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July 09 2008

(SPOILER) Solicitation info and cover art for Buffy #19. We have the little blurb about 'Time Of Your Life' Part 4, coming out on October 1st and cover art from Georges Jeanty and Jo Chen.

Marcie'd for spoilerness...

"She" jarred me. But it's not necessarily Twilight, or the invisible-ness. It could be another ally, that we haven't seen yet.

But I think you've got a good suspect, there.
I have been hoping for her since I saw that cover. I think she would make an amazing duo with Fray's vamp bother, given his almost slayer powers. Plus I want to know what she has been up to since we last saw her.
Yeah, I think she's most logical candidate for the arc baddie's role at this point. I'd love for her to be Icarus' sire, so that she's Harth's grandsire. It would connect all the famous vamps in the mythology in one big family tree.
Yeah, I'm pulling for Dru, as well. Been much too long since we've seen her.
I'm afraid it'll be Willow. Joss always had a soft spot in turning good guys in bad ones, and bad ones in good guys.
So what do we think, this person has lived through time, or traveled through time? Because if Dru simply lived until Hearth and Fray are around that is a lot more hardcore than traveling through time (in a way). Especially since all vampires vanished for a time, so presumably Dru much have vanished too...
It's so Dru. Must be. Surely? Maybe the reason they haven't released the cover though is that they don't want to spoil it's Dru. How did she survive though that's the question? ALL MAGIC BANISHED. Apart from Dru. And the slayer line.
Um, RE: The cover, the solicition notes that covers are by Chen and Jeanty both.
It's Dru. Has to be Dru. Can't wait!
I think it's Dru too.
The ComicsContinuum has the Jo Chen cover which points some fingers towards Willow.
Thanks CaptainB I've switched the URL over and edited the entry accordingly.
Right, that's Dark Willow on Jo Chen's cover, and Buffy (reflected in Dark Willow's eye) looks like she's in the middle of a fight. Hmm...
This seems more like a Willow-headnod then fake out to me. Last time Willow went dark, they spent ages building it up and th en justifying it. So far Season 8 has gotten all ominous about her, but I don't think the story has justified a turn from Willow yet.
I agree- I cannot see what would make Willow go dark this early into the tale. There is little indication as to reason.

BTW, is that Kennedy on the alternate cover?
I was so going for Dru. Until I saw this cover. It couldn't be any more obvious that Dark Willow is on that cover if it was a screenshot. I mean, the structure of her face. The smile. The veins? Drusilla is no longer an option... it's definitely Dark Willow.
Oh, I misread earlier comments. So instead I will say: oh dear.

[ edited by Sunfire on 2008-07-09 16:40 ]
Wow. Terrifying!
But even if it is a Dark Willow, how do we know it's not a reaction to something in the present? Who knows what's going to go down in the aftermath of the missile? What it's powers are?
I smell a fakeout here.I have two ideas for it

1)It is Dru teamed with Harth and this Jo Chen cover is a fakeout to make us think it's Dark Willow who is the mystery woman/villain.Maybe this Jo Chen cover is in reference to something else in the arc.What's going on in the present or how Buffy gets brought back home?

2)The issue 17 Jeanty cover and solicitation for issue 18 and 19 are the fake out.They made us think the mystery woman/villain was Dru when it's actually Dark Willow with the Jo Chen cover for issue 19 revealing that.
Dana, that's Melaka Fray on the variant.

And the Jo Chen cover...damn. Definitely intrigued.
Remember Season 7's "Selfless" when Willow temporarily "black" to help the girl with the spiders? I think the cover alludes to her balancing of the greater power she's playing with, i.e., Snake Lady.

As far as Buffy reflected in her eye (awesome!), this could be because of something Buffy does, or the realization of what both Willow and Buffy did to "end magic". End of magic would be like ending Willow.

Or it could be a reaction to what's going on to the home front while Buffy's away. A "reflection" of the time line while the leader is gone.

Personally, I like the #2 theory.

ETA: Spelling of reflectedrd.

[ edited by korkster on 2008-07-09 17:06 ]
End of magic would be like ending Willow.

I don't think so. Or at least I hope she's stronger than that.
Dana, that's Melaka Fray on the variant

I was confused, too. Where'd that scar come from?

I think the reflection is clearly meant to be Buffy being attacked by Dark Willow, and terrified. I'm too weirded out by that at this point in the story to even speculate.
Maybe Willow simply dyed her hair?

Can't think what would trigger her being evil though, unless it is some external force making her do it; possibly someone dosed her with so much dark magic that it caused her to go veiny again? Would Willow go vein for Kennedy?
The mouth scar on Fray is the mirror of the mouth scar on "Wish"-verse Buffy. [ETA: If Kalia recalls correctly below, this is a longstanding visual parallel.]


[ edited by Pointy on 2008-07-09 19:30 ]
Yes, she'd go veiny for Kennedy. Joss has been pretty firm this season on Willow's feelings for Kennedy. 8.10 was very solid on Willow feeling like her life is forced to choose between Buffy and her love life.

If something happened to Kennedy, and possibly even her relationship to Kennedy, I could see the veins. Remember, she's already gone veiny this season when using a lot of power.
Melaka's had that scar since her first fight with tatto-head guy. Y'all need to go back & look at your Fray books. ;)
Oh, fer pete's sake (stop calling me Pete!)- I just cannot see something bad happening to Kennedy, I just can't. Kill off yet another of Willow's girlfriends? Of course, bad could also mean that Kennedy does something really dumb, like betray Buffy (perhaps in need to save Willow), but really. Now, on the other hand, given KOC's observation there, I could see Willow wanting magic to end, and vamps and slayers to go away, so she could have a normal life- even if that is sort of Roguish. But then, that really carries no emotional heft for me either.

And surely, I need to reread Fray because honest to God I did not recognize her and thought that was Kennedy.
First of all, Jo Chen never ceases to amaze the crap out of me with cover art.

I'm also super intrigued about possible Dark Willow. I'm with KingofCretins, just because there are veins doesn't mean she's entirely evil.. yet. Through season 7 she did a few hair blackening spells, so maybe she's just channeling some wicked power such as The First's possessing locator spell.
I think one of the times Willow went black-eyed girl in S7 was when she was opening the portal to return Buffy from the Shadowmen dimension by exchange of demon. Maybe the picture is just meant to be showing her getting Buffy back from the future (where she doesn't look entirely happy).

[ edited by hayes62 on 2008-07-09 19:57 ]
That's definitely Dark Willow on Jo's cover. No mistaking her.

It could very well be that Willow is still around in Fray's time-period, kept alive by dark powers somehow not banished by Buffy's victory over magic in the 21st century. If so, I can imagine Willow's grown bitter over the centuries. Maybe she blames Buffy for everything that's gone wrong. Maybe she's the villain Buffy and Fray must defeat, but this time, to the death?

Could be some powerful drama lining up... or just a mislead.

Anyway, I'm hoping Buffy will get a chance to undo the awful future depicted in Fray's world.
Even if the displays of superwitchiness in season seven made Willow "go dark" (yet still good), I would have liked to think her uberwitchiness in "Chosen" that made her "go light" would be a new route for her. If that was only a one time thing, hopefully Willow is going dark just to do something huge, and not something mean. But I do like the idea of her staying around for centuries to take down Meleka and Buffy in the future, thought seems way to soon in season eight. She could just be channeling the snake lady. Also, we've seen Jo Chen's cover to #20, where the Scoobs are all happy together in the present (eye patch). I guess four months isn't too long to wait...

[ edited by CaptainB on 2008-07-09 19:46 ]
Willow, like all humankind, will have a dark side until she's dead as Miranda.
Even if the displays of superwitchiness in season seven made Willow "go dark" (yet still good), I would have liked to think her uberwitchiness in "Chosen" that made her "go light" would be a new route for her.

I see more moral ambiguity there. There have been several goddess references and an ascension reference. Her power's definitely grown and changed, but I never assumed that meant she was benevolent. The going black when fighting Amy just confirms that with great power comes great potential for both good and evil. Willow will probably show us some of both.

Also, we've seen Jo Chen's cover to #20, where the Scoobs are all happy together in the present (eye patch).

Oh no! Someone's going to die!
Quote from CaptainB: Even if the displays of superwitchiness in season seven made Willow "go dark" (yet still good), I would have liked to think her uberwitchiness in "Chosen" that made her "go light" would be a new route for her.

Very true, but as recent as issue 3 I believe it was when Willow and Amy were fighting, Willow got kinda intense and Dawn says, "I have to ask, are you evil again?" Willow's response is, "It'll fade."

I agree with Pointy, we all have a dark side, but unlucky for the gang hers kind of tries to destroy the world. Hopefully it's something misleading.

ETA: What Sunfire said, lol.

[ edited by evilmaharaja on 2008-07-09 20:12 ]
I never meant to sound like I believe everything in the world is dark/evil or light/good. If that were the case, I'd be the most oxymoronic Whedon-verse fan. All I'm saying is, I hope Willow doesn't go to the places she already did at the end of season six. She surely has dark roots, but I like my benevolent Willow.
I dunno. I think if Willow going white is to mean anything at all in Buffy canon, it cannot mean that she ends up black again- to me, that would be a betrayal of all that she worked for, and all that Tara ultimately meant to her. JMO, YMMV, of course.
I have a fun little theory that Satsu gets turned and she's the lady in the shadows...
Egad, did I miss the discussion in some earlier thread about Dawn looking, uh, all grown up (horse parts notwithstanding) on the cover of #18?

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2008-07-09 22:41 ]
Everything everybody else said, guessed and hinted at about Dark Willow here, and also... coooool!
theonetruebix, I'm totally expecting her having to give Xander a lift somewhere in this arc, and the obligatory joke about awkward hand placement -- where does he hold on?

The more I see what the possibilities are here, the more I'm happy at the idea that this is Willow and not Drusilla.
All I hope for is that Twilight isn't beheaded and castrated nor Harth. They are both fascinating characters with a lot of potential. I think there's two princes, one is Satsu and the other is ? and they will both be rescued by Buffy and allies from different groups eventually. I hope so. There's a lot of rivals in a lot of the groups and I want them to work through their issues with snark and fighting. I want the groups to come together to work a common cause. I hope so.
Egad, did I miss the discussion in some earlier thread about Dawn looking, uh, all grown up (horse parts notwithstanding) on the cover of #18?

Reactions were interesting.
So now that we're in the Fray crossover, someone help me out with something, since I still haven't actually read all of Fray: Do we know for certain that Fray is the future of Buffy's world and not, say, the future of the wish-world?
Maybe Buffy caused Dark Willow to surface? From the perspective of her not being the one attacking Buffy, but rather Willow stumbling upon her best friend injured and looking mighty terrified.

From the way she talked about Kennedy dying earlier in the season I get the feeling she wouldn't go all veiny badness over something happening to her.
Wow wow wow that Jo Chen cover is stunning. Dark Willow has never looked so awesome before. And seeing Buffy reflected in her eye (perhaps with a hand around her throat? Can't tell...) brings up all sorts of memories of season 6. I CANT WAIT for this to come out! Of course, I can never wait for each issue.

I love you, Jo Chen!
Ho-lee -- man, the Dark Willow cover rocks. Um. Wait, now - black hair, black eyes, veins, and... other stuff going on there... *blinkblink* ...yeek...!
Joss isn't going to repeat himself. There will be no Faith killing people for the big bad again, no Xander getting engaged and leaving his woman at the alter again, no Kennedy dying again and certainly no Willow trying to kill her friends and destroy the world again. These things have already been explored (and done so very well) so why would he repeat the story only to have his characters learn the same lessons over again? The only thing that may repeat itself, and probably not in this season is that Buffy will die, again.
Outside of that last comment about Buffy, I agree. I think this cover is a huge mislead. And to tell the truth, I sort of hope I am wrong, because one issue I have with comics in general is covers that mislead. :-)

(ETA: I am over 1000 posts!)

[ edited by Dana5140 on 2008-07-10 01:15 ]
I really like Jo Chen's cover work. Sometimes I wish the interior art would stand out as much as Chen's work but it's still very good.

Regarding the story, I wonder how/if Buffy will react re-appearing to a time where all of her friends are dead. :P I wonder if she'll wonder how her life ends.

and then create time paradoxes and changes the future that Fray lives in oh noes
I guess I should have said the only thing that WILL repeat itself is that Buffy will die again, cos hey, we all die at some point (most of us just don't get to do the whole again part)!
Congratulations, Dana!


Since I adore it (Jo is awesome!), I put it on my desktop background at work. And as I was drinking in every stroke and line of Willow's face, I noticed that the left side of her face is lighter than the "dark" side.

The lips, nose, forehead are a lighter hue (more human-like), and there's a hint of red hair at her temple on the right side.

My questions are:

1) Am I seeing things?
2) If you see it too, do you think it might represent her conflicting pathways/reactions to the tasks at hand?

Going with #2, it's almost as if she is balancing her emotions regarding the fate of the world, the death of magic, and her emotions. If so, this plays perfectly with her conflicting powers (dark evil of demons and the First; light goddess goodness of the Earth).

Any thoughts?
ChosenGuy317, do your passions and tials in life die? Relationships die (end), and then start anew, each with a whole plethera of experiences. Dreams die, and new ones are made.

I would argue that Buffy is a metaphor of our own little deaths and births.
I really can't see Willow going dark if Kennedy dies, because I view Kennedy as the" I-need-someone-because-my-true-love-died" girl, but there are other possibilities.

What if circumstances dictate Buffy has to kill Xander? Xander is Willow's oldest friend. What if Tara is somehow brought back and Buffy has to kill the blonde witch to save the world? Violence begets violence.

Those are just a couple of extreme examples which could make Willow so bitter she turns dark again and blames Buffy. Both would make sense given Willow's history.

Hey, at least if Joss doesn't pick up on those cool angles, fanfic certainly will! :)

[ edited by quantumac on 2008-07-10 01:40 ]
The first thing I looked for were signs that Willow did in fact still live there and the first thing I noticed was the red hair. If you remember, one of the reasons they had Willow's hair go black was to separate Dark Willow from the Willow we all knew and loved. You couldn't have red haired Willow running around skinning people alive or else the audience would always see that every time they saw her. They would never be able to forgive her. I think that she's going to do something very powerful, important and very hard to control but in the end, it is still going to be red haired Willow in control.

[ edited by ChosenGuy317 on 2008-07-10 01:41 ]
How strange- I find myself agreeing with just about every post- regardless of them being pro Dru, Willow or Satsu as the Big Bad.

I'd love to see Dru again, and she does have genuine personal reasons for wanting to take out Buffy but...

Dark Willow is on the cover and we know she's hiding secrets, but...

It's a 'close, personal betrayal' and Satsu SEEMS to have taken a back seat, so...

At this point, I could probably even be convinced that it's actually Xander in drag. So color me keen to see where the story goes!
*sits next to missb

Right there with you. That's why I love this place.
Gotta say, that Willow hair doesn't look black to me at all. Not any part of it. Looks like her normal hair color, straight through, just with shadows and highlights. Could be my monitor I spose. And the red in front actually looks to be smeared across her forehead a bit as well - blood?
Okay, this is the most freaking amazing likeness I EVER saw. Blows the burning Faith cover off her throne.

As suppositions go, I'm holding onto mine. I still think there's the possibility the lady in white is Dru and Dark Willow makes an appearance towards the end of the arc.
I dont think I'm ment to be this giddy upon seeing Evil Veiny Willow again.....its just so perrrrrrty!

And I aint guessing nothin', I'm always wrong anyhow : )
Uhm.. if Willow will end being Dark Willow again I don't think it'll be because of Kennedy. The only reason I can see because she would be pushed to leave the good side again is if something bad happen to Xander or Dawn.
Melaka's had that scar since her first fight with tatto-head guy. Y'all need to go back & look at your Fray books. ;)

You're totally right, kalia. I had a bit of a time finding my copy of the Fray TPB, since I've been making a lot of untidy piles of books, magazines, and newspapers lately. I pulled Fray off the shelf because I meant to re-read it before the new arc, but didn't get around to it.

To be fair to my and a lot of people's poor memory, the mythology is quite inconsistent with slayer and vampire wounds. Sometimes they heal completely with no scar. Sometimes they linger until the story doesn't need them anymore. Sometimes they're permanent. And Jo Chen didn't put Fray's on the last cover.

I know, excuses, excuses.
Careful on banking too much on the color as it appears on the monitor. Willow's hair appears to still be red to me, just with a lot of shadow. I do keep my brightness and contrast pretty high though.

Willow's not Twilight because it would be a cold day in hell when Willow teams up with Warren. Dark Willow would probably ressurect Warren just to kill him again.
Here's my interpretation of the Jo Chen cover:

Willow exhausts her considerable magical knowledge and skill attempting to get Buffy back from the future. Then she calls upon some very dangerous and dark forces(mayhap involving Snake-Lady), which results in the return of Buffy(or perhaps Willow's attempt fails and Buffy gets back on her own).

We now have the set-up shown on Jo's cover: Dark Willow staring down Buffy, who has a desperate and pained expression on her face.

How is it resolved?
Being a big (actually a little underweight) softie (actually very bony), I think Willow will see the pain she's causing Buffy, Kennedy, Xander, Dawnaur, et. al. and calm back down to regular Willow.

Oh, the solicitation text seems to confirm Drusilla?
*steeples fingers* Excellent.
I'm trying to picture how insane Dru would be after being on her own for so long.
Willow's not Twilight because it would be a cold day in hell when Willow teams up with Warren.

And because Twilight's male.

My take is that FDW saw Buffy lose her war against Twilight, and blamed Buffy for that war -- Buffy acted like the "master race", it cost all of them dearly, and magic ended, and Willow was left alone, or something to that effect. So when the time came, she worked with the only person left with the knowledge to restore it, Harth (this DarkWillow thing can actually be retconned into being what Harth is talking about at the end of "Fray" Issue #8). And here we are.

So, FutureDarkWillow is the one that puts the hurt on Buffy, her 8.10 traitor, and then Buffy has to deal with the fallout of that with PresentGoodWillow, who will begin to pull away from her because of the hundred or so dead Slayers, and maybe decide it'll be her fault when Kennedy dumps her (which you know she's totally going to). Joss could, if he wants, even play out a storyline where Xander and Dawn are out of contact long enough that Willow and Buffy thinks they were killed, which Willow could blame Buffy for as well.

It's a lot of theorizing, but that's what I'm kinda loving about this -- DarkWillow being back, Willow having waited around a couple hundred years for this, opens up a ton of possibilities. I *really* love the idea that FutureDarkWillow is Buffy's traitor, because it does my favorite thing -- it gets Xander, Dawn, and PresentWillow off the hook.
Londinium- that is pretty much how I have it sussed out as well. Good call!
I'm trying to picture how insane Dru would be after being on her own for so long.

This is a prospect that delights me to no end :)
DarkWillow as we saw her had three motives: revenge on Warren (then inappropriately extended "revenge" on Jonathan and Andrew;) frustration wiht Buffy and Anya who tried to block her revenge; then a suicidal rage when Giles dosed her with a bit of good again. Evila s she was DarkWillow was never a simple type of villain.

Also, the idea of an ageless dARKwILLOW "WAITING" FOR bUFYY. Joss is old enough to remmeber MArvel's Adam warlock/Magus Storyline. Resolved by wArlock journeying into his own future and killing his future self just before he becomes the Magus.
I could see Dark Willow emerging, in order to take on Amy and Warren, after what happened to the BHC...

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