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November 07 2007

(SPOILER) For the discussion of Buffy #8. The third part of Brian K. Vaughan's Buffy Season 8 "No Future For You" arc hit the stores today. Come tell us what you thought of it.

So as per usual, plot spoilers for this issue will be discussed in detail.

Can't wait until quittin' time so I can hop by my LCS! And don't forget, BKV's Y: The Last Man #59, the second-to-last issue, comes out today, too.
Ugh, why can I never get to my fav comic book store until the weekend? I'm going to miss out on all the discourse!
Just read it. As excellent as its predecessors. I can tell you that the cover image of Faith drowning Buffy is not at all symbolic. Other things you'll learn from this issue include:

*Teleportation can make you vomit.
*Faith's thoughts may not be entirely her own.
*Giles has some explaining to do.
*Lady G and "Hope" continue bonding ... in a nice hot bath!
I won't be able to pick up my copy until tomorrow.Can't wait to read it.
Spoilers Below

EASILY the best issue so far. I loved every single thing about it. It was great to see witty Buffy again. I absolutely loved the part with her and Willow. The fight between Buffy and GiGi kicked major ass, but it doesn't compare to Buffy and Faith fighting. It was so shocking and sad. I'm thinking Buffy's gunna be mega pissed at Giles.

I also think Georges did a great job getting Sarah's likeness this issue. I'm so excited for the next issue. What's Faith gunna do? It seems like she doesn't even care enough to live anymore. And I loved the Buffy throwing up.
Just read it. While it's excellent, I don't think it delivered on the promise of the previous issue.

I wonder if Faith ever goes undercover again if her name will be Charity.
Nah, Chris in Virginia, according to Buffy precedent, her name should be "Trick." Right?

I thought the issue delivered. Plus the four issue arc ain't over yet, so more delivery goodness is to come, I'm sure of it. I'm loving how tightly and intricately the larger story for S8 is being built and how the doings in Scotland are getting woven into Faith's story. I'm well and truly hooked. My only complaint, as ever, is that the issues don't come out every week. But I get why they can't.

A few highlights for me:
*I felt sorrier for Faith in that water scene than I ever have before. Poor, tormented Faith. I hope she gets control of that inner demon someday. And now she's seemingly lost her new (albeit murderous) best mate. Faith can't catch a break, can she?
*Buffy and Willow's interaction and their ever-witty patter. I love how their relationship has grown over the years: best friends, but with a complicated history. You can feel the weight of that history in these pages, or is that just me?
*Giles. Anything Giles. And knowing that a Giles-Buffy reunion is coming soon. I've been longing for that.

I'm enjoying the hell out of Vaughan's work. He's got the tone just right. He's weaving a tight, cleanly laid out, poignant tale. Despite those virtues, I confess I'm missing the narrative complexity of Joss's issues. Joss's issues have greater re-read value for me.

Question: do we think that those mysterious hovering boots 'n duster that lurked over the castle with the sacrificed Twilight guys in issue #1 belong to Roden?
As always I blame Giles for not telling Buffy anything, and Buffy for not giving Faith any benefit of the doubt. Poor Faith, why is it the only people who really like her and get her are evil (like the Mayor and Gigi)?
*sigh*
Now I can't wait until NEXT month!
Pretty good issue, but not as good as last month's. My major complaint is that the whole Buffy/Gigi thing seemed pretty sudden. I didn't feel like there'd been enough of a build-up. It just went from the bubble bath to the fight. I'm willing to consider that might just be me, and may change when I reread the arc.

I must say, though, the emotional power of the fight between Buffy and Faith was heavy. Faith's, "SHUT UP!" exclamation and the ensuing violence was completely tragic, and made me well up.

Also...first, Willow gets sucked in through a portal to America and now Roden mysteriously poofs Buffy to England? The Scoobs need to be strengthening their magical defenses.

[ edited by UnpluggedCrazy on 2007-11-07 23:57 ]
I liked this better than the previous one. It brought the pain and that's what I like to see.... Hmmm, I may have some issues.

Anyway, mine pale compared to the ones showing up here. Buffy slides down the slope from not harming humans to not harming bad ones, and lets her self-righteous anger push her this close to killing Gigi in cold blood. Not only that, the same anger has her landing an emotional sucker-punch that damages Faith far more than the physical blows. Neither she nor Giles trusted Faith? Ouch.

Faith fights off the despairing, self-defeating voices in her head, (which I don't think are part of a magical attack, but could be I guess), but so narrowly that I could see her not bothering to defend herself against Gigi. And speaking of Gigi, nice parallel going on there, with the "I thought you were my friend." She's feeling as isolated and betrayed as Faith. And Buffy. First Buffy thinks Faith is betraying her and then Giles. Storm clouds everywhere!

I know the transition between Faith's comment that her dad couldn't care less about her to Giles frantically trying to contact her is meant to imply that he does care. I'm not so sure she isn't right, though. He may care, but certainly not in the same way he cares about Buffy. His comment about Faith being born to do this and his not informing Buffy fall into the same pattern. Buffy's a hero. She won't do what needs to be done (which is used to beautiful ironic effect here, since Faith has to prevent Buffy from killing Gigi herself). Faith, on the other hand, is like him, willing to do the nasty stuff so others won't have to.

I'm hoping that the coming confrontation between Buffy and Giles will bring all of this to a head. David Fury wanted to have Giles give a monolog in LMPTM about killing Ben, but said others convinced him nobody cared about that. I sure hope the others didn't include Joss. The right dialog would have gone a long way toward alleviating the complaints about 'Pod Giles' by giving him some more convincing motivation for his attempt to kill Spike. If the killing of Ben and the destruction of the Council had had a profound effect on him, hardening him, bringing Ripper into the mix, then we needed to hear about it.

But it's not too late. The casual line about having no trouble with taking a rifle and assassinating someone and the line that he IS the Watcher's Council both seem like they're setting that up as Giles' character arc. And not telling Buffy? Not only gonna lead to fireworks, it could be a major rupture.

[ edited by shambleau on 2007-11-08 04:59 ]

[ edited by shambleau on 2007-11-08 05:06 ]
Wow... this issue didn't go in the direction I expected- totally suprised that the story arc ends next issue. Great stuff... but I didn't expect that they would get to Buffy for awhile- to have her appear 'just like that' was suprising. For some reason, I thought we'd get the full biography of Faith through her pseudo-friendship with the British slayer over a few issues, but I guess that might be something that's going to be handed out in little bits, rather than in all in a few issues.

Enjoying it greatly, but I just thought it was going to stretch out much longer. Would hate to see Faith disappear or put into the background after the current arc ends.
This was a really good read. I agree that the shift from creepy Gigi bonding time to the attack was kind of abrupt. It didn't bother me too much though.

The parallels of everything to the previous Faith vs. Buffy arcs continues to be really neat. Gigi is like Faith once was, but worse; Faith is now in Buffy's role, but different; Faith just wants it to go away, but it won't. And Faith's past clearly is the dominant influence in her interactions with Gigi. It was a really powerful moment to see Buffy reject Faith again, and Faith fight her anger. The water symbolism is still pretty sweet.

Now I'm wondering which woman Faith was trying to protect when she tackled Buffy out the window. Or possibly it was both. I assumed Buffy at first, because she'd yelled her name and that was what I wanted to think, but after rereading, I realize it's all ambiguous. Which is neat. I'm looking forward to the end of the arc-- and I'll take my speculation over to the .org side.

Willow seems to be overusing magic. She skipped laptop geek and just took the shortcut-- not good. Buffy's willingness to kill people is also definitely worrisome. As is Giles but I've commented on that before.

Less seriously (but actually bothering me), glass that has been smashed by Slayers in combat defies physics and floats on water. It must be one of the lesser known powers of the Chosen line. The details were so neat in the panels that I can't really complain much-- but it was very amusing to realize that the very mundane details I liked were actually magical.

A disco ball is the trendy accessory for all of this season's secret surveillance lairs. Keep your evil minions entertained by dance parties or hypnotize them into submission. Order yours today.
Yeah, Willow using the magic for tech stuff and Buffy not even caring is bad, but also good, since I think Willow'a huge power is going to get dealt with in some fashion later on. I was afraid it might be ignored.

As far as Buffy getting sick from the teleportation, it's a nice callback to Grave, where Buffy and Dawn were dizzy and nauseous when Willow transported them. Also, the teleporting thing may just be a writerly way of saving a few panels that would have to be used to show Gigi and Faith traveling to Buffy's castle and penetrating its defences. I wasn't bothered by the abruptness at all, it just worked as a cool surprise when I turned the page.
I really enjoyed this issue, I thought it was great.

They are definitely setting up some interesting stuff here. In particular how Faith feels about Buffy, how Buffy feels about killing humans, and why Faith smacked Buffy out of the window.

I completely agree with Buffy’s stance here, though she isn’t exactly sure of it herself. When she tells Willow “Not not being bad is what separates us from the bad guys” got a nod of agreement from me, I completely understand. I’ve never really felt that humans should automatically be treated differently just because they are human in the Buffyverse, it doesn’t sit well with me, no more than it would killing Lorne because he is not a human. Twilight, thus far, is made up of humans who are trying to kill Buffy and potentially other innocent slayers, one already died at the hands of Gigi. As Dawn states in 8.07 “All’s fair” and the Scoobies IMO, should have no hesitation in killing human members of Twilight in self defence, to stop them from threatening others, or if there is no sign of them being redeemed anywhere in the near future. Buffy is correct in pointing out that killing humans doesn’t automatically make you a bad person, Angel killed a number of them in ‘Conviction.’ Being bad is what makes you bad, and if your killing under evil circumstances then you are bad, not when you are killing to protect others, regardless of what you are killing.

Interestingly, Willow defines those who kill humans as bad which is an interesting self reflection on her part, who viewed herself as bad ‘then’ but good ‘now.’

Faith’s line “When she’s around you’re always the villain!” was great, and shows how Faith feels. I think this line is far more truthful than Buffy’s when she states “Giles never trusted you anymore than I did!” Buffy contradicts herself slightly here, as she states previously “I can’t believe I thought you’d changed.” Whilst she very easily can be swayed into thinking Faith has turned bad again (and in all honesty who can blame her under the circumstances) she did believe Faith had changed, I think what she said was out of anger more than anything else.

Concerning, Faith throwing Buffy out of the window. There are many views as to why she did this and I’m not sure we’ll ever get a correct answer, it is meant to be open for interpretation. Roden can be seen in the background about to put the whammy on Buffy, so one could say Faith leapt at her to protect Buffy from Roden. Just as easily one could argue Faith knocked Buffy out the window to save Gigi. IMO, I think it was a little of both. Faith probably did see Roden and Buffy being in danger, and didn’t want Buffy to kill Gigi, throwing her out the window got Buffy and Gigi out of harms way temporarily and would have given Faith a chance to explain.

Other highlights of this issue;

Buffy’s “Get me Giles”: King is right, Buffy is very pissed off and I just love the line and her facial expression, and who says these comics can’t convey emotions!

Faith’s heartbreaking scene when she is left alone in the pool: Buffy seemed to have finally calmed down, probably after realising Faith wasn’t trying to kill her by releasing her and then just before Buffy looks like she is going to talk with Faith and clear things up, poof she is gone, and Faith is left alone again.

Willow’s magic use: I’m not sure it is seen as a problem now as some people are making it out to be. Giles states in ‘Lessons’ that it isn’t a hobby for her now, or an addiction, this magic is a part of her now. She found the light again in ‘Chosen’ and she is using magic to help others and not herself.

Gigi’s axe swing: I don’t think she’ll go through with it, if she doesn’t she has a chance to be redeemed, if she tries to, then I’d have no problem with Faith defending herself and taking her out or Buffy doing so.

Gigi and Roden’s plan: I think it was King who pointed out that whilst it was a pretty simple plan, it was one that had one of the most chances of actually taking Buffy out. Teleporting her into an ambush against a slayer and a powerful warlock is a pretty serious situation, and whilst Buffy kicked Gigi’s arse I’m not sure she’d fair to well against both she and Roden when he got his mojo on. Faith may have just saved Buffy’s life.

Buffy about to kill Gigi, or not?: We’ve seen Buffy have a sword raised at a human before, ready to finish them off and she hasn’t (Checkpoint) so I don’t think we should automatically assume that she was going to off Gigi. However, there is a case to say she was and it is interesting just how mad Buffy was over the death of a slayer, she was so pissed and it made me smile, she really cares about these girls, even the ones she has never met. Interestingly she also calls it a ‘gift’ that Gigi received, which at least illustrates to those who believe Buffy’s plan to make all slayers was wrongly enforcing these girls with responsibility, Buffy’s view on the matter.

Overall, an awesome issue.
More discussion on BKV's own board, The Cabal:
http://www.bkv.tv/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=12575
(could you link this one next time?)

[ edited by daylight on 2007-11-08 12:27 ]
I think this issue could have greatly benefited by having a much longer battle between Buffy and Gigi, with dialogue deliciously ambiguous, maybe Buffy telling Gigi that she'd shoved a knife into a rogue slayer before, and she'd have no problem doing it again, with Faith looking on, interior monologue furiously debating about what to do, inner voices reminding her of the truest connection she'd ever had--the Mayor--with the issue culminating with Gigi triumphant, just about ready to strike the death blow, Faith watching from above.

Just sayin'.
Moral issues abound in this one, making it maybe the most satisfying issue so far. Even Buffy's motives are brought into question-there are definate fascist implications to the slayer community she's set up. Not only is she contemplating killing humans, she also seems comfortable being the absolute authority on who is good and bad, bad being anyone who is different from her. It might be necesary given the situation, but its still disturbing...there is a definate lack of a moral compass right now, which adds to the drama of what is happening. In fact, Faith might have a clearer picture of what is right and wrong than anyone, being able to see so both sides point of view. Ironic if she's the voice of humanity now, drawing Buffy back from the edge...if she doesn't die, that is. Speaking of which, am I the only one who sees the possibility Faith might not be with us much longer? Don't think it will happen, but the chance it might makes it even harder than usual to wait till next month!
I'm right there with ya, woofie.
I've got the perfect ending...Faith kills Gigi. She's all torn up about it. Faith announces she's leaving. For good. And joins Angel and co. Seriously, they had chemistry.
I'm with hitnrun017. BEST. ISSUE. YET.

Still a newbie to the medium, and while I've enjoyed the hell out of the seven issues prior, this is the first one that felt, well, meaty like I like my BtVS. I felt in-so-deep with the lengthy scenes and extensive dialog, and never before -- seriously, never -- have felt so much empathy for poor, conflicted Faith. How long does the girl have to pay?? /sheesh. Brilliant, beautiful stuff.
I have a question I am sure the brilliant folks on this forum can help me answer; what exactly is the symbolic meaning of the water? I recall Faith bathing as her first act in Buffy's body in Who Are You?, and Buffy drowning once, and almost drowning in season 3, but I am having trouble connecting this all. Any ideas? Thanks!
the Scoobies IMO, should have no hesitation in killing members of Twilight in self-defence, to stop them from threatening others, or if there is no sign of them being redeemed anywhere in the near future.

Vampmogs, does that include the grunts who were wounded or perhaps died (it's unclear) when Buffy went to rescue Willow? If they're being told by their leaders that they're fighting a terrorist organization and believe that to be true, do they become just collateral damage? As Faith said once, roughly, it's too bad if people get caught in the crossfire, but it's outweighed by the good that Slayers do. I think that that's where Buffy's stance will lead her.

If that's going to be the position, then Buffy will be killing some relatively innocent people. As Angel has done. Darla said he killed "thieves and scoundrels" in China when he was trying to prove that he was still a killer. Didn't know that those crimes merited the death penalty, but since Angel was setting himself up as judge, jury and executioner, he got to decide. Same when he locked the lawyers in with Darla and Dru. Were they all equally as responsible and unredeemable as Holland Lilah and Lindsey, including the waiter who was serving them? Once you get to decide who lives, the waters can get murky pretty quickly.

Even though I'm pointing out how problematic all this is, I'm not actually opposed to the writers going there with Buffy. It could make for some great drama. I've always thought there was plenty of darkness on BTVS and as Buffy enters adulthood, she's entering the world Angel Investigations always had to deal with. Since both shows came out of the mind of the same writer, it wouldn't be surprising if their tones started to merge. Willow's already flayed someone alive after all.

The main thing is that if they go this way, there have to be consequences. I'm still waiting for consequences for Willow's actions and I'd hate for them to have Buffy start killing humans and there not be a cost.
I don't think you have to worry about there being no cost. If there is one constant theme in Joss's work, its this: Nothing's free. One of the themes, anyways.
Another thing that I like-I'm beginning to get a sense of everything tying together. In other words the latest arc enhances Joss's beginning one, and viceversa. Have no idea where its going yet or even what will be the ultimate meaning of S8, just that there is one. And the fact we have two Whedon issues coming, and then DG....I have a feeling this is going to get as dark as S2. One thing about Goddard's work, both in the whedonverse and now on Lost: when he writes an episode somebody important usually dies...
Bit surprised that there aren’t more comments on this thread - guess everyone’s been too busy posting about the writers' strike. Obviously that is more important, but this was a wonderful issue and we’re nowhere near the length of this issue's preview thread yet!

Actually I thought the issue was just about perfect - the plot, the dialogue, the art, the fights, the humour - everything worked for me. Even though the characters are in conflict with each other, you can really understand their perspectives and, yes, I would include Genevieve in that. Despite what she's done and her general attitude, I personally can't hate her (happy to hate Roden though) and in that last panel feel quite sympathetic towards her. Plus she gets some great lines.

Did Faith save Buffy or Gigi? I read it as slightly ambiguous, but more saving Buffy from Roden. Buffy was teleported as she was saying "I guess we'll cross that bridge when we get to (it)" in relation to killing humans and then she's faced with exactly that situation. I love that, but I don’t think Buffy’s ready to do it . . . yet. If Faith was just trying to save Gigi, then it wasn’t really necessary to go right through the window with Buffy– I think we’re meant to assume she spotted Roden.

In regards to Faith going to Angel, I see that as sort of a what-we-want versus what-we-need thing. Faith sorting herself out with Angel’s help might be nice, but it’s not that dramatic. Faith struggling to find her place in the world by herself, on the other hand, is tough, but compelling. Anyway, Angel’s hardly in a position to help her at the moment.

Nice panels with Faith and Gigi reflected several times in the mirrors. Lucky none of that footage Gigi bought of Buffy had Faith in it ;). Who the heck is this mystery benefactor? Buffy’s reluctant to even tell Willow – guess it’s not just the Watchers Council’s funds then. In the middle of the second last page there’s a slayer wearing glasses – is that a first?

[ edited by cypher on 2007-11-09 21:44 ]
I think that its actually my fave issue so far of the series and I am in heaven having BKV Buffy work (no offense, Joss, and I know you share my excitement). Loves it loves it loves it :)
Oh I don't think that Faith hanging out with Angel would be boring at all! They have a pretty serious history, and Faith has changed a lot since they last met. Gone through a lot...

I think she would make an excellent ally in Angel's big fight in LA. Plus, it would be rather poetic, Faith choosing to go to Hell and all.

But then again, I love having her in Buffy, too!
Thankfully neither Buffy nor Angel has ever been boring. I'm sure that the writers could come up with more great scenes between Faith and Angel, but it feels like Angel's already played his part in Faith's redemption. For me, Faith dealing with her issues herself is more dramatically satisfying than having someone holding her hand. I don't necessarily want to see Faith struggling and sometimes failing, but it's what the story needs (the current one anyway) and therefore it's what I need.

Got to admit though that Faith choosing to go to Hell sounds interesting. How would she get there? Committing suicide would be pretty damn tragic even if it was to help Angel. Willow could probably set up a portal to Hell and she's never liked Faith ;).

I'm sort of assuming Faith will survive the next issue, but maybe she won't. Would be terrible to lose such a great character.
That would be my problem. She's too good to lose. Which is why Joss might kill her, the bastid ;-) I've lost enough beloved characters. I get that life is tragic, but if "No Future For You" refers to Faith, I might stop reading. And I've defended every death that took place in all his works as dramatically necessary. Well, maybe not Ethan.

When I first read the issue, I thought Faith was saving Buffy from herself, not Roden, when she tackled her. On second reading I thought it was ambiguous. Now I'm leaning toward neither of the above. She was saving Gigi. It was doubtless a bit of all three, but she wasn't gonna let her dark doppleganger get killed. Too reminiscent of what happened with her and Buffy.
I just read this today, and really enjoyed it. I'm happy that Buffy seems to be more or less back to her old self. She worked through the darkness, has had a year or more of cookie doughage, and is now in a place where she can be funny and quippy again, but still not come across as a kid anymore.
Evidently, teleportation is wacky, unpredictable business. The first time Buffy teleports, the two earrings in her right ear don't make the trip. The second time she teleports, the rings are back.
/nitpick
;)
How about Giles deciding on his own to kill a human being, a slayer, no less? Or his shameful using of Faith to accomplish it? And who is the "freelancer" he brought in?
Just trying to get the conversation going again...
What about all the lesbian subtext? When Giles proposes this mission, Faith says she's not going to do it with a woman. (What?! Isn't Faith omnisexual? And she was in prison.) Later, we see Gigi and Faith together in scenes, including a bath, that are reminiscent of "Xena."

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