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August 05 2009

(SPOILER) For the discussion of Buffy #27. It's the second part of Jane Espenson's 'Retreat' arc.

the coloring for this issue is all kinds of unpleasant, but otherwise it was a decent read, not as engaging as the first issue in the arc though.
The coloring, really?

Hmmm....I'll have to pick this ish up soon. Hopefully this season starts to pick up soon. It's been a bit of a let down since Wolves at the Gate in my opinion.
I like the coloring a lot. It's Michelle Madsen, who has been doing colors since #11. No changes.

The art is pretty bad, though. Jeanty's people are looks kinda bad, while his landscapes are looking pretty awesome. I understand that the panels are busy, but his art has been missing a certain something since his few pages in #20. He needs to step it up, because I used to love his art.

The writing is top notch, though. Really liked it.
oh the coloring is the same? for some reason the art in this issue just looked really horrible to me.
I didn't think there was enough interaction between Willow and Oz, especially in light of all that's happened (Tara's death, becoming evil and almost destroying the world, the new slayer girlfriend, etc.) I know, comics have a limited number of pages, and they're always rushed to get the story out, but still. Maybe we need some novellas to fill in the holes. Or fanfic. Maybe fanfic novellas?

I find Willow's jealousy of Oz interesting. I think it says she doesn't consider Kennedy "marrying material" (fine by me). If Tara were still around, I don't think Willow would be jealous in the least, because she'd already have everything she needed.

Glad to see Tara glimpsage, even if only as a memory. We Tara fans have been seriously denied by the Joss.
I enjoyed this issue.This issue definitly give more hints that Twilight is someone we and Buffy knows.Also it seems Warren,Amy etc were unaware of this fact(that Twilight knows Buffy).

Also thought the running Spike joke throughout with Riley and Twilight in the issue was funny.How when there operative talks about seeing a pretty big spike in magic usage in order to pinpoint Buffy and the slayer's location,both Riley and Twilight first thought is,"Spike?"

Which would indicate that Twilight knows or knows of/heard of Spike.

Also enjoyed Willow's reaction to Oz being with someone and having a baby/being a father(actually enjoyed all there reactions.).She isn't jealous that Oz has moved on.As she says in the issue,"she's fine with that" but she is a little jealous that Oz has something she dosen't...a life and a future.Oz has a family now.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2009-08-05 20:41 ]
Twilight has to be someone we know; otherwise, the entire series will not have any resonance. As to Willow/ Tara/ Kennedy- about time this began to get dealt with, in some way or other. And I cannot understand why Joss still gives the Taraphiles virtually nothing. But that's me, and the question does not need an answer.
This is a refreshing issue -- it's the most laid back and comfortable and not-angsty I can remember having seen the Scoobies around each other since "I Was Made To Love You".

Jane Espenson has fully redeemed the struggle with the medium she appeared to have back in 8.21, as her writing seemed fully at ease, and even took advantage of the medium to have several conversations going on at once, on different topics, without any confusion at all.

We get the most out of Twilight and his side that we've ever gotten at this point, and it's impressive. Unless they're going future/alter, Xander and Giles are off the hook as Twilight for good and all, since there would be no logic to Twilight putting on a show of not being able to find... himself.

I liked the by-play of his henchmen, including Warren, Amy, and Riley -- Riley in particular seemed kind of distant and philosophical, maybe he *is* Buffy's triple agent? And also the henchman commenting on the contradiction in Twilight relying on magic.

The joking riff with the word "Spike" was absolutely awesome and hilarious and perfectly Jane and Joss. Riley and Twilight both managed to do a "huh?" That's probably just meta-reaction, although since we're down to only a couple realistic suspects for Twilight without future/alter, Angel is one of them. Hank would be the other, and is probably the most likely now.

Oz and Willow sharing the scene about him having a kid was very nice, since it's a reminder that these people are all adults now, and probably feeling some of the longing that men and women start to feel for home and family and stability. I also really like the name Kelden, I don't know if it's a reference to anything, but it's nice.

Xander and Dawn continue to scream "we may actually already be dating/sleeping together", as they continue to be attached at the hip. Of course, Dawn's odd outbursts also seem designed to make you wonder if she's the mole (since we've still got that to deal with -- at this point it sucks, but she and Xander, either separately or together, are probably the leading suspects). I tend to dismiss it, though, it's a bit too on the nose. I am really hoping at this point that Buffy herself is the mole, and she has either been telling Riley things (since they have been in touch) and that the betrayal will be something else altogether.

Great issue, evenly paced, advances the arc well and creates exactly the sense of fear about Twilight that it needs while also making him more human.
I enjoyed it, but the art seemed worse than usual. There's a coloring issue where it seeps into someones shirt in one panel. Dawn wasn't looking much like Dawn. Same with Oz. At times I thought I was reading a Archie's comic because it had that look and style, and I feel like Jeanty had to rush this one.

Do the characters always lack a face when in the background? I mean that much? And that often? Oh well, good issue anyway, really looking forward to the next three. Enjoyed the slow pace of this one, everyone is just hanging out and it's peaceful.
There were a couple small bits I enjoyed with this issue. Kelden being obsessed with Giles' glasses. I also really enjoyed Giles, Dawn and Xander's reaction to the news of Oz's baby. At first, when Bay said "I understand no one likes you.", I thought it was a meta-comment about Dawn's haters on the net, before I realized she was talking about the slayers.

I loved the issue.
The more I think about it, the more it seems like Twilight could only be Joss. :)

Oz has a kid!
Yeah, this issue was all sorts of fun. Despite the overall stillness, you got a sense that things were being ratcheted up, like an explosion on page one of the next issue wouldn't be a surprise.

Most of my favorite moments have been covered. I liked Will in this issue a lot, feels like she's due for a character point. And all this Slayer demon stuff, interesting to see where that goes.

And I must know who Twilight is! [those who say Edward will get punched]
Oz has a baby, and it ISN'T the puppy! lol
I'm fairly certain we'll know who Twilight is by the end of "Retreat".

Also did anyone else get the feeling something bad is going to happen to Oz's wife and/or baby?

Great issue! Can't wait for September.
Cazador, the coloring was definitely brighter than normal. It bugged me as well. I thought the artwork looked rushed, too. Overall, it wasn't one of the best issues.
So hard to guess who Twilight might be. The implication that he knew Buffy and possibly Spike is intriguing. If he's someone from the show, he'd probably be someone pretty recognizable too (extra #5 wouldn't be very exciting).

Is Twilight himself against magic or is it just the military guys he's with? I forget. This issue, one of the underlings said that using magic "felt wrong". Then again, I seem to remember Twilight floating around in one issue.

If he is against magic (and slayers), that's not much of a clue anyway; he may have developed that bias later on, like Riley.

He also appears to be a tallish, buff man, but that doesn't necessarily mean much either. It did, however, lead me to the idea that

I'm still not crazy about the re-use of characters from the show, though. I didn't like the retcon of Warren's death (it makes Willow's redemption mean less) or of Riley. The idea that Twilight is probably also from the show only adds to that.
Yes, a cute issue--good backstory, some nice ambiguity in the way Twilight's "Spike"-spotting assistant seems to be an essentially decent guy. The interaction among the Scoobies is relaxed and easy-going. Dawn and Xander still seem pretty close. Willow and Oz don't have much time together, but I hope they have more in upcoming issues.

I'm a bit uncertain that the plan to give up magic is a rational one--considering that this is what Twilight wants, ultimately, it seems a bit counterintuitive even if it's necessary to fly under the radar. I'm going to wait to see how it plays out; Buffy's moral certainty has taken quite a few hits, with Simone and Willow.

Still hoping that Riley has a good reason for believing that working for Twilight, a murderer among other things, is a good idea.

It's interesting that Andrew, Faith and Satsu are somewhat excluded from the core Scoobies; is it that Buffy only brought along people who knew and got along with Oz?

The art was, I felt, particularly confusing this issue. I eventually figured out who everyone was by process of elimination, but it wasn't easy.

My pet theory right now is that Twilight is (speculation, but no spoilers) Lovely Spike exchanges, and I like Warren's surprise about Twilight knowing Buffy. I wonder if Riley knows who he is?

[ edited by WilliamTheB on 2009-08-06 02:01 ]

[ edited by WilliamTheB on 2010-01-09 05:40 ]

I liked the Twilight scenes. It's interesting that he apparently knows Buffy's future. Is he from the future? Or has he just BEEN to the future? Or is he just guessing?

I still think it's Hank..

The cover of this issue was misleading. Willow and Xander only had like 5 lines combined, which was disappointing. I was really hoping we'd get some kind of dramatic meeting between Willow and Oz. Some kind - I haven't seen you in so long, scene.

Also thought Oz's backstory dragged on too long. They could have condensed that to 2 pages.

Overall, an average issue. But it did give us a lot of Twilight (finally).
The cover doesn't show Xander and Willow, but Xander and Dawn. And I don't think it's misleading; they're two characters not represented on the first cover of the arc. They're no doubt trying to show different characters in this new setting.
I don't know if anyone's already shot this down, but what about Robin Wood as Twilight? He's been pretty noticeably off screen for most of the series considering he seems to have a pretty major role in the Watcher's council now, managing the Cleveland Hellmouth and all. He'd certainly be familiar enough with Buffy's fighting style and we know he'd recognize Spike.
Emelye, but Twilight lifted his mask a little bit in issue 11 and he's white.
Unless underneath the mask there is another mask, a white mask...
Yeah, but the white mask is just to distract us from the man-shaping suit that allows Twilight to really be a woman!
For me, it seemed like there is a lot turning around Willow, since one of the main points of getting the slayers to Tibet was Buffy trying to save FDW (or as I read it, trying to do what she thinks is good for Willow, since we still don't even know FDW's actual feelings or motivation) I also noticed that the question of Willow being evil again keeps getting raised as it has since TLWH and she's specifically pointed out by Dawn saying "Will, can you be a river?"

No one else gets the question of not using magic specifically related to them. I've also noticed that the Scoobies seem to have a puzzling relationship with Willow--there's a lot of the fraternity and love, but there is always that question and that tiny lack of trust. Willow also keeps Kennedy out of Slayer Central and there's something different--it doesn't seem that Willow is quite a core part of the Scooby family anymore. Yes, they care about her and give her things to do...but she's also been on some mystical walkabout, and came back from somewhere else to join the fight.Hmm.

This also puts Willow's lines to Oz in a very different context. The (I'm paraphrasing, since I don't have my issue here) "It's not her. It's the baby. You have a future and I don't." I was thinking about it and then it hit me hard--it's a callback to "Anywhere But Here."talk she has with Kennedy.

When Buffy was dead and at peace,Willow, Tara and Dawn were a family and as she said, she couldn't not call Buffy back--and her family was/is gone and there is still a ton of pain.

(Also, there was a line in one of the pre-"Anywhere But Here" issues where Willow gets very upset that someone calls her Ms. Rosenberg and responds with "What have I told you about calling me by my mother's name?" My guess is there's another bit of family gone although they were really not much there to begin with...and as far as the no future line, it gives me chills thinking about" The Time of Your Life" arc where there is a surplus of future.

Now with the Scoobies caring but still remaining very suspicious,
my guess is that this is all starting to really chafe-that it's okay for Willow to do stuff when they need it, but at the same time there are constant questions of her evilness of lack therof.

I also think at this point Willow is as strong as Buffy--not slayer-wise, but in terms of power. I think she is more equal than Buffy would like to admit..and I think some of that is going to come out.

Likewise, with Oz saying that "you have to want it" for the process, I don't think Willow wants it. (I also don't think many others will either...this has problem written all over it.) So, at this point, we have Willow isolated from several different families and being told to not use her power and try to get rid of it. (Also, does the heavy labor to get rid of desires make anyone else feel edgy? While it's not evil, it still feels like rehab or a clinic even with the one with nature stuff--and Buffy still has no idea how it will work on people who are "magic all the time"-plus it takes a year. I continue to see trouble.)

Especially with the cover for the next issue, I think we are going to see a massive falling out with Willow during this arc--and I think from the context, she'd be within her rights to get angry ie, Buffy is not the boss of her or her future. What happens after that--I don't know.

On the other hand, yay Oz! I thought his line about the Buddhists was priceless--and I could hear it in the Oz voice, too.
I have a hard time believing that Buffy truly appreciates what she's asking -- demanding? -- of her people. Doesn't she remember Cruciamentum and the helplessness of running from vampires or the inefficacy of trying to get that bozo off of Cordy? The faces of the others -- particularly Willow -- didn't seem all that enthusiastic about what Oz was describing.
JessicaMelusine- your comment might just get me interested again in this series. Thank you.
Dana5140--wow, thank you!
Actually, you made me think of something else. Tara has always been associated with family for Willow too; her big personal story was, well, "Family" and in that episode, it's not just her and the Scoobies as family, it's her and Willow as a family (which later gets underscored when they are caregivers for Dawn and live in Joyce's room.)

So yes-I really think that the sadness about Oz's familial structure...extra, extra sad. She hasn't forgotten.

Kingofcretins, great observation with the Cruciamentum. There is a great parallel there, except now it's Buffy the authority figure taking powers away--she can't do it the way the Watchers can, but still, aiee.

[ edited by JessicaMelusine on 2009-08-06 15:37 ]

[ edited by JessicaMelusine on 2009-08-06 15:39 ]
I liked everything between Willow and Oz in this issue. Without reopening the age-old sexuality debate about Willow, I was gratified that her "it's not what you think" wasn't a "I can't be jealous over you because I'm Gay Now" and was just a completely different reason to be jealous of his life.

I think Willow might ultimately rebel here -- Giles heavily implied that she'd come apart without accepting that magic was a part of her way back in Season 7, and I don't think she can "be a river" in the way these werewolves are. I don't think all of Buffy's people will want to, either -- certainly not Kennedy, for instance. Faith? I don't know, she's been through the wars enough to feel relieved at the idea of being able to not be a Slayer, maybe. But the newbies? The Alpha Team? Their power is not Buffy's to do with as she sees fit.
Baby likes Giles. That's a plus point for baby right there.

And Twilight clearly wasn't reading his villain do's and don'ts closely enough if he's killing smart people for wasting his time.

And Riley seemed to be playing the "Spike?" down. Did he guess where that might be going? Was he... being good?
Didn't love it as much as part one, but it was a good read. It's always nice to see the Big Bad, cuz I always hope for clues to Twilight's identity. Still not sure if he's really a man or not. This mystery drives me crazy because all the suspects are accounted for! The Spike references make me wonder if either Angel or Spike is Twilight, but that seems so unlikely because they're main characters in their own books. My gut still says Hank Summers, though.

Interesting that Oz has a wife and child. I guess it would be silly to think he didn't move on after Willow, especially since about five or six years have passed in the 'Verse since he last saw her. The character bits between him and Willow were interesting and to the point, and I hope we get more face time with them in the next three parts.

Also, Faith was conspicuously absent! I can understand her not wanting to be a part of the pow wow with Oz, but I think an explanation for her wherabouts was necessary considering she played a fairly big part last issue. I can fill in the blanks and assume she was leading the young Slayers but would've preferred a statement just to be sure.
Also, I wasn't too happy with Jeanty's art, and I'm wondering if that's because he was working on DC's Manhunter. That's 31 pages a month plus a cover that he has to turn out. And his Manhunter art was excellent. Wonder if it's the different inkers on each book, or if Buffy was a little rushed because of Manhunter. Fortunately for us, he's off Manhunter after the fourth issue.
Anyone else considering the thought that Twilight is

Also, my take on Riley and the whole "Spike" sequence was that his very strong effort to prevent Twilight from going after Buffy and the group suggests that he's in there as a mole, not really a part of the Twilight's plan.

And, I found the introduction of the Monroe story to be disjointed. It seems to come completely out of the blue, no reason for the mention of this individual, interrupting the flow of the discussion of how gaining d control over his inner wolf. Why has this guy nobody knows just thrown in, then we go right back to people responding to Oz's "Have a life" statement, then again Monroe is thrown into the middle of a discussion without any reason. It feels to me as though a panel has been misplaced.
I have a feeling Monroe will play a part in upcoming issues in the arc. He may even side with Twilight in trying to bring Oz and team slayer down.
Well... Monroe won't, coz he kinda got his throat ripped out by Bay. But I think you're right about that subplot coming into play later on... Bay went so far as to mention that her actions may have made Monroe a martyr amongst his followers.
Oops. My bad. I forgot that Monroe got killed by Bay. Only read it once before posting.

But on second read, it kinda sucks that Buffy is basically asking for her and her slayer army to be made human. How can this defeat Twilight? Doesn't that sorta give him what he wants to a degree?: The death of magic. If the goth vamps in Japan had used that giant lens the outcome would have been the same. Only difference being someone taking it away from you as opposed to you giving it up yourself. It just doesn't seem like the Buffy way: running away. They tried to run away from Glory and that didn't help. A confrontation with Twilight is inevitable so why throw away your army's biggest weapon: Slayer strength. Unless Buffy's underlying reason is to make Willow "less magic" as to avoid the future Dark Willow scenario. ???
"Also, Faith was conspicuously absent!"

Actualy Faith was in this issue.
Where, Dawnlover90?
You get a panel of her in the crowd when Oz and Bay are pretty much explaining the plan to the rest of the Slayers. It's one panel, but she's there on the last page, next to a man who I presume is Andrew.
JessicaMelusine I have to disagree with this part of what you said:

"I also think at this point Willow is as strong as Buffy--not slayer-wise, but in terms of power. I think she is more equal than Buffy would like to admit..and I think some of that is going to come out."

I think Buffy knows exactly how powerful Willow is, recall at the end of S5 Buffy says to Willow "you're my big gun you're more powerful than any of us" or soemthing similar. Not just that but I think Buffy's lack of dealing with Willow is that she just doesn't know how because she realises that Willow's power is too big to be controlled by meditation or whatever.

Was an alright issue, waiting for a bit more aciton, and I though Oz was Andrew for the first page or two.
Kennedy was conspicuously absent through the whole thing, too. Finding it a little too awkward to be hanging out with Willow's ex, I suppose? Or trying to make it less awkward for Willow?
I saw that, wenxina, but I certainly didn't think that person looked like Faith. Still doesn't explain where she was, either.
Love Jane's writing. Xander's "Is your tea greasy?" line was so pitch perfect -- ok, Scoobies in Tibet. Character, scene, mood and funny all in one -- this is a real Buffy ep now.

[ edited by fleem on 2009-08-08 16:06 ]
Even better was Dawn's later follow-up: "I'm still tasting yak. Are you tasting yak?"
Hmm. A matched set, I see.
Ok, I missed the Tara flashback on the first two reads, but finally caught it on the third. Cool!

I can sort of see how that might be Faith at the end, but it's not a very good likeness, which leads to lots and lots of confusion.

And I know this season was in the works long before the mania, but I think it's an interesting meta-commentary that Buffy's Big Bad is named Twilight, don't you?
i had trouble telling Faith from Dawn. Yay OZ, OZ, OZ! I knew he would have a family. Has anyone read the small novel thingee for OZ taht tells about his first journey to the monks. It was really good, and this story line follows that well. Loved the Spike joke. Would like to see some more Spike (hint, hint).The Twilight thing is seriously bugging me, but i want to stay with Ethan Raine! Who stays dead in these things, i think that was a total diversion. Good all round episode though. Yay OZ, sigh..
Yak are just a kind of cattle; why the hell should that bother anybody? Hell, buttered tea, buttered rum, caffeien versus alcohol, no big. The problem with Tibetan tea is the damn salt but nobody mentioned that !
Yak are just a kind of cattle; why the hell should that bother anybody?

I dunno; deer are just another variety of ruminant, why do people spaz out over the idea of eating venison?

ETA: Come to that, conch are just a jumbo-sized slug. So how come I can eat conch but can't bring myself to try escargot???

[ edited by Rowan Hawthorn on 2009-08-12 04:11 ]
That would be fermented yak butter in traditional Tibetan tea...which is just not a taste most westerners are familiar with. Takes some getting used to, for those of us who haven't been sipping it from birth, or shortly thereafter.
Way to go, toast. Trying to make me yak -- er, yack?
Mmm, I had butter tea (and Tibetan food) for the first time at a great restaurant in Toronto a couple months ago, I think it was called The Little Tibetan. So good. I doubt they got in yak milk for the tea though.

It's funny when people get squeamish about drinking milk from any animal other than a cow. Goat milk (kinda has a salty-ish taste compared to cow, some folks claim), sheep milk (sheep milk is particularly tasty, has a higher protein-per-glass content than cow's milk, but unfortunately is still kinda expensive until it further penetrates the market)...they're all hooved animals. How is a cow any more appealing to squeeze fatty, calcium-rich water from than a goat or sheep ? Some countries, it's horse, camel, deer...probably caribou and others as well.
Well, I don't particularly like milk at all, except as an ingredient. Otherwise, it really wouldn't matter much to me what animal it came from. But fermented milk/butter, you can keep, thanks ever so... :-Ppppppbbtt

(And yeah, I had to edit a two letter post...for punctuation...)

[ edited by Brett on 2009-08-15 03:08 ]
ROFLMAO! Yeah, that's the kind of week I've been having, too...
Trying to figure out who Twilight is be driving me crazy.
I really liked this issue. I can see what posters meant about the people art, but I thought the detail of the out-doors scenes was great, and liked how they were like a background frame for the other panels on the page. And I really liked the smaller touches like the baby playing with Giles.

And the story! just seemed both action and story packed, with great dialogue and flow. Even though actually it chopped and changed quite a bit, it didn't become confusing, which it sometimes can.

As for people stating Twilight might be (though I don't have any other suggestions)
Finally got the issue and loved it, despite some pretty heavy quibbles with the art (Jeanty really was off his game this time). I particularly loved all of the genuine character interaction and conversation, which is not something there's been a lot of time for lately.
I'ma go with Twilight being Ethan. Only because I have nothing better.

Good issue, though I would have to agree with the art. When Bay said "I understand noone likes you." I couldn't tell if it was Dawn, Kennedy or Faith (since, in some contexts, all 3 fit).
This issue pretty much ruled out everything I had except Ethan, Andrew, or Hank, unless Twilight has some time travel association (which has been set up, though I feel is unlikely). It would be the only thing to explain how he's at his base looking for them and still be one of them, or how one of the cast in Tibet could still be Twilight. I'm not a fan of the Andrew idea or of bringing back anyone but the recently dead (Merrick? Jonathan? Caleb? I think not) and while I loooove the idea of Hank being addressed, and he has motivation, I also think it unlikely. Angel or Spike? There've been several clues pointing at them (or at least their return to Buffy's orbit), but it would take an entire new series to explain WHY. Plus, if they were defeated, IDW would lose a cash cow. Ethan's really the best choice now that Oz is taken out, though why he'd want to destroy magic beats me.
If Twilight were Ben (still my pick), it would make a potential Dawn betrayal (if she ends up being the alleged/predicted betrayer) all the more interesting.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2009-08-26 22:38 ]

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