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March 05 2010

(SPOILER) Brad Meltzer talks Buffy's Twilight to Comic Book Resources. A very extensive interview about the last two issues, with obvious massive spoilers if you haven't read the last issue.

I like the idea that Willow getting it wrong about Buffy sucking her powers is not a fake-out, or a contrived plot twist, but a misunderstanding, and a clever nod to Willow and Giles always knowing everything.
"I get to show you the payoff that Joss and company earned by setting all this up over seven seasons."

Guess Meltzer saw only BtVS then.
CBR: I'm assuming next up is our romance issue?

Meltzer: Of course. That's exactly what we're doing.

Uh-oh. Was that sarcastic? Couldn't really tell... Think some people are going to be really upset in a months time.

For my money, S8 has never been better. Brad Meltzer seems like a really good writer. Anyone ever read one of his novels? I've had one laying around my home for years but never picked it up. The Tenth Justice. Is it worth it?

[ edited by Kaan on 2010-03-05 16:26 ]
"It was the thing where I waited 28 years for that moment. And the best part was how many people messaged me on Twitter and said, "I recognized it on sight!"


They're really head over heels in love with all these comic book references, aren't they? Got to say I find them more of an irritation then anything else. Makes the whole thing feel even less like Buffy to me. *sigh*
They're really head over heels in love with all these comic book references, aren't they? Got to say I find them more of an irritation then anything else. Makes the whole thing feel even less like Buffy to me. *sigh*


You're preaching to the choir with me, sueworld2003, and I actually like comics and do get almost all of those references (including the one he's referencing in your quote and that's a pretty damned obscure one.) This stuff doesn't belong in Buffy, it belongs in Xander's thought balloons. I really do think Joss has lost control here: he brought Buffy to comics and he's a big comics fan and I guess he relished the idea of a comic book Buffy. But, frankly, and I'm speaking as a comic book fan, BtVS is better than that. It's better than 99% of all the superhero junk that's ever been done--and I know because I've read that junk--and it shouldn't be saddled with these constant references to it. Buffy shouldn't have to adapt to the medium of comics, the medium should have to adapt to Buffy. But not only do we get these constant comic book references that I have to grit my teeth through, we also get a comic book plot, with Buffy characters acting out superhero/supervillain roles like it's Halloween and their minds are being controlled by their outfits.

(Having said that, Watchmen--the comic, not the movie--rules.)

[ edited by Hellmouthguy on 2010-03-05 16:40 ]
How about another comic book reference that may not be quite so intentional.....Angel/Twilight=Hal Jordan/Parallax. Perhaps in the fan reaction if nothing else!

(And I'm talking as it originally happened, not Geoff Johns' subsequent explanations)
Hellmouthguy I agree. I used to be a big comic collector (25 years) and like you I get the references, but hell, it's all feels so 'wrong' somehow, not Buffy.

In fact at It's worst It feels like the comic book guy from the Simpsons has taken over the writing chores. :(

"Worst episode ever"....

[ edited by sueworld2003 on 2010-03-05 17:01 ]
The references in #32 were mostly subtle and enhanced the "Buffy has superpowers" idea. The "clobberin' time" thing this issue was a little too over the top and stood out like a sore thumb.

That being said, if it's bothering you, drop the book. Stop reading it.

ETA: Also, when Brad Meltzer says people have been waiting almost a decade for this (Buffy/Angel reunion/interaction), he's referring to the 7 years that have passed since they last interacted (in Chosen). I noticed some people got confused earlier, thinking Brad thought Season Eight has been going on for more than 3 years.

[ edited by Riker on 2010-03-05 17:07 ]
Also, I must add, I LOVE this quote:

And I think it also gives some nice context to the stories in the series that were more one-offs.

It appears we might have to review our feelings on the Predators and Prey arc after this arc concludes.
That being said, if it's bothering you, drop the book. Stop reading it.


Thanks for the tip. Do you know, I'd never thought of that. :)

Thing is I now find reading season 8 to be a bit like watching a car crash in slow motion. Awful, but you can't quite take your eyes off it. *g*

[ edited by sueworld2003 on 2010-03-05 17:28 ]
Makes the whole thing feel even less like Buffy to me. *sigh*


Did you not like the comic book references when the show was on the air?
I don't think they felt as obtrusive or as many as in the show. Maybe because as with all things a live performance does seem to helps matters for me at least.
I'm really enjoying these Behind Buffy that CBR is doing.
I don't think they felt as obtrusive or as many as in the show


Sometimes in season 6 I felt that I couldn't move for comic book references.

I'm really enjoying these Behind Buffy that CBR is doing.


Yes though my only complaint is that I wish Dark Horse had got round to doing it sooner. I felt for a long time that they weren't promoting it properly. Is it still the best selling indie comic book?
Yeah the "clobberin' time" felt pretty weak to me, but the other references I like a lot. Granted I'm not an old school comic reader so maybe I'm missing a few.


Buffy shouldn't have to adapt to the medium of comics, the medium should have to adapt to Buffy.


Since when has one form of storytelling outweighed another form? Buffy is now a comic book and should be treated as a comic book. I agree that certain aspects have gone slightly off the rails story wise (Predator's & Prey), but for me most of the things we've seen felt right. Buffy has always had super villains, it was just never financially feasible to portray that on TV. These current superpowers/Twilight's outfit are a plot point and until we see how it all finishes up we don't know how permanent they will be.

It's been a kinda rocky transition from one medium to another (I for one never watched Buffy to see how many unanswered questions they could raise! Is that a comics thing?) but the last few issues have been delivering on the character interactions that I love so much.
Funny thing is, some people are complaining that Season 8 hasn't fully adapted to the comic medium either. Because of the usual decompressed style of story-telling that Joss does - which works on screen since you're not waiting at a month for each new installment - the third quarter of the season felt flabby and seemed to drag on a little. So really, there's a pretty wide spectrum of opinions as to how the season should be handled. Either "more as a comic", "more as a TV show", or somewhere between those two.
Joss has said that he's learned some things from this first run, and I'm glad to hear that he's owned up to some of the missteps, and intends to work on bettering it next time around.
I agree wenxina. Pacing has been a big issue. As well as those issue's or "episodes" where Buffy and the gang weren't even in them (something that would never happen on the show and shouldn't of happened in the comics IMO) but the plot and characters still feel right to me, or as right as far as how much of the story I know (which at this point is absolutely nothing).
Hopefully S9 will be much more cohesive than S8 has been.

ETA: And I hate to admit it but, besides Joss, the best writing this season have come from non-ME writers (BKV, Loeb, Meltzer). Something I think that should maybe continue in S9.

[ edited by Kaan on 2010-03-05 18:52 ]
ETA: And I hate to admit it but, besides Joss, the best writing this season have come from non-ME writers (BKV, Loeb, Meltzer).


Briah K. Vaughn is a wonderfully talented writer. In many ways, his Runaways series felt like the BtVS of comics--real kids dealing with real issues against a supernatural/superhero backdrop, with vibrant characters, crackling dialogue that felt true to the ear, and a constant emphasis on character development. That entire original cast he created out of whole cloth are classic characters I hope will endure (if they would stop getting killed off!) And I did love his Faith arc.
Because of the usual decompressed style of story-telling that Joss does - which works on screen since you're not waiting at a month for each new installment


Well people tend to forget or ignore what happened when the show was on the air. We had a huge break from a season ending in May till the next season premiere in September/October. And then of course when the season was on, it often went into hiatus for weeks on end.
No hiatus in Australia. Tuesdays at 10:30. Whole season. Like clockwork. Angel on Wednesday. How tired I was the next day at school. I was like 11 years old! We were weeks behind the US of course but back then that didn't matter to me, just got cool spoilage from Cross&Stake. Man, such good times...
Well people tend to forget or ignore what happened when the show was on the air. We had a huge break from a season ending in May till the next season premiere in September/October. And then of course when the season was on, it often went into hiatus for weeks on end.


That's all very well but If you translate the comics to the live action it would mean a wait of a month not just between each season but each episode. A whole season would take ages to screen at that rate.
That's all very well but If you translate the comics to the live action it would mean a wait of a month not just between each season but each episode. A whole season would take ages to screen at that rate.


Not to mention the fact that each issue of the comic is often more like one act of an episode.
God that's true. It'd be like having a season drip fed to an audience through an eye dropper.
Not to mention the fact that each issue of the comic is often more like one act of an episode.


But Buffy is now told in a different form. It's an issue. Not part of an episode.
CBR: One last bit of fun in the issue was the dueling images of Willow and Xander discussing Buffy and Angel as fighting and then...well, doing something else that starts with an "F."

Meltzer: This is obviously where we ask for repetition every time, and comedy comes in threes. So what this says is that we're going to have some real fun next issue.


I think what's disturbing to me is the sense of comedy overruling grim death. I'm still thrown at what Angel's actually doing (I think he's lying, and even if he reasons he didn't pull the trigger, he still corralled people into a pen and released the hounds so to speak). I'm upset by Buffy kissing him and this glow that seems to be affecting her judgment (which smacks of the rape metaphor, not to mention a disservice to her independent strength of nature "Take all that away and what's left?" "Me."). I'm too busy being disturbed on multiple levels to get the fun that Meltzer is talking about.

Taking it too seriously? Maybe. But with all the comics references loading the story and the way massive deaths (and war) are being depicted--it all feels like the horrible things are being breezed by. The pat explanations, the jokes to lighten the mood. It all feels out of balance with the actual horror of the situation. That the horror isn't being depicted fully.

I used to be having fun, but I'm not now. And all these jokes aren't so much lightening the mood as making me feel disconnected from the emotional reality of the season. I've been unfailingly positive about the majority of the season, but I've been feeling thrown lately.

[ edited by Emmie on 2010-03-06 01:55 ]
I think he's lying

And you could very well be wrong.

It seems a big issue here is that everyone has already made up their mind one way or the other. Perhaps wait until the next issue.

And Buffy isn't being raped. Angel's under the same glow. So unless it's simultaneous rape, that ain't what's happening.
And Buffy isn't being raped.

Perhaps not but emotional manipulation can be the equivalent of rape.
But whatever she's going through seems to be affecting Angel also, and isn't he the one being tagged as the rapist?
The Dark Shape, I said it "smacked of rape metaphor". Interpreting what I posted as saying "Buffy is being raped" is a literal misinterpretation of what I actually said.

From where I'm standing, I believe the "unholy" glow is affecting both Angel and Buffy's judgment. It's not that Buffy is being raped by Angel, but that it's like they've both been slipped GHB and pushed towards each other. It reminds me of Veronica Mars Season 1 where Duncan and Veronica were both drugged when they had sex for the first time; Veronica woke up feeling she'd been raped. Many women would feel they'd been violated if they'd had sex while under the influence of an "unholy" power. And likewise, I think Angel would be equally violated in the sense of loss of free will.

Again, the story is still unfolding. I'm just expressing the threads of metaphor that are unsettling to me. And yes "rape metaphor" would encompass what is happening to them both.
I'm too busy being disturbed on multiple levels to get the fun that Meltzer is talking about.


I don't think Meltzer is saying that the story that is being told is fun, rather that he is having a blast writing it. Two different things.

The humor in #33 is up to personal interpretation, because I didn't feel it overpowering in the sense of detracting from the story. Andrew was over the top because I couldn't figure out where and when he got the time to find all that crap and put it on, but the Xander/Satsu/Willow exchanges were fine IMO. So I didn't find this issue that funny at all, (or that it was even meant to be funny). It wasn't even clear if they know who Twilight was, because every character who did were all deeply upset and disturbed. Well at least until things got 'unholy glowy' ;)
Many women would feel they'd been violated if they'd had sex while under the influence of an "unholy" power. And likewise, I think Angel would be equally violated in the sense of loss of free will.

I seem to recall that happening in S5. Eve looked WAY more disturbed about what had taken place than Angel did.
Kaan, I understand from a writer's viewpoint how fun it would be to write such a high-emotions drama. But for me, the word just struck me as disheartening.

I'm not sure what's exhausting me--the comics or fandom. I suspect it's a vicious cycle of both.
Hey Emmie, sorry you're feeling that way. I'm with you on the exhaustion of the comics. 2009 was a pretty tough slog, and I just need this season to finally start answering questions!

I couldn't tell how much sarcasm Meltzer was using, so yeah I get that kinda flippant tone to a couple of the questions.

I know that what's going down in this arc is upsetting a lot of people but for so long a lot the fandom (including me) were just going meh over the comics. Since the Twilight reveal the discussion and debate has been, for the most part, really good. People seem to be once again emotionally caught up in these characters, really worrying about how this is all gonna end.

I'm not a 'shipper, except maybe a Scooby-friendship 'shipper, I care most about the core group of four (five, I guess with Dawn), and wasn't that thrilled about en-souled vampire's showing up, but it's going to be so painful for these character's, especially Buffy, that I cannot wait. I would love to see every 'verse character living happy but this is Joss and I doubt we will ever see him do that.
Good interview - I'm enjoying these. Brad seems to have a great handle on the characters, I think this might be shaping up to be one of my favourite arcs.

Can anyone clarify what the Toys R Us reference was? That went completely over my head.
Pretty sure the Toys R Us reference is regarding the variant cover for #35. The top of that cover, where Joss' name is printed, in the original cover, is an ad for Toys R Us.

ETA: Click HERE for the Uncanny X-Men #138 cover that was referenced.
Click HERE for Jeanty's #35 homage cover.

[ edited by wenxina on 2010-03-06 19:33 ]

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