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September 06 2007

(SPOILER) For the discussion of Buffy #6. So was it five by five? Tell us what you thought of Brian K. Vaughan's Buffy debut. And hey how about that panel on the second last page?

If you're reading this then you'll realise there's no proper link. But we're eager to discuss the issue with all the spoilers so this is a placeholder till a proper link comes along.

I never understood Faith's 5x5 quip. Is it referencing the In 'N Out Burger secret[1] menu[2]?

Or perhaps the number of steps to pace around her jail cell? Is there a definitive answer I've missed?

edit - OK, a but further googling and I find my answer.

[ edited by napua on 2007-09-06 17:07 ]
I loved it. I loved the spot on characterisation of Faith, her situation and her relationship with Giles, I loved the dialogue between Buffy and Xander. I already loath Lady Genevive, her heartlessness and her nasty smirk remind me of Glory.

Above all though, I loved the pace, the feeling that the season is opening out, that we are in the post-Chosen world. The first arc was wonderful but it felt a little stifled by the weight of the past (7 seasons of the best TV ever is likely to do that) - the stand-alone #5 was great in suggesting that there are new developments, new themes to explore and pretty moving too - now we've got Faith, one of the greats in a compelling new story. That Brian K Vaughan can certainly write comics, can't he?

And that panel on the second last page - (you can probably guess) I loved that as well! :-)
Wow, what a great issue. BKV nailed Faith's dialogue and Jeanty's artwork is excellent (except once or twice when Faith looks a bit odd) - his drawing of the dead "fox" is just terrifying.

The arc's set up really nicely, Faith and Giles are a clever pairing and the new characters are pretty intriguing. Also a couple of neat references to old Buffy episodes. That panel on the second last page is great, but who's that in the earlier similar panel in the US?
First, let me both praise and damn you for mentioning In 'N' Out Burgers. Perhaps the best, most awesomely mouthwatering, sinfully good junkfood on the planet, which lamentably is not available here in my adopted home of The South. :*(

As for the topic at hand, I won't be getting my hands on the issue till after work tonight. But I have read the script and feel that storywise it's the best of the "season" so far.

And if the panel you're refering to is the one i think it is ( the script has it as panel one on the final page, but that may have changed during the pencilling stage) than I am DYING to see it.

Also love Giles' final line in the issue... though I did love it more back when my beloved Wesley said it in a similar circumstance.
what is this second last page panel u r talking about? all is see is Giles hanging out in the loft, reading books, while talking to Faith, and then the last page has Faith walking down the steps? What is the big deal? AM I missing something?
Look at the first panel (the one on the left) on the second last page. Watched any British sci-fi recently?
So this is based on the TV movie that could have happened, right?

So we could have had Faith looking like that in reality?

Eep.
In-N-Out is so overrated! When I first came to LA, everyone was like, "You HAVE to try In-N-Out!!" To me, it's just a dry burger, and doesn't even compare to a Sonic burger, which is pretty hard to find in Los Angeles...

Though anything 'animal style' is pretty decent.

Oh, back on topic, haven't read the comic yet, but I guess I'll have to get to that. But now I'm hungry for a toaster burger...
From the issue:

...every augur in my employ, including the great
bearded wizard of Northampton.

I'm guessing Giles pays him in "hand-rolled cigarettes".
This is so awesome. When I first got hooked on BKV through Y: The Last Man and Runaways, I never dreamed that just a few years later, he'd be writing an in-continuity Buffy story. And about one of my favorite characters, no less.

Needless to say, I loved the issue and can't wait to see where the arc is headed. As much as I instantly hated Lady Genevieve, I kinda hope she makes it out of the arc and becomes a big villain for the season.

Twilight keeps getting more and more freaky. Having lameass army guys is one thing, but they're employing powerful warlocks and training slayers of their own? Eeep.
Here's a proper link for you. Brian K Vaughan's own thread on the subject, at the Brian K. Vaughan Cabal.
Blasphemy, Rogue Slayer! *faint*

Oh well, whatever blows your skirt up.

And clearly I don't watch enough British sci-fi, 'cause I don't get the reference. I thought y'all were talking about the reveal shot of Faith as Eliza Doolittle. Jo Chen paints a gorgeous version on the cover, but I'm eager to see the interior art for that shot.

Other favorite moments would be Faith's unintentionally violent reaction to Giles touching her and Roden quoting Pink Floyd.

Don't know who else in the issue might have a similar look to Faith's fancy dress... Unless it's Lady G or Buffy (or dream Buffy).
i'm making an educated guess based on the british sci-fi comment... is that supposed to be 'Doctor Who'?
Goodness! I can't believe I missed that panel during the first read! Awesome issue; BKV has Faith's voice down so much, one could assume that he is a veteran writer of the show. Love it, and love the fact that "Buffy" and "Doctor Who" now officially share a universe. (LOL)
Would've rather it been Eccleston myself, but he is my absolute favorite Doctor. Great issue, of course. You can't go wrong with evil slayers. And having a former evil slayer go after a current evil slayer well that's just pie. Vaughn must truly be in fanboy heaven right now. He's got Joss writing his baby and he's working on Joss' baby plus theres that little LOST gig. Y is almost done (how cool, yet sad is that?) Anyway Bravo Brian, bravo. Five by five, indeed.
I LOVED this book. Vaughan gets Faith so right - and Giles, too. Giles! It was so great being around that character again. Vaughan is amazing. Go, Vaughan! I'm also such a fan of Jeanty's art and come on, Joan Chen? Marvelous cover, as per usual.

Like probably a lot of people here in the U.S., I have watched no British scifi lately. Would someone please explain the supposed reference in that much referred to but still unexplained panel on the second to last page? Oblique (to people like me) references to Eccleston don't say much to those poor souls like me who are not in the know.....Thanks much.

I have loved Buffy S8 since the first issue, but with this issue #6, I feel like we're suddenly moving majorly forward. Like silvius said, the weight of seven seasons of Buffy was very much with us in the beginning of S8, and that had to be dealt with. Now that Joss has set up a gorgeous new raft of stories and revisioned the post-Chosen Buffyverse, we can now start steamin' ahead and so we have. Another reason, perhaps, that this issue seems to have so much life is that Faith is relative to Buffy and the rest a less explored character. Less weight and heft from the TV series...es (Angel, too) to deal with.

Gigi and her "fox" kill make my skin crawl. Love (to loathe) the character. She's a whole new phenomenon, isn't she? Dana in Angel S5 was pretty much insane and had been horribly abused at the hands of a killer-torturer. Faith in her dark, bad days on Buffy was operating from a place of pain and suffering and a horrible childhood. But Genevieve? Yikes. Really coolly evil. She isn't operating from a place of suffering, is she?

Edited to add: I chuckled at Joss's explanation in the letters section of Warren being able to be the First in S7 if he never really died. Turns out, he did.

[ edited by phlebotinin on 2007-09-06 19:27 ]


[ edited by Sirk on 2013-04-02 19:38 ]
Well if you wanted to fan wank it, you could argue it was just the actors. Anyhow dark Giles. A welcome return. I can see a confrontation between him and Buffy in the future.
Thanks, Sirk. As for fourth wall stuff, there's been a fair bit of it in Buffy S8 so far, hasn't there? There was that "noob" Slayer reading "Fray." Other instances are temporarily slipping my mind. Oh yeah, well, Buffy wearing a Serenity t-shirt is a bit meta, no?

A lingering question from the issue: what, exactly, does darling Gigi want so badly that she has to wait for? I shudder to think.

[ edited by phlebotinin on 2007-09-06 19:40 ]
This, and Issue 2, have come closest to capturing the flow--and feel--of the show. The pacing, slowed down for lots of interplay between characters, is just my cup of chamomile. Therefore, #2 and #6 are my favorites, so far.

As for the meta, that's fine with me. It's sly and neatly tucked into the scenery, where it can be savored by reference-sleuths and completely missed by everyone else.
She stabbed him with a fork! :D

Also, Robin and Co. using Faith as a clean up team is just cruel.

I never understood Faith's 5x5 quip

Napua, Five by five is military slang for "loud and clear" or " I understand". It refers to the strength of radio transmissions.


[ edited by Sirk on 2013-04-02 19:37 ]
Oh man, oh man, that was awesome. I've been somewhat meh about the last couple of issues but this one has me so exicted! BKV has Faith absolutely spot-on. And The Doctor! And Rose! cypher, great catch about the US version of that panel -- I'm now wondering who that is, too.

Giles' Yellow Submarine sweater made me cackle.

My only gripe is the big Eliza Doolittle reveal panel art. Faith just looks ... weird. Her head is the size of her entire torso. And when did Faith get a boob job?
This issue is pretty great! I hope the rest of the writers can keep it up! :)
Wow. That was...wow. I read it at lunch and was giggling out loud. I actually let out a really loud HA! when Faith misunderstood "subterfudge and cunning."

And the fork thing. Seemed like it grazed the surface of a whole new set of issues that she has. I wonder if the guy calling her a whore is one random memory picked out of a bunch of crappy ones, or if it has importance that we'll get to see later on.

PAFT is totally the sound a dusted vamp makes. It's perfect.

BKV is on my Awesome List.
Oh, I so dug the issue. BKV nailed Faith's voice. I could completely hear her speaking the lines in my head. And yes, the "British Sci-Fi" reference made me laugh and squeal like a little girl. That was hysterical.
MadeToLoveJoss, my impression was that the vamp calling Faith a whore was one of the turned vamp children she had just dusted. He looks the right size, and she's wearing in her memory what she was wearing during the PAFT's. So it'd have been a fresh and horrible memory for her.

I can't stop commenting on this issue. I'll try to shut up after this comment, but three things: first, I wonder if Buffy and Gigi are having the same nightmares? They both speak of having them. I wonder if Gigi is also dreaming of The Queen? Second, it disturbed me a little when Giles said to Faith, "....unless this young lady is terminated by Fall's end, she will usher in --." Do Brits even use "Fall?" I thought they didn't. I'm probably just being nitpicky, but for one wild moment, I wondered if this word choice wasn't a nod to the Angel: After the Fall maxiseries. Or even some reference to Twilight falling or something. Finally, or third, yes, please! Someone's gotta decipher the American version of the Doctor Who panel. It's got to mean something.
Loved it, loved it, loved it!! And hello....shirtless Xander and a punching bag? nice. Loved his banter with Buffy.

BKV has Faith down perfectly.

Giles's yellow submarine sweater seemed a bit out of character. I'm wondering why Faith didn't make fun of him...is there a hidden story there that I missed.

Yay, the Doctor and Rose :)
I really felt for Faith this issue. When she slammed that stake into her apartment wall, right next to all the other holes where she'd done the very same thing, I knew her life must be frustrating. Here she is, a survivor of an abused childhood, and now she just had to take out a family of vampire kids.

It's harsh. She wants out. That's obvious.

I certainly hope by the end of this arc she finds what she's been searching for. Whether she stays with the slayers, or moves on and reclaims her life, she needs some clarity.

Buffy has it rough too, but she still has her friends and her mission. Faith is a drifter, and being alone like that sometimes makes things harder.

As for you gentle readers who keep pointing out "it's not TV, it's not TV," we got the memo already. This is a story where you have to fill in the blanks, just like reading a novel, only with comics the artwork gives you some hints. I try to imagine what the characters are feeling inbetween panels, try to think about their body language, their voices, where they are and what they want. If you have trouble with that, go back and watch the DVDs again. Build and internal image of the characters before you try to follow along in the comic.
I too wondered about the word 'Fall' and if it might refer to what's going down in L.A. But I pretty much decided it was just THE Fall, as in Autumn.
I really enjoyed this issue a lot. The Faith and Giles moments are great, very awkward and funny. I also really felt bad for Faith, stabbing the stake through the wall when she got home, also there being more marks, she doesn't have anyone. I already loathe Lady Genevieve, she's such a biatch. Kidnapping Slayers and hunting the "foxes" that escaped. Also what does she want and what does this have to do with Twilight? And what's with the thing Buffy has been dreaming about? "The Queen is dead".... "Long live the Queen." Who could the Queen be? The ending is great aswell. Brian K. Vaughan is great, he got Faith and Giles down perfectly. I did enjoy Georges art, but Faith did look a little weird at times, like when she stabs Giles.

So I did really like this issue. There are a lot of questions to be answered. Can't wait till October 3rd!
"Five by five" refers to the strength and clarity and quality of two-way military radio transmissions. Each quality is graded on a 1-to-5 score, with 5 being the higehst. Five by five means the signal is very strong and clear.

Okay: best issue to date. Concur with all the positives (although, as with my friend Phlebotinin, the Dr. Who reference was utterly lost on me) detailed above--the dialogue, the introduction of a truly scary new Big Bad, the awful sadness yet inevitablity of having to dust the young-but-not-getting-any-older remnants of a once-happy family, Giles' Yellow Submarine sweatshirt, the deftly executed exposition...just grand. Hope this arc goes on for a long time.
This issue was a big improvement and it's great to see more of Giles.
Giles went up about ten cool points in my book when he talked about getting a rifle and shooting Lady G. I was really afraid Joss and Co. were going to have him go all high and mighty like the old school Watchers, but this does not appear to be so. And I hope he and Faith will continue to develop a rapport. Faith could definitely use some friends, even if it's in unexpected places.

On the other hand, I'd love her to visit L.A. after this particular job is over. I always enjoyed Faith the most when she was with Angel and the others.

And sad to say, I completely missed the Doctor Who reference. Some fan I am. ;)

[ edited by deepgirl187 on 2007-09-06 21:57 ]
I agree deepgirl. Faith was never better than when she was on Angel, with the episodes "Five By Five" and "Sanctuary" being high watermarks for both the character and series. I really, REALLY want more with Faith and Angel.

[My own "fanfic spinoff" idea had Faith and Connor teaming up (semi-reluctantly) to find a missing Angel after NFA. But in any case, here's hoping she makes her way back to LA after her stint in Jolly Olde is done.]
I don't have time to really post my thought right now but I really enjoyed the issue and really feel for Faith at the start of this one.Giles seems to still be in season 7/Angel season 5 mode to me but it was great to see him get a large role in this issue.
I love and am grateful for the season 8 comics, but I wonder why the color of people's eyes change, from bright blue to brown, for example.
I wonder what happened between Faith and Robin Wood, who looked great in this issue. Was it just the lighting or did it seem that Robin was leading only slayers of color?
I agree that Faith's breasts seemed to inflate and deflate throughout.
It was funny to see Xander wearing a Sunnydale swim team T-shirt.
I also wanted to comment on how killing humans is treated in BtVS and Angel. Why is there no attempt to rehab Genevieve? In contrast, Faith was nagged incessantly for killing her first human, the assistant to the mayor, even though he was evil, or, at least, the valet to evil. Similarly, it was a big deal when Willow flayed Warren, even though he richly deserved it.
In the spirit of Jubal Early, how is it fair that Warren got to live and yet Tara can't be resurrected? That's just not right.
Won't see it til Sunday (unles sit's sold out) but

Suzie;presumably Warren is back again because it suits the purpose of a Divine or Semi-Divine Being to possibly be named, or not, later.

General comment; while Doctor Who always favroed horror-style plots, it paid soem lip service to being at the least sci-fi if not s-f-. Showing them in a Buffy mag is one thing but I have my doubts if a reverse is possible. And hey maybe they were really the actors. (I wonder, who created the character of Kendall Hart in the Buffyverse. Or Michelle FLaherty for that matter.)
Sorry; I enjoy doing fourth wall violations in my fanfic (especially the one I'm working on now) and that spills over into all my B'vedrse discusssions.
I, too, really liked this issue. I was so happy to see Giles again, and, as said so many times above, BKV really captured Faith's voice. I laughed at the Yellow Submarine sweater, but as much for it's incongruity as for any other reason. Some subtle reference to Cream would have seemed more consistent with what we know about Giles. And I had to stare at the Dr. Who frame for a few seconds before I caught the reference.

I didn't much like the last frame of Faith. The dark green dress, choker, and hairdo evoked Vivian Leigh/Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind, somehow, more than Audrey Hepburn/Eliza Doolittle. And I'm not a huge fan of the idea of a guy (even Giles) making over a woman to suit some other purpose (hence my dislike of Pretty Woman and my conflicted feelings about Vertigo, despite my overall love of Hitchcock films). I get it that this is not an aspect of the job that Giles relishes, but it certainly puts him closer to the role of the former Watcher's Council, and the ways in which they wanted to make over Buffy.

I loved the Art Deco Guardian of Transportation bridge pylon that opened the issue and so securely located the issue in Cleveland, and how this was bookended with the Egyptian bust in the library at the end. I also liked how the colors in the library at the end echo the colors in Henry Higgins's rooms in My Fair Lady, to drive home that comparison.

And, DaddyCat, the references here to Warren come from one of the letters at the end where Joss responds that he forgot about the whole First taking the form of deceased characters thing when he brought Warren back -- as incomprehensible as that sounds.
Wow. What an issue. It almost feels weird to say, but I think BKV writes a better Buffy comic than Joss. I mean, yeah, they both have perfect understandings of the characters and an uncanny mastery of natural dialogue, but BKV's pacing, his use of frames, everything...the guy's a master. Maybe it's just me, but this issue felt like it was written for comicdom, while with Joss's work, I often feel like it was originally envisioned as a TV or movie script. Don't get me wrong, Joss's stuff is great. But this issue...wow.

On a side note, BKV also rocked it this week with Y - The Last Man #58. It only carries big emotional weight if you've followed the entire series up to this point, but if you have, it's a doozie.
This was huge fun, I have always loved Faith and I'm thrilled she is going to get to do something new and different (and don't you love that Faith thought cunning means oral sex? LOL).
I'm of two minds about Lady Genevieve, I'm prepared to hate her, but I'm not sure that she isn't under some kind of control by the self proclaimed sexy warlock guy (so Twilight is all magically based? Interesting).
But my favorite part was in the letters to the editor where Joss confesses he forgot.
I dug it, but--and this is where I again get cast in the role of the curious oddball--not as much as the others. Still, it was good. I'm not a huge BKV fan--I've only read Runaways, which impressed me not at all, so I can't truly judge--so maybe that's why.

One thing that was a relief, though, was that we're getting a break from Joss' maddening pacing and unrelenting bizarreness, and there's breathing room. I now feel that we're truly part of a long, open-ended series. All of which makes me think I should like this better than the others (except for "The Chain"). I think some rereading is in order.
Wow... what a great issue. A cool and very dark beginning and a slow build up to what is to come. Also at the same time it was nice to have some small moments with the Scoobies while the story focuses on Faith.

On top of the Doctor Who cameo, BVK throws in a reference to the great Alan Moore when Giles talks about "the great bearded wizard of Northampton". As Northampton is where the great bearded Alan Moore lives and basically part of Moore's religious beliefs considers himself to be a wizard.
Another vote for BKV's Y #58. Seriously, that issue was as if it was written by Joss Whedon himself. The ending was ridiculous. (in the positive sense)

It's too bad the men has no new forth-coming project. He is so good.
Liked it. Better then the previous issues, even though I'm still not all that keen on the artwork.

As others have said above Faith looks just plain weird.
This was just plain fun to read and ogle. Add me to the chorus of praise for BKV's ability to get into the characters' heads - their voices and banter are spot-on, and flow seamlessly from Joss's own first arc. I could easily hear Eliza's and Tony's voices during their conversations, and I also agree with the others above who mentioned pangs of sympathy for Faith. She doesn't seem to be having the best time of things, going it alone right now. And as she seems to be viewed as a 'wetworks' specialist, that doesn't seem to be a changing trend, either.

Even the Buffy/Xander dialogue was on target, too - in my head Sarah and Nick were saying those lines. And again, as was mentioned above, I do think that BKV's prior comic experience lends itself well to the pacing and panel-usage to move the story. Now that big introductions and scene/character establishments are out of the way after "The Long Way Home", there seems to be opportunity for more rapid happenings, plot-wise, and BKV looks to be up for the challenge through "No Future for You".

Oh, and like embers mentioned, I loved the humor in Faith's interpretation of "cunning" into oral sex. I laughed out loud.

Can't wait 'till next month.
To everything already said, I'll add that I loved when Giles said he WAS the Watchers' Council. So cool after how badly he'd been treated. And makes me remember that Quentin went boom in S7.
I actually thought faith looked fantastic. The artwork is awesome - dark and edgy, really capturing the feel of the series. The characters all have a shadowy look and it's kind of perfect. I totally get why Joss chose Jeanty. I also thought Faith was some of the best of Jeanty's S8 artwork yet.
The only thing that makes me very annoyed is Giles having brown eyes. I cannot let that go. Make it stop!
BKV's Faith was great. Not too sure about his Buffy, but looking forward to more of Season 8!
Suzie wrote: In the spirit of Jubal Early, how is it fair that Warren got to live and yet Tara can't be resurrected? That's just not right.

I agree. The only thing I've come up with so far is that Warren is male, and Tara isn't. Evil male characters are suppose to be "more interesting" to the public than good, decent female characters.

Bah! Humbug!

Tara could totally be brought back. There are a bazillion ideas on how to do that, where lots of angst could be milked for all its worth. I'm talking about well-written, page-flipping, totally-riveting drama. The authors over at Kitten Board and The Chosen understand this.

Does Joss understand, or for that matter, care? Not yet, and according to the letters section of this book, maybe not ever. The PTB like Tara being dead. It gives them some kind of warm, solid foundation feeling, that death is somehow immutable in fantasy fiction.

As vampire Willow once said, "Whatever."
NimNams said:

Wow. What an issue. It almost feels weird to say, but I think BKV writes a better Buffy comic than Joss. I mean, yeah, they both have perfect understandings of the characters and an uncanny mastery of natural dialogue, but BKV's pacing, his use of frames, everything...the guy's a master. Maybe it's just me, but this issue felt like it was written for comicdom, while with Joss's work, I often feel like it was originally envisioned as a TV or movie script. Don't get me wrong, Joss's stuff is great. But this issue...wow.


I agree. I liked the first story arc, but it felt rushed and squeezed into those issues when it probably needed to be spread out a bit more. This one, though, was spot on.
Matt_Fabb:

On top of the Doctor Who cameo, BVK throws in a reference to the great Alan Moore when Giles talks about "the great bearded wizard of Northampton". As Northampton is where the great bearded Alan Moore lives and basically part of Moore's religious beliefs considers himself to be a wizard.

On top of that, there's a reference to another Scott-Allie-edited book (or family of books) on the back wall of the training room...
I really enjoyed reading this. I've never read any Brian K. Vaughan work before, but I think I can see why he's so highly thought of. Those two textless panels on page 7 after Faith kills the child vampires clearly show the power of what's not said in a comic. They're so haunting. I really felt for Faith there.

Oh and 'The Queen is dead. Long live the Queen' makes me believe even more that the season eight arc is going to be about Buffy's usurpation as 'Queen'. (My prediction, based on the first comic, being that Dawn will take over somehow.)
Terrific start to the new arc! BKV obviously knows his Buffy characters well, and you'd never guess he wasn't part of the original writing staff. I particularly liked his takes on Faith and Xander, and could hear ED and NB saying each line. As others have mentioned, the "cunning" joke was hilarious, and the shirtless Xander scene with Buffy was wonderful. (Interesting that Xander doesn't sound like he shares Renee's crush...I hope we see that sparring match on panel!)

I also really liked how Giles likened his troubled youth with Faith's experiences, and how he really seemed to touch her. Great scene.

I don't immediately see Genevieve as MUAHAHAH evil - she seems shallow and misguided, and not the one calling the shots. Can't wait to see how she falls into this Twilight business.
I don't mean this to be "confrontational", but: At this point, I don't think the Tara resurrection conflict is a case of Joss's lack of understanding or caring about the 'verse in general.
Rowan Hawthorn; (where else have I seen you post?) Well, going just from the subjective and egocentric criteria of what I personally care about and understand, I'd say you've a point.
Rowan Hawthorn and DaddyCatALSO: I'm fully prepared to admit I'm a bit too fanatical about Tara Maclay. I just don't see reason when it comes to her. As such, my usual objectivity goes out the window. Because of my condition, I don't quite understand things like the rest of the non-loving Tara world does.

Joss seems to be saying, "Yeah, she was Willow's soulmate, but so what. We'll give her a new girlfriend and that will set everything right," as if the character was an interchangable widget in some massive machine. That doesn't make sense to me.

Plus, I just don't like Kennedy. Bleck!
I just have to say (which is why I'm posting) that I agree w/Rowan Hawthorn and think the point was made very charmingly (no confrontation there at all). But just because I am personally not campaigning for Tara's return I wouldn't want anyone to interpret that to mean I'm not Tara loving! She was the love of Willow's life, and I don't think Joss meant for anyone to think that having Kennedy come onto her made anything alright. I just don't think that the story Joss wants to tell should necessarily take a back seat to the story a few people want told.

I think it is too bad that in a moment of weakness (when exhausted and not thinking he would be returning to Buffy, maybe ever) Joss told his idea for bringing Tara back. If he hadn't done so then he would probably be more keen on including that in this comic book series. Regardless, I don't interpret Scott's statement in the letter section as meaning that it will never happen. It could easily happen in Buffy's season 9!
I'm up at college so my dad mailed it to me, but I won't get it until tomorrow! AGH! This is driving me insane!
Loved everything about the issue (except possibly the now-infamous jumper.) Spot-on character voices. Great development in the Faith/Giles relationship (I know I've always found stabbing someone with a fork to be a great conversation starter.) Cute Doctor Who reference (which I'm sad to say I didn't even notice at first.) And I always love a nod to "The Most Dangerous Game."
I have to admit that the wildly changing eye colors annoy me, too. Still love the comics, though. As a heretofore comics newbie I never imagined I'd love them this much but I do. Long live Buffy Seasons 8 and 9! And long live BKV, an amazing addition to the writers of the Buffyverse.

Is "blooding" a fox-hunting term?
Yeah, blooding's a quaint and delightful tradition where a child on their first fox hunt would have the dead fox's blood smeared over their face as a type of initiation. Humans are lovely. It looks like BKV's using it in a more general sense.
Amen, Rowan Hawthorn, amen. And I must also concur with embers that this in no way means I don't love Tara. She's one of the very best characters in the Buffyverse.
Praise: I think Season 8 just hit its stride. That was pretty f-ing sweet. Xander's embarrassment was adorable. The voices were spot on. The details of the table settings and Faith's run-down apartment made the scenes feel really grounded, and comic Giles is looking good nowadays.

Thoughts: I think Giles may have a superiority complex that rivals Buffy's. I never realized it ran that deep before, or that it was so strongly tied to his former badassedness. He's making me nervous. He seems a little dodgy. He doesn't look at Faith much while he's laying out the terms of their agreement.

The warlock working for the Twilight carries some sort of clearly marked handbook of evil around? Is he just that arrogant?

I remain deeply thankful for Tara; however, I don't understand this idea that she "deserves" to return from the dead, or that the writers should be bashed for not doing it. It pains me to see people accuse Joss Whedon of being a jerk.

I miss Anya, too.
For those commenting that BKV's character voices are spot-on, equal to or better than those in Joss's issues, and that his comic story-telling is just flat-out superior, remember that, according to BKV, Joss gave him numerous notes, which improved the story. That might be writerly modesty, but I think it's likely the truth.

I don't know if I like the idea that Twilight is going to be some magical organization. I liked the idea that humans, and humans alone, were behind the organization and honeatly believed that the Slayers were a threat. The conflict was darker that way.

[ edited by shambleau on 2007-09-08 14:51 ]
My favorite issue so far. Faith's dialog is amazing. It is so like her character. I was really worried about this because I love everything about Faith. The anti-Buffy.

I love the panel of Xander hiding behind the punch bag. It so Xander-like.
Yay for a Pink Floyd and Beatles references.
Although I haven't seen Dr. Who (except last weekend on mute when I had a little too much to drink), I thought the nod was cute.

Like I just said, It's my favorite issue so far.
Having skimmed the comments, I haven't noticed anyone mention just how heartbreaking the beginning of this issue is. And it's not just that Faith has to stab the child-vamps; it's that she realizes that killing them is what Robin Wood had meant for her to do all along when he asked her to "take care of them." She had taken it as him having faith in her as a human and as a woman, when in actuality she was just being seen as someone willing to kill.
It's heartbreaking because after everything she's been through, there's still a streak of trust and hopefulness left in Faith. And you see her pulling away from that hopefulness in her "I ain't your beloved Buffy, I'm the go-to girl for dirty deeds done dirt cheap." Being sent to kill children when she thought she was being trusted with them has worn further away at any belief she has left that anyone could really value her as anything but a killer.

Anyone else with me on this?
I'm with ya 'thumb... I'm with ya.

[ edited by Haunt on 2007-09-08 06:37 ]
sorethumb, I totally missed all that depth. Kudos.
She had taken it as him having faith in her as a human and as a woman, when in actuality she was just being seen as someone willing to kill.

That wasn’t how I read it although I agree you could. If Faith had thought Robin meant “take care of them” in the Doris the social worker rather than the Tony Soprano sense of the words, I would have expected her mood to lighten but she seems to set off in much the same cynical frame of mind as she started out in. If the kids had simply been left orphaned by the raid why would Robin not be able to deal with them himself, he used to be a teacher? Against that she does seem unreasonably hopeful that the first child she sees is exactly what it seems but the previous stakings of her apartment wall suggest that this isn’t the first time she’s been called on for dirty deeds.
I came to a new appreciation of Georges Jeanty's art as I read this for a third time last night. Actually, as I didn't read it, since I stopped looking in the balloons and just followed the faces from panel to panel. Georges' priority isn't the facial features of the actor but the facial expressions of the character--he uses the face to show you what's going on behind the face. The more I focused on the expressions, the more beautiful the art got, and the more moving. He shows a lot of Faith. I think he pushes verisimilitude far to extract emotional essence. A choice I respect.

ETA: "Oh, the Asses You'll Kick!"

[ edited by Pointy on 2007-09-09 02:43 ]
I agree with hayes62, that the ambiguity that sorethumb comments on was for us (the readers) to be fooled into thinking that Faith was being asked to be a caregiver, but that Faith herself knew that Wood was protecting his young new slayers from having to kill off under-aged Vampires (and not being so protective of Faith's feelings).
I hope we learn what happened after 'Chosen' to put a big wedge between Wood and Faith.
First off, there is an episode where Faith explains the meaning of 5X5, but for the life of me I can't remember which one.My memory of the explaination is a little vague also, but it had to do with something about a square.(5X5, get it?). Wish I could remember more, guess its time to hit the DVDs again.Like I need an excuse...
My earlier comment about Tara and Warren was meant as an ironic commentary on the real world, which can seem random and absurd. We lose some people we love while some awful people get second chances. I understand that Joss is making that point at times. I understand authors kill or resurrect characters in service to the stories they tell. But suggesting that Joss knows best is sort of like saying, "God works in mysterious ways." We still don't have to like it! In fact, if we didn't experience angst, these stories would have no conflict. "Romeo and Juliet" still has power, for example, because we still hate it that they die in the end. If Shakespeare was writing "Romeo and Juliet Season 8," don't you think people would be begging him to bring them back?
Also, I want Lilah back. And Wes. And Anya.
And the chaos demon.
embers, I disagree, I read it that Faith didn't know the kids were vampires, since she goes up to the first one and asks where the others are, and seems shocked to see she's a vamp.

One thing in that bit annoyed me though- there's five kids in the family pictures, and she only seems to dust five vamps, but there are six vampire kids. Did the mum get the neighbours too? And if so did Faith tell the last one to run along since she wasn't sent for them?

Man that would suck.
Good point about Wood being able to take care of the kids, hayes62. It's definitely not clear-cut. Which is what makes it so great.

And thanks for the kudos, UnpluggedCrazy. An MA in literature (well, almost) has got to be good for something! I just hope it will eventually be good for something other than analyzing comics on the internet:)

And as for the art, I thought the depictions of Faith were hit and miss, but that's understandable since this is her first appearance. I did, however, think that this was the best-looking Buffy we've had in the series so far.
I'm glad this thread's still going - I read what was here on Friday but have only just had a chance to respond.

Sorethumb wrote:
She had taken it as him having faith in her as a human and as a woman, when in actuality she was just being seen as someone willing to kill.


hayes62wrote
That wasn’t how I read it although I agree you could. If Faith had thought Robin meant “take care of them” in the Doris the social worker rather than the Tony Soprano sense of the words, I would have expected her mood to lighten but she seems to set off in much the same cynical frame of mind as she started out in.


I’m very much with sorethumb on this. It was a part of the issue that really resonated with me but I thought maybe it hadn’t been mentioned because a lot of people had already seen those pages in the six page preview for Buffy #6 a while back.

I caught the ambiguity on first reading - in that it caught my attention and I thought 'what...why would he ask Faith..that doesn't ring true?' but then read on quickly and so was 'fooled' as embers suggests - but I read Faith as more fooled than I was and in fact quite shocked.

On second reading I really felt for her - if she hadn’t been so abrupt with her “just text me the address” Robin might have spelled things out more clearly as the "but-" suggests he might have been about to do. Faith, defensive as ever and not wanting to show that she’s disappointed that the call is not for pleasure, just jumps to a conclusion. The page took me right back to that ‘glove of myhnegon’ episode where she makes her isolation worse by the way she feels sorry for herself.

As for Faith’s mood not lightening – I took that to mean that she would have welcomed the ‘late night booty call’ or at least would rather be joining him and the noobs than being asked to play Mum.

I didn't see her frame of mind as cynical but as trying to put on a brave face. I've not generally been a big Faith fan (though I thought Eliza did a great job) but I was really pulling for her on that page. The contrast between her situation and that of Buffy in terms of having the support of others around her is even more stark than in season 3. I've imagined the different emphasis that could be put on "Ah gotcha" if it were spoken and wondered what tone of voice DB Woodside would have employed.

One thing in that bit annoyed me though- there's five kids in the family pictures, and she only seems to dust five vamps, but there are six vampire kids.


I took it that she dusts the sixth child “off screen” as it were (or whatever you say in comics) and that fighting and dusting him was the ‘worthless whore’ memory that leads to her stabbing Giles with a fork.

At the end of #4 I was beginning to wonder if comics were really for me but This issue and #5 before it have got me hooked again.
Loved it. The dialogue was absolutely spot-on (and I strongly suspect, having read his other stuff, especially Ex and Y, that BKV didn't need much help with it - the guy writes dialogue to rival Joss' IMO) and Jeanty's art had a nice edge and accuracy (for the most part anyway - he seems to just zone out sometimes and turn in not only a bad likeness but an actual bad drawing too e.g. pg 10, top panel where Faith says "Wait, huh ?", proportions are wrong, face is a mess and yet Giles is almost perfect in the very same frame. Puzzling).

Nice little in-references, not really breaching the fourth wall overtly IMO so I can deal (I actually thought "Aha, so it's set around 2006" when I saw The Doctor and Rose. And then I thought "Except he's a time traveller. You frickin idjet" ;). Northampton Wizard, heh ;). Did anyone notice it's Lady Genevieve Savidge BTW ? Maybe a wee reference to another dark-haired, evil noble-person, Vandal Savage ?

And yep, 'The Most Dangerous Game'. Got a feeling Faith may end up running the gauntlet and that Lady G will find out what a real badass is all about (there was an excellent '2000AD' story some years ago called "Button Man" which used roughly the same idea - those guys bit off more than they could chew as well).

"The Queen is dead, long live the queen". Well, it seems to be about Buffy - not noticed before but the way monarchy continues is exactly the same way Slayerness is passed on i.e. when the old monarch dies, the new monarch is instantly "called" and there's also a possible allusion to Queen 'B' (Faith's nickname for Buffy).

Also, "No Future for You" (the story title) is a lyric from "God Save the Queen" by The Sex Pistols (a band you have to assume Faith would dig ;). In the song the Queen's a figurehead involved in preserving "England's dreaming" (living in the past, ignoring the real world and real people's problems I suppose) and ordinary folk have to wake up or there'll be no future for any of us.

(and for me Faith knew what Wood meant when he asked her to "take care of" the kids, that's why she was so abrupt about the text and why she looks so grim in juxtaposition to the jaunty Seuss quote "You're off to great places ... today is your day !" - it's definitely open to interpretation though)

Because of my condition, I don't quite understand things like the rest of the non-loving Tara world does.

Ah, the wonderful world of false dichotomies. Either we want Tara to be resurrected or we don't love her. No "third way" then ? No possibility of feeling that if death is to mean anything then someone has to stay dead ? Ho hum.
Faith and Robin didn't work because she has only one real love: Buffy. Despite all her protestations to the contrary. So there.

I liked the issue, but I didn't love it. I guess I was so worked up about Brian Vaughan writing my favorite character that I expected too much. I probably will love it once I am able to read all of them.
So the issue's been out for a few days, the thread's over 80 comments and we've still got no answer to who that is in the US version of the Doctor Who panel (where Faith says "What gives, G?"). If they're characters from a BKV comic I assume someone would have recognised them by now. Despite how specific the drawing is, could it actually be no one in particular - just a red herring?

Sign me up for the "third way" Saje, loved Tara, but we've already had one person too many come back to life. It'd be nice to see her again as a one-off though (like Darla and Lilah).
I also liked the issue, missed the Dr Who reference entirely, (I'm not sure what the issue is with the "US version of the Dr Who panel". Was there a different version or was it just that there was an old fashioned red phone box behind them? Did we have red phone boxes in the US? I thought they were brown and later silver.) unsure whether or not Faith knew what she was walking into but was sure she was feeling used, and have always thought Giles had a good dose of old-style Watcher in him.

On that last point, I always thought Giles was a good illustration of the way people go through phases in their lives and when they get older, often revert to however they were brought up. That whole stereotype of the woeful exclamation "I'm turning into my mother/father!" is more than how parents start treating kids. I know some people think S7 Giles is totally out of character, but my feeling was that when he went back to England he more fully embraced the Watcher part of him. Admittedly, not the following orders part. Buffy had reconnected him with his rebellious side enough for him to disobey orders in order to do what he thought was right. However, he has always had a bit of the Watcher arrogance that makes him think that ultimately he knows best, and is willing to be the one to decide who can be sacrificed for the greater good. In this case it is both Faith and Lady G..

Speaking of Lady G., she seemed rather upset by the killing once she had done it and indication was that this warlock was offering something to her to get her to do what he wanted her to do. I really get the feeling that she may not turn out to be truly evil, only messed up and being used by the warlock much as Faith is being used by Giles.

As far as this Twilight group being better if it is only humans, they have already been shown capturing/rescuing then using witches and whatever Warren is...s. How is having a warlock and pals working for them all that different from having Amy and pal working for them?

As far as the Tara thing, I have never understood why people want to make boundaries rather than finding common ground. (That goes for all the other one sided character and writer controversy and angst that people put out there.) People can love Tara, dislike Kennedy, not have a problem with Tara coming back, but also not see it as necessary to the story. Personally I would not be upset to see Willow move past Kennedy into a relationship that was not IMO an accident of an aggressive person meeting up with a vulnerable person at a point in her life when she needed direction. On the other hand, if Tara came back and Willow just dumped Kennedy, I would probably have a bad taste in my mouth about the whole thing. The problem could be interesting, but if Joss doesn't want to write/supervise it, I don't really want it to happen.

As far as the idea that fanfic should be Joss's guide to what to do with these characters, any of these characters, I find myself being more annoyed every time someone suggests it, whether it is Tara, Spike or whomever. Fanfic is a great outlet for people and I am glad that the internet makes it so easy for people to share it. I know people have their favorite fanfic writers and I am guessing that if I were to tell them what they should write, or what part of fandom's ideas they should use, their fans would get annoyed with me. Joss and his team are my favorite writers of these characters and I want to see what they come up with all on their own.
Err, sorry you misunderstood newcj, assumed people would have read through this thread, but I did say that it was the panel where Faith says "What gives, G?". It's the US version of the Doctor Who panel in that it is very similar, but set in the US - nothing to do with phone boxes or different version of the comic.

I am with you on wanting to see what Joss & co come up with for any character. While we're absolutely entitled to opinions, if writers just did what fans wished for then what would be the point?
Hadn't really noticed the "What gives G ?" panel characters but they do seem to be foregrounded. From the tiny bit of the girl she could be Karolina from 'Runaways' but I can't place the bloke though he looks kind of familiar (the only contender I can think of is Yorick 'Y: The Last Man' Brown with a goatee - in which case the woman could be Beth, his pre-apocalypse girlfriend).

Or they could be Marvel East Coast characters ?
Speaking of Lady G., she seemed rather upset by the killing once she had done it
I thought so too and that her initial reactions - shock that it had gone so far and wanting hide the evidence were quite similar to Faith's when she accidently staked Finch. But I don't know how much of the shock was genuine and how much acting as she thought she would be expected too, since as soon as the Warlock brought in his boys she was straight back to "I want my puppy."

I do wonder whether Giles hopes meeting Lady G who has had all the advantages Faith never did but seems to have fallen even further into darkness may be a kind of Cruciamentum/therapy for Faith. It would still be using her, if a little more benignly.
Go read The Nexus talks about the new Buffy.

[ edited by Simon on 2007-09-10 07:23 ]
From that review:
However, as Editor Scott Allie explains in the Letters section, Whedon is now acting as "Executive Producer": overlooking the creation of the book, working on the storyline concept with Vaughan, etc. And his hand is definitely felt in this book: you can actually hear the voice and attitude of Faith from her dialogue. The tone is perfect.

Y'know, combined with the odd comment above, I can't help but feel that BKV is getting a bit of a raw deal here. Maybe Joss polished absolutely everything but to me it's also entirely possible that as a hard-core fan, the guy already knew the character's voices, just as we can tell when dialogue sounds like Faith or Giles or whomever (even if we, or at least the me shaped part, couldn't replicate it).

Just hope if there's a bum note somewhere in the following issues Joss gets equal credit for that too (and I mean absolutely no offence to Big Purp by that, just seems a bit unfair s'all, credit where it's due, y'know ?).
Your link doesn't work for me, BunnyDee. Says I have to be an administrator or something.
Nor me UnpluggedCrazy (I think the server's having "issues"). You can get to it via Google's cached copy though.
Saje, I completely agree regarding BKV's bum rap on the writing. I've only read the scripts, not spoken to him directly or anything. But I can tell you that Brian is very "conversational" in the way he writes his scripts, talking casually to the reader (in this case Georges Jeanty.) There's absolutely nothing anywhere that suggests to me at least that anyone other than he is responsible for any of the writing, dialogue or otherwise. As you say, it's entirely possible that in his capacity as "Executive Producer" Joss does go in and polish everything everyone else writes. But i highly doubt it.

Having read the majority of his other works, I think it's more likely that BKV is just a phenomenal writer in his own right, and that he happens to share a similar style and sensibility (and "voice") with Joss.

[ edited by Haunt on 2007-09-09 21:06 ]
Did anyone catch the joke (or at least I saw it as a joke) when Faith says "So long, Robin" just as she's shooting her very Batman-esque claw/rope thingy?
I too thought that Faith, hoping for a booty call, at least expects to be able to save some kids, only to be let down again. I love how Giles is standing in for Angel with his "You're not the only one who's done bad things" talk to Faith.
I find it very very unlikely that Faith could possibly fool anyone into thinking she is a lady but I will enjoy finding out. Yes, this was an excellent ep and I appreciate all of those above who have brought to my attention all the little things I've missed. But please, I think we know the meaning of 5X5 now!
"Err, sorry you misunderstood newcj, assumed people would have read through this thread, but I did say that it was the panel where Faith says "What gives, G?". It's the US version of the Doctor Who panel in that it is very similar, but set in the US - nothing to do with phone boxes or different version of the comic. "

OK, I get it now. Thanks. I had actually read the whole thread, but I did not have the comic in front of me at the time so I had no idea what anybody was talking about until I went back to the comic after having read the thread. That's why I did not realize that people were talking about two panels rather than the one.

Saje, I agree that it is unfair not to credit BKV for the issue pretty completely unless someone says otherwise. Give Joss credit for the overall story, sure, but if I remember correctly the individual writers were responsible for their own arcs within the overall story...and with Joss's input.

So, good job BKV I have not read your other work, but enjoyed this. I am looking forward to the next issue.
Since I think the comments about the unfairness of the "bum rap" on BKV's writing apply to me, I'm gonna defend myself a bit.I got my information from a a Newsarama interview with BKV. (There's also a Wizard interview in the archives for August 30th that is a virtual repeat of the Newsarama. Sorry, my linking skills are abysmal, so anyone interested will have to look it up.) In brief, he says he received back ten pages of detailed notes from Joss for each issue he sent him "explaining how he (BKV) could make it better. And the annoying thing is, he was right."

He goes on to say that Joss was taking his role as executive producer as seriously as he had during the tv years and that consequently BKV never worked harder on any comic in his life. He talks also about the extensive conversations he and Joss had on how to work BKV's original idea into the season 8 arc. To me all that hardly makes it unfair to give Joss some credit for how the issue turned out.

Now maybe the ten pages thing per issue was hyperbole or humor that I misunderstood and Joss didn't write any notes. Or maybe he did, but the suggestions on how to make it better never once touched on characterization or improving lines, only on plot mechanics. I admit I inferred that part. But since one BTVS writer after another has said in interviews that Joss wrote or improved some line that fans were giving them credit for, it hardly seems a stretch that it could happen again with a new writer to the verse, however talented.

Anyway, I fail to see how a comment that basically points out the collaborative nature of the work on Buffy, and Joss's crucial role, is such a slam. I certainly never said he polished every line that BKV wrote.

[ edited by shambleau on 2007-09-10 05:08 ]

[ edited by shambleau on 2007-09-10 05:18 ]

[ edited by shambleau on 2007-09-10 05:20 ]
I finally got my copy yesterday. Thanks to all for the Doctor Who and other insights. I'm already a BKV fan so it was no surprise to see how well he did with the dialogue for these characters. The guy is definitely a Mutant Enemy-caliber talent. Makes me even more disappointed that we won't get to see his Faith tv movie produced.

Loved the issue. Great stuff all around. There were a few iffy panels but overall, I find Jeanty's work to be appealing and effective storytelling.

As for the story itself, I'm wondering if S8 is going to riff on fairytales and myths the same way the tv series did with the horror/fantasy genre?

In the first arc, Joss subverts the Sleeping Beauty story -- we were supposed to think that Angel or Spike or Xander would "save" Buffy, and ta dah! They don't, it's the Japanese slayer with the best hair day ever, with some prodding from Willow. And now we have two Pygmalions, Giles the Watcher and the reasonably attractive warlock guy, each with their own Slayer/Galatea stand-in. I'm sure most of us are familiar with the musical My Fair Lady, but the George Bernard Shaw play that it's based on has a decidedly un-romantic ending. Eliza really does run off to marry Freddie. Shaw was adamant that Eliza and Prof. Higgins couldn't end up together (although the film adaptation he wrote many years later did suggest otherwise).

Maybe Faith doesn't have to kill the rogue slayer. Maybe they both realize that there's another way than being manipulated by some man in authority, no matter how well-meaning. That'd be my guess. It's a killer set up, no pun intended, but I'm looking forward to seeing how they'll subvert our expectations as much as seeing Faith pretend to be a high class lady.
Anyway, I fail to see how a comment that basically points out the collaborative nature of the work on Buffy, and Joss's crucial role, is such a slam. I certainly never said he polished every line that BKV wrote.

Fair points all shambleau, I was more responding to the review which as well as your comments, seemed to be indicating a trend toward "If it's good it's Joss' hand in it" and (presumably) "If it's not good it's not Joss (i.e. it's BKV)" which seems very unfair.

As you say, we don't know what the notes consisted of and though i'd bet they were detailed (these are Joss' babies after all) I still don't think it's fair to take away from Brian (and IIRC wasn't the story idea his from years back ?). Reading his other comics stuff, he has no problems with cracking dialogue and great plots and is, in some people's opinion, a better comics writer than the J man.

But yeah, as I say fair point, your comment was far from harsh and, given the collaborative nature of this particular series, probably had a lot of truth to it too.

(it's worth remembering though, that when Joss was picked to do a 'Runaways' arc, people were overjoyed precisely because BKV's 'Runaways' dialogue was already considered very "Jossian" and likewise when BKV was picked for a Buffy arc, so I suspect the dialogue was pretty close anyway - in fact reading 'Runaways' hardback Vol 3 over the weekend I saw a 'Sunny D' reference which reminded me of Faith's usage though in that instance the character was referring to the drink)
Interesting. I read Faith as hoping the kids were ok, disappointed when they weren't, but understanding all along that she'd been given the job because they might be vampires. It never even occurred to me that she wouldn't consider killing kid-vampires a possible outcome. I'm not saying I'm right-- I'm intrigued that there are different interpretations.

I'm also really not sure that the person in the flashback who grabs her arm is one of those kid-vampires. Faith is wearing the same clothes she's wearing in the mirrored panel with Giles. It's not what she was wearing when she was killing vampires in the previous scene. So really the time and place are unknown. The other person's face is turned, so it's difficult to tell who it is. The profile does look kind of bumpy in the forehead region, I admit. It would make more sense that she's having a flashback to something traumatic from longer ago than recent events.
Giles' sweater made me want to listen to Eleanor Rigby. :)
It would make more sense that she's having a flashback to something traumatic from longer ago than recent events.


When I read that scene for the first time I wondered if she had an abusive father.
That's what I thought too, Simon. I think BKV intends to delve into Faith's past a bit, and this was the first glimpse, whoever it was.
I was more responding to the review, which, as well as your comments, seemed to be indicating a trend toward "if it's good it's Joss' hand in it" and presumably "if it's not it's not Joss (ie it's BKV)" which seems very unfair.


Interesting, Saje. I hadn't read that review, but I had read reviews and comments that either stated straight out or implied that it was good precisely because Joss hadn't had a hand in it, mostly from those who think BKV is a better comics writer. I thought those comments were far more widespread than any "all good flows from Joss" sentiments and indicated a trend which seemed unfair, IMO, to Joss.

So, precisely the opposite perception on the way things were trending. Don't think it matters, though, because most people liked or loved the issue, and that's all to the good.
Heh, weird how views are shaped by different "snapshots" of reality. Human affairs eh, what a mess ;).

See, I don't think that's right either, Joss is an excellent comics writer IMO (i'm gonna stay on the fence about who's better cos frankly, I can't decide ;) so doesn't deserve to be dissed in that way and I think there is a contingent that's unfairly harsh on him just because he has such loyal fans (i.e. they're doing it to be contrary) - which is not to say either writer never does anything worthy of criticism, they're only human after all.

Still, each to their own obviously (and it is good the issue's being well received in general).
I like the idea of Faith's flashback relating to less recent events - but I'd say her clothes in the flashback don't support that. Isn't she wearing the same jacket both in the "dammit" panel above the "pafts" and while getting her cutlery lesson with Giles? Also, if she's reenacting something when she stabs him, with the fork as stake, that would more likely relate to events since she was called.

While on the 'paft' page - did anyone else think that the tallest kid looked a bit like Joss?
While on the 'paft' page - did anyone else think that the tallest kid looked a bit like Joss?

Yes.

Also, I didn't think that was the same jacket on Faith in both scenes. I think the two panels on that page are the same in detail other than the person who scares her, her weapon, and the background. My copy is not with me, but I did ponder those panels awhile.

I had read reviews and comments that either stated straight out or implied that it was good precisely because Joss hadn't had a hand in it, mostly from those who think BKV is a better comics writer.

The way I look at it, it's collaborative work, and the real measure of a collaboration is the degree to which the product rocks (here: mightily) and the degree to which the collaborators feel they've done good work together. There's a additive effect at work when people work together, whether as coauthors or as author and executive producer, and it's not simple (and I would argue, not productive) to give credit (or apportion blame) from the outside. Criticize the final creative product all you like, but comparing the efforts that went into producing it, as readers of it, seems not only moot, but also unfair.

However the process works, I just hope Joss rewrites every line that Goddard dude sends him. I bet Andrew gets a lot of panel time being hilarious, and that's just plain wrong.**

** sarcasm, Goddard-appreciation.

*checks walkie-talkie repeatedly*
A couple criticisms from other sites that haven't been gone over here...

The Faith of the late seasons, 4th season Angel especially, would never have simply accepted Giles' offer to kill another slayer, especially when she'd had no contact with him to engender trust. Her characterization's been regressed back to S3 of Buffy.

The abandonment of Faith to a second-rate Hellmouth in Cleveland and her shabby treatment by the scoobs: crappy apartment, low pay ("dirty deeds done cheap"), and lack of contact, contradict the rapprochement of Buffy's final episodes.

Comments?

[ edited by shambleau on 2007-09-11 05:00 ]

[ edited by shambleau on 2007-09-11 05:02 ]
Interesting thoughts shambleau
The Faith of the late seasons, 4th season Angel especially, would never have simply accepted Giles' offer to kill another slayer, especially when she'd had no contact with him to engender trust. Her characterization's been regressed back to S3 of Buffy.


I'm torn as to how to read that aspect. The contrary view would be to say we don't see Faith actually accept Giles' offer. Aside from the funny the 'cunning' panel also tells us that she feels free to back out if the job doesn't suit her - though Giles doesn't seem to notice this. He may assume she's agreed, since she seems to be going along with his plan. I like to think it's more likely she's biding her time - much as she did briefly in AtS season 4 when she thought Wesley wanted her to harm Angelus.

The abandonment of Faith to a second-rate Hellmouth in Cleveland and her shabby treatment by the scoobs: crappy apartment, low pay ("dirty deeds done cheap"), and lack of contact, contradict the rapprochement of Buffy's final episodes.


It's not necessarily abandonment even if she feels it that way. The opening scenes were so evocative of her aloneness but the contrast between her situation and that of Buffy and the others in the castle could be mostly of her own doing - or easily remedied by her taking positive steps. Interesting how Buffy feels alone too despite having so many others around her. Then there's the alone but engaged underground Buffy in #5.

It's Giles who calls it a 'second-rate hellmouth' and he has an agenda. Robin and the noobs could be living in the style that Buffy and co are doing in Scotland with fancy technology and what not - Faith may have chosen not to join/live with them. Her cynicism and self deprecating talk are not necessarily a reflection of how they are actually treating her. I can see her using 'Spartan' to keep the others at bay and can also see her feeling self conscious about her 'escaped con' status amongst slayers she doesn't know.

I'm really curious to see how much we'll find out about what's gone on since the end of season 7.
You said everything I was going to purplehazel.
Oh, good, people are still posting on this. Hopefully it will continue and I won't have entirely missed the party.

I'm kinda surprised that some people are reading Giles' actions as manipulating Faith. It's a straightforward deal: Faith performs a service and gets paid accordingly. Giles is making the deal worth her while, he's not tricking her or hiding info or anything. If Giles does turn out to be manipulating Faith in some way I will be extremely disappointed because it would be very much out of character. Giles had always been the anti-Watchers' Council. Just because he went along with Robin's plan to off Spike that time does not mean he's gone over to the dark side.

And am I the only one who sees the Faith/Giles possibility of this arc? Or at least the Faith/Giles subtext possibility? I mean, Giles is clearly thinking that Faith looks hot on the last page there.

And anybody else notice Xander's Sunnydale Swim Team t-shirt?

"The Queen is dead. Long live the Queen" -- Of course, the immediate assumption is that "the Queen" refers to Buffy. But that may be too obvious. It might be a more general reference to the (old) Slayer system of succession -- as soon as one Slayer dies, the next is called, as also happens with British monarchs, as opposed to, say, what the French did back in the ol' absolute ruler days -- the new monarch wasn't in charge until coronated, everyone had to pretend the dead one was still alive until then. But I digress. Point is, the Buffydream might be about how she screwed up the whole Slayer line of succession thing.

"I loved that shirt" -- nice word-choice with "love." Really emphasizes Gigi's psychopathy. She "loves" her shirt, but people don't mean a thing. It's alluded to that she's already killed other girls.

I think that's all I have to say that hasn't been said already.
I thought it was terribly sad at the beginning - poor Faith. I hope she gets to a better place for herself over the course of the season. Beautifully written, and I loved the issue, but poor Faith, all the same - still not happy in herself.

(And I'm glad I wasn't hallucinating Dr Who in there!)
Finally got my copy today from TFAW. BKV totally nailed Faith. While waiting for this issue and the beginning of Angel, all I can think is that I really really hope there's some way to bring Faith back to Angel. I love those two together, not in a weird shippy way, I just think Angel brings out the best in Faith. I like her more when they're together.
I totally agree, skeez. I said in the discussion over on Dot Org that I've always felt the character was better served by her time on Angel than on Buffy. And given the status of relations between Angel and Giles, I think Captain Forehead would have something to say about Action Librarian putting Faith in a position to kill another human. I compared Angel to Faith's Killers Anonymous sponsor and Giles is being all enabler and shit. :)
First, Gigi is a psychopath and can't be rehabilitated anyways. Second, Giles can do no wrong. >:P
The Faith of the late seasons, 4th season Angel especially, would never have simply accepted Giles' offer to kill another slayer, especially when she'd had no contact with him to engender trust. Her characterization's been regressed back to S3 of Buffy.

Or progressed to a point 18 months post 'Chosen' (if that's when we are). I see Faith at this point as a weary gunfighter, desperately trying to break from her current situation but also sort of wedded to it, both by necessity (she is an escaped convict after all) and as a sort of psychological defence mechanism (she partly isolates herself rather than deal with normal relationships etc. - i.e. being the tough loner has become part of her self-image, part of her armour).

So i'm not sure there's a contradiction because I sort of suspect that Faith (at least partly) volunteered for the "shit detail" (maybe following Angel's lead in atonement through suffering) and wasn't pushed out.

Seen that way, Giles' behaviour (and maybe Robin's too) may be more of an intervention than an enabling, an attempt to "bottom her out" to help her realise she's not who she was, that she's a better person than the one that murdered, so that she can start to reclaim her life (I certainly hope so anyway, Faith's been used and manipulated enough by older male pseudo-father figures).

(and I agree, Angel and Faith worked really well together, they saw each other as true equals since they'd been through similar stuff and could share the same sort of world-weary, wry remorse that Angel and Spike sometimes shared in e.g. 'Damage', especially at the end - and Faith's simple "fox-hole" devotion was really nice, Angel brings out the best in her)

I mean, Giles is clearly thinking that Faith looks hot on the last page there.

That's because he's male and not blind - actually (in deference to ladies that like ladies) it's just because he's not blind ;-). Re: an actual ship though, 'ewwwwwwww' only begins to cover it ;).
Thanks Saje. For remembering that hotness crosses gender boundaries.
Re: an actual ship though, 'ewwwwwwww' only begins to cover it ;).

Oh, good. I didn't want to break the mood in the #9 cover thread by saying BLERGH!!! too loudly. But you conveniently broke that ice here. It just doesn't seem like either one of them.

I do think Giles is trying to help Faith in addition to trying to kill a slayer-gone-bad. He's generally a good guy. I don't think he's immoral as a general rule, but he does do morally questionable things sometimes. He has a ruthless side, and I suspect it's getting more action now that the scale of the fight has expanded. People who are convinced they're doing the dark things for good reasons are the most ruthless, after all. Giles killed Ben and helped Robin try to kill Spike when he thought both were for Buffy's own good. I see more of that kind of thing ahead now that he has more responsibility than he did before. Not Giles laughing an evil laugh, but Giles doing stuff that's more morally questionable. Notice Buffy doesn't know what he's up to. That's usually not a good sign.

And thanks also to Saje.
Yeah, Terry Pratchett did a bit in one of his books about how having a bad person after you is one thing but if a good person is committed to doing you harm you're in real trouble.

A good person will be sure they're doing right, can't be bought off and will pursue you ruthlessly for the common good, even to the extent of laying down their own life to stop you (something a baddie will almost never do). Giles strikes me that way but with enough bad in his past to really know how to hurt you.

(and yeah, fair play to those that have fun with it but I really can't see a Giles/Faith ship without oodles of yuck. I think they'd both be bemused and grossed out by the idea, though Faith at least might also be perversely curious)
I don't remember anyone saying Giles was manipulating Faith, though that may just be my memory gone bad. What I do remember reading and writing myself, was that he was using her. I think Giles can be a greater good kinda guy sometimes and I just don't see that it is Faith's emotional health that he is *most* concerned about. That does not mean he doesn't care. I think he does. I just think that he is willing to sacrifice a part of her for something he considers more important.
Saje:
I really can't see a Giles/Faith ship without oodles of yuck.

"Oodles of yuck." Okay, I just added that one to my list of favorite hyperboles ever...
Finally, my TFAW copy arrived.

About Faith not being with the other slayers in Scotland and elsewhere, and why- part of the explanation may be her problems getting out of the country- and traveling in general -as an escaped felon. Giles notes that she's been trying to buy a bogus passport for a while now.

Also-I don't think there's any real question of shipping. I think it's pretty clear that Giles identifies pretty strongly with Faith, and is also ready to be pretty patient with her, despite his no-nonsense tone. I mean his reaction to getting stabbed with a fork is awfully low key...

[ edited by toast on 2007-09-14 18:38 ]
Yeah but he's British. We get stabbed with forks a lot. And low key is kind of our bag. ;-).
Oh-I wondered why my British cousins had all those little four pointed scars. And they never complain. Actually, that explains a lot.

[ edited by toast on 2007-09-15 03:18 ]
"Yeah but he's British. We get stabbed with forks a lot. And low key is kind of our bag. ;-)."

So if you are low-key, who is doing the stabbing...or are you stabbing each other in a low-key way?

(scrunches up face really hard trying to figure it out)

...I think there is a piece missing in my understanding of this.
Oh, second one of course. Wouldn't do to make a fuss in the stabbing, people might take it the wrong way and be offended.
And one might so easily take stabbing in the wrong way. Obviously, the whole thing is very, uh, subtle.
toast, yeah, my TFAW copy came yesterday too. I'm trying to get them to let me cancel the rest of my pre-orders and set up subscriptions with a local shop, so I won't be so DAMN FAR BEHIND when the discussions start!

ETA: Giles's sweater? Made my head hurt, in so many ways.

ETA: And one more thing: for me, asking Faith to kill a human being just seemed absolutely and totally thoughtless and wrong, considering what happened to her when she did that before - and what it took to bring her back from it. And now just sort of assuming she should be the one to do this? And making it a way out? It just all feels icky to me.

But that said, I did love the issue.

[ edited by Kirochka on 2007-09-15 16:04 ]

[ edited by Kirochka on 2007-09-15 16:07 ]
Yeah but see it wasn't Giles or any of the Scoobies that ended up bringing her back from that, it was Angel. And I'll say again that I really want to see Angel's reaction to this situation. I think he'd be pissed at Giles (especially since Giles wouldn't send anyone to help with Fred) and... oh oops, can't say anymore. :-/
Finally read it this morning - great issue! While fully aware intellectually that many great episodes of the show were written by other people than Joss, I wasn't sure that I would enjoy a non-Whedon-penned issue as much (or at the least, one by a non-BtVS vet). Happily, those fears proved unfounded, with the great new storyline - including lots of Giles!

I felt that his voice, as well as Faith's - well, and everyone's - was very well-captured - whoever wrote what. I don't wish to take any credit away from Brian K. Vaughan, but I don't want to leave Joss completely unacknowledged, either (if nothing else, Xander's "Kurt Russell" monolgue felt very much like Joss to me). Anyway, scripter BKV and (officially titled as such in the credits, even) executive producer Joss Whedon - and the rest of the Dark Horse team, great work all - produced an excellent issue here.
Anyone still here? I’ll just stick around and talk to myself a while.

After Giles, Faith does seem like the best choice for undertaking a necessary assassination, unkind though the assignment may be, given her history. I suspect she'd say no if the stakes weren’t so high.

But maybe it’ll turn out that Genevieve’s rehabilitation, not her death, lies ahead -- with the help of a slayer who has previously killed and then been rehabilitated herself, and who may find a way to avert the apocalypse without offing her target. Genevieve may be in Roden’s thrall and not responsible for her actions, just as Spike was previously triggered by the First. She was doing some strange, puppetlike reversals in her short scene. I want a puppy. / Kill! / Oh God. / Grr, give me what I was promised.

It’d be fascinating to see Faith discover this and then get to help repair the damage done to her. Seems like the effort would go a long way toward repairing damage still left inside Faith. But if this isn’t where the story’s going, then after the assassination, the road ahead is going to get a lot darker for Faith, and it’ll be equally fascinating to see her cope with that.

One of my favorite twisty moments in Faith’s history came after she’d tortured Wesley and then attempted to make Angel her executioner. Wesley followed her to the alley, in the rain, to help with the execution--until he recognized what was actually happening. He let the knife he held slip to the ground. Clink.

[ edited by anniem on 2007-09-16 03:42 ]
anniem, one of my favorite scenes in all of Joss' works. Faith breaking down in Angel's arms, begging him to kill her as we begin to realize that that is what she's been after for some time now, and Wesley, who had previously been defending her watches in stunned, pained silence as he begins to realize that Angel just might decide to save the brutal killer.
I really enjoyed the issue, and I'm totally looking forward to the rest of the arc. Brian is not only a master at the craft of comic book writing, but apparently he also knows his way around the Buffyverse/Slayerverse/Whateveryagonnacallitverse, which is awesome. And he really knows Faith. So far, it looks like a perfect continuation of her story. Can't wait to read more.

I didn't notice the Doctor at first. Then, when I heard there was a panel of something or other on that page, I looked again, saw the pinstripes and was like "heh...heh...heheh...fantastic". Perception filter, I suppose.
That's not his last companion, though. Rose is his second latest companion. Soon to be third latest, as Martha too has left the Doctor's side.
Anyway, this opens up some interesting doors...
Spike VS Daleks, anyone? ;)

[ edited by Vince on 2007-09-16 19:17 ]
Just been re-reading #6 and looking again at the preview pages for #7 . I'll take my comments over to the #7 preview thread to avoid spoiling anyone who's not looked at the new pages yet.
So I've been off in La La Land for some time, just finished watching Buffy Seasons on dvd, feeling all low about it being over when I discovered that there is a fantastic comic series for Season 8! I knew there were other Buffyverse comics out there, but if Joss didn't write them I wasn't interested. I'm ebullient to be reunited with these characters that I unashamedly admit I'm quite fond of. The great thing is, these comics play like the show in my head, so obvious the tone and phrasing that belong to each individual. I can hear Giles' and Faith with perfect clarity. Unbelievable! Absolutely cannot wait for further installments. And Brian K. Vaughn is my new fave comic author, just checked out his other series Runaways and am so impressed. Ah, nirvana, I'm so relieved to be back in the hands of competent storytellers. I can't wait to see a showdown between Faith and Genevieve.

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