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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
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January 09 2010

(SPOILER) More from Scott Allie on the Twilight reveal. Obviously major spoilers from the news that broke a day ago and spoilers for issue 31 which is out on Wed.

Hm, another cover on Monday? For 35 already? That can't be true, can it? So what would it be? Another one-shot? A gag cover like the Obama one?
"The reason Joss felt that we had to come out and jump on it and really get in front of it was because Whedonesque had already posted the pictures..

That would be a unique take on "Dark Horse supplied the pics to Comic Continuum and as usual someone at Whedonesque linked to them". We didn't post any pics. Be nice if that got corrected.

.When we saw the Whedonesque page, we felt we had to respond

You really didn't. You would have had several months of fevered speculation as to whether the covers were real or not. Happened before when Buffy was the air. When big outragreous spoilers broke before the show went on hiatus, it kept the fandom ticking along nicely.
I was wondering how that remark was going to play.
There's an aspect of the cat is bagless. Joss would had to spend the next four months lying in interviews when asked the question.

That said, they must have known this situation would occur. Everybody knows the covers are posted here.
All they had to do was not submit the covers for solicitation. They've done it before. Marvel and DC do it all the time for their major events.
DC just did it for Blackest Night #7 to hide issue 6's major spoilers.
Oh. Screw up, then?
Yes, it was a screw up and Allie admitted it several times. Of course once it was out it would get linked to you guys. When it did get linked, Scott said that Joss didn't want to mislead the fans. People might not like it, but that's what happened. It was a mishap, but it seems like there's much more story to tell along the way and that's exciting.
It has to be a screw up. A rather limp screw up that suddenly makes me want to bang my head against a wall. Of course months of speculation would have been far more exciting than this boring mess. I don't usually moan. I was just so looking forward to finding out for myself, by reading the comic.
I donít have much of an opinion on whether or not the leak ruined the surprise (Iím a massive spoiler whore anyway) but I disagree completely that they made a mistake confirming it.

I couldnít think of anything more frustrating than spending the next 3 months debating about whether the covers are real or fake. That would do my head in.

I was relieved they just confirmed it.
Yeah debating the covers would have been a nightmare. I just wish there hadn't been any covers released to debate.
I'd like for Mr Allie to come and *try* to 'post pictures' on Whedonesque. It's technically impossible. All you can do here is post links to whatever other people have written or created or uploaded elsewhere online. To try and use us as a scapegoat for Dark Horse's own failures is, hmm... immature. Man up, Mr Allie, take responsibility.
I've been thinking about this some more and i fully expect(hope) that Spike will appear in the final issues fighting side by side with Buffy. I just can not see Spike sit on the sidelines while Angel is killing little girls. Spike would do everthing in his power to dust him, as i do believe Buffy would too. I just do not see what the big deal is, he's just a vamp and she's not a heartbroken 17 year old little girl anymore.

[ edited by Vergil on 2010-01-10 10:47 ]
I'd still like to believe it's all a massive hoax, rather than run of the mill ineptitude on Dark Horse's part.

Ineptitude is much more common than brilliant hoaxes, though.

I don't know what to think. If that really is the reveal, I'm bummed. Especially since now we have several more issues of "who is Twilight?" when we already know. One of those articles speculates that this was done was to boost sales-- but, won't sales go down now that people already know?
No. This will end in MTV etc like the Buffy Sleeps With A Girl thing. It could (and probably will) boost sales. From a publicity point of view it's interesting, and I can see why they did it given the 'leak'. However I'm not sure why Scott Allie used the tag #twilightisangel on Twitter.
That's why I'm hoping this is just a hoax - an accidental leak is one thing, publically announcing it like that is another. If this all turns out to be true it's a pretty massive spit in the fanbase's collective face - I'm going to have lost pretty much any respect I had for Dark Horse.
T'was Joss' call according to Allie. I doubt he was trying to spit on faces.
"Whedonesque had already posted the pictures"

Gee, way to shift the blame, Scott.
Oh foxtrot-foxtrot-sierra... he's not shifting blame, he's pointing out that there was no getting back in front of the story. I'm pretty sure if Scott Allie jumped out of bed and walked across water this morning, some chunks of the Buffy fandom would swarm forth with entries announcing "Hey, Scott Allie can't swim!"

This exact same mistake happened to IDW when the "Angel: After the Fall" cover with Cordy on it was solicited, and I just don't remember the RAGE about the "incompetence" of IDW, etc.
Oh foxtrot-foxtrot-sierra


I'm so going to say that whenever I can now.
T'was Joss' call according to Allie. I doubt he was trying to spit on faces.

Yeah I know - but that doesn't excuse Allie's actions. It's one thing to do a damage control interview for those who are looking for it; it's another thing to just say "hey internets, Twilight is Angel!" through their official channels of publicity.

Oh foxtrot-foxtrot-sierra... he's not shifting blame, he's pointing out that there was no getting back in front of the story. I'm pretty sure if Scott Allie jumped out of bed and walked across water this morning, some chunks of the Buffy fandom would swarm forth with entries announcing "Hey, Scott Allie can't swim!"

This exact same mistake happened to IDW when the "Angel: After the Fall" cover with Cordy on it was solicited, and I just don't remember the RAGE about the "incompetence" of IDW, etc.

a). I think people are getting annoyed about the fact that Allie seems to be blaming it on Whedonesque rather than admitting it's Dark Horse's bad - it was his company that screwed up and he's still yet to acknowledge it. He's making it sounds like some Whedonesque poster tracked down the covers from obscure corner of the net, rather than his company displaying some gross ineptitude and releasing them itself. He can't blame a Buffy news site for reporting Buffy news.

b). The difference being Brian Lynch didn't do interviews and tweets saying "HAY GUYZ CORDELIA COMES BACK IN ISSUE 12".
This exact same mistake happened to IDW when the "Angel: After the Fall" cover with Cordy on it was solicited, and I just don't remember the RAGE about the "incompetence" of IDW, etc.

No one really cared that much about the Cordy reveal. Sorry IDW but After The Fall didn't capture the fans' attention half as much as Buffy Season 8 did. Despite it being seen in some quarters as a better story.

Yes the solicitation info was an unfortunate incident and can be seen "as one of those things" but too then blazen the reveal across Twitter and Facebook is not how you play the game. Too many people got spoiled unintentionally. The build-up to Twilight's reveal was getting exciting and I'm sure many fans were looking forward to getting the issue in their local comic book shop and finding out for themselves. We are a spoiler sensitive fandom after all. Fair enough doing the CBR interview for damage limitation purposes but I do question that site's decision to make the spoiler a front page reveal.
I don't think that Allie is trying to shift the blame at all. He's admitted at least a couple of times now that it was a mistake on Dark Horse's part that the covers got released. It was probably not worded correctly, but all he was saying is that the link to the covers was posted on Whedonesque, and news spread like wildfire. Which it did. Take it as a compliment as to how much readership this site has.
It's not passing the buck. All he's doing is saying "We saw that news had spread, we talked, and decided that the best course of action was to just confirm it, rather than lie through our teeth for the next 3 months".
Which is admirable. I don't understand why they did the whole twitter and facebook thing, but I'm guessing it went along the lines of, "Well... everyone's going to find out through other avenues anyway, so this way, at least we have some control over the exposure too.".
Yeah I have to say I thought this was a bit of an overreaction myself. What he said is exactly what happened and it didnít sound like he was trying to place blame on the site in a negative way at all. All he stated was that Whedonesque linked to the site, they saw it, and Joss decided to just come clean. ďshrugsĒ

I think people were being a tad oversensitive to somehow get offended by that. If Joss had said it I don't think it would have got the same reaction on this site at all.

[ edited by vampmogs on 2010-01-10 15:20 ]
A 'mistake' followed by massive broadcast smacks to me of a ploy from the get-go to ramp up interest amongst those not following s8 and therefore anticipate more $$$. What's a little spoiling the loyal readership (I am not one of them BTW) in that context. They'll buy the thing anyway since there is the promise of other 'goodies' inside.
I -- because I do not (as so many inexplicably do) think Scott Allie is eeeeevil -- think that he and Joss made the right decision to go ahead and confirm the solicitation. For one thing, there's just no way they could credibly pretend it was a hoax. Nobody puts out fake art in solicitations, that's the business side of the business. Fake art if for blogs and such (the Urru sketch of Angel in gameface, the Obama cover). For another, what's the point of letting it play out as possibly untrue for three months? All that does is lead to speculation about tons of wild permutations of ways for it to not be true and then when they all turn out to be nonsense everybody's upset about that. Now, at least, people's anticipation has a focus.
I think Scott Allie is outright lying to us and Twilight will turn out to be someone other than Angel. This is all a major mislead so that we're still surprised when we read March's issue.
Would it make you feel better if Allie and Dark Horse were Machiavellian schemers, rather than just people who made an honest mistake? Coz right now, it seems that they're damned either way. I've read comments from people who are pissed that the game is up, or pissed that they think the Dark Horse is toying with them, or pissed because they found out through facebook/twitter, or pissed in general, or pissed because they don't like that a certain character is being used, or pissed because... well, I'm not even going to bother anymore, since I think the point is pretty pointy there.
Funny thing is, some people were pissed at Allie all this time before because he wouldn't give out spoilers. Would it be any better if he had answered the "Who is Twilight?" questions back in November, because it was your question? Are the spoiler-philes suddenly in hiding?

[ edited by wenxina on 2010-01-10 16:38 ]
I enjoy spoilers and I would've turned to the middle of Buffy #33 in the middle of the comic book store to find out who Twilight was if it wasn't online prior to that Wednesday. And I have no problem with it being Angel even though I'm a Bangel shipper.

Given Allie's attitude towards spoilers though, I can't help but think he's playing with us, and that is what makes me mad. A goof-up? That's fine. But I don't believe that this was incompetence. I believe this is a carefully-laid scheme and Twilight will turn out to be someone else entirely.
I'm somehow trying to compare this to the Lost guys, Damon Lindelof and Carton Cuse - With Lost, if you wanted to know, can pretty much find out exactly what is happening in season 6. There's been pictures from Hawaii, and the sets aren't even off limit; you can just walk up to them. This doesn't mean that they have outright said to everything "Yeah, this is happening.". The speculation, and the feeling of possibly being wrong is what makes a lot of watching Lost fun. Cuse and Lindelof have outright lied to the fans as well, with the show not using time-travel and other things. Due to the fact its just speculation, not many big people pick up on it, a couple of clearly labelled Spoiler sites like io9 and TVOvermind do. When its officially announced, everyone and their mothers jump on it.

Still, I buy the volumes, because I'm with the other guys who buy the volumes in the UK. Way to troublesome to pick up issues and my nearest Forbidden Planet is a long distance away. I'm an arc behind y'all because of it.

[ edited by Jaymii on 2010-01-10 16:39 ]
Riker, you're going to get burned. Just don't put money on your certainty, not in this economy. But even then... don't be that guy who is reading 8.39 and still trying to figure out who Twilight *really* is.
I'll believe Angel is Twilight if that's who's in March's issue. But I'm not believing anything til then because I just don't trust Scott Allie. Based on all his interviews I've read, I have no reason to.
Well, hell, maybe you should put money on it then -- just let me know which book you're going to when you do :)
Can't we all just "Ben is Glory?" this away for a few months?

"Angel is Twilight?" ...rolls off the tongue.
Jackal, I really like that idea.

While I'm still not entirely convinced that it is not a hoax (not because I don't trust Scott Allie, but because I simply don't like the idea of Twilight being Angel), I am starting to believe I might just be kidding myself.

If it turns out that Angel is Twilight, they are going to have to have some serious 'splainin to do. Angel is not a periphery character to Buffy, like he was in seasons 1-3. He no longer exists to tell her story. He has his own story. Angel went off and had his own show, where a lot of things happened to him. He developed a complete, 3-dimensional personality. We fans know him as well as we know Buffy.

So by saying Angel is Twilight, it sullies this character that we all know so well. Whether or not you agree with the stance Twilight has, you cannot deny that he is a villain. He has done evil. A common theme on Angel, and something that had to be drilled into Angel several times over the course of the series, was that the ends do not justify the means.

In order to make me accept that Angel is Twilight, they are going to have to do some pretty fancy footwork to show how a character we all know so very well would completely change who he is. While I have faith that Joss will not do us wrong, and that if Angel really is Twilight, it will make sense. In which case, my rant holds no water. But for now, I remain cautious and apprehensive.
I have to chime in, and while others have said it already I have to throw in my support of and echo the comments by gossi, vampmogs, and KingofCretins.

Also, I don't have the same prediction that Riker does about this still being a well schemed hoax BUT... if it was, it sounds like people would still be mad and possibly more so than they are now.

I can't believe some of the extremely negative reactions around here, it's gotten worse than some of the things I've seen expressed about Fox and their treatment of Joss, Dollhouse, etc. in the past (and present).

Maybe I'm just one of the few that have never been and still don't feel wronged by Allie, Dark Horse, etc.? I personally can't wait for these next issues and to see how some answers to the pesky "why is he Twilight?" question! Plus, if some-of-you-know-who can be the Big Bad of Dollhouse, why couldn't Angel(us) be Twilight? Back to the handling of this situation (and since people brought up LOST), I'll end by saying 'what happened, happened' while also agreeing with Jackal that some of us should "Ben is Glory" this away for the next few months.

[ edited by RIPWesley on 2010-01-10 20:04 ]
Yeah, not liking the negativism much either; like Giles_314 I'm remaining skeptical about the reveal. Without a good explanation it makes the kind of sense that doesn't; but the same would have been true for most of the close-to-Buffy reveals or left-field options; the Twilight reveal was always going to need explanation. And I do trust that Joss wouldn't do this if it didn't make dramatical sense. While I in no way think that Joss is infallible and can do no wrong, I'm pretty sure he wouldn't do something this major without having it make sense. The explanation could be anything from Angelus, an alternate universe Angel, a mind-controlled Angel or an Angel-from-the-future to a regular Angel having some as yet unknown damned good reason for his actions. So I'll be sure to reserve judgment on that until I've read the story.

As for the reactions online, I think we're seeing the effect that Buffy is still the biggest of Joss' creations. Its fandom has always been much larger than the general Whedon fandom, or the fandoms for his other shows. It's been around for a long time, with a whole heap of 'sensitive' issues with left-over resenment and disagreements from earlier fandom infighting. So having Angel be a big bad was bound to stir up some trouble all by itself (even without adding it to the out-of-proportion impopularity of mister Allie in parts of the fandom).

So while what's happening is not surprising per se, I am always sorry when our fandom reacts like it's doing now. Here's hoping it'll blow over soon.
I never agree with King about anything, but add me to the RIPWesley, gossi, vampmogs, and KingofCretins list. I'm someone who really doesn't much like Allie for a lot of reasons. But this was a straight-up mistake that they tried to deal with as well as possible.

The most bizarre argument going around is that this is a ploy to prop up sales. Folks -- the reveal of Angel was ALWAYS going to prop up sales. All the leak does is move that pop to January. Indeed, I'm inclined to think they will now get less pop because they're missing two more months of suspenseful build up and because a lot of people are ticked off and could well be walking away as a result.

They've worked hard to keep this secret for four years. They have to be massively bummed that it hit Whedonesque and spread. Given that it did, I think they correctly foresaw that news like that was going to get out to even the most spoiler-proof forums and they went ahead and tried to get control of the story. I think they did the best they could.

And to repeat -- I'm definitely NOT a fan of Allie. I just don't like seeing anyone get beat up unfairly, and that's what's happening here.

Oh, and if you listen to what Allie actually said about Whedonesque it was not at all about casting blame on the site. He was just saying that given that the news was there, he and Joss had to decide what to do next.
How does a company just...accidentally send out covers to the press ? Even in a right-hand-not-talking-to-the-left-hand situation, if the folks at Dark Horse were getting ready to send out the promotional material, wouldn't Scott Allie or one of the other editors have to approve beforehand ? There shouldn't be a miscommunication issue between the departments, with proper checks and balances in place.

If it's an honest mistake, it's easily forgiveable, but really sucks. The surprise would've been nice (I found out elsewhere, someone slipped up/didn't care, so fuck it I'm gonna go full-Season-8-spoiler on Whedonesque for the next little while. At least Dollhouse ain't spoiled). After all that build-up. I like surprise and I know Joss does too, re: "The element of surprise isn't completely lost on me", he wouldn't have wanted this ruined. I would've been genuinely surprised if it had turned out to be Angel. If it is Angel, I feel like I gotta get back into the IDW comics soon (I was gonna check out more hardcovers of the main series in time, but I wasn't bothering with all the spin-offs/milkers. Now we'll see if I have to, if Joss is gonna attempt to comfortably re-marry Buffy and Angel and Buffy readers maybe need to know details from the various Angel comics, or could at least benefit from the extra detail knowledge).

If it's all a big hoax--hah! Nice one. Folks get too wrapped up in the games the editors play. But not knowing whether it's a hoax means I'm unsure as to how I should feel about it.
In all the hoax talk, I haven't seen anyone bring up Allie's quote from last month:

"He's not Obama, but he IS a president..."

Angel being, as stated in "Conviction," "CEO and president of Wolfram & Hart."
I agree with the not terribly upset at Allie camp. I think people are reading way too much into his words. He definitely does not place any blame directly, so correct or not that is merely inferred for now.

I agree the twitter/facebook thing is silly, though i don't follow either, so I only caught it here (where it was spoiler tagged, so my own damn fault), which is to say there may be plenty of fans that are oblivious, hopefully.

This could easily be a publicity stunt, as it is certain to boost sales if anything. It won't reduce sales, you're kidding yourself if you think so. In fact, it's looking like it'll boost IDW sales based on the talk around here. There's a lot more people not reading it that might than there are reading it that might stop. And if it is an intentional stunt, it can't be a fake out, cause that would get them burned much more completely when people become pissed.

However, it could be a fake out to the characters. Not that I really think it is, but who knows. Pulled off well, maybe he's not the real Twilight, or not in control of his actions, etc...

And I'm with GVH, there's plenty of rationales too easy to come up with to explain it if it's true, so no need to say that it makes no sense until we've seen it played out.

Good find, Ozzel!
This could easily be a publicity stunt, as it is certain to boost sales if anything. It won't reduce sales, you're kidding yourself if you think so. In fact, it's looking like it'll boost IDW sales based on the talk around here. There's a lot more people not reading it that might than there are reading it that might stop. And if it is an intentional stunt, it can't be a fake out, cause that would get them burned much more completely when people become pissed.

I agree it's likely to boost sales compared to what would happen if the reveal were that Hank Summers was Twilight or something like that. My argument is that leaking it now is not going to boost sales compared to the boost they were already going to get in March when the identity of Twilight was supposed to have been revealed. All this is doing is shifting the timing of the bump. The only question is whether the fact that it was leaked now rather than in march caused that bump to be higher or lower. I don't see where the PR about the fact of the leak is going to have a positive impact. The PR about the content of the leak is what matters -- but that was always going to be there either now (given the leak) or in March (had there been no leak).
So one of the things that's been bugging me... Just because Angel is on the solicitation covers, where does it logically follow that he MUST be Twilight? It's quite possible to have Angel and Twilight both appear in The Issue In Question, without them being the same person.

This ambiguity bugs me. I don't understand the need to confirm a rumor that could have been explained away WITHOUT any lying whatsoever? e.g.:

Q: Does Angel being on this cover mean he's Twilight?
A: Maybe, maybe not. Wait and see.

Hardly lying through your teeth, and at least as forthright as plenty of Allie's other comments.
jclemens; what about the Jeanty cover? You know, where he's wearing Twilight's outfit. That'd be one hell of a stretch to say "it's just cuz they're both in the issue"
Except that Angel is wearing Twilight's outfit in the Jeanty variant cover. If that cover wasn't released, then sure, one could logically argue that both Angel and Twilight feature prominently in that issue. But, tis not so...
Angel is wearing the Twilight outfit on the cover.

It could have been a mislead as part of a dream or a disguise or something, but that would be pretty lame.
The wonderful thing about our fandom is that we can come up with convincing theories for just about any old nonsense. Had Dark Horse not confirmed their mistake then we would have had impassioned arguments from both sides about why Angel is/isn't Twilight. There would have been loads of comments about it.

It would have been like the old days when we got a big juicy unexpected spoiler when the show was still on the air. And that I think is what annoys me the most I guess. No fevered speculation about whether Angel is Twilight and if the covers are foilers. Confirming it is hugely anti-climatic. All the fun has been taken away.
Actually, there's still plenty of fun to be had. People are now speculating as to why Angel would don the mask. People that believe, or are at least entertaining the possibility of Angel being Twilight, that is.

ETA: This new avenue of speculation seems to be a lot more interesting than whether or not Angel is Twilight. Because the motive will tie into the overall plot of S8. Whereas "Twilight=Angel?" will be answered by March. Instead of only starting to piece together motive then, we can start now.

[ edited by wenxina on 2010-01-11 00:04 ]
Allie may have "confirmed" it, but who's to say he's not lying?
All rationality and reason, for starters.

There is absolutely no upside for Allie, Joss, or Dark Horse for the solicitation of a fake cover. I've tried to explain this elsewhere and I'm tired of it, but the short version is, you don't fake the solicitation. The solicitation is not an audience interface, it's the engine of the industry. You don't gaslight your distributors and retailers. And then, having done that, no reason at all to lie about it *again*. It's just silly to keep suggesting, it makes absolutely no sense, there's no profit in it.

Not to mention... every clue we *have* gotten actually does add up to Angel anyway. The "president" hint is just the most recent. I actually feel like a schmuck for not having just trusted my gut and committed to Angel being the guy alllll the way back when Twilight "knew that move" and there had been only two still-living creatures who might have seen it.
There is precedent. DC faked three covers and solicitations in 2007 to keep Bart Allen's death a secret.
Count me in the camp who don't think it's at all likely that this is a foiler -- although that's an interesting precedent, Riker.

In which case, I have to say, Simon puts the issue succinctly and well. It's really been a very, very unfortunate mistake (releasing the covers -- how now? Mistakes are made in the world, but damn!) and, in my opinion, also an unfortunate (if well-meaning) response.

I can see where they'd feel forced into copping to the identity of Twilight after it would seem so obvious on the covers. They were trying to get ahead of fan uproar (I'd hate to be in their position).

But I think Simon's right: we were wildly speculating about what these covers meant when they were (mistakenly) released. It'd have been fun to not know for sure. Blaring out the identity of Twilight was not necessary. Sure, it provokes new and interesting questions. Sure, it came from good intentions, not eeeeeeeeevil. But still.

**Update: The cover being posted to Mtv tomorrow was also done by Jo Chen, for those who are curious.

I doubt anyone's reading this anymore but in regards to Scott saying this:

"Whedonesque had already posted the pictures"

He's... kinda right. Buffyverse fandom news doesn't hit all corners until Whedonesque links to it. So the bungled solicitation of the cover doesn't get spread to all corners of our fandom until we fans link to it here at the Whedonesque blog. While Allie obviously mis-spoke about the nuts and bolts of this site (link here, not re-post, thank you very much), the bagless cat wouldn't have been much remarked upon save on the forums where the majority of fandom doesn't check daily with an option for Twitter and RSS feeds. Which is to say Whedonesque is highly efficient and once it's out, even fans not reading the comics would know.

Yes, they could have not confirmed that the covers were legit, that they weren't an intended misdirect. But am I the only one breathing a sigh of relief about knowing who Twilight is? Yes, it was fun for the first six months. But then when you start getting into discussions where people think Twilight is Pike from the movie... yeah, okay. Or that it's a resurrected Tara (I still don't get how that works and have no wish to hear more theories on it in order to keep hold of my sanity). After all the (utterly awful) inane speculation, I'd reached such a high level of not caring that finally knowing who Twilight is now makes me actually care about Twilight again. I've spent the past year not caring to speculate on Twilight's identity because it seemed meaningless to do so. Now I can speculate on Angel's motivations for what he's doing as Twilight - that = much more meaningful.

So this is remarkably not a big deal for me. What's funny is that some people who are reacting so strongly to this news don't even read the comics.

Allie's confirmation only served to put a gold star on what many had already assumed to be the case upon seeing the covers: Angel is Twilight. A conclusion I'd reached before Allie had confirmed it. You don't waste days upon days of Jo Chen's time creating a work of art cover that is a mislead. You just don't. So the cat was already out of the bag once the covers were sent out for solicitations - Allie's confirmation seemed more an attempt to keep fandom from fighting over the cat and the empty bag. Which I guess was and is the problem - he stepped into fandom and now he's the "big bad."

I feel really bad for Whedon's "showrunners" - would it be wrong to say that there's a contingent of fandom that reviles Scott Allie as they once did Marti Noxon for Season 6? Here's the thing though - no one is cursing Joss about this (or did I miss the Passionate Reviling of Joss?). And Joss is the one who also agreed to confirm this spoiler, according to Allie also. He got a nod from the Big Guy in the Sky. Joss felt it was best to confirm it - once again, Allie did not act alone. There was a second gunman pulling the trigger.

[ edited by Emmie on 2010-01-11 06:45 ]
1. Why, if this is a mistake, would they have put Angel on the cover of the issue that they claim Twilight would be revealed in? That is clearly counter-intuitive.

2. Anybody remember that "leaked" Phoenix page by John Cassaday from Astonishing X-Men #4.

3. Scott Allie is simply not addressing this situation in a clear way. Maybe it was a mistake, but all of this speculation would be less controversial if he had made the point in all of these interviews that someone accidentally submitted the issues, issued an apology to fans, etc.

[ edited by marvelknight616 on 2010-01-11 03:38 ]
Marvel, these are the covers for 34. The reveal is in 33.

That said, if Angel is Twilight, and the reveal is so major then WHY IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT IS GOOD AND RIGHT is Angel on the cover for the TPB? Doesn't that seem like an incredibly bad idea? Beautiful cover, yes. Good idea? Not really.
I don't know how much more direct Scott Allie has to be. He said it was a mistake point blank, he told us on the phone several times that Joss made a decision to confirm it. What else does this guy have to do, tell everyone the name and address of the employee at Dark Horse that screwed up the Twilight reveal? This is getting kinda ridiculous now.

As for Scott issuing an apology, why? He didn't screw up, it was someone else and he's trying his hardest to make things better to no avail. The guy's just as upset as everyone else that this secret came out. He held onto it for 4 years, so I'm betting he feels worse than us at this moment.
@buffyfest, In his initial interview with CBR, he seemed very dodgy on the issue, that all I'm saying.

And yes, I do think we deserve an apology. Even if he didn't make the mistake directly, he is the representative of Dark Horse, and he is the EDITOR of the comic. I also find it kind of rude that he's forcing it on everyone through venues like Twitter and Facebook as well. Joss asked for this to be addressed, but I doubt he told him to go shout it from the roof tops. If he's so disappointed, why is he making sure everyone else is as well?
Has everyone in this whole fandom gone insane?

In other news, what happens to Xander when Angel shows up?
I have to agree with marvelknight616 about how dodgy Allie sounded in his CBR interview, the interview that set off all sorts of alarms with me.

Jo Chen and Georges Jeanty would be compensated for creating fake covers. And Allie mentioned the possibility of fake covers and solicits in some of his past Q&As.

Until I hear it from Joss himself that this was a mistake, I'm just not buying it. It's a hoax to toy with us.
The fandom gone insane? Isn't that, like, a redundancy? :) I say that as a fannish sort.

What Xander will do (or won't do) when Angel shows up will be muy interesante.

Seriously, though, except for spoiler-lovers, it does suck to have a big-ass plot reveal spoiled several issues before it's going to happen. I get why people invested in the story and the years' build-up are upset. I was really disappointed myself that it was mistakenly leaked. I'm not one who's demanding an apology and I have no beef whatsoever with Scott Allie or Joss Whedon. I'm grateful as hell for these books and the work they and others do on them. Big, big gratefulness. Still, I get the annoyance and upset. Years building, this secret was. Stories you get invested in for years aren't trivial. They're not as important as world peace and ending hunger and putting a stop to Very Bad Real Things. But still, art in the form of storytelling is important. And for many people, knowing something ahead of time in a story isn't fun or gratifying. I believe His Purpleness has long been a passionate advocate for this stance (thus I imagine that he and Allie both are pained by the mistaken release).
@marvelknight616: Scott Allie is not the representative of Dark Horse. He is a representative. Also, consider the fact that the facebook and twitter accounts are also under the domain of the marketing department, and so not solely under his control.
No one knows what went down between Scott and Joss. For all you know, Joss said, just clear the air. Let the secret be out there, so that speculation can now move on to the more interesting topic of why Angel is Twilight. Or not. It's a bad sitch that we're all trying to work out of.

As for his interview with CBR, he was truly professional in it, in that he didn't point fingers, and didn't play the role of the furious editor whose secret pet story got out. People may have interpreted that as dodgy, but CBR is a pretty popular site for comic readers, and it was probably the best way to get the news out there. Again, Scott AND Joss discussed it, and decided that it was best to come clean. I get that people are upset, but is this public lynching of Allie because he's for some reason, not very popular with fans? It all seems very reactionary to me. As I pointed out earlier here, there seems to be a whole bunch of reasons that people are pissed off, but for some reason, because Allie is a safe scapegoat, people are just going for him. It doesn't seem fair, especially if the source of anger is because Angel is Twilight. That's an issue to take up with Joss, not Allie.

If you're pissed that he confirmed the identity of Twilight, well, as I postulated before, would he be a better person to you if he had lied for another 3 months? As far as I'm concerned, the moment the covers were linked here, the Siberian tiger was out of the Balenciaga tote. Trying to stuff it back in would be in vain, and would've made Dark Horse look, for the lack of a better word, shady. And hey, Joss said to clear the air. Again, not a decision that Allie made himself.

Regardless, the point is we all know who Twilight is now. Some may choose to deny it, and continue to postulate fantastic alternatives. That's their prerogative. But I find the accusation that there's nothing left to speculate on completely false, and to be honest, rather nonsensical. For one, as I said before, motive remains to be elucidated. For another, Buffy's reaction remains to be seen. And how this all ties into the grand scheme is still a question mark.
But who's to say Allie wasn't lying when he said Angel was Twi? Perhaps he's lying in order to "surprise" us in March.
This was a reveal years in the making. They would not deliberately mess with that to try and bump sales. They certainly wouldn't fake that they'd made a mistake like this. There's no gotcha, just a big fat whoops. Allie has always played this close to the vest in interviews but that's quite different from lying.
Unsurprisingly, I'm pretty lock step with what Buffyfest said above. Scott hasn't been dodgy in the least. He said it was a mistake right from the word go. His comment about Whedonesque wasn't an indictment, just a recognition that, once the images were linked to from here there was no chance of putting the genie back in the bottle. Furthermore, it was Joss who decided to really put Twilight's identity out there.

Being frustrated and upset that the flow of the narrative got messed up because of this particularly bumpy bump in the road I get. The outrage and hostility towards one man though? Not so much. Give the guy a break. He's been keeping this secret for four years and all the carefully laid plans around it kind of got messed up a bunch when this leak occurred. I'd wager he's more upset than anyone.

You can debate the facts if you want but that won't suddenly not make them facts anymore. Scott admitted this leak was a huge error. Fact. The covers being linked from Whedonesque guaranteed the spoiler would spread like fire wot is wild. Fact. He and Joss had a conversation where it was ultimately decided that it was best to confirm the spoiler rather than stay silent. Fact.

Was it the right decision? Debate away. What does this mean for the character of Angel? Even better question. Let's all try to remember that, even though this was a big secret, there's still a lot of story left to tell and knowing the who in no way explains the why, the how, or any of those other fun, questiony words.
Does anyone else find it just a tad silly that in threads clearly labelled SPOILER there were people posting in there, getting in a huff because the reveal had been spoiled? Just a suggestion but how about donít go into threads marked spoiler if you want to remain unspoiled!? I donít think people are justified to act all indignant when they chose to click on the link and look at those covers.

Iím sure not everyone is a big spoiler-whore like me but how many people didnít click into those threads, even when they were given fair warning that they involved massive spoilers?

Whether or not DH were right to post it on twitter or facebook is definitely up for the debate but letís be honest here - I bet the percentage of people who had a peek is far higher than those who had the willpower to stay away.
My big problem wouldn't be a problem if there was only Dark Horse. I'm more of a fan of the IDW comics, and I can't see how this doesn't screw them up. I doubt DH cares about protecting them.
Iím sure neither company cares about protecting each other. But we know Allie did ring up Ryall and ensure him this wonít mess with or invalidate AtF and according to him ďeverything is wellĒ on that front. But again this isnít a DH decision, itís a writing decision, which means if you want to blame anyone for the effect this has on IDW blame Joss for making Angel Twilight in the first place.

But Iím sure IDW will be just fine. Theyíve already had fun with the reveal (Spike cover anyone?) and are probably hoping this gets more people interested in Angel. I gotta say Iím happy that Whedon isnít going to let a non-canon continuation effect what he can or canít do in another title. I see no sense in that.
you don't fake the solicitation. The solicitation is not an audience interface, it's the engine of the industry.

Fair enough, but the solicitations for #34 didn't actually mention Twilight's identity, just that he'd been revealed. It's the covers that really gave any information.

As for Scott issuing an apology, why? He didn't screw up, it was someone else and he's trying his hardest to make things better to no avail. The guy's just as upset as everyone else that this secret came out. He held onto it for 4 years, so I'm betting he feels worse than us at this moment.

Fair call, it's not his responsibility to issue an apology, but given he's held this secret for four years and if he's upset as you say I'd expect that to show, even just a little bit. As others have said, the CBR interview was dodgy as hell, and Scott was basically saying "yay! I don't have to be secretive about his identity anymore!" Part of me thinks that just adds to the possibility of a hoax, part of me is confused how blasť he seems about it.

Also, consider the fact that the facebook and twitter accounts are also under the domain of the marketing department, and so not solely under his control.

Scott was posting #twilightisangel on his own Twitter account too.

is this public lynching of Allie because he's for some reason, not very popular with fans? It all seems very reactionary to me. As I pointed out earlier here, there seems to be a whole bunch of reasons that people are pissed off, but for some reason, because Allie is a safe scapegoat, people are just going for him. It doesn't seem fair, especially if the source of anger is because Angel is Twilight. That's an issue to take up with Joss, not Allie.

Not at all. I think Scott's been a fantastic editor for the past four years, he truly understands and appreciates the universe he's working within. Angel being Twilight, if it's true I think is equally brilliant: it doesn't make sense now but I trust that it will. Everyone that's raising issue over this isn't calling for Scott's job; but there's only two options here: this is either a hoax; or what was an accidental leak of covers has been severely mismanaged by Scott/DH/Joss. I can understand why they'd decide to confirm it, but I think that it was very much the wrong decision and they went about it in a way that completely disrespects their fanbase.
Sorry double post.

[ edited by marvelknight616 on 2010-01-11 07:03 ]
@wenxia, in regards to the Buffy comic, which we are discussing in this thread, yes, Scott Allie is the Dark Horse representative. Allie said he launched both the facebook and twitter announcements in several interviews.

I'm not saying the CBR interview was unprofessional. What I am saying is that it was very scattered (which could have very well been the fault of CBR,) but Allie seemed very vague on the situation, a tendency that is unusual for him. Again, maybe he was just flustered/upset. However, I think everything would have gone over much better if he made a traditional statement in which Dark Horse apologized, explained the situation very simply (which does not at all require pointing fingers.) Much better solution, or at least much less messy.

I'm fine with the Angel being Twilight. What I'm not happy about is how the reveal exploded. How hard would it have been to ask CC to remove the picture or again, simply release a blanket press release?

"would he be a better person to you if he had lied for another 3 months?"

A probable better solution would have been to play coy. Or again, not shout it from the rooftops.

Either way, I look forward to the story, I'm just seriously disappointed that things had to happen this way, especially following such a tremendous wait.
While he may have launched the facebook and twitter announcements, I doubt if these actions were taken without at least a perfunctory consultation with said marketing team.
But all this is moot. Revelation is out there, for people who want to accept it. Asking Comics Continuum to remove the images wouldn't have helped. By then, tons of people already had it on their hard drives, myself included. Fansites were already posting said images. It's really not helpful to try and stick the genie back in the bottle when it's already big and blue and telling jokes with Robin Williams' voice.
Playing it coy would've angered a large faction of fans too. As said before, and proven so in the thread for the #34 solicits, people were angry because they thought they were being toyed with.
At the end of the day, one solution will not do for all, and there will be angry fans either way.
This was the route they chose, and for better or worse, we now have confirmation about Twilight's identity.
I've come to opinion after reading several knowledgeable posters that it is not a foiler. And I for one, welcome that the cat is not bagless. I do believe, if we weren't spoiled, there would have been a sense of disappointment when we did find out who Twilight is. This way, as others have mentioned, now makes us focus on the why and how instead of the who, and that I think is a good thing.

As for Scott Allie, I think he erred in revealing the spoiler on twitter, where he did spoiled his followers. In interviews, confirming it, I have no problem. He admitted it was a mistake, and that's all I really needed to hear. He shouldn't be getting the Marti Noxon treatment.

As for the identity itself, I will have to reread it all to determine on how I feel. Right now, it makes a whole lotta sense for the most part.
I hope it turns out to be Angel and not Angelus, wouldn't it be absolutely insane if he's doing all of this out of some "powers that be" vision about the terrible future that the army of slayers would bring. That would be a strong reversal from Andrew telling Angel that Buffy can't trust him anymore since he is running Wolfram & Hart. Might be a tough one for a lot of fans to swallow though.

If it is Angel doing this, and he's not just "play-acting" like Riley was (which would be really hard to swallow,) than there needs to be a really fantastic reason for it. I can't wait to see what they come up with.

It also is making a lot of sense to me why Brad Meltzer has this arc. He's such a meticulous writer, and he just seems like ther perfect person to set up all the gears for a giant finale.

I really hope this last year will turn out well. I know Season 8 has lost a fair amount of fans, but I've enjoyed it so far, and it would be a real bummer if after it was all said and done I wouldn't feel much of a need to pore through it all at once at the end :).

As for Scott Allie and all of that. At this point it's done. Joss Whedon turned out to be equally involved, and while twittering it the way they did ruins that one mystery for me (I wouldn't have opened a spoiler thread if I hadn't had it forced down my throat the way it was,) I don't want to let it ruin my enjoyment of the rest of it.
Fucking wow. I was only away for a few it's like...true? Angel really is Twilight?

Sorry, it's late and I haven't read many of these comments
Yes, the reveal was something akin to a farce.
I think we should boycott the comic book and start a savewash web site.

"Whether or not DH were right to post it on twitter or facebook is definitely up for the debate but letís be honest here - I bet the percentage of people who had a peek is far higher than those who had the willpower to stay away."

I only buy TPBs and don't even know what happens in Retreat yet. Angel is on the cover of the TPB so I would've been spoiled for it anyways.

[ edited by eddy on 2010-01-11 14:23 ]
Save Twilight!
Hmm, cue a lot of fan bitchyness in the discussion threads for the next few issues. Any time the issues play coy with Twilight's identity, some fans'll be all, "Ohhh, whoever could he be!" The next two or three issues are already finished, right ? At the very least, at pencil completion stage ? And the scripts have long been written, so it's too late to change them (nor should they change anything in the scripts in reaction to this spoiler, IMO). Just...brace yourselves, reasonable folks.

Vampmogs said:
"I gotta say Iím happy that Whedon isnít going to let a non-canon continuation effect what he can or canít do in another title. I see no sense in that."

Isn't the canon status of IDW's line still up for debate ? Whedon hasn't stated either way (although this reveal, and the fact that it was apparently going to be Angel all along, might be promising signs that he will/would always have eventually commented on the IDW books). He could write around it either way. It's Angel-from-the-future/long after the events of IDW's material, it's a double (hope not--the only double I would've been okay with under the right conditions were Xander's, but that would've been a really slight tie-in to "The Replacement", so maybe it would've been completely lame).

For IDW's sake, it worked. I'm curious to read more of the Angel comics than I was planning on getting (I'm about a hardcover behind on the main line and I haven't touched any of the spinoffs, read bits of the pre-"After the Fall" line). Maybe I'm a sucker, we'll see, depends on if I enjoy 'em or not.
On the plus side, maybe we we finally get an answer as to what's canon re: Angel post-After the Fall #17.
Just a short comment (actually, as I read this in "Preview" it is not that short!), as I have no real investment in this specific issue here, but I spent 20 years as an editor, and though I don't know how it works in the comic industry, as editor I called all the shots, whether for the direction of the text, the marketing of the journal, or for project development. So my feeling is that Allie along with Joss had to be intimately involved in the decisions that followed the inadvertent release of information. My concern now would be to understand how the error occurred and to ensure that something like that never happens again. Initially I felt that this might be a foiler, but I believe that we are now not being misled in any way; damage control is taking place and everyone is simply unsure what that damage control should consist of. For a company that has carefully guarded its storyline as well as it has, this has to be a major screw-up. I would not tell Allie what to do; I simply know what I would do, and that would be to investigate, find out what happened, and then let my readers know how it happened, while apologizing to them for it having had happened. Certainly, Joss and Allie have to know that spoiling this reveal will make some readers unhappy; having unhappy readers in not what they want, and the fandom will erupt over the gaffe. Which is about where they are.
I wonder if the decision to make After the Fall happen in an instant had to do with the Twilight reveal. Maybe Joss realized After the Fall was stretching into the Buffy timeline. Maybe this is why none of the post-#17 issues of Angel have had Joss' name on them: because After the Fall was supposed to be the end of Angel's "Season Six" until it could sync up with Buffy Season 8.

If I find out all the Angel books I've bought since ATF (18 and on) are not canon, they're going straight into the recycling bin.
Its possible that the covers aren't "fake" per se but might be very misleading. What if the Angel as Twilight thing is a dream sequence? What if it's like Luke facing "Luke Vader" in the swamps of Dagobah? (What if Twilight is a future transgendered Buffy and she's fighting herself?)

I'm a few issues behind on S8 but unless Angel has been featured extensively in the last 3 issues, this seems like a major, deus ex machina. Has that been discussed extensively already?
Riker, I think After the Fall was greenlit by Joss as IDW had the Angel rights and an official continuation was the only way IDW would let Dark Horse use the Angel characters. And Angel, as it turns out, seems to be pretty pivotal to season 8.

[ edited by Jackal on 2010-01-11 19:02 ]
No, alexreager, the possibility of future, trans man Buffy has yet to be discussed. I'm going to be the first to have an in depth analysis of that possibility though, right here, right now. Here we go!

Is Twilight a transgendered male version of Buffy from the future? Color me skeptical. There's zero precedent for such a revelation. I mean, trans men and women usually suffer from a rather intense experience of gender dysphoria that leads them to take hormones and have surgery to correct the situation. Buffy seems to have always really liked being a lady. Then again, Buffy jumped into bed with Satsu that one time even though there was nothing in the entire history of the show that suggests even remotely that she would do such a thing so who can say, really?

If my choices are between "Angel is Twilight" or "Twilight is Man-Buffy" I'm going to go with option A for which I'd prefer and for which I believe is more likely. I'm open to debate this, of course. Or I might just be being kind of ridiculous. No one can say for certain.*

*It's that second thing.
I stopped buying Angel After the Fall at issue 19, so I have no idea what happened after that point in Angel. I really think that the covers to the Buffy comics in question have a definite dreamlike,idealized world feel to them.

I have come to believe that we as fans come to know and love the characters of Angel, Buffy, Spike etc for a number of reasons.
First the writers compose lines that are truly poetry, packed with emotion. Second the actors do a phenomenal job of making them real, and we come to believe in them as real, as possible.
We are thus invested on many levels. Intellectually and emotionally. We feel we know these "people."

The writers are operating on a different level. They need to keep things moving, write a show that will air for as long as possible and keep the franchise earning money.They are talented and know how to write dialogue which will involve us. They know the characters, too, but they also have to keep the plot moving along and can not allow their characters to remain static for too long. Thus Angel gets his own show because he has pretty much done all he can on Buffy and David can carry another series even though many of us wanted Buffy and Angel together. Spike falls in love with Buffy and goes off to get a soul (although to many viewers this was out of character) because if he needed to remain on the show, the writers needed to be able to tell more stories about him. Some of the best stories about Spike and how he came to be Spike were made possible by his having a soul.

The way I see it is that it is about having stories to tell. We hate to see what the writers do to "people" we love, but that is just the name of the game. It hurts us because these "people" have become real to us and because we have each identified with some aspect of them. Because we all identify with different aspects of them we argue with each other. But we are all right and we all hurt because we care based on our own experiences which the writers have so beautifully captured.

In short, at last, I have decided to roll with the punches and I can always go back to the dvd's and watch the versions of Buffy, Angel and Spike I loved the most. No matter what, there is still that amazing, beautiful dialogue that these actors are so fortunate to have voiced.
Spike went to get a soul 'cos James was supposed to be in one of the Star Trek movies, I seem to remember joss saying. The movie didn't pan out in the end so he ended up back'n'soulful in season 7.

But yeah. If people weren't arguing about characters, be afraid. People get invested emotionally in the story - and therefore are emotional. If Twilight as Angel provoked no reaction, it would risk being a dumb idea. I'm a firm believer in that the story should always piss off some of the audience.

[ edited by gossi on 2010-01-11 19:37 ]
Actually project bitsy, when asking if this has been discussed, I was referring to the idea that bringing Angel in as Twilight when he has only been referenced in passing or in freaky dream sequences, seems an awful lot like a deus ex machina. A cop out. A twist at the end that makes little sense to the story as a whole.

In other words, while my transgender comment was made with tongue firmly in cheek, it seems almost as reasonable for Angel, who hasn't made a ripple in S8, to all of a sudden be the Big Bad.

(of course with the caveat that I'm 3-4 issues behind)
Well, Alex, since Angel's apparently been busy being Twilight the whole time, we've apparently been seeing quite a bit of him, we just didn't know it was him. As for this being a deus ex machina or a cop out: lots of people have written extensive theories about why Twilight could be Angel (we wrote two in the last year and a half) so it doesn't seem to be a twist that no one saw coming at all. Plenty of people saw it and, for those who didn't, I think it's important to remember that all we have is this one piece of information and nothing that surrounds it. There are still a few issues to go prior to the reveal and many to come afterward. There's lots of story left to tell. More than enough time to make Angel's actions make more sense than Buffy becoming a dude.
It was a joke project bitsy.

Well, Alex, since Angel's apparently been busy being Twilight the whole time, we've apparently been seeing quite a bit of him, we just didn't know it was him. That makes no sense to me. By that rational, it could be Tara or Clem or Spike or the security guard that was frozen by The Trio in S6. It's OUT OF LEFT FIELD. It has no basis for being present in the story...aside from the fact that Angel was an important character in the television show.

And regarding a "twist," I dont think this is a twist that people saw coming. Rather, its the only major character left to guess. If there's no mention of Angel over the course of several years and then all of a sudden they tell us that this character that received zero plot is the Big Bad, I think it's a cop out.
the reveal was something akin to a farce.

That's the impression I've gotten.

Gotta say, I wasn't shocked. I have no trouble whatsoever with Angel being Twilight but then, I don't view him as a hero and never did. I'm only curious as to what his motives are.

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