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October 07 2009

(SPOILER) For the discussion of Buffy #29. It's the fourth part of Jane Espenson's Retreat arc and we're promised manpads amongst many other things.

Warren and Amy's existence in season 8 is still so random to me. But I'm excited for manpads.
I think I remember reading that something big is supposed to happen this issue but I could be wrong. Might be the next issue.
I think every issue starting with this one is going to be intense with things flying fast now.
Yay, 4 new books to buy this week!

[ edited by DaddyCatALSO on 2009-10-07 17:54 ]
I too have four new books this week: Buffy 29, Agents of Atlas vs the X-Men 1 (Agents of Atlas == best comic book in the history of the world ever, you should buy it as ), Underground (which looks awesome if you like caves), and Spiderman 1602 (which maybe rubbish, but Jeff Parker who wrote the last two writes this as well, so hopefully it won't be because that man is made of win).

Hooray for New Comics Thursday (boo for the one day shipping delays over America though).
So to use invisible text just in case it didn't happen this issue,
narky- letters section addresses the Warren/Amy issue.
I think every issue starting with this one is going to be intense with things flying fast now.

Lord I do hope so. This has been dragged out for soooooo long now.

[ edited by sueworld2003 on 2009-10-07 18:51 ]
I found a review over at Bleeding Cool, it was very positive.
My comic shop never has issues out until Thursday. I hate waiting, Wednesday always feels so long. :-(
So, Simon, basically a war comic with girls and big guns. Sorry, but hate the sound of it. Lets hope the actual issue reads better then that.
I don't quite think it's "Buffy goes Commando"* with Twlight going "for you Slayer ze war is over" but we shall see :).

*note to non-UK'ers, it's not what you think
What Simon was expecting to happen in this issue did not happen. Buffy did go a little commando, as did just about everyone. We also get an explanation as to what has been vacuuming up the Slayers' and witches' magic.

[ edited by 1starbuckstown on 2009-10-07 21:12 ]
Is it Oz's baby? He always looked like a shifty one.
I thought this was a really solid issue. Some of my favorite panels, especially of Buffy. The subtle facial expressions - Jeanty let me know exactly what Buffy was feeling with a close-up of her eye or when Espenson wrote Buffy responding with a silent glare. The writing was strong, the art told the a visual story where there was no dialogue needed. Very strong.

As for big reveals, not so much, but I wasn't expecting that until #30 at the earliest. The battle starts and we finally understand how everyone redirected their magic - it was redirected to a bunch of vengeful Tibetan goddesses who've been feeding off it. The magic disappeared more quickly because there was so much of it, imagine it like the goddesses saw a magic buffet and gorged themselves on the plenty. The prayers to let go of the magic were invocations to these goddesses who took the magic in return for protection. So Buffy presses the red button, calling on the goddesses for protection, calling in the protection promised in return for giving up their power. And I think we all know it's going to end badly.

Not so much Deus Ex Machina as Deus Ex Massacre.

[ edited by Emmie on 2009-10-07 22:55 ]
"It does when I punch someone." LOVE IT.
Twilight is not revealed.

Not a huge fan of army war fighting scenes in general, in comparison to more explicit character work--not that there wasn't that in this ish. Solid issue overall, as a transitional comic. I like that plot points that have been confusing before (how can magic disappear? doesn't Willow get over the news that Buffy kills her in the future too easily?) are addressed. Whedon, Espenson et al. knew what they were doing.

Don't know what to make of this thematically. Or what to make of the wolves, or whether Oz' wife will survive. (Hope she does--just because the Whedon significant other-killing tradition is getting too repetitive....) Can't wait for next issue's closing.

Buffy's wolves vs. tanks line is maybe the funniest line in the comic series to date.
Was Dander addressed by anyone?
Andrew tries to talk about Dawn/Xander with Buffy, but Buffy shuts him down and redirects him to get back to work. Which isn't surprising considering an army is bearing down on them.
I don't quite think it's "Buffy goes Commando"* with Twlight going "for you Slayer ze war is over" but we shall see :).

Oh my Gosh! Buffy doesn't wear undies and Twilight is Arte Johnson?!?!?
The line where Xander rattles off the variety of grenades was my favorite in a long time.
Thanks! Kind of frustrated with the pace but I guess that's the way it goes with comics.
I sure am glad the pace is picking up. When S8 is over and we read the trades we probably won't notice how pokey the first half of the series was.
Like with Angel #26,I got my copy of Buffy Season 8 #29 yesterday but didn't have a chance to comment until this morning.

Good issue but more setup for the climax next issue.

It weird seeing Buffy and the gang in open war with the military.

I think Bay is as good as dead after this issue and her injuries.

We get the explanation of the mechenics of how the Slayers got rid of there powers.

Also Buffy comes off as cold this issue.A lot of that having to do with having to play general again as well as her emotions over Xander/Dawn.

Her hurt and anger over Xander/Dawn is all over this issue.

She's definitely shutting herself off again and I think based on the end of the issue and using her anger over X/D to call forth those wrathful earth goddesses,well this is not going to end well next issue.

I feel bad for Buffy but I'm actually feeling worse for Xander and Dawn.They have no idea why Buffy's upset.Her snapping at Xander's bad sex joke in the issue for example(although understandable).The one I have more sympathy for is Dawn in this situation.

You know,if they were going to play with B/X this season,I wish they hadn't done it in a triangle with Dawn.Because in this situation,my sympathy is going to be with Dawn.And I knew it would.Dawn has always had an inferiority complex with her big sister.The episode,"Him" drove it home.I'm not a B/X shipper but I wouldn't have a problem with it being played with.It could be an interesting storyline.But even if I was a B/X shipper,I still wouldn't be able to root for Buffy hooking up with Xander under these conditions.At the expense of her little sister who always had these sort of insecurities.I think we're supposed to see Buffy as the underdog in this situation but it's having the opposite effect on me.It has me rooting for Dawn even though I love and sympathize with Buffy.I sympathize with Dawn more based off the previous history of the series.

Will be interesting to see if my opinion changes as we go on.Issue 31 by Joss and Brad Meltzer's arc in #32-35 are probably going to be the meat on the B/X/D story.
I actually don't think Bay is dead. I think it's a misdirect, and Oz is going to be killed next issue--probably by something Willow does.

Yes, Sunfire, I could hear Nick's voice rattling off that line. Very Xanderish.
Where are all the comments for this issue?

Georges is an awesome comic artist, and his greatest strength is facial expressions. There were some fairly great ones in this issue, and I was glad to see them.

That said, some constructive criticism: Does anyone else feel like his work has gotten a lot sloppier lately, especially in this arc? The far away shots are little more than rough sketches. The close-ups are still great, but definitely rougher than they were in the early arcs.

I think this is probably a product of Dark Horse rushing the publication schedule (or maybe just striving to maintain it), and I have to say, I wish they wouldn't. As much as I look forward to every S8 release, these comics are going to be around for a long time in a number of shiny collected editions. The real joy is going to be returning to these volumes to relive this season with full knowledge of its themes, like we do now with the Season 6 DVDs. With this in mind, I would sacrifice speed for quality. Give Jeanty as much time as he needs to make them as beautiful as possible.
The lack of comments is a bit disappointing. Perhaps this issue has inspired mostly apathy. Personally, I'm still really not enjoying the current storyline. Struggling to remember the last issue I liked, which is rather sad. De-powering the slayers was such a terrible idea right from the start that I was hoping that Buffy had some sort of secret plan. Nope. Buffy leads her army into what should have been a total massacre. Had they not accidentally traded for protection from those goddesses, they were screwed. Triumph not through skill or courage or intelligence, but through undeserved good fortune.

The sight of an army of slayers with guns and military helmets is really weird and uncomfortable. The show always avoided guns. Any message is rather confused now. Frankly, the staging of the battle is laughable - Twilight's army comes right up beside the slayers as if tanks and rifles can't shoot more that 10 metres. Twilight's army in this case appears to be all human, yet there's no hesitation from Buffy & Co in killing them. Not even a comment. Admittedly this might be a kill or be killed scenario, but it's more a question as to why the writers put them in this situation and then didn't address the issue.

"The non-fighters are in the safest place in the centre of the building." Except for Oz and Bay of course, who just went out for a wander around the battlefield. And Buffy's reaction on seeing the bloodied pair is "Oz, Bay, I need to know something". Talk about cold. And then she then sends her little sister out into the war against trained soldiers and tanks.

Credit to wenxina for bring this next point up first in the SlayAlive Q&A with Scott Allie. I guess that will be linked here later, but this thread can't go by without this issue being addressed. When Monroe popped up I was actually pretty pleased as it gave some more point to Oz's rather long back story in #27 and Monroe got to verbally put down Oz, who's holier-than-thou attitude has been rather grating. However, there is an absolutely gigantic problem with this scene. Possibly the worst mistake in the entire run of Buffy on TV and in the comics. Monroe is dead. As dead as a very dead thing. Bay killed him in #27 by ripping out his throat. Scott Allie confirms it was a mistake, but tries to say that Monroe wasn't really dead, they just went a bit overboard with the drawing. Except that really doesn't work as an explanation when the next panel is Bay saying "I probably made a mistake. I made him a martyr." I mean the Warren / The First mistakes were bad enough, but this is a major continuity error over something that happened just two issues ago. Bloody hell.
Guns=bad was never a real message though. Buffy did have an aversion to them. But when she claimed that "these things... never work", it wasn't because she was of the opinion that guns were bad, but rather that they were useless against vampires, which are her major problem. That Warren had one didn't mean that gun=bad. He was a misogynistic coward and used it for power.
In this case, we're talking about girls who have been hunted for quite a while now. They're desperate. They gave up their power, hoping for a reprieve, only to be completely helpless against their enemies. Yes, it was a bad idea, but as I think Emmie argued elsewhere, they weren't thinking long-term here. They were more concerned about living than they were winning. And I think that's understandable. It's not the noble attitude that we're used to, but the odds are overwhelming right now.

As for Oz and Bay... some may be of the opinion that they shouldn't be fighting, but both are werewolves and therefore better equipped than any of the Slayers right now to be fighting. Stupid them for not actually undergoing the transformation. Buffy may have been cold, but she saw a possibility to save them all again. Sure, she could've been more gentle, but when people are getting blown up left and right, it's not a luxury that she had then.

All that said, I do agree that Scott's answer wasn't satisfactory at all. Yes, perhaps Monroe wasn't dead in that panel, but what Bay said about making him a martyr, that just read like he was dead.
Continued over at SlayAlive, since it's like Monroe in #27 in here. ;)
The sight of an army of slayers with guns and military helmets is really weird and uncomfortable.

That and the US army would be making mincemeat out of them. But I did enjoy Willow losing the plot and Xander/Dawn dialogue.
I'm pretty surprised by the lack of comments, too. Normally, by the time I've read it, the page is loaded.

I think it's the transitional issue thing. It's hard to know how to feel about this issue without context. But yes, the sight of all the slayers in army gear? Bizarre and uncomfortable. Which is in part the point.

Deep thoughts will have to wait another issue....
As many have said over the last few months, I think these few arcs will read better when read in one sitting. Also, Predators and Prey sucked as an arc (even though most of the stories where alright), and has kinda made everything a bit screwy as of late.
I was a bit put off by Jeanty's art in this issue. I had real trouble telling people apart, Faith, Dawn and Kennedy all looked way too similar, Giles and Oz were pretty off, hell I even had trouble telling Andrew and Xander apart occasionally, only the dialogue kept me on track with them.

I also found it a little dull, I'd been expecting a Twilight reveal so that was a factor, and I know its necessary exposition but yeah, it was kind of unbelievable. The enemies have a bunch of tanks but they don't destroy the house and Buffy and Willow have time enough to take a research break when there's a trained army bearing down?? Girls are running round the field willy nilly with no cover and yet theres no piles of corpses?? Not even a field hospital?? It was all a little unbelievable.

Not to mention I was pretty surprised by the fact that the attacking army seemed to be just humans, like the actual army. Where's Twilight? Where's Amy? Where are all the demons that want the Slayers dead? Would the actual army seriously attack a bunch of helpless civilians unprovoked? And in Tibet where I'm pretty sure the US army has no right to be. How did they even get there, does Twilight have the power to magically transport a bunch of tanks to the middle of nowhere?

In response to Buffyfantic , I don't necessarily think we are meant to be rooting for Buffy the underdog with regard to the X/D relationship. I think we're meant to feel as conflicted about it as we seem to do. We love all the characters, we want Buffy to be happy, some of us are B/X shippers and have been for a long time, but ultimately X/D was earned. Those characters deserve each other, they're good people, they've been through a lot, I don't think we're meant to want them to fail.

Also I'm still really unsure as to where Willow is headed and am looking forward to the one shot immensely.
Is interest in the comics dwindling every week? There's hardly any comments anymore. Disappointing issue, the way the war is set up is pretty bad, the art is uneven and characters have no faces in the background. Serious moments become comical as a result like when Willow is running in the background with just two eyes. It's reminding me of Archie comics, and that's not a good thing.

Hate the deus ex machina easy fix on the final page too. I'm getting really frustrated with the comics again.

I hope Oz's girlfriend survives, it'd be dumb to kill her this quickly, and another relationship broken. Repetitive. Even watching the characters prepare for a big battle again is been there done that. It's a cycle. I haven't been this negative in awhile.
What's with the alien in the background of the Magickal glints panel?
I didn't like this issue. I think I was too excited and expected too much.It felt like a filler until the real action kicks in. And Yes there was heaps of backgroupd army fighting and carnage, but it was background and barely touched with our peoples so it didn't really impact as action for me as a reader. I'm finding the characters a bit bland and having a hard time relating to the choices they are making. Esp the Dawn/Xander/Buffy thing.
And for all the waiting and waiting and waiting for OZ, Hes doing bugger all and impacting even less. Wahhhhh!

Holding out for the next two. Maybe everything will be better next month.
Oh and Giles does not have to clean his glasses in EVERY scene. Get over it.
I think the lack of comments is kind of a reflection of the fact that there isn't much to discuss at the moment. The only mysteries we've got to think about are the identity of Twilight, whether the future Buffy saw will really come to pass, and who is the unexpected betrayer of Buffy. And we've had those flying around for months without getting any answers.

Apart from that its just like, oh, who's goin to die next. There's no intrigue, our characters are just "reacting to stuff", too much is going unsaid that ought to be said but there isn't the space in the comic for it. I really liked the medium to start with but a character driven story like Buffy can't survive this way without some big changes.
Digupherbones, could be. We do need more to chew on each month, and I don't think there was anything to really disect in the Predators and Prey arc, or the one shot. I feel like those 6 months of story turned people off a little and the discussions have been gradually getting smaller. I haven't felt great excitement for the comics since issue 11 personally. I find the first 11 issues great, and after that it got a little iffy to me. But I still enjoy them.

Anyone pick up Wizard Magazine this month? Only issue I've ever bought because Buffy is on the cover and they have interviews with Whedon, Drew, Vaughn, etc. I'm dying to see the end of issue 30 because of Whedons comments. I'm scared.
I don't think Bay is going to die, but I do think there is going to be fallout over the fact that she's been lying to Oz and all the other werewolves about their magic being harmlessly redirected into the earth, when instead it's been powering a trio of very angry appearing goddesses.

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