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February 05 2010

(SPOILER) Scott Allie's commentary for Buffy #31 and #32. It's the start of a new monthly feature called "Behind Buffy Season 8" at Comic Book Resources. Amongst the insight into various panels, there's a teaser page from Buffy #33.

Bring on the angst! Knew the "vampire" reference was going to come up at some point, and found it rather ironic. But that page from #33... that's some gorgeous art from the art team, but that's Jeanty's best Buffy in a long time.
I think this is very cool.Other comics do commentaries like this so it's great that Buffy is now too.It gives more insight into the issues besides what is revealed in the Q/A's at Slayalive.Plus the preview page for Buffy #33 looks great.A nice call back to the season 1 episode,"Nightmares."

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2010-02-05 20:50 ]
The preview from #33 was definitely interesting. Now that the season is starting to wrap up, I'm getting more into it. I always imagined that perhaps Buffy's choice to share the slayer powers might cause trouble, and that perhaps they actually were--inadvertently, of course--the bad guys. Given the identity of Twilight, I suppose that's not impossible. What we've been given is a season almost without bad guys at all. Just good guys trying--and failing--to do the right thing.
Interesting that the font change was intentional. It really stood out to me.
And means what? I honestly dislike it when people make these statements, which are all full of seemingly significant import, and then just do nothing. "Yes, we changed fonts, glad you noticed, and it means something! But we're not going to tell you what, just take our word- just go talk about it so it sells more comics!" Sort of like that reveal coming early- now they are playing it for all the marketing they can get.

So, Buffy takes the power back, decides that all the sacrifice was not worth it, and ends the slayer line so no one has to sacrifice in the future- and ends up a vampire slayer without power, helped by people without power? Wonder where that leaves Dawn, if the world has no magic in it.
Best Scott Allie interview yet. (That I can recall.)
@Dana5140: Twilight's speech was always in "monster font". People have noted before that it probably stood for a voice distorter of sorts, to mask his voice, seeing as he always seemed to have a personal connection with Buffy. At the end of #32, Twilight sounded like he was about to share his master plan with the three captives. Meaning that he would more than likely unmask himself. Which would mark the end of the charades. So changing the font probably marked the beginning of the unveiling. It's something to think about. It's shrewd marketing. Why the heck would he spoil what it means?
Is this commentary safe to read for someone who's miraculously remained unspoiled about Twilight's identity?
I'm assuming, like wenxina, that Twilight is going to reveal himself and his plan to Giles, etc., and that's all the voice-thing means. Allie's playing it up as something more was a bit irritating, given what we already know about Twilight. I'm not saying it's *impossible* that there's something more there, but it seems unlikely. Whether it's shrewd or not I think is debatable. We already know the charade ends in the next issue, at least for some of the characters. Seems silly to be coy about it now in the interview when they're not being coy about it anywhere else.
Personally, I like the cover font change! The homage to Action Comics 1 is awesome and adding that extra little touch is appreciated by this comic lover.

Here's examples of that new logo font style from a zillion years ago...Example 1 and Example 2.
I didn't think there was anything "shrewd" about the font thing. I don't think it's "marketing" either.
Is this commentary safe to read for someone who's miraculously remained unspoiled about Twilight's identity?

Thanks Sunfire!
I thought the font thing was about within the word balloons, nor making the cover more homagey. Anyway, I just figured that was a shorthand to indicate the tone of voice. Like in X-Factor or Madrox or whichever series with Multiple Man, even though they were all the same guy there were subtle different fonts to indicate his dupe's state of mind. So for whatever reason Twilight seemed to let his guise drop a little bit.

Anyway, I like these detailed interviews but I still have my doubts/concerns sometimes about the internal consistency. Like when they pointed out the art was significant at the end of Jane's arc but then eventually they realized or revealed that there was a coloring goof and what seemed like Willow being taken away was really supposed to be Faith.

The end of season seven was sort of a discombobulated jumble with some highlights (i.e. most all of Chosen) but I was under the impression that The First's plan was to kill all potentials. If Buffy and Willow hadn't powered those girls wouldn't they have had just as great of a risk but with less of a fighting chance? Also, I still have no idea if they ever explained if The First stopped or not. Or why.
The change of font actually occurred first in #31 and that's when people asked Allie in the Q/A's if it was a mistake or not. And yeah, Wexina is completely right, if it's a plot point why on earth would they give it away? It's like criticising them for not telling you how the season ends -- what do you expect? And I really doubt this had anything to do about selling comics. How many people do you think will rush out to buy S8 because they heard that the font has changed? LMAO.

It's great that they're doing this and I think Allie did a fine job. Though, I wouldn't say no to a commentary from Joss sometime :D

[ edited by vampmogs on 2010-02-06 02:19 ]
As orangewaxlion points out, Buffy and team may not have been able to stop (or at least slow) the ubervamps in "Chosen" if they hadn't empowered the Potentials. Yeah, Spike's amulet did most of the work in the end, but perhaps if they hadn't had a small army of slayers, enough ubervamps would've escaped from under the school to cause mass destruction in the world above.

I don't think it makes Buffy and Willow accidental villains. They did the right thing (and possibly the only save available to them) at the right time. The fact that it has concequences later on is very real. It's kinda like how a nation (let's say, the States) goes into a country to aid, pumps up the natives' arsenal, and it results in something good for a time...but then leads to some issues later on. But in some cases, they did what was necessary at the time, but mismanagement later resulted in unfortunate...and the comparison's getting muddled, so I'll abandon, but you get the idea right ?

I don't think Buffy's gone bad or gone too far over the edge (even with the thievery). Twilight must have some insight that allows him to feel justified in going to such extremes though.

No clue where The First Evil fits into any of this, glad that someone brought it up, had kinda forgotten about it, but I might be happy to abandon that villain. I only liked it during that awesome villain-changing scene in "Lessons" and in "Coversations with Dead People", otherwise I think the result of it was overwhelmingly lame, from "Amends" to everything else in Season 7. The only thing that could redeem the concept of The First at this point is if they discover that it's just a really old demon/entity that's all-talk and somewhat powerful, but not literally the original embodiment/source/whatever of eeevil.

Dana said:
"So, Buffy takes the power back, decides that all the sacrifice was not worth it, and ends the slayer line so no one has to sacrifice in the future- and ends up a vampire slayer without power, helped by people without power?"

Is this where you're seeing the story going based on what we've gotten so far ? It's possible, but I'm not sure if she'll intentionally take the power back. So far it seems to have been happening without her knowledge, as the other slayers have died. Maybe something catastrophic, out of her control, will result in the rest going back into her ("back", though ? It seems multiplied, since she didn't have these abilities when she was a regular slayer).

Buffy will only be a slayer without power, helped by folks without power, if things line up with that vague bit in Fray and the majority of the gang manages to stay on Earth/in this dimension (ie, it was a different slayer's hand leaving through that portal--I could see Twilight either convincing or tricking Faith into being the sacrifice here).

"Wonder where that leaves Dawn, if the world has no magic in it."

Pretty much only two ways it can go. The no-magic thing un-makes/kills her, or the "Key" part of her (even though it was stressed in Season 5 that she is The Key and Glory had to bleed her out to get at its energy, though maybe not kill her) somehow leaves or is drawn out of her and she becomes a regular girl ('cause presumably, the monks' implanted-memories-plus-creation-of-her-and-her-possessions spell would still hold, unless it's crucially tied to The Key).

orangewaxlion said:
"I still have my doubts/concerns sometimes about the internal consistency. Like when they pointed out the art was significant at the end of Jane's arc but then eventually they realized or revealed that there was a coloring goof and what seemed like Willow being taken away was really supposed to be Faith."

The mistakes are annoying, but there're goofs in TV all the time too (the editing/blocking working out such that, for example, a character is facing one way and then facing the wrong way or in a different spot two seconds later when the the scene cuts to them again, when they couldn't possibly have moved that far in two seconds...wardrobe being different or a shirt being unbuttoned when it wasn't earlier). I try not to let it bother me too much, both TV and comic creators are usually working under a tight deadline, though the Faith-mixed-up-for-Willow coloring was pretty unfortunate and confusing.

Also, I sorta figure that the comics are a near-polished rough draft, just like episodes are on TV for some of Joss' shows. The cut of Firefly's "Objects in Space" we got on TV was restored to what Joss originally wanted on DVD, as was the episode order/inserting the unaired eps. Dollhouse will presumably be set right for its second season DVDs (the pregnancy ep switched for "Belle Chose" so the Paul/Echo scenes make more sense/flow better...I'm not holding my breath, but I'd love for some "Director's Cut" episodes as well, most notably the last couple 'cause there had to have been some more worthwhile bits in those rushed eps that could be re-inserted). Scott Allie apologizes for each mistake that fans point out and says that spelling/grammar and art mistakes (hopefully all of them) will be corrected in the trade paperbacks and, if they miss them there, the big-ass hardcovers.

Scott Allie said:
"I kiss your sister, and NOW you express feelings you've denied for eight years?!?"

Scott's using hyperbole here, but he probably could've worded that better/more accurately in order to avoid many fans jumping on this comment as editor-re-writing-show. Buffy obviously hasn't been having romantic feelings for Xander for 8 seasons (I don't think Scott meant 8 "years"), I didn't see much interpretable evidence early on. Could definitely see the potential over time though, as their friendship/dependency developed. Early on though, it was really one-sided, it was all Xander.

vampmogs, at the beginning of this Comic Book Resources article, it says "interviews with the creators and staff behind the creation of Buffy's last two stories", so I'd bet good money that we'll get a Joss Q&A or two after Brad's arc is over and Joss is finishing up the season. It'll more than likely mostly be Brad, Scott, and Georges for the most part though, just judging by the usual availability of Whedon (that's not a complaint--he makes himself way more available to columnists and fans than some busy TV creators).

I wonder if many people read this column and thought, "Too many comic book references and promises of future nerdgasms". Buffy's always been chock full of 'em, but they've been more prevalent in recent interviews and the Season 8 comic book than they ever were on the show. I get most of 'em, so I don't care (I might start caring if they start taking up increasingly more space in the dialogue--remember when Joss said that one of the things he liked about Firefly was that it restricted him from making/enabled him to be free of making any pop culture references ? I like that), but I can see how a lot of non-comics readers might roll their eyes or be frustrated by all the refs.

[ edited by Kris on 2010-02-06 21:42 ]
Eh, I know that just by nature there are going to be goofs, but it did bother me a little in that instance that he specifically pointed out something was significant except a month later it turns out it isn't since that was really a mistake.

Like I mostly read Marvel stuff but it absolutely annoys me when they needlessly outright lie to fans in some cases rather than simply declining to answer or being more honest and owning up to it.

And The First thing... Ugh, I did really enjoy the first seven or so episodes of season 7 through Conversations, which really did a great psychological set up of the villain and it's sort of novel that they'd have a big bad who theoretically does all the work psychologically or whatever, but in practice there really is no means with dealing with the more conceptual first evil in humanity's soul or whatever. I still can't tell if that's a hanging plot thread they ever meant to resolve though.
I always thought The First was an honest attempt to tie fragmented identity and un-physicality together as the true big bad of humanity. Conceptually, it made perfect sense for me. (I just wasn't very impressed with the outset per se.)
The symbolism of it, or whatever The First was meant to represent, worked fine, but the villain as a character and as a threat--after all the Big Bads we'd seen previously--was weak IMO.

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