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March 04 2009

(SPOILER) For the discussion of Buffy #23. Come with us now, if you will, gentle readers. Join us on a new voyage of the mind, a little tale we like to call: "Buffy, A Slayer of the Vampyrs".

"Don't do that. No, really, don't."
Andrew. Sigh. Yuck.
Andrew! Yay! Funny!
Andrew. Sigh. Yuck.

<aol>Me, too.</aol>
Dana5140 just holds a grudge against Andrew for taking her away from Angel and Spike after she broke out of the asylum.
Not a fan of Andrew either.Hoping this issue won't be a slog to get through when I get my copy later.
Heh, except Dana5140 is a man (I know, I know, I get the "Damaged" reference).

I was very eager to get new Buffy today (or more likely tomorrow if my comic shop's shipment didn't come in--I rarely get to discuss the issues the same day as you guys). However, I didn't know this was an Andrew issue and that dampens my enthusiasm somewhat. Ah well, wait and see.
Just to even the score. I luv Andrew Wells. LUV 'IM.
Simon, thank you for the laugh your description gave me this morning. Now, I'm out of here until I've had a chance to pick up and read my issue.
I adore Andrew as well. I have a soft spot for homosexual über geeks, being one myself. Unfortunately I won't be able to pick up this ish until tonight.

New issue of Buffy, new Dollhouse... Add Watchmen in there and this week is officially going to be awesome.

Oh and Simon, your description also gave me a chuckle.

[ edited by wonderflonium on 2009-03-04 18:33 ]
I do have to say that I was excited to find a slayer named after me, even if I am the wrong sex. Not so excited to cause Spike to lose his hand, though.

Hey, wonderflonium, is Andrew really gay? (Sure, let's excite that discussion again, why not?). :-) I myself feel Joss should get off the pot on this and have him come out and stop the playing around with the role, so to say. But that's just me.
Surely someone must have read the issue by now?
I don't think Andrew can be labelled, other than calling him Andrew. We've heard him say interesting things about both sexes, so maybe he hasn't made up his mind. Sex doesn't seem to be a high priority with him. Talking does, though. Lots and lots of talking.

I appreciate Andrew for what he is, geeky nerdy comic relief. In this episode, we get to see him grow a smidgen, and that's all good too.
Didn't Scott Allie say in one of his Q&A's that during this season we would learn that one of the male characters would come out as being gay? Maybe thats going to turn out to be Andrew in this issue.

Hardly a big suprise though I know. :0
Buffy was in an untenable position. The enemy held one of her friends captive. She could give up her friend's life and thwart the enemy's plan, or she could defer her chance to avert the threat to later, even though others would be endangered, and save the person close to her. She decided, against all utilitarian pieties, to save her friend and hope for the best that they could stop the eviil later.

More proof of how amoral, selfish, and cut off Buffy has become in Season 8 (to hear her critics)? No -- a short plot synopsis of 3.19 "Choices", when Buffy traded their first real chance to stop the Ascension, maybe their only chance, to save Willow. Buffy at her most morally clear and vital, many would say. AND, it's a short plot sypnopsis of 8.23 "Predators and Prey" as well.

This issue, which seems to not do a lot of other things, makes unambiguously clear that Andrew *is* part of Buffy's circle, is an ally. It's his "Family", really. And in that, it's pretty fun. He makes mistakes, he even misleads Buffy, but at its core, he is trying to prove he has a place with her and her friends and she assures him that he does. The geeky bonding between them is actually pretty funny. And it sets the tone in which Buffy continually undermines our expectations of how she will react to Andrew. She doesn't yell at him about babbling. She doesn't despise him for lying about the Ragna demon. It speaks well of her -- she's giving him the same benefit of the doubt for lying that they all gave Tara in "Family", that she's given Xander, Willow, Giles, Dawn, and that they've all given her. "Get used to screwing up for good reasons," Buffy tells him, "it's what we do."

Some funny Andrew things -- he's wearing the same type of jacket Angel has in "The Girl in Question", which is of course the latest big fashion. Also, way to incorporate the "Twilight" lingo into the Buffyverse by having Andrew say "Team Angel" and "Team Spike" -- talk about putting that argument in perspective -- and announcing himself for Team Spike because Angel doesn't have an edge.

Buffy and Simone are very amusingly civil with each other. There seems to be an implicit acknowledgement that Simone isn't evil as such -- or, at least, isn't evil for evil's sake. She has a philosophical disagreement, and she's basically taken the same attitude as Genevieve. As such, Buffy mostly debates her on points, and even though they fence, as Slayers will, it doesn't feel urgent or deadly. Simone prevails when she draws a gun on Buffy and then we're back to "Choices" -- Simone's lieutenant has Andrew, who is all Simone wanted. To kill him, to punish him for the offense of being an unworthy authority.

Andrew is willing to give himself up, and Buffy is unwilling to give him up -- because she doesn't walk away from her people. Unfortunately, though, as Andrew's well-trained Italy team points out (respectfully, I should add) to Buffy, they can't fight it out with Simone and her gang *and* get away alive with Andrew. So Buffy has to make the trade -- get all her people out even though it means she's giving up an entire island to Simone and failing to save the homes of the people that lived there.

Big symbolism -- Buffy with a gun (I called this, although not how it played out), and she does fire it (with true aim, making the King fan in me think again that Slayers are born gunslingers), but only to turn Simone's pet demon loose on her.

I was surprised this wasn't the end of the Simone story, but it played out very well. This was a much cleaner, less eyebrow-arching plot than 8.22, and continues to develop this five issue collapse of the Slayers as the champions of the people to their enemies.

Timeline note -- Buffy says she's been friends with Xander "for eight years", so pop culture references or not, we know we're still in that year to year and a half mark after "Chosen", and that Season 8 so far has only taken weeks or months.

Another side point -- why does anyone give a f&@% if Andrew is straight, gay or bi? I certainly hope Allie didn't say anything like that because it only reinforces the asinine notion that the Buffyverse has some kind of quota it has to hit, that individuals are nothing more than the sum of their group identifiers, and everything else that's stupid and wrong.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2009-03-04 20:49 ]
A little bit of Drew Greenberg talking about this issue and Buffy in general here for those interested (haven't seen it posted, sorry if it has been).

BTW - first post, so "hi" as I scurry back into obscurity
I like Andrew, so this one should be fun for me.

Very glad for the timeline confirmation, and teeeeeheeeeee @ "Team Angel" vs "Team Spike". And here one of my LiveJournal acquaintances was joking about wearing a "Team Spike" shirt to the Twilight premiere... *g*

Thanks for the review, King. And welcome, sliced_bread!
I love your summary & thoughts on the comics, KoC. Thanks. I'm very much looking forward to this. :)
I have my copy too.I still don't like Andrew at all although he does show some growth by issue's end.But there is a lot about him I still find so grating and this issue did nothing to change that.

I was surprised the Simone plot wasn't closed.I expect it will resurface as season 8 continues.
KOC- Because being out matters in our society. This has nothing to do with quotas, or anything else. It is about being brave enough to make things clear, notwithstanding Willow and Tara, which was not nearly as dangerous as making a gay male relationship on Buffy would have been. But I was actually kidding about entereing into this debate again, since we have all had our say on it, and have staked out our positions; I will not comment on this again.

Of course, beyond that, Andrew is not worth the time, even so. Unlike Tara, who became family due her love for Willow, her wisdome and moral compass, and her willingness to help the group, Andrew still is a killer who has never really paid a price for that death, unless you think crying a bit and being scared by Buffy counts as redemption. He has not earned his family-ness, as far as I am concerned.
Loved the issue. Very funny -- totally felt like the team banter from TV. Andrew's arc reminded me of the Wesley's maturing over time... from annoying foil to full-fledged Scoobie.

And is Andrew wearing a Captain Hammer t-shirt In the beginning, under the green jacket?
Andrew mentions Heath Ledger's death, or at least skirts it. Buffy says she's known Xander for eight years, which makes this 2006 at the latest.

Maybe Brokeback Mountain made Andrew angry :)
I have my copies (both covers, both are beautiful) and have read it! And loved it!

I loved that I understood all the nerd references in Andrews soliloquy, and that Buffy finally found one that she understood and could relate to.
So was this the first Buffy heard about Spike being alive, and did she get that Andrew was saying that Spike is alive and well in LA with Angel? That wasn't entirely clear to me.
I've always loved Andrew so I have no problem with him being clearly recognized as part of the family, frankly I thought that fighting w/everyone in Chosen showed that he had joined the family (surely the courage to stand in what could have been a losing battle was redemption enough?), and being allowed to work closely with Giles as a watcher showed that they had completely accepted him already. It seems sad to me that evidently this was the first he knew he was accepted, but maybe this has more to do with the fans who have never wanted him accepted.

From my point of view Andrew killing Jonathan was a big deal, but not bigger than Giles killing Ben, or Willow killing (so we thought) Warren, or Faith killing the Vulcan Vulcanologist. There have been a lot of cold blooded killing over the years, just sayin.

Did we ever hear if that proposal was accepted? I expected to have something in this weeks letter to the editor, but I never saw any further news about that.
The Angel/Spike mention doesn't really tell us anything new.Basically Andrew likes Spike more than Angel.After having met Angel he is for Team Spike because Spike is edgier.

Not sure what the purpose of this was.We already knew he was a Spike fan boy.

And still nothing from Buffy's end.She just stares at him.

I guess this confirms that Buffy is aware Andrew met Angel although we don't know if he means from Damage or TGIQ or both.And we still don't know how much Buffy knows what happened in either episode or that Spike is back.Her expression and the no reaction can be read either way.That she knows or she doesn't.

So no answers on any of the Angel/Spike front other than Andrew telling Buffy he's met Angel and likes Spike more.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2009-03-04 22:44 ]
There was never actually reason to doubt that Buffy knew Andrew met Angel -- he states plainly that she sent him. I know that's something people have put a lot of fanon into erasing, but it is the plain text of the episode.
Yeah but we never knew and still don't know the details of what Buffy knows or does not know and Andrew lies so much.Even in this issue he lied.I understand his reasons but it still was another lie.Issue 1 also implied she was unaware of the significence of The Immortal and why Andrew chose him to date the decoy.So it's still up in the air on what details Buffy knows.We know for sure that she knows Andrew met Angel and she knows that Cordy died.That's really all we know 100%.

The fanon debate came from comments Drew Goddard made at the last posting board party to a group about Damage and than a year later at a convention about TGIQ.

Now granted,things can change from what was said five years ago.Five years ago there was no season 8.We've already seen Joss change things for where he needed to be in the new story being told now.What was true five years ago when Drew Goddard said what he said might not be true now that we have the canon continuation of Buffy and Angel.He said those things when Angel was ending long before Buffy Season 8 and Angel:ATF was a twinkle in Joss's eyes.But that's where some of the debate started.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2009-03-04 23:07 ]
Dana5140: I agree with you on Andrew but let's see itt his way, was 3 years in the slammer enough for Fiath to pay for the Professor's murder?

And as to timeline, so this is now up to date? sigh.

And as I've said, I regard my fanfics as "canon to me personally." And in that 'verse most of them are working parents already. So, am I , by continuing to buy these comics, insulting Joss's artistic integrity? I mean, I know I'm mad at t him, but I wouldn't want to be insulting about it, y'know'n'mean?
Buffyfantic, is there a source/quote of what Goddard said 5 years ago?
Was the Wishverse canon? Was Superstar canon? Both of those were alternate realities featured on the show. I think the term "canon" in Buffy means "widely viewed or read." It doesn't mean "only." Well written fanfic can be just as engaging as published-for-profit novels, comics or shows. It all depends on the talents and abilities of the writer who dreams up the story.

So no, DaddyCatALSO, you're not a insulting Joss. You're just well "versed." :)

[ edited by quantumac on 2009-03-05 00:13 ]
I'm really starting to see parallels to X-Men in the way season 8 is going. The slayers have become like mutants, in that society fears and does not understand them. Also Buffy has become like Professor Xavier (they both train the slayers/mutants to use their powers and teach them how to use those powers to help people).

Simone is almost like a Magneto character. She is not necessarily evil, she just has a different view on how normal people and slayers should interact. Plus, She set up what is basically a slayer's Genosha on the island she overtook. I don't know, but that's what I thinking when I read this.
Double post

[ edited by Animal Mother on 2009-03-05 00:19 ]
Animal Mother, that makes a lot of sense, actually. Between Season 8 and "Heroes", it's Genoshas all around, then. The Simone vs. Buffy parallel actually plays out. I don't know about anyone else, but they basically seem to be on civil terms. Buffy definitely is not on a mission to "bring down" Simone, so much as to bring her in. And when they fight, it's mostly to highlight the difference between them -- Buffy is her superior fighting "her way", and Simone wins with shortcuts.
Simone's band of kick-ass women also reminded me of the Amazons in Y: The Last Man.

BTW: also loved how Andrew's opening inner dialog was in a pale purple box -- often a color associated with gender ambiguity. Buffy gave Andrew the opportunity to clarify his orientation when she commented on another man... he explicitly declined to comment.
I kinda liked this issue, but I found it short. It was again a simple simple reassurance that while Buffy can kill a friend to save the world (ToYL), she would rather not. It also officially confirms Andrew as part of the family. A good read overall. But next month will be better.
Wow, that's a brilliant catch, Steve -- the Amazons in Y: The Last Man are a great parallel for Simone's Slayers. Buffy is stuck -- Slayer zealots to the left of her, vampire-loving pop culture to the right. And stuck in the middle with Twilight?
I can understand not liking Andrew, but I'm tired of people saying that he doesn't deserve to be in the group because of killing Jonathon or saying they don't think he is redeemed.

Redemption is a huge theme in both Buffy and (especially) Angel. In Angel, it is made clear many times that redemption is not something that is ever finished. There is no cosmic balance sheet. Angel will always be redeeming himself, until the day he dies, whether he Shanshus or not. This does not simply apply to Angel.

It applies to Faith. (see "Sanctuary" and "Orpheus") She killed. She did evil. She went to jail so that Angel didn't have to. But that wasn't her only penance. Her redemption didn't really start until she got out and started doing good. She is redeeming herself now, with Giles, and will continue to, for the rest of her life. No matter how many times she may slip up, she is always able to be redeemed, because she has a soul.

So, Andrew? He killed. He did evil. Now, though, he has renounced evil, and is actively doing good in the world. No, it doesn't make up for what he did to Jonathon. No matter how much good he does, it won't matter. But that's not the point. The point isn't to be redeemed, the point is to work towards redemption. He is doing that. He hasn't just expressed sorrow for what he has done, he is actively trying to help people. To save lives. He went into the final battle in "Chosen" knowing he was going to die. He fought anyway. Even though he didn't die, he was completely willing to, to support the cause. To fight the good fight. He is still fighting now, In season 8. He was willing to sacrifice himself in this issue, for the greater good. He's a hero.

So if you don't like his personality, or find him annoying, that's fine. But don't say that he doesn't belong in the group because of the evil he's done. Andrew is a hero, who has done bad things. He is trying to atone for them. Cut him some slack.
Unfortunately, this issue was total filler. I really hope this series finds a direction soon.
I know it's hard to do, but I think everyone needs to let the timeline issues go.

It's something I learned to do as a comic fan before I was a Buffy fan. Time is fluid in comic book land. If it wasn't, then every issue would take place exactly one month after the last. No multi-issue arcs, because one takes place in January, and the other takes place in February.

Also, Batman would be pushing 90 by now, since he was in his late twenties in 1940.

As real life years move on, the origin date of our heroes have to move with them, otherwise they'd age faster than stories can be told. As far as I'm concerned, Buffy S8 takes place in the present. If getting to enjoy current pop culture references instead of 4 year old ones that no one gets anymore means we can no longer have a concrete birth date for a fictional character that wasn't ever really born in the first place... I think that's an acceptable price.
I don't know why people just can't accept that our 2009 is their 2005.
I see no reason to "cut him some slack." He simply kills each issue he is in for me, end of story. I. Do. Not. Care. About. Him. And since I do not think Willow has been redeemed for what she did, I can hardly feel he has, or Faith, for that matter. But I find their stories far more compelling because they have the ability to look at what they did and work to change it (which is sort of your point, Giles_314); he simply goes on nattering about fanboy idiocy and never contemplates what he did. It is never even brought up.

As to Warren, that was an admitted mistake. That I can let go, because of the admission. But the submarines, the timeline discrepancies, these get at my "willing suspension of disbelief."
I concur Giles_314.

BTW- I enjoyed the issue immensely.
dingoes8; Thing is, comics don't have to be like that, and these characters started clearly grounded in time. Now they're apper isntead of actors but still, I mean there's "Gasoline Alley" (altho Walt is what, 135 by now?) and "For Better or For Worse" in its original incarnation, and the short-lived "Safe Havens." So it doesn't have to be changeless. The problem being, as always, the saleabiltiy of the property. Which is why we had an Enterprise with an all-sexagenarian crew.

Then again, the continuity gaffes do bug me, given that Joss went out of his way to set the chronology at the beginning. Self-honesty is a legitimate form of honesty.

Then again, playing "I Only Have Eyes for You" at the '57 prom when in the Ourverse it only came out in '59, the Babylon 5 collector plates having been issued. The Buffyverse just might not be the Ourverse plus demons.
"Then again, the continuity gaffes do bug me, given that Joss went out of his way to set the chronology at the beginning." - DaddyCatALSO

Actually I never thought that Joss meant for Season 8 to begin exactly 3 months after Chosen, I was always under the impression that several years had gone by (certainly Dawn had made it to college, but we aren't told what year she is in).

"I find their stories far more compelling because they have the ability to look at what they did and work to change it; he simply goes on nattering about fanboy idiocy and never contemplates what he did. It is never even brought up." - Dana5210

Well personally I wouldn't like Andrew better if he went around all glum and self flagellating, I always thought that Angel was a brooding bore. But I think the artist did show that Andrew was well aware of his faults, in several frames you can see that although he is quoting Spock's line about the one and the many, never the less Andrew really means that he was ready to pay for his sins with his life.
I find their stories far more compelling because they have the ability to look at what they did and work to change it; he simply goes on nattering about fanboy idiocy and never contemplates what he did. It is never even brought up.

Something can be true about a character without him saying it all the time. Just because Andrew doesn't talk about his past evil deeds does not mean he doesn't recognize them. Like I said, he is willing to give his life in support of the good fight, and he is working on the side of good. He has changed himself. I have no doubt that the Andrew now, given the choice to kill Jonathon again, would refuse to do it. He is good now, and while he is not redeemed, and never can be, he is nevertheless on the path to redemption.

Personally, I love Andrew and think he's hilarious. I can understand not liking him because he is annoying. I have nothing against that.
Oh, no. It's even funnier than that. Somehow Sunnydale High got a copy of The Flamingos' "I Only Have Eyes For You" in 1955, instead of 1959 when it was recorded. LMAO. The '50s is always a musical open season on continuity errors. They just have to put those late-'50s songs in early or mid-'50s movies/television episodes. '55 is like the favorite year to use... except Rock'n'Roll was a baby at that point. And me, being an oldies nerd, always can smell continuity errors like that from a mile away.

Anyway... I'm bummed that Joss is choosing to not tackle the real meat of what people want to know about Andrew's involvement in Damage and The Girl in Question. It's like he doesn't get that people care. And Andrew, IMO, hasn't earned Buffy's trust. She has no idea what happened with the Rome decoy and the Immortal. She's been left in the dark about what she's supposed to be the boss of. And we don't know what Buffy knows other than she doesn't know about the decoy and she knows that Cordy died. The last time we actually know that Buffy has talked to Angel was before Conviction/Just Rewards (Angel mentions a phone call where he's told that she's in Europe and she's doing fine).

And what about Lineage? Was it the new Watchers' Council run by Giles who tried to incapacitate Angel and was willing to kill Fred to get to Angel? Who leaked the Watchers' Council records profile of Roger Wyndam-Pryce to the robot ninja-making folks (or was it in-house)? What about Giles' refusal to help Fred in A Hole in the World? Is this related to the good guys who attacked in Lineage?

And what Andrew did to Angel and Spike using the Immortal (the Italian count?) by reading up on their history with Darla and Drusilla and setting up the fraud with the decoy. He owes them a major apology and owes Buffy an explanation about what he found "so funny", but didn't tell her what it was.

And if this is Giles, Andrew and/or Buffy involved in this, boy, do they have egg on their faces if they hear about Angel's heroicism against W&H. They were wrong about Angel and it's 100% proven fact now that Angel's plan was on the right side of the fight. Their unwillingness to help Fred is on their hands.

Joss took the easy way out and once again gave us no answers. Season 8 is going to have to start moving pretty quick to start answering some questions and getting some pay-off drama because right now it is just fumbling with wasted opportunities.

Instead of answers, we get that Andrew is a Spike fanboy and wears the Angel joke jacket. *That* is gross wasted potential. Joss went for stupid funny jokes rather than answers to real questions that don't necessarily put Buffy & co. and/or Andrew in a good light.

[ edited by NileQT87 on 2009-03-05 02:49 ]
We can has cyborg ninjas?

After The Fall hasn't mentioned them at all...

Of course, they'd then have to fight the monkey pirates.
The cyborg ninjas were in the AtS season 5 episode Lineage. They were sent by "good guys" who had access to Watchers' Council files using Roger Wyndam-Pryce's personality profile (Wesley's dad). They were sent to incapacitate Angel and the Rogerbot was willing to shoot Fred (but Wesley shot what he thought to be his father).

However, the access to the Watchers' Council records by "good guys" is the fishy part. It also matches up with the stuff in Damage, A Hole in the World (and that was Giles in person willing to let Fred die rather than help Angel) and The Girl in Question (which is confirmed that Buffy doesn't know about it).

Faith, who is Angel's #1 fan and practically his creation into who she is today, wouldn't be happy if she found out what Giles did in A Hole in the World.

[ edited by NileQT87 on 2009-03-05 02:56 ]
NileQT87, I don't think anyone involved with these comics is really concerned with giving us the answers to the hard questions either series left behind.
If you're honest with yourself, you already know the "answers" from "Damage" -- there is no question. Face value was legit. If there was any deceit involved in Andrew's trip to LA, he wouldn't so casually refer to it in front of Buffy. There's just nothing there.

If anything, seeing as the whole "Slayers becoming enemies of the normal world/Buffy after a Rogue Slayer" story has nothing at all to do with Buffy's outstanding beef with Angel and what she does or doesn't know about Spike, the 'shippers should be happy with those shout-outs. I loved the "Team Angel" and "Team Spike" references, because it seems to be the second time this month Joss or his writers have basically taken a rip at the 'shipper mindset. First, Joss' "three days of sex" answer, now equating them with the Edward vs. Jacob fight.

Enisy, I like that someone wore a "Team Spike" t-shirt at "Twilight". What would be so, so, so great would be if Spike or Angel, perhaps in a whacky "we need to borrow clothes" moment, were in a Team Jacob or Team Edward shirt (probably respectively). It would be another timeline screwing pop culture reference, but it would be perfect.

As to the cyborgs -- we don't know that they *were* good guys, we know they were people that *think* they're good guys. Twilight fits that bill pretty well. Using "Lineage" as the preview of Twilight would be great, and it fits with using "Amends" for the First or the Season 2 references to the Mayor.

As for Giles in "A Hole in the World" -- with W&H being untrusted, why would he believe that Fred was in actual danger just on Angel's say so? There's also the fact that Giles probably really wasn't in contact with Willow, as he said. The astral projection thing may have been a cover for not knowing where she is, but the text of Season 8 is clear that she was out of contact, which by the now-reconfirmed timeline would fit very well into when Willow was out of contact.
I don't believe the ninja cyborgs had anything to do with Buffy, Giles, or their organization.

As for Giles refusing to help them cure Fred; I feel it was extremely out of character. In the commentary for the episode, they said they wanted to have Giles explain to them instead of creating the character of Drogyn, but ASH was in England and they couldn't fly him over or something. I think they just included that phone call because it would be unlike Angel not to call for help from the Buffy side of things if they really needed help fast. They did it in that one where Willow came to restore Angel's soul. I don't think a story point should be made out of it.
Sorry to drag this part of the discussion back up, but personally I hope we never get a direct answer on whether or not Andrew is gay. The joking ambiguity just doesn't get old!

I enjoyed the issue, but have to agree with folks here that say that the series should start becoming more arc-y. We've had too many one-shots, it's time to get back to the real story.
Joss Whedon said either in an interview or in a commentary that Andrew's last scene in "The Girl in Question" was supposed to have had a whole group of people to go out partying, male and female, but somehow the message didn't get through to production and they were startled at how it read to viewers. Andrew going on about Spike's pectorals and "Oh, yeah, the girl's hot, too" and of course panning right past Willow and Kennedy smooching to show Xander's brilliant woodworking, not to mention Andrew's crush on Warren, all seemed to me to indicate that Andrew was interested in men and, while he likes women socially, is sexually oblivious to them. And of course Buffy knows Andrew met Angel -- she knows he went to L.A. with a whole bunch of Slayers to get Dana *from* Angel. Giles_314, well-said about redemption in the 'verse. As for Giles being willing to let Fred die -- no, he was willing to let Fred *stay* dead. Big difference. He was ready to let *Buffy* stay dead, too, so I can see where he'd feel that way about someone he's never even met.
Fred wasn't dead yet when the phone call was made. She was dying. Big difference than "staying dead".
Didn't he call for help in "Shells", as part of the effort to bring Fred back?
While I liked this issue well enough by itself,
Joss' comic book writing seems to make way
more sense in the trade format.
I am looking forward to reading through
all 40ish issues when S8 is done.
Didn't he call for help in "Shells", as part of the effort to bring Fred back?

Yes, he did call in Shells after Fred's insides had been liquified and her soul had been consumed by the fires of resurrection. The latter would be nice to get some confirmation on from a powerful witch. Once Wes was told that Fred's soul had been destroyed, everyone stopped trying to save Fred and started figuring out how to take Illyria down. The phone call to Giles happened after Fred died but before Wes was told that Fred's soul had been destroyed.
I just checked. Yeah, Angel calls Giles after Fred had already died. That surprised me. I thought it was when they were all trying to cure her.

Edit: Dang you, Emmie! Always one-upping me.

[ edited by Giles_314 on 2009-03-05 04:24 ]
Whoops. My bad. For some reason I didn't think it was after she had died. Still, it's not Giles' finest moment and it is something that I feel needs a pay-off.

The problem is that there are numerous things during season 5 that point to a whole bunch of BtVS characters being in a very morally foggy place. The BtVS comics have taken that theme even further, except we aren't getting any pay-offs. We missed a major opportunity for Andrew to start talking.
Was the timeline ever in question?

The beginning of S8 is 15 months after S7, basically where S9 would have started had the show continued that long. By now we are halfway through S8, so roughly Januaryish 2005, or 8 years after Buffy met Xander (Janish '97). Though knowing Xander for "8 years" could well be anywhere from mid '04 to mid or even late '05.

As far as the pop culture references... I was able to rationalize until now. Quantum of Solace is mentioned. I can't fight that one. Nor the 2006 references to BSG. Though the Heath Ledger reference could be arguable, as it is above...

So yeah, my rationale now, as Riker mentioned above, is simply that any of these references that don't fit DO fit in the Buffyverse. Quantum of Solace must have come out in late 2004 or somesuch. BSG began a couple years sooner. No big deal. Easy enough to explain. And with this simple line of thinking I can enjoy current pop culture references without being pulled out of the story that I know logically takes place 4 years ago (or when the season began 2 years ago, how we were 2.5 years ahead).
The rooftop/crane reference could be Casino Royale.

This amused me, and makes me feel all special-like. A few years ago I wrote for a Buffy virtual season. Episode 5 of our season eight focused on Andrew, and it was called Borderline. Here's how the script ended:

It wasn't just over you killing
Jonathan... you don't feel like
you're wanted. I know.

But I'm not. You guys --

Andrew, there is evil all over the
world. Everywhere we turn, there it
is. We can't afford to lose another
good guy.

I'm a good guy?

Hmm. Clearly, I'm on genius wave-length and should soon move out of my mother's basement.
I didn't find Andrew nearly as agitating as usual but to say I like his character would be a huge stretch. I'm in the camp that feels he has done nothing to deserve the "family" award from Buffy. I can honestly see why she feels protective of him, as he does seem to be saying all the right things and he's so pathetic how could she NOT try to protect him? He's like a little boy.

The fact that Andrew tells Buffy that he met Angel, indicated to me that she didn't know he had went to get Dana. Time will tell. I'm sure that line was written for more than the obvious, Andrew is still crushing on Spike.

Like others, I am ready to get some answers.
They could just leave out any current pop culture references beyond 2004/2005, but I realize it wouldn't be the Buffyverse and the nerdier characters wouldn't be who they are without those kinds of jokes. So I'm cool with them staying. I didn't even think about how weird it was for the Heath Ledger mention to be in there, in that time period, I was more struck by how, I dunno, too soon it was to go there? But oh well, yeah, I'm fine with just chalking it up to certain films, songs, and TV shows having come out earlier in the Buffyverse.

But I'd still like to keep a concrete year tacked to the series. 2004/2005 and beyond as the comics progress.

And yeah, getting the song year wrong in "I Only Have Eyes For You" set a precedent for messing with the cultural references. Not that minor mistakes like that excuse more mistakes being made, but if most of us can agree to just live with origin of pop culture discrepencies, at least the inconsistencies with real life can be viewed as consistent within the Buffyverse.

Just for the record, the sub thing from the last issue didn't bother me one bit (for most of the reasons folks here and Scott Allie reasoned, among any other plausible explanations that can be thought up that just aren't interesting to waste precious comic book pages and dialogue bubbles explaining). But for whatever reason, I'm a stickler for timelines (which it why it's a beaut to see them handling things on Lost so well, so far, these past couple seasons).

Oh yeah, the issue.

Have we met or heard mention of Simone previously ? I can't remember. I wonder what her connection with Rona was though. Rona was one of the few Potentials in Season 7 who got dialogue and managed to have a bit of a personality, as one note as I recall it being. Buffy's line this issue, "Simone wasn't your fault. Rona was the one who--" and then Andrew cuts her off. Wonder if we'll see an expansion on that or if Drew was just name-dropping for fun.

I didn't catch all of Andrew's references. In the panel when they're flying the plane, who are "Dualla" and "Lee" ? The only other one not completely obvious was what followed, but I'm sure it was V For Vendetta.

When Andrew's talking about Giles and having a cleric, do you think Giles was playing role playing games with him for a while before parting ways with the Scotland operation, or did they literally have real person clerics aiding them ?

Who's Don Draper ?

I can't see Andrew singing the theme song to the `80s cartoon Jem. He's somewhat effeminite (but I read him as moreso just nerdly meek), but...yeah, I just can't picture it from what we saw of him in Season 6, 7, and Angel Season 5.

So yeah, the nerdgasming was kind of a waste of space, but I loved Buffy's, "And that thing where he's running on rooftops and cranes ? I've done that and I was still scared for him." Heh, cute.

No clue why Andrew refused to comment on the blue Bond swim trunks. We saw him in this very issue compliment a girl on her shirt, so he cares about or at least notices clothes somewhat, plus we've seen him openly drool around the others about dudes (Scott Bakula, Spike). Maybe it was a moment of trying to appear to "man up" for Buffy.

At least they're consistent with Andrew's M.O. when it comes to his specialties--his thing as part of the Trio was summoning/controlling demons (Warren's machines, Jonathan's always illusions/reality altering). Although genetically engineering the return of a species seems a little above his paygrade. Greenberg should've just had that rogue slayer tattle that Andrew used a spell to bring the spider demon back.

Did anyone else get excited for a second that Andrew might temporarily be taken out of the picture ? (yeah, I know, to be fair, there've been whole arcs where he's barely shown) I'm pretty sure they won't kill him off any time soon, if ever, but I thought he might somehow get left with Simone regardless of what Buffy decided.

I read Simone's lines...
"Way I see it, now there are two kinds of people in the world. The ones who fear us so much, they hope someone kills us all...and the ones so stupid, they want to be the ones to try."

And I'm thinking, "What about all the other folks who're undecided or don't feel like they know enough about the topic, or don't trust reality TV or believe everything they read ? Also, there are tribes in the Amazon that have no clue about you all".

I know, we'll probably see the big picture colored in gradually, but after the army general in the first arc of this season and the Harmony issue supposedly being a game changer of an event, I need more evidence and overview of more of the populace's viewpoints, and soon, to buy into this scenario Joss has constructed.

Was happy to get a good helping of Buffy herself this issue.

[ edited by Kris on 2009-03-05 06:28 ]
Kris, we have met Simone before in one of the first issues there is a scene with Andrew trying to explain to the slayers why they don't use modern weaponry. The slayer that asked why can't they grab a bunch of guns is none other then Simone.

Later in the issue A Beautiful Sunrise, Buffy is watching some security footage of Simone and other slayers attack some people with guns. Xander tells Buffy that Simone was once working with Rona in the U.S. but was then shipped to Andrew in Italy.

Now on to the more important stuff. Lee and Dualla are characters from BSG. I'm pretty sure that the cleric stuff is a reference to Dungeons & Dragons (I thought it was a nice shout out to Chosen where we see Andrew, Giles, Xander and Amanda playing the night before the big fight). Last but not least, Don Draper is the main character of Mad Men.

[ edited by Animal Mother on 2009-03-05 07:05 ]
I loved this issue. I love dialogue-heavy issues and have no problem with Andrew. This book was good and fun. I do think this was a bit of a repeat of the 'Tara is family' ep from S5, but other than the rehashed feeling, no complaints.
The only thing that bugs me about the timeline is Dawn. Wasn't she a sophomore in high school during S7? So she would now be a Senior, right? Why is she in college?
Much like there are tunnels around Sunnydale, much like everything is in the computer, try this -- everybody agreed that it would be easier if Dawn wasn't in high school, so they magicked up her grades, she took her GED, and got admitted to Berkeley a year early.
I remembered some security footage with Slayers robbing something, but for some reason I remembered it as being footage of Buffy's slayers or maybe also Buffy herself doing the robbing. Have to go back and read those bits pertaining to Simone.

Can't even recall the D&D scene in "Chosen". Lousy memory.

Was Dawn for sure not in her Freshman year in Season 5 ? Maybe she's real brainy and got to skip a year. With potentially a tutor in Willow (not so much in Season 6, but sure Willow would've been in a position to be helpful in Seasons 5 and 7), wouldn't be surprised it she managed to skip a year or did summer school to get ahead or something.

I thought when Scott Allie said he was gonna plow through the letters a while back, he meant he was going to print a bunch of letters from various issues for the next few months so we'd be caught up to #20-something real soon. Y'know, so when we're reading issue #25, we'll be reading letters pertaining to #24. That's how it is in other comic books. Scott says we'll be reading about #12 next month (Buffy/Satsu), but doesn't it seem like a giant rehash to get into that yet again ? I guess he's doing it for those Buffy comics readers who don't go online to discuss and read interviews. Being half of the book's run behind in letters is really strange though.
Personally, I've always thought Dawn was a freshman in Season 6 and a sophomore in Season 7, but if anything, that's a year behind and she was a junior in Season 7 (which, incidentally, would put her on track to start college in Fall 2004 anyway).
I love Andrew and enjoyed seeing he and the Buffster spend some quality time together. It's nice to see that Andrew has grown and matured as a person (while still retaining that which makes him who he is), and that he has become an acceptable member of the scooby gang.
Oh oops, the rooftops and cranes probably is a mention of Casino Royale! Shows how much I remember about either of those two movies. Doesn't change my point, as that was late 2006. And I forgot about the Don Draper mention, which puts it at earliest in late 2007, early 2008 if we assume the Heath Ledger mention is in regards to his death. So all these things happened earlier in the Buffyverse.

Dawn was 15 at the start of Season 5, so she would be 17 in the fall of Season 7. Normally that's a senior year in high school, but when is her Birthday? Cause it could be Junior year. At any rate, that puts her at 19 at the beginning of Season 8, which puts her in college at normal times.
If they're referencing Mad Men, how soon until someone notices that Pete Campbell looks vaguely familiar...
Dawn was 15 at the start of Season 5

No, she wasn't.

From "Real Me", October 2000:
BUFFY: Wait. So what you're saying is if I can get an acceptable babysitter here before you leave, I can go patrol?
DAWN: (OS) Babysitter? I'm fourteen! I'm old enough to *be* a babysitter!

From "Blood Ties" February 2001:
DAWN: How old am I now?
JOYCE: You're fourteen, sweetheart, you know that.

From "Tough Love", May 2001:
DAWN: Yeah? Those monks put grades K through eight in my head. Can't we just wait and see if they drop nine in there too? (This is almost at the very end of the school year; no point in waiting to see if "they drop nine in there" if she's already about to finish anyway, so she must be in grade eight at this point, regardless of her age.)

ETA: Also, there are at least two references to her being fifteen during "Once More With Feeling".

ET fix typo.

[ edited by Rowan Hawthorn on 2009-03-05 14:22 ]

[ edited by Rowan Hawthorn on 2009-03-05 14:24 ]
I was happy to see Andrew pop up this issue, myself. Perhaps it's because I catch all the geek references, but I've always thought he was a fun character. Somehow I missed all the uproar over a submarine. Wha? Living in a giant castle in Scotland with high tech gear didn't throw people off before? The Slayers had money, a lot of it. Anyways, back to the latest issue.

Andrew has an obvious self esteem issue that he's been overcoming since the moment he was accepted as trustworthy enough to be allowed to help before the series end. It's been part of his character development through our exposure to him in Angel, that he's steadily been becoming more confident in himself. it would seem that he had overcome most of this problem with the exception of Buffy, who I think it's obvious he has a great amount of respect and desire to impress. It was Buffy who essentially offered Andrew a chance at redemption and I've no doubt that Andrew accepted it as a very valuable gift. This issue was designed to let Andrew finally get the approval and acceptance that he needed to fully become the Andrew he wanted to be.

Pertaining to Simone and Co., this issue besides the Andrew development, was designed to setup one more domino that is going to come toppling down in the near future. It ranks up there with the issue before it with Harmony, and I wouldn't be surprised if the next issue does the same. I'm rather tepid about it all, as I see the possibility of a whole lot of very bad stuff eventually to come crashing down on everything Buffy has tried to build. Are we going to have a Dark Time/aka Order 66 situation where the Slayers are hunted down and exterminated?

Some thoughts!
Like I said, Dawn was 14 at the beginning of Season 5! |-)~

Making her 18 at the beginning of Season 8, Freshman year college age!
Well personally I think trying to set Season 8 into the past is fanwank. I read it as: Dawn is 20 years old now, and Andrew was angry about Heath Ledger trying to bring down Batman, and then was sad when he thought about Heath Ledger's death. It is just my personal opinion, but I thought there had to be a big (several year's worth) gap between Chosen and the beginning of Season 8, because it would take a long time to gather all the slayers, train them, and set up command posts around the world.
embers; "The Official Chronology Position" when the comics started was it was the summer or fall of 2004. Which doesn't eman we haven't been fanwanking since then in order to keep up with the prowanks* they're throwing at us.

*That's a term I coined to refer to the Xmas Eve dinenr scene in "The Body;" before that, who knew Joyce had become surrogate mother to the whole gang, important to Anya etbloodycetera. A development I actually liked albeit some didn't.
Wow, this is the first I've heard of this 'Official Chronology Position', where was that published? I didn't see it stated in the first comic but I suppose it is possible that I missed it.
Well obviously Willow and Andrew have been dipping forward in time to catch up on BSG and...Mad Men for some reason. I don't think any of them have ever met Connor. But the Fat Lee reference did make me laugh. Cause really.
Well of course Faith has met Connor, but she doesn't seem to have a very close relationship with Buffy (or Willow or Xander) so it is unlikely she talked about her experiences in LA to any of them. And even Faith hasn't met the new and improved Connor.
I think much of the divergent opinions are based on the medium.
Time has always been elastic in comics,
yes in that one notable mainstream strip the characters age,
but what of Peanuts?
And Joss promised us Big Things that a TV budget couldn't afford him.
My (already stated) opinion is S8 will come together as a narrative when it is published as TPBs. Until the last issue is published i am holding my comparisons to S1-S7.
espalier; Well, 2 notable strips actually, but you're on to something about its being a good idea to reserve judgement on over-all impact.

embers; Didn't Willow also meet Connor, "your handsome, androgynous son?" Plus TPTB alone know what Faith and Willow small-talked about on the trip back. "(I really wish I could apologize to Tara about how I talked to her when I was in Buffy's body. -pause- "I wish you could, too.") So maybe he was mentioned, too.
As to chronology, "I seem to recall" that in interviews at the launch of the mags Joss or scott or both said it was occurring at the time I'd mentioned. Seems like a lot of other folks remembeer that too otherwise we'dn't be talking about it so much hereabouts :-).
I liked this issue. Old school Buffy but in a very new context.
Am I the only one who found it profoundly disturbing that Buffy left slayers with that spider-demon thing?
They defected with Simone. They were gonna torture Andrew. Superpowers + bad intent, nope not feeling sorry for them.
Sunfire, me neither. Somebody pulls a gun on me, holds one of my crew hostage, runs an entire village out of their homes, and announces their intent to clone a giant spider-demon for use as a weapon of terror - which, incidentally, I'm going to get the blame for - and all I can say is, good thing they were dealing with Buffy and not me. I would have blown Simone's knee-cap apart on the way out the door and let the damn spider have her...
Hmmm I might have to re-read now. :)
It seems morally questionable, but Buffy seemed to have full confidence in their ability to deal with it. They used to be part of her group, so she likely knew what most of them were capable of handling. That many slayers against one (admittedly big) demon translates to me as very minimal risks of any casualties and probably not an injury either.

Also, Buffy probably figured they still had that stun gun Simone used on the spider to get it back to her lair sedated in the first place. One shot with that, then they could either put it back in the cage or kill it with ease.

It just seemed like a big f-u move at first, but it's not like Season 2 Angel shutting the Wolfram & Hart people in with Darla and Drusilla.
Incidentally, who else noticed that Simone's setup looked suspiciously like a queen on her throne surrounded by her court?
I'm less worried about the gang watching Mad Men than I am about Andrew watching How I Met Your Mother...I wonder what he thought of the coffee shop worker in the Swarley episode?
Yay, Drew. Even the Ragna demon was a "strong female character." OK, sort of seriously: I like that this series can have female demons without them looking like human females in skimpy outfits.
I thought this issue was ok, I liked Andrew well enough in it. I found Buffy having to be talked into a sensible plan by one of the Italy squad slayers a bit odd, I can't imagine sentimentality for the villagers who lost lost their homes clouding her judgement that much.

Part of me finds this new diversion in the form of Simone a bit boring though. I can see the need to involve rogue slayers in the script to make everything more plausible, but every issue I'm hugely disappointed with the lack of Xander and Willow time, I mean, have those two even spoken to eachother all season?? If feels like every issue for ages has been filler when what I really want to see is scooby relationships again.

I'm hoping that for the future anyway, I just wish it'd hurry up and get here.
I was wondering exactly what that weird symbol was outside Simone's was also painted along the walls indoors. It's that giant A with a circle along the upper half.
It seemed important that it was repeated, but I can't seem to place it anywhere.
Of course, it could just be some reference I'm not getting (but I did get all of Andrew's, lame-o that I am).
Thoughts, anyone?
Leigh, that's the symbol for anarchy.
So I'm almost positive no one is still following this discussion, but I finally got my hands on this issue and enjoyed it. I've never had a problem with Andrew; he's not one of my favorite characters, but I love all of his little references, and think that's he quite funny and can be surprisingly emotional (as in this issue).

Someone above mentioned the Amazons from Y: The Last Man in relation to Simone's Slayers, and that was my immediate thought as soon as we first saw them.

So, all-in-all, another fun outing, though I do agree that I would like the season to start picking up steam.

Now I'm going to give Angel: Aftermath a spin...

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