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March 27 2008

(SPOILER) First look at Buffy #16. This has epic written all over it.

And the same first few lines work again.
This is the best thing that has ever happened.
I just exploded from the awesome. There's the Buffy I know and love! Fighting in a dress with impracticable shoes. Life is complete again.
Yep, that's Coyote Ugly Buffy, I recognize her now:-)
Good day.
Started out bad,
but then I saw this.
Not to mention that she has absolutely NO idea what's going on.
That's our Buffmaster!
I love this Buffy and Fray and Buffy in shoes!!! Dawn's storyline also seems to be picking up. Karl Moline manages SMG's likeness superbly!!!

Time of your life, loving the title!!!
Loving the way this story looks like it could go, but still wondering about the Scythe... it's all red on the cover, like in the Fray books. In the first few frames, Mel's scythe looks just a bit different from Buffy's, in terms of colouring. But then they're back to being identical. Really want to know if the actual colour of the Scythe is significant... or if I'm just being nitpicky.
What a fraytastic way to start!!

This storyline would be a great start for a movie! Awesome and very shiny!
First of all, my first post on whedonesque (and how LONG I had to wait and just read along!) Yay!
So, it's probably pretty pointless to abuse this thread tu gush about Season 8. Did "pointless" ever stop me from doing something? Oh, well. Let's just say: I live in Germany, I have to wait about two weeks longer for every new issue (I just received #12), and it's killing me. Now, imagine me, just having read the last page of #12 and thereby finding out which sweet transvestite will be back from Transsylvania ...
And then comes this.
Fray is back.
Let me just put it this way: If I ever wanted to see a movie adaptation of anything Buffy, it would actually be Fray. The Fray-Miniseries is just so damn cinematic - the plotting, the conflicts, the grand finale. In my opinion, there are few graphic novels who would translate better to the big screen than Fray.
And now Fray, my favourite (okay, maybe second favourite) slayer, is back!
I seriously couldn't be happier. I just hope that season 8 doesn't close the door on any stand-alone Fray projects.
(Off topic: I actually wasn't too freaked out about the "big reveal" at the beginning of #12. It seemed perfectly logical: Buffy was always rationalizing against her sexual relationsships and than went for it anyway. The question if it's man, woman or vampire seems pretty unimport in this context. The underlying dynamic is highly consistent with the Buffy I know from season 1-7.)
What is wrong with Dawn!?!

I told myself I would stay spoiler free after ruining #12 for myself, but I just couldn't resist this tasty tidbit.
Dawn mayhab be preggers?

Uh oh, Dawn's in trouble, it must be Tuesday...
Pregnant Dawn would certainly be a way to go. It could always just be malnutrition -- now way she gets enough protein, for instance.

Maybe Harth really is Twilight... the time-travelling hook now being introduced and all. Still seems a bit short to be a stormtrooper, though. Maybe Icarus wasn't really killed.
My first thought was Dawn was just having really, really bad cramps. :)
Great preview.It's making me excited for this next arc.
I too am wondering if Dawn is PG - and man, I hope not. Just do NOT want to see things go in that direction.

But mainly... FRAY. FRAY is my all-time favorite Whedonverse comic - I'd say my all-time favorite comic, period, except that I'm a total comics newbie only since the advent of Season 8, so it doesn't mean much. I am just so, so happy to see Mel again.
My first thought was Dawn was just having really, really bad cramps. :)

Maybe all those apples she was scarfin' down? (Poor Dawnie; she just don't get no respect. Between her and Kennedy, Rodney Dangerfield had it kicked...)
I-am-full-of-joy! :-D
Those Dawny cramps are the result of a baby Thricewise growing in her tummy at an exponential rate because "glowing key energy" is a lot like Miracle-Grow.
alexreager -I agree and think that Dawns "keyness" really should be addressed a little more. They've almost completely dropped it after S5. Isn't she still an uber powerful mystical energy? Doesn't that energy have more purposes than just Glorys? Maybe not, I just think it would be interesting if they found a way to harness the power without killing Dawn, or at least have the fact that she's the key play into some kind of story. Miracle-Grow babies perhaps? :)
My theory: Dawn's having contractions. By the time Buffy gets back from The Future, she'll be an auntie. :-)

(Most women get big around the abdomen when they're pregnant. Dawn got big all over, thanks to Thricewise magic. And the baby is normal human size, so nobody noticed any change apart from Dawn herself, who was too embarrassed and ashamed to tell anyone else).

Or, she's about to imitate John Hurt.
Fray is my all-time-favorite Buffyverse character too -- and we've seen Buffy+Kenra, and Buffy+Faith, so Buffy+Mel should be a blast.
i-am-full-of-joy :-D

I just pictured Johnny Depp. :P
So, in addition to the obvious possibilities of pregnancy, there are a ton of things that it probably aren't--just because they're really too common and boring (for us, the audience, NOT people who suffer from them) to be worth writing about: Mittelschmerz, stomach flu, dysmenorrhea, kidney stones, pelvic inflammatory disease, and the like.

It MIGHT be nutritional--which seems trivial, but it could be a serious prompting for a plot point--will they rob more banks to feed Dawn?

I'm going to guess it's not an ectopic pregnancy, because many of the audience would have to go look that up.

One of the things to not overlook is that this may be revealed before issue 16--we've got three intervening issues, so by the time we actually SEE Dawn having issues in issue 16, we may have been "in the know" for an issue or two.

What I think it REALLY might be (in addition to pregnancy, which is a very good first guess) would be appendicitis. If we still are sticking with the general lack of magical healing in the Buffyverse, then Dawn could be in SERIOUS, albeit mundane, trouble and it's common enough that people in general know what and how serious it is.
Maybe she has giant kidney stones...?

And she'll pee boulders.

Maybe this is one of "Life's Metaphors" that Joss likes to do. And how pregnancy is often a biiiiiiiiiiiiiig problem.
Moline was right when he said he has matured as an artist. I loved his stuff in Fray, but this is pretty jaw-dropping.

The questionable likeness doesn't bother me because the faces are so expressive. It looks like Buffy to me.
I love Stormwreath's theory proposing and explaining a Dawn pregnancy. I think that would be so neat, actually. Talk about finding a story to tell with Dawn. And Buffy and Xander go from being Season 7 surrogate parents to Season 8 surrogate grandparents?
Just wondering, if the fact that Dawn used to be big energy ball, might actually be into play here.
She's human now, but the making the ball into a human part was a mystical creation, even worse she's now a giant human. Just wondering...
While I like the pregnancy theory myself, of course (it was the first thing I thought of when I saw the picture), having it be something like appendicitis would be interesting too. Sure, if Willow can heal a lobotomy she should be able to deal with appendicitis... but Willow is apparently in New York, if not 23rd Century New York. Who's left back at the castle? Is Satsu in charge? (Assuming she doesn't die in #15) In which case, a bunch of panicky Slayers are going to have to conduct emergency surgery on a 100 foot tall woman...
Maybe Glory is incubating inside her.
This got really weird.
Dawn is Glory?


"Bad day. Started out bad, stayed that way." When I saw that, I got chills, my friends. Reading this story will be incredible, or at least if my mind doesn't explode first.
Since they apparently aren't along for the ride in "Wolves at the Gate", I assume Leah's in charge at the BHC.
So, if it's a boy, should she name him Ben?
I dunno. Pregnancy storylines bug me for reasons I can't begin to count.
WHAT? Do you mean that, Ben is Glory?
Actually appendicitis would be, in its way, even more interesting.

I see this point has been gotten to...I also agree something should be said about her Key Nature at soem point. The Key existed long before Glory was made human and I can't believe soemthign that was intended for a single use, and the power should sitll be accessible. (Heck, I have a pregnancy fic in my notebooks dealing with that subject.)

Or, somehwta contrariwise or at least sidewise, PERHAPS THERE are several or even many Keys and they are intended for single use. So a Key in energy form winks out once used, a Key disguised as an inamiate object perhaps falls apart, a Key disguised as a living animal or system dies.
So, there are plot possibilites of other Keys turning up. More interesting, plot possibilites turning on Dawn's anomalously vital status.

[ edited by DaddyCatALSO on 2008-03-27 19:27 ]
Maybe Dawn isn't clutching her abs (ie. no pregnancy or gaping body wound). Maybe she jammed her finger (or a pine tree splinter), is clutching her finger in her other hand, and we are getting a snapshot of time where her hands are up against her body. She looks like she is in a lot of pain, but that is why Buffy is wondering what is wrong with Dawn (being a big baby, pun intended).
It's pretty common for people to wonder "what's wrong" with a pregnant woman who hasn't figured out she's pregnant, though, what with the various symptoms of early pregnancy.

I'm not sure where the argument for a temporary, if acute, condition like appendicitis for Dawn would be more interesting than the major paradigm shift type of event like her being pregnant. I dunno. Could just be that being a giant is starting to kill her, and the complete lack of urgency with which the others have addressed the situation is now coming back on them.
Well, Cordelia's demon-spawned mystical pregnancy looked like a regular pregnancy. I think they all have in the 'verse, so that's not what I'm thinking.
Portraying one of the most awesome things a woman can do as a consequence, the worst thing that could happen or something evil is just...I'm tired of it.

Performing surgery on a that's a funny dilemma.

Also, consquence for not treating Dawn's condition seriously is interesting. immediate thought was Dawn is going to go shrink. Transformation, kinda painfull?
Why assume it would be depicted negatively, as consequential. I think that's pretty much entirely a socially driven inference at this point, and not intrinsic. Heck, maybe Dawn got pregnant, and was so worried about how Buffy would react, she got herself turned into a giant for no reason other than to conceal it?

I should add a caveat here -- either Dawn isn't pregant, doesn't know she's pregnant, or is just a blithering idiot. In "A Beautiful Sunset" she is clearly shown drinking beer out of a keg with the top cut open.
It looks amazing! I want the cover to be a mural on my wall.
I figured Dawn was having period cramps or something. Where did the whole pregnancy issue come from? (Although that would be interesting to see) What if she's becoming regular sized again. Maybe that hurts?
I'm betting on mystical cramps, cause they're much more fun than the ordinary kind women get. Just asky my wifey.
The pregnancy discussion appears to be all our idea here.

And at her current size one keg would fall well under the 3-drinks-a-day maximum....
The biggest reason I doubt that Dawn's apparent abdominal pains have anything to do with menstruation is that it's neither an historical or consequential topic. I'm not remembering anything other than Willow's "Three days a month I'm not too fun to be around, either." in 12 seasons of TV that at all addresses the topic. In no plot of any of those episodes, including that one, did menstruation, PMS, etc. make a difference to anything. You'd think that with vampires with blood preferences and great noses a-plenty, someone, sometime (Spike with a chip, most likely) would have commented on one of the many female characters' cycles. But it never happened.

Having said that, I really like the magical cramps idea, too.
Why assume it would be depicted negatively, as consequential. I think that's pretty much entirely a socially driven inference at this point, and not intrinsic.

Why assume she's pregnant?
Why assume she's pregnant?

*sings* "Cause we post on the internet so we like to jump to conclusions".
Conclusions! Confusion! In the dark! Confusion! In the dark! Conclusions!
Ahhh this speculation brings back fond memories from when the original Bronze was still online and we had new Buffy episodes to watch on tv..
We aren't just pulling this out of thin air and it has nothing to do with historical references to, "that time of the month" in seasons 1-7. Are we all forgetting how she became a giant in the first place? She had SEX with a Thricewise. Having sex is usually what happens before being pregnant. Usually.
And UNSAFE sex. And how old is Dawn in the comics? 17 or something?
The only thing bad about this preview is that we have to wait a lot for the issue to come out. I loved it.
Just so you all know, I'm rooting for Fray to kick Buffy's ass!
Buffy's gonna kick Melaka's ass. Aside from that plummeting many stories without dying thing, what's she got? Not even visions.
Are we utterly sure Dawn had sex with a thricewise?

My thoughts are that little happens by chance in the Buffyverse, and Dawn has been big since issue #1, so it is about time that this had some real ramifications. Wonder if Dawn is going to have turn back into a green ball of energy somewhere down the road.....
Bull. No way Buffy can beat a chick with multicolored hair!
Yes, pregnancy is a consequence of having unprotected sex. After school special anyone? I'd rather sell a kidney.
Dawn didn't have sex with thricewise, she slept with his friend. I'm sure Kenny put a spell on Dawn after he found out about Nick.
I kinda wonder if Dawn accidentally be-spelled herself in the emotional aftermath of cheating on Kenny with his roommate. She did want to talk to Willow, and Willow's been there, done that. And no one would ever assume Dawn's mistake came from a place of (misplaced) power or asserting herself in some way. She's always assumed to be a victim, but she's long outgrown that I think. I loved the scene with Xander that turned that idea on its head.

Dawn didn't have sex with thricewise, she slept with his friend. I'm sure Kenny put a spell on Dawn after he found out about Nick.

People were rather sure she'd slept with Kenny, early on, based on comments from other characters who were really just inferring things. Willow, Buffy, and Xander made comments suggesting that was what happened, but none of them really knew. And they were wrong. We saw just how wrong all of Xander's assumptions were. But we missed out on what Dawn's worry-sad look at the end of her confession to Xander was all about. There's more twisty turns ahead in this storyline, I think.
Krusher: Dawn is at least 18, because she's old enough to drink legally in Scotland.
Okay, I thought the Thricewise was the friend of ehr designated boyfriend ergo the Thricewise was the guy she "cheetahed" With and according to soem Californians I know age of consent there now is 16, too late for Errol FLynn, tho, he had to get jury nullification.
I'd say: Either Buffy and Mel work their misunderstanding out pretty fast and neither of them seriously kicks the other ones ass.
Or, Mel kicks Buffys ass (see how badass she looks on that cover?). BUT, Buffy survives (of course), and sooner or later she will win the rematch, possibly with a little help from her friends. That's what happened with the Master, with Adam, with Glory, with the Über-Vamp, with Caleb. That's what she does.
But my money is on "they work out their misunderstanding", anyway.
The Buffster vs Fray? I don't want either to /win/, but Fray has the edge when it comes to hair.

And if we get another mystical pregnancy I'm gonna...I'm gonna....get a bit tired of mystical bloody pregnancies. I vote for the tree sized splinter. Splinters can cause just as much character development as pregnancies. If they get infected.
Wouldn't Melaka know who Buffy is as a result of what happened in that Fray short story in Tales of The Slayers?

Also is the Jane Espenson story "Again, Sunnydale" canon? As that's the first time Buffy time travelled (well mentally any how).
Dawn's in trouble, must be the first Wednesday of the month...

I love the opening lines are the same as in Fray. I love that first shot of the two of them together. And the set-up of the story is cool.
stormwreath, with all the other highly illegal and dangerous things the Scoobies are doing, why would that matter? ;-)
Wouldn't Melaka know who Buffy is as a result of what happened in that Fray short story in Tales of The Slayers?

Maybe. Then again there was that discussion between Buffy and Giles in Fool for Love about there being few accounts of the final battles of slayers, even when there was a next slayer, so...
stormwreath, with all the other highly illegal and dangerous things the Scoobies are doing, why would that matter? ;-)

But imagine the hilarious scene of Scottish authorities trying to arrest Dawn and lock her up in tiny, tiny prison.

Actually, Xander said she was of legal age. So we know she's at least 18 now.
Am I alone in hoping this doesn't have "epic" written all over it? "I think this frame shows Buffy holding a knife." "No, I think that silver thing is part of the doorframe." "Well, I can't tell, because her whole hand and part of her arm are blocked by the curve of the giant 'C' -- I wonder if it's okay with the artist that somebody wrote 'EPIC' on every page of this book ...?" :)
Of course, Simon, thanks for reminding us. Last tale, there's Fray with her Slayer history book, and Buffy and Nikki Wood and all the others lined up in her mind's eye. So maybe Mel and B. won't kick each other's ass -- but as to who tells who what to do in #16, my bet's on Mel. She blew up the bigger snake. And by hand (or at least by scythe).
Buffy took out a Hellgod. With a hammer. I know who I'm putting my money on.
I think Buffy would take the win in that. She knows more of her own power, had formal training, and has measured herself against more than vampires, against other Slayers in fact. Melaka just doesn't have the experience to match her.

I'm more curious what Fray will make of Buffy. Will she envy her the complete legacy, that sense of connection to the Slayer line? Will she resent her for ostensibly ridding the world of demons (if that hadn't happened, maybe Fray wouldn't even be a Slayer, the line would have continued, there may have even been a Slayer that killed Icarus before he killed Harth)?
I don't say this often, but OMFG.

Total geek-out right now.

I should really avoid preview pages though--while this doesn't give all that much away, it does let me know at least that the Giantess remains embiggened. And, yes, Giant Cramps do suggest that theoretically, she could be embiggening some more.
Buffy vs. Fray.. given her recent lovemaking encounter with another slayer, I'd think they would fight like hell and make out in the end.. (Basically what Faith would do) or is this just me and my dirty mind?
Love the rendition of Buffy, especially in that first frame. That first frame just captures her.

Oh, and my guess about Dawn: She has appendicitis. That would... complicate things, no? And they'd have a pretty limited time to find a solution. Say... 4 issues? =p

edit: removed spoiler tags, looks like a few people already guessed the same thing.

[ edited by dispatch on 2008-03-28 02:20 ]
this has probably been said already but......EEEKKKK! And now for the impatient foot tapping for three months.
maybe Dawn ate everyone at the BHC and now theres slayers and mystics and the like trying to fight their way out of her giant sized stomach. im tending towards the funny/ridiculous rather than the many headaches of even considering the pregnant theory (not to insult the theory but rather to preserve my sanity)

meanwhile, in the distant future : awesomest fight ever taking place in the sky. Fray is just so different from the other slayers Buffy has ever faught/met/etc coz of the future thing and the Harth thing and blah blah.

plus the opening lines thing was awesome.

im pretty sure my head is going to explode. think Hush. just like that, with the green goo and the pretty sounds. thats about to be me
Cardigans- Erase and Rewind. That will be the show.
This is... orgasmic.
Am I alone in hoping this doesn't have "epic" written all over it? "I think this frame shows Buffy holding a knife." "No, I think that silver thing is part of the doorframe." "Well, I can't tell, because her whole hand and part of her arm are blocked by the curve of the giant 'C' -- I wonder if it's okay with the artist that somebody wrote 'EPIC' on every page of this book ...?"

Shapenew, this took me a moment. But it was so very worth figuring it out....
Wonderful artwork. Had to go buy Fray so I'd understand the character when she shows up.

I have a question for y'all. Is that series the only backstory I need to read for season 8?
I think maybe Dawn is about to shrink. As my friend pointed out to me, Alice gets tummy aches when she changes sizes in Alice in Wonderland.
Is that series the only backstory I need to read for season 8?

Maybe Tales of the Slayer, which contained Drew Goddard's previous post-"Chosen" story about Dracula.
Thanks! I'll see if I can find that one, too. It sucks being a novice at this comic book thing. I feel lost about half the time.
Yeah. This is all pretty fucking amazing, seriously. But can someone tell me why they're previewing 16 when 12 is the current?

Shouldn't they be previewing, oh I don't know, 13, 14, and 15?

WHAT am I missing here?
Maybe they wanna give us noobs time to read the backstories?
and EPIC!!
Willowy, between preview alternate cover art for X issue, preview pages for Y issue, and reviews of Z, Z+1, and Z+2 issues, I have no idea what's going on here half the time and I can barely tell whether a comic link's been posted before or not.

Life was simpler somehow when you toodled along to the store and bought it when it came out. But I'm rapidly aging.
menomegirl, Tales of the Vampires is also arguably canon (uh-oh, I said the "C" word), so you might wanna check that out as well.
Agree with Furball, Buffy would and should win a fight between the two.
This is going to be great!

But I have to go with belittling as what's going on with Dawn. Just as she was getting so comfortable in her own giant skin (and not having to go back to Berkley and face the gossip). Also because it exactly tracks Buffy's situation going from being fabulous and famous, lonely and adored to a world where she's just another has-been Slayer. I think Melaka Fray is exactly the person she'll need to meet after Tokyo.
Is that series the only backstory I need to read for season 8?

Maybe Tales of the Slayer, which contained Drew Goddard's previous post-"Chosen" story about Dracula.

crossoverman means "Tales of the Vampires", if you're still able to find single issues, I think Drew's story in either #2 of #3, but the TPB is easier to find.

But "Tales of the Slayers" (the TPB, not the Bottle of Djinn One Shot, that Simon mentioned at some point during this thread) is also useful, by having the only other Fray story, outside of the original Fray mini-series, before season 8 of course.
Maybe we haven't heard the last of Kenny. Just saying.
Think Kenny might be Twilight?
Thanks, UnpluggedCrazy and Numfar PTB. I'll try and find those too.

Would Tales of the Vampires have an impact on the current storyline? Isn't Dracula in that series? Or am I thinking of the one I've seen mentioned with Spike (which I can't recall the name of)? Or am I only confusing myself needlessly here?
David Goddard's Drac story is in Tales of the Vampires. The other one you are thinking of is Spike vs. Dracula which is fun, but not cannon as such.
menomegirl: "Antique" is Drew Goddard's Dracula story. It's available online from Dark Horse.
"WHAT? Do you mean that, Ben is Glory?"

Maybe, but I'm wondering, do you think there's some type of connection between Glory and Ben? Hmmm...

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