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June 19 2007

Pink Raygun Reviews 'The Long Way Home'. A great breakdown/examination of the first four issues of Buffy Season 8.

Yep...I remain the only one not disappointed with #4...

I'm not saying it was the best issue, it was probably my least favorite, but that still doesn't mean I was disappointed.
Finally,someone explains what I read so that it makes sense to me, even to an explanation of WHY it did not make sense to me. I gots it now!
Huh. I didn't realise people were disappointed with #4. Thought it was pretty decent myself though i'd agree with UnpluggedCrazy and say it was my least favourite (and also that hopefully Joss will pay off some of the hints we imagined discovered within the first 3 issues in later arcs - otherwise I for one will feel a bit daft about all the speculating ;).

Didn't have any issue with the transitions either. Maybe it helps to be a bit more used to the medium ?

(been trying to explain to my sister - big Buffy fan but really not a comic reader - about top to bottom, left to right except if the speech flows between panels - then you follow it irrespective of panel position)
I've been a comics reader for two decades or so and I've had trouble with some of the transitions on BuffyS8. I'll have to sit down and reread to see if anything important got lost in the shuffle, but it hasn't been a cakewalk for me I'm sorry to have to say.
Same here, zeitgeist, particularly with issue #4. I'd thought it was just me and my tendency to zip through things. Not that I'm not enjoying the series, but it just doesn't flow as smoothly for me as some of Joss' other comics have.

The TV cuts to comic transitions is an interesting adaptation element I hadn't really considered before. Looking forward to seeing how the other "primarily TV" writers working on the series will approach it.
I'll see your two and raise you a decade there zeitgeist, and yeah I agree that Joss uses a more cinematic style in his comics, with all the cutaways and such (actually it's more of a televisionatic style with the beats and the pacing, but as far as I know that wasn't a word until I just coined it). This is not to say it's a bad thing - I think it works brilliantly in his X-Men, but it does take more work on the part of the reader. About Buffy S8, I can't really say anything, because I'm still working on the whole transition to comics format, and I really, truly wish S8 Buffy didn't look so much like a Powderpuff Girl.
Saje, I voiced my own disappointment on the original thread (whenever that was) vehemently enough that I will leave it on that thread. Interestingly enough none of it had to do with a problem with the transitions. I mean, sometimes I had to double check what was going on, which did interrupt the flow, but not being a comics person, I figured that was just part of it.

Although the writer of this piece hit my major objections, we came to different conclusions. For me a reread of the whole series made me like 1-3 more and dislike 4 more. I actually found the thought "Did Joss really write this issue?" coming into my head more than once. Admittedly, I am not in the right frame of mind to handle disappointment well at the moment so I figure I will go back and read it again when things calm down a little.
I got my copy of #4 so late that I skipped the main thread and didn't read any of the comments, might have to pop back and skim.

I will admit that #4 felt a bit less dense than 1-3 with fewer 'out of the park' moments but I really had no trouble following it. May have to re-read it (again ;) to try to figure out specifically where it caused issues. Also, it felt a bit unusual to burst Buffy's bubble when she hadn't been in the wrong (i.e. the General's response to her 'It's about women ...' served the same kind of pomposity pricking function that a lot of the stuff on the show served but we only really see Buffy being pompous when she's gone off mission e.g. in most of S7). Loved her response to his response though "Oh ... Kay". I wonder if Joss is setting up a schism to show the absurdity of them ?

(with Buffy vs the US army it seems natural for him to comment on the partisan state of politics in America)
I was among the dissenters on #4, although my biggest reservations had to do with Willow's magical unlobotomy and Amy's Wile E. Coyote-like ability to survive all manner of destruction (in #4 it was a grenade; in #3, Dawn's Brobdignagian foot). I worry that the magic is getting to be too much. And there were other problems, too. The Voll/Buffy speeches on the penultimate page are a bit over-emphatic and heavy on the obviousness. And, although I've tried, I can't bring myself to appreciate the last page, which others have admired. Failure of my own imagination, perhaps. I can't picture Sarah looking away for so long between syllables, and I can't quite understand her point of view here.
I'm fairly new to comics (been reading for 8 months or so), and while I've gotten the hang of it, I do think that some of the flow of S8 has been a bit difficult to follow. I've noticed some of this in Astonishing X-Men as well, and as baraboo said, the style is more cinematic.

But I'm still really enjoying this series, and the only problem I've had with the story is the Willow "unlobotomy" thing. I don't understand the motivation for doing it that way. Other than that, I accepted the retcon for Warren, and didn't see the last scene in issue 4 as being overly blunt.

zeitgeist: you have a bit of paint on you. You're now orange, congratulations!
I thought issue 4 was a great read.
An unlobotomy is a pretty huge thing to do to yourself. Willow still has a decent amount of access to the dark stuff, which has potential to wreak a whole bunch of havoc. I can't see Joss letting Willow off the hook this easily.

I'm right with Simon and loving issue 4.
At first issue 4 was a little hard to totally love, but with some time & a few re-reads, I appreciate it a lot more than I first did.

I loved the last page. 1starbuckstown, it was just the opposite for me. I could picture Sarah, maybe not looking away so long, but saying 'Kay'. That was something she always did, so it worked for me.

The first arc flowed well, I thought.
See, but that's the problem I had. I just don't see how Willow managed to get out of the danger she was in. It was not made overt, for one thing. And I thought she was told that she was already having the lobotomy- and once that's done, well, how do you get out of it? And if it is magic, why not repair Xander's eye, which ought to be easier to fix than, say, a completely ablated brain? None of this is clear to me, which is why I did not like issue #4.
Personally, I neither expect nor want to have all the answers laid out for me the instant questions are raised. That's one of the things I appreciated about the show, and the comic is shaping up to keep the tradition, even if there is a little "learning curve" with the medium. Issue #4 left me with plenty of questions, but IMO, that's a Good Thing, considering the number of planned issues. It would get old and boring pretty fast if every situation was resolved over a span of one or two issues.
This issue was a bit visually unwieldy and may require a second reading to get everything one can out of it.

Hmm, what good piece of work doesn’t require a second (or tenth) reading (or viewing or hearing) to get everything out of it? I think anyone who reads something complex only once and thinks they got everything there was to get, isn’t paying attention.

Besides, don't you just reread everything for the joy of it (everything well-written, that is)? Anyway, liked the review, loved the issue.
I'm not asking for things to be laid out, I just don't want them to be...

I have now been sitting here for quite a few minutes trying to figure out how to say this nicely but precisely and I am just not managing it.

I just felt like it was all really cheap. The Willow self healing, the hit you over the head dialog between Buffy and the General, the lack of a satisfying finishing point to an "arc" that no one may get back to for 6 to 8 months, and various other things. I won't go on because I'm repeating myself and getting all riled up over something that is not really important in the larger scheme of things. Suffice to say, I followed it fine, I understood what was going on with no problem, I reread it carefully and completely in case I had been disappointed because of externals. I just did not think issue 4 was very good and because it was the end to the arc, it diminished the whole arc for me.

I am thinking I am just not cut out for comics. I was 6 or 7 when I told my best friend that playing Superman had gotten boring because it was just too easy. He could get out of anything unless kryptonite was involved and it was a cheat to have kryptonite around all the time. We never played Superman again. If a combo of Willow and Buffy equal Superman, I'm going to have a tough time with this.

Another part of me says trust Joss. He has often done things that looked like they were going to be cheap, only to reveal that he was doing something quite different. The problem that I keep coming back to is, this was the end of the arc. He is writing about something related but different next issue and then someone else is going to write a few issues about something related but different with Faith in another part of the world. If this arc is going to somehow be revealed to have ended better than it presently seems to, that reveal looks like it won't happen until Christmas. In my life, that is way too long to wait around wondering whether a comic book is going to turn out to be better than it seemed to be in June.

Blast. I had calmed myself down about this and convinced myself I didn't care. Now here I am ranting.
Maybe Willow’s magical healing of herself seemed so easy because it wasn’t the point of that plot twist. I think the point came earlier, in the place where her heart (not her mind?) was waiting out the torture. One of the other beings in that place told Willow that her body was almost dead, and asked her, “Do you not fear?” Willow responded, “Did I ever tell you about my best friend”?

Interesting. I don’t think this was simply a way to indirectly bring Tara into the story. It reveals that Willow doesn’t fear dying--which could have remarkable implications for the story ahead. She didn't even flinch.

It’s not like we needed to see Willow’s face carved up to feel like we got our money’s worth. Now, a jolt like that would have been too easy. I think Joss is hiding many little presents in these pages for us to find, many little presents with big significance. Expect the unexpected. Even when you look for it and don’t find it right away. I think this story isn't over yet.
... “Do you not fear?” Willow responded, “Did I ever tell you about my best friend”?

Interesting. I don’t think this was simply a way to indirectly bring Tara into the story.

Well, no, because the 'best friend' she's talking about is surely Buffy ? Willow isn't afraid because she 'knows' (i.e. believes strongly) that Buffy is coming for her. IIRC (can't check comic, i'm at work) we then cut to the Buffster doing her thang.

*reads newcj's post* Ah, oops, did I do that ? ;-) I think those are fair points but I would just say one thing. Dawn. When she arrived we were all obviously flummoxed (or those that stayed spoiler free were) but I personally didn't doubt there'd be an explanation (as you say newcj, trust Joss). Each arc to my mind counts as about 1 episode so he has plenty of time to expand on it (or not obviously, in which case it will definitely seem a bit pat) and that thread is clearly not over because of a) Amy and Warren escaping and b) the "Oh ... Kay" - it's more like the opening skirmish in a war. A comic 'season' is going to move (much) more slowly, that's just an unfortunate artifact of the medium. It's not gonna please everyone, same as everything else.

The hit-you-over-the-head dialogue was surely meant to be ? Buffy reached for the obvious answer, the "It's all men's fault" answer and the General disabused her of that notion straight away, opening the story up, introducing future complexity.

And I didn't see Willow as having been lobotomised, just of being in the process (there's no indication of the rate at which time is passing in Willow's 'happy place'). She was clearly still conscious enough to 'speak' to Chewbaccette and friends but, if you like, her future 'timelines' (i.e. possibilities of being alive) were being whittled down by FlayedWarren. If the magic folk were talking to a mute and clearly brain-dead Willow and then she miraculously self-healed i'd also have huge problem with the issue.

BTW, Superman, when he works, isn't really about what he can do but the awesome responsibility that comes with those abilities and the fact that his powers though incredible aren't limitless (as well as, obviously, that he's still a man, with feelings, despite what he can do). A decent story which looks at this is "Secret Identity" by Kurt Busiek. Best Superman comic i've read in years - and it doesn't even have 'Superman' in it ;).

("It's a bird ..." is also good, about an author struggling to write a Superman story and with what Big Blue actually means - both to him specifically and to us as a society. It's metafiction but in the good way ;)
"Each arc to my mind counts as about 1 episode so he has plenty of time to expand on it (or not obviously, in which case it will definitely seem a bit pat) and that thread is clearly not over because of a) Amy and Warren escaping and b) the "Oh ... Kay" - it's more like the opening skirmish in a war. A comic 'season' is going to move (much) more slowly, that's just an unfortunate artifact of the medium."

Exactly, which is what I referred to as a "learning curve." I've read comics all my life, including serialized comics, but applying that now to a serialized story that I'm already familiar with from TV takes some adjusting. Where we got an episode a week on TV, with the comics we now get the equivalent of part of an episode per month - and the equivalent of screen caps and subtitles from those partial episodes at that.

I'm expecting there to be a payoff for the questions left open by this first arc; like the show, I doubt that everything will be given pat answers, though. And it is going to be frustrating waiting for each installment. I kinda wish I had the patience to just wait for the TPB, but... ain't gonna happen.
I've read comics all my life as well, and that's a relatively long time since I'm 54 and still hve some of the comics I read when I was 8. But this last issue just left me confused. It really does not take long to do a lobotomy, especially when you are not concerned with things like anaesthetics; it's a matter of a moment. So, was Willow in process? And Buffy showed at just the right second? ANd then Willow healed herself? And none of this is clear and we are supposed to simply just understand what went down? No, I knos Joss' tactics, and I think here he used far too much shorthand, because if I am not getting it, what is the non in-the-know reader going to take from it?

The bigger issue for me is that time is precious now, and to wait until Christmas or even longer for a payoff is just not in my cards; there is too much to do now and too little time. And it ain't a matter of answering every little mystery (though, unlike Lost, I hope Joss answers at least some mysteries in a reasonable time frame), but at least providing some sense to those you do give answers to.
Well, I don't want to go on about this because we clearly just have a variance of opinion (accompanied by the standard "don't have a problem with that" disclaimer ;) but how many people actually thought that, with a mooted 50 issues in the 'season' (i.e. with planned breaks and the seemingly inevitable delays, very likely 5 years worth of comics) we'd have much of a resolution after the first 4 months ?

And isn't it possible Warren might have wanted Willow to suffer, to feel her 'self' slipping away and so dragged the process out (otherwise why bother with the 'self-tightening' restraints) ? He seems like he might be a bit sadistic, if you, y'know, got on his wrong side ;).
Seeveral good points there, Saje. There's nothing that shows how far along the lobotomy had gone, and until I read everyone's comments, I had figured Warren only just started with the actual amateur surgery, as he was very busy with the tormenting rhetoric.

It is hard to wait, especially for those of us who are not used to comics. I didn't even have to wait for a week for the next Buffy episode, as I watched most of it for the first time on dvds. But you are so right about it being unreasonable to expect resolution in 4 comics- there's just not enough narrative space for it, it would have to be totally simplistic and crude. I'm willing to wait, though I can't say I like
waiting- as I never thought there would be more Buffy available in any format.

And it is kind of a plus, starting to "get" the comics thing.
Yeah, my thoughts at the time weren't so much, "Gosh, I hope Buffy gets there in time to prevent the lobotomy" but more "Gosh, I hope Buffy gets there quickly enough to stop the worst of the torture". Except not 'gosh' ;).

And agreed, if we could have the entire run right now (or over the next 6 months) in nicely bound and printed hardbacks (like e.g. 'Runaways' or 'Ultimate Spider-Man') that'd be just fine with me. Unlike in his shows though, in real life Joss has to obey the laws of physics ;).
"But you are so right about it being unreasonable to expect resolution in 4 comics- there's just not enough narrative space for it, it would have to be totally simplistic and crude."

Exactly. I just recently picked up a couple of issues of "Gunsmoke," and - while the TV show generally resolved its storylines within a single episode - it was kinda jarring to see how even that didn't translate well to single-issue storylines. Very complex, it wasn't.

"And agreed, if we could have the entire run right now (or over the next 6 months) in nicely bound and printed hardbacks (like e.g. 'Runaways' or 'Ultimate Spider-Man') that'd be just fine with me. Unlike in his shows though, in real life Joss has to obey the laws of physics ;)."

Unfair as all hell, innit? :-)
I'm with you, Simon, on Issue #4 being a great read. It wasn't initially my favorite of the four-issue arc, but it capped off the arc really well, I thought, and gained more appreciation from me when read with the first three.

As for the transitions, I have found the BtVS S8 transitions to be remarkably easy to comprehend and they feel smooth to me. What they also feel to me is televisual, or as barboo put it, "televisionatic" (heh). I wonder if the fact that I'm new to comics, i.e., that I haven't been schooled from long exposure to expect certain comics-type narrative structures and storytelling tropes, makes it easier for me to accept the BtVS S8 transitions? Just a thought.
Also with the Issue #4 love. I did feel that it resolved the main arc which to my mind was about Buffy not Willow or Dawn. Buffy’s the voice-over gal in this one. In the first issue she was wondering what the hell she was doing and it went downhill from there with all the Dawn issues followed by the spell but from the point when she failed to follow Willow through the portal I was hoping for her to rally in time-honoured season opener fashion and she not only did that but possibly went above and beyond to set up what looks like the big arc for the season.

What happened with Willow seemed largely about setting up future issues, she’s suspiciously evasive about where she’s been, what she’s up to and her capture by Warren establishes that despite her powers (or even because of them given that he was using them to bind her) she’s not invulnerable and could have died had Buffy not come. She and Buffy together are a force to be reckoned with but what’s with the black-eye transference? She can heal much more quickly than in STSP but it takes resources and possibly only applies to recent wounds (or she’d have healed Xander’s eye).

[ edited by hayes62 on 2007-06-20 23:03 ]
"*reads newcj's post* Ah, oops, did I do that ?"


Yes Saje it is all your fault. In fact, after you forced me to write that post, I was so overwhelmed with outrage that I kicked my desk and exposed the flimsy excuse that passes for construction in my office. Of course the wall collapsed,(my co-worker will be fine…eventually) but instead of blaming the shoddy nature of the materials used, they seemed to think it was MY fault. (Anger management problems my ass.) In fact, as they were taking me to jail, the VP told me that if they had not already scheduled me for lay-off I might have been in real trouble with the company. As it is they arranged for the judge to release me into their custody until I finish their audit. So here I sit in the debris chained to what is left of my desk, and it is all your fault. (Actually, my lawyer says he thinks he can get me off by making a case for it being Joss’s fault, so all is good.) At least I have plenty of room around me. For some reason everybody is gathered at the other end of the office. I guess they believe upper management’s propaganda about me. Sheesh. Gullible much?

As far as everything being resolved in 4 issues, I am not looking for resolution, but I am looking for satisfaction. It is hard to explain without a lot more thought and literary analysis than I have time to give it at the moment. (I reserve my right to bore everyone with it at a later date, however.) It was not so much the events but the characters and relationships that I felt were left in a very unsatisfactory place for a 6 - 8 month break. More like the first part of a first episode, rather than the end of a first episode.

BTW, I was not trying to diminish Superman. We were living in his world for a reason. I also have no doubt that Superman is more than he seemed to be when I was 6. Whether that complexity happened long before I was 6 or after, what I realized I did not like at the time was the easy fix. For him it was the physical get out of jail free card. I still watched the Chris Reeve movies and have nothing against Superman per se, but since that time I have had no interest in inhabiting that world for a prolonged period. I really like finesse. And though Superman might have that psychologically, Superman’s physical invulnerability illustrates in my mind the over the topness that seems to be accepted in comics and that I am not sure I will ever really appreciate.

When I listened to the two guys who were into comic books and did (do?) a podcast “analyzing” Ats, I realized that the things that I had to force myself not to pay to much attention to in ATS, were the things that the podcasters were watching to see. I had never been all that connected to Ats. After watching my mother get into it, I had thought it was because it was more operatic than BtVS, Puccini vs Sondheim. After listening to their podcast, I thought it might also be a comic versus novel conflict. Now I’m thinking more and more that I may have been right and it makes me really sad. Joss has chosen to write comics. He has chosen to write BtVS as a comic. I understand his choice. It makes perfect sense. I want to follow his work wherever it goes. I want to follow BtVS wherever it goes. I am just not so sure this is going to work for me on the level that BtVS has the potential to work...and I do not like that fact. (Tries to stamp foot but the chain connecting her to the desk gets in the way.)
Ditto on the #4 appreciation. I found it satisfyingly complex and the great beginning of a story. I think that the best comparisons for the 4-issue arc have been to the BtVS season opener eps, where the groundwork is being laid out for the rest of the season. Joss' AXM arcs have had a similar feel to them -- each arc opens up into the next one, with more questions than answers.

While it's not unreasonable to expect 4 issues to wrap up a story -- that's pretty standard for the Buffy and Angel comics we've been getting pre-S8 -- it's not very Jossian. I expect a whopper of a story and it's going to be a long and bumpy ride along the way. That's fine with me.
newcj: I'm guessing that you mean that although you're fine with the fact that fact that some plot threads will take time to play out, you'd prefer to avoid elements where the lack of resolve actually jars you out of the story. Good "Wait... what?" vs. bad "Wait... what?" I think it's a valid point. How far can a writer, even one like Joss who has pretty much earned the trust of his fans, push readers who want answers for questions that they may see as "plot holes" instead of "mysteries"? In comics, the wait can be many months, as compared to minutes or weeks for TV. That's a lot of extra time for people to sit around and pick apart threads or voice dissent. Personally, I feel like it's a mystery if Willow's healing is a mystery, and that did throw me a bit.

Seeing as Supes is also vulnerable to magic, Willow could probably smush him into primarily-colored paste.
True. He should get Batman to build some anti-magic armour for him, guy's got a suit for all occasions ;).

Ah, that's OK then newcj, starting to wonder if I should've taken out that liability cover after all (came with free steak knives ;) but it seems it's that Whedon fella that's really (i.e. legally) to blame. Scum he is, leading you astray like that, it's a wonder he sleeps at night. Ptooey.

And yeah, superhero comics often operate in a sort of heightened reality, maybe a bit 'operatic' but then they're often about archetypes and grand, sweeping events. Not many read Herodotus' "Histories" or the epic of Gilgamesh and come out of it at the end going "Not bad, bit over the top though, eh ?" ;).

It is a fair point that that 'largeness' may not suit every character or every fan though, it's tough to balance the small scale drama BtVS was so great at with larger than life characters and a set of genre tropes that maybe lend themselves more to a broader brush (even OTT characters seem more real when you know there's an actor underneath, comics don't have that 'grounding') but then Joss' been doing just that with AXM IMO, so i'm more than willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, even if it takes months or years. In fact, part of his talent is puncturing those kinds of stereotypes and 'keeping it real' as we say on the street ;).

Personally I don't really see the Willow thing as that big a deal. It was a plot-point used largely to generate suspense IMO, not a huge Buffyverse changing event. We know she's strong with the magic, we know she can heal herself when needed and that's what she did. To me it was pretty clear she hadn't been lobotomised yet, there was no point where I thought "Wow, Willow's dead, how can she come back from that ?" so it's a slight liberty with the magic powers, nothing more. Maybe the fact that it was shown to be very fast is a limitation of the medium or maybe it was just a bit deus exy (Joss is, after all - sit down for this ;) - only human and drops the occasional bollock same as the rest of us).
And in this case may indeed have done so, saje. Now, while ol' newcj and I don't always agree on things, we are here- which is a bit scary to me. :-)

I want so much for this comic to have meaning for me in the way the show did. I know the medium is different, and it has different ways of expressing ideas, but I am less than enthralled so far. The time factor is really major for me- and the nature of the comic industry these days means that you cannot count on any kind of regular schedule for any given comic, so that absences of a month or longer past an original release date are commonplace, as we already see happening with Buffy. It means that when I wait, I have to go back and re-read, but that seems wrong somehow, even if it cannot hurt. And I also think a mystery should be able to be seen as a mystery, and right now, Willow's healing MIGHT be a mystery or it might simply be bad writing; we just don't know. I hope the Joss man reads these comments as a kind of feedback, to get a sense of what his most avid fans are saying, as we are not united here about the comic.
" Now, while ol' newcj and I don't always agree on things, we are here- which is a bit scary to me. :-)"

Right there with ya' Dana5140 but I was trying not to think about it. Life is scary enough right now without the world turning completely upside down. ;-)

One of the many funny things about this is that I do not have a problem with large or over the top characters in themselves. I am a big Shakespeare fan, for instance. I enjoy some opera. I think the problem is when the scale gets tipped too far towards a particular piece of the puzzle; image becomes too important, cheap tricks are used to get out of things, or the music becomes more important than keeping people awake in the theater. (aaahWagnerchoo) I keep thinking of the kids in the school yard changing the rules at will to make their fictional selves more and more powerful so they can defeat the other kids' fictional characters until there is no point to the game except what their fictional character can do.

The Willlow thing bothered me not because I ever thought she was going to die or something. It bothered me because Willow popping up pristine and with a huge smile on her face as though nothing had happened at all jarred me. It struck me as cheap, totally wrong and totally fake. Maybe that is how it is all supposed to strike people, and that will be the point, but Buffy indicated she knew Willow could heal and did not seem to find any of it strange. Willow's comment that it had tired her as she casually walked away from the whole thing under her own power did not help matters for me. Add to that with the earlier indication that Willow bringing people back from mystical deaths is now also casual for her, and yeah, Willow is Superman with a nicer outfit.

Interestingly enough, writing that last paragraph makes me think that people are right and this may be a major mystery of the comics, but the fact that such a huge amount of time will pass before it, and the rest of the things that were mentioned are likely to be addressed makes me want to forget this whole thing exists for a few years and then read it as an interesting footnote to the series. I just do not know if I can. I can be weak sometimes.

Joss human? I guess that is what I am afraid of, 'cause I have heard rumors.
Yeah, there it is, sort of. There is a part of me that would prefer to simply wait for the year to pass and then buy the TPB so I can read the entire arc, sort of like buying the DVD set- which, by the way, is what I do for shows I have some interest in but not enough to commit to weekly watching- and even here, some shows suffered, and badly, by not being broadcast on a weekly basis, which is why Lost and Heroes went to long hiatus with a following non-stop showing- and even there there were problems.

If we all understood what Joss was getting at with the comic, we would not be having this discussion. That some of us, fans true and blue (and red, too), cannot understand some of what we are reading cannot in any way be seen as a good thing. Heck, I can't even understand if some of the mysteries I see as mysteries are indeed mysteries- or something like that, I think. :-)

[ edited by Dana5140 on 2007-06-21 03:50 ]

[ edited by Dana5140 on 2007-06-21 03:50 ]
This is really cool, as I'm not reading the comics. I can't get them here in Hilo & shipping costs a fortune. Which I would mortgage my house for, if it were any media other than comics, which I just can't get into.
But I *do* want to follow the story and eventually buy the big glossy compendium that I assume will someday make an appearance.
So the various reviews .... which seem to cover different aspects of the story and therefore compliment each other .... are very nice indeed.
In my experience, fixating on the narrative aspects of a Joss story (what happened? what happens next? When will we find out?) can only lead to tears.

If we all understood what Joss was getting at with the comic, we would not be having this discussion. That some of us, fans true and blue (and red, too), cannot understand some of what we are reading cannot in any way be seen as a good thing.

Really? Since when have any Joss shows been open books? Most of us never saw the big picture of a season until long after the dust settled. Boards went crazy after every episode because each new puzzle piece beguiled us with its possible relevance, multiple meanings. Boards were always filled with fans lamenting the lack of clarity and resolutions, esp. for the season openers. If Joss were that obvious about his storytelling intentions, he wouldn't be a very good storyteller. If we knew where the story was going, we wouldn't need to see the next part or finish it.

If some story element doesn't sit well with you, there's probably a good reason for it. It could be foreshadowing for subplots and consequences to come. There's a helluva lot going on in these 4 issues, it's just the beginning.

For banquets and long novels (and Joss stories) you need to pace yourself.
I totally agree with you, punkinpuss even while standing by all my previous posts. Go figure.
And I respectfully don't. This isn't really about interpretation, it is about the ability to begin to interpret. I'm not stupid, but I can't understand what I read enough to be able to contextualize the scenes that are presented. And it's not about what sits well with me; things do or don't and that is part of the game. Again, and I emphasize, it is about whether I understand what is being presented. It may be that future reading may help to explain what I cannot understand now, but then again it may not. Right now, I'm lost. Period. You might not be and more power to you, but for me, I'm not getting it- and that reduces my pleasure in the series.
"I totally agree with you, punkinpuss even while standing by all my previous posts. Go figure.
newcj | June 21, 16:18 CET

And I respectfully don't.
Dana5140 | June 21, 17:06 CET "

...and the world turns right side up again. ;-)
LOL. :-)
and, ;-)

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