Simon, I just realized the thread title is Clockwork Orange, but the show is called Comicbook Orange.


Good call, cheers :).

And so far,no Kennedy...


I thought that was her in issue 2 in that scene where the zombie asked the slayer to dance. If not it really looked like her.

And what on earth is up with Dark Horse printing that childish/mad rant on the letters page? They obviously want to stir things up between the 'hard core' fans out there, which is just so, so stupid of them, and rather unprofessional.


In the sense that it showed that our fandom is on occassion batshit crazy, yes. Has anyone here written to Dark Horse about Buffy season 8? Just curious. If we all write to Dark Horse with our praise or objections to the series, I'd say we'd offer them a far better selections of letters to print.

Burn in hell, Spike-hater!


We don't go for remarks like this here even when they are said in jest.

[ edited by Simon on 2007-06-07 17:26 ]
The first three issues were so uberfantastic, I felt a little let down by #4. It wasn't bad by any means, but it didn't wow me like I expected. And as others have mentioned, I thought it odd that Willow took Warren's reappearance so calmly.

The Satsu lipgloss/Cinnabuns connection was not as satisfying as finding out someone we actually know and care about has feelings for Buffy. I hope it is a red herring.

But although I wasn't too thrilled about the conclusion of this arc, the art continues to impress me.

As for the lettercol, I find it amusing month after month to see the nutty people in fandom representin' hard. It's almost as much fun as reading the bizarre personals in Willamette Week. I Googled "Shawler" to see if he had a blog, but the only relevant hits I got matched up with a poster a the Dark Horse forums who is very likely the same guy, based on the few comments he's made there.
The tension was mesmerizing. I think the series so far has been bloody brilliant and I can't wait for the next ish.
Saturn Girl I think it probably is the same poster you're taking about, and yes, he's nuts by the looks of things.


Simon I agree more 'balanced' folks should write into the letters page, but I feel Dark Horse are obviously after 'working up the fans' just so they can get more interest in the whole thing.

[ edited by sueworld2003 on 2007-06-07 17:00 ]
First time commenting here; hi, everybody!

Some scattered thoughts:

Overall, I really enjoyed the opening arc. Would it have been "Episode 1" or a two-hour season premiere? The mind reels at how it would have played out on the small screen.

I have mixed feelings about the fragmented pacing early in 8.4; it feels so unlike the pacing of the show that it's a little distracting and difficult to get into at first (page 6 is a prime example). I suppose I'll get used to it eventually.

For me the story really started to click with "No. Panic." Favorite line of the issue! And kudos to Georges Jeanty for the beautifully choreographed assault on the military and battle with Amy.

Visually, Satsu is a nice addition to the cast. It seems Georges is still finding her look though, as she's been drawn very differently in each issue so far (compare 8.1 page 2, 8.2 page 4 and this issue). Personally, I liked her look in 8.4; very Aeon Flux! Plus, how can you not like a girl whose favorite blade is a katana? ;)

Don't know if it's already been discussed, but does anyone care to speculate where all of Team Buffy's new toys and gadgets come from? That's some serious hardware the gang is sporting!
First of all, I am definitely loving this ride!

I agree with jlp - these four issues are the opening season episode - and I believe it is successful in establishing the world, the themes, and the conflicts for this season.

I also understand the challenge of trying to create an action packed opening arc to generate interest in this comic book series.

But my main concern at this point is consequences. As Spike said, that's the thing about magic - there are always consquences.

The action, as others have mentioned above, does not seem to have consequences, especially for Willow in recovering from the almost lobotomy, for Amy with the grenade, for Buffy in essentially taking out a military unit (albeit from their own destructive weapon). Without consequences, the action loses some of its meaning as you don't know what is at stake, at risk.

As much as the action is thrilling, I want the pace to slow down to give time for suggestions of behavior and personal stakes. If Buffy was in Amy's dreamscape - I wish that there had been a panel of suggestion when Buffy was wandering around with Ethan of what personal demon Amy carries with her in regards to her Mom. Then I would have been able to emotionally be with Amy for what she felt when Buffy referenced the nightmare. For me, the panel of Amy's Mom's face didn't convey the emotion stakes that would build the tension of that moment.

Hopefully, we will see more of this in the coming issues.

And the last page sent chills down my spine. Squee!
I'm far from thrilled with what the person writting that letter had to say about Buffy, but it's just one person's opinion. Just ignore it, because it makes dealing with the out there people of fandom much easier, lol.
The conclusion of the first arc is exhilarating and sad at the same time. The ambition looks enormous. So far, nobody wrote a convincing "human race vs super-human race" story.

I suppose on a RL level the situation is unsolvable. The race of superhumans can't peacefully co-exist with the race of humans. Their very existence creates a huge inferiority complex in ordinary people. They can either live in isolation from each other or fight for survival and the humans can't win by definition.

Can Joss pull off such compelling story without compromises? The tragism of "human race vs super-human race" story has a very Jossian scope, that's for sure.

But...

The choices made so far give me the impression that Joss won't dare to delve into the heart of the matter and will boil the season down to more traditional and superficial "Bad Initiative vs good slayers" story. Because he consistently eliminates any serious stuff ( is just another proof that this story doesn't need adult characters) and basically serves teenage audience with teenage love agnst, funny quips and cool fights.

I also think The Letter is carefully chosen to represent DH official policy: forget about dark themes, season 8 is about cool guys and cute girls. And a lot of cheese.

It's sad to think about the missed opportunities - but I'm trying to look forward to cheesy fun.

[ edited by Moscow Watcher on 2007-06-07 19:00 ]
True love. Satsu. Not seeing it yet. I think this is a red herring. No reason for Satsu to have true love for Buffy- and if she does, she's a goner....
You think that Joss is going to strip the story down to its superficial elements, Moscow Watcher? Really? Because that's not the feeling this issue gave me, nor does it jibe with anything else Joss has ever done.

I don't see how he consistently eliminates the serious elements of the story, and I certainly don't see Ethan's death as proof of this. If anything, that furthers the seriousness. This is going to be a messy, complicated battle Buffy's waging, and I do indeed believe we're going to see the consequences of her arrogance and presumptions come back to bite her on the ass.

It wouldn't be Joss if they didn't.
Moscow Watcher I agree with your analysis exactly.

'Cheesy is how I'd describe it too, sadly.

But maybe (and I know I keep saying this) things will improve further up the line when other characters take center stage and more of a plot develops.

It would be nice to see more of Giles for s start, but then he's not a young Nymphet in a skin tight top is he? So I suppose I'd better not hold my breath too much eh? :0

We'll just have to see how much 'screen time' the 'old man' is allowed in the Faith arc.

[ edited by sueworld2003 on 2007-06-07 19:23 ]
I have to agree with UnpluggedCrazy, that what's been set up in the first arc will lead to a messy battle, far from simplistic answers, and will have consequences for activating the potentials. I can't agree with the idea that S. 8 is teenager'ish or cheesy in any way.
Woah, wait, when did S8 become all about girls in tight clothing? Because I've read all four issues and have yet to see that happen; maybe I'm missing something, but that is very far from what's been going on.

Are people just upset other characters haven't been given enough time?

This was the season premiere, folks. If you want to set up a story about an army of Slayers warring with the human race, you sort of have to focus on an army of Slayers warring with the human race.

ETA: Glad you agree, maje! ;-) Also, I'm not meaning to offend anyone, I'm just here for polite discussion; if I seem a bit bull-headed, not the intention.

[ edited by UnpluggedCrazy on 2007-06-07 19:50 ]
Have to say I was an awful lot less than thrilled. I hope the Faith arc is better.

I think Ethan has been wasted here and the only good thing I can think of coming from what happens to him is that we might get Giles on the warpath or even Giles at all.
Buffy didn't really create a complete master race. If a slayer has a kid, the chances of the kid becoming one too is very slim. It's not a thing mothers pass down through the generations.

Ooh! What about half demons? We know they exist, but can the slayer powers be passed to a girl that's only half human? The source of the slayer power could make it an easy fit. Slayers, now with extra demonic capabilities. (And wow do I need to get back to work)

Unplugged Crazy

You think that Joss is going to strip the story down to its superficial elements, Moscow Watcher?


No. I say that he could go for a really messy and complex and uncompromising "human race vs super-human race" story or may choose a traditional and superficial "Bad Initiative vs good slayers" story. And my impression is that he will go for the latter one.

Sorry if I hadn't made it clear in the first post. English in not my native language so sometimes I have problems with expressing my thoughts.

Because that's not the feeling this issue gave me, nor does it jibe with anything else Joss has ever done.


As I said, it's just my impression. I agree that it doesn't jibe with Joss' previous work.

I don't see how he consistently eliminates the serious elements of the story, and I certainly don't see Ethan's death as proof of this. If anything, that furthers the seriousness.


OK, I'll try to explain on other examples.

Take, for example, the idea that "Slayers don't use weapons". It's quite ridiculous if you regard it from RL point of view. In issue 4 they use a mirror to reflect the ray The Initiative sends. How did they know it would be a ray? What if The Initiative sent a bomb?

Current approach to weaponry is very McGyver-ish, and it works great if we accept the fact that the story has the McGyver level of credibility - i.e. is flippant, light-minded fun with the guarantee of the happy ending.

Second example. Warren is torturing Willow, but she's OK because some magick-y superbeings help her, and, as soon as Buffy arrives, she heals herself instantly. And she can heal everybody else. But she can't restore Xander's eye. Obviously because he looks super-cool with his eye-patch.

It's playing at give-away, basically. I don't mind suspending my disbelief - but I feel in season 8 a definite return to earlier seasons when Buffy could kill a human and shrug it off.

This is going to be a messy, complicated battle Buffy's waging, and I do indeed believe we're going to see the consequences of her arrogance and presumptions come back to bite her on the ass.


Hopefully you're right. I just don't see it in the first issues.
After seeing that Dark Horse has now printed anti-Spike letters in their past two issues makes me wonder if they have a personal vendetta against Spike due to the past falling out with James Marsters. Oh well, doesn't matter to me, I'm just happy that my Spike is being taken very good care of over at IDW in the very capable hands of Brian Lynch. I am so looking forward to Angel season 6.
Unplugged Crazy said:

"I do indeed believe we're going to see the consequences of her arrogance and presumptions come back to bite her on the ass."

I'm not seeing Buffy's arrogance or presumption here. And I somehow can't imagine that Joss is heading towards a storyline where Buffy's power share was a arrogant disastrous thing to do. Just because a guy in uniform says something...it doesn't make it right.
1. I haven't even received #3 from TFAW yet, let alone #4. This sucks since I always get to read the story from the spoiler thread while I'm doing my job as a moderator. By the time the comics arrive there's no point reading them anymore.

2. Ethan dead? Ah, bugger. I'm not likely to scream bloody murder, but I rather liked the Rayne.
No reason for Satsu to have true love for Buffy- and if she does, she's a goner....

Dana5140

There is never any reason for true love, and yes, Satsu is now marked for a painful horrible death (after which Buffy will learn of the unrequited love thing).
karosurly:
Who are the five that grant Willow refuge? Earth, water, and ... a Wookiee? Art and reason? Is that the inside of Willow's brain? *scratches head*

Pointy:
I've got Earth, Wind and Fire and Hair and Math.

swanjun
Earth, Wind, Fire, Instinct, and Logic? :)

I read them as goddesses: Earth, Water, Art, something very animal-based (Instinct or Spirit?), and Reason/Logic. Sort of like part of 5 elements (earth, water, fire, air, spirit) without Air and with a Human portion broken down into creative vs. logical elements.

sueworld2003:
And what on earth is up with Dark Horse printing that childish/mad rant on the letters page? They obviously want to stir things up between the 'hard core' fans out there, which is just so, so stupid of them, and rather unprofessional.

I disagree. I was impressed actually. Running letters from people who disagree with you is a pretty good move from a professional viewpoint. Especially when you know you're going to get replies to those that you can print later. Most importantly, Dark Horse obviously picked passionate and well-written letters from among their negative mail. It's a good move, and unlike some rants of similar emotional feeling that I've read on the internet, the writers had obviously put a lot of real thought into the letters. I don't agree with any of their opinions, but I think that was sort of the point-- to get people like me with conflicting views to write in, and to show differences in opinion within the fan base. I thought it was handled quite well, even though the opinions made me cringe a bit.

I don't know what I think about this issue overall yet. I have to think about it more. Some good things, some others that weren't what I expected at all and that I have to process more.

I do know the part I liked best on my first read: Buffy picking Satsu for her backup. I think she's the most like Buffy, and it's always nice to see some things come full circle.
I feel in season 8 a definite return to earlier seasons when Buffy could kill a human and shrug it off.

I'm with you, Moscow Watcher, in not loving the excessive (and inconsistent) use of magic we've seen so far. It does trivialize things too much and invites a certain amount of MacGyver-like flippancy that is generally alien to the televised version of the Buffyverse. But I don't recall Buffy ever shrugging off killing humans, in the earlier seasons or any other season.
I thought Earth, Air, Art, Logic and Wookie (or Animal, Vegetable, Mineral and, er..) were maybe the Coven? Well, their extra-dimensional avatars or something.
I enjoyed this first episode (or Season Premier) of season 8. But I really wish I were patient enough to wait for trades. I mean, I don't even watch the TV show an episode at a time--usually a disc at a time--so this one-episode-spread-over-four-months comic-book timing is difficult to get used to. But I persevere.
If Satsu really is the true-love kisser, then I'm sure we're going to know a LOT more about who she is and why she did it before the season is over.
Many years from now.
Ooh, good point about the coven, jcs.

Joss needs to come enlighten us! :)
Sign me up with the underwhelmed...not because I expected a big finale, but because this wrapped up too much too neatly, and because I felt like it wasn't on the level of the last three. ::shrug:: I'll still be waiting impatiently for #5.

I just can't see Satsu as the kisser. Joss wouldn't throw in something as intense as "true love's kiss" (cliched as it may be at this point, it's still an intense concept) and then throw it away on a character we barely know or care about. He's got something bigger coming out of that than a lip gloss-induced reveal. Besides, I'm not sure I can get onboard with a chick who uses a stuffed animal head as a shoulder pad...(;

I also agree with the magic-solving-everything issue; it's a big part of my problem with the Willow/Warren situation being wrapped up so easily and neatly (though I also agree with those saying she should have been at least a LITTLE upset that the freak who killed Tara was lobotomizing her). If Willow starts using magic for everything, or it solves every problem the slayer army has, what was the point of Tara doing all that objecting to her overuse of magic, the addiction, the evil Willow phase, and her recovery?

On the upside, that last page? Best yet. Gave me chills. Slayers vs. the world? Hell yes. Also chill-inducing: Buffy's comment about how the Twilight guys couldn't stand the idea of women having power...I know he wrote this script before he wrote about Dua Khalil's tragedy, but Joss was definitely channeling his future (continuing?) outrage.
I wish that Dark Horse could have shown better judgement before printing a letter as venomous as that one.

Sure...it's just one person's opinion, but I still think a letter like that shouldn't get any attention.

I'm not saying to only print the ones that glorify the project...but CLEARLY this person has issues with certain characters, especially Spike...and it sounds like he has his own axe to grind.
Why give him a public forum to insult fans who don't share his opinions, are not Spike haters (or any other character haters for that matter) and just might be pleased with the comics.

The solution is simple...if you don't like the Buffy S8 or the future ATS S6 comics...just don't buy them.

If Dark Horse feels it's worthwhile to keep printing fan's 'hate mail', it makes me feel a lot better that IDW is handling the Angel comics.
The use of magic is one of the major things bothering me, too. To be fair, it's a very tricky part of writing a world that includes magic. But Buffy writers have always put a lot of thought into the repercussions of it, so my pondering is kind of open-ended at the moment.

And mostly my reaction to "Slayers vs. humanity" was oh no. Similar to Buffy and Satsu mortally wounding soldiers: yikes.
Sunfire Sorry that 'letter' wasn't well thought out at all, nor worded well. It just came across as a mad rant.

If Dark Horse are encouraging that kind of balmy response in their readership, well then they've gone down in my estimation a wee bit.
Moscow Watcher said:
Take, for example, the idea that "Slayers don't use weapons". It's quite ridiculous if you regard it from RL point of view. In issue 4 they use a mirror to reflect the ray The Initiative sends. How did they know it would be a ray? What if The Initiative sent a bomb?


Slayers avoiding guns seems quite sensible if they usually fight demons. Guns as we’ve seen several times on Angel are far less lethal to demons than humans caught in the crossfire. The real question is why Darla is the only smart vampire.

As for sending a bomb through the portal has there ever been a Jossverse portal that let inanimate objects through when not attached to the living/unloving? Enrgy rays may quite reasonable circumvate that rule and the use of mirrors provides both a great line and links back to the original defeat of Catherine Madison.

Second example. Warren is torturing Willow, but she's OK because some magick-y superbeings help her, and, as soon as Buffy arrives, she heals herself instantly. And she can heal everybody else. But she can't restore Xander's eye. Obviously because he looks super-cool with his eye-patch.


She can cure recent wounds but not replace missing organs? Willow has issues that just reek of set up for future Willow-centric ‘episodes.’ How she feels about Warren/Amy, how Kennedy got herself killed, what the deal is with these elementals. Unlike Buffy or Xander we get no voiceovers into her thought processes.

I also don’t see how you can call a story that ends with an organization claiming to represent the human race declaring war on Buffy and the Slayers and Buffy accepting light-minded fun.

[ edited by hayes62 on 2007-06-07 21:43 ]
But I don't recall Buffy ever shrugging off killing humans, in the earlier seasons or any other season.
1starbuckstown


In The Pack she accidentally kills the zookeeper and then makes a cute "oops! sorry!"gesture. And nobody seem bothered with it.

In Spiral she kills several humans and the issue is never addressed.

Most importantly, Dark Horse obviously picked passionate and well-written letters from among their negative mail. It's a good move, and unlike some rants of similar emotional feeling that I've read on the internet, the writers had obviously put a lot of real thought into the letters. I don't agree with any of their opinions, but I think that was sort of the point-- to get people like me with conflicting views to write in, and to show differences in opinion within the fan base.
Sunfire


It's sad that all the negative fanmail is focused on Spike. I may be wrong but it looks like DH wants to create the impression that Spike is the most hated character in Buffyverse.
Okay, so, I really liked this one a lot. I think the first four issues are realy the first episode (I can't possible be the only one who was hearing the theme song after Amy's reveal in issue #1). I think Joss did a great job of setting up the remainder of the season. I love slayers vs. the world! I was wondering how Joss was going to make a bigger, badder big bad than the First. And that final page reminded me so much of the final page in Astonishing #1 it's crazy. Chills galore.

I do agree that Willow should've had a bit of torment from Warren being around and lobotomizing her, though. Maybe that's still coming up. We haven't seen a whole ton of Will, yet. There's still time.
I should have said, re: that rather intemperate letter - well said, Brian Lynch.
As for sending a bomb through the portal has there ever been a Jossverse portal that let inanimate objects through when not attached to the living/unliving? Enrgy rays may quite reasonable circumvate that rule and the use of mirrors provides both a great line and links back to the original defeat of Catherine Madison.

hayes62


I don't remember any mention in any show that portals don't let inanimate objects through. But that's not the point. The very idea of fighting against bad humans without weapons sounds McGyver-ish. I reiterate that there is nothing wrong with it. It's just a different genre - action comedy with a guarantee of happy ending.

I also don’t see how you can call a story that ends with an organization claiming to represent the human race declaring war on Buffy and the Slayers and Buffy accepting light-minded fun.

hayes62


I repeat that it's just my impression - but I see no room for adult characters and adult themes in this story. It's very season one-ish so far. I'm sure that The Initiative is only claiming tо represent the human race and we'll soon find out they're a bunch of evil misogynists and Scoobies will defeat them with quips and jokes.
Hey... Does anyone else think that wookiee looks kind of like a werewolf? Sort of... Maybe... Kinda? I donno.
I was seriously disappointed to the point of thinking that if this is how comics are done, I have no interest in them. I may feel different later, but right now I do not see this as the end of an arc. It just stopped in the middle of a bunch of stuff sort of happening that is not going to be picked up for, what, 7 months maybe. I find that just annoying.

I also did not think much happened. There was way too much recap and almost no content. Willow being magically unharmed seemed incredibly cheap. The dialog between Buffy and the guy at the end felt like the point was being beaten into me with a big club. Amy and Warren are not terribly interesting and are alive (Ugh). Ethan Rayne had seemed like he was going to be interesting, but he's gone. (So much for that.)

I liked the first three, but that was when I thought there would be a certain amount of closure in the fourth. I actually feel pretty ripped off right now.
True love. Satsu. Not seeing it yet. I think this is a red herring. No reason for Satsu to have true love for Buffy- and if she does, she's a goner....

It's been over a year since we've last seen Buffy. They could have been working together for months, possibly close to the full year we didn't see. It's entirely possible for intense feelings to develop in that time. It took Willow/Tara less than half a season to reach that, same with Xander being into Buffy in season 1... and if we talk real life for a second, feelings like that can still develop in less time, especially with the close quarters.

Plus, considering this is a medium with limited space for dialogue and development each issue, I don't think the kiss is going to end up any more complex than what it seems to be. Why waste precious panels on a pointless, extremely subtle mislead like that and any resulting investigation down the line? If any mislead would be worthwhile, it would be one that indicated a character we did care about, then it turned out to be a newcomer.

The only thing that might make me doubt it is that Satsu isn't actually shown in the crowd around the bed. But we don't actually see everyone's face, so that's not a dealbreaker.
BtVS has always avoided its heroes using projectile weapons and yet managed to clock up plenty of tragedy, even the much maligned S1 ended with Buffy dying and Xanders best friend was killed in the first episode. Just because the comics may share the no guns trope with McGyver doesn't make them identical in other respects.

I understand that people have the impression that the story is lite but I'm not really seeing where that impression is coming from. Ethan got shot for his one shot at redemption and interestingly the implication is that he was sent to that lethal institution by Buffy and Riley back in S4. Warren'n'Amy being back on the rampage is equally fallout from Willow's attempted vengeance on the one and neglect of the other. Even without the questions being raised about the long term wisdom of activating the potentials our heroes are attracting some serious consequences for their past actions that I can't see Joss passing up the chance to explore.
Moscow Watcher:
In The Pack she accidentally kills the zookeeper and then makes a cute "oops! sorry!"gesture.

No, she really doesn't: what she does is 1) tosses the zookeeper over her shoulder as he runs at her, 2) runs to the bars surrounding the hyena enclosure when she sees what's happened (getting there too late to pull him out,) and 3) turns away with a slightly nauseated expression.

As far as the Knights in "Spiral," they were trying to kill her and the rest of the gang, so there's no real issue to be addressed by the others. If a person doesn't want to die today, they should really think about that before trying to kill someone else (who might turn out to be better at it...)
"I repeat that it's just my impression - but I see no room for adult characters and adult themes in this story. It's very season one-ish so far. "

Ive never understood this: adult themes? Like there are parts of life that only adults experience or that when you are 18 you suddenly get your adult card and you suddenly become more mature and able to deal with the problems that "adults" face? I dont know, I don't understand (and maybe you would like to explain this to me more--it could be that I am really dense but I have read all your posts and still dont understand what you are talking about) what the difference between adult themes and teenager themes are, heck the last time that Buffy was a teenager she blew up her school and year earlier she was basically called a whore and killed Angel. I just don't see the difference between adult themes and lite teenage themes because Buffy has never really been fluffy and bunny like.

"I'm sure that The Initiative is only claiming tо represent the human race and we'll soon find out they're a bunch of evil misogynists and Scoobies will defeat them with quips and jokes."

You mean like they did with Caleb in season 7? Just wondering Moscow...

I did like the comic, I immediately thought of Cadmus and The Justice League when the humanity vs Buffy came up, but I still dont know how I feel about this overall. If its the kind of story that Bruce Timm told, then sign me up (hopefully its not the exactly the same), but if its something else, then I kinda fear what might happen. I heard Joss once say that he didnt have faith in humanity, and now Buffy's enemy is humanity. Makes me wonder but other than that, its good to be back in Buffy...

Uh, metaphorically of course...:)
The anti-Spike letter was just one fan's extreme opinion, and Dark Horse should not be faulted for choosing to print it any more than a newspaper should be faulted for printing whacko letters to the editor. I would not perceive the choice to print that particular letter as any intent to stir up fandom...all Dark Horse wants from readers is for people to buy their comics, and I'm sure the staff there could care less what fans say to each other or think about particular characters as long as they read and enjoy their product.
Hayes, I don't think we're to see any implication that Buffy is responsible for Ethan's death.(I'm not even sure we're to see that this military guy speaks for the entire military/human race, remember he seems to keep that symbol hidden from other military personnel) Nor do I think we're to see any implication that Willow is responsible for Amy or Warren. I think the picasso like figure is supposed to represent the balance of good Willow/dark Willow with Willow keeping that balance even as Warren tries to get dark Willow to reemerge. If anything, I think the reappeance of Warren as a nasty threatening reminder of what he was is an answer to those who argue that Willow is forever damaged because she killed an 'innocent' human.

I do think the characters seem more season oneish but there is a difference. They seem okay with themselves. Xander admits he's not a fighter without any of the 'not a super power like my friends' baggage. Willow and Buffy seem at peace with their power and more importantly with each other's power.

And most importantly, Buffy shows no guilt about her 'darkness' at the end. She's not exactly buying the guilt trip the military guy is trying to sell her.
I'm sorry, Saturn Girl, but I don't see how printing a letter like that would make Dark Horse think it would make me want to buy their comic. And it certainly did NOT increase the enjoyment of their product for me. Did they not have any other letters to choose from? I know they will be getting a letter from me in the near future, but I doubt if we will see it in print.
I'm sure that The Initiative is only claiming tо represent the human race and we'll soon find out they're a bunch of evil misogynists and Scoobies will defeat them with quips and jokes
MW
You mean like they did with Caleb in season 7? Just wondering Moscow...
jerryst3161


Exactly. Quoting Joss (from the Chosen script):

BUFFY
He had to split.

She snorts with dorkish laughter.


I think we'll read similar quips when she'll destroy evil leaders of the New Initiative.

I know they will be getting a letter from me in the near future, but I doubt if we will see it in print.
luvspike


Don't bother writing to them, luvspike. I wrote to DH when they had printed the first anti-Spike letter. I asked if it was an official partyline or they may also print the opposite opinion. I think another anti-Spike message in this issue may be regarded as a reply to my letter.

[ edited by Moscow Watcher on 2007-06-07 23:43 ]
Luvspike - I encourage you to send a letter, and hope it does get published. I'd love to see fellow Whedonesquers' names in print.

But I still think getting upset with Dark Horse over printing that reader's ranty letter is pointless. I remember reading old comic book letter columns where readers passionately begged for the death of Character X, and it certainly did not mean the publisher endorsed the readers' opinion in any way.
Regarding the letter and at the risk of flogging a dead horse, let's keep a sense of perspective about the whole thing. It wasn't solely an anti-Spike letter. I would like to point out that the letter heavily criticised several characters in just about equal fashion. It wasn't just Spike getting it in the neck, it was also Buffy, Willow and Angel. I disagreed with what was said but Dark Horse printed it and that was their call. Such is the way of comic books.
I had decided to buy all the issues as they came out, but now I am seriously considering buying only the TPB's and then waiting until the entire series is over to read them. That may be the only way to make this work for me if these comics are going to crawl along giving snippets of character and then abandoning them for many months at a time. I just cannot afford to get this frustrated over something so unimportant.

The nasty letter started out about Spike but really did go after everybody who wasn't Xander...and somebody else. (I don't remember who. I only read it once and have no desire to read it again.) I am in agreement that Dark Horse is just looking to stir-up something with the fans. Like we really need that. I have no doubt they had gotten other letters they could have printed that were negative but less aggressive and nutso. Those letters, however, would not have gotten Angel fans et al up in arms along with the Spike fans. Dark Horse's apparent interest in aiding fan wars did not help the bad taste I had in my mouth from the issue itself.

I'm going to go outside and garden.
Moscow Watcher:

It's sad that all the negative fanmail is focused on Spike. I may be wrong but it looks like DH wants to create the impression that Spike is the most hated character in Buffyverse.

There was the one negative letter that mentioned Tara (or rather her absence) in an earlier comic. But yes, Spike is the main recurring subject of the negative letters in this thread. Note that the letter is just as insulting to Buffy, and pretty negative about seasons 6 and 7 and the comic all together, yet Spike is the recurrent topic here. The topic's prominent in the letter, but it's far from the topic. But Spike hit a nerve here.

For the record, I neither love Spike nor hate him. He's often my favorite character, but sometimes I dislike him. Which is kind of the point, I think. So I don't get pissed when people diss him. But Buffy's altogether different-- I do. And saying that Spike "raped Buffy of her humanity" is a pretty strong statement that I don't agree with at all.

It's an editorial section. It's supposed to hit a nerve. That's its job. If everyone agreed with me and said Buffy, Willow, and Season 6 are awesome, it wouldn't be.

I'm not trying to defend the letter, just the decision to run it. Dark Horse ran a letter that was very negative about Buffy #1. And while I'm not nominating the letter for any writing awards, I think that among the fan mail Dark Horse receives, the vast majority of the negative mail is probably not nearly as well written or thought out as that letter. I'm sure Dark Horse could have had its pick among much weaker letters that said negative things about the comic in particular, but they chose that one. And they ran the Tara letter too, without any response. They didn't have to do that. Of course they want to create buzz in the community, but you can do that with or without class, and in my opinion (and the Spike supporters here will disagree with me on this one), they are doing it with some class. Particularly in the editor's response to the letter about Buffy #1.

Hate the Spike-haters all you want, but Dark Horse deserves better.

On preview: what others have now said better. Nah, I'm hitting "post" anyway. My fingers, they typed all this. Stupid thoughts.

[ edited by Sunfire on 2007-06-08 00:09 ]
Sunfire
Hate the Spike-haters all you want


Sunfire, you've misunderstood me. I don't hate anybody. This letter just makes me sad.
Moscow...I think if you gave the first few seasons a real chance you might find that you have them all wrong. Buffy dealt with extreme adult themes in the early years, the character was just a teen-ager when she did it. There is a difference.
For the record, I can't think of a human that Buffy ever "killed" that wasn't out of self defense. Buffy was the forgiver of the gang. Always there to turn the other cheek and offer another chance...unless ofcourse you were trying to kill her or her gang and even then, on occasion she forgave and forgot. Willow, Spike and Andrew are all proof of that. Angel too for that matter.

All this hubub about the angry fan and Spike....it wasn't just Spike you know. It was a slam against Buffy and Angel too. That person is angry and venting to the only medium of Buffy left. I really don't see it as that big of a deal. Just write a positive letter, maybe they will put it in next time.
The only thing that might make me doubt it is that Satsu isn't actually shown in the crowd around the bed.


I actually went back and checked yesterday because I was curious: Satsu is indeed in the crowd around the bed. On the page where Buffy wakes up she's in the third long, horizontal panel down, the third person to the right of Willow.
Best thing to do about the letter is ignore it. It's the rantings of a very bitter person who has issues with the show and comic. Leave them to stew in their own juices and don't rise to the bait Dark Horse has laid out. They quite clearly want to get a reaction so they can print it. Don't give it to them.
Well I enjoyed the issue, but probably my least favourite so far. As others have said, Willow's power is a problem because she's just too strong. How do you put your other characters in peril if she can do almost anything? I was actually pretty worried that Willow was going to be badly injured by Warren as a way of limiting her powers. That she wasn't was at first a relief and then a bit of a disappointment as the problem continues.

I keep trying to think through how the Amy saving Warren retcon can make sense and keep rewriting this paragraph (it was long and really nit-picking before), but I've got appropriately bored now, so in summary it just doesn't work (or it's too complex for my human brain). Best to move on and not think about it too hard. Willow's hair really should be black in the flashback though.

Not sure that Satsu kissed Buffy. In issue 3 the girl who looks a bit like her on the left as Willow is shouting instructions has blue eyes, whereas Satsu clearly has brown eyes in issue 4. Could just be a mistake or maybe she's out of frame, but as mentioned by others, the lip gloss could easily be a mislead so I'm keeping an open mind.

Shame about Ethan. It was a good shock, but I'd have loved to see a face off with Giles/Ripper. What's the significance of the B(t)VS symbol in the last panel? Compared to the normal BtVS font it's very jagged and harsh and with those colours it looks pretty evil - which is pretty exciting.

Edited to add: karosurly - surely the girl three to the right of Willow has the wrong hair colour - brown rather than black. Just noticed that I'm a bit obsessed by colour. I'll look into that.

[ edited by cypher on 2007-06-08 01:50 ]
And Willow migh tnot be Willow; I've seen that idea floated around.

As to the letter, take it from a person who spent 2 decades editing, there are lots of reasons to run negative letters like that, and the decision to do so can be tactical and strategic. Take it for nothing more than what it is, and forget about it. :-)
It's the rantings of a very bitter person who has issues with the ... comic


Issues with the comic? I've got issues!

Four, to be exact.

*cue "Johnny's Theme" from The Tonight Show*
Did we ever learn who was watching Buffy & co. storm the citadel, way back in the first issue? Right after they kill the demons, while they're discussing the symbol, there's a final panel of someone in black boots, black pants and a black coat, hovering high up above them. Even with the arc finished, I still can't figure out who it was. Both Amy and Warren were in custody of the Army guys at that point, and I can't think of anyone else in the arc that could potentially fly, other than Willow.

Anyone know? Or is this one of those mysteries yet to be solved?
This wasn't my favorite issue, but the awesomeness of that last page completely makes up for it.

I'm not sure if someone's already mentioned this, but does anyone else think that issue 5 will be about one of the slayers impersonating Buffy? After all, it's someone Joss wouldn't have thought about before the comics, and given that cover art--I think it's got to be.
Ramses, I completely agree about the General being an unreliable source but his arguments are close enough to what Buffy and Co know of their origins to make the coming war extremely murky. One of the things I love about the final page of the comic is that Buffy doesn't immediately go Churchill on the General. She hesitates, she thinks about it and then she decides.

As to being responsible for Ethan I didn't mean that she was the active cause of his death or that Willow was solely or even directly responsible for Warren. But they're adults now and that means having to start to think about factors like contributory negligence. Buffy never checked what kind of facility she sent Ethan to. Willow, it now appears, didn't make sure that she'd finished the job with Warren and neglected rat!Amy's plight for years.
there are lots of reasons to run negative letters like that, and the decision to do so can be tactical and strategic
Such as attempting to attract the attention of those Spike & Angel fans that may be feeling disenfranchised by this series?

I think the 5 elemental thingys are animal, vegetable, water, science and art.

Over all I've been enjoying the series, but I have several unanswered questions. Whose feet did we see floating in the sky in issue #1? How did Ethan get into Buffy's dreamspace & why did he even want to in the first place? How did The First appear as Warren if he wasn't really dead? And how many fingers am I holding up?...oh wait...I know that last one.

Although I realise the season has just gotten started, I too am concerned about the cavalier use of magic to solve everything. But perhaps it's actually being purposely used that way and will eventually be revealed as part of the over-all plot. And I agree with Moscow Watcher, the target audience appears largely to be teenage boys.
I assumed that the floating guy was Ethan Rayne's...projection (?). I cannot come up with a better term right now. He was a sorcerer so I'm thinking he used what powers he had to piggyback on Amy's magic and bring him to Buffy. Of course he may have had help.

I read the whole four issues again last night with a friend who had not read them at all. I thought that maybe that would help with how I was feeling about the fourth issue. I found I liked the first three more than I did before and that they really stood up. However my opinion really did not change much about this last issue, and my friend had exactly the same reaction that I did. If this were a 6 issue arc I would feel this was just a weak issue. As is, I just don't understand how this is called an arc at all. I also found myself really resenting the space spent on fighting. I know it is a big part of BtVS and of comics in general, but I felt like I do when I go to movies where they bombard you with "action" and strip away actual story development. I guess I have been right all these years and comics are really just not my thing.
Yeah, I agree.

I know these comics are aimed at young boys/men who typically 'get off' on young women fighting in this sort of comic, but fighting in Buffy (as the years went on anyway) didn't play that great a part in the proceedings. What made the series great was the character driven story lines and dialog.

I also know that to keep the 'fan boys' interested those fights had to be in there, but I for one found them dull.

And the death of Ethan...what huge, huge waste of wonderful character.

Sorry Joss. :0
anindoorkitty asked:
Whose feet did we see floating in the sky in issue #1?

It's a secret.
How did Ethan get into Buffy's dreamspace & why did he even want to in the first place?

Ethan is part of Amy's dreamspace, which got mixed together with Buffy's when Amy cast her true-love spell. Exactly how Ethan is able to communicate with Buffy through Amy isn't clear. As for why he would do this, my best guess is he's hoping Buffy will save him in exchange for the information he provides that helps her fight Amy.
How did The First appear as Warren if he wasn't really dead?

In Issue 4, Warren briefly mentions the last moments of his "human life," implying that whatever he is now is not quite human -- just enough gray area for a contorted retcon explanation such as: The First took the form of Warren's dead human life, but not the flayed (undead?) revenant that he is today, or whatever.
Um, I think what's generally true of comics (being written for a male demographic) is not necessarily true of this comic. It's pretty much written for people who were into the show and wanted more. And that seems to cover both genders pretty well from what I've noted.

Moscow Watcher: I didn't meant to imply that you in particular hated anyone. I'm glad that you don't. I was commenting on the general anger directed toward Dark Horse, and I meant the reference to your comment to be an example of the interpretation of the letter as a Spike letter. Sorry about that.

On to my Season 8 subtitle guess:
Season 8: Twilight

Of course it's most likely wrong (reason to keep that a secret?), but I did have the thought. Also I noticed that Ethan made a reference to it in Buffy #3.

The black-booted individual remains a mystery to me. I now scrutinize all character's shoes (that Georges Jeanty draws interesting shoes!), but I have yet to notice any black boots.

Also, my new question (apologies if it's been covered before): Why doesn't Amy magically heal Warren rather than give him a magic skin?
I think the comic is geared towards the fans of BTVS first and foremost. Joss has taken care to include wonderful shiny snippets from the actual series at almost every turn. This is the return of Buffy Anne Summers for heavens sakes. Sorry to be so blunt in my response but no way is this targeted for "young boys/men". It's a gift from Joss to his long term, been there from the beginning fans and what a gift it is. It's freaking wonderful.

There are a multitude of reasons that BTVS was great. Joss writing it, finding SMG to play Buffy, the incredible supporting cast, the wonderful atmosphere of Sunnydale California in the Cemetary, library, bronze, etc., the humor, drama, angst of the characters in their daily lives,...
There was also the kick ass fight scenes. I loved them in the series and I love them in the comic. This isn't a second look at party of five, this is Buffy and in Buffy there will be fighting.
Try to imagine any of the really big moments without the fight scenes. Try Becoming, Graduation Day, The Gift or Chosen. Doesn't really work. Joss has to stay true to what Buffy is. IMO, he is doing that.
Why doesn't Amy magically heal Warren rather than give him a magic skin?

I think, Sunfire, that Amy knows love only as domination, and a skin-bearing Warren would not be utterly dependent on her. He could leave.

Amy’s warped idea of love comes from her mother, a monster of domination. She subordinated Amy’s desires to her own, even subordinated Amy’s identity to her own (putting her own consciousness in her daughter's body).

Amy’s jealous of Willow because Willow has received unconditional love. "The Killer in Me” revealed this to be why Amy put a penance hex on Willow, one that manifested as Willow’s transformation into Warren.

I’m guessing (the question hasn’t been answered yet) that Amy magically constructed a skinless Warren to further punish Willow. His appearance alone reminds Willow of her worst crime. And his attempted lobotomy of Willow echoes how Amy’s mom treated her own daughter: cutting her off from her own desires, then robbing her of her mind and her life.

This first arc is raising some profound issues of power and love.

ETA extra coherence.

ETA a guess: Skinless Warren's some kind of a magical meat puppet, the equivalent of a Love-bot. He's a manifestation of Amy's desire to play out an elevating tale of Good Amy intervening to rescue a dude in distress from Evil Willow. Amy gets to hear herself described as loving and generous--but only by her toy.

[ edited by Pointy on 2007-06-08 16:03 ]
Well said, cheryl. Well said. Edited to add: and Pointy, too. And for that matter, a hearty "well said" to anyone who believes, as I do, that these four comics raise some profound and satisfyingly complex issues for our Buffster and the scoobies. "At war with the human race," eh? Yikes. I love it. I love, too, the blowback from the creation of all those Potentials. And perhaps we'll also see a return to the fundamental problem of Buffy having come back from the dead (twice), thus causing big problems only vaguely but thunderingly referred to by the Eye of What'sIt'sName (Biljoxa? Having a brain blip.)

I have never been a comics reader and have struggled a bit trying to get with the program with the Buffy comics, but my struggles have paid off. There's a hell of a lot of "thick description" (I can say that, I'm a professional anthropologist! :)) in these comics that lies between and around the words and the seemingly primary images. I'm thrilled with the first arc. Thrilled. If Joss returned to TV I'd be even more thrilled, but that's my bias and perhaps will always be. I am still thrilled with what we've got here and now.

As for Joss aiming this just-getting-started story at adolescent boys .....argh. I'm an enormous but not slavish Joss fan. He can misstep, imo. But I just don't buy it.

[ edited by phlebotinin on 2007-06-08 15:14 ]
Though I personally like Pointy's explanation better....it may be that you can't heal what ain't there. No skin left? No skin to heal. If witches could go around creating skin (or other organs), Xander wouldn't be all patchy. One would assume.
Well more men and young boys buy comics then women and so if Dark Horse are in the business of trying to sell as many as they can, then they are going to be trying to target that market as well as the section of 'hard core' fans of the original TV show.

Sadly 'profound' isn't a word that I personally would use to describe what I've read so far. But it's a case of 'Horses for courses' and it turns out that so far this comic isn't really 'doing it for me at all'.

But hey, it's early days yet and maybe it will get better.

[ edited by sueworld2003 on 2007-06-08 15:22 ]
I enjoyed the issue.

I'm still learning how to read these comics though! During my first read of them I will usually end up skipping at least half the dialogue!

As for the Spike-rant in the letters column; was that really needed? Do we really need to hear why some angry random doesn't want to see more of our two favourite vamps? To quote the writer of the letter... it was disgusting!
Hayes wrote:
"But they're adults now and that means having to start to think about factors like contributory negligence. Buffy never checked what kind of facility she sent Ethan to. Willow, it now appears, didn't make sure that she'd finished the job with Warren and neglected rat!Amy's plight for years."

There is no contributory negligence. They are indeed adults now, and part of what I thought we learned from season 7 Lessons onward was that you can't be responsible for everything. Other people have choices to make in their life as well, including Warren and Amy. I also don't see how Buffy placing Ethan in the Initiative's custody in season 4 could be seen as rash in any way, sure (we) know they're rather iffy but even as far as season 7, Buffy was counting them as allies. Buffy herself never knows what we learn about the Initiative in Angel 5.

And let's look at Ethan, I was excited to see him in the comics, amorally dangerous, from the past we knew that when he came to Sunnydale angsty questions and self doubt weren't far behind. He wasn't just a bad guy, he was the master of chaos, able to use humanity and all it's foibles as weapons.(So what should have Buffy done to Ethan back in season 4? Hand him over to Watcher's wetworks? Jail for changing Giles into a monster? Or good guy Riley's demon hunting organization?)

Ethan was powerful, and it looked as if he were plenty powerful in this first arc. He may have been 'helping' Buffy, but if we go back and look at the sequences where he was 'helping' we'll see an uneasy Buffy who has fears about herself that are then voiced by the military guy at the end.(Interesting connection)

So what exactly were the first three installments about? Why have the first installments be about what used to be Ethan's stock and trade? Inner turmoil and roiling self doubt. Ethan's hitched a ride into Buffy's dreamscape via Amy presumably, but there is the implication that he's been in Amy's dreamscape as well. So was Ethan really bidding for redemption or was he doing what he has always done....finding a way to hobble a hero and make a mess of whatever plans, good or bad were afoot.

It's interesting that Buffy(who's dreams appear to signal that she's bought into the self doubts again) goes to free Ethan(master of self doubt) but finds him dead at the hands of someone who tells her that it would have been better if the First had won the battle.(The First who also used self doubt and guilt as weapons...the same Big Bad that Buffy told to get out of her face).......I'd say it's being hammered home that Buffy(and Willow and Xander)have no contributory negligence on their plate. Those same guilts don't work as well anymore.

And I don't think the story is going to be about rash arrogance and 'what did you do Buffy', so far we haven't got a single hint that Buffy's power share was ill considered. And if I had to guess, any story about a bad slayer will address that there was no contributory negligence at play on Buffy's part. The power was/is part of the girl, what she chooses to do with it is her responsibility. Buffy cannot be held responsible for everything. She freed them all, the whole line could look forward to growing up and not dying young. But that also implies that Buffy cannot be held responsible for their adult choices.
Mr. Pointy, great post! I like your take on Warren/Amy & hadn't thought of anything like that myself.
Sueworld2003, I agree with your point that DarkHorse wants to target their sales to optimize revenues however, there is no way Joss Whedon is going to let anyone (especially his publisher) push the series in any direction but his own personal vision. This isn't Hollywood and he isn't being handed little notes from executives dictating changes. I'm certain he'd walk away before being forced to change (ala Wonder Woman).

One other note, I dont know a single "young boy" that purchases new comic books. Comics today, in general, are written for thirtysomethings--adult content abounds and cover prices restrict kids. Kids would rather spend that money on video games and MP3s versus a 3 dollar pamphlet that is finished in 10 or 15 minutes. IMO.
Newcj, I think the term you are looking for is "astral projection." Or at least that's the term I came up with when I thought that floaty boots guy could be Ethan Rayne, scoping out the sitch. Still it's not conclusively Ethan - the long black coat makes me think of Spike or Angel, (although last we knew neither of them had hovercraft powers and was the scene in daytime? don't remember and don't have it here), or possibly the ghost of Johnny Cash.

For those objecting to he kiss of true love coming from a new character, the whole thing is obviously a set-up for development down the line.

One problem I am having with the comic series is that Buffy looks and sounds younger than she did by the end of the television series. Sarah Geller/Buffy, was distinctly a young woman by the last couple of seasons. She had an adult proportioned face and overall leaner look. The cover art is really great at capturing that look, but interior, big-eyed, plump-cheeked comic Buffy looks about 16. (I also notice that Xander's face has adult proportions, but Willow like Buffy gets the doe-eye treatment although it's less jarring with her perhaps because Alyson Hannigan actually did retain more of that look as she matured.) Buffy's comic look makes it harder for me to hear her in my head as the same character, and may be why some of us are getting more of a teenage vibe off this "season".
barboo I agree, they look like they've grown younger, not older. Weird stuff.

Anyhoo, maybe 'young boys' aren't buying them (infact comic sales across the board have been slowly dropping over the last few years and Video games sales increasing in popularity with comics old audience young kids) but it's still a fact that more men are interested in comics then women.

And no, I doubt that Joss is plotting the story the way that he has been beacuse Dark Horse is 'prodding him' to do so, he's just 'wandering down' that particular road, because he wants to.

[ edited by sueworld2003 on 2007-06-08 16:17 ]
Buffy cannot be held responsible for everything. She freed them all, the whole line could look forward to growing up and not dying young. But that also implies that Buffy cannot be held responsible for their adult choices.


But that's just the problem. The majority of these girl aren't adults. Maybe Buffy was able to handle her responsibilities as a Slayer in a adult fashion, but there's no guarantee that the others will. In fact, it would be unrealistic to assume so. Buffy can't be held responsible for everyone's actions, true, but she also has to start looking at the long-term consequences of the choices she makes.
There have been a lot of great and interesting points raised here, and I feel kind of bad about making another reply to those who keep insisting that the comics are aimed at young boys who like girls in skimpy clothes kicking ass.

Er...if you didn't have a problem with the fighting in the show...which is largely similar to the fighting in the comics, even if the comics are on a larger scale...why do you have a problem with it now? I just don't get it.

And there is no way in hell that Joss is going to let anything he does become about bimbos in tight clothes beating stuff up. Ever.

ETA: One complaint I seem to be seeing a lot is that the arc is over, and so much still hasn't been touched upon. Why are so many seeming to assume that now that this arc is over, these points won't be raised later? I genuinely get new comics readers having a trouble with the long wait in between issues, and that's not what I'm fussing over, rather people who assume that because the arc has reached it's end so have all of its developments. Since when has that ever happened on Buffy? You have to realize that we're dealing with the term "arc" here in the loosest of meanings; it's an arc in that it's four connected issues written by Joss focusing on one plot, much like a single episode of the series. This arc is over, but this story is not, and I do not for one instance think that Willow's use of magic, the way the new Slayers are being handled, Dawn's giantness, or the moral questions of Buffy fighting the human race will be abandoned in any way, shape, or form. There's just way too much confusing negativity here. To repeat: I just don't get it.

[ edited by UnpluggedCrazy on 2007-06-08 16:41 ]

[ edited by UnpluggedCrazy on 2007-06-08 16:42 ]
Perhaps Joss finds his voice in the young(ish)? Or maybe he wants to align Buffy with Melika Fray, so make her less weary, more youthful?(I'm reaching here because I too find the plump cheeked Buffy more than a tad distracting. Can we please let the Slayer age)

And Deepgirl:

"But that's just the problem. The majority of these girl aren't adults. Maybe Buffy was able to handle her responsibilities as a Slayer in a adult fashion, but there's no guarantee that the others will. In fact, it would be unrealistic to assume so. Buffy can't be held responsible for everyone's actions, true, but she also has to start looking at the long-term consequences of the choices she makes."

Let's remember that Buffy didn't make slayers. A group of adult males did, and did so in a manner that stripped any choice from the girls. The girls stayed 'girls' until they died. All Buffy did was allow the girls to become what they were always going to be with the ability to choose whether or not they wanted to use their powers as a slayer. She gave them the ability to make an adult decision, and gave them the opportunity to become adults. She freed them, no more, no less.

Honestly, it has always squicked me when people argue that young girls(slayers) should be watched. Joss never showed us any watcher other than Giles actually guiding his slayer and yet no one seems to get that the sits in season 7, who had never seen a vampire or couldn't hold a stake were girls at extreme risk, completely ignorant of who and what they were. I don't understand how Buffy's powershare is considered more dangerous than the watcher's status quo. Deepgirl, what you fail to see is that before Buffy these girls were never going to be adults. Slayers maybe, adults, most definitely, probably not.

And just for fun, can you imagine any of us debating whether or not young males from 16 to twenty something were adult enough to have super powers? Can you name a young male superhero that needs a watcher?(not a guide, but someone to fearfully watch his young power?)
Deepgirl187...I would imagine that is exactly what Buffy will do, now that she's not in a "share your power RIGHT NOW" or everyone dies mode.
Truth of the matter is this, if Buffy hadn't shared her power the whole world would have been sucked into hell. She had about 24 hours to come up with a plan to save the World and she did.
There was no time to sit and ponder the ramifications of what would happen to these girls 6 months down the road when, had she not done it, they would have been dead 6 hours down the road.
It's not like Buffy is off partying in Rome with the Immortal, she is taking responsibility of her actions by leading them. It's a hell of a lot more than she ever had. Unless you consider her mentor, The First Slayer, as having been helpful, I think you can see what I'm getting at.
Her mentor tried to murder her and the gang in their sleep cause she's all about being destruction and death. Buffy is light and life. IMO, these girls have a much better chance of survival with Buffy than if they had been called the traditional way.

[ edited by cheryl on 2007-06-08 17:05 ]
Cheryl, frankly I'm scratching my head. Deepgirl and others are saying that Buffy has ownership of 'the mess' resulting from her powershare. They're discussing consequences of her actions.

I'm the one saying that Buffy can't be held responsible because she acted in the best manner possible. Exactly what are you saying?:)
Pointy, I had a similar idea brewing but not nearly as developed as what you described. My immediate following thought though was that Warren is pretty clever and misogynist, so why wouldn't he try to cajole Amy into healing him? I can't see him being complacent in this. Maybe the explanation is that he's still working on that, and she's not going for it, or that it's magically impossible. But I think you've hit the key point: he's dependent on her, and she likes that.

I do think it's the real Warren, but very much alive only so long as his relationship with Amy continues to go well or he devises some solution of his own. Because that leads to DRAMA. Imagine the re-flaying by Amy this time... or better, don't.

WillowSlay, also a good point. I hadn't even thought of Xander's eye in relation to my question. That also seems a likely explanation.

I think Xander looks older, Willow looks about the same age, and Buffy looks younger.
I agree with you Cheryl. The reason why Buffy was so special was because she had a support system around her (her friends/family), what Buffy and Willow did when they activated all the slayers is give them a support system. No slayer would ever have to go the fight alone. They are much better off now than they would have been if Buffy hadn't activated them and it's interesting that people want to argue different when it's highly probable that if they weren't activated the First would have won and they'd all be dead. If I was a slayer being called I would much rather have a system of slayers and a leader teaching me who'd been doing it for over 7 years than have some crusty british man (who hasn't seen much action if any!) looming over me repeatedly telling me how the fate of the world rests on my shoulders alone. Wouldn't you?

As for the age & appearance thing, remember, Sarah is older than Buffy. Buffy is around 24 now and I know many women who retain younger looks way into their late 20's.
Anyhoo, maybe 'young boys' aren't buying them (infact comic sales across the board have been slowly dropping over the last few years and Video games sales increasing in popularity with comics old audience young kids) but it's still a fact that more men are interested in comics then women.

And no, I doubt that Joss is plotting the story the way that he has been beacuse Dark Horse is 'prodding him' to do so, he's just 'wandering down' that particular road, because he wants to.
sueworld2003


I absolutely agree that Joss is doing what he wants to do. I'm just a bit bewildered that he chose to write a script of a Michael Bay movie, figuratively speaking.

The problems he tackles in The Long Way Home are epic and, so far, they had never been explored properly. The greatest sci-fi writers tried to create a model of co-habitation of humans and superhumans, but nobody was able to find a convincing formula.

I wonder if Joss had ever pondered upon the idea to write a novel. Because I think that his current ideas are more suitable for a novel than for a comic. Is writing novels *that* un-prestigious in America? Or it's just the matter of money?
I don't think the younger-looking Buffy is a Joss thing, I think it's the artist, and it has to do with how he depicts women, maybe even nonconsciously. Andrew also has more of that depiction, but he is famously immature, while Xander is allowed to look like the young adult that he is. And I work with college students and women that age, even ones that look younger than their age do not have that chubby baby-face that comic book Buffy is given, and I think that depiction has something to do with the sense of there being something immaturish in the series. I would really like to see how it would differ if Buffy was drawn more as a young adult.

And btw, Amy! Maybe all those years as a rat made her psychotic. I mean we knew she had some moral weaknesses when she was using her magic to cheat at school in Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered, and obviously she was further down that road by Gingerbread, since she had to have been hanging out with evil warlock guy before she was turned into a rat, but man, she is bonkers city now.
The greatest sci-fi writers tried to create a model of co-habitation of humans and superhumans, but nobody was able to find a convincing formula.


You might want to check out Kingdom Come and Warren Ellis' upcoming Black Summer.
I like the comics (to see Our Heroes again) but with some big caveats, and the sudden exit of Amy and Warren ("This isn't over!!!!") and Willow's too-good healing abilities are frustrating. And yet I'm also reminding myself that I felt somewhat similarly about almost every season premiere Buffy had, only to like it more in its proper context. I think that there is a lot of potential here--in Buffy and Willow dealing with their darkness, in Amy and Warren's story, in of course the New Initiative story. But yeah, this issue was a disappointment in comparison to the first three.
You might want to check out Kingdom Come and Warren Ellis' upcoming Black Summer.
Simon


I'm ashamed to admit that I don't know anything about Black Summer. As to Kingdom Come, in my opinion, it's your typical Michael Bay movie. It works as an actioner, and you can find metaphors and allusions to RL events, but it isn't intended as a realistic sociological and psychological study of what could happen in the humanity had to deal with the race of super-humans.

Actually, I wasn't referring to comics. I was referring to works of Isaak Asimov, Karl Sagan, Stanislav Lem, Russian writers Strugatsky brothers. They were fascinated with the issue but all of them tackled it differently. And none of their models was completely convincing.

Who knows what happens when the principle of equal opportunities stops working naturally, from within. It's very, very tricky. I think that the situation is very Joss Whedon-worthy, because he, as nobody else, can write natural human reactions in supernatural situations.

Still, I think that proper exploration of the issue demands a novel format.
Ramses 2, perhaps I'm being dense here, but when do we see/hear of the Initiative in "Angel" Season 5?

Changing topics, I agree with all of those pointing out that Joss Whedon is not subject to network/publisher pressure with this comic series. I cannot seriously imagine that he is suddenly aiming his work primarily at teenaged boys. The comics are, so far as I can tell, true to both "Buffy" and comic books. I think part of the disassociation some people feel is that one of the essential things "Buffy" previously used to be was a television show -- the change of mediums is jarring, especially to those of us (raising hand) who don't know much about comics. (I need to get that "How to Read Comics" book -- it's not coming intuitively.) I do know enough about comics to feel that these are true to what I understand of the comic book form and that acknowledgement -- we're not in Kansas (on TV) any more, we're in Oz (a comic book) -- may be throwing some people. This isn't a "Buffy" episode told in still frames, it's a "Buffy" comic.

As for the whole human/superhuman thing, given that we haven't so far seen anybody except Dana (I wonder if/when she'll make an appearance?) flip out and do anything awful to "normal" humans who haven't made some major first-strike moves, I wonder whether the big arc will be about finding an accommodation between envy and fear (normal humans) and not abusing power (Slayers). Slayers have a very particular job to do that most normal humans don't even know about -- it's not like they're going to be entering the world of professional sports and crowding out non-Slayers in tennis and basketball. They fight monsters. Who, besides the heavily-armed Initiative, even knows such a job exists, let alone resents a class of people for being able to perform it better than "normal" people? On the whole younger-looking Buffy thing, maybe they found that drawings of younger-looking Buffy for some reason look more like SMG than older ones do? Question for the artists, perhaps.

I am enjoying the comics and I'm touched that Joss Whedon still has "Buffy" enough on his mind to want to tell more stories in the Buffyverse.
If Kingdom Come and Buffy S8 are Michael Bay movies...then The Rock, Armageddon, Bad Boys, and The Island are far better than I remember them to be.

Moving on...as for the art, I agree that Georges isn't doing a great job of capturing SMG. I think he's doing great capturing Michelle and Nick and Aly, but his SMG really is too young and soft. Jo Chen's covers, on the other hand, are all absolutely perfect.

I agree with whoever mentioned the Buffy "I WANT YOU!" poster on the #5 variant...that definitely does put Buffy in the same context as the enemy she's purporting to fight, and that does a great deal to allay any fears that it's going to be some simplistic Good Slayers vs. Bad Government. I honestly do not see the story going that path.
Willow looks very Season Six-y, not the more subdued self from S7. And the blue eyes continue to irk.
I don’t think Buffy did the wrong thing with Ethan at all that’s not the point but while in S7 she could reasonably blow off the accusing spirits in Lessons and the overall arc was very much about letting the potentials realise their uh potential, before then she was effectively coerced into taking on the leadership simply by being the one girl who could. In this new series she’s stepping up to that position voluntarily and I’ve loved how much more comfortable she’s been fighting and training with the other Slayers. She knows their names, she may not braid their hair but she’s certainly aware of it.

She’s not a girl (I don’t really see the youthfulness in the artwork, with her hair tied back she really captures SMG's S7 look) she's a woman, not a maiden but a queen. Every issue so far is riddled with mother talk. Buffy misses hers , Dawn thinks Willow was one, Willow compares Amy to Catherine, deadJoyce takes centre cube in Buffy’s dreamspace puzzle, Buffy warns Satsu to be ready for the mother of anything, Amy’s mom is what undoes her and even General Twilight is referring to the new Slayers as Buffy’s spawn. She’s released herself from an imposed responsibility to take on a new kind. And that means at least thinking about the big picture and the wider repercussions of what she’s doing and has done even if the eventual conclusion is that she made the best of a bad job or that the good far outweighs the bad.

[ edited by hayes62 on 2007-06-08 20:19 ]
This isn't a "Buffy" episode told in still frames, it's a "Buffy" comic.

Well put, Shapenew. I'm completely new to comics, and worried that my TV-conditioned brain wouldn't be able to comprehend or appreciate the new medium. For the most part, I'm adapting just fine. It does take some getting used to the compression of incident that comics necessarily require. So much happens in and between panels -- I often miss what's there and yet am left wanting more. On the whole, this issue included (which was my least favorite), the series has been very enjoyable. The artwork, the writing, the story itself -- all top notch. I basically have two reservations: the excessive use of magic as a deus ex machina (Willow's miracle reverse lobotomy being the most egregious example) and the Warren/Amy contrivance. The latter just feels very forced for the purposes of plot to me.
I think part of the disassociation some people feel is that one of the essential things "Buffy" previously used to be was a television show -- the change of mediums is jarring, especially to those of us (raising hand) who don't know much about comics. (I need to get that "How to Read Comics" book -- it's not coming intuitively.) I do know enough about comics to feel that these are true to what I understand of the comic book form and that acknowledgement -- we're not in Kansas (on TV) any more, we're in Oz (a comic book) -- may be throwing some people. This isn't a "Buffy" episode told in still frames, it's a "Buffy" comic.
Shapenew


I have to confess that I'm new to comics and they confuse me a lot. I personally think that Comic!Buffy is ugly. Storytelling issues aside, I am often confused when it comes to drawing conventions.

For example, the panel with BuffyDawn conversation features Buffy's and Dawn's shadows pointed in opposite directions. Is it hack-work or a clue that we're in alternate reality with two suns on the sky? *Just kidding*. No really. Could it mean something?

In Ethan's cell the light from a rectangular door creates a triangular pattern on one wall, then - oval pattern on another wall. The same question: is it hack-work or it means that the whole tableau is an illusion created by Ethan who is very much alive?

Another example: in issue 3 there is the Beljoxa Eye in Buffy's dreamspace. But Buffy had never seen it. Are we supposed to shrug it off - " it's just a comic!" or should we look for a clue?

Does the book you mention explain how to deal with such tricky moments?
It's just a comic. You can't read too much into that sort of thing, or you could drive yourself nuts!
Ramses...I think in most civilized nations what you have described would be considered as us "agreeing" on something. *g*
It happens.
As for what I was trying to convey to deepgirl, the statement was made that Buffy has to start looking at the long-term consequences of the choices she makes. My point is that I think we will see her do that now that the world in peril madness of Chosen has passed. I think she IS doing that by not shrugging off her responsiblity and partying but by fighting side by side with these girls.
I do not see the comics as being pointed at teenage boys, though I do agree that Buffy looks way younger than it seems like she should.

mosow watcher I also found myself wishing for Joss to be writing a novel...in installments perhaps like the original Foundation or most of Dickens work. But Joss is by all evidence a visual artist who thinks in pictures and dialog. That means the choices are movies, plays, TV and apparently comics. As fans, we need to accept and deal with that.

"This isn't a second look at party of five, this is Buffy and in Buffy there will be fighting.
Try to imagine any of the really big moments without the fight scenes. Try Becoming, Graduation Day, The Gift or Chosen. Doesn't really work. Joss has to stay true to what Buffy is. IMO, he is doing that."


Of course there will be fighting in BtVS, I don't think anyone is objecting to there being fighting. I personally am objecting to the lack of story development and the fact that I would rather have some of those fighting panels, not all, used to give me more story. As I was reading it with my friend last night I found myself saying something like, "they fight, and fight, and more fighting and the fighting is ending, and they won." Meanwhile Willow healing happens instantanously.

"One complaint I seem to be seeing a lot is that the arc is over, and so much still hasn't been touched upon. Why are so many seeming to assume that now that this arc is over, these points won't be raised later?"

I assume everything will be raised later...in some cases in about 6 or 7 months when Joss starts wriing about Buffy again...if what Joss is going to write about Buffy in his next arc. The larger plot lines, such as this horizon organization that is trying to set themselves up as the representatives and saviors of true humanity, I assume will be the connecting element through the other arcs. But as far as these characters and the story of what is happening to them, the indication has not been encouraging. Joss is supposed to do a stand alone about someone else for August then the Faith arc starts for 3 or 4 months. Then if I remember correctly, Joss comes back. Now maybe some of the stories in this arc will get touched on during the Faith arc, but considering where this arc left things, I don't hold out much hope that there will be space for it. It also makes me wonder if the Faith arc will do the same thing this one did and just open up a bunch of questions to be addressed in another arc, someday a long time in the future.

"You have to realize that we're dealing with the term "arc" here in the loosest of meanings; it's an arc in that it's four connected issues written by Joss focusing on one plot, much like a single episode of the series."

Yeah I actually had one post where I asked about the definition of arc to comic readers, but I decided against asking. To me this is an arc only in that it took Buffy to the point where she was introduced to her new enemy and decided to fight him. Hardly an episode in my mind and hardly satisfying.

"There's just way too much confusing negativity here. To repeat: I just don't get it."

Disappointment will bring out the negative in people. It my be a comic readers/non-comic readers thing. I keep finding myself reading all the praise and thinking, "Do comics readers let writers get away with this kind of thing all the time in comics? Is this what they expect?" I can feel myself pulling away and separating myself from comics and comics readers even as I try not to. It is actually pretty interesting.
I like how Buffy is drawn. I was unsure at first. I've noticed from the first issue that I've been slowly starting to mentally see Buffy the character, beyond just Buffy portrayed by an actress. There's been a definite transition in my mind. SMG portrayed Buffy very well, so I was wondering if I'd ever be able to see Buffy otherwise. But I can. It happened a lot faster than I expected, and it's happened with all the main characters now. Buffy does look younger than her age to me, but she is certainly carrying herself in the comic in the way I remembered.

I still like Jo Chen's covers because I love her style, but I'm deliberately picking up Georges Jeanty's covers now because they seem more "real" to me. I think it's probably far more difficult to depict Buffy than it is to depict SMG as Buffy, since Buffy's more abstract, but I think he's got it down. I would love to also see Jo Chen's take on the Buffy characters beyond the actors.

I really appreciate that the women do not look like most comic drawings of women. That said, I do sometimes expect Leah to turn into Dark Phoenix in the next panel. She's the closest to old school comic looks, I think. It's her face and hair. The main characters of Buffy are all really distinct looking, and of course pretty (it is a comic), but not in the usual way I associate with comics. I will admit to limited comic reading though-- some here and there, mostly X-Men. But the covers I see during my wanderings around my local comic shop suggest that the look I associate is still pretty popular.
Ooh, Sunfire, I like the dramatic possibilities of the Magical Misogynist Meat Puppet’s arc-ing from (1) putting Amy on a pedestal to (2) trying to overthrow her from it. (And thank you, phlebotinin, WillowSlay and jcs!)
To me this is an arc only in that it took Buffy to the point where she was introduced to her new enemy and decided to fight him.

Isn’t that further than she got in most season openers? It’s been a long time and to me a lot of what these four issues had to do and did very well was to re-introduce the characters, show us how much remained the same and how much had changed. We see Buffy in particular from several different angles, contemplative in the first issue, confident respected leader in the second (but still subject to nightmare vulnerabilities). Warm even affectionate reunited with her old friends in the third, implacable against the enemy in the fourth. It’s the Buffy we loved all grown up but not infallible and with big new grown up challenges looming on the beautiful horizon.
"Do comics readers let writers get away with this kind of thing all the time in comics? Is this what they expect?"

I've been wondering the same thing. If this goofy retcon stuff happens all the time in comics, perhaps this is not a medium I can get into.

I don't mean to sound so harsh, but Buffy fans never excused glaring continuity errors and deus ex machinas when they happened in the TV show, so why should they be so easily overlooked just because it's a comic now?

[ edited by RaisedByMongrels on 2007-06-08 22:39 ]
I'm not seeing any glaring retcons.

The thing with Warren...it's been confirmed that his human life ended, so there's no problem with the First taking on his form.

I can't think of any other possible retcons right now. But yes, comics do retcons quite often, though usually the good ones don't. The ones that do retcons are mostly the ones which have decades of history and changing writers, like any of the big superhero titles.
Ramses 2, perhaps I'm being dense here, but when do we see/hear of the Initiative in "Angel" Season 5?
- Shapenew

I shouldn't respond for Ramses 2, but I believe it was in the submarine episode where the Nazis were wanting to study/utilize vampires, and the US Government got Angel involved, that that was seen as a forerunner to The Initiative.

Personally I think the comic book Buffy looks exactly like Buffy and that it was SMG who got too skinny and fragile looking (just my own personal opinion of course).
That's a little tricky, embers, because for all intents and purposes, SMG was Buffy. But I get what you're saying, and it's actually very interesting that you say that. Hadn't thought of it like that before.
Shapenew if I remember correctly we got a glimpse at the early Initiative during the submarine episode. I don't think we ever got a definitive answer on whether or not they were a 'bad' institution.

Hayes I totally agree with you regarding all the mother references and absolutely believe that Buffy feels responsible for the slayers.(after all it's through Buffy that the line was reborn) I'm just not making the connection that others are that the powershare was something that was unwise and now needs Buffy to confront and own her arrogant decision. I'm not getting the murkiness potential here. In 4 short episodes Joss reworked the dark Willow storyline....she no longer has the death of Warren on her hands, we're reminded what a nasty piece of work Warren actually was, and we're shown that she is in control of herself. Willow's no longer murky.

We also get Buffy apparently concerned about her darkness again for a few panels, and there's some snippets that the baby slayers aren't quite getting it right but then in 4 we get the reminder from Chosen that Buffy is past the guilt and self doubt and her slayers(as represented by one who loves her passionately)has her back. Again, not so murky.

I'm not picking up any hints that this series is going to be about Buffy and Willow coming to terms with their darkness or flaws. Sure, early on it looked like Joss was going to revisit season 7 themes a bit but this last comic seems to say that our scoobies are 'healed' and ready for the mother of all fights.

If I had to guess the real story is not going to be about Buffy realizing the many slayers are a huge mistake, but rather Buffy losing them one by one as the story inches toward Fray.

ETA: Thanks Embers, you can be me anytime:)

[ edited by ramses 2 on 2007-06-09 00:48 ]
Maybe I've just watched Angel one too many times, but I don't think it will be that easy for the characters to set aside some of the decisions they've made, good or bad. I just feel like the actions they've taken (Warren's death, changing the destiny of the Slayer line) have got to have some kind of consequences (which don't necessarily have to be bad). I just don't feel that the Scoobies are "healed" in any way; I think that they will have to carry their choices with them always. It seems like it would do a disservice to the characters to just stop letting their past affect them.
Isn't the whole point of 'get out of my face' that the past must be let go in order to move forward stronger?(In fact, didn't we see that message in Angel season 5 as well?) Changing the destiny of the slayer line was never shown as a bad decision, so why would Buffy have to pay the consequences for it? Now do I think we'll see consequences from the powershare? Absolutely. The powershare was Buffy's finest moment. Willow's as well. But consequences as in stuff happening because of it, not as in stuff happening because Buffy and Willow need to reflect on what they did wrong.
"I'm just not making the connection that others are that the powershare was something that was unwise and now needs Buffy to confront and own her arrogant decision."

I might try to explain for others, though that might be a mistake, but there are a few things that matter in the choice itself that Buffy might have to face. First, not every girl got to choose, only the ones in the room got that distinction, and I could definitely see a story about slayers who are pissed that they have been made "abnormal" (which I guess is right out of X-men but there are consequences here). Second, though I don't think it was an arrogant decision, I think the spell has ramifications for Buffy because of her motivations in doing that spell. Motivations matter to me, it matters why someone saves someone from death for instance because if they saved them for the accolades them it isnt such a heroic and moral moment, and in that sense, you have to wonder whether Buffy did this because she thought it was morally right or whether she did it because "she didnt want to be the chosen one" which would make the decision selfish in nature. And all of these things seem like interesting ground to get into in the comic...
I agree ramses 2. I think the power-share will have negative "real-world" consequences (slayers who can't handle/abuse their power/slayers dealing with regular humans, etc), but it shouldn't have negative "dark magic" repercussions. I mean, Willow's hair turned white! She was tapping into goddess-energy when she did that spell.
I think the power-share will have real consequences also, in the way that the scales will have to be tipped again and that means hoards of big bads and lots of chaos for the gang. If Buffy thought her life was hard before...

Jerry, imo, the point of the last season wasn't meant to show Buffy wanting to "not be alone anymore" it was meant to be seen as Buffy embracing her role as Queen Slayer and paving a better road for her sister slayers. No longer will the fate of these girls be decided by a group of men who don't really care if they live or die (COW), no longer will they have a crazy "First" slayer sending cryptic non helpful messages if she isn't trying to kill them, etc...
Now these girls will have the best damn slayer to ever walk the Earth as a real and tangible mentor. They will also inherit Buffy's own support system as their own. I believe that Buffy made the decision to share her strength with them because she knew it was the right thing to do. In her opinion it was probably the ONLY thing to do, world in peril issues aside.

What I can't wait to see is how and why the gang of BTVS and the gang from ATS reunite. It always happens in one way or the other. The true to the story cross-over. I'm very curious how Buffy's inpowerment spell affected Angel in his journey. Is he now also going to have to deal with hoards of bads with his tiny crippled group? Maybe we'll get a surprise visit from Whistler somewhere down the road. Yeah, I am excited about the ATS continuation too.
Jerry said:
"whether Buffy did this because she thought it was morally right or whether she did it because "she didnt want to be the chosen one" which would make the decision selfish in nature. And all of these things seem like interesting ground to get into in the comic..."

I'll eat my hat if Joss depicts Buffy as being selfish or needing to address the powershare as being selfish and arrogant in nature.

You also said:

"First, not every girl got to choose, only the ones in the room got that distinction"...

Jerry sometimes we mistake show discussion as show facts. In TV reality, Buffy says everyone has a choice. Sure we see girls against a swelling backdrop of heroic music coming into their slayerhood without 'choice' per se but the implication is that the slayerhood is something realized, inherently there and remembered/embraced/chosen as opposed to something externally imposed. These girls are slayers, they aren't randomly made. Buffy isn't recklessly creating slayers, she called them. The difference is that instead of being chosen they get to choose, they aren't alone, they'll be given answers to what and who they are and they'll have the backup Buffy was just lucky to have.
I don't think Buffy did the spell because she didn't *want* to be alone anymore, but I do think that it's part of how she came up with the idea--and I think that that realization, that the slayer doesn't have to go through *what Buffy went through* in terms of loneliness, is part of what sprred her on. But basically she did the spell, I think, because she believed that slayerness and strength is, on the whole, a gift and not a curse. Her no longer being alone is just one personal consequence.

I don't think it was an arrogant decision per se, but it was certainly radical and not at all a cautious one. Bottom line is: you do something this big, bad stuff is going to happen, hence Dana, and I'm sure there will be other problem slayers. Showing that there's a lot of negative conesquences doesn't negate the positive effects or imply that Buffy's decision was "wrong." I simply can't imagine Joss deciding that what Buffy did was wrong--it just ain't gonna happen.

ETA: I also think that Buffy's offering of a "choice" is not so much the choice to become a slayer, but the choice to use that power. A girl can become very strong and simply choose to be an "ordinary" girl if she so chooses, though, admittedly, it's harder to do so with the slayer strength (and the dreams) than it was before.

[ edited by WilliamTheB on 2007-06-09 07:11 ]
I won't have my copy for another month but have been avidly reading these reviews as I just can't wait that long.
There are some great points here, and some rather contradictory ones as well. And this is going to get verbose. You have been warned!

It seems that some people are still talking about whether Buffy has to pay the price for activating the slayer power. This is a moot point, as she clearly IS. The whole "Super Slayers vs Humans" plot is a result of this spell. Regardless of her intentions, Buffy upset the yin/yang balance, and now evil is brewing.
I wonder if we're going to see another fully powered up rogue slayer ala Faith/Dana, as nothing hurts quite like one of your own 'children' betraying you.

Speaking of mothers, could Catherine possibly be behind/helping Amy? We know she was last seen imprisoned in the trophy, which would have been buried in the hellmouth. Like Amy was.
Just a thought...

Killing off Ethan? Oh no! Ethan, Amy and Warren 'worked' because the readers had a huge amount invested in them from the show. No back story was needed. In fact, their histories made things so much more delicious. Seems a huge waste to bring back Ethan just to kill him off 4 issues later.

Which leads me to Satsu and true love- I'm not too sure about that. While it's well known that young females can and often DO fall in love with older female mentors, it doesn't mean it is requited. I really can't care about Satsu because comic form doesn't allow me the time or opportunity to do so. (Perhaps those of us new to comics are just missing the wonderful characterizations that were a huge part of BTVS, which just can't be covered via the comic format IMHO.) I say Satsu's 'crush' will be revealed and she'll become a martyr to save her beloved Buffy- who (oh irony) doesn't even love her back!
(BTW Shun Goku Satsu is a move in 'Street Fighter'.)

Meanwhile, the 'true love' malarkey seems to all have been a clever marketing ploy to make us buy issues in the hope that Buffy + Angel/Spike/Xander/Willow/your ship here would finally have its' day.

Nasty comments in the editors page? At least DH is willing to print criticism, which gets people talking about the comics, and BINGO, here we are. I for one would hate to see a sappy page full of teenagers rabbiting on about their favorite character.
It's just one opinion, so I wouldn't be bothered.
But then, I haven't actually READ the letter yet, so give me time.

'Tis a pity that so many of you are disappointed/confused by the first arc. While I agree that the character drawings are not all that (I mean, c'mon- it's hard to even pick Buffy out sometimes, and no way was Xander THAT hot!) it's still a hell of a lot more than we ever thought we would get.

And I for one would pay double and wait years all over again just for THAT B/A/S scene in issue 3!
Just want to add that the one thing I HATED about this first arc was seeing one of the slayers reading an issue of 'Fray'. Isn't that supposed to be set in the post-Slayer future?

Honestly- it was as bad as a vampire entering my house as I'm watching episode of 'Firefly' where the characters are sitting around watching an 'Angel' episode in which Angel is reading a Buffy comic that contains a character reading about 'Fray'.
Oww my head hurts.

Needless, it was a fanboy shout-out that bugged the hell out of me.
ramses 2, I think Willow still has the death of Warren on her hands. Warren's human life is clearly over, and Willow's to blame; Warren pointedly reminds her of this again and again before and during the attempted lobotomy.

Also, to those saying she wasn't wigged by seeing Warren again, did you see how terrified she was on that table? And then her roiling fire internal fear?
UnpluggedCrazy, Warren's pointed reminder during the attempted lobotomy is the exact reason why I argue that we won't ever see Willow angsting over 'the blood of a innocent human on her hands'. That story has been reworked, Amy 'saved' him. We're shown that he's still the murderous bastard he always was. And he's not just reminding her that she skinned him, he's trying to get her to become dark Willow again.(In effect destroy herself even as he murders her.)

The story as Joss is telling it now, is one where Willow shouldn't be expected to suffer the consequences of Warren's 'death'. Our sympathies should be squarely in Willow's camp right now. Indeed, we have Willow miraculously healed moments after Warren's attack on her. I think that's text, subtext and Joss all ganging up and demanding fans move on from the 'Willow has blood on her hands and must pay' argument.

As for future stories regarding bad slayers and Buffy's powershare, let's remember, if Buffy's not front and center in the telling of the story than it can't really be about Buffy facing up to the consequences of her actions.(Because Joss never intended us to see Buffy's decision as rash and unwise) We saw this with Dana's story, bad slayers are expected and there's a plan in place to take care of them. No one is angsting that Buffy made a mistake, not a single character has ever cast a single doubt about it.

I think this humans against slayers storyline is being done because of the Fray storyline where Meleka must get humans to join with her and fight. IMO, Joss is weaving the two stories together. I think Cheryl argued that Buffy offset the balance between good and evil and so now must face the consequences. I don't think that's going to be the storyline, remember the demons Giles talks to are just as puzzled as Giles. This isn't going to be about good vs evil I think, but rather what happens when the humans turn against the girl chosen to protect them.
I haven't received my issue 3 yet but I have to say I'm not fond of how Willow seems to be "dumbed" down. I hate the idea that the complex woman we got to know by the end of season 7 is going to revert to the cute, appealing girl we first met in season 1.

Willow earned all of that character growth and we the audience suffered right along with her.
"To me this is an arc only in that it took Buffy to the point where she was introduced to her new enemy and decided to fight him."

"Isn’t that further than she got in most season openers?"


With the big bad for the season? Absolutely...because Joss usually did not get to that until later in the TV season. The big issues can take their time as far as I'm concerned. The characters and their stories are what I look for first and foremost and for me those were just not left in a very satisfying place for the amount of time that will past before they are likely to be revisited in any meaningful way.

"Nasty comments in the editors page? At least DH is willing to print criticism, which gets people talking about the comics, and BINGO, here we are. I for one would hate to see a sappy page full of teenagers rabbiting on about their favorite character.
It's just one opinion, so I wouldn't be bothered.
But then, I haven't actually READ the letter yet, so give me time."


See if you change your mind after you read it. There were times while reading it that I actually thought it was a parody of BtVS "fans" who hate everything about BtVS.

"Tis a pity that so many of you are disappointed/confused by the first arc. ...it's still a hell of a lot more than we ever thought we would get. "

Though it is no reflection on the poster, I got this unfortunate image of us as dogs begging for scraps. I am glad Joss is doing this, but I still think people should view Joss's work with a critical eye, the same as everyone else's work. As I said, I really liked the first three issues, but I felt that this one was weak, had some especially cheesy moments and was not a satisfying ending to an "arc" that could hang out there for many months.
It's hard to follow the story from month to month. Frustrating, I'd say.
I'd love the idea of full arcs being released one by one (like graphic novels), but ey I know that won't happen.

I'm enjoying this season, but I'm not sure about the military again, the use of fire weapons... I liked The Initiative season, just to proof Buffy was beyond all that stuff. No need to repite that again.
I like the idea of Amy against Willow (even if it's like Season 6). But I don't like the big amount of magic we're seeing, like Willow healing everyone. That's dangerous, because we can lost the sense of real danger for the scoobies, if we know she can heal them when they're hurt. Or the many slayers doing magic, the whole organization... it's not bad, but I don't know... I prefer something more intimate, just the scoobies and a few old fashioned weapons.

Anyway, I'm dying to see the Faith arc. I think it has potential, and what I really want to see as an eight season (I love Buffy, but I think the closure we got on most of the characters in Chosen was perfect enough for not telling more of them).
Hmmn Ramses, that's an intersting theory, about the story being about what happens when the humans fight back against the girl destined to protect them. I still think we will see the consequence of Buffy sharing her power in the way of tons of bads showing up to balance the scales but what you suggest could also happen. Maybe the two combined are what it's going to take to balance those scales. Humans AND lots and lots of demons.
I can't wait to find out.

Just to add in my two cents on finding closure at the end of Buffy's Chosen. I didn't. I have longed to see what Buffy is doing now practically since the credits rolled. Without Buffy front and center I have no real interest in the Universe. It all starts and stops with Buffy for me.
sueworld said:
but it's still a fact that more men are interested in comics then women.

Um,... that statement is simply not true. Yes, some female readers are not in to mainstream comics , (i.e. superhero) but they are definitely reading Graphic Novels and Manga! True, Manga sales are aren't as high in the local comic book stores, (where you may purchase Buffy) but they are very high in the bookstores. In the past couple of years the total retail value of the North American manga market has exploded from approximately $30 million to approximately $140 million.
As for the Buffy Comics, they are sold in Borders and Barnes & Noble and other book stores and do very well there.
Well this has been an interesting read. I feel less guilty now about just now being into comics, even if it's Joss writing them. I really understand the comments about the feel of "going back to season one", it just seems so immature compared to where season seven left off.
I personally would rather see Joss move on to doing more film and TV work, as a writer &/or director, even if it isn't Buffy. I will always miss the series with all my heart, but what I loved most was the depth and complexity of the characters, and I simply don't believe that comics is a medium capable of conveying anything approaching what made the series so compelling.
So there you have it, I'll take myself out of this discussion and leave it to those who can get truly enthused about comics.

You need to log in to be able to post comments.
About membership.



joss speaks back home back home back home back home back home