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April 07 2010

(SPOILER) For the discussion of Buffy #34. It's the third part of Brad Meltzer's Twilight arc. Are you on tenterhooks to find out what happens next?

AHH! Why doesn't the comic book store open before 11am?!
I've read it. It's mind blowing.

And I guess, that's what she could have said. If you're thinking of cracking this baby open at work, use discretion!

We get alot of things here. Just enough answers to keep us sated, and just enough questions to keep us reading. But really, all the visual aids are enough to keep reading. Beautiful art by Georges.

I'm off to re-read, and to have a better feel for it, and better understanding, cause a few of the things that were being said made me scratch my head and go "huh?", but the pretty made me keep reading instead of going back.

Oh, and "Soon" Spike!
Please, feel free to spoils us to kingdom come... (i wont be able to read this in WEEKS)
Oh man, I wish TFAW shipped faster. I'm DYING to read this.
Guestage Drew
Oh, and "Soon" Spike!


So, Spike makes a guest appearance in the Buffy/Angel-centric issues. Just as I thought.
Oh good, is it finally spoiler time? I couldn't take it anymore! All I want to say is I CAN'T BELIEVE that Giles was looking for a way to KILL Buffy all this time. Shocking!

About the rest of the issue, I want to pick it up in real form because Michelle had an unfinished black and white version which probably lessened the "skin" aspect of it all. I wonder how much more scandalous it is in color (and if anything changed in general from that version we had.)
IDK what to think!!!! RAWRRRRR!!!! I hate it yet I am intrigued. But very R rated sort of. I feel awful letting my 12 year old friend read it, but she's seen the show so yeah.....
And the list of crazy weird things to happen in Season 8 goes on and on and on......
Won't have my copy until this afternoon but the Giles thing just caught my attention.
Oh, and "Soon" Spike!

What makes you say that Drew?
Ah, the first Wednesday of the month. The one day I wish I was totally omnipresent so I could find every review written.

Also, Giles was looking for a way to KILL Buffy?

O_O
"Long live the queen. The queen is dead. Long live the queen."

ETA: I haven't read the issue yet, but that line just poppep up in my memory.

[ edited by wenxina on 2010-04-07 17:02 ]
Sad to say I was already kind of expecting the Giles thing, hence my Giles S8 Retrospective, but when it's put so bluntly like that it's a real punch in the gut :(

Tell me more! Tell me more!
The readers have a sneak peak into the future. It's one little box of an over head camera shot of Buffy and Spike, in fighting stance, waiting to pummel... a shadow of something big with horns, with a voice over "SOON."

He also makes another appearance, next to Angel with the caption of "Think of Buffy's truest loves."

And for the shippers who might be a little upset, Andrew (captain of Team Spike), catching a glimpse of them, says a line in a way I would have loved to hear Tom Lenk say it: "Was that them? (Please don't tell me that was them.) It's ruining everything for me."

But I'll leave the rest of the story to be analysed by the pros, as I usually count on them to make sense of everything.
yes! He was looking for an item in case he needed to "kill a god". Crazy! I feel so dirty spoiling people who haven't read it in here, it's just not our way. hee!
It's one little box of an over head camera shot of Buffy and Spike, in fighting stance, waiting to pummel.


When that got posted a month ago, most of us thought it was a flashback.
Thanks Drew, makes me wonder what's the point of Spike showing up if Buffy has clearly made her choice and going by all the sex in this issue i'm thinking it aint Spike.

Simon, plenty suspected that it was a flashforward. Hardcore fans weren't able to place that scene anywhere on the show so it either hadn't happend yet or it happend between season 7 and 8.

Guestage Drew
The readers have a sneak peak into the future. It's one little box of an over head camera shot of Buffy and Spike, in fighting stance, waiting to pummel... a shadow of something big with horns, with a voice over "SOON."


Thanks!
That's the page that leaked online March, 10.
Thanks Drew, makes me wonder what's the point of Spike showing up if Buffy has clearly made her choice and going by all the sex in this issue i'm thinking it aint Spike.

Maybe Spike has more to offer than just being a love interest? Even if Buffy has chosen the other guy (which I don't think is necessarily fact since wasn't Spike just described as her other "truest love") I think he's still got plenty more he could bring to bring to the table ;)

[ edited by vampmogs on 2010-04-07 17:29 ]
A reason for Giles' actions in LMPTM ?

Wow, what else ?

vampmogs
Maybe Spike has more to offer than just being a love interest? Even if Buffy has chosen the other guy (which I don't think is necessarily fact since wasn't Spike just described as her other "truest love") I think he's got plenty more to offer ;)


I'll go out on a limb and surmise that he'll bring her a shiny trinket. Yes, I think he'll basically play Angel's role in Chosen.
Heavy issue. Confusing issue. Good issue though. Coulda done without the Buffy/Angel scenes if just for pacing's sake. Namely the splash panels of just them, ya know, doing the do. The panels that were overlaid with other characters talking were fine though. I'll have to reread it tonight when I can focus better on it but for now it was pretty heady.
Interesting though that when Giles is talking about a weapon there's a panel of the scythe. Hinty hint hint or terrible mislead?
Otherwise the art was pretty great. Interesting that Jeanty's Spike is so much better than his Angel...meanwhile, WAY glad that he didn't draw the ToYL arc. His Fray was, uh,.....not good. Love all the time jumpy stuff (hello foreshadowed material). Can't wait to see where it all leads but...was I the only one that first thought the last couple panels were the Garden of Eden or something?
WHERE'S IT ALL GOING!? o.0
Maybe Spike has more to offer than just being a love interest? Even if Buffy has chosen the other guy (which I don't think is necessarily fact since wasn't Spike just described as her other "truest love") I think he's still got plenty more he could bring to bring to the table ;)


Then that should have been made clearer a lot sooner in the ballgame. Everything so far has suggested that being a love interest for Buffy is the only thing Spike has to offer. I would love it if Spike had a much bigger role to play but so far we haven't heard anything of that possibility. And i doubt watching the love of your life choosing the other person will bring out the champion in Spike. So i do wonder how we'll get from point a(now) to point b(Spike and Buffy fighting side by side). Willingly having animalistic sex with the evil one isn't something anyone could just get over. Especially Spike who already has tons of insecurity issues concerning Angel and the women they have in common.
Giles whatting the what now??!! And a teeny glimpse of Spike at last??!! I must have this issue!
"So i do wonder how we'll get from point a(now) to point b(Spike and Buffy fighting side by side)."
Perhaps this is a novel idea but...why don't we wait and see before passing this unholy number of judgments about it? Anyone who thinks this is as cut and dry as "Buffy boned the bad guy" isn't reading the book.
Trunk, that's totally a novel idea.
Trunks, here's an other novel idea...having an opinion on where we've been, where we are and where we're going and expressing it. Yeah, it's freaky right.
trunktheslayer: Karl Moline drew the Fray arc in season 8.

why don't we wait and see before passing this unholy number of judgments about it?


I'd like to think people are free to speculate on it here to their heart's content if they wish. I don't have any problem with it.
I'm not sure I can understand how the *world* urges Buffy and Angel to have sex. The situation becomes weirder and weirder.
Moscow,I posted this on Buffyforum.

I don't have my copy yet so I'm just going off of people who do.

The 'universe' didn't create the strong feelings B/A have for each other.It's just using it.It didn't create their love.It's just using what already was there.

Again,that's just my impression from the little bits of spoilers I've read.Someone who has already read the issue might be able give there thoughts.
And indeed, the tag line under the teaser for the next issue says "things get wierder".

I do think it'd be premature to start hopping up and down because it's hard to know what's actually going on. There's a lot of porn which is unpleasant, since for me this is more porn than erotica and more graphic than the story requires, but I'm sure lots of other people will find it hot. I'd rather leave the porn to the XXX sites, but then we did get XXX foreshadowing in LWH didn't we?

Other than that, a lot of huh. I'll go a wee bit out and say we can now see why Twangel didn't care at all about the deaths of mere mortals -- presumably he knows he and Buffy are going to boink their way to a better world and since the world left behind melts down into a massive apocalypse everyone else was going to die any way. Spuffy destroyed a house. Bangel destroys a world. Go team go.

I did like that Buffy has truest loves and not a truest love. And while Bander's might feel a bit left out, I'd say that the fact that Buffy's unconquerable yen for vampires does seem to be pretty darned destructive (house, world), that leaves room for a story where she finds a happier healthier love with actual humans. If she ever becomes one again, that is.

I love that Giles has been out to kill her. I always thought that was lurking behind NFFY, and I'm feeling quite vindicated.

The prophecy of this happening being something like a myth nicely explains why Giles hasn't made a big deal about it earlier.

But basically we still don't know what's really going on. Except that Angel definitely still has his tatoo. And the ability to fly is helpful if you have two partners as badly matched stature-wise as are Buffy and Angel.
I'll go a wee bit out and say we can now see why Twangel didn't care at all about the deaths of mere mortals -- presumably he knows he and Buffy are going to boink their way to a better world and since the world left behind melts down into a massive apocalypse everyone else was going to die any way.


But didn't it seem like Angel was just as surprised at the end of the issue that they'd reached "Twilight"?
amazing issue, also crazy. I like the way things are going, seems to more and more be leading to my alternate demon universe theory since I'm not sure what else they can do with the monsoon of demons falling on their heads.

People still freaking out about Buffy and Angel sex...... I think it's being made pretty clear by Giles that this isn't a good thing, but I also think that it's pretty obvious that Buffy's head isn't really in the right place considering that she is having super speed wall crushing global warmth inducing sex. Like many have said I think she's going to freak out when she realizes she teleported (or whatever)far away from her friends, with the guy who has yet to give her a straight answer.

In regards to Buffy 'choosing', I don't think that's the case at all. Angel is there, Spike isn't.... there's a lot of strange mystical universe sex happening.... I just don't think it's as easy as saying that Buffy has made her choice. But with saying that Buffy needs to be with a vampire, the writers have definitely brought the Angel vs. Spike thing to more of a head than I think it should have been.
okay i like to think im pretty much on my game when it comes to the buffy verse....

how did i not see theis photo of buffy and spike facing off with some unkown horned baddy??

link? anyone? lol

s/n verrry excited to read this issue cant wait to go hooomme!!
So it sounds to me kinda like Buffy and Angel were having Where The Wild Things Are sex.

Buffy: We were like zombies. I had no
control over myself at all.


[ edited by menomegirl on 2010-04-07 18:47 ]
the Buffy/Spike panel is a reference to something that hasn't happened yet. Hence the word: SOON, over them.
Not necessarily, Cazador. "Soon" could mean "soon to be presented in the next comic." It seems likely you're right, but nothing close to definitive.
Simon: I know Moline did the Fray arc. There's a panel in this issue with Fray though and Jeanty's version of her is...bad, to put it nicely. That's all I meant.
Also, speculation's one thing. Flat judgments aren't the same though.

So how soon is soon for the Buffy/Spike panel? 38? Season 9? Next issue? And yea, I'm just doing those questions to drive people crazier with the speculation.
Flat judgement is what makes the fandom great. We've been doing it since Welcome to the Hellmouth. One little spoiler would drive the fandom into damning or praising within minutes. Sides were drawn, wars were fought and YAGEs galore. Good times.

To those who have read both, is the sex scene a homage to the Superman/Wonder Woman sex scene in The Dark Knight Strikes Again?

Oh and Fangoria has a review of the issue.

Link:
Also, if the thing Buffy and Spike are fighting turns out to be some kind of power-transformed super Angel, I'm going to lose it. The comics will have, for me, officially jumped the shark, shot it out of midair with a sniper rifle, stuffed it, and then turned it into a suit, all before landing on the other side of the jump.
the only reason why I thought it was referring to the future, is because it also had 3 DAYS AGO. and NOW. as the panels following, all with events that had or were happening.

I'm pretty sure Spike is going to show up in Joss's arc, I think he might be the one to help Buffy realize her humanity again? I'm obviously purely speculating... I don't know, but I love how crazy things are getting.

and now for an American Government exam.


sidenote: the fangoria review is spot on about Jeanty's art not being so great for huge magical heaven twilight vistas.

[ edited by Cazador on 2010-04-07 19:25 ]
A certain internet meme leaps to mind after reading this -- I'd like to give Joss Whedon a hearty "Cool Story, Bro!"

I was right -- and understating it -- when I said that the Architect scene in "The Matrix Reloaded" would like concise and coherent in comparison. The explanation we get for all of this new mythology is barely an explanation at all. I don't know... perhaps it's that we lack the gravitas and certitude that Anthony Stewart Head has been able to inject into some of the complete BS that's served for sensible explanation over the years that makes this sound ridiculous, but I think it's more than that.

Xander, at one point, does Voice of the Fan and asks "... that's the universe's grand plan? Giving Buffy super-powers so she can have destiny sex?" Giles begs off, telling him he's not listening... but really, doesn't the explanation he goes on to give still reasonably boil down to exactly what Xander said? Buffy gets super-powers for destiny sex? That's the kick-off event to this "new reality"?

Thematic flaws -- so has Joss completely decided to tank the core metaphor of even *having* a Slayer? In theory, the Slayer is a direct metaphor for female empowerment, but now he appears to be saying that too many Slayers (i.e. too many powerful females) is bad, and that either A) the original balance, preferrable to most bystanders not interested in all these demons and natural disasters, required the Slayer (i.e. powerful woman) to struggle futilely, or B) that the universe is all for more and awesome female power, but that the price, by design, is going to be hell on earth.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot just doesn't cover it.

'Shipper stuff -- Equally disappointing, and likely to fuel 'shipper gloating, is that this issue seems to say that Buffy and Angel really are a *literally* destined pair, meaning that the Buffyverse has metaphysically precluded any other romantic options for Buffy. At least, as a long time Buffy/Xander fan, I can take comfort in knowing that he has scored the hotter sister anyway, and the one who is apparently not a completely crazy-ass bizzotch at this point. Go Xander! Although the Spuffy 'shippers still have something to hang on to, given that they get the "soon" time card.

Twilight/Angel stuff -- yep, still evil as hell as far as I'm concerned. Everything we know about this new reality seems to absolutely suck for everybody that ISN'T Buffy and Angel, so therefore, if this was his plan, it was an evil plan. Sorry, just how it is guys.

The "mature content" -- way too much and way too far. It was sweet fanservice for about three pages, but then it quickly turned into basically porn. Perhaps even worse, almost cartoonish porn, like the very worst 12 year old's discussion of what sex between Superman and Wonder Woman would look like. Just... enough. It's titillating enough, but it's also well past anything that could be considered "necessary for the story" after the first 9 billion panels and into "completely gratuitous".
My comic shop doesn't put things on the shelf until Thursdays, so I won't be able to get this until tomorrow. I am heroically refraining from reading comments, but ..... argh. The waiting is painful.
I mean, if Buffy and Angel's sex is the catalyst for the world getting Apocalypsey.... then I don't understand why people don't see the relevance of the sex.

it's also a mirror to their first time, Buffy and Angel lose themselves in each other.... and the world goes to shit.
I think Angel still sounds insane in this issue. So either he's been duped into thinking Twilight is a good thing that doesn't lead to the death of humanity (as Giles says the myth states) or he's insane enough to turn his back on humanity because he's destined to be the harbinger for a better world.

Newsflash. Better worlds are bad when you sacrifice individuals to achieve it. I think that was adequately covered by The Operative in Serenity.

So either insane or a fool.

I object to slandering Buffy here. She's clearly shocked by what's happening when she comes to at the end. She has no knowledge and I still think the glow is somehow using her to bring this about. So please don't attack her character. It's.... well, wrong.
Emmie, isn't it textual per Willow that she's run mad in some way? If "the world won't let her" do what she should, which is according to Willow to kill Angel (again), she's lost some agency, as in crazy?

I'll backtrack far enough to say that at least by the end of the issue Buffy looks a little less like she's lost her damn mind completely, a bit more like she's about to tell Dracula his blood is gross.
YAGEs? o.0

In regards to destiny pushing for Buffy/Angel...I think that's backwards from what we got here. Willow makes a comment about how sharing the power isn't the first "unique" thing Buffy's done as a slayer. It was pretty clear she was talking about dating/screwing a vampire. I think it's not that they were destined, but that it happened and thus fulfilled the requirements of the myth/prophecy.
Too awesome. More thoughts later after I've read it again.

I was glad that the weirdness of Buffy and Angel's personalities from last issue were addressed, sort of. They are kind of hopped up on magic-- enough so that instant sex is believable.

That was my major problem with the ending of the last one. It's not that I thought they wouldn't have sex; the exact opposite, obviously. Just that they wouldn't do it that fast, in that way, with that kind of dialogue leading up to it. It was just off. So I'm glad that was addressed-- they are themselves, just kinda hopped up on the power of the universe.
I think next issue(#35) is where we will get answers on Angel's deal.
Name for the next issue, please?
It does look like Buffy's coming out of it on that last page, Emmie, and Angel is... well? He's completely insane. Whether it's the glow that's responsible or that he just doesn't care remains to be seen.

I think you hit the nail on the head with the Architect comparison, King. I was scratching my head during all that exposition. I hope they find a way to make all that mumbo jumbo seem less ridiculous by the end of the next issue because, so far, I'm just laughing.

Not sure this is any more pornographic than Buffy and Spike bringing down a house, doing it in the Bronze, behind the Doublemeat Palace, doing it while she's invisible, the list goes on.

For me, it reminded me of "Where the Wild Things Are" with the nonstop screw fest. I wasn't in love with that and this also seemed kind of crazy. The narrative seems to be that Buffy and Angel have been waiting a long time to be able to have real, grown up sex and, with the onset of super powers and glowing insanity, they kind of went overboard.

The only people who are going to love the gratuitousness of the Buffy/Angel scenes will be people who have serious Bangel fantasies and just desperately need to be sated. I think everyone else will just have their jaws dropped in disbelief, except the other shippers who will, largely, be annoyed.

How do I feel? I dunno, dude. I wish it made more sense but I'm still looking forward to the last part of this arc and I'm looking even more forward to Joss coming in for the final issues.

[ edited by project bitsy on 2010-04-07 20:01 ]

[ edited by project bitsy on 2010-04-07 20:02 ]
8.35 is "Twilight, Part V -- The Power of Love".
Also, if the thing Buffy and Spike are fighting turns out to be some kind of power-transformed super Angel, I'm going to lose it

I'm thinking it could be the real bigbad in it's true form. The one that's possibly been using Angel as his puppet.
Angel's completely starkers, basically. No way around that. I feel completely vindicated on my insistence that Twilight -- the guy, not the whatever-the-hell -- was up to no good. Buffy seems to be coming back to some semblance of being not crazy-ass by the end of the issue, but Angel's completely run mad.

Heh. It really *is* "Briar Rose"/"Omega".

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2010-04-07 20:07 ]
8.35 is "Twilight, Part V -- The Power of Love".

Buffy choosing the scoobies?
Hopefully. That or a tease that Xander is going to have Willow conjure them up a 1982 DeLorean DMC so they can go back in time with Dawn skitching on a hover-board to rescue Buffy.
So, let me get this straight. Now that Buffy has finally shirked the bonds of being the Chosen One by sharing the slayer power with other girls, the powers that be have singled her out again to give her an even bigger responsibility?

Jesus, this girl just can't catch a break.
Thanks, King. But Jeanty's cover for #35 is with Buffy leaving the scoobies.
The only people who are going to love the gratuitousness of the Buffy/Angel scenes will be people who have serious Bangel fantasies and just desperately need to be sated.


No. I just like wild sex. I loved it when she and Spike brought the building down too.

Saying that everything has to come down to some ship is kind of insulting. I know you probably weren't meaning to be. But.

I'm not a shipper. You can tell by how I'm a heterosexual adult man. I just like a good story.

Shipping itself is, in my humble opinion, not just stupid but destructive to the fandom. The story is what is what it is (and I'm including the TV show in this), but I can't comment on what actually has happened because it'll offend people who think things should be another way.

Let's say I decide that Riley should have been Buffy's true love, and regardless of what happens in the show, I get angry when she hooks up with anyone else. Doesn't matter that the events clearly show that that's not happening. Im'ma get pissed anyway. See how stupid that would be?
I'm not a shipper. You can tell by how I'm a heterosexual adult man. I just like a good story.


Please, please, please, please, please, mods, tell me you're not going to let all the patronizing sexism in that comment stand. Please.

Also, what on earth does your being straight have to do with anything at all? So being destructive and stupid is something only hysterical wimminz and gay guys do?
I'm a heterosexual adult male who's a 'shipper, albeit not a particularly passionate one. And my general annoyance with really extravagantly intent 'shippers is not something I've ever really thought of as being connected to any of those three facts about myself. I think dispatch's reasoning lacks much in terms of causality.
Oh, God. Thank you, KingofCretins (and while I'm at it, thanks for generally voicing most of my opinions since the whole Twilight reveal--I always appreciate your comments) for proving that there is absolutely a way to communicate your disenchantment with shipping in general without being sexist, homophobic, patronizing, and self-congratulatory.

Dispatch's comment made me so angry I was literally sick to my stomach.
Clearly, I left out the people who just like watching the monkeys do it in my previous statement. Mea culpa. You just don't see much in the way of "Buffy's having sex? Really? Oh, I don't care who with, I just like seeing her get lucky." nowadays, do you?

Whether shipping is bad or good for the fandom is anyone's guess, really. It is a big part of the discussion on every Whedon forum you're ever likely to see. I don't know if the thousands of people who just read the comic and don't go to forums care about that sort of stuff but, here, it's going to come up. You can take a part in it or ignore it and talk about something else in the story but there's little to no point in declaring it stupid or bad for fandom because, whether you're right or wrong, is irrelevant. It's here to stay.
Someone should do some scanning and make a youtube video of the porn-panels and set it to "Bad Touch" :)

I'm not a shipper. You can tell by how I'm a heterosexual adult man. I just like a good story.


I think you might want to avoid inflammatory comments like that here. And if we could get back to discussing the issue, that would be lovely.
I agree that shipping is a right and it will be around for awhile, but I think the problem is that it can get in the way of the story discussion. Most of the comments on here are about Buffy/Angel sex or Spike's arrival, etc and less about this Watcher's Nightmare that has just taken place. Or that Faith got her powers back for some reason. Or that a lot of demons just entered into the game while Buffy and Angel are shall we say "out of commission". I guess I just want to hear what people have to say about that stuff, too.
I liked Xander's coat. Discuss.
bitsy, it really should be a bit darker, even if it were darker into a more indigo/violet than grey/black. It's awesome, though.

Xander actually got some of the best stuff in this issue, too. He really did nail it with his description of what Giles was saying. I'd say he, Faith, Dawn, and Satsu were the winners in this issue.
What struck me as disturbing was that the panel of the Watcher's Council in 1680 said they'd all committed suicide the last time they thought Twilight was happening.

That's... disturbing and sad. This is the same Watcher's Council who held a rousing speech about fighting the good fight against the First Evil said:

"Ladies and gentlemen, our fears have been confirmed. The First Evil has declared all-out war on this institution. Their first volleys proved most effective. I, for one, think it's time we struck back. Give me confirmations on all remaining operatives. Visuals and tacticals. Highest alert. Get them here as soon as possible. Begin preparations for mobilization. Once we're accounted for, I want to be ready to move. We'll be paying a visit to the hell mouth. My friends, these are the times that define us. Proverbs 24:6. O, by wise council, you shall make your war." - Quentin Travers Never Leave Me

This speech harkens to Buffy's heroic speech in Bring on the Night:

"I'm beyond tired. I'm beyond scared. I'm standing on the mouth of hell, and it is gonna swallow me whole. And it'll choke on me. We're not ready? They're not ready. They think we're gonna wait for the end to come, like we always do. I'm done waiting. They want an apocalypse? Oh, we'll give 'em one. Anyone else who wants to run, do it now. 'Cause we just became an army. We just declared war. From now on, we won't just face our worst fears, we will seek them out. We will find them, and cut out their hearts one by one, until The First shows itself for what it really is. And I'll kill it myself. There is only one thing on this earth more powerful than evil, and that's us. Any questions?"

The Council are still heroes, though misguided and mismanaged. They still devote themselves to saving the world and give their lives for it. I'm finding this Season 8 viewpoint of the Council to be very degrading. The only other Watcher presented was in Safe and that guy was insane. So what members of the Council are either insane or suicidal?

I just find it disappointing that the flashback was used as some sort of "oh noes! The Council was so afraid they killed themselves" move. I think it was a cheap way of establishing how horrifying the event of Twilight is.

The Council was made of sterner stuff. And while they're by no means perfect and can effect their own brand of institutional evil, they weren't cowards nor a cult (which is what the imagery harkens to) that would off themselves when the time had come.
Disagree about the Council. Giles mentions that those guys were a "cult", like a sect. Also, I think it's great foreshadowing for how the Watchers (well, Watcher) in "Fray" acts.
I actually felt that the Watcher's Council did often come across as a bit cultish. I also thought they were a bit cold, unfeeling, and, frankly, weak. The council was a weakness for the show for me because I did want them to be something much more interesting. Instead they were a bit silly, honestly. They remind me a lot of the Time Lords on Doctor Who if that means anything to any of you.
Well, the Council was a serious upgrade from a continuously resurrecting/reincarnating Watcher as in the film (I don't actually know if that was from Joss' original screenplay or not).
I wonder if the unseen horned creature in the Buffy/Spike scene is one of the Fray Big Bads.
Yeah and where's Wesley's dad? The indications were, he was still around there somewhere.

As for the insane and suicidal part, it could be a lead-up to Fray. We know they were all that way by that time.
@slayer, the - Faith has her powers again? Do tell!
Oh, yeah, Faith having her power's again is very interesting. Do all the potentials have their powers back or is it just her? Is Faith *the* slayer and, if so, why? That might be the most important part of this issue that no one is talking about.

[ edited by project bitsy on 2010-04-07 21:25 ]
Yay, discussion! I'm not sure if all the slayers have there powers back. Satsu didn't say anything. Maybe Faith has finally become "The" Slayer after all this time.

Re: Watcher's Council. I liked that part and thought it added to the fatalistic story Giles was telling. Also, I love any time they give us additional Slayer/Watcher stuff.
Emmie, the watchers fit with the suicidal weirdos they are in the frayverse though, but you're right on the whole it draws an overly negative picture. The watchers always were a bit of cult and hobbled by their own believes in authority. The truly heroic watchers seemed to be the ones that had the knowledge, but also their own problems with authority.

Giles, at hear a rebel. Wesley found his competence too only after he was kicked out.
Yes, Changeling, I just wish there was more nuance in the portrayal.

And I for one don't think that all institutions lead to evil. I think it's more complex than that. But there's a point where stories in this 'verse seem to be driving it home that you're a good guy if you're against the Man.
I thought Faith already was *the* Slayer. Buffy has been an anomaly since she came back in "Prophecy Girl", and the Slayer line has been moving along without her ever since. It was only with Willow's scary resurrection of her that things started getting really weird. And then, obviously, the rules changed with the mass Slayer spell in "Chosen".
Faith got her powers back (YES!) As to why, if you remember, Willow said (after killing the Goddesses) that they all would get them back. But then they never mentioned it again, or showed them as having powers (which bugged the hell out of me) So I guess this just means the powers finaly kicked in. Though I have to ask, if Faith was powerless, how did she survive having her head smashed into a solid floor by a God? (wouldn't that kill someone?)

So Twilight was about making Buffy and Angel Gods, so they could have sex, and turn Earth into the world from Avatar?
Another great issue, and this arc is the best since NFFY. There's so much to think about and chew on. I'm kind of tired of shipper wars though. I'm not a shipper and I don't understand it personally.

This issue reminded me of a certain Alan Moore issue of Swamp Thing in the 80's.
I have my copy.

Heady stuff,I'm starting to think I see how this is going to link up to what was shown in Fray and the end of the age of magic with no slayers called and vampires until Fray's time.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2010-04-07 22:14 ]
*snerk* Just figured out why that one speech bubble of Buffy's is blank. No sound in space!
Hmmm..I've only read it once and I didn't understand a whole lot so I've got to re-read it. It's been interesting to read the different opinions (and debates) here about it.

Vergil said:
I would love it if Spike had a much bigger role to play but so far we haven't heard anything of that possibility. And i doubt watching the love of your life choosing the other person will bring out the champion in Spike. So i do wonder how we'll get from point a(now) to point b(Spike and Buffy fighting side by side). Willingly having animalistic sex with the evil one isn't something anyone could just get over. Especially Spike who already has tons of insecurity issues concerning Angel and the women they have in common.

I think Spike certainly wouldn't like watching Angel & Buffy together and probably would have jealous pangs but I think a lot of people (not aimed at you personally) underestimate the maturity of Spike's character. In season 5 of Angel, he seemed to accept Buffy moving on rather well (and had sex with Harmony) and to a degree made peace with Angel about their relationship.

Buffyfantic said:
The 'universe' didn't create the strong feelings B/A have for each other.It's just using it.It didn't create their love.It's just using what already was there.

This is what I like to think because I'm really not a fan of predestined - as in "no free will" or as if the character's paths & choices weren't their own or their own choices. It's the one thing that always bugged me about the Jasmine arc. I like to believe that Angel and Buffy loved each other because they are Angel and Buffy.

I refuse to feel apologetic about being a shipper. (not that anyone here has said that I should but it seems that "shipper" has such a negative connotation now). It changed my life and has brought me such joy. Though I do consider myself fully in one camp, I believe I am tolerant of other fans' preferences and to the writer's ideas/stories. That said, I was a little disappointed to see Spike brought in because it will just fuel the Angel vs. Spike debate so badly and it just gets rather nasty in some places. I do wish Joss would make a definitive statement for Buffy's choice but I know it's not like him to do so. I don't think he'd alienate any large sectors of his fan base.

I like the idea of Faith getting her powers back and I do hope it means something big for her. I was never a fan of her until season 7 and then I felt like I was really beginning to root for her. And I always thought that being a second slayer before there were potentials, had to mean something big. I mean, she was something that wasn't supposed to exist right? There's only supposed to be one?

The Giles thing just breaks my heart. Other than the Buffy/Angel storyline the father/daughter relationship of B-G has always been my favorite aspect of the verse. The fractured status of that relationship since season 7 just makes me feel so awful.
I don't think he'd alienate any large sectors of his fan base.

Really? I think he's already succeeded in doing just that.
CrystalSC I know how you feel...Giles was like Buffy's rock...he was always there to give what she needed but since his return in s7 he's been kinda awkward around her. It seems like he only sees the bad choices she makes and lost his faith in her(no pun intended) and has taken up with Faith to forge that kind of bond again.
I haven't read the new issue and am absolutely dying to but have to wait til tomorrow cause life is just so hard sometimes!!!
Can someone please tell me who was supposed to be narrating in blue on the first three pages?
GhostsWatcher, I remember that Swamp Thing issue-it was great! I also raise you the sex all over and in the stratosphere as a possible nod to "Olympus" in Moore's Miracleman.

I remember in the commentary for "Primeval", Joss Whedon mentioned that he had been very inspired by Alan Moore's Promethea, in which there is one girl in all the world chosen to preside as a deity/superhero over an apocalypse, plus a lot of information about ceremonial magick, but I digress.

That's the tone I'm getting here-apocalyptic. However, my big question is, is this about a tectonic shift in understanding that "Twilight" brings to the human race, or is it godlike beings drunk on power leading to a much more dangerous apocalypse where the rest of humanity isn't even considered?
This whole Buffy and Angel apotheosis is raising a lot of weird and big questions for me-is Buffy walking away from her friends as in the Jeanty cover for next issue because she's choosing sides--or because she is so far from human now that she can't relate?

I could be totally wrong, but those are my thoughts and yes, I've also read oodles of Alan Moore and have wondered about his influence on Joss Whedon's Buffy comics.
Uh..well...hmm...

Huh.

I need to read it again.
Really? I think he's already succeeded in doing just that.


Well seeing as the Buffyverse fandom is fragmented and divided, you can't move without annoying a faction. Will all the fans like season 8? No. Did all the fans like every season of Buffy. No they didn't. Will all the fans like season 9? No they won't.

Is the impact of season 8 and in particular this issue weakened because we know there's another season? May well be actually.
I think Spike certainly wouldn't like watching Angel & Buffy together and probably would have jealous pangs but I think a lot of people (not aimed at you personally) underestimate the maturity of Spike's character. In season 5 of Angel, he seemed to accept Buffy moving on rather well (and had sex with Harmony) and to a degree made peace with Angel about their relationship.

I partly agree, the sex with Harmony was explained because Spike had been non-corporeal for so long and for someone as physical as Spike that was hell. He still tryed to imagen Buffy when he was having sex with Harmony. I agree, Spike has shown plenty of maturity, he's the one that comes out looking better in the girl in question. Accepting Buffy being with the immortal, just wanting to see her happy and safe. Same thing happend in season 7, after seeing her kiss Angel, Spike still stuck around and became her champion. On the other hand, this seems much much bigger. And as i've said before Spike already has huge insecurities concerning Buffy(especially with Angel). It was partly because of that welcome kiss in season 7 that Spike didn't believe her 'i love you'. What do you think seeing Buffy having sex with Angel would do to him? Going by Spike's character i see him accepting this,still helping Buffy fight the good fight but his heart would be shaterd and imo beyond repair.

And Spike didn't really move on in season 5(Angel did, he even had a girlfriend), he just didn't see himself having a shot with her which him feeling that way can be traced all the way back to season7 where he didn't believe her 'i love you'.
When Giles started talking about the totem to defeat a god, and then the picture of the axe/scythe showed up, it made me think of the "Guardians" or whatever the old lady was that was killed by Caleb in the end of season 7. I wonder if they were also aware of what the Slayer could become and had a way of countering it themselves, which is what Giles was after? They could be the deus ex machina club!
"Everything so far has suggested that being a love interest for Buffy is the only thing Spike has to offer. I would love it if Spike had a much bigger role to play but so far we haven't heard anything of that possibility. And i doubt watching the love of your life choosing the other person will bring out the champion in Spike."

Really? I find it disturbing that you think that Spike is somehow going to be broken beyond repair because Buffy had sex with Angel. Maybe Spike really does love Buffy, but people don't end up with someone they love ALL THE TIME and they manage to get over it.

Not only that, but Buffy didn't "choose" Angel in this issue. She and Angel are being driven by "...the pull of something far more ancient, far more powerful, and far more destructive than anyone in this omniverse has ever felt before." Think about that sentence: they are being pulled by the force of the UNIVERSE and NATURE itself to be together and to have sex. No one has ever been so compelled to do something in history!

And since when is Buffy "choosing" between Angel and Spike the most important part of this story? It may be the most important part of Twilight (The movies/books), but I think we can all agree that Buffy Summers is a lot less pathetic and pointless than Bella Swan.
Compelled to have sex? How banal. That's the best the universe and nature have to offer is to force a couple of people- well, one person and a vampire- to have sex? Seems the universe should be smarter than that, just saying.

My problem is that Joss seems to want to have his cake and eat it, too. Have Buffy and Angel do the deed, but not because they really want to, thus escaping the worst of a backlash. Each act of this series leaves me further and further away from caring, try as I might. For me persaonlly, I don't like this, and I am not a Bangel/Spuffy shipper; I just don't find the idea of sex in which you are not in control of yourself much appealing. I do understand that people can own their sexuality- that is, decide when and with whom they wish to do the deed, but here, this is not a decision made by the people so engaged (or so it seems); it is forced, and ergo a form of, though I hate to say it, rape. This is not going to be a popular reading, I understand, and it came to me only as I write now- but if Buffy has lost agency in entering into sex with Angel, what do we make of that? It is not her decision.
Ok did any one else see sweeney tood vampire?? thats number one.

Number two - Am i the only person that who doesnt have a problem with the sex? This is no more graphic than some episodes of Buffy or angel... and its a comic book guys, its not even real people, so stop complaining and enjoy Buffy sex!

Number three - The panel in the flashback in Fray that shows a girls arm going in a portal when all magick left this plane forever. Could it be Buffy going in to twilight with all of her supernatural friends? They could all live happily ever after there in twilight and it would be the end of magick on earth.
I hated this issue. HATED it. Of all the things I longed to see on the show - seeing Angel and Buffy have raunchy porn sex was not one of them.
Also I feel like this entire story has taken a bit of a turn. It is no longer a story about people, friendships, love, responsibility, duty. It's a story about nature and balance and Buffy and Angel having destiny sex and creating a new reality where they are gods.....whut? WHUT?

I no longer feel much of a connection to these characters - maybe it's the medium - but I just don't care about them. It makes me sad.
Oh, I don't know, I saw a choice in her actions here and lack of actions in season 7 but that's not a real appropriate topic at the moment, imo. I'd rather just talk about NOW.

The pay off that was spoken about was a big one. I love that both Buffy and Angel are named the best of their kind, slayer and vampire. I love it that Angel is the Yin to her Yang. I even kinda loved all the sex that they were finally allowed to have and that it's not a fantasy, everybody knows it.
Something else that I loved is in the way Giles has become the mouth piece for the universe again. I have missed that. I can't even fathom Giles running around trying to find a weapon to kill Buffy. It's also kinda strange that Willow says Angel was the missing piece. What does SHE know?

Finally, I am unclear about how Buffy and Angel have become gods and keys at the same time. Before in the universe, a god requires a key to open a dimension, it doesn't do it by its self. One side appears to think Buffy and Angel created the dimension, while Angel had heard about the place before, indicating that they found it and opened it, rather than created it.

It's odd that Dawn mentions Glory who very much needed a key to open her dimension. So, it appears nobody has forgotten that aspect of the storyline.
I did have a thought on next issue.

Scott Allie said we wouldn't really know what's going on until #35 especially with Angel.This issue reveals a lot but it's next issue where the rest is revealed.

In Georges Jeanty last Q/A he said this.

Georges: 35 was way involved. There are a crap load of monsters. I drew that issue in sections, I dealt with all the Angel Buffy stuff first and then handled the monsters.


This issue was light on Buffy and Angel talking.There is just sexual stuff they say to each other throughout the issue and that little bit at the end.

I think next issue will be divided between the gang dealing with the rain of demons while Buffy and Angel are off on this different plane.And that's where the real meat and potatoes will come in regards to Angel.We'll get those flashbacks Scott mentioned about how Angel ended up like this I bet during this.This is where a lot more answers will come I think and how they'll come.
Since when has "nature" anything to do with the Slayers? The Shadowmen made slayers, not nature.
Holy SO NOT SAFE FOR WORK, Batman!

That being said, I've read it a few times now and still am not entirely clear on what the hell just happened.

Let me get this straight: So, Buffy and Angel have evolved as beings and are now gods because they're so special and it's the will of the universe. Their having sex triggers some mystical cataclysmic event that bounces all over the space time continuum and is actually what caused Willow to randomly and suddenly get her powers back a couple issues ago. The sex also opens a gateway of some sort to some special place on another plane that hasn't been accessed before, and the accessing of this place is going to unleash hell on earth and wipe out humanity. Angel knew this place existed, but either doesn't know what the consequences or opening it are, or doesn't care. Spike is special, but not special enough to get god-powers like Angel. Faith has her powers back, but we don't know if the rest of the slayers do. Giles has been keeping secrets yet again. And apparently Angel's trigger for losing his soul is nonexistent now that he's a god.

Did I miss anything?

And is anyone else wondering where this story and these characters can possibly go from here? Like, how is there even any more growth and development to be had in season 9?
Yes, but the Shadowmen were driven by a natural need: to live.
Humans were at the bottom of the foodchain, so the Shadowmen created the Slayer to counter that. In a way, it's nature. It's survival of the fittest. Sure, it's not some racially-ambiguous woman in a lavender toga, but it is nature. The point is, there was a crappy balance struck, and then the status quo got changed, and in retaliation, this is what happens.
This made for awkward reading standing on a crowded train until I gave up on that I idea. I was contorting to follow... contortions as it turns out. Which I was then trying not to flash in everyone else's faces. With little success.

The story fell quite a bit short of my expectations in the end. I've liked the arc overall, but this was just kinda flat.

All that stuff Giles said about nature maintaining a balance is complete hooey and broke my heart. No Giles! Take it back! >:(

[ edited by Sunfire on 2010-04-08 01:14 ]
I like to believe that Angel and Buffy loved each other because they are Angel and Buffy.


I think that was made pretty clear. Giles comments on how much they love and miss each other and Willow talks about how the universe is encouraging them to act on their feelings - there is nothing to suggest that they are under some influence other than their feelings. The fallout comes as result of acting on those feelings which is very much in keeping with Joss' style of writing, imo.

I refuse to feel apologetic about being a shipper.


Amen, me either. *g*

Nor for enjoying the aspects that were positive and reaffirming for my ship - we all know the badness is coming, might as well enjoy the good while it's here.

That said, I was a little disappointed to see Spike brought in because it will just fuel the Angel vs. Spike debate so badly and it just gets rather nasty in some places. I do wish Joss would make a definitive statement for Buffy's choice but I know it's not like him to do so. I don't think he'd alienate any large sectors of his fan base.


Yeah, but it didn't come from a Buffy pov - she was very clearly all about the Angel. I agree that both ships will get something as that is Joss' m.o., but I wasn't especially bothered by Spike in the issue.


I thought this was an intense issue. Lots to take in and yet, as others have said a lot we STILL don't know or understand yet. I am worried about Giles and his role because of the whole "killing a God" thing and Buffy and Angel becoming Gods.

But can't say it hasn't been an interesting ride.

[ edited by lmblack21 on 2010-04-08 01:19 ]
My problem is that Joss seems to want to have his cake and eat it, too. Have Buffy and Angel do the deed, but not because they really want to, thus escaping the worst of a backlash.


But why would Joss care about backlash? It has no effect on him.

[ edited by The Dark Shape on 2010-04-08 01:21 ]
But why would Joss care about backlash? It has no effect on him.


I agree, Joss doesn't mind backlash. Besides, I don't think anything indicated that Buffy and Angel didn't equally and very much WANT to have sex with each other. Heck, that's as intrinsic to their relationship as anything.

Anyone else find it funny that Joss never had them make a joke about Angel eating fully baked cookie Buffy? I mean, considering what all went on and considering Buffy's own risque words about that the last time she saw him....lol

[ edited by lmblack21 on 2010-04-08 01:37 ]
Wanna bet? Whether or not he decides to write something or not is not the only way he could be affected by backlash. He could also write to create it. I don't much care, though. This has become a disreputable comic, and a sad denouement to a great TV series. These characters have been damaged beyond repair in my estimation. And in the end, we'll be back to a single slayer. With all its implications in our world, not theirs. I'm with missmuffet; I hate this, just hate it. No quarter on that.
I'm sorry you hate it, but that doesn't mean Joss writes to create backlash. He neither gains nor loses from backlash.

It just so happens he tells the stories he wants to tell, and occasionally people don't like them.
Spike is special, but not special enough to get god-powers like Angel.

They may have left the door open on that.
And in the end, we'll be back to a single slayer. With all its implications in our world, not theirs.

Oh, yes, Dana5140. That's my worry as well. Because as clumsy of a metaphor as it was (and it was really clumsy), the empowering-the-Potentials scene in "Chosen" was clearly meant to be a feminist statement.

To say, "No, that was a bad decision, it'll destroy the world, there's no balance anymore" will mean that female solidarity, women sharing power, women stepping up and being strong, is bad.

And I am not okay with that.
Man, I couldn't disagree more, Dana. I have enjoyed the hell out of these comics. These characters haven't been damaged beyond repair, I bet before this is over, you will be loving the twists and turns. :)

Lucinda...funny, I thought that also, lol.
I feel little bit when it comes to the feminism angle. Let me explain:

Women are treated badly. It's horrible. And I understand what Buffy represents, as well as the Slayers.

But personally, I guess just having a perfect single mom, I've never looked at women as anything more than equals -- hell, almost all of them are smarter than me. So the concept that men treat women poorly, or that women have a harder time getting work, just took me completely by surprise and I still don't get it or the rationality that leads men to treat women that way. It just doesn't process in my brain to treat someone differently based on sex.

Long story (not so) short: I think I'm coming at this from a different perspective because I've always just seen Buffy as Buffy, never the real feminist implications behind her. I think that explains part of my divide from a lot of people upset about the potential de-powering of the Slayers -- I just see it as a potentially interesting plot development, not an attack on something very important to them.

Does any of this make sense? I think I'm sort of rambling.

[ edited by The Dark Shape on 2010-04-08 03:03 ]
helcat said:
Really? I think he's already succeeded in doing just that.

Well if you feel that way then I suppose yes, some do feel alienated. But I see Joss giving Spuffy fans some love by tossing Spike into the "truest loves" shot & therefore an issue full of Bangel they still have something to latch onto. (not that I think that's the sole reason Spike was shown in that panel)

Vergil said:
What do you think seeing Buffy having sex with Angel would do to him? Going by Spike's character i see him accepting this,still helping Buffy fight the good fight but his heart would be shaterd and imo beyond repair.

I think Spike would definitely be hurt seeing Buffy & Angel together but I don't think he'd be shattered beyond repair. I think ultimately he'd be able to deal with it though there may be snarky comments galore.

5x5B said:
Maybe Spike really does love Buffy, but people don't end up with someone they love ALL THE TIME and they manage to get over it.

This is how I feel too. Angel and Buffy dealt with not being together and they loved each other. (And I do believe Spike loves Buffy and that Buffy loves Spike, just not in the same way she loves Angel.)

Dana5140 said:
It is not her decision.

In issue 33 when Angel asks, "Don't you want to be happy?" Buffy takes a moment to think about it, then acts by kissing him. That looked like a decision being made to me.

Ritchie Palmer said:
Ok did any one else see sweeney tood vampire?? thats number one.

Number two - Am i the only person that who doesnt have a problem with the sex? This is no more graphic than some episodes of Buffy or angel... and its a comic book guys, its not even real people, so stop complaining and enjoy Buffy sex!

I did see him and noticed the white hair but didn't make the connection that it was Sweeney Todd! Awesome! lol

I have no problems with the raunchy. I guess I'm the only perv in the Whedonverse but I was quite happy with it.

Cheryl said:
I love that both Buffy and Angel are named the best of their kind, slayer and vampire. I love it that Angel is the Yin to her Yang. I even kinda loved all the sex that they were finally allowed to have and that it's not a fantasy, everybody knows it.

Finally, I am unclear about how Buffy and Angel have become gods and keys at the same time. Before in the universe, a god requires a key to open a dimension, it doesn't do it by its self. One side appears to think Buffy and Angel created the dimension, while Angel had heard about the place before, indicating that they found it and opened it, rather than created it.

Me too. And don't they deserve to have a little bit of happy? Of course it's probably going to end badly but for a moment...

The way I read it, and I could be horribly wrong, is that they were the keys to opening the portal but that they are now the first people there, in Twilight thereby making them the gods of Twilight. (seriously wish there was a different name than Twilight. :/ )


So to me, from reading all the opinions here today, it seems the biggest confusion is to whether Buffy and Angel are acting on their own and everything happens because of their choice or whether they are being coerced by nature and the universe to take those actions.

And honestly, I think my biggest concern at this point is in regards to Angel. Did he know that by them coming to Twilight that they would reign demons and destruction on mankind? Is someone pulling his strings? I like to think he's a little ill informed and that he thinks this is just a reward that he & Buffy are finally getting for all they've had to endure over the years. But Angel isn't usually that foolish.
And Angel is a hero. He's a larger-than-life lead hero but this is Buffy's story so I'm concerned with how Angel is going to be treated here and how this will impact him. I love B/A but I've always been slightly more invested in his character than hers.

Some things I loved about the issue:
1. on the panel where they're in space (the one with Buffy's empty speech bubble) I love that their toes are curled. I just think that's an awesome touch. I also love that you can see Angel's tattoo.
2. when Buffy's hand is crushing into the rock, it looks like when her hand crushed the pitcher in Graduation Day Pt. II
I think all this impending apocalypse says is that there are consequences to every decision, whether favorable or otherwise. The Slayer was created by the Shadowmen. While a good thing for the population at large, it was arguably a horrible thing to put upon a girl. Decision made. Good or bad can be argued to death. The empowering has been debated before, and I don't think we need to rehash that here, unless someone finds it pertinent.

While I agree that sharing power was meant to be a feminist statement or sorts, it wasn't just the power itself that made it a powerful moment. The empowering bit for me was the fact that Buffy stood up against fate, and rules, and changed them. And the Potentials "chose" to be strong. They chose to fight in a battle that seemed ill-balanced in their favor.
And despite all appearances now, with all this talk about destiny, fate, etc, Buffy may yet do the same thing. If there's a model for non-conformists, it's probably Buffy. She's the one that defied Slayer tradition by having alternative sources of power: her friends and family. And even when those were stripped away, she dared to stand up and claim that she still had her. Not to slight all Buffy's later achievements, but that moment when she defied hopelessness, and said "Me!" to Angelus was possibly her most empowering moment, IMO.

I guess what I'm saying is that I'm not 100% sold that this can only end in one way, and that's with the world back to the old status quo. If nothing else, "ToYL" has pretty much convinced me that there are plenty of things that we don't quite understand yet, and I personally would like to see it all laid out in front of me before I make a final judgment on S8 as a whole.
Actually, The Dark Shape it sounds exactly like the people who say they "don't see color." Because you are (to quote the amazing Peggy McIntosh), “taught to see racism [or sexism] only in individual acts of meanness, not in invisible systems conferring dominance on my group.”

As a white person, it would be easy for me to say, "I don't see color," because my race doesn't make my life harder to live each day, because I can go through an entire day without thinking about race at all. That is the definition of privilege. That is my white privilege: not having to think about race.

And the fact that you can go through an entire day without thinking about gender? That's your male privilege. Would that I could live like that.

Note: privilege isn't something you ask for or even want. It isn't based on any decisions you make. It's the way the culture operates, and if you're male, you have it, and if you're white, you have it, and if you're straight, you have it, and if you're able-bodied, you have it, etc.

If you're really interested in seeing that it isn't how single individuals view women (or people of color, or any other oppressed group), this is a good place to start. It isn't about individual behaviors. It's about systemic oppression.

Part of that systemic marginalization is that we don't see women depicted in a variety of ways. Women in fiction are judged (within the text and within society) almost entirely based on sexual desirability (as defined by the straight--usually white, usually middle or upper class--men and the patriarchy that surrounds them): a woman is a trophy, a victim, a prostitute, a madonna, a doormat. She is wife, mother, girlfriend. If she isn't sexually desirable, she is either absent or fulfills a "sexless" role: mother, crone, etc.

And most importantly, a woman is almost never depicted as having agency, as being well-rounded and interesting and a person.

So for us to see Buffy, who is a person, who is strong, not just because she physically kicks ass, but because that's who she is, who has a life and makes decisions and is defined by no man: that is huge. It's life-affirming. It's woman-affirming. And it's a big freakin' deal to a lot of women, because it's so rare. So very, very precious.

[ edited by Lirazel on 2010-04-08 03:12 ]
Gotta say that this is my FAVOURITE issue of the Buffy series to date. Loved Buffy and Angel making love all throughout the issue. Loved it, loved it, loved it!
Do we know for sure if Buffy is aware of Spike being back to un-dead status? Seems like he could hold MANY answers about how Angel came to wear three belts and possess god like qualities. I have a feeling Andrew, or Angel for that matter, might spill the deets that he's around, and things will change.

Giles trying to find the secret weapon only makes sense to me, and to his character. After all, he's the one who can do things that Buffy could never allow herself to do. He explains that clearly when he kills Ben. Now that Buffy's become a Super Slayer, he'll have to wrestle with that, and I hope we get to witness the conflict he feels within. We know for sure that he would sacrifice the ones he loves for the greater good of humanity. But knowing it's Buffy is going be a real test for him.

Last issue, I thought Faith had regained her powers, cause I thought it unlikely that she'd attack Twangel head on without them, especially having recognized his voice. Guess we have to wait until the next issue to find out if the others, ie Satsu, regained them as well. God, what a slap in the face all of this must be for her. Feeling betrayed by Giles and Angel? I wish they'll explore that a bit more.
Guestage Drew said:
Do we know for sure if Buffy is aware of Spike being back to un-dead status? Seems like he could hold MANY answers about how Angel came to wear three belts and possess god like qualities. I have a feeling Andrew, or Angel for that matter, might spill the deets that he's around, and things will change.

I can't imagine Andrew keeping that to himself all these years.

The conflict Giles faces would've played out so awesomely on the show - as well as betrayal to Faith. David and Sarah have always said they'd only be interested in reprising the roles for a movie. Well this season has epic proportions. I wouldn't mind seeing a film adaptation. *dreams*
I believe Scott Allie has stated that Buffy knows so clearly it is not regarded as a big deal that would be of any interest or have any role in the story.
My biggest issue with all of this is that the universe is supposedly sentient. That just strikes me as completely ridiculous. How can the *universe* be sentient? I mean, what, we're not crediting major cosmic developments of the Buffyverse to the Powers that Be anymore, or is there some licensing issue with that because only Angel ever mentioned the Powers that Be to begin with? I mean, I thought the universe was the canvas, not the painter. It's inanimate! Gah! The balance thing is also irritating, because it means that there can never be any winning or losing, just constant stalemates in varying degrees of destructive intensity. Where's the point in that? And wasn't the Slayer always horribly outnumbered? And even with several hundred Slayers, aren't they *still* outnumbered? So how is the balance even threatened yet? And wasn't the balance tipped towards evil before? How come *that* was allowed? *twitch* My brain is not compatible with this lore!

And the fact that you can go through an entire day without thinking about gender? That's your male privilege. Would that I could live like that.?


I agree, and it's actually something that worries me. I'm so used to the way I see things that I'm finding it harder, as I get older, to see things from the perspective of someone else, you know? I'm a middle class white male. Persecution isn't something that's ever entered my life at all. I just don't want to lose the perspective of others, and this issue has sort of opened my eyes to the fact I might be on that path and need to change it.
Well if you feel that way then I suppose yes, some do feel alienated. But I see Joss giving Spuffy fans some love by tossing Spike into the "truest loves" shot & therefore an issue full of Bangel they still have something to latch onto. (not that I think that's the sole reason Spike was shown in that panel)


Agreed! I mean, everyone at Darkhorse has been telling the Spike fans that they would hate this, but they have Willow expressing the opinion that perhaps Buffy has two truest loves and they have a Spike cameo coming up. So it's not all bad for Spike fans.

I think Spike would definitely be hurt seeing Buffy & Angel together but I don't think he'd be shattered beyond repair. I think ultimately he'd be able to deal with it though there may be snarky comments galore.


I dunno, I think Spike let go of the idea of him and Buffy a long time ago so I think he'd be more likely to say something snarky too - kinda like, "figures" and shrugging. Not to say it wouldn't sting a little but I don't think it would devastate him anymore.

This is how I feel too. Angel and Buffy dealt with not being together and they loved each other. (And I do believe Spike loves Buffy and that Buffy loves Spike, just not in the same way she loves Angel.)


So, so agree. We know she loves them both, we know both are incredibly important to her. But that doesn't mean there aren't obvious differences in how that love is portrayed, how it's felt.

In issue 33 when Angel asks, "Don't you want to be happy?" Buffy takes a moment to think about it, then acts by kissing him. That looked like a decision being made to me.


THANK YOU! I am beyond baffled by the fact that some are clinging to that Buffy didn't make a choice. The fallout won't be as devastating if it wasn't something they chose. And Buffy was clearly making a choice because even her thought bubbles had her thinking "even as he says it, I know he's right". Just like in Chosen, that first kiss was initiated by Buffy, not Angel. And even in this issue, Giles talks about how much they love and miss each other - that's present tense.

I have no problems with the raunchy. I guess I'm the only perv in the Whedonverse but I was quite happy with it.


I dare say you guys aren't alone. Plenty of us seemed to love it. I surely did. It was quite shocking at first since I never really expected them to go there and they REALLY went there, but I loved it. It wasn't gratuitous (to me) except that the SG knew what they were doing. This is two people who are in love and have been denied a true physical expression of that love since IWRY (where they acted pretty much the same, we just didn't see it) and now they get to have that. I was very happy with it as well!

Me too. And don't they deserve to have a little bit of happy? Of course it's probably going to end badly but for a moment...


I'm becoming a total fangirl of your posts but....word!

1. on the panel where they're in space (the one with Buffy's empty speech bubble) I love that their toes are curled. I just think that's an awesome touch. I also love that you can see Angel's tattoo.


I loved that detail as well! It's remembering details like that that I have always loved - so it makes me wonder all the more whether having Angel call Buffy "Buff" and for Buffy to not question that is a deliberate sign-post of something weird or if it's just a mistake - something that only hard core fans would realize sounded "off"?

2. when Buffy's hand is crushing into the rock, it looks like when her hand crushed the pitcher in Graduation Day Pt. II


Gah. Yes, another wonderful call back. Just like Giles talking about when THEY "become" - which immediately made me think of Becoming. Because there was a portal then too, a portal that Angel had a destiny with and even had the hand of TPTB.

I still think there is a lot in this issue to keep us buzzing for a while.
Taaroko said:
The balance thing is also irritating, because it means that there can never be any winning or losing, just constant stalemates in varying degrees of destructive intensity. Where's the point in that? And wasn't the Slayer always horribly outnumbered? And even with several hundred Slayers, aren't they *still* outnumbered? So how is the balance even threatened yet? And wasn't the balance tipped towards evil before? How come *that* was allowed?

That's what Giles talks a bit about. There was always 1 slayer = thousands of demons. It's not fair that it's one girl against thousands but as Giles states "The greatest battles never are."
But now that there are a more equal amount of slayers:demons, MORE demons must be unleashed on the earth to set the balance to what it previously was.
Am I off my rocker here by thinking the solution to all of this is going to be taking the Scythe, de-powering the Slayers, and the "Universe" decides to rebalance things thereafter?
I'm a Bangel since I discovered "the blonde chick in IWRY" (up to it I was CA. Anyway, just because they are screwing like bunnies (it is so sad Anya is not around... bunnies!) it doesn't mean that all of us Bangel are happy. I'm not... I mean, if they are not controlled for some sort of force or whatever, it would be a slap in the face that Buffy just went from "you killed 206 of my girls" to "hey, wanna screw". I mean... she is shagging (up to now) murderous fiend! I also think that if so, there is really no menace for Spuffy (at least not yet) because she really didn't chose any of her vampires... as long as she is not conscientious yet of her choices... as odd as I found that someone consider Spike (I'm ok with Riley) to be a match for the big girl... and I can't believe I'm defending Spuffy!!! Eheheheheheheheh!! My point is also that if Buffy was coming out of her daze in the end of the issue and Angel wasn't... if he was kind of raving lunatic... doesn't mean that he is the prince to be saved... I didn't read the issue yet, but from what I read over the net the prince came to mind.
Imblack21 said:
It was quite shocking at first since I never really expected them to go there and they REALLY went there, but I loved it.

LOL Me too.

Imblack21 said:
I'm becoming a total fangirl of your posts but....word!

LOL WOOT! I have a fan! *dances* Check out my profile and contact on another site. I'd love to talk more in-depth about this.
The Dark Shape: Thanks for your self-aware response. I feel like I've been doing Feminism 101 all week, so when someone responds in a way that isn't defensive, it's energizing after a lot of draining explaining. (I rhyme!)

Seriously, that link I provided is a great resource if you are really concerned about your own privilege (and you sound sincere to me). There's no end of awesome blogs out there just waiting to assist you in educating yourself about things like this. I know the internet and fandom have been absolutely invaluable to me in opening my eyes to my white privilege (specifically) as I've tried to educate myself; I hope you can find similar resources that help you as well.

Good luck!
What is YAGE an acronym for -- "Yet Again, Gorilla Envy" is what occurred to me, but I'm guessing that isn't it ...
After thinking over all of this a few dozen times... I'm laughing at the ridiculousness of this plot. I really hope the remaining issues can turn this around, for me, at least.
I don't think he'd alienate any large sectors of his fan base.

Really? I think he's already succeeded in doing just that.
helcat | April 07, 22:30 CET

I really agree with Helcat. Consider me alienated.
I have a fan! *dances* Check out my profile and contact on another site. I'd love to talk more in-depth about this.


Sent you a message on your site. I can see another thing we share in common - Supernatural and Jensen/Ackles, Dean love! Can't wait to see your vids. That's another thing I love doing but I'm still pretty new at it.
I wasn't shocked by the sex either and I know sex is a touchy and personal subject, so I don't mean to offend, but I can't believe the reaction to this issue. I keep seeing terms like "endless pages of Explicit Graphic Hard Core Pornography!" What?

Are people really this upset? Or is it just because it's B/A. I wonder if it was Spike and Buffy, who, let's face it, violently beat each other while doing it on network television and behind fast food joints, no less. So I wonder if it was them if it would be less shocking? And I'm not just asking Spike/Buffy fans. I mean Buffy and Angel can do it 3-4 times in a row in IWRY and lick peanut butter whatever ice cream off each other's nipples, that's cool; Riley and Buffy can sex it up all night long and almost kill everyone because of it, but this THIS! "Cartoon Kama Sutra positions is where I draw the line!" LOL!

Sure, mountains are breaking in the process, but there isn't genitalia or -dare I say it- penetration. This isn't explicit, graphic XXX Porn. It's just lovey-dovey sex in space with strategically placed branches.


[ edited by DeathIsYourGift on 2010-04-08 04:40 ]
I have a really bad feeling that Willow going dark is going to have something to do with how all this gets resolved, and how they're going to stop Buffy and Angel (and why Buffy had to be the one to kill her in the Fray arc)....
okay. okay okay okay. okay. WTF is going on?

Few of my thoughts of course:

First is this ever familiar line:

You think you know what you are, what's to come; you haven't even begun.
That's sounding more and more like the biggest understatement right about now.

Nature is wasteful. It doesn't put anything in the ecosystem that is doesn't need.
Does that include humans? We are not part of the ecosystem, we destroy ecosystems. Looks like mother nature has finally had enough.

Panel borders. They were really good this issue. Really dynamic for all the different parts of the story.

The 'shipping. Gah! Puke! Gods I hate it. What felt like the worst part of this issue was all the "we have to put Spike in there because the 'shippers are gonna go apeshit". It felt forced. I wish they'd just end every and all relationships in the Buffyverse, (kidding, but right now I'm kinda wishing that Buffy really did join the Nunnery in that fake-out from the Triangle ep). The sex, Bangel/Spuffy 'truest love' stuff, was the least interesting in the comic. Give me Assassin!Giles or erupting volcanoes over that any day.

Best line goes to Satsu:
Dawn, you're in charge. I'm done.

Also I just kept remembering this quote while I re-read it:
I was torn out of there. Pulled out . . . by my friends. Everything here is . . . hard, and bright, and violent. Everything I feel, everything I touch . . . this is hell. Just getting through the next moment, and the one after that . . . knowing what I’ve lost. They can never know. Never.
Maybe it won't be her friends that do it this time but Buffy herself.

And even though I never thought I'd see Buffy's panties like that (o.O) is there anyone else out there who thinks God!Buffy is totally hot and awesome? Sadness, pain, death are all coming yes, but right now our tiny little Buffy is a GOD!
It's actually pretty cool that Buffy is a god, in a way.

And also, I forgot to mention anywhere that I laughed hard during Warren's little "And by the way, I HATE you all" bit. Warren was funny to me? Things have really gotten out of hand!
Oooooh so are you saying that Warren is becoming the new Cordelia -> Spike character in the group. Reminded me of Spike season whatever where he says something like: "don't you remember that I hate you all!
lol.

And yeah, the more I think about it, the more I love God!Buffy. Its just really awesome to me. Buffy deserves to be a God for everything she has sacrificed throughout her life.
Deathisyourgift,
I lol'd at your post. What a day in fandom. The sex didn't bother me either, I think it was portrayed pretty graciously, considering what we were viewing.

Kaan, *I* think Buffy is totally hot and awesome, she has always been totally hot and awesome. Kudos to SMG for bringing her to life. :)

Me too. And don't they deserve to have a little bit of happy? Of course it's probably going to end badly but for a moment...

The way I read it, and I could be horribly wrong, is that they were the keys to opening the portal but that they are now the first people there, in Twilight thereby making them the gods of Twilight. (seriously wish there was a different name than Twilight. :/ )


So to me, from reading all the opinions here today, it seems the biggest confusion is to whether Buffy and Angel are acting on their own and everything happens because of their choice or whether they are being coerced by nature and the universe to take those actions.

And honestly, I think my biggest concern at this point is in regards to Angel. Did he know that by them coming to Twilight that they would reign demons and destruction on mankind? Is someone pulling his strings? I like to think he's a little ill informed and that he thinks this is just a reward that he & Buffy are finally getting for all they've had to endure over the years. But Angel isn't usually that foolish.


Yes, I believe that they deserve to be happy, if only for a few moments. I'm happy for Buffy and for Angel, after all this time, to get a real connection. One that won't cost him his soul but is still a moment of contentment and perfect happiness and a moment that Buffy will actually get to remember this time.
I don't know if I can take another gut wrenching heart breaking IWRY scene. That episode still makes me cry but I would imagine you are right, angst is headed our way.

I haven't viewed this as Buffy not making a cognitive choice to "be happy" with Angel. She considered it and then acted. Prior to that, as already pointed out, everything Angel was saying, Buffy was admitting to herself that he was right.

I'm not fearful for Angel at all. He IS a hero that's bigger than life and the best of his kind, so no worries here. Buffy is the most important thing to him, he will always act in her best interest, even in the event she isn't. :)
I'd say Connor is by far the most important thing to Angel. Buffy is #2, for sure, but Connor is Angel's son. RE: AtF #16, his world.
It is not in anything Buffy herself -- in sound mind and body -- would consider "in her best interest" to intentionally initiate a chain of events that would unite her with Angel at the expense of the safety of not only all those that she holds dear but the fate of the world itself.

Angel's plan is one that, from everything we can tell, intentionally involves hooking up with Buffy to "give birth to a new reality" at the expense of the current one and all who reside in it. Hence the hurricanes, earthquakes, boiling seas, and giant portals pouring demons out directly over the Scoobies.

Some hero.
No, yeah, of course Buffy has always been hot and awesome cheryl. I meant this is uber-hot and awesome. Like the way Buffy went all Promethea on Adam in the Season 4 show-down (my personal favourite "last minute plan to kill the big bad" of the whole series. "You could never hope to grasp the source of our power." Loved it).

Oh and yeah, in the panel where Giles is talking about the thirty Watchers that killed themselves--there are only 28 Watcher's sitting on 27 chair's as far as I can tell. I think it means something.

ETA: Anyone else getting a Passion era Angel monologue vibe off the blue boxes on the first two pages? Do we know who was saying that?

[ edited by Kaan on 2010-04-08 06:16 ]
Certainly sounds like Buffy's voice to me.
I don't think it's just a 'male' privilege...I'm female and don't go day to day really thinking about gender all that much. Just had to make that comment.
btw I agree with Cheryl there.
I don't know The Dark Shape. I tried reading it with each character's voice. I just can't quite hear Buffy speaking like that, she's much more scatter-brained, rambling off in tangents. Remember Buffy's internal speech back in the first arc? This feels really poised and direct. But it could just be Meltzer's writing or something and means nothing.
King of Cretins said:
Angel's plan is one that, from everything we can tell, intentionally involves hooking up with Buffy to "give birth to a new reality" at the expense of the current one and all who reside in it. Hence the hurricanes, earthquakes, boiling seas, and giant portals pouring demons out directly over the Scoobies.

Some hero.

Would you not classify the character of Angel as a hero? Or are you just saying his actions in sea.8 so far are not hero-like?

He's always been a darker character than Buffy for sure (hello, locking W&H lawyers in the room with Darla & Druscilla) but overall, I would classify him in the hero category.
I don't know if it's just me being totally stupid or just clueless about how the comic book genre works. Can someone please explain the logic in any of this? What possible purpose does “the universe” need for a “bigger plan for Slayers and Vampires? Or for creating God like creatures? If the premise has been about “balance” than the Slayer plan was always utterly flawed - the sheer difference in numbers always gave the advantage to the vampires. As Anya might say – the creators of the Slayer were completely stupid - make more Slayers and even out the numbers.

So now that there is actually more balance and parity from the creation of all these additional slayers, “the universe” has to create a Super Slayer God? Are we now going to plan B from the universal force, make a hybrid race of Slayers and Vampires as equals? Or will there now be a huge war between Slayers and Vampires that will result in going back to the previous state of balance?

Buffy is getting a reward for being both the destroyer of balance and thus bringing about the destruction of humanity and also being the resurrection survivor warrior? The destiny is to what, be the new model for how Slayers and Vampire can coexist in a new demon ruled world?

The Slayer going up the metaphysical ladder – wouldn’t that take a Slayer into the realm of abstractions?

What are we going to have the queen of the hybrid slayer demons or the Queen Super Warrior – the slayer bloodline that will live again in the Fray time-line? Is Buffy now The Creator Mother Goddess?

This all sounds like great fantastical foot work right now.

Why does Willow see Angel as the missing piece? And I really hate to bring this up again but what qualifies Angel as “the best of their kind?” - Angel is the product of a curse - the real vampire is Angelus.

Are we expected to believe that all this thousands of little individual acts in the lives of these characters all bring us to this place? Buffy and all those new slayers are alive today because Spike channeled the magic of the amulet and his soul and that allowed them all to live. That W&H was pre-ordained to use Angel/Angelus as the means of making all the magic from “Chosen” come into play? Who or what took Angel/Angelus to the Gypsy so that he could be cursed with his soul? Seems like tons of everyday actions and people were moved around by forces and sheer coincidence to bring everything and everyone to this time and place – pretty hard to believe.

Of course, we don’t have all the needed facts yet – can some of the very smart and nice people here help with the “connecting the points.”

The Universe - just who the hell is this "Universe?" - as previously state the universe is not sentient - the universe could give a rats ass about humanity and someone or something is taking on a lot of trouble to speak and work for cosmic forces and the natural order when it was human that created Slayers, humans that cursed this of so very special evil vampire, humans that forced Buffy and all those thousands of other Slayers to sacrifice their lives to serve humanity. What's this great big test that Buffy passed? That she used her intellect to make the choice to do what should have been obvious - Make more Slayers.


[ edited by nmcil on 2010-04-08 06:37 ]

[ edited by nmcil on 2010-04-08 06:53 ]
Theory : Will Xander be annoyed that Buffy is now back with Angel? What if Buffy and Xander have an affair and then Angel and Dawn get together because Dawn is now very similar to how Buffy was when they met, (and also, he wanted Cordy when she turned into Buffy), and then Spike and Riley, wanting of partners, will begin their own romance.
And then Willow separates Fred and Illyria into two entities and the three of them go onto an erotic journey through dimensions. Satsu is there also. And dead Tara. Kennedy is jealous.
And then the Loan Shark explores Clem's pleasure folds, only to discover he is in fact a Cylon.
tedley! you don't have to keep posting comment after another. You can edit your first comment to add more of your thoughts. Though personally I have no desire to see Clem's pleasure folds mentioned at this time of the morning. I am British after all.

Btw YAGE = yet another grand exit aka the flounce. Done to get attention ie. "I'm leaving" "Oh please stay". "Oh you've all convinced me". OR "I don't like what is happening and I will never post here again" Several months later "I like what is happening". "Didn't you dramatically leave?" "Me? lalalala".
I think Spike would definitely be hurt seeing Buffy & Angel together but I don't think he'd be shattered beyond repair. I think ultimately he'd be able to deal with it though there may be snarky comments galore.

With Spike's rotten luck in love i think he just might, we all have our limits where enough is enough. The two biggest love-interests in Spike's life where both in love with Angel, one willingly(Buffy) the other forced(Dru). I doubt he would make some snarky comments and be done with it.

This is how I feel too. Angel and Buffy dealt with not being together and they loved each other. (And I do believe Spike loves Buffy and that Buffy loves Spike, just not in the same way she loves Angel.)
No, Angel made a choice. He left Buffy and for better or worse both characters grew to move on. Which makes Angel's words in the last issue sound even more fake, saying that they were never able to move on and such. Spike is being portrayed right up there with Angel, if nothing after the bangel relationship mattered then Spike wouldn't be one of the truest love. And that was never true, we hear it from Joss himself that Buffy was in love with Spike in Chosen, she meant it in every way possible. Which i see as also confirmed in this issue. The love she feels for Spike isn't any less true,important then what she feels for Angel. And by validating Spike, it also validates Buffy's past feelings for Riley and current ones for Xander.

I dunno, I think Spike let go of the idea of him and Buffy a long time ago so I think he'd be more likely to say something snarky too - kinda like, "figures" and shrugging. Not to say it wouldn't sting a little but I don't think it would devastate him anymore.

No, that's what bangel fans are hoping for. Spike was shown to be very insecure concerning Buffy and he was also under the impression that Buffy was living the "normal" life she always wanted to have. That coupled with his insecurities made him accept it. And not even soulles Spike would be that casual about losing Buffy to Angel. Buffy is and has remained the love of Spike's life. As he told her in Touched, she's the one.

About Andrew, i think he might suprise a few people. Everyone expects him not to have been able to keep Spike's return a secret. Who knows maybe he did spill, but so far very close to the end we still don't know. Scott lied when he mentioned Andrew having already told, he later clarified that he had been suprised by Joss's answer that Spike would soon be on Buffy.

About the deserving to be happy, Buffy perhaps on account of what a true heroine she is. With her actions now i'm not so sure. Angel, no definitely not, he hasn't been a hero for a very long time in my book, i hate the guy's houlier then thou attitude. To me he's a grey 'hero' like the punisher or something.
But either way neither deserve happyness if it means the destruction of the world(or imo the loss of one single innocent life). As Spike so nicely worded in season7, they knew what they signed up for. Buffy chose to be a heroine and so did Angel, so did almost everybody. Outside of Angel nobody expected a reward for their choice of life.
Is it just me, or does this whole thing sound, really really stupid? I mean like the worst fanfic ever written kinda stupid?

Haven't got my issue yet, but just hearing others descriptions of it just makes me laugh. So do you think that's the kind of response he was after here?
It is not just you.
I don't think its stupid at all. I'm loving this. It is all kinds of twisted and fun. They aren't playing it safe, but pushing into headier waters.

I think that the Rorchach blot on the first page is pretty significant in that it represents what everyone will feel about the issue: as in, each person will bring their own preconceived judgement and thoughts to see what is in the image/comic.

sueworld2003, you've been a downer on the comic for a very long time now. I just don't know why you think they will suddenly become what you personally want to see in a Buffy comic. I think, 34 issue's in, the overall design of the book is not gonna be changing much at this point.
sueworld2003, you've been a downer on the comic for a very long time now.


Hey, at least I'm consistent. *g*

I think, 34 issue's in, the overall design of the book is not gonna be changing much at this point.


Oh dear, what a shame. Great for those who've loved it this far though. :)

But seriously does anyone else think we're meant to view all of this in a humorous light?

[ edited by sueworld2003 on 2010-04-08 10:40 ]
CrystalSC, thank you for articulating some of my thoughts and views with such clarity; your comments have been an interesting read, as others have also been.

Vergil said:
About the deserving to be happy, Buffy perhaps on account of what a true heroine she is. With her actions now i'm not so sure. Angel, no definitely not, he hasn't been a hero for a very long time in my book, i hate the guy's houlier then thou attitude.


This depends on your definition of a true heroine, IMO. Buffy is also human she will always be subject to the vagaries of her emotions and desires. Her actions and choices now are a prime example of this. What makes her a heroine is what she decides to do with the repercussions of her actions. A 'true' heroine isn't someone who necessarily grasps the ethical parameters of their choices instantaneously and recognises that what they're doing is wrong, IMO (if even that is the case). Such cases in itself are rare. I guess this goes back to the 'tarnished' feminist icon debate - again, I think it's too early to decide whether this will transpire (unless you've already made up your mind, in which case I don't think I could do anything about). All the answers haven't been provided. Sure, we can speculate about what will happen, but the events to come will undoubtedly have a bearing on Buffy's iconic status and should also be taken into consideration. Particularly because we HAVEN'T gotten all the details.

As for Angel, I haven't gotten any indication of his 'holier than thou' attitude. Perhaps you could give an example of this, Vergil?
sueworld2003 said:

But seriously does anyone else think we're meant to view all of this in a humorous light?

Perhaps you are right. Joss is probably having a lot fun at out expense.

Otherwise it looks like twists for the sake of twists, shocks for the sake of shocks. Previously, Buffy the Series felt very realistic - via clear, translatable metaphors, via relatable characters. Now, not so much.

I am very much for a brief moment of happiness for Buffy. With Angel, Spike, anyone. The girl deserved it. But, as it shown, the circumstances of it makes everything more like a mockery. We have already repeatedly learned that happiness is a punishable offense in any of Jossverses. Now probably we are supposed to learn that love and happiness are the root of all evil :)

[ edited by Lince on 2010-04-08 12:12 ]

[ edited by Lince on 2010-04-08 12:13 ]
Even though I'm on the 'loving the comic' side, I can still picture a Joss that has just gone completely insane, laughing hysterically at an empty computer screen, shouting: "crack fic? I'll show you crack fic!" I mean, he already has the nutter beard going on. :)
If sex turned Angel into Angelus before, why not this time? Did I miss an explanation of this? And did Buffy know this was the case before she agreed to have sex this time? If not, then was she intentionally willing to trigger Angelus again?
It's not sex itself that causes Angel to lose his soul, it's a "moment of true happiness." Maybe, even though he's with Buffy, he can't really be happy because he knows the evil that he's done and is doing. Maybe it's random cosmic forces that's causing him to act this way. To go back to classical Greek ideologies, he's just a plaything of the gods and has no control over what's happening to him and through him.

Note that I haven't read the issue yet, so I don't know if anything has been explained about why he's done the things he's done.
They've been pretty clear that in Angel's current state the curse is not an issue.
nmcil - thankyou for articulating my concerns with the issue so well. I am very uncomfortable with "the universe" having a will of its own to change life and existence. It's like "The Secret" on steroids. I can however deal with the balance issue - it's always been one girl in all the world - that's the mythology of the show and the spell in Chosen did change that, I just don't think the 'universe' would care.

[ edited by tranquillity on 2010-04-08 13:02 ]
This depends on your definition of a true heroine, IMO. Buffy is also human she will always be subject to the vagaries of her emotions and desires. Her actions and choices now are a prime example of this. What makes her a heroine is what she decides to do with the repercussions of her actions. A 'true' heroine isn't someone who necessarily grasps the ethical parameters of their choices instantaneously and recognises that what they're doing is wrong, IMO (if even that is the case). Such cases in itself are rare. I guess this goes back to the 'tarnished' feminist icon debate - again, I think it's too early to decide whether this will transpire (unless you've already made up your mind, in which case I don't think I could do anything about). All the answers haven't been provided. Sure, we can speculate about what will happen, but the events to come will undoubtedly have a bearing on Buffy's iconic status and should also be taken into consideration. Particularly because we HAVEN'T gotten all the details.

I already stated that it largely depends on how much Buffy is in control of her actions. But somethings however one should be able to grasp immeadetly, this was one of them. There isn't a single universe where i could see our Buffy accepting Angel's pathetic excuse and simply start f&)cking him. Even if the universe is urging them on, working with what's already there, it doesn't change that this is a rape(of 1 or 2 people) remains to be seen. Having feelings for someone doesn't mean that you would jump their bones the first moment you can. It takes away the freedom/will of a person to decide when to have sex. I never said that Buffy was perfect, mistakes happen, Buffy has made plenty in the past. But if she's doing this of her own free will then it's no longer a simple mistake, it would be an icon destroying mistake. I'm pretty sure now that won't happen but you can never know. I hope Joss will take this seriously and not just gloss over it or make with the funnies as if there was nothing wrong with what they did. That they opened the doorway for all the demons suggests that Buffy didn't want to do any of this. The girl is a lot smarter then that.

As for Angel, I haven't gotten any indication of his 'holier than thou' attitude. Perhaps you could give an example of this, Vergil?

For me he has, plenty of times over the years he's had this controlling tendecy, believing his way is the only way to do things. Killing innocent people to further his own goals. He turned Lawson and let him loose,killed and set up Droghyn who was a champion of light, chooses who lives and who dies and the big one, willingly starting an apocalypse. I found that very funny in Atf, when Angel is giving his weak ass speech to the crowd, it ends with them applauding him and shouting praises. A big deal was made about Angel having a son and that he would do anything for him(which he did). Makes me think that the thousends of people lost when La went to hell, lost their loved ones yet none try to kill this incredibly arrogant person, i know that if they were treating it with an ounce of realism then the crowd would have tortured and publicly exacuted him. Which for his actions imo he rightly deserves. Having good intentions doesn't excuse the lives lost with them.
That's why i'm not that interested in Angel's story now, i'm pretty sure that by the end he'll be whitewashed again.
I hope he 'flies' back to Idw once his run is over here and Idw can continue making their super-praise comics of Angel.
Spike i'm hoping will stick around longer and finally be set free of Angel which has been terribly boring this last 5 years having Spike and Angel stuck at the hip which imo has stalled Spike's development as a character. I don't think it's that impossible to imagen, Angel was allowed to be a frequent character this whole season. Spike has better ties with the scoobies then Angel ever did so it might be interesting to explore that in season 9.
About the curse -- they (Dark Horse) have been pretty clear to us (the audience) that the curse isn't an issue.

Who told Buffy?

It is, without a doubt, the most gross and objectively reckless small step about this for her personally, and the best argument that she left control of her own choices behind long before her granny panties and Angel's pink (HA!) boxers.

Incidentally, once you figure out exactly what the close-up is on the "higher" page, it pretty much pays off the "porn" label (one line is 'lip', and another line is 'top of thigh'). I had just seen a rorschach of flesh the first couple times.
I thought it was pretty clear that however much Buffy's actions are being influenced by "the universe", Angel's are being influenced just as much (or more, considering that he's had the crazy superpowers far longer than she has). His explanations for what he did while wearing the mask work for me--I mean, what's he supposed to do when some of the bad guys are governments? As in, human? He can't just wipe them out. Also, it seems to me that either Angel understands more than Giles (who's only going on his knowledge of this vague myth) or the power has made him insane. I don't believe that an Angel in his right mind and in complete control of his actions would purposely do anything that would result in the cataclysmic stuff going on around the world in 34, any more than Buffy would. And all of the interviews have said that we're not going to get it until 35, so the harsh judgments seem a tad premature.
Willow already has a bad track record on guessing the true history of the universe, getting it wrong about the source of Buffy’s superpowers. Giles invites doubt by calling his version a fairy story. His fairy tale version of natural history is indeed painfully wrong. Nature is incredibly wasteful. There is no design, no balance, just shit getting thrown at the wall and whatever sticks and multiplies is what you get. In our world.

However, in Buffy’s very non-Darwinian universe, Nature, aka said Universe, has a plan. It sounds familiar. In her opening voiceover to A Beautiful Sunset Buffy said something like “The world keeps trying to change. It has to.” But it wasn’t the world that changed itself at the beginning of the story, it was a person. Two people. Two women. It also wasn’t the world that created the Slayer it was men. Men made Buffy the offer of more power in S7 and she turned them down. The world, it seems, believes in catching more flies with honey, specifically Buffy’s honey. Angel appears to know something. It’s ironic given that he told her changing things brought about the backlash that killed 206 girls. The backlash to his pushing her looks way more cataclysmic.

One last thought. Giles talks about the Universe, the Earth, having a plan to birth a new reality. In Retreat when the Slayers thought they were letting their powers go back into the earth, ‘the Earth’ turned out to be the new name for the local scary vengeance goddesses. So I wonder who ‘the Universe’ is the new name for?
The fake Twilight reveal cover was just a misdirect. I'm betting Obama is the Universe. Has the daily press briefing already happened?

EDIT: The difference is that Buffy started to be a psycho when the Universe started influencing them. Angel's the one who had a plan to get the universe to influence them.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2010-04-08 14:33 ]
And here I thought the Buffy series could have gone on to be about a young woman trying to find her place in the world, juggling her Slayer repsonsibilities with the just as hard, but not anywhere near as obvious, difficulties of just living a life as well as she could: dealing with loss. Trying to find that special someone. Having to work and pay bills. "Cookie dough" baking in the oven of experience, making mistakes, gaining wisdom, making new friends, trying to hold onto her old ones. I would have liked to see Buffy, as a twenty-something, trying to make her life work. Being a Slayer and at the same time dealing with the everyday challenges we all go through that are, in many ways, more difficult than killing vampires. We saw Buffy coping with high school and then with college, and in season six, before the show started veering drastically south, Buffy showed that the responsibilities of a normal life beyond punching her problems in the face really are a puzzle and a challenge for her. And I would have liked to have seen her ongoing attempts to master them and broaden her experience and her circle of friends, and find a sense of both balance and purpose. It could have been a fascinating journey, a story about hereoes who have to occasionally face the fact that the black and white world of their adventures, though frightening, is in many ways far preferable to the gray, uncertain world they have to live in while they're working for a living. Instead we get this absurd cartoon.

[ edited by Hellmouthguy on 2010-04-08 15:08 ]
I liked your post Hellmouth guy. It reminded me of a thousand fics I've read, that are just that. And that I don't have to consider the comic any more real than they are.
I agree. Extremely well put Hellmouthguy. 'Absurd cartoon' being an apt description, sadly.

[ edited by sueworld2003 on 2010-04-08 15:26 ]
Grrr to Easter delaying deliveries in the UK till tomorrow. Grrr to season 8 subverting fans' ideas of entitlement?
Not so much subversion of entitlement Simon just sadness. Some of us are just over invested I guess in the Buffy universe. We've spent years thinking about it, watching it, reading about it, discussing it. We laughed, we cried, we cared, we spread the word. We worshipped at the church of Buffy. It meant a lot to us and this doesn't seem like the same world, the same Buffy, in any way. I feel like I should apologize to all those I converted.

[ edited by Xane on 2010-04-08 15:49 ]
I can see where you are coming from. But I also remember phrases like "this doesn't seem like the same world, the same Buffy, in any way" being used in the fandom during seasons 4 - 7. Not everyone made the transition when Buffy left high school. And why should they have?

Once season 9 has finished and I think it will be the final one, it would be interesting to see if S8 was as a great shock to some as S4 was.
Exactly Xane. It's the quality of the writing in this series has been the biggest disappointment to me. If I didn't already know who had conceived this comic/story, I would never have guessed it was Whedon.

[ edited by sueworld2003 on 2010-04-08 15:53 ]
And yet, there are the rest of us who have put in our time, love the show and characters the same way, who are still enjoying this (for various reasons, contrary to what amounts to quasi-popular belief that only Bangel fans are enjoying the recent turn of events). While this may, or may not be, the intent of many of S8's detractors, the general vibe I'm getting is that their opinion is somehow superior because hey, they just seem to understand the entire 'verse better. The rest of us get constantly told that what we enjoy is "crack-fic", "absurd", etc. That we're the "lowest common denominator". It's beyond patronizing. Again, that's just how a lot of it comes across at times.

[ edited by wenxina on 2010-04-08 15:58 ]
And like Simon has just said some of those fans were told throughout the latter seasons on TV that what they were enjoying wasn't the true show and that the true show essentially stopped at season 3.

Bangel is in many ways the least of my problems with Season 8. That I loathe the storyline Whedon has chosen to pursue doesn't mean everyone else has to loathe it or be 'wrong' but as an ardent fan of the show I accept my sensibilities are obviously completely out of step with Joss's vision. So, I for the most part don't bother with the comics because I've decided in order to retain my love of Buffy the show I need to ignore the comic storyline. However, as I remain in fandom I hear about what's going on and just become more and more thankful I made the right choice for me which is to reject the continuation of the story in this form.
Haha, hey Simon, just notice one of your tags is missing an important letter. Or, considering the content of the issue, are you making judgement's?

(I'm kidding of course.)
the general vibe I'm getting is that their opinion is somehow superior because hey, they just seem to understand the entire 'verse better.


Well I'm afraid that's you're take on matters, not what I belive the majority are actually trying to say.

I mean last time I looked I thought that we're all entitled to voice opinion on such matters, (art/lit/movies etc) unless some only want to hear positive takes on anything that was ever created.

[ edited by sueworld2003 on 2010-04-08 16:28 ]
Some responses to Vergil's posts on Angel:-

The Apocalypse supposedly started by Angel in 'Not Fade Away' was already happening under the Black Thorn's supervision according to Lindsey in 'Underneath'...so I'd liken his actions more to the Allies making a stand against Hitler after the invasion of Poland....creating a situation where people might die, yes....but standing up against a force that was killing people with the aim of enforcing there own ideology on others. The whole season had shown that trying to fight by compromising (appeasement, perhaps?) wouldn't work.

I had interpreted After the Fall as being ALL ABOUT his atonement for LA being sent to hell (which Angel didn't know would happen by the way...) ultimately saying that he would die a thousand times over to make up for it....though he only dies the once, giving up his life on the chance that it'll take everything back. Which is kinda my problem with where we find him now in Season 8...after the lessons he has learned, I don't see him being so much with the 'greater good' excuses...and funnily enough, a lot of my concerns about this story, both Buffy and Angel related, echo yours.

Also,IIRC, i don't think the crowd knew Angel was responsible for Hell-A when he gave his speech, but I may be wrong.

ETA I forgot about Easter delays in the UK...ARGH!

[ edited by Alex_Jamieson on 2010-04-08 16:40 ]
I absolutely love your assessment of Angel season five, Alex_Jamieson. Even as a hearty defender of Angel, I never really thought of it that way.
The way I play it is this: I care what I think, and I don't care what anybody else thinks. Enjoyment of drama is a very personal experience - it's great to do it in a group and I'm a fan of shared experiences, but the particular things I enjoy and the way I relate to something is formed from my experience of the world. My memories, my kinks.
Wenxina, just because I think it's absurd, that doesn't mean you have to, nor would I ever begrude anyone their opinion.

And absurdity has a place in entertainment. The Office is my favorite comedy show. Farscape is my favorite science fiction show. Both have done extremely absurd things. Even my own Buffy fanfic has plenty of craziness, in fact. My problem with the comics is, quite simply, that these characters I love (well, except for Xander) have become lost in this absurdity, forced down a path as radically divergent from where the show, in its best years, seemed to me to be going that I find myself simply bewildered. I find myself wondering, what on earth is the point of this story? Buffy as a general commanding an army of Slayers, and now Buffy as some sort of god? Why?

Not every path needs to be explored and I feel that in taking the characters down this path, Joss has separated them from any sort of recognizable world I care about. Instead of being a group of people trying to cope with a life of adventure and peril and occasional loss, Buffy and her friends have become inhumanly remote: they're superheroes. They get killed and brought back to life, they fly around, they wear stupid costumes, they engage in one ridiculous escapade after another with no sense of humanity, only a sense of ever-escalating scale: Buffy has gone from being a girl who fought bad guys but still wanted to make time to try out for the cheerleading squad--in other words, a girl who was a human being with human problems--to a girl who is, absurdly, some sort of universal demi-god. None of this is relatable at all. None of this is a mirror of my life or of the lives of any human being. BtVS used to be a show about believable people coping as best they could with unbelievable circumstances; now the circumstances have overwhelmed the people and become the stars of the story. It's like I'm watching Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner. Or, to put forth a comic reference in the spirit of Mr. Meltzer: it's like Superboy punching the walls of existence. Lots of chaos, lots of scale. No subtlety at all. A big, dumb cartoon of a comic book story.

But that's my opinion and everyone's got one. Anyone who disagrees with me, that's cool. I welcome the discussion, in fact.
But that's my opinion and everyone's got one. Anyone who disagrees with me, that's cool. I welcome the discussion, in fact.


Exactly. Well said. :)
I'm definitely not a Bangel fan, but one of the best things about the last two issues is what it's doing to Bangel, IMO. I've always thought there was an ironic subversion underlying Bangel. Now it's quite explicit.

In the first chapter of Bangel, we had them say lots of drippy romantic things to each other. When they finally had sex it was soft and gentle. Even so, it unleashed Angel(us), who attempted to destroy the world. But we could keep the pretty romance because Angel is supposedly not Angel(us). Enemies and a few other episodes quietly pointed out that this was not so clear. But it was subtle enough so you could read it either way.

In this chapter of Bangel, we don't get any romance. At least not from Buffy. Angel has dripped the saccarine romantic drip, but even he refers to the glow as unholy. Buffy hasn't uttered an "I love you" or "I missed you" or anything of that nature. She's thought to herself that there's always an us -- but we are told elsewhere that this is being driven by primal forces. I'm not saying there is no love on Buffy's part. Probably there is. But we're given data that allows us to disbelieve it, and at a minimum it's not being put on stage. This Buffy only has lusty sexy things to say to Angel. He asks if she has any idea how much he's missed her. She riffs off the idea of "idea" to shift the conversation to creative ways of boinking.

So the romance fades away. What we get is raw raunch sex. Oh, and like the first chapter, this one ushers in an apocalypse. Earth-shattering sex indeed. Spuffy which is supposed to be all sex and no romance only managed to bring down a house. Bangel, with the romantic sighings stripped away (at least on Buffy's part) manages to boink down the universe. This time we can't blame the apocalypse on Angel(us). This is Angel and Buffy as destroyers of the world.

I find that all very interesting. And I love that the line that could best describe the sexfest comes from intervention:

"It wasn't one time. It was lots of times. And lots of different ways. I can make sketches."

Meanwhile back at the ranch, Spuffy is invoked and instead of being all about the sex, it's referred to as a true love and we get a picture of Buffy and Spike striking a mirror image pose teaming together to fight that evil.

More inversions.

Like I said, I don't doubt that Buffy loves Angel. Willow thinks so. But Willow also thinks that Spike ranks right along with Angel as Buffy's truest love. So all that's left of the Bangel specialness that was the surface text of the show is this pornfest that literally destroys the world.

Those sorts of reversals, and ironic subversions are what I love about Whedon.

For the "our heroes deserve a moment of happiness" crowd, can I observe that this situation renders that to be impossible. If Buffy and Angel are happy despite the fact that so many slayers have just been slaughtered, and if they continue to be happy about what they did despite the fact that it launched the end of the world, they aren't heroes. In this situation, 'happy heroes' is an oxymoron. If they are happy they aren't heroes; if they are heroes this can only be a source of misery to them.

The issue starts with a rorschach blot. The two of them are kissing (on one very distorted view). It's the twilight mask on another. Half the fandom sees happy romantic boinking heroes. Others see a very, very twisted fairy tale. And the cool thing is that Joss seems to be making everybody happy. Bangels think they are getting served. Anti-Bangels enjoy the spectacle of every Bangel cliche getting twisted and distorted.

I don't yet know if I'll love the comics as a whole. I'm waiting to see the whole story. But it's classic Joss -- pushing the envelope all the way.
And the cool thing is that Joss seems to be making everybody happy

Well he's certainly making some people happy but read through the thread and you might want to reconsider the 'everybody' idea.
how did they already get an iPad???? haha
@sueworld2003 and Hellmouthguy: No, I'm not saying discussion is a bad thing, and neither am I championing only hearing "positive" takes. Everyone has an opinion, yes. But there's a way to put forth an opinion without belittling the people who enjoy it. I'm cool with people not liking things... I don't like oysters, but will not make faces when people are eating them. There is a line between personal opinion, and when that opinion gets personal. Personally, I find that the line becomes rather fuzzy at times. And yes, sueworld2003, I understand that's my take on what I see. I think that was explicitly stated.

@gossi: That's pretty much how I roll with my enjoyment of things too. I was merely stating my opinion on how some factions are made to feel (if they choose to allow it) like they're inferior. It's things like "I don't see how anyone in their right mind can..."
Yes, it's an opinion, but there is a patronizing edge to it. The more constructive way of stating that would be "I don't understand..." but hey, I get it. Heat of the moment. We're all reacting here.

But there's a way to put forth an opinion without belittling the people who enjoy it.


Has anyone actually done that though? Have you seen anyone here call someone an idiot for enjoying this issue? I think everyone's been most careful to state that what they're saying is just their take on matters.
The issue starts with a rorschach blot. The two of them are kissing (on one very distorted view). It's the twilight mask on another."


Oh. Well. I saw a pair of kidneys and a pelvis in the inkblot.
See above comment. When people say things like "I don't see how anyone in their right mind...", there's a judgment made right there, not just on the material (which is fine), but also on the people who have an opposing view (not cool). And no, I'm not sure if anyone has actually used some variant of that in this thread (and I'm not going to bother reading some 150+ posts to verify that), but I've seen it before, and that's what I'm addressing.
I understand and have felt what wenxina is saying.

I also agree with gossi to some level. I like discussing the things I find interesting in the story, but sometimes its a bit difficult to get anyone talking about anything other than Spike vs Angel or How Awful The Book Is. Not to say that there isn't conversation like that happening, just that it get's overshadowed all the time. But thats fandom, everyones got their obsessions.

And just to address a little bit about what Hellmouthguy has been saying. I see where you're coming from in terms of what story you wished Buffy had followed. And yeah, if I was writing it, I doubt I'da done anything the same as Whedon (except God!Buffy (Guffy?!?). I hated it at first but now I think I'm totally in love with that.), but man am I enjoying this madcap, roller-coaster of a ride.
"I don't see how anyone in their right mind..."

Gotta say I just saw that as an old turn of phrase that many people use without thinking and not anybody trying to be malicious.

[ edited by sueworld2003 on 2010-04-08 17:16 ]
The Apocalypse supposedly started by Angel in 'Not Fade Away' was already happening under the Black Thorn's supervision according to Lindsey in 'Underneath'...so I'd liken his actions more to the Allies making a stand against Hitler after the invasion of Poland....creating a situation where people might die, yes....but standing up against a force that was killing people with the aim of enforcing there own ideology on others. The whole season had shown that trying to fight by compromising (appeasement, perhaps?) wouldn't work.
The apocalypse that was already happening wasn't one that Angel could fight or stop, it was human nature, corruption. Only the people/humans could fight it. Not every fight is done with fists and fangs. Angel willingly started that apocalypse because he wanted to make Fred's death matter eventhough he sold out his own soul,friend at the beginning of the season to save Connor. And while he did get a glimpse of the black thorn it was Angel himself that came up with the plan and made it happen vis a vis the setting up and eventual execution of Droghyn and Lindsey. Sorry but i don't think that reallife situation can in anyway be compared to Angel's plan.

I had interpreted After the Fall as being ALL ABOUT his atonement for LA being sent to hell (which Angel didn't know would happen by the way...) ultimately saying that he would die a thousand times over to make up for it....though he only dies the once, giving up his life on the chance that it'll take everything back. Which is kinda my problem with where we find him now in Season 8...after the lessons he has learned, I don't see him being so much with the 'greater good' excuses...and funnily enough, a lot of my concerns about this story, both Buffy and Angel related, echo yours.
Using the excuse of not knowing it would happen is beyond weak. There were bound to be consequences, Angel just miscalculated and wasn't shown to have the brains to atleast have some sort of backplan ready once he and his group were all dead, any good leader would have atleast done that. His death wasn't really a sacrifice, Angel just figured it out how he could save everybody and himself. For me it was an incredible weak pay-off, almost as ridiculous as him being an unstoppable killing maching while still human(which he only became because of his so called grief of losing Connor, that's nice what about all those other fathers and mothers, they don't love their child as much as Angel did?), yeah sure pull the other one.
My problem with Angel has always been the same, for all the suffering and pain he's caused he almost always gets off scot-free. And you are right, there are plenty of great lessons that he learns throughout the seasons yet he always manages to make the same or much bigger mistakes.

Also,IIRC, i don't think the crowd knew Angel was responsible for Hell-A when he gave his speech, but I may be wrong.
No, i checked again, the bad guys make it clear to the audience that Angel is the responsible one and Angel himself admits it in a pisspoor speech. As i said before if that scene had any realism to it then the crowd would have had him quartered and dusted. That's what i would have done if he was the one responsible for the killing of my child simply because he wanted to send the badguys a "message".
@sueworld2003: I think I also addressed that in the post before last. And that there is a better way to say it that doesn't pass judgment on the reader. But to sum it up, I said that I understand that we're all reacting here, and sometimes things get said without any real thought as to whether or not they can be construed as malicious. I'm merely pointing out that stating an opinion that way can be construed as malicious, or at least, thoughtless.
And I think that's pretty much from me on the subject of posting etiquette.
Regarding heroes/heroines...aren't all the best heroes and heroines throughout history very flawed? Angel has made some dark decisions and always been a bit more of a "means to an end" kind of guy but I think he's drawn the line a few times and if, as someone pointed out, Connor is the most important thing to him why would he be willing to run off to Twilight with Buffy and leave Connor behind in a world that's being destroyed? There's so much we still don't know.
Buffy was willing to kill Faith to save Angel. That's pretty flawed and dark, don't you think? And Spike attempted to rape Buffy. Again, very very flawed.

I'm a little surprised too that people are questioning the curse. Maybe I'm just more of a "roll with it" type of person but whatever is affecting Buffy, is obviously affecting Angel too - he's got the flying, the invulnerability, etc... so I just assumed the lack of curse has something to do with this.

I tried to respond to people directly but I'm running out of steam. *sigh* I'm starting to feel rather wearisome after 24 hours of comments/debate here and on other sites.
Regarding heroes/heroines...aren't all the best heroes and heroines throughout history very flawed? Angel has made some dark decisions and always been a bit more of a "means to an end" kind of guy but I think he's drawn the line a few times and if, as someone pointed out, Connor is the most important thing to him why would he be willing to run off to Twilight with Buffy and leave Connor behind in a world that's being destroyed? There's so much we still don't know.
Buffy was willing to kill Faith to save Angel. That's pretty flawed and dark, don't you think? And Spike attempted to rape Buffy. Again, very very flawed.

I agree, Angel is still a hero but unlike Buffy, to me he isn't a hero i would admire or even respect that much. I also agree with Connor being the most important person for him, yet we have an interview from Scott saying that Buffy is what matters the most to Angel. Methinks Scott had not seen the 5 seasons of Angel. Fyi, Spike's attempt of rape was without a soul. And Buffy i can somewhat understand being so young, but it was very dark of her willing to kill Faith to save her loved one. Angel doesn't have any such excuse, he had his soul and has had plenty of time on this planet to mature. Just so i make myself clear, i do agree that Spike and Buffy are also flawed heroes(who isn't?) but their mistakes to me have been a lot less severe and dark then Angel's.
I tried to respond to people directly but I'm running out of steam. *sigh* I'm starting to feel rather wearisome after 24 hours of comments/debate here and on other sites.

Do what i do, take a break and refuel.
I'm starting to feel rather wearisome after 24 hours of comments/debate here


You want to try moderating.

Haha, hey Simon, just notice one of your tags is missing an important letter.


Ha! Good call. That made me laugh when you pointed it out.

And the comments seem to be getting somewhat personal, so if people want to tone it down that would be good. Otherwise I'll take away their buckets.
You want to try moderating.

LOL
You want to try moderating.

No backsies, you knew what you were signing up for.
On another note, yes 200th post.
I was refreshing the page for like 10 minutes, thanks Crystal.

[ edited by Vergil on 2010-04-08 17:49 ]
I think this may be the most commented comic book discussion thread yet but I could be wrong. Interest in season 8 does remain exceptionally high (I see the page counts).
Hey, any time. ;)

I'm curious. I actually started watching Buffy the year after it ended but I did watch the entire series (then Angel, then Firefly) in chronological order via dvds.
So since I didn't watch the show as it was airing, I have no idea what fan reaction was like at the time. Was there this much debate over Joss' biggest plots? Like Dawn being introduced and being a key? Spike getting a soul?
Does this issue remind anyone of the Promethea (Moore) issue with all the tantric sex?
. Was there this much debate over Joss' biggest plots?


Fans fought bitterly at just about every major development in the Buffyverse. Which is why the kerfuffle over season 8 is no real surprise if you place it in context with what has gone before.
CrystalSC, those times on the net i can only describe as pure chaos. What usually got the most debate was shipper stuff, mostly the Spike/Angel/Buffy triangle. But yeah the others you mentioned were also a shitstorm of arguements. And it's not like they had any real purpose, they simply went around and around. Sometimes you do get flashes of these heated debates just enough to give you a glimpse of how it was back then. The mods here have it pretty well under control, once they see it turning in that direction they'll intervene and if it presists they'll bring down the hamer. Some places didn't even have mods, a lot of them didn't survive the dark times(star wars reference). Personally as a Spike fan the most diffecult time was after the attempt of rape and before it was revealed that Spike got his soul. Those few episodes in between were hell, because there was the potential that Spike as a character would be regressed into a villian again and would probably this time be disposed of. Thankfully Joss went the total opposite way, instead of destroying the character he started to seriously redeem him.
One of the biggest problems that I see with fans and readers, ones like myself who never read comic books is the format and genre history. Having to tell this story with such limited words and how the format allows for such rapid changes and locations with little background info. Plus, why use so many references to the history of great comics? Particularly at this vital stage of the season - Mr. Meltzer must realize that there are a great many readers who would have no idea what is being referenced. A great deal of page space and energy was spent that was primarily understood by comic book aficionados leaving the rest of the readers wondering what the heck they are missing. The readers of this series is not the same as their normal readership - perhaps a little less time and space devoted to past comics books might have served all the readership more effectively.

One example is the treatment of all the sex - I read that this might be another homage to former comic book history. I don't know if that is true, but if that is the case all the readers without that knowledge missed it. For some all the cosmic sex just felt like "over kill" - way way way too much. At its absolutely worst, for a great many readers the explicit sexual treatment was little more than porn. Sexual content of this kind is usually seen only at porn site, porn magazine, explicit sexual adult films - it was something I never expected to see.
Again, I was left with the question - is this sexual treatment normal in the comic book genre? Particularly coming from the PR/Marketing statements about "the sensitivity for the couples and their love" (paraphrase) I found the treatment nothing but offensive, crass and it read like sexual fantasy. If some of the depiction was based as a tribute to comic book history, I'm not sure that it served the series of the total readership well.
To paraphrase a great line from Modern Family:

"Sure, in America it's porn. In Europe it's a cereal commercial."
Simon and Vergil, I'm kind of glad I missed all that.

nmcil said:
Sexual content of this kind is usually seen only at porn site, porn magazine, explicit sexual adult films - it was something I never expected to see.

Wow, I don't know what type of porn/porn sites you've seen but the ones I've seen have been nothing like this comic.

There was nothing in this issue that grown adults don't do all the time. Perfectly happy and healthy couples often engage in much the same way. I just can't understand all the references to "porn" (and not just by you nmcil) unless it's the mere shock of having a more detailed sex scene in the comics.

[ edited by CrystalSC on 2010-04-08 18:27 ]
I saw a monkey and I guessed it's monkey sex.
100+ more posts since yesterday! Holy moly! I've still not managed to get my copy yet which is really naff, but I want to thank everyone for all your comments and thoughts on this issue. It's taken me nearly an hour to catch up, but I've really enjoyed reading all the debate and differing opinions, which are as completely split as ever in Buffy verse (part of its charm/curse, no?). My eyes and brain actually hurt now! :D

Not sure who made the comment earlier, too many posts to go back on, but someone summed up the Twangel story so far and ended with a 'where does the story go from here' in Season 9. I do wonder where they'll now take this, as it all seems very convoluted and interwined, destiny, Gods, monsters, truest loves, split Universes etc etc etc. There will no doubt be some sort of conclusion to the Twilight/Angel arc in itself, but will it be a resolution? Or instead, I suspect, will the fallout will continue through S9 re: Giles, Faiths' returned powers and the return of the awesome Spike (yay!!). I wonder if any attempt to start a whole new arc will give the same mixture of fan excitement/hatred/fear/enjoyment that this storyline has clearly created unless it is an extension of what's gone on before? The very fact that Spike is coming back has me, personally, a heck of a lot more interested in what's coming up next (even though I do like Angel as well), but that's just me because I love Spike to the Nth degree and then some.

Guestage Drew - I also wondered who is privy (other then Angel, Andrew and the W&H team) to the news of Spike's "resurrection". I know its been the joy of many a fanfic that its been kept a secret, but timeline wise in S8, and with Giles and the Scoobies way of hearing about all sorts of goings would that be plausible? It could make for a really interesting background plot if its not a well known thing, and could be some good fallout if written right, but I suspect they'll go with the 'people already know' option. Anyone else have thoughts on this?

Agree with Simons point about hindsight being an interesting thing. Me - I love with a passion Seasons 4 to 7 & in fact I am probably one of the few who's favourite season was actually S7, Potentials with rubbish British accents aside! But I remember on first watch way back when of S4, I activeley hated that season (except for Hush and Something Blue), thought Riley was dull and irritating and wasnt quite sure where things were going so I stopped watching towards the end. I didnt get back into BTVS again until one of the UK channels started replaying S4 to S7 and I fell in love with it again. On second watch, S4 was a lot more enjoyable and Riley's place in Buffyverse began to sink in with me and I really like the character and the direction things took. So it will, for sure, be an interesting thing looking back on the comic seasons to see whether we all have the same take on things in the aftermath. I hope we're all still in one piece!!
Oh. Well. I saw a pair of kidneys and a pelvis in the inkblot.
Taaroko | April 08, 17:10 CET

-----------------------------------------------------------

Agree - this image is heavily based on the human pelvic - while you can see two people kissing, the majority of the image heavily suggest the pelvic region.
You know, with Spike entering the comics, it makes me wish more characters from the Angelverse would come on over too. Honestly, I've always been far more interested in the Wesley/Faith dynamic than I have Giles/Faith. (and I just looooooooooooooooooooooooove Wesley)
Totally my personal opinion, but I for one never expected to see cookies being eaten - I have a perfectly fine imagination, nor am I a sexual prude, I was a model for life drawing for years, but I was very surprised with the treatment.

Everyone has the right to their opinions and interpretations - I did not care for it, and at the risk of being put into the "narrowed minded old fashion prude school" as a woman I found it offensive - just as I found it offensive that James Marsters was used as "eye-candy" in those scenes with all the carefully placed drape. Some viewers found nothing wrong with it, and many found it exploitive.

I will take my perspective and you will have yours - we can respect the right to individual opinions and leave it at that.
200+ posts for this issue? I may be the silent minority here but I'm just gonna put it out there. When the television show ended, I did hope for a continuation of the show in comic book form. I thought the style and presentation of the program would lend itself well to the medium. Plus, as a fan, I didn't want the stories to end....No, that's a lie. I specifically didn't want Spike's story to end. In an alley. Without Buffy knowing he survived the hellmouth. Without the reunion of two characters that lit up the 'verse for almost its entire run. I'm looking at my collection of Season 8 comics on the shelf and they take up an entire section of what once was the entire DVD series - and Spike is a footnote. Joss and company has been successful in avoiding the one thing I suspect not an insignificant number of Buffy the Vampire Slayer's fans want to see, and it ain't a Riley one shot. So this is how I see it: Joss has basically disowned the character of Spike. I think Joss' choice of rekindling a vintage Angel and Buffy romance implies a decision largely based on sales to a mass market that breaks down to a story, even the canon, being sacrificed for a headline (i.e. Them F'ing). It's cheap.
I'm considering switching to tpb for the rest of Season 8 and possibly dropping Season 9 altogether. I've read that Brian Lynch has a Spike comic out soon, and although it may not be considered canon, the Dark Horse team hasn't deemed Spike a necessary asset, so if I have to go outside canon to see a character fully realized then so be it. I understand readers praised Mr.Lynch's perspective of the vampire hero in prior publications, so this is encouraging enough I might give it a read.
I also think people are being a little insensitive. Being in a fandom you already know how much it sucks to have people make fun of the thing you love. Calling the Season 8 comics an 'absurd cartoon' or anything of the like, is kind of a slap in the face to those of us who have come here to discuss this story that we really still love. Your opinion is obviously still yours to express, but the bashing is a little much.
And the cool thing is that Joss seems to be making everybody happy. Bangels think they are getting served. Anti-Bangels enjoy the spectacle of every Bangel cliche getting twisted and distorted.


Word. I mean, you turn that view just a little and you'll see it differently. You believe you know what Joss is doing and are confident in that pov.

I see Joss giving all kinds of romantic nods, dialogue and affirmations to B/A - Angel asking is she has ANY idea how much he missed her and Buffy saying, "I do". Giles talking (present tense) about how much they love and miss each other. Angel still shown as a "true love". Angel mentioning how neither of them have ever been happy with anyone else and Buffy agreeing in a thought bubble. Willow calling them the yin and yang and saying everyone knows it, that they are the best of their kind, etc, etc. That's after the dream cube where Angel feature, before the flashback dream where she met up with Angel, etc, etc.

All very positive, romantic affirmations. Nothing subversive at all. And yet people will still being thrilled to death that all of that screams subversion to them. I don't get it, but different strokes and all and like you said, it's Joss' way of letting people be happy. Joss could come out with another quote like, "Buffy/Angel transcends everything" and some would still be quite sure that Joss is subverting the B/A relationship. It's a win-win situation for Joss because he can go full on with Buffy/Angel and not worry that the anti-B/A brigade will get too mad because they have the ability to see it the way they want to.
tickledpink said:
I think Joss' choice of rekindling a vintage Angel and Buffy romance implies a decision largely based on sales to a mass market that breaks down to a story, even the canon, being sacrificed for a headline


I think, and I'm guessing because I don't actually know the guy, but I think Joss always had plans to rekindle. He said in the commentary for Chosen:

"Buffy and Angel's story I admit is not over. I wanted to say that clearly without like, dismissing the importance of Spike in Buffy's life. It was hard to find that fine line in Chosen. Buffy and Angel's love, well, it's unstoppable and immortal." -Joss Whedon

[ edited by CrystalSC on 2010-04-08 19:22 ]
I'm looking at my collection of Season 8 comics on the shelf and they take up an entire section of what once was the entire DVD series - and Spike is a footnote.

This! Beautifully put.
Calling the Season 8 comics an 'absurd cartoon' or anything of the like, is kind of a slap in the face to those of us who have come here to discuss this story...


No, Cazador, it absolutely isn't. It's legitimate criticism of the comic. Do you, for instance, take every negative review of a movie you happen to like as a personal "slap in the face"? If so you should sue Roger Ebert for battery because he's slapped all of us scores of times. I take responsibility for my words, but I certainly won't take responsibility for how you choose to misconstrue them.

And I thought I was discussing the comic. Or are you implying that only the people who liked the issue are actually "discussing" it? Does useful discussion only entail positive comments?
but that's only one season that's not even over yet?
I don't read movie reviews to discuss a movie I like. This isn't a critical review blog.

I wasn't saying you weren't discussing the comic, I'm saying that making fun of it and calling it crazy can be a little offensive, especially to those who are seriously invested in the story still.

[ edited by Cazador on 2010-04-08 19:24 ]
I don't recall anyone feeling the need to wait until any of the TV seasons was over before discussing individual episodes or how they felt about where the story was going. Clearly once the season is done there'll be more attempts to discuss the thing as a whole but you really can't expect everyone merely to 'reserve judgement' and wait for then.
I'm looking at my collection of Season 8 comics on the shelf and they take up an entire section of what once was the entire DVD series - and Spike is a footnote.

This! Beautifully put.


I just assumed he was now in the Angel camp - as I assumed Angel was too. I never expected either of them to be in season 8. I'm surprised by him not being in season 8 so far is considered such a horrible thing that Joss has done.
no no, discussion is still legitimate of course, I'm just saying that mentioning that the comics take up more space than the DVDs makes it seem like Spike has been seriously left out. But in the context of chronology, it's only been one season.
Loved the issue, loved the sex. Unlike some folk, I appreciate sex. I figure it's the reason we're all here. It's part of our lives. Passion drives us, passion drives history. Our society's prudish attitudes are rooted in traditions of shame and guilt, but not all those traditions make sense in a modern world. We don't believe the earth is flat anymore. Why believe sex is inherently "bad?" I say we should let the shame and guilt go, and encourage personal responsibility. I realize I'm in the minority on this. Hopefully, eventually, I won't be.

But back to the issue. I think I have an idea where this may be going. It's pretty obvious Buffy has just become a goddess, with all the frailties and pettiness of a human being still intact. Humans becoming gods is just not a good idea. Buffy has just gone where "no woman has gone before." She's become something which could probably take on Glory at her peak and win.

What are the repercussions?

We have a clue from the future. Dark Willow practically forced Buffy to kill her. Why would she do that? Perhaps to remind Buffy of what it means to be human? Or more intriguing, perhaps an atonement for having to kill Goddess Buffy in a future we haven't seen yet?

This is heating up to be a great series. Can't wait until the next issue.

[ edited by quantumac on 2010-04-08 19:32 ]
Right there with you on the sex quantumac. Yeah I can not WAIT to see how the future storyline ends up relating to all of this.
I think, and I'm guessing because I don't actually know the guy, but I think Joss always had plans to rekindle. He said in the commentary for Chosen:

"Buffy and Angel's story I admit is not over. I wanted to say that clearly without like, dismissing the importance of Spike in Buffy's life. It was hard to find that fine line in Chosen. Buffy and Angel's love, well, it's unstoppable and immortal." -Joss Whedon


Nicely stated. Joss keeps coming back to the Buffy/Angel relationship because there are aspects that are unplumbed in this dynamic. He has never said anything dismissive of it and he and his writers all speak glowingly of it. I don't believe the point of coming back to the B/A relationship is for strictly commercial reasons any more than I think he's doing it to trash or subvert it like some believe they are seeing/reading. I don't have quite that harsh an opinion of Joss. I mean he's evil with the ability to bring the pain and I have a love/hate relationship with him because of it, but I do honestly believe he loves the characters and I have no reason to doubt what Meltzer said recently. That Joss is incredibly aware and sensitive of the characters, the relationships and the readers.

And that's why I don't personally see the subversion that some would like to believe is happening. I don't think the point of the comics is the relationship at all, rather that it's one part of the over-arcing story. And I trust enough that Joss appreciates the storyline he created and isn't about trashing/subverting it. Not to mention, all of the people involved in the comics who've spoken about season 8 have said nothing but glowing, positive things about B/A and they all KNOW where the story is going. I can't imagine they'd do that if the point was to trash/subvert it all.
You know, with Spike entering the comics, it makes me wish more characters from the Angelverse would come on over too. Honestly, I've always been far more interested in the Wesley/Faith dynamic than I have Giles/Faith. (and I just looooooooooooooooooooooooove Wesley)

Oh i really hope not, Spike i can understand because he's not from the Angelverse, he's from the Buffyverse(just like Angel) and Spike didn't have that much development on Angel. The other characters, either their story have ended or they've been on Angel so long that they truelly are more part of his verse. There's a reason Scott made sure before the Angel license was sold that DH could still use Spike. Atf is the only Angel canon comic and there in Wesley and Fred's story comes to an end, a lot of new (to me that are non-interesting)characters(Doyle,Nina,Gwen,ect) are brought in but they really are just from the Angelverse and i seriously don't want to read their story over at Buffy's(or anywhere for that matter).

Nmcil, frankly i found the whole sexscene to be very mediocre. It seems more to be about having sex with these new powers. Hell, it didn't even last that long, what was it? 5 minutes,10 min max? Reality seems to get warped, one minute Buffy is in the middle of an orgasm, the next wacky Angel is excited and dressed(her too) and he's happy that they achieved their goal. There was nothing of the love between Angel and Buffy, it was pure lust, not even loving words. I don't even think that this was the best sex Buffy ever had.

Tickled pink, my theory is that Spike will have a longer role to play in season 9 and that Angel will soon leave. Most have assumed that once Angel's arc is over and goes back to Idw so will Spike, i however doubt it and the Spike/Buffy panel seems to be in my favor. The love between Buffy and Angel hasn't really been rekindled, or better put Spike has been raised to be of the same importance to Buffy as Angel is. I think it also speaks more of how important Spike is of having him being the last to show up and probably in the Joss penned arc. To me that says it all.
I would say Brian is a good Spike writer but he isn't Joss and there are those that aren't a fan of Brian's Spike for whatever reason.
Hey again Vergil. Just wanted to say how much I have always appreciated your discussions of Angel's flaws (even before I was a posting member), as they always leave me with something to think about. I definitely recognise the problematic nature of a lot of his choices, your demonstrations of which can be pretty forensic (I mean that as a compliment, by the way).

That being said...

I've written elsewhere (under the discussion of the early review of this issue by Buffyfest....I'm afraid I don't know how to link directly to my comment!)about how Angel's journey has been an inspiration to me during the uncertainty of my twenties, and, while I think I see the same details as you, that is the reason why my interpretation is consistently more favourable to him than yours.

Not (I hope) because I over-identify with the character and want to whitewash him, but rather because I constantly see his weaknesses and bad choices as a metaphorical amplication of mine and those around me. I can identify with feeling that my actions are meaningless, and the despondency that that can cause...which can lead to pushing people away, hurting people directly or indirectly, sleeping with people we shouldn't to make ourselves feel better, to hell with the consequences. Season 2, anyone?

I'm not sure he gets off scot free for his actions either....he loses friends constantly, an old enemy that he wronged steals his son and practically ruins his life etc. Bad things do happen to him as a result of his choices...even if they are positive ones, like choosing to 'fight the good fight'. Something he started doing BEFORE the promise of the Shanshu Prophecy at the end of Season 1.

You're perhaps right that he's not explicitly 'punished' for all of his crimes (though he has spent years in hell)
But in the same way the show tells us that doing the right thing isn't just about the big win, it can't be just about avoiding the big loss, either. Is it potentially more noble to realise for yourself what you have done wrong and try to correct it, rather than because you are trying to avoid some kind of 'punishment'?

For me, the power of the show is that whenever AI hit rock bottom, and no matter how many times, on each occassion they find the strength to try and turn themselves around and try and do the right thing in a world that doesn't care. That was why the Senior Partners and W&H were such great antagonists, to my mind one of the most genuine (albeit encoded in the fantastical) depictions of real world evil I've seen....because they followed their own interests without caring what happened to anyone, and that's what made them powerful.

ANGEL
People who don't care about anything will never understand the people
who do.
HAMILTON
Yeah, but we won't care.


The hardships of Angel and the gang demonstrated to me that if you choose to try and live a principled life, it will be a struggle. Victories are not forthcoming. You will f*ck up. A lot. But that's no excuse not to try again.

Regarding the end of NFA, I'm not sure I disagree that it was a bad plan (tho made for a hell of a final statement to the show, dontcha think?). I think writing-wise, going into battle was the most efficient way of showing the whole 'Heroes don't accept the world the way it is'/no compromise theme of Season 5. However, it WAS kinda naive on Angel's part....and After the Fall shows him learning that the big gesture may not always be the right way to fight the subtleties of evil, that maybe just being there 'to help' can be more valuable and less selfish, so I'm sure it's an aspect of the show's themes we would have seen if we had had a season 6.

By the way, I do take your point about the Season 5 apocalypse being something within humans, a more intangible enemy....but as the Black Thorn was an organisation dedicated to keeping the wheel spinning on man's inhumanity to man, to ensure that the worst beviours of humankind continued to be their dominant ones (presumably forever!), and that they WERE an enemy Angel could try and physically take down...maybe it was worth a try? I definitely don't see atonement for Fred's death being his only motivation here. In fact, he had been trying to get the Black Thorn before Fred died according to his speech at the end of Power Play.

Wow. Long post. I had more about my WW2 comparison...but I think I'll leave it there. Just as a final thought.....I don't feel that I personally want to let Angel off the hook for his flaws and questionable actions. It's just that without them, the show would not have the metaphorical appeal that makes me love it.
Every time I say I'm going to stop reading comments and take a break from all this hooha, I get sucked back in. graaaar! (Thank goodness for Supernatural tonight to distract me)
I think the comic verse is insane, crazy and OTT, all of which are criticisms in comparison to the show which, despite the world it was set in and the subject matter, was still somehow believable and reality based. For me, the comics books aren't in the slightest, but somehow I'm still extremely entertained (if baffled) by it.

Whatever Joss's intentions, the S8 comics will never, for me anyway, be canon, which I will reserve for the show as seen though Seasons 1-7. The comics I like because they are, to date, pretty far from what I would have wanted S8 to be and as such I just take them as pure entertainment.

I'm waiting til the end of S9 to to see how they treat the Spike interaction before I pass judgement on this. He definitely deserves to be more than just a footnote though, so time will only tell.....

I recall that we've been told somewhere by the PTB that they will be treating Spike's return with respect, so I'm willing to give them a shot and wait til they're done with all the Seasons before I vent (if necessary) on them about the treatment of Spike who, I agree with an earlier poster, did light up the verse for me. With Joss writing S9 and perhaps Spike being a big part of that, I'm hopeful we'll all be satisfied in some way.

Then again.......

[ edited by shazzam on 2010-04-08 19:50 ]
Joss isn't necessarily writing S9, or at least not more than what he's doing now. As far as we know, he'll continue with his Executive Producer role, but whether he writes, or not, and how much he will write remains to be confirmed.
Quantumac, then why not just get down with the full penetration on display in the book? Really. It's not "prudish" to acknowledge that there is a difference between the prurient interest and, shall we say, a broader literary interest. Which do you really think the art in 8.34 was serving after about the third page of naked thrusting? After the seventh?

I've always found the sex in the Buffyverse has covered almost every base -- gritty, loving, violent, depressing, melodramatic, etc. This is the first time that it actually became... kind of tasteless, IMO.
Vergil, that's good to know.

Cazador, I acknowledge the chronology of the text. But I'm also living in real time. I'm not of the camp "Trust the Joss!" At some point, if my expectation or enjoyment of a show, book, movie, etc. is not being met, then it's time to let go, if just a little.

Now I'm sad. Will revisit discussion in archives.
200+ posts for this issue? I may be the silent minority here but I'm just gonna put it out there. When the television show ended, I did hope for a continuation of the show in comic book form. I thought the style and presentation of the program would lend itself well to the medium. Plus, as a fan, I didn't want the stories to end....No, that's a lie. I specifically didn't want Spike's story to end. In an alley. Without Buffy knowing he survived the hellmouth. Without the reunion of two characters that lit up the 'verse for almost its entire run. I'm looking at my collection of Season 8 comics on the shelf and they take up an entire section of what once was the entire DVD series - and Spike is a footnote. Joss and company has been successful in avoiding the one thing I suspect not an insignificant number of Buffy the Vampire Slayer's fans want to see, and it ain't a Riley one shot. So this is how I see it: Joss has basically disowned the character of Spike. I think Joss' choice of rekindling a vintage Angel and Buffy romance implies a decision largely based on sales to a mass market that breaks down to a story, even the canon, being sacrificed for a headline (i.e. Them F'ing). It's cheap.
I'm considering switching to tpb for the rest of Season 8 and possibly dropping Season 9 altogether. I've read that Brian Lynch has a Spike comic out soon, and although it may not be considered canon, the Dark Horse team hasn't deemed Spike a necessary asset, so if I have to go outside canon to see a character fully realized then so be it. I understand readers praised Mr.Lynch's perspective of the vampire hero in prior publications, so this is encouraging enough I might give it a read.


I'm going out on a limb and saying you're probably not a huge fan of Buffy Seasons 1 or 3.

Here's the issue with saying Joss put Buffy and Angel together just to drive up sales: people love Spike. Spike helps ratings. Remember when one of the requirements for Angel being renewed for Season 5 was that Spike join the show? If Joss was just writing to drive up sales, Angel and Spike would have been there the whole way.

Spike, as far as we know, is still working with the group in L.A. It's also entirely possible he just hasn't fit in the story up until this point.

[ edited by The Dark Shape on 2010-04-08 20:09 ]
This is the first time that it actually became... kind of tasteless, IMO.


I felt like that when I watched Where The Wild Things Are.

Re: Spike, I think we were told fairly soon at the start that he would used sparingly cause of he was a big gun. Though he has been shown three times so far in brief cameos. I fully expect him to come and save the day but then again I was confident we would get a sixth season of Angel.
Here's the issue with saying Joss put Buffy and Angel just to drive up sales: people love Spike. Spike helps ratings. Remember when one of the requirements for Angel being renewed for Season 5 was that Spike join the show? If Joss was just writing to drive up sales, Angel and Spike would have been there the whole way.

Nicely put.
Joss isn't necessarily writing S9, or at least not more than what he's doing now. As far as we know, he'll continue with his Executive Producer role, but whether he writes, or not, and how much he will write remains to be confirmed.


Ah, right thanks Wenxina. Thought I'd read somewhere he was going to be more involved in writing S9!

Well, regardless of who is writing, I still hold out hope that Spikes involvement will be treated right and they've waited til now to bring out even 'bigger guns' so to speak with his appearance/arc.

Cant comment on the sex scenes yet, but dear Lord I hope its nothing like Where the Wild Things Are. Anything else I think I can just about handle! :)
@KingofCretins: The sex scenes were overlaid with a lot of the exposition going on. It served as a visual counterpoint to the direness that Giles was trying to get across. It runs antithetical to the traditional idea of sex as a constructive thing (whether resulting in procreation, or just an act of love), since while all that is happening, the world is literally falling apart. As a storytelling mechanic, it worked for me, since we got to see the cause and effect of the world ripping at the seams, while being told why all that is happening.

Yes, I guess it could be construed as gratuitous, but I don't see it as mindless porn since it did serve a purpose. That said, I chuckled at some of the more athletic positions the two assumed... Georges did say that he had 3 reference books, so I guess his research showed.
Although I'm not the world's biggest Spike fan I certainly appreciate his strengths as a character, and one of his greatest strengths is that he has a knack for putting things in perspective. ("I'm love's bitch but at least I'm man enough to admit it.") I think both Buffy and Angel could use a good dose of Spike telling them off right now and pointing out that they have, for a very long time now, been acting like wankers.

How's this: I promise I will begin to enjoy the season eight storyline if the following happens: Buffy joins Angel in trying to usher in this new world/universe/whatever of theirs and because she has a godlike perspective now, she can't really understand the lowly mortals' (i.e., her friends') objections. Spike arrives, and with Faith and Giles and Willow and Dawn (and, I suppose, Xander), form a new Scooby Gang dedicated to stopping them. In the final issue of season eight, Faith kills Buffy, who dies with a smile and a giggle, and says..."Well I guess I've seen it all now. I was the bad guy. Good luck, Faith. Don't be the bad guy." And then she kisses Faith on the cheek, and dies with grace and dignity, and season nine is Faith the Vampire Slayer, with her Watcher, Giles, with her vampire pal, Spike, with her witch, Willow, and with Dawn the Research Girl who doesn't have a boyfriend because Xander died helping Faith kill Angel, and who has lost her sister too, and has decided therefore that it's about time she grew up. If all that stuff happens I promise I'll like the season eight comics.

Plus they have to get rid of all the other Slayers too. And maybe get John Byrne to draw it. And bring Drusilla back.
Hellmouthguy! Loved your posts! They just speak everything I feel about all this absurdness. The worst is that in the end of Chosen I just thought "Well. She destroyed a gymnasium. She destroyed a city... now she will destroy the world" Now I have it. Besides, this all just makes W&H right about Angel. He would play a part in the end of world... and it wouldn't be by the good guys side! Holland was right. Angel couldn't escape his fate. He took LA from Hell by dying in After Fall and now he is sending the whole world to it! Why would LA have this privilege (sarcasm on and off). Angelus must be so proud!

Right now I can't understand Bangel people (and I am one of them) no less that I understand Spuffy people. Well... BA forever and yada yada yada... they are together... but at what cost? It seems that because of "love".. .and I don't call what I'm seeing it... people tend to forget morals... and I think that this is the main goal for Joss... Everyone is just forgetting their moral certainty, as Twilight said, because BA are together... even if it had cost 206 lifes (and a lot more by the looks of things). Go understand it!!!

The worst is that I feel Buffy will be now really truly alone. I still stand by with the fact that she is shagging a murderous fiend who should have had his ass well kicked!

I've never seen Spike as "one true love for her" because I don't think a man that loves a woman (or a woman a man) should use insecurities to get the person. I still hate with passion (more than the whole sex in Smashed or in the balcony or streets) the fact that Spike got to Buffy by appealing to her insecurities about being back wrong. The Old Angel wanted to preserve every centimeter of good life Buffy could have, while Spike wanted to take her from her friends because he thought "she belonged with him... in the darkness"... to say the last. Nope... not the man I would dream about...

I guess that they are right when they say women don't like nice guys. Old Angel was one of them and it is curious that he is pulling a Cordelia. Cordelia over the years became more and more a Buffy, now Angel is becoming more and more despicable... a la Spike.
I am no prude, but I think our nation as a whole has become "pornified," and in fact there are rather interesting books written on this topic. DH cannot know who the audience is that purchases this comic, and a comic it is, but I will guess that there will be many people who are seriously put out by the graphic nature of this issue. But part of me is cynical enough to believe that DH also does not care; first, it was Buffy sleeping with Satsu that gave them a spike (sorry, Spuffyites!) in sales, and now it will be Bangel sex that does the same. Titillation sells. Paris Hilton was a rich nobody until her sex tape became public; now, she is everywhere. So if I am told that, hey, this was needed solely for the story, I can't buy that; this comic has to be sold, and there are always storywriting decisions to make and illustration decisions to make, and this sex could have been demonstrated in some different fashion that does not contribute to the coarsening of our culture. For me, this is unnecessary, particularly in a show that usually (but not always) took care in how it presented sex. It is not about the sex, anyway, which is why I fail to understand why this book needed to be so graphic; I thought it was about the relationship. We never needed to see Willow and Tara having sex to know they did.

[ edited by Dana5140 on 2010-04-08 20:48 ]
In the thread for the last issue, I said that there was a lot riding on the following issues and that things really needed to make sense. Well. . . damn.

Everything in Brad Meltzer's arc before the Twilight reveal was great, but since then it's been horrendous. Worst of all are Giles' comments on the universe and nature. That Giles could believe this nonsense is bad enough, but sadly, it seems unlikely that at this stage of S8, so much time would be given to a false explanation. "The universe made me do it" is the lamest excuse ever. I can't believe that's where we've got to. A smart universe? FFS.

I so agree with your earlier comment, Hellmouthguy, on how you wish the comic was. I retain hope that S9 is more along those lines. Also, "absurd" is a well chosen word. Awful fanfic also came to mind, even before sueworld2003 mentioned it. I don't think we're meant to see things in a "humorous light", but neither can I take it seriously.

There's still the possibility that this season will end well, but that can never make up for the number of poor issues. However, with the way the story is going, I'm struggling to imagine how it can turn around. (All IMO, of course, no offence intended and no, I've never been a shipper - I really don't care about that stuff.)
We never needed to see Willow and Tara having sex to know they did.


Apart from that titilating scene in Once More With Feeling, no.
As to that end, I offer some possibilities:
1. We return to a single slayer, Buffy.
2. We return to a single slayer, Faith. Buffy is now a normal young woman.
3. We completely end the slayer line until Fray appears a few hundred years later.
4. We completely end the slayer line.
I see it likely as being #2 for S8, but with a possibility of 1 or 3. The Sycthe is important here in ending this, too.

ETA: Simon, I knew someone would note that, but point is, it still was not overtly shown, and my young niece watching had no idea that there was an alternate interpretation of what she was watching beyond what was on screen. I think everyone understands what I mean. I was, to be sure, upset at the Spike balcony scene, which is where I felt the show went too far.

[ edited by Dana5140 on 2010-04-08 20:53 ]
God help us all, NotaViking, but I think only Spike can save us now.

I'm picturing the scene: Spike looking up at Buffy and Angel standing in the sky. "Hello up there? Excuse me? Mister and Mrs. Wanker?"

Good times.
We never needed to see Willow and Tara having sex to know they did.


The oral sex verse in Once More With Feeling did get it across quite well.
Dana5140 I'm still surprised that they got it past the UPN censors, it was an amazingly clever scene.
I was, to be sure, upset at the Spike balcony scene, which is where I felt the show went too far.


One big problem with all that Buffy/Spike sex was that it was presented so shoddily as a rule. It's hard to put this delicately, but most of the time their "standing up sex" was not actually anatomically possible, and the balcony scene was one of those cases in point. I know there's probably a limit to how far network censors would allow Sarah Michele Gellar to be bending forward over the rails in that scene as Spike thrust from behind her, but if you aren't going to stage it correctly, what's the point of staging it so blatantly then? I suppose this issue of the comic was Joss getting out all his frustration over the network censors.

Still, Buffy/Spike's sex was at least more interesting dramatically than Buffy/Riley in "Where the Wild Things Are". I never thought sex could actually be boring until I saw that episode.
This is opening up a whole different can of worms, but I don't think sex is horrible to show in and of itself. Spike's attempted rape in Seeing Red, which doesn't show anything, is far more uncomfortable to me than he and Buffy actually taking down a house in the act, though that was much more graphic. This has always been something of a violent story, so I don't think sex makes it any more adult.

And yes, Spike needs to show up and mock Buffy and Angel.

[ edited by The Dark Shape on 2010-04-08 21:15 ]
Boring? Different strokes and all that but man, boring hellmouthguy? *blush*

Agreeing with whomever said that Joss can continue on with Buffy and Angel's story because the anti's will bever believe it anyway. Works for me, works very well for me. :)
It's really pretty great that we can ALL be happy at this time.

The amount of posts on this very B/A centric issue is proof enough, in case there were doubts, how very much B/A re-energize the universe. Here's to 100 more posts on the topic and 100 more "subversive" Buffy and Angel moments, *wink*.
This very B/A sex centric issue is proof enough, in case there were doubts, how very much B/A destroys the universe.
I can't help but think that our shipping rule is flashing "DANGER DANGER WILL ROBINSON". And we all know what happened the last time that happened. So cool it on the pro/anti shipping comments.
The universe is wacky anyway, if it thinks that 1 girl against legion is "balanced". That or it really hates accounting.
And yes, I am taking the universe to be Miyazaki-ish (e.g. very much so anthropomorphized, and quite sentient).
Good Lord, look at all the comments. I'm never gonna catch up.
Boring? Different strokes and all that but man, boring hellmouthguy?


That wasn't me being anti-Riley by the way. (And I'm referring to him in terms of his character, not his "ship" with Buffy; I don't do "ships".) I just thought it was a terribly listless episode. But I like Riley and thought he brought a lot to the show. I also think the writers chose to emasculate him once they decided on their Spike/Buffy arc. Early in season four, Buffy couldn't take her eyes off Riley, then all of a sudden she's ignoring him. He didn't exactly fit with the Scooby Gang, but then again the juxtaposition between them was often priceless. (I'm thinking specifically of the scene with Riley, Willow and Xander in the cemetery, while Riley is being all commando-ish and stealthy, and Willow is crunching potato chips, but there are many others.) The idea that his ego couldn't take Buffy's being stronger was an invention; the character showed no signs of that earlier and seemed perfectly comfortable, if a little taken aback at first, with Buffy's strength and prowess. I think, much like the Anointed One, the writers got bored with Riley for some reason and decided to ditch him in favor of their shiny new toy (Spike, once again.) I loved "As You Were", and frankly I didn't think Buffy deserved a guy like Riley. He's a smart, strong, decent, honorable guy, and she's a headcase who can't get out of her own way. I'm glad Riley ended up with a happy, well adjusted woman. It's just too bad we had to lose him.
*Points at the thread* PORN!

Sorry, I couldn't help myself. I'm still waiting for my copy of this, so I can't quite comment yet. So, in time honoured tradition I thought I would come here and spout nonsense!
You mean the Giles musical episode, Hellmouthguy? I can't remember anything else that happened in WTWTA, for some reason. ;-P

And I applaud you, bubblecat. I'm only astounded that nobody did that quote earlier.
Hellmouthyguy-I agree with everything you said about Riley. :)
The universe is wacky anyway, if it thinks that 1 girl against legion is "balanced". That or it really hates accounting.

But the girl has superpowers! And sometimes a rocket launcher.

(Buffy is perpetually screwing up the universe's math.)
It was myth-taken.

Edit: I fail at reading. I thought you said "myth", but you said "math". *Dance of Shame*

[ edited by Taaroko on 2010-04-08 22:19 ]
Is Brad's arc a five parter or four? Cause the solicitiation info for #34 & #35 on the Dark Horse website suggest both.
Wow, Hellmouthguy, I could not disagree more. I cannot rewatch "As You Were" because I loathe it so: it seems designed only to humiliate Buffy (and Spike, but that's of secondary importance) as much as humanly possible. The whole thing exists to drag Buffy through the mud and force her to wallow in how awful her life is (and a large part of that awfulness is beyond her control).

And then Riley tells her she stinks. Up until then, I was pretty indifferent to Riley with the exception of "Into the Woods," when I found his actions repulsive (especially since I think we were supposed to "blame" Buffy for not playing the typical overly emotional and dependent female role--just like we're always supposed to "blame" the wife if the husband cheats because he says she wasn't putting out. I hate that cultural trope). But the moment he says that, I crossed the line into flat-out disliking him. God, he's so condescending in that scene.

In general, I despise the idea of humiliating any character so that another looks better, which is exactly what they did in that episode.

It makes me stabby.

And where does he get off judging Buffy for sleeping with Spike when the last time we saw him he was getting suckjobs from vamps? THE EXACT SAME THING.

The only episode of TV I've had a similar reaction to is "Empty Places."

Also, I disagree that Riley-has-a-problem-with-Buffy's-strength came out of nowhere. I offer you some quotes!

- Buffy: You think that boys can take care of themselves and girls need help? Riley: Yeah.

- Buffy: You really have a lot to learn about women, Riley. Riley: And you're gonna teach me.

- I'm not trying to scare you, and I'm not going to force myself on you.

- No, I mean you're stupid. I mean... - I don't mean that. No, I think maybe I do.

- Don't get me wrong. The girls I grew up with could hold their own. But . . . I'm not even sure I could take you.

- But give me another . . oh . . week to get ready. And I'll take you down.


The idea is introduced pretty early. All of those quotes just drip with insecurity.

Although now that I've written all that, I'm terribly confused as to how we got to talking about this at all.

[eta] Also, I take offense at the idea of Buffy being a headcase. She constantly sacrifices for the people around her, and, frankly, considering all that she's been through, I think it's amazing how well adjusted she is (S8 aside). Aside from an intense struggle wtih clinical depression in S6 (which was beyond her control), I see absolutely no evidence whatsoever that she's a "headcase."

[ edited by Lirazel on 2010-04-08 22:43 ]
just like we're always supposed to "blame" the wife if the husband cheats because he says she wasn't putting out. I hate that cultural trope


We are...?
Yes. I can't tell you how many times I've heard something along these lines: "Well, he shouldn't have cheated, but we all know things weren't right at home." Or "Well, if he couldn't get what he needed from his wife, I can't really blame him for looking elsewhere."

Sometimes the words aren't explicitly said, but they're present in our culture, constantly.
Alex that's an exellent post and thank you for that compliment. I definitely see where you are coming from. I guess for myself that it's really a double edged sword. Angel as a character is very complicated and while i don't agree with a lot of his choices, it doesn't change that he is trying.

As for the final episode, yes it was awesome at that time i loved it. Not only because of the message but also on account on how dark it was. It was mostly Atf that ruined it for me. W&H went from being this almost invincible enemy that was far greater then just Angel to all of the sudden being but nothing but about Angel. The message of NFA was sound, what bothers me is how Angel went about it.

My favorite Angel was the one that started all the way in the beginning of his own show. Saving one soul at a time. The guy inspired the people around him(Doyle,Cordelia,Gunn,Fred,Lorne) to make a difference. And under his guidance they did.

I agree, even though he's a vampire, his life,mistakes make him at times to be almost the most human of the bunch.

About the getting off scot-free, that perhaps isn't the perfect word for it. Obviously he has been through a lot of torment but like for example where you might see as a negative i see more as a positive. Like his son was stolen, yet in the end he still had a son that loves him. Angel has a child, which is a joy that neither Buffy,Spike,Willow,Xander,ect have experienced. I think if you were to ask Angel now on wether all that misery he went through was worth it for Connor, without a doubt he would answer yes. Angel was sent to hell, endresult he came back without any lasting injury. Angel loses his friends, he knew that they were mortal and they decided for themselves to fight for his mission.
Most importantly, any of these situations were all created because of Angel's own actions. Losing Connor because he had wronged Holtz. Got sent to hell, because his lesser half opened the gateway to hell and ofcourse is evil. Losing his friends, Angel knew it was wrong going to W&H, he did it to save his son. In the end it will be the group's heart downfall, Fred and after that it's a domino effect. In the finale Gunn would do anything to lessen his guilt over Fred and Wesley already has his rightfoot in his grave. The guy was totally depressed, he wasn't going to get over losing Fred.

That's true about the shanshu, i really hated it when they introduced it on Angel and still hate it now. It's sorta become a plotdevice they can turn into anything they want it to be. And i still don't believe that Angel or anyone else for that matter deserves to have a "reward" for all the good they have done.

The black torn were something they could take out that was physical but i think Angel also said that they would easily be replaced. It was about that moment were in they would send their message that w&h doesn't own them(humanity). Like i said before, it's great and powerful message, too bad Angel's execution of it was lousy.
Re: Spike, I think we were told fairly soon at the start that he would used sparingly cause of he was a big gun. Though he has been shown three times so far in brief cameos. I fully expect him to come and save the day but then again I was confident we would get a sixth season of Angel.
Yes, we were Simon. He didn't want to waste Spike by simply having him being a background character. We have gotten lots of evidence that Spike is being regarded as the anti-destiny. He has disrupted destiny several times in the past.

I agree with Lirazel too.
Lirazel, Riley didn't have a problem with Buffy's slayerness in season 4. In fact, The "I" in Team showed us that he liked it muchly.

I didn't care much for the way the writers broke Buffy and Riley up either. It sucked out loud.
Wow, that's an interesting take on Riley. I always saw him pretty much as the show presented him: a corn fed Iowa boy, a boy scout (in a Clark Kent way, not a snotty way), and a generally good guy who did lash out a couple times towards the end, but it's hard to blame him for it.

I think he's a great subject for a one-shot because he's so uninteresting on the surface. Looking at the Buffy world through the eyes of someone so straight-laced has endless comic possibilities.
Wow, Hellmouthguy, I could not disagree more. I cannot rewatch "As You Were" because I loathe it so: it seems designed only to humiliate Buffy (and Spike, but that's of secondary importance) as much as humanly possible. The whole thing exists to drag Buffy through the mud and force her to wallow in how awful her life is (and a large part of that awfulness is beyond her control).


Wow, could I not disagree more. I love AYW because it shows that even though Buffy is often enough seen wallowing in how awful her life has become that NONE OF THAT TOUCHES HER. That she is a "hell of a woman", the strongest Riley ever knew and still quite the hottie. That the world is like that sometimes. Sometimes you're up, sometimes you're down, but that she'll get through it.

It was uplifting and that - combined with seeing Spike for what he was - enabled her to really make a turn and start the journey out of the dark and back into the light.

I loved it.
The Dark Shape, you're not the only one bemused by this stuff. I don't know anyone who would blame the wife for a cheating husband. It's obviously his choice. And being able to go through the day without thinking about gender isn't just male privilege. I'm female, and growing up, I've never felt like I was being treated as an inferior at all.
KingOfCretins wrote:

Quantumac, then why not just get down with the full penetration on display in the book? Really. It's not "prudish" to acknowledge that there is a difference between the prurient interest and, shall we say, a broader literary interest. Which do you really think the art in 8.34 was serving after about the third page of naked thrusting? After the seventh?

I've always found the sex in the Buffyverse has covered almost every base -- gritty, loving, violent, depressing, melodramatic, etc. This is the first time that it actually became... kind of tasteless, IMO.


I have to respectfully disagree. I don't think the sex scene was tasteless at all. I view erotica differently, partly because like Joss, I'm an atheist, but also because I view sex and eroticism as part of the human experience. I see no reason to not include Buffy's sex-life in this tale. I challenge the belief that sex in and of itself is a bad thing that needs to be hidden from view.

They used the "clever" camera angles for people who are squeamish. It wouldn't have bothered me if they had shown more. Why? Because for me, sex does not equal bad. Sex is simply something people do. It is pleasurable and it makes people, and I like people. Yes, sometimes sex can be used to denigrate or punish, but I don't think it was in this case.

Was the sex scene titillating? Sure it was. So is chocolate if it's made right.
Yes, he liked it when he had similar powers. But the groundwork is laid so that when he loses those powers in "Out of My Mind," it makes perfect sense that he does have problems with Buffy still having them.

Also, we never see him (as far as I recall) go up against Buffy without her pulling her punches. He thinks she's isn't holding back; she is. Clearly to protect his feelings--there's got to be a reason she thinks that's necessary. Which says a lot to me about how he'd have reacted if she hadn't.

I actually think that the seeds of the Buffy/Riley breakup were laid back way back in S4--the symbolism of being unable to speak to each other in "Hush," for instance, not to mention his appearances in her dream in "Restless." I think it's wonderfully constructed from the very beginning and unfolds very naturally.

Taaroko, my entire point earlier in the thread was taht it isn't about individuals, it's about the system. If you don't believe me, once again, I'd direct you here.

No doubt we could find people of color who don't feel that they're treated any differently because of their race or a queer person who had no trouble coming out of the closet; that doesn't change the fact that the system, this kyriarchy that we live in, treats women differently, just as it treats anyone who isn't read as white or anyone who doesn't fit the heteronormative ideal differently.

I don't know anyone who would blame the wife for a cheating husband. Again, individuals may not say this (at least not explicitly, though I certainly know people who have). It's the cultural attitude. I'm pleased for you that you haven't been around people who perpetuate it.

[ edited by Lirazel on 2010-04-08 23:30 ]
It's more than just the pornishness of the sex itself (and, I'm sorry, any fiction does lose its artistic way the further it trends toward full-frontal, full penetration XXX, so I'm pretty much just going to have to categoricaly disagree), it's the horror show against which its set. I've already seen far too many people squeeing over the sex and ignoring the fact that what's going on around it are events (revealed in exposition) that will kill hundreds of thousands -- at least -- people around the world, and that's *before* counting the portal full of demons that just opened up above all the Scoobies. I mean, would they even bother to react differently if it was Dawn being murdered like in a horror movie that was happening between all the screwing?
lirazel, I suppose we can agree to disagree on this one thing.

But seriously, regarding Riley’s comment about Buffy’s hamburger smell in that episode, I think you’re really misrepresenting the scene. The way you’re phrasing it, it’s as if Riley strutted up to Buffy and pointed at her and laughed over the hamburger smell, but in actuality he mentioned the smell in the context of all the bad things Buffy was going through at that time in her life, and in that scene he also called her something like “the strongest woman I’ve ever known” and told her he knew she was going to get through all this. He wished she didn’t have to be working in a smelly fast food place, sure. Because he cared about her. He wasn’t insulting her.

And as for the bloodsucking, yeah, Riley let a female vampire taste his blood, because he (stupidly) wanted to be, or begin to understand at least, “the cool dark guy” Buffy was evidently attracted to. Yes, it was dumb and it hurt Buffy but let’s not blow it out of proportion: he didn’t have sex with that female vampire. It’s cheating because there’s an intimacy, I suppose, to bloodsucking, but I don’t think it’s unforgiveable, reprehensible cheating, especially since he didn’t do it because he wanted to try someone different from Buffy, he did it because he wanted to understand why Buffy (in his mind) evidently preferred men who were different from him. I’m not blaming Buffy for what he did, I’m just saying I understand why he did it. And actually, Spike deserves some blame too: in many ways he broke Buffy and Riley up, and anyone who thinks Spike lucked into that by accident really wasn't paying enough attention to him. He wanted Buffy in his bed, he schemed, he pursued her, he played on her fears and insecurities, and he finally got her. For awhile. Until she overcame him. (I'm talking pre-soul Spike here by the way; his relationship with Buffy in season seven was drastically different.)

As for my headcase comment: I think watching Conversations With Dead People shows that my point of view is at least defensible. I know that if I had to choose between dating Buffy or dating the woman Riley ended up with, I'd pick Riley's lady every time. She just seems like a lot less frustration. Buffy's insecurities would drive me up a wall. (You don't want to be the Slayer? Then don't be. Move to Australia and let Faith take the ball. Just stop frigging whining about it. That's what season seven was to me: Buffy whining endlessly about sacrifice as if no one else ever had to make one.)
Hellmouthguy: I find his tone and his phrasing completely condescending. It sours the entire thing for me. Like Buffy needed someone to sail in and pat her on the head and say, "Aw, it ain't so bad!" Like that strength wasn't in herself.

I would have had less a problem with it if Xander or Dawn or someone who had seen the roots of her suffering (and who always stuck by her--I'm not that fond of Xander, but I'll give him that: he's never abandoned Buffy) and who wasn't a romantic interest had said something similar. Much less of a problem. Multiple members of my family have struggled with clinical depression, and let me tell you: I know that when they needed someone to pick them up, they wanted that person to be someone who'd been with them through it, not someone who abandoned them with things got rough.

Besides, the humiliation wasn't something he went out of his way to do; it's the tone of the entire episode. What other purpose is there to bring Riley into this moment of her life if not to contrast how awful her life is compared to his? If not to contrast his perfect wife with her? Do you really not wince when Riley walks in to the Doublemeat Palace and sees Buffy with that hat on? It makes me cringe so much I want to cry for her. The whole thing has this tone of dragging her through the mud.

he didn’t have sex with that female vampire. Except that biting is always shown as parallel to sex in the the Buffyverse. Watch Angel sucking Buffy's blood and tell me that isn't a sex scene. Or Dru vamping Spike. Or Darla vamping Angelus. Or that Angelus turning Dru isn't all about rape. Of course there's no real-world comparison to it, but it's pretty clear to me that within the context of the Buffyverse

Also, so you're saying it would have been better if Spike hadn't broken them up? If Riley kept sneaking around and got away with it? While Buffy's strugging with Glory and with her mom, Riley sneaks around across her back because of his own insecurities (and seriously? I'm supposed to feel sorry for him about that?) and we don't want Buffy to know? What if he'd gotten vamped and Dawn invited him in the house? It's mostly reprehensible because it's so dangerous: he could have been turned and then slaughtered everyone; it could have been a much worse version of cheating and then giving your partner an STI.

I have no problem with saying that Spike was manipulative and opportunistic. He didn't have a soul. Why would he not be?

I know that if I had to choose between dating Buffy or dating the woman Riley ended up with, I'd pick Riley's lady every time. She just seems like a lot less frustration.

Of course you would. We only see her contrasted with Buffy, we never see any of her issues. As a matter of fact, she isn't portrayed as having any, and she has the answer to everything: she fixes Xander and Anya's wedding problem, she provides confirmation that you can indeed be addicted to magic, etc. It's easy to say you'd date her when you haven't seen her at her worst moments the way you would Buffy.

[eta] Not to mention that this was further proof to me that Riley wasn't a good match for Buffy anyway: if he wanted her to be different than she was, he shouldn't have stayed with her. Okay, so you (and Riley) wouldn't want to be with someone you see as so whiny. Great! That's the entire point: if you don't want to be with her for who she is, you shouldn't be with her!

I'm also not saying that Buffy doesn't have issues. She does. But she also has such a capacity for forgiveness that it blows my mind, and she sacrifices for those around her every single day. She is full of love. Full of love.

You don't want to be the Slayer? Then don't be. Move to Australia and let Faith take the ball. Just stop frigging whining about it. That's what season seven was to me: Buffy whining endlessly about sacrifice as if no one else ever had to make one.)

No one else has to make any of nearly the magnitude that she does. Can you compare what any other character's been through to what she has? (Possibly Angel. Possibly. But a lot of his issues are his sins returning to haunt him; Buffy's struggles are largely out of her control.)

She died twice, which no one seems to care about. She killed the man she loved. She feels the burden of responsibility for everyone who dies at the hands of the supernatural. She's supposed to have taken noticed Willow's struggles in S6, but Willow isn't supposed to have noticed hers? She is abandoned by her father (and then her father-figure, and two boyfriends) and then her mother dies, leaving her to raise and support her younger sister at the age of what? 19? 20? She gave up the chance at a normal life long ago. When she finally finds rest, she's dragged back to life and forced to deal with clinical depression. She surrenders her house to being taken over by a bunch of strangers--who she then has the burden of protecting. The weight of the world is literally on her shoulders. No one else can share it. Say she does go off to Australia. Faith's still in jail. The world is destroyed. And she's to blame.

Yeah, I'd be whiny, too.

Honestly, I'm amazed you can defend Riley putting other people in danger because of his ego, when you can't have a little compassion for someone whose life is one long sacrifice. You feel sorry for Riley but not for Buffy? This blows my mind.

[ edited by Lirazel on 2010-04-09 00:09 ]
I think we should separate the sex from the display of sex. I have seen few people state that they found the idea of B and A having sex distasteful (yes, a few did), but it is how that act is portrayed- in a comic sold not just to adults- that bothers people. I also find that the 7th iteration of the act is not needed, and is gilding the lily. Sex is a very human act; watching others do it is culturally questionable. How many here are avid porn viewers? Why not? It is just what people do, right? So what the comic shows differs only in degree, and is not needed to tell the story. My feeling is that this will create controversy and boost sales, and that is truly crass. And while some will vehemently disagree with me, and state that Joss has to tell the story he tells, if it boosts sales, that makes publishers happy. It's nothing more than a creative decision that could also include considerations beyond the story itself.
So much WORD, Lirazel. Buffy is a hero, not because she's effortlessly strong, but because she's flawed, because she struggles with the weight of her burdens, but still manages to get it done. Always.
Lirazel-Riley was not the only one at fault; it takes two people to make a relationship and it takes two people to destroy one.
"I'm not sure I can understand how the *world* urges Buffy and Angel to have sex."

Warning: spoilery and mucho speculatory stuff follows.

Giles's commentary intimates that it is a balancing thing to create something new out of Buffy. Thousands of vampires- maybe hundreds of thousands- versus one Slayer has never, ever been a fair and balanced situation. The deck was always stacked in favor of the vampires. But the world seeks balance, like water seeing its own level. I think it is that principle to which Giles refers.

Up until Buffy, the Slayers have- to a girl- held on to their power as long as possible and then died. They have been trained to do this and the survival instinct would agree. Buffy, bolstered by having a committed circle of friends and not being alone (the First Slayer says "No friends. We are alone" or something like that, and until Buffy it has always been that way except maybe in 1680 or something) has broken the mold. She died once and was saved by friends. She sacrificed herself once and was brought back- brutally- by friends. She found ways to connect to the enemy (vampires and demons and find their value and even goodness. Buffy has suffered and while loathing the pain and regretting her situation has done what she must. The price of being the Slayer has been a conscious choice for her.

Buffy did something unprecedented in thousands of years of Slayers when she shared the power and awakened the potentials, did something unprecedented when she voluntarily gave up the power back to the Earth to save the girls, then got power back and now is transforming into something new. Possibly a god.

Buffy has transcended all the previous Slayers because of her insistence that she is part of the world and part of humanity, not allowing the power to separate her from those she loves. This has resulted in the "world" responding to the force of character revealed in these choices; she has passed the test and the universe is pushing her into something new. It is an Ascension, but not the way the Mayor Ascended. He did it as a self-serving thing (which is what evil always is) whereas Buffy's Ascension is not of her intention or desire- or even, at this point, her recognition.

But there is a price, it seems. The Old Ones who left this dimension may come back with legions of demons. Buffy's transformation, like everything else in the Jossverse, comes with strings attached. No good deed goes unpunished.

"The situation becomes weirder and weirder."

'Struth. And still waiting to find out what happened with Angel's curse. He should be dead evil by about now.

I'm still not convinced that we're not surfing with sharks by Twilight being Angel.
Joss&co have to compete with both Meyer's Twilight and Ball's True blood and I think this issue does both quite nicely ;o)
menomegirl: it takes two people to make a relationship and it takes two people to destroy one. Well, I don't entirely agree with your later point. There are people who are doing all they can and are cheated on. And in that case, it is one person's fault. Also, if one person is abusing the other. That's only one person's fault. People are capable of being jackasses or evil.

But no, I'm not saying Buffy was a complete victim. But Buffy isn't the type to be emotionally open. Riley wanted her to be. The two of them weren't compatible. And his reaction to that wasn't appropriate. Just like a relationship may be breaking down, but if one half cheats, that person is at fault. Once he figured out she wasn't giving him what he wanted, he should have walked away. Just because she withdraws emotionally doesn't make it okay for him to cheat on her. Or to put her in danger. So yeah. I blame him more than I do her for what happened in "Into the Woods."
Verging on way off topic but imo Riley was not only trying to understand why Buffy wanted what she wanted he was trying to build up courage to become what he thought Buffy wanted. The vampire issue was kind of a sex metaphor but he could have chose to have sex with some one else so it shouldn't be taken as 100% as Riley was cheating.
So if we're using the vampire biting issue as a sex metaphor, why has no one mentioned Dracula biting Buffy? That's what started Riley on his downward spiral.
Whoa, in the space of less than a day... 200+ posts! I'm kind of in love with the fandom :)

Vergil, I appreciate your take on Angel as a character but like Alex_Jamieson, I do adopt a different view of him - which is fine, different strokes and all (as, to my amusement, has been repeated many times in this thread) I respect your opinion, and while I agree that some of Angel's choices have been ill-natured in the past, I do still believe he is a hero for the mere fact that the futility of his actions doesn't preclude his moral responsibility to do what's right because it's right.

For me he has, plenty of times over the years he's had this controlling tendecy, believing his way is the only way to do things. Killing innocent people to further his own goals.


I didn't get this impression. In fact, Angel clearly denounced the role of the leader in season two when he recognised the importance of AI's work and the value of friendship, handing over the title to Wesley - "I want to work for you." Despite the fact that he abandoned them initially, it's understandable given that he was under the torpor of existential despair; I'm not condoning his actions, rather trying to demonstrate how they shouldn't merely be judged for right and wrong but for how they can be justified. And I honestly think that it was even essential for Angel to have undergone this to realise that at the end of the day, "If nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do", allowing him to retread the road to fight the good fight once more. Yes, Angel has a plethora of flaws as a leader and as an individual fighting for redemption. Yes, he can get caught up in his own agenda and think that his way is the only way. But this can also be evidenced by Buffy herself. How many times in S7 were her actions heavily detrimental to the group? Take away the deus ex machina of the scythe and view her actions; there was a reason behind her exile and Faith's replacement. Her choices were at the time inconsiderate of the collective opinion of the group. Saving the day doesn't take away from the fact that her actions were rather hasty and reckless. I'm not saying this to undermine Buffy's role as a leader in any way - I admire the girl for her strength and other various attributes, truly - but Angel at the very least learnt to value on a greater scale the opinions of others while still retaining the title of leader; Buffy, while sharing her power, ultimately got the gig back while Angel had to learn to reconcile his views with others. Which leads me to my next argument...

I disagree about him 'willingly starting the acpocalypse'. The choice to take on the Senior Partners was a collective decision made by AI, or what was left of it. Angel made it clear that "You need to decide for yourselves if that's worth dying for. I can't order you to do this. Can't do it without you. So we'll vote... as a team. Think about what I'm asking you to do. Think about what I'm asking you to give." That he couldn't bring things fully into motion without the support and actions of the group tells me that every one of them individually and independently made the choice to fight. So by banding together to battle the Senior Partners implicates not just Angel, but the entire group. While Angel is in part responsible for the ramifications, each one of the Fang Gang is culpable. And who knows, like someone mentioned previously, Angel/Twilight's actions may echo something similar to those in Power Play.

Hellmouthguy, I agree with your assessment of Riley. I personally didn't get the impression that Riley was in any way denigrating Buffy for the pit in which her life had sunk. On the contrary, I thought he was re-affirming her strength and resilience in being able to rise above her circumstances. I became nostalgic, to my very huge surprise, in As You Were, because Riley's presence allowed Buffy to re-evaluate her actions thus far in the season.

I've kinda run out of steam now. Coupled with the fact that I can no longer remember my thoughts and counterpoints to the discussion going on here. It's kind of pleasing to be able to engage in such a raging discussion after all these years though, and everyone has really interesting and valid points.
Re: this Riley/Buffy/Spike thing:

As always, part of this just comes down to which characters we like. And I don't mean that to belittle any of the valid points people are making here, in fact I exhibit this trait myself. I like Riley. I like Marc Blucas. So I'm often inclined to see Riley's point of view over someone else's. I don't like Xander (he just grates on my nerves) and so I often have a hard time seeing his point of view. Spike, for me, is more complicated. I like James Marsters. But I think his character was allowed to run away with the show.

Lirazel, Buffy was my favorite character on BtVS for the first five and a half years. Then we got the interior decorator joke. Then she redeemed herself for awhile. Then we got season seven, which I like to call "Season of the Bitch". (Or maybe "Season of the Botch".) By the time season seven ended I found myself disliking Buffy profoundly (but never Sarah Michelle Gellar, I always thought she was neat) and wishing she would just sort of go away and stop making speeches at me. But I always did retain that fondness for the girl I fell in love with those first five seasons and it led me to writing my fanfic: first and foremost, my stories are my attempt to restore Buffy to the person I always thought she was. So, yeah, I do in fact love Buffy Summers. Just not this one.
But Buffy isn't the type to be emotionally open. Riley wanted her to be. The two of them weren't compatible. And his reaction to that wasn't appropriate. Just like a relationship may be breaking down, but if one half cheats, that person is at fault. Once he figured out she wasn't giving him what he wanted, he should have walked away. Just because she withdraws emotionally doesn't make it okay for him to cheat on her.


Buffy was rarely emotionally open with Riley. She was quite effusive with Angel and Spike, and it was this and their appeal that Riley could never understand, IMO. The wedge that drove them apart was Buffy's tendency to drive Riley away; I certainly would be upset if I discovered news of importance concerning Buffy through Spike if I were Riley. It was the fact that Buffy denied having pushed Riley away that they could not reconcile their relationship. She refused or didn't allow herself to truly see the nature of her actions until Xander's intervention when she recognised the truth. I don't think anyone is condoning Riley's actions but simply establishing that they were understandable. ...And I'm confused now why I'm talking about their relationship :S

ETA: Buffy in Australia? Happy thought, I shall take up patrolling with her.

[ edited by cardea on 2010-04-09 02:37 ]
cardea, going off on another subject entirely seems to happen frequently in these discussions. :)
Haha, I love this thread. It's gone from zOMG Bangel PORN! to discussions about Riley. Maybe his upcoming one-shot was a stroke of genius by DH.
The Dark Shape, I would bold your name but I don't know how to do that on my pc and can't find the instructions on the "how to" page.

But to reply to your message, I like Seasons 1 and 3 just fine. Admittedly, I did not become a regular viewer of the television show until its later seasons and maybe that's why I like Spike's story because he figured so prominently in those seasons. Or maybe I just liked what Mr.Marster's did with that character.

Concerning making a sale, I'm not saying anything's wrong with reuniting Angel and Buffy. But let's face it, getting them back together was going to generate more publicity than any other ship in the Buffyverse and that could only help Dark Horse's bottom line. Angel is the heavyweight, he has his own franchise, so it was going to generate a big buzz. Treat the story with as much respect as you like but these people want to make money too.

Now I as a Spike fan I waited for word of a spinoff after Season 7. Didn't happen. Read articles answering the question of a possible Spike movie. Didn't happen. Now three years of Season 8 and next to nothing about Spike. It's a little frustrating. So for me, perhaps it would be better to just buy the tpb's since the individual comic holds less anticipation than any of my other monthly magazines. It's why Brian Lynch's project has caught my interest.

With all that said, I'm new to Whedonesque, so hello everyone! I really do enjoy you guys!
Folks, what if Buffy gets pregnant?
We shall all knit lil booties and send thousands of them to Joss in protest!
"Folks, what if Buffy gets pregnant?"

I think that's a very real possibility. It's almost become a cliche that no female charcter's arc is complete until they've given birth. And given that Joss seems to have already captured a nice size shark and Fonzie is water skiing towards it....
Wow. I can't believe that I missed the Buffy and Spike panel. And it was one of the pages I could look at without my eyes bleeding.

Sorry, but it wasn't something I really wanted to look at. You know, it's really hard to talk about these issues without mentioning shipping, but what's the opposite of it?
I kind of want eye bleach too, and this was very much on board my ship. I found myself focusing on random insignificant details, like the spit or sweat or whatever the heck it was that got its own panel twice (and why, exactly? I am beyond confused about that), and one of Buffy's fingers being teal by mistake, and the blank speech bubble in space, and Angel's tattoo, and stuff, to avoid focusing on the lots and lots of bare skin.
If Buffy gets pregnant, someone needs to sit Angel down and talk to him about protection.
redeem147-The opposite of shipping? Hmm. Watching Xena: the Warrior Princess for years and thinking Xena and Gabby never had sex?

If Buffy gets pregnant, I think Angel needs to get his pipes snipped.

Oh, crap. I was so busy reading this thread that I totally forgot Supernatural was coming on. *facepalm* Woe.

[ edited by menomegirl on 2010-04-09 04:32 ]
I hope she'll have twins! And names them Melaka and Harth!
@Taaroko: I'm guessing it was meant to show just how fast they were moving. That bead of liquid was still suspended in the air, when they had disappeared because of how fast they were moving. Right after the first incidence, Satsu reports: "Radar says they're not moving, but they're picking up speed, as if --"
The second incidence was just before what I'm guessing was an earth-shattering "arrival", since they rocketed off, clenched teeth and all...
Okay, yeah, I kinda wondered if it was that. It just seemed like a weird move, to have a little blue blob thing in its own tiny panel, twice.
But strangely effective, no, at conveying motion? :)
Eh, I guess. I always thought "fwoosh"-type sound effect words and blur lines were standard fare for that. But maybe those wouldn't have come across in quite the right way here, given their, uh, activities.
Okay, I finally got a chance to actually read it. It was not what I expected at all. It made me LMAO! Was it supposed to be funny?
I expected heartbreak and I got ridiculous! I guess that's what I get for judging it by other people's reviews. I mean I'm still not happy about this being what the Buffy verse has become, but I'm not mad, or heartbroken so I say yay me!
I've mentioned this briefly, but on far less contentious threads, so there hasn't been much discussion of it: what if Twilight has been the good guy all along?

Everyone's reaction so far has been "uh oh, ominous magical force controlling Buffy and Angel, the bad is coming." That would, of course, be the obvious move. But Joss isn't exactly the most obvious of writers. It would be way more interesting, and solve way more problems (for example, how to not have ruined Angel for those of us who think this whole madness supervillain Twilight kick seems like an "absurd cartoon" - great phrase, whoever came up with it) than the conventional, and stupid, "it's the evil universe!" Or the other obvious move - Spike the savior swoops the slayer to safety, or whatever. We've seen Spike be the voice of reason before (Buffy Season 7, after Faith fucks up the attack on the so-called armory). Something new, please - and something that doesn't make either Angel or Spike out to be morally compromised beyond redemption.

It would be brilliant, and very Jossian, to make the consequentialist/utilitarian choice seem like the good one - Buffy kills Angel in Season 2, Giles kills Ben in Season 5, and now Angel and Buffy have to kill many innocent people to save the world. Heartwrenching? Yes. Complicated and interesting? Oh hell yes. Not stupid and cliched, unlike what the cartoon looks like it might turn out to be? Absolutely.

One final point: Buffy S7-8 (and arguably Angel S5, though it seemed more about strategies of political change) were about war. In war, you have to make horrible choices, where a number of innocent people die no matter what one does. Usually, our depictions of war don't live up to that - the hero can win the war by risking him/herself to save all the innocents. Sunnydale, for example, is empty when Buffy destroys it, minimizing the civilian death toll. That's not what real war is like. Real war is messy, bloody, and horrible. Self-sacrifice might be in vain, and definitely can't stop innocents from being killed. If Joss and co. want to take war seriously, then they've got to show that causing, sometimes even knowingly causing, the deaths of innocents can be morally necessary. If it turns out that Buffy and Angel becoming gods, and unleashing a demon invasion in the process, turns out to be necessary to prevent something much worse, then my faith in the writing staff will have been restored in the face of what to date has seemed like an absolute debacle.
Kaan says...I hope she'll have twins! And names them Melaka and Harth!

It's interesting that you went here too. I had the exact same thought IF and that's a big IF, Buffy and Angel have a love child. This would be a way for Joss to bring his own character back to the big screen, since he can't figure out how to get Buffy back away from the K??? whatever the name is. Not loving the idea of one of their children being an evil vampire though...but this would allow Joss to move his saga into the next generation of characters. I would prefer to stick with Buffy but I can see why he would move on.
I was out with a few friends tonight (one Bangel, one tending to the Spuffy - I think my position is known) and I mentioned I had the new issue in my bag and was going home to read it with trepidation. Both mention that they aren't interested in the comics, but wondered what I was referring to.

Me: Buffy and Angel are flying around and f....g.
Friend 2: In an airplane?
Me: No, just flying.
Friend 1: What?
Me: They can fly. They have superpowers.
Friend 1: Does Joss know about this?
Friend 2: My canon is closed.

:)
I agree, goingtowork. Brings to mind Wesley's quote from "There's No Place Like Plrtz Glrb": "You try not to get anybody killed, you wind up getting everybody killed."

Also, to all of you "Buffy and Angel are Mel and Harth's parents" theorists: I think you're forgetting about Erin.
Lol @ your friends, redeem147. I think I feel the same as Friend 2.
If you want to go with the Mel/Harth=Bangel children theory, Erin isn't necessarily a hindrance. She's the much older sister, and their parents have never been seen. Erin could just be the surrogate mother/sister figure.
Yeah I always thought(not based on factual evidence or anything) that Erin was more of a step-sister if anything, that Erin's parents were Mel's adopted parents. And I don't really believe Mel and Harth are gonna turn out to be the Bangel Twins. But the current issue/sexcapades was all time-bendy again, so it could be a possibility.

I liked that redeem147. It reminds me of how confused I get when someone talks about Lost, which a haven't watched in years. Im like Flash-sideways?

ETA: Oh and we're well into the 300+ posts mark. Yay, go team!

[ edited by Kaan on 2010-04-09 06:02 ]
While I'm not someone who thinks the "Buffy/Angel are the Fray twins parents" theory is right...it could work. Consider their time shifting and that we even saw a panel of Fray (reminder?). If they landed in the future where there was no magic, and gave birth to the slayer-twins? It'd explain how the slayer line restarted. The "super-slayer" revives the line.
Doesn't explain the....actually it does explain why demons are back. If what we're seeing about how their "engagement" is creating a rip that's drawing demons out of other dimensions and into this one then maybe that same rip occurs in the future but on a smaller scale?
Well, if you go by the status quo argument that the universe is apparently making, if a Slayer is somehow born in the future, the only way to counter that is to allow some demons back in. Speculative, of course, but the whole "balance" thing seems to be the big player here.
"Lol @ your friends, redeem147. I think I feel the same as Friend 2."

Me three.

Joss' version of make up sex is making up for the sex he couldn't show on tv, a bit like Gene Roddenberry making up for being forbidden to show navels on Star Trek by giving two novels to the mutants in his unsold pilot six years later. Not so much jumping the shark this issue as the shark falling on top with a heavy thud.

The things that can be done in comics can be really really awful things, like giving Peter Parker a few hundred clones that melt away, or repeatedly destroying or completely re-writing universes, or having the umpteenth angsty superhero agony. A real S8, even on FX or HBO or Showtime, would have prevented the supersex with the world heaving, because it would've been (a) too costly and (b) would have simply looked ditzy on screen.

In the age when poets wrote epics, many incredibly unreadable epics were produced, and happily forgotten. I'm happy to forget this one.
. . . Now that the term 'chaos' has been introduced, I'm considering the possibility that we've just seen Joss' biggest mislead ever . . . because chaos in Buffyverse means one person, who was supposedly killed off at the start of S8 . . .
Does anyone else think the Fray panel means that the Scythe of her time just got magically repaired, much like how Faith just got her powers back and Willow got hers three days before? Also, aside from being helpful for Fray against the lurks, what significance could that have if it's really what's going on in that panel?
Wow bluegrrl! Yes. I never even thought of that. That would actually be pretty neat. But I doubt it's that though.

Wow again Taaroko. This is what I love about discussion. Picking these little things apart. I think you're probably right.
the fact that this post has over 300 comments is kind of amazing, I think this means that the Buffyverse is actually up and running again. Things got slow for so long (Predators and Prey, and Retreat was pretty meh as well).
Controversy and passion is what I like to see in a fandom!

I've got to say though, I can't handle how people say things like "obviously most of the fandom is alienated", "everyone agrees that this is ridiculous". I really like it when people just let me know there own point of view instead of generalizing for the nebulous 'fandom'.

There's so much cryptic stuff. The panels where time flashes and then Willow suddenly has the revelation of the Universe 'urging on' Buffy and Angel..... where did this come from? Where did Willow suddenly develop that theory at? I'm hoping Angel plays captain explains the exposition, because the exposition alone is pretty mind boggling.
"Yes. I never even thought of that. That would actually be pretty neat. But I doubt it's that though."

It hit me with full force -- what's Ethan doing in Buffy's dream if he has no relation to the whole course of the season? Why would Joss dispose of Giles' nemesis so off-handedly? And why give us such an OTT sex sequence unless it were a standard Joss throwing sand in our eyes to hide his real machinations?

As soon as the idea hit me, it not only seemed completely appropriate to Joss, but I couldn't really imagine anything else that would tie what seemed so haphazard & befuddlingly complex together . . .It's Ethan Rayne's long-planned vengeance, persuading Giles that this is all part of an immense metaphysical jump, when it's ultimate chaos magics at work . . .
" can't help but think that our shipping rule is flashing "DANGER DANGER WILL ROBINSON". And we all know what happened the last time that happened. So cool it on the pro/anti shipping comments.
Simon | April 08, 21:39 CET "

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Hi Simon - I just started posting at this great site, came for info and keeping up with all things Whedonverse today -

I really appreciate the value of moderators now - since I have been at some of the other boards and experienced all the Shipper Squabbles -

The Buffyverse is infinitely more interesting and compelling than the romance between B/A or B/S.

So thank you for trying to keep this site focused on the totality of the comic book season and on the series.

Why can't we just agree that people love and support their individual romantic pairing - Both relationships are valid, they are so totally different and explored very different elements of the characters and very different elements of how people love.

There are several other boards where people can discuss their love for any romantic pairing - it's nice not to have more of that here.
Joss is a romantic, albeit the late-20th century variety, and the passion that Buffyverse generates largely owes to the centrality of the issues that go along with that -- questions of fidelity & betrayal, transcendence & damnation, all as expressed through one's sense of an ideal counterpart or companion.

But because he's a late 20th-century romantic, all this is fraught & shot through with disappointments & sabotage. There's that great t-shirt that sums it up -- "Don't fall in love, Joss Whedon will kill you." The non-erotic relationships are exploited just as much as the erotic relationships are, in order to show how dangerous we are to ourselves, and how fundamentally risky & contradictory a thing love is. We'll never get a Whedon tale which gives some rest or resolution: the point of these relationships is to add to, not subtract from, the conflicts that define them. The old equation stands: 'Buffy happy: bad. Buffy unhappy: good.'

Thus Joss giveth; and thus Joss taketh away. Here endeth the lesson.
I've got to say though, I can't handle how people say things like "obviously most of the fandom is alienated", "everyone agrees that this is ridiculous". I really like it when people just let me know there own point of view instead of generalizing for the nebulous 'fandom'.


There's an old politician's trick that when someone says "I know lots of people who hate this", you should reply with "name 300 of them".

Didn't the pregnancy thing happen to much fan derision in one of the final Buffy novels?
"Most importantly, any of these situations were all created because of Angel's own actions"

This is it exactly, thanks for saying it so clearly for me. Just how I feel about the character as well. Much of his pain and suffering are the result of his own choices. It was never so much about his not being punished for those choices, but that he so often decides on a course of action that brings pain or endangers other people. Just one example is when he sends Connor in to fight Sahjahn (sp?) Angel wasn't sure that Connor would get his super human strength back when he sends Connor in there - his plan was probably that he could throw himself into the fight if he needed to. Connor could easily have been killed but Angel's choice is to send his only son into that room because he wants to keep the memory spell working. Angel's plan to go into the fight if he needs to completely falls apart when the barrier is put in place. Connor only got he super human strength back just before he was about to be killed. Angel makes these kind of choices so often. Same for the Black Thorn plan - that was his Grand Stand Statement, but why involve all those people that he loved and that were loyal to him for all that time? He could have made a Grand Statement but put only his own life at risk. He did not have to bring everyone else into it, but that is the choice he made. Certainly, everyone agreed to join him, but my problem with the plan is that he did not have to asks his friends to die with him.

On the opposite side there is Angel/Angelus at one of his best moments - when he offers his own life in exchange for Darla's.

Angel is a great interesting and wonderful hero but he is also a very flawed one - all the Buffyverse prime character hero models are. Angel and Buffy perhaps the most.
"I hope she'll have twins! And names them Melaka and Harth!
Kaan | April 09, 04:30 CET"
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Remember that Fray is shown with a tattoo very similar to the one Buffy is shown having in "lessons" - you can see it on her when Buffy travels to that timeline.
Finally got the issue! YAY!

First of all some of the comments here made it sound like it was graphic porn but I didn't find them that bad. If anything they made me grin: I think I must be reverting to a 12 yr old when any mention of sex makes you giggle. I was wondering though, when they're off the earth are they on a different plane or actually in space - because there's no oxygen in space! That might not affect Angel if he's still a vampire but Buffy is still very much human. Unless they became gods during their sexcapade and so have the priviledge of not needing oxygen!

But yay! for an upcoming Spike appearance. We need someone to make sense of all this and Spike would be perfect for it. And also for some much needed snark!

I'm glad Buffy and Angel are having their moment(s) of happiness but I'm still worried for them, individually and as a 'ship. For now, it seems that there is some other force driving their actions, I don't believe that they are completely in control of themselves, least of all Angel. What I don't quite buy yet is the whole 'Universe has a grand plan' idea. I can understand the need for a balance of power just like the need for a balance between good and evil - for you cannot have a completely utopian society (although I agree with Xander about 1 slayer vs thousands of vampires) but what I don't get the 'universe is urging them on' as if, as Taaroko said, it is a sentient being. Giles makes it seem as if Slayers just poofed out of nowhere. The universe itself didn't create slayers, men did. (Unless we are supposed to see this as how the nature can be sexist, which is something I've been thinking about for a while now, for example: men will generally have more physical strength than women, women can't naturally have children past a certain age whereas men can... but I think that's stretching it)
I can't understand how we got from the 'we can't change the world, or eradicate evil entirely but what matters is that we try, we keep fighting' theme that ran through both shows, to Buffy and Angel creating a new world order.

To sum up my reaction: 'splainy please, Joss?

Nmcil, couldn't you then say the same for Buffy. She could have jumped into the Hellmouth by herself instead of empowering the potentials. But the point is in both cases that the fight was coming, sooner or later the Senior Partners would have made their move and therefore sooner or later everyone's lives would be at risk anyway. And yes, Angel could have made a statement by himself, but it wouldn't have done much good going up against Evil Inc. all by his lonesome: chances were they weren't going to succeed anyway, but the odds of it being fruitless would have been even higher. Both Buffy and Angel could have taken a stand by themselves, they could have sent everyone packing so that their lives might have been saved but it would have done even less good: they couldn't go up against a world of evil by themselves. Angel did offer his team a choice, and they chose for themselves. Besides, even Buffy and Angel they had tried to send their friends away, how many would have gone? There were strong bonds of loyalty within both teams and so I'd guess that at least some of them would have stayed.

[ edited by Shep on 2010-04-09 12:32 ]
As to the idea of pregnancy, I meant that as a serious consideration. Why would "the Universe" wish to throw Buffy and Angel together to have sex? Just so they could have sex? That really does not make much sense. But sex is also creative, in that it can make babies as well. What would be theimplication of a slayer and a vampire creating a baby? What would that mean in the slayerverse?

(Simon, never read that book, and even so, it probably was not with Angel. Further, we know slayers get pregnant, of course- Nikki Wood did- but here, a slayer and a vampire?).
Yeah, the idea that Buffy will get pregnant and give birth to Mel and Harth does seem worryingly plausible. If you'd suggested that a year ago, it would have been ridiculous and laughable, but compared to where we've got to now. . . it'd be one of the more logical story elements.
Dana you'd be -- both literally and figuratively -- half-right and half-wrong about Buffy's prose pregnancy not being with Angel. Guh. Face... palm. It's actually reassuring to remember that no matter how far to the zoo this current arc has gone, it's still better than "Queen of the Slayers".
Well, at the moment, them having sex is bringing about the birth of a new reality, it seems. The apocalyptic craziness that's happening is supposed to be the birthing pains of said new reality.

As for the novel in which Buffy gets knocked up... wasn't that Queen of the Slayers. I never read it beyond the article on Wikipedia.

[ edited by wenxina on 2010-04-09 13:17 ]
As the above posters have pointed out, yes it was Queen of the Slayers I was thinking of.

And I finally got a hold of Buffy #34. Thought it was good, it upped the ante, nice bit of backstory about the Watchers and the earth is peril. Yay! Also Buffy now is clearly insane too. But she did miss the sex.
I've just reread 'Time of Your Life' and now it does seem possible that the arc is linked to the Frayverse. In the last panel of #34 we see the army of demons - if Buffy was the unnamed slayer who fought them and banished all demons and magicks for a couple of centuries then...it kinda makes sense(?). But the Mel and Harth would have had to have been transported through time or something.

Actually, I don't know if it makes sense.
Hi Shep -

These questions that we all ask is why I loved the series so very much - why I still am drawn to the Buffyverse even now.

Angel is so complicated - and I think that ultimately how you see interpret his character comes down to your personal set of morals and ethics. In my world view, I don't think I would have asked nor placed the AI team in this position. Especially, considering that the damage inflicted on Angel's target would not have a long lasting effect. The Senior Partners and all of those Super Power Elites would simply have initiated damage control and started up again. Angel's Grand Gesture did not serve any real purpose outside of the message.
My moral perspective would have taken the "get back to the small" while it may not be the spectacular Big Grand Gesture, I would have touched and help to save lives of people in the here and now. Eventually all those one at a time touches and savings of a life will add up to big numbers. And I would not have asked anyone to give up their lives. It's so much easier to want to place blame for the misery of our society onto the the Evil Black Hats - but all those Black Hats would not have the power if all the little everyday people did not give up their own power or agree to be part of the corruption. Everyone one of us adds strength to either the positive forces or the negative forces.

I don't think Angel had to make the Big Grand Gesture - It's been a while since I watched Season Five, but what fight was coming? Were the Senior Partners and W&H going to upscale their plans for domination? And how much of Angel's decision was influenced by his emotional state? Throughout the season we see that Angel is suffering from grave doubts about himself and his mission. Why would the Senior Partners make a grand domination move against the human world? The human world is their play ground and continual flow to feed their hunger. Not for nothing that Pavanne is used as a symbol.

Angel's grand gesture story we know is a necessary plot device, it would not have made a very dramatic or powerful exit for the series had Angel and his AI team taken the step back to saving one life and a time - you would not have had that wonderful scene with all his friends and team raising their hands - but you would have had them all going back into the world doing their duty, still be heroes and helping make the world a better place.

One of the things I was very disappointed about was the end of Spike as the solitary man working the streets - of course we know that it had to end as that plot was of little service to the focus of the series, but still - I liked it very much.

What about Buffy and The First war - that I think was a different circumstance - The First was actively engaged in a war against the Slayer line and the Potentials. It was not the same circumstances because each of them were being attack and had to be part of the defense. At Sunnydale it was either fight or die trying to save themselves and the world - they did not have the option of retreat to the "smaller battle field" that Angel could have taken.

Where Buffy and all the warriors in Sunnydale had to go up against The First and the Uber Vamp Army - did Angel really have to go up against Evil Inc? Logically Angel should have died at the hands of Hamilton - he was having his butt kicked royally. It was only by sheer luck that Hamilton and stupidly by Hamilton that Angel was given the key to defeating Hamilton by taking his blood.

I know that I did not really answer your direct questions, but this is how I see the choice made for Angel's exit plan.

Now with Season Eight, I guess "the universe" would have made sure that Angel had survived the fallout from his Grand Gesture plan - since Angel was needed to become Buffy Vampire mate -
Gotta love how Angel describes his LA experience.
So - were we seeing "Tantric Sex" taking place and is Buffy an avatar for Shakti?

And is that Andrew whose sculpture we see in Twilightland?
Connor always had his super strength, nmcil. That's why he was able to survive getting hit by a van going 60 miles per hour. What he lacked until Wesley smashed the Orlon Window was all of his experience as a warrior. Connor proved that earlier in the episode by punching one of Vail's demon minions across the parking lot when he and his parents were being attacked. Connor always had the strength to beat Sahjhan; he just didn't know how to use it. Angel may have underestimated the value of the fighting experience Connor no longer remembered, but he didn't just throw his son in a room to die, and he really did think he'd be able to fight alongside him--even do most of the fighting himself.
I wonder if the universe is the PTB. Cause they've been manipulating Buffy and Angel for a while.
"Well, at the moment, them having sex is bringing about the birth of a new reality, it seems. The apocalyptic craziness that's happening is supposed to be the birthing pains of said new reality."

God, I hope not. That just seems so stupid. I hope there is a better explanation- or some explanation- as to how that is supposed to work. They screw and the world changes? What is so special about sex that it would remake the universe? Everyone has sex, so why these two, considering that some time ago, they already had sex?
It's because of what they've become now. Or rather, what they're becoming. Unless they're already become by the end of the issue. But the point is, it's because of their new status.

[ edited by wenxina on 2010-04-09 14:27 ]
I don't know if they've become by the end of the issue, but...

Bah. Rutting like its Season 2 of "True Blood" while the world is being destroyed because of it will probably, in retrospect, make this at least bittersweet to even the most devoted Buffy/Angel fan.
Dana I totally agree It does seem very odd/silly to me too. I mean the whole thing came across to me as some weird mixture of old Start trek episode cast off. Where folks become Gods, complete with suitable Greek god attire. That last panel was a killer for all the wrong reasons unfortunately.

I do hope that Joss goes beyond this 'sentient Universe' malarkey and that it does indeed turn out to be something else entirely.
So to sum up: Their new status as god-like creatures is the universe's reward to them for a) Buffy sharing her power (ignoring that Faith shared it too) and b) Angel being the first vampire that a slayer had sex with. The two of them having sex now, changes the world, allowing demons to come back and teleports them to Twilight. And the universe is very into planning and can actually directly control people.

Yeah, doesn't sound stupid at all...

[ edited by NotaViking on 2010-04-09 14:59 ]
"Universe", "PTB", "God"... sounds same-ish to me.
Maybe we'll actually find out why Angel was brought back from the hell dimension, did that ever get explained?
Guess I should have made it clearer, nmcil. Ah well...I meant that W&H would have made their move against AI, not plans for world domination. Actually, I guess you could say that they were already making their move, had been for a long time - they wanted Angel on the dark side when it came to the apocalypse and they wanted to distract AI from their real purpose: helping the helpless. I agree with you that it would have been better to take the 'get back to the small route', save one life at a time, but I don't think it would have been simple to do so: they were already in W&H. Angel had dug a hole for himself in accepting the offer and I don't know if W&H would have let him go so easily. They certainly didn't let Wes go even in death: he came back all ghostified in ATF (I suppose you could argue that ghost-Wesley was a decision made after the end of the series but it makes sense seeing the way Lilah went). W&H did have a plan for Angel ever since they found out he was a key player in the Apocalypse. They tried screwing with him once using Darla - almost worked but he thankfully snapped of it. Then they offered him the keys to the LA branch but again he snapped out of it thanks to Cordelia in 'Your Welcome'. Had that not happened I'm sure they would have upped their game.

Wolfram and Hart didn't just cause evil, they were representative of it and helped it along. There's no way you can have a lasting effect on evil and this was a message conveyed throughout the show's run: 'See, for us, there is no fight. Which is why winning doesn't enter into it. We...go on, no matter what'. Like you said, they'd have just started up again but Angel knew that: 'We can't bring down the senior partners, but for one bright, shining moment, we can show them that they don't own us.'. I agree that it would have been better to go back to help-the-helpless mode, to do what he realised after his epiphany 'the smallest act of kindness is the greatest thing in the world'. It's one of the things I loved about Season 1 - Angel was just trying to help people in a city full of evils. Yet I think that he wouldn't have been able to do that as successfully with Wolfram and Hart continually screwing with him.

[ edited by Shep on 2010-04-09 15:08 ]
Well as I said NotaViking maybe this plot is a front for something else entirely. Something less, well, I gotta say, stupid sounding?

It's not like Whedon hasn't played a 360 in a story before.

[ edited by sueworld2003 on 2010-04-09 15:08 ]
Yeah, there are plot holes you could drive the USS New York through when it comes to the sharing/creating (Giles makes this distinction in the issue) of Slayer power. For one thing, it's not only Buffy's power and that's textual from "Chosen" -- she even refers to it as "our" power, referring to Faith. And, in further point of fact, it's mostly Faith's, because even the writers were acknowledging that Faith was the Slayer through whom the line was going by the time Buffy died in "The Gift", which is why no new Slayer (we still don't know why they let the characters be wrong about that in Season 7).

And yet, no glowy superpower for Faith? She got her own power back, but that doesn't seem to be quite involved in this.

SNORK. What if the way to stop Buffy and Angel is that Faith has to have a quickie with Spike and they get glowy superpowers? I dunno.

All this also opens up the truckload of legitimate points, textually argued between Spike and Angel, over being cursed vs. seeking a soul, etc. I really think that "the best of their kind" is a pretty damn shitty thing to try to make mythological fact out of, since it's a very qualitative, very subjective kind of statement. Those who would define Spike as "the best" of "his kind" could raise a legit argument, and aside from which, what is Angel's "kind"? Vampires? Vampires with souls? Vampires *cursed* with souls? Vampires with hairgel? What is the set from which he is being deemed "the best"?

I think the plotholes are going to be far more annoying to people, btw, since they had years to touch this up between thinking it up and publishing it, vs. weeks/months with a TV season.
I just hope that all the newbies who are just discovering Buffy on MTV and LOGO don't get wind of all of this. It could totally taint their Buffy discovery experience.
I hope we get a good explanation for the 'They-are-as-Gods' thing. Actually, we need a good explanation for everything!

I've always wondered what Spike and Faith would be like as a couple. Please don't throw things Spuffy-ers! *runs for cover*

[ edited by Shep on 2010-04-09 15:26 ]
Sorry I dropped out of the comics long time ago (and closed my canon with TV series), but got this issue to look at all the fabled sex.
It was worth it - it was such a good laugh! This OTT cosmic sex, with its self-parody and subversion, was pure Joss!
And complete with Jeanty's style it was like watching Chibi porn - made it even funnier.
But the thought I needed to share here is that those sex scenes seem to be stylistically derived and following that Threesome panel from 8.3, don't you think?
I think now that panel was a premonition of the things to come!
"Universe", "PTB", "God"... sounds same-ish to me.

Certainly the PTB and god(s) are very similar and that's fine, but the universe is something totally different. If they meant the PTB then they would have said that - it's already established, but they didn't.

Well as I said NotaViking maybe this plot is a front for something else entirely.

I genuinely hope so.

I really think that "the best of their kind" is a pretty damn shitty thing to try to make mythological fact out of, since it's a very qualitative, very subjective kind of statement.

Guess that's been a bit overlooked, but it is really bad. Making that judgement, especially after what Angel has done as Twilight, is highly questionable. Agreed regarding Faith and the time available to the writers is one of the things that pisses me off about the big mistakes we've already seen and will annoy the hell out of me if this doesn't all make sense in the end.
"I think now that panel was a premonition of the things to come! "

Oh dear god Nata, I hadn't thought of it that way. *wibble*

"Chibi porn". *hee*

[ edited by sueworld2003 on 2010-04-09 15:31 ]
Chibi? I'm not in the know.
Little child, or little person. Usually used to describe child versions of characters.
They look like this.
I'm trying to think about what mythology has been advanced exactly? I thought they(Meltzer, DH) said that they are pushing the slayer mythology, reveling the 'secret history of slayers and vampires'. This issue didn't really do that did it? It introduced a Watcher myth about some super-slayer, but didn't Willow connect the dots with Buffy's relationship to Angel (that whole Yin and Yang spiel) so how is that construed as a 'secret history?' Or was Gile's 'balance' explanation meant to be it?
I think they've said that we won't know the full implications of this side of things until the next issue. Here's hoping!
I think that most of it was Giles' "balance" explanation. About why both parties have to exist within a specific milieu, less the balance is disrupted. Willow was only able to connect the dots after she'd heard Giles' explanation. But that's Willow for you. Quick on the uptake. The Slayer mythology was advanced in that the Slayer isn't the be all end all for a Potential. There's a metaphysical ladder, and there are rungs above a mere Slayer. And I guess, as usual, there's always a price tag for just about anything. By creating a Slayer to protect themselves from the growing vampire threat, the Shadowmen created the possibility that one day, something like this would happen. A fact probably recognized by the Guardians, since they were the ones who watched the Shadowmen, and then the Watchers' Council. The Guardians also created the Scythe, and from this issue, it's implied that the totem that Giles sought was within grasp all along. When he says he was looking for something to kill a god, our attention is directed at the Scythe. Both Scott Allie and Georges Jeanty have said that the Scythe will come into play again, so that makes sense.

[ edited by wenxina on 2010-04-09 16:24 ]
I LOVE this fandom. :D

All this also opens up the truckload of legitimate points, textually argued between Spike and Angel, over being cursed vs. seeking a soul, etc. I really think that "the best of their kind" is a pretty damn shitty thing to try to make mythological fact out of, since it's a very qualitative, very subjective kind of statement. Those who would define Spike as "the best" of "his kind" could raise a legit argument, and aside from which, what is Angel's "kind"? Vampires? Vampires with souls? Vampires *cursed* with souls? Vampires with hairgel? What is the set from which he is being deemed "the best"?



A big yes to this. One vamp with with a soul forced upon him as opposed to one who actively sought it out for love of a good woman. Always an interesting point of discussion, and always interesting in the Angel/Spike barbs they traded with each other.

Incidentally, finally got a copy. The sex didnt bother me as in its format and the content. The whole context of it though, as to quote Nota Viking:
The two of them having sex now, changes the world, allowing demons to come back and teleports them to Twilight. And the universe is very into planning and can actually directly control people.

Yeah, doesn't sound stupid at all...


Well, this made me chuckle. :D

Roll on the return of Spike!
Ok, how about this? In view of this latest development, the use of the word Twilight for the whole season actually references the Twilight of the Gods myth. And after an annoying google search of Twilight (cause apparently there's some other book by that name that seem to be mighty popular) I found Old Norse mythology surrounding Ragnarök. As per Wikipedia:

In Norse mythology, Ragnarök (pronounced /ˈræɡnərɜːk/;[2] Old Norse [rɑɡnɑrøk] "final destiny of the gods"[3]) is a series of major events, including a great battle foretold to ultimately result in the death of a number of major figures


You get the drift. We've already had a Ragna Demon in Season 8. Has anyone suggested this before? I try lurking most boards, any threads taking this angle? Anyone that actually know about these legends wanna let me know if there could be anything to it?

Is anyone still around? Am I all alone? Hello?
Two comments: To say society blames the wife when the husband cheats is not the same as condoning it. Plus the same could be said about society's view of the husband when the wife cheats-the term "cockold" is not a positive showing of sympathy for the wronged husband. And anyways "society" has never been that united in its view of the subject as has been implied, its much more fragmented than that. As far as the story...I like the overall arc but I'm not too crazy about how its being told. Page after page of exposition is not good storytelling even if its acconpanied by page after page of coupling. I'm reserving judgement until we know more so thats as far as I'll go in that. One thing that gives me some hope_Twilight's comment in an earlier issue that he doesn't want to kill Buffy, he wants her to impale herself on her own sword.. but of course now the truth of anything twilight said to his minions has been placed in doubt. But could the fact that Angel is not worried about happiness turning him be because he's already Angelus?
okay, more than two comments.
Whoa. That Ragnarök theory is just...awesome! And there are a lot of pieces that seem to fit, particularly that Ragna demon thing.

And, woofie, I think it's been fairly well established that Angel is in fact Angel, not Angelus. In 33, just after the reveal, Buffy thinks out loud that he must be Angelus, and he tells her that he's not and that she knows it. Calling her "Buff" notwithstanding.
I really hope we're not going to get a pregnancy storyline, at the very least not Mel and Harth being bangel's kids, which imo is one of the lamest idea's ever and i can't see Joss using it. I hate storylines where the great/good/championess of a person is something that can be past on to their offspring. Fray is one of my favorite, if not my favorite slayer because of who she is not because of where she came from. And imo it would cheapen her story. I don't mind if Fray and Harth are revealed to be a descendant of Xander for example, i just don't want them to define a character that is already establised that way. And being bangel's kids they will just as easily be submerged into this destiny-crap.

I do hope that Joss will make a decision concerning Spike or Angel(if the choice is between them) in the end, for better or worse. I don't believe that a person can love two people equally, one would always be slightly more or less then the other and i don't think that that's fair for either Spike or Angel. Especially Spike who's searched his whole life for someone that loves him as he loves, with their whole heart. If Buffy will never be able to do that then she atleast owes it to Spike to set him free by making it clear that it will never happen.

Simon, the way i understand it is that the 'universe' is higher up on the hierarchy ladder. Ptb's have been defeated before and they are not all powerful. I simply see the ptb's as Angel's previous puppetmaster, he's got a new one and this one seems much more powerful.
I think Twilight wanted Buffy to impale herself on a different sword... oh, behave yourself.

I don't think Ragnarok is at play here; too obvious and not within the normal confines of the 'verse, afaics.
While I have no preference for Buffy choosing Spike or Angel, I really don't think Buffy needs to choose someone at this point in the story. Having sex with your first love during a time of stress, death, and fear is understandable and not so much 'choosing' this guy as your life partner.

Buffy is still pretty young, she still has a TON of growing/dating/mistake making to take care of. I really really hope she does not settle for a guy who can't even walk in the sun at this point in her life. I also hate it when my favorite characters get into relationships anyway...... kind of leads me to relating to them less and less, possibly because I see myself as mostly single for the rest of my life with brief flings here or there.
I don't ship, but in light (haha!) of your comment about a guy who can't walk in the sun... Angel apparently has gotten over his aversion to UVs. So much so that he can now frak in it too.
I want to know what was going on the 17th Century and if it ties in directly with current events.
I actually thought about that right after I submitted that wenxina. Ok well she doesn't need to settle for a guy who hasn't seen her in years and thinks he still knows her. Because that is one of the main things that's pissing me off about Angel in this arc, I really think Buffy is so past him in development and in simple innate righteousness that I think it's ridiculous.
But the thought I needed to share here is that those sex scenes seem to be stylistically derived and following that Threesome panel from 8.3, don't you think?
I think now that panel was a premonition of the things to come!

Nata | April 09, 15:19 CET


I won't be surprised if Spuffel threesome will get some mock explanation like Spike has to sexually transmit them some magic essense - not unlike Giles has passed it to Willow on "Grave", but in NC-17 way.
Having sex with Angel now in that moment made very little sense. Especially in light that everything seems to have happend because of him, his words and counterarguement(which at this time is worth nothing), i didn't do it.

There's a difference between getting into a serious relationship or just plain stretching it out beyond time. Bones is a good example, having to wait for more then 5 years now before they finally seriously start to regard one another as love-interest.

That was my problem with Holden's speech in season7. His summary applied to normal people. We were told for the 6 years before that normal wasn't in the cards for Buffy. it was 99% positive that she would have an early death in fact she already did die twice. If Xander hadn't brought her back in season1 and Willow in season6 then Buffy would have remained a footnote in history. I saw it more as Buffy needing to take any happyness from where she could. She was set 'free' at the end of season 7 with the spell, which Holden or Buffy or anyone else for that matter couldn't have predicted. And as we see now, Buffy isn't free, if it had been really her in "the girl in question" then i would agree.

And being with someone would not stop her from growing or making mistakes. I would even say that some pains(which we know Joss loves) can only be experienced if one has a lifepartner,childeren. Buffy and the scoobies's problems have to evolve just like how they aren't same as who they were when they left highschool.
"Connor always had the strength to beat Sahjhan; he just didn't know how to use it. Angel may have underestimated the value of the fighting experience Connor no longer remembered, but he didn't just throw his son in a room to die, and he really did think he'd be able to fight alongside him--even do most of the fighting himself.
Taaroko | April 09, 14:13 CET"
________________________________________________________________

Thank you for the correction - he did have it, but the memory of how to use it was gone. I do know that Angel always thought he would be able to get into the fight if he had to. I mentioned that, but this part of his plan was made impossible.

Like I said, Angel is great because he is so complicated - each viewer sees him through their own POV and filters.

Thanks to all who have responded - being new with the posting, I appreciate it.
I don't think Ragnarok is at play here; too obvious and not within the normal confines of the 'verse, afaics.

Not to harp on my own speculation, but why do you think Ragnarök is too obvious? Has there been discussion about it before? I only thought of it after this issue now that they are allegedly becoming gods. Did you already guess that development? And what do you mean by the normal confines of the 'verse? If anything, S8 is redefining and, in light of this new 'Universe' deal, merging both Buffyverse and Angelverse.


I want to know what was going on the 17th Century and if it ties in directly with current events.

Given that Joss is pretty weak sauce when it comes to mythology, I probably wouldn't be holding my breath.

And at this point I don't think Joss will ever give a definitive answer on who Buffy ends up with.
Kaan- see your response above as a response to my response...

[ edited by Dana5140 on 2010-04-09 21:34 ]
But hang on... oh... yeah. *facepalm* Defeated by my on logic.

Touché Dana, I'm conceding defeat. For now ;)
Given that Joss is pretty weak sauce when it comes to mythology, I probably wouldn't be holding my breath.


One of Joss' strengths is that he doesn't get bogged down in the same mythology and continuity that plagued the likes of Star Trek. But I would like to know why.

And I'll go out on a limb and say it's Giles that's the cause of Buffy crying and defeated in that scene in Buffy #10.
"I think the plotholes are going to be far more annoying to people, btw, since they had years to touch this up between thinking it up and publishing it, vs. weeks/months with a TV season.
KingofCretins | April 09, 15:07 CET"
____________________________________________________________

With the comment posted earlier (sorry, I don't have the name) that mentioned Tantric Sex it made me start thinking about how this could all connect.

When I saw the Eastern Slayer, I first thought of Black Kali, but with all the imagery and text of cosmic forces, it makes for strong potential connection to the philosophy of Tantric Sex, it also connects with the "ladder of metaphysics" from Giles. What strikes me is how all the imagery and text shown with Buffy and Angel, this combined with the Dawn-Centaur arc brings the Eastern Tantric system together with the Greek-Roman figures that we have at the ending panels.

However, what we see is a conversion from the normal expectation of balance and transformation; this "new evolution." Instead we have the destructive forces brought into play and the possible initiation of this "omniverse" Giles speak of.

[ edited by nmcil on 2010-04-10 00:28 ]

[ edited by nmcil on 2010-04-10 00:30 ]

[ edited by nmcil on 2010-04-10 00:40 ]
Kaan-I thought of the Twilight of the Gods too but it was the Xena: Warrior Princess storyline that I thought of, rather than Ragnarok itself. There are also two Dean Koontz books that I was reminded of, as well:

Twilight Eyes. This book is about humans who have a special ability to see monters.

The Servants of Twilight. This book is about a fanatical religious cult devoted to stopping the apocalypse.
Couple of things reading back:

Please God no mystical pregnancy storyline as being the long term fallout, plausible though it may be. A world of no.

Going back to Andrews' line on the Angel/Spike shot: "Was that them? (Please don't tell me that was them.) It's ruining everything for me."

I'm a bit puzzled what he means by that....its probably obvious & I'm being a bit daft, but I'm not linking the reference here...ruining what exactly? Me confused.
I'm not sure, but as Andrew's a bit of a Spike fanboy, I took it to be his disappointment that Buffy was with Angel and a meta comment on how Buffy/Spike fans would react.
Going back to Andrews' line on the Angel/Spike shot: "Was that them? (Please don't tell me that was them.) It's ruining everything for me."

I'm a bit puzzled what he means by that....its probably obvious & I'm being a bit daft, but I'm not linking the reference here...ruining what exactly? Me confused.


Yeah, I didn't get that either. Was it supposed to imply that Andrew has a crush on Angel? (Like the man-crush he had on Warren and later on Spike?) Or was it a meta joke implying that Andrew is a Spike shipper? I actually wouldn't put that past the writers.
Andrew's an admitted Spike shipper in the comic.
Andrew told us he was 'Team Spike" in "Predators and Prey"

[ edited by tranquillity on 2010-04-11 04:07 ]
I just wanted to comment on the earlier talk of Buffy and Angel giving way to Fray and Harth...well, technically it would have to give way to Erin first. Unless somehow she's not Fray and Harth's biological sister. Oddly enough I do see similarities in Erin and Buffy - looks-wise at least. But no, I still don't see Buffy being the mother of 23rd Century family.
If Giles was looking for an item to kill a god…didn’t they pack up some of the more important objects from The Magic Box before they left town/the town imploded ? Only the Dyson Sphere was destroyed by Glory in “The Gift”, she didn’t put a scratch on the hammer of Olaf [the all-of-a-sudden-conveniently-enough-for-the-Season-5-finale-troll-god, something that wasn’t established in “Triangle” or in any casual mention after that, not even retconned in “Selfless”), so you’d think they would’ve kept it around in case they ever had to face any more gods/hell-gods.

It would be nice if this got a mention in Season 8 by Giles, or maybe Willow, Xander, or Dawn (or Spike, if he shows up). Or maybe we're meant to think that they didn't have time to save stuff from the Magic Box ?
The whole old ones story-line could explain why the demons (in the future) send Fray a "watcher" (as far as I remember there was no explanation). Cause somehow they need the slayer to “push the world up that mystical ladder” so they can walk again in this dimension. Well, I never understood why they had to leave in the first place anyway.

Couldn’t Giles search for a killer weapon not also include, aehm, preparing Faith for killing Buffy by killing the rogue slayer in NFFY?

Didn’t get the tantric sex reference, but it makes sense to me, as I was occasionally reminded of Alan Moores stuff during Season Eight. Like Twilights mask resembling Rorschachs or Buffy throwing up after teleporting. Also I read somewhere about Alan Moores attempt to write a comic called Twilight, dealing with, well, time travelling and superheros-turning-to-gods.
Thought it was good, it upped the ante, nice bit of backstory about the Watchers and the earth is peril. Yay! Also Buffy now is clearly insane too. But she did miss the sex.

Nice one, Simon It seems they missed the bed again too.

I have to hand it to you mods - you have done a magnificent job keeping this thread relatively unhostile and polite for so many trillions hundreds of posts (381 at current count). Congratulations - your efforts are much appreciated.

[ edited by Gill on 2010-04-12 01:09 ]
Into every generation someone willing to teach Feminism 101 is born. Thanks Lirazel! It allowed others of us to keep on reading.

I'm way late on this but I wish people wouldn't reveal spoilers without a tag or making the words invisible. A gazillion comments back, people mentioned what Georges Jeanty said in an interview (the original link was tagged as a spoiler) as well as his cover, which wasn't in my issue 34, only the Jo Chen cover, in which no one is running away. I know that sounds trivial, but some of us really want to remain unspoiled.
kornundsprite, good point, re: Giles preparing Faith for possibly having to kill Buffy in the "No Future For You" arc.

Re: “porn!”

It’s not technically porn if there’s not even a hint of a nipple showing. No cock, no non-hidden-by-hair breasts means this is just an extended PG-13-level scene verging on an R-rated sex scene.

The “porn” term/label gets thrown around too casually/lazily in cases like these.

Everyone’s entitled to his or her opinions, of course, but my opinion is that society would do well to become less caught up in the nudity. Relax, it’s just sex. The human body is a beautiful thing, and all that (besides, most of the “porn!” comments are coming from fellow North Americans and c’mon guys, you’re making us look ridiculous to the usually-more-comfortable-with-this-subject Europeans. Sorry, but it’s true. And some of you probably don’t care, which is cool, just sayin’). Jeanty did a great job with almost all of it, IMO (some of the poses he rendered looked great, a few maybe a bit awkward, admittedly). Even if his Angel likeness is a bit off sometimes (and I think he shortchanged Boreanaz in the muscle department, what’s up with that? Buffy and a whole lot of the ladies get comic book enhancements, but the males—including Xander—seem to be unnecessarily slimmed down. I’m fine with it, artist interpretation is allowed, just a bit puzzled by the gender descrepencies).

I promise I'm done discussing the issue of nudity/sex for a while. Surprisingly enough, there are more interesting things to talk about in the issue.
In 'The Year of Living Dangerously', the Indonesian dwarf-photographer-sage, Billy Quan, when asked by a cynical reporter what the difference between art and pornography is, answers, 'If it's in focus, it's pornography; if it's out of focus, it's art.'

Every sensationalist defends himself with 'the body is beautiful' and 'people are so hung up about sex': I avail myself of Henry's response to his geekish (and sex-obsessed) co-worker, "Wow, it must be nice not to have any sexual hangups."

The discomfort felt by at least half the readers is, imo, with the feeling that it was an Obligatory Sex Scene to Pay Off People Who Have Been Waiting For It. I hadn't been Waiting For It. But I could've accepted it if I thought the story hadn't been deliberately rigged in advance in order to provide the scene, rather than the story requiring the scene in order to work.

More than that, it feels as if this is submitted to prove Joss' cool geek-but-more-than-a-geek-but-still-a-geek geek cred. ('I may have all these comic references down & love comics & sf & everything, but hey, graphic sex is great, innit?')

This is the second worst example of Joss' mauvaise foi See, I *AM* Joss Whedon!' Joss needed to be free ,not to have the scene . . . but it's evident that the whole arc has been structured towards. It's the equivalent of Willow's "I'm a bloodsucking fiend -- look at my outfit!" "I'm Joss Whedon -- look at the sex!"
I have to disagree bluegrrl. But whatever, I'm starting to get bored talking about sex. Something did interest me though:


This is the second worst example of Joss' mauvaise foi

If it's his second, what do you consider his first?
Simon, what was the reference to Buffy crying and all defeated in issue #10? and in a more dramatic statement...HOW COULD HE DO THAT TO HER!!!!!????!!! ahem... Just as a passing remark, how come all the watchers seem to go bad? I mean we have Gwen Post, the regular watchers like Travers(i guess they're no bad, simply in their context, almost killing Buffy on her 18th, not helping Angel and the whole Glory thing), Wesley went crazy dark(stabbing Gunn was kinda okay for his reasons, but also inappropriate in the context of them needing all their soldiers) and now Giles...
One of the flashforwards had Buffy battered and bruised on the floor. But we didn't see what lead up to the event.
Can we wait to comment until we actually read the comic? It's so annoying to dig through the, "oh I can't to read it!"s to get to the actual insights.
Oh yeah thanks Simon...now i remember that...please don't let it be Giles...he already had the epic fight with Willow!! He's kinda turning into Buffy in s7; "is there any of your friends you haven't tried to kill?"(that so wasn't the quote, but you know what i mean!)
I wouldn't call that "Giles going bad" at all. It's perfectly in character for him. If something is going to destroy the world then he has to stop it. If the only way to save the world was to kill Buffy, well... I'm sure he'd look for other ways first, of course. He might even stall so long that the world was destroyed anyway, just out of affection for his Slayer (he failed Buffy's 18th birthday test for exactly that reason).

It's the classic Watcher conflict: affection for one's Slayer vs. doing what needs to be done. It's one of the thing that gives his character such richness and depth.
Finally, finally got my hands on my copy (shipping to Germany delayed because of Easter Monday). And since I had actually managed to avoid all spoilers this time, I innocently opened the comic in a full Berlin commuter train.

Oops.

Read the reast at home, twice. To be honest, I have a few issues with this issue.

First, the thing about the universe "having a plan". Please. The series has always been good about keeping the mystic stuff grounded (magic is based on physics, etc), and now we're getting close to the Sky Bully that JW says he hates. I'll swallow something about the universe trying to stay in balance as a system, but not that it has "a plan".

Second, the sex. Not the sex as such, but that all these panels don't seem to add much to the plot once you've seen the first few. Yes, they're having space/time sex. I get it. Nice. But couldn't we have used all that room to move the story along some more?

Third, I'm getting tired of deus ex machina background stories from the Watchers that nobody has heard about before, but pop up just when needed. Oh, so there happens to be a secret prophecy (again) that is so terrible that only Giles (and Angel) have heard about it? Isn't Willow supposed to know this stuff now, too? And did I miss the build-up to this? Just like suddenly in Season 7 there was this whole group of women we never ever heard about? And JW used to be so good at foreshadowing ...

However, I'm willing to suspend my judgement for another issue until we have some sort of explanation. For one, I want to see if my feeling is right that Angel has just used Buffy to get to the God Plane. I'm betting she's going to be pissed.

[ edited by scotws on 2010-04-12 18:30 ]
goingtowork said:
"Also, if the thing Buffy and Spike are fighting turns out to be some kind of power-transformed super Angel, I'm going to lose it."

Not sure I wanna see that happen either, but there is at least partial precedent (not for Angel growing into anything huge, but for turning into what could cast that shadow). In the 3-part Pylea arc at the end of Angel Season 2, for whatever reason, that dimension caused Angel to turn into the “true vamp” form or whatever (it’s been a long time since that season aired, I haven’t rewatched any of Angel, so my memory of the details may be off) and lose his mind a bit, become more bestial.

KingofCretins said:
"At least, as a long time Buffy/Xander fan, I can take comfort in knowing that he has scored the hotter sister anyway, and the one who is apparently not a completely crazy-ass bizzotch at this point."

Heh, me-ow! Seriously though, don’t think it’s fair to call a potentially-mind-raped Buffy (by the universe ! Why did they have to use the universe, couldn’t it have just been the world/Planet Earth that did it? Or The Powers That Be--even though they never got a mention on Buffy, only on Angel--or maybe wexina is right that we should just be assuming that God/PTB/The Universe, all the same crap ?) a crazy-ass bitch. Little premature.

I think it’s kinda funny that folks could accept all the crazy fantasy (and occasionally sci-fi) weirdness on the show (mystically-created-and-inserted-into-memories sister, alternate dimensions, a hell-god, Powers That Be interfering and going rogue, etc), but in the comics, it’s “too far”, “too weird”, "absolutely silly". Although it sometimes seemed like, in Buffy and Angel, we were watching the best of The WB’s teen/young adult relationship and office dramas, respectively, maybe some of you missed that part in “Welcome to the Hellmouth/The Harvest” where Giles went on about The Old Ones/a little bit of Buffyverse history. It’s been semi-Lovecraftian and bizarre since the beginning ! I want the character stuff badly, but I’ve also wanted the mythology explored and maybe ironed out a little more for ages. I’m glad we’re getting more weirdness. The Dawn/Glory and Jasmine arcs sorted themselves out eventually (The First Evil/Season 7 arc, a little less so), so given the mostly quality track record with handling this sort of thing on TV, I’m not too worried. It’ll likely make sense (not real-world sense, Buffyverse/try-thinking-outside-the-box sense) by the end of Season 8.

I also realize that, if you’re not big into fantasy, sci-fi, and/or superhero comics (or just genre stories in general, let’s say) and Whedon’s works have been your only (or part of the very few) stories in this vein that you’ve tried out, I can see how all this craziness might be a little much to take. So, it’s cool (I mean, not as far as your enjoyment goes, I guess, but, I understand). I’m loving this stuff (there's a little trepidation because you're worried the writers are gonna lose the thread, or execute the exposition in a clumsy fashion, etc). I hope that at the end of the season, it all makes sense, but I didn’t balk after the first freakin’ issue where the "history lesson" is provided (when bitching was justified for me: a few issues or an arc after the vampires-out-in-the-open revelation, before we got the latest Tales of the Vampires free online thing to smooth it out a bit more to satisfaction, IMO. There’s one thing that Season 8 didn’t do well, IMO, the vamps-coming-out arc that was sort of in the background). I know I can find the weird in other comics/books/franchises, but I’m loving that the writers have been allowed to go a little further into the genre half of this genre-drama.
"However, I'm willing to suspend my judgement for another issue until we have some sort of explanation. For one, I want to see if my feeling is right that Angel has just used Buffy to get to the God Plane. I'm betting she's going to be pissed.

Hmmm, interesting idea, not thought of it in that perspective.....What gives you the feeling Angel is using Buffy to get his God-Stature Scotsw? Would Angel stoop that low with Buffy, and for what purpose? For the greater good or for a more personal agenda yet to be revealed? Intruiging stuff!
Huh. Long thread.

That's a whole heck of a lot of comments without (near as I can tell) anyone mentioning how goddamn stupid all the "nature doesn't put anything here it doesn't need" stuff was. 1) That's not true. 2) "Equilibrium" and "local minima/maxima" and "nonlinear dynamics" are a leetle more complicated than they're being made out to be, and the man who made Dollhouse Season One, of all people, knows the value of sticking with moral complexity even when it doesn't lead to a Big Splashy Comic Book Moment. 3) Yes to balance, yes to biological continuity and interdependence, yes to literalized forces of nature in a fantasy story - I've suspended my goddamn disbelief so hard it will NEVER AGAIN RETURN TO EARTH!!#$!@$# - but for god's sake can someone in the editorial chain please at least pretend to take their adult readers seriously for, um, a page or two? At least invent an actual fucking phlebotinum instead of treating this universe-altering event totally abstractly. Can our explanations please involve actual explaining sometimes? What is this, LOST?!

Oh, and:

4) Two pages of mythologydump stretched over 20 pages of comic is awesome if you're Alan Moore or Brian K. Vaughn and evidently not that awesome if you're Brad Meltzer. (And let it be said, I know the man can write his ass off. Just not, y'know, this.)

I don't much care about the Angel-is-Buffy's-true-love bit - she's cookie dough, she's cookies, whatever, as long as we can connect the emotional dots the story works - but this fictional world means more to me than I can possibly explain, and I don't like the idea that the 'FX budget' of comics is going to send it right off the rails. In narrative terms, never mind conceptual ones.

Sigh.

[ edited by waxbanks on 2010-04-12 23:57 ]
waxbanks, yep, it'd be nice to see more explanation. Hopefully that's coming in the next few issues. Hopefully abstractly is how they introduce this crazy new Buffyverse concept to us, and concretely is how they'll flesh it out. Okay, maybe not concretely, it wouldn't be uncommon for Joss to leave some serious ambiguity in there, but solid(ish) answers are nice to receive in your fantasy-dramas from time to time.

The following few replies are not at all directed at your post (nice point about the "nature doesn't put anything here it doesn't need" bullshit too, I thought that sounded wrong), I've just been saving them up 'cause my posts are too long as it is.

Vergil said:
Going by Spike's character, I see him accepting this, still helping Buffy fight the good fight, but his heart would be shattered and IMO beyond repair.

Given that Spike is an immortal, if he survives for a good long while, I’m sure his “heart” isn’t beyond repair. If many people can get over loves lost in real life in our brief amount of time on this planet (or if not “get over”, ‘cause that’s a little harsh when we’re talking losing a person to sickness/age-related death, then at least have the capacity to put that relationship in its place, in their past), then an immortal man is even more capable.

I don’t sympathize with Spike on this issue (if he even cares all that much, at this point), he’s made of sterner stuff. We don’t always get what/who we want.

Re: the characters, as demi-gods and such, plus their situations (larger than life/army of slayers/creating new dimensions/etc) not being relatable anymore

We got highschool and young adulthood out of Buffy the TV series, I think I got enough close-to-home relatability out of it already. And that relatability doesn’t suddenly disappear just because the characters have been placed in a larger setting, going through grander events than what they usually went through on the show. Buffy was a fantasy series, I’m fine with seeing the writers explore some fantasy crazyness. The characters are not unrelatable just because they’re involved in a larger-than-life tale (though yes, I agree that it would’ve been nice to have gotten more scenes like the one between Buffy and Xander in #31 where the characters are actually talking to one another, conversing openly, rather than only those times they’re forced to converse to formulate a battle plan or express shock to eachother after a particularly nasty revelation. Hopefully there’ll be more character interaction in these final issues of Season 8. I would love a “Restless”-style coda after the likely-inevitable Big Finale that’s headed our way, Season 4 paced its ending perfectly).

If I want more realistic/real life scenarios (really, some of you wanna see Buffy having a job again?), there’re plenty of non-genre comics and TV shows I read/watch for that (and many more I could watch/plan on getting around to watching). What’s with wanting to reign in the crazyness in the Buffyverse ? It hasn’t gotten too nuts. They could maybe iron out Giles’ explanation a bit more clearly over the next few issues, but beyond that, I don’t think they’ve gone off the deep end (except I don’t like the “universe is sentient” thing either. Although it certainly could be, in the Buffyverse, I’d rather they stick with an entity/group of entities they already established—The Powers That Be).

[ edited by Kris on 2010-04-13 06:36 ]
I think the 'porn' accusations are way overblown. Porn is meant to be sexy, arousing, this, this, is neither of those. In fact these scenes make me think this is why Jeanty was hired, so as to not let the sex get in the way of the story.

spelling. grr.

[ edited by espalier on 2010-04-13 13:51 ]
Given that Spike is an immortal, if he survives for a good long while, I’m sure his “heart” isn’t beyond repair. If many people can get over loves lost in real life in our brief amount of time on this planet (or if not “get over”, ‘cause that’s a little harsh when we’re talking losing a person to sickness/age-related death, then at least have the capacity to put that relationship in its place, in their past), then an immortal man is even more capable.

I don’t sympathize with Spike on this issue (if he even cares all that much, at this point), he’s made of sterner stuff. We don’t always get what/who we want.

Being immortal has got nothing to do with it. Nor every other person in history getting over 'it'. Each person is different just as how a person loves is different. Yes perhaps now Spike would be able to get over it because he already has the 'loser'mentality in that he truelly believed that he didn't have a shot with Buffy. He is obviously very wrong, proof being season7 and 8. Buffy did mean the i love you in every way it can be meant, that's a fact.

No i don't think losing Buffy through death or sickness would forever break him because if Spike at the very least was 5 or 10years with Buffy then that would make it more then worth it for Spike.

For all intents and purposes it was Buffy that restarted the 'relationship' in season7, given the last season it had to be her that made the first step. But she did make it, if she truely was not in love with Spike or didn't see him that way then that would have been that. Spike in season7 was only there to help Buffy, he showed us several times that even though he and Buffy were over, he was still going to stay and help her fight. Even when he saw her kiss Angel.

I disagree, regardless of idw's terrible writing as if Buffy matters nothing to Spike. Spike the character we love from the shows is all about Buffy. She was biggest reason of why he was able to redeem himself. Unlike Angel who went from neutral with a soul to champion. Spike did a 180 degree turn going from evil bigbad to soulled champion. I don't think there is any doubt that Spike is still inlove with Buffy, he won't simply shrug off losing Buffy to Angel.

I agree, it will take a longtime getting over losing Buffy to Angel. But who knows one day Spike might love again, 200 or 300 years down the road.
Okay so this isn't aimed at anyone in particular, mostly cause it's too hard to find the people who said this, but vergil's comment there at the end reminded me of something. It was said here that Spike earned the title of champion more than Angel cause he fought for his soul, while Angel was cursed with his, but the thing is, Angel fights for his soul everyday! He could have just given in so many times that the opportunity was presented to him, even before he knew that sex wasn't the trigger, he wouldn't get involved with Nina, he left Buffy, he did all he could to hold onto that. So yes, he too fought for that soul. While i don't hold Spike up to much merit in his actions, for those of you that do, imo Angel is right up there with him! Sorry for the rant!
I disagree, if he had fought in the same way as Spike for his soul then he would have done so as Angelus. Angel was already half-way through the battle. And even with the soul he's tryed willingly to lose it and unleash Angelus(season2). Just so i make myself clear the getting of a soul is not why i consider Spike a champion, it's what he did with it in less then one year of having it and what he continues doing with it. The soul was just a means to an end. I believe more in Spike's way then Angel's which is that a person makes their own destiny. You alone control your faith and that to me is what Spike's journey represents. I think Angel leaving Buffy and moving on which he clearly did proofs to me that Angel could just as easily live his life with or without Buffy, same goes for her. What imo Angel truely needs to be a champion is a gang that believe in him and his mission which he used to have. Now only Gunn remains.

Plus, yeah 400th post!

[ edited by Vergil on 2010-04-13 16:57 ]
(Ding!)

Edit: Not ding. Curse you, Vergil! :P

I agree, BlueSkies. And I don't see Spike's soul quest as a noble or selfless act. His dialogue leading up to it was bitter and resentful at best, and he obviously had no idea what having a soul after so many years without one would be like. I'm not convinced he would have done it if he'd really known what he was getting himself into. On the other hand, Angelus's hatred of his soul and his attempts to prevent getting it back strike me as a powerful testament to Angel's merits.

[ edited by Taaroko on 2010-04-13 16:51 ]
Haha Taaroko, sorry buddy.

About the getting of a soul, that's the thing. I don't think that any soulles being can truely understand what it would mean getting one's soul back. No matter how much Spike would seek out knowledge about it or read up on it. Before Spike there was only one person that had an understanding of this and that was Angel.
No, i think Spike would do it again if he were to lose his soul, the thing about Spike is that his humanity was always stronger or more in balance with the demon. Unlike Angel who is in constant struggle with his demon. And while Spike might hate the pain and suffering that comes with getting a soul, i also think he would recongize the strength it has given him. Dealing with his mother's turning which without a soul he would have never gotten over it, defeating Angel and rejecting his teachings from a century back, wanting Buffy to simply be happy regardless if it's with him or not(selfless love).
I definitely wouldn't attribute Spike with selfless love. He taunted Wood far too callously about his mother and Angel far too freely about his soulless sexcapades with Buffy, and fought far too greedily to have the Shanshu for himself, for me to believe selfless love was his motivation. And he didn't go back to Buffy after he was corporeal again because he didn't want to tarnish the heroic image he went out with in "Chosen", which is a cowardly and ridiculous cop-out of an excuse. The first time soulful Spike seriously earned my respect was during his conversation with Angel at the end of "Damage".

Angel, on the other hand, left Buffy *so that* she could find long-term happiness, which he believed he could not give her. Angel's love is selfless, because he's able to cut himself out of the equation if it will make things better for those he loves, no matter how much it hurts him to do it. He sacrificed everything he ever wanted in IWRY to save Buffy from what sounded like an inevitable much earlier death than she would have had otherwise, he was willing to die so that Darla could have her second chance at life, he fired his team in season two so they wouldn't have to see the darkness that was coming out in him, and he gave Connor a new life and family that didn't include him so that he could be happy.

Also, even though Angel fought Spike for the Shanshu in "Destiny", by "Not Fade Away", he was able to sign it away (or, at least, *think* he was signing it away--I'll never be convinced that putting your signature on anything can change a prophecy), whereas Spike's line was "Well, as long as it's not you." And I don't think Spike would have been able to beat Angel in "Destiny" in the first place if Angel hadn't been in one of his major funks of not believing he was worthy of the Shanshu at the time.
I definitely wouldn't attribute Spike with selfless love. He taunted Wood far too callously about his mother and Angel far too freely about his soulless sexcapades with Buffy, and fought far too greedily to have the Shanshu for himself, for me to believe selfless love was his motivation. And he didn't go back to Buffy after he was corporeal again because he didn't want to tarnish the heroic image he went out with in "Chosen", which is a cowardly and ridiculous cop-out of an excuse. The first time soulful Spike seriously earned my respect was during his conversation with Angel at the end of "Damage".

I don't get what any of that has to do with his love for Buffy having been selfless. His fight with Wood had nothing to do with Buffy. And both the boys stooped down to an all time low in Destiny, Spike was only responding in kind because of Angel's incredible arrogant statement that Buffy never loved Spike. Angel didn't have a clue to how Buffy felt or feels. We understand further in the season Spike's true reason for not going to Buffy and it had been established since season 7, Spike with a soul is insecure concerning Buffy, no secret there. Spike did a hell of lot more admirable things before Damage that showed him to be a true champion.
Angel, on the other hand, left Buffy *so that* she could find long-term happiness, which he believed he could not give her. Angel's love is selfless, because he's able to cut himself out of the equation if it will make things better for those he loves, no matter how much it hurts him to do it. He sacrificed everything he ever wanted in IWRY to save Buffy from what sounded like an inevitable much earlier death than she would have had otherwise, he was willing to die so that Darla could have her second chance at life, he fired his team in season two so they wouldn't have to see the darkness that was coming out in him, and he gave Connor a new life and family that didn't include him so that he could be happy.

Angel left because they couldn't boink, it's that simple. Him always coming back one way or another, even in Chosen where it made the least sense of all, since Spike all of the sudden was a potential mate for Buffy, Angel did want to be the one. Same in season5, he gets caught up in the rivalrly with Spike and acts as if Buffy is as a prize to be won. If Angel's reason for leaving had been truely selfless then none of that would have happend. IWRY was just as much about Buffy as it was about Angel not wanting to be human because then he couldn't fight evil. And he didn't stop her from dying in season1, that was Xander. Or in season5 where it was Willow that brought her back. Subsequently it was soulles Spike that remained with Buffy's friends(that despise him) and helped look after Dawn. I didn't see Angel proving his love after his 'true love' was dead. And seriously just looking at what is being down now in the comics, if Angel really wanted to be with Buffy then he could have easily found a way. In light of all that's happend, changing a simple(weak) gypsy curse doesn't seem that impossible.
Also, even though Angel fought Spike for the Shanshu in "Destiny", by "Not Fade Away", he was able to sign it away (or, at least, *think* he was signing it away--I'll never be convinced that putting your signature on anything can change a prophecy), whereas Spike's line was "Well, as long as it's not you." And I don't think Spike would have been able to beat Angel in "Destiny" in the first place if Angel hadn't been in one of his major funks of not believing he was worthy of the Shanshu at the time.
Makes no difference what so ever. Spike has been shown to be able to beat Angel and vice versa. Spike was in just as much of a funk as Angel. Any of the two can beat the other with the right motivation. There is no definitive stronger person. Even now, the bad guy(Angel) regardless of having all of Superman's powers will be defeated one way or another.
"I didn't see Angel proving his love after his 'true love' was dead."

Except of course they were on different networks at the time. Unless you mean that Angel the ficticious character should have moved from LA and more importantly the WB, and gone back to Sunnydale....
But also he kept fighting for her, doing exactly what she would have done. how was he supposed to prove it? I mean Cordy pretty much covered that at the end of the episode, well that entire episode was all about him coping and fighting the psycho version that he could have been...
I wasn't merely referring to whether or not Spike's love for Buffy is selfless, but whether he demonstrates selfless love on the whole. He is more often snarky and inconsiderate than not, which, while very amusing to watch at times, doesn't speak particularly well of his character. I thought his and Angel's all time low was more in "The Girl in Question", in which they both became painful, ridiculous satires of themselves, but yeah, that fight in “Destiny” wasn’t a particularly shining moment for either of them.

Angel’s knowledge of Buffy’s feelings was barely more outdated than Spike’s, though, and had the added reinforcement of that last kiss and “sometimes I do think that far ahead”. The way Spike talked about Buffy during that fight didn’t really do much to improve Angel’s understanding, either. Angel didn’t know about Buffy’s last words to Spike, and Spike’s insecurities about her likely stemmed from how much he believed her. In any case, Buffy at least deserved to know that Spike was alive, but he never told her. I can’t see that as anything but weak.

As to their motivations in the “Destiny” fight, Spike's might have given him the edge, but it was selfish. He wanted the Shanshu just as much to deprive Angel of it as he wanted it for himself. While there may have been selfishness in Angel's motivations then as well, and maybe he was arrogant to assume the prophecy was his alone (and I believe it was, for many reasons), he ultimately overcame his selfishness, and proved it by signing away the prophecy. Spike did not. Again, “As long as it’s not you.”

Angel left Buffy because he couldn’t give her a normal life, something she had professed to want on multiple occasions, regardless of whether she abandoned that notion in the later seasons that he wasn’t there for. Sex was only part of it (and an understandable part, considering the consequences). He didn’t want her to tie herself to someone who wasn’t allowed to be happy. That could only drag her down, no matter how much they loved each other. He only came back when she was in trouble (if he even knew about it), when he wanted to apologize (though, personally, I think she was the one at fault in “Sanctuary” for taking her own issues with Faith out on him), and when she needed emotional support (and can you really begrudge him for needing it himself after he found out she was alive again?). He had a legitimate reason for showing up in “Chosen” (the ridiculous deus ex machina-ness of that reason not withstanding), and he left when Buffy asked him to.

Of *course* Angel wanted to be the one for Buffy. Why would anyone in love with her not want that? He wanted to be, but he knew that he couldn’t. He never interfered with Buffy’s relationship with Riley (unlike Spike—though, granted, he was soulless at the time). Spike had all of the same limitations Angel did as far as being unable to give Buffy a normal life (except the sex thing), so with that and his long established rivalry with Spike (who had tortured him with hot pokers the last time they met), it’s pretty understandable for Angel to be baffled and irritated at the very least by the thought of them together.

Giving up his humanity in IWRY wasn’t about either of the times Buffy actually died, it was about what the Oracles told him of what her fate *would* be if he stayed human. Also, Xander *revived* her. He didn’t stop her from dying. Angel only didn’t bring her back himself because he couldn’t (though the explanation for why he couldn’t is just silly, because vampires can obviously go through the movements of breathing in order to speak and use their sense of smell, among other things, but if there’s no oxygen/carbon dioxide exchange going on within vampiric lungs, then Angel should be able to give *more* oxygen through CPR than any living human). He wasn’t even in the same dimension when Buffy sacrificed herself to save Dawn, and wouldn’t have been able to do the spell Willow used to bring her back (nor do I think he would have wanted to try it, because—and there’s no canonical evidence either way for this—I think he knew she was at peace, or at least believed she was).

On the matter of Spike being the one who stuck around after Buffy died, the shows were on different networks by then (*high five*, mbeauparland), so it wasn’t necessarily up to Angel. We don’t know much more about the summer between seasons five and six than that Angel was in Tibet for most of it and the Scoobies were using the Buffybot to disguise the fact of Buffy’s death. It’s very possible that Angel went to the funeral and stuck around for a while, then went to Tibet to mourn on his own once he knew he wasn’t needed. And with the guilt complex he has, he probably blamed himself for not being there to help her. Even though that’s ridiculous because he was in Pylea with no way of knowing what was going on in Sunnydale, it would be very much in character for him, particularly considering that he gave up his humanity in the hope that she would live longer. (And also what BlueSkies said.)

The rivalry in Angel season five made them both look bad. They have that effect on each other. However, Spike was usually the instigator. He constantly went out of his way to annoy Angel to the point of distraction. Having grown up with brothers who entertained themselves in the same fashion with me, I wasn’t surprised that it brought out Angel’s pettier side, and I sympathized.

As to de-loopholing Angel’s curse, nobody in the entire span of either show ever even suggested that such a thing was possible or proposed attempting it. Given how obvious of a problem the loophole was, that always struck me as kind of stupid, because they could have at least *tried* to change the curse, only to fail, thereby enabling the writers to keep the loophole as a compelling plot device, but leaving that question satisfactorily answered. Oh well.

I’ve been keeping the comics at arm’s length as far as personally considering them canon practically since they started, for lots of reasons, and I’m reserving judgment on Angel until the later issues. I have theories, and it probably won’t surprise you after all of my defending of Angel that most of those theories about what he’s really up to are cautiously optimistic.

(Edit: added a comma here and there, and fixed a spelling mistake.)

[ edited by Taaroko on 2010-04-14 00:09 ]
And, as if that needed to be any longer...

I didn't say Spike never did anything admirable before "Damage", I said it was the first time he earned my respect. That conversation was the first time he actually verbally owned up to what he'd done without a soul (while he was sane), rather than blaming it on Angel or being generally cavalier about it or cruelly rubbing it in Wood's face. Then again, I haven't watched either Buffy season seven or Angel season five very recently, so I could have forgotten an earlier example of this.

I'm not saying that I think Angel and Spike are truly responsible for what they did without souls. They had no control over what they did then, but that concept seems like it should be a very difficult one for them to actually grasp, given that they have clear, first-person memories of all of those atrocities and how much they enjoyed committing them. To have those memories and *not* feel guilty or responsible, particularly so soon after gaining a soul, and to actually be flippant about them, seems grotesquely blasé.

When Angel first got his soul, he was barely functional under the weight of his past as Angelus, and he didn't have the First whispering in his ear to make him crazy. He still had all of those vampiric instincts too, encouraging him to act as he had for the past century and a half, so even if he wasn't doing constructive good, the fact that he wasn't doing further harm all those years that he had no support system whatsoever says a great deal.
Except of course they were on different networks at the time. Unless you mean that Angel the ficticious character should have moved from LA and more importantly the WB, and gone back to Sunnydale....

That makes no difference just as Spike was stuck on Angel because he was on that show and couldn't go to Buffy.
But also he kept fighting for her, doing exactly what she would have done. how was he supposed to prove it? I mean Cordy pretty much covered that at the end of the episode, well that entire episode was all about him coping and fighting the psycho version that he could have been...

Euh help guard the hellmouth,her friends,her sister the one she died saving. Any of these would do. Instead he didn't do any of them, Spike did.

Taaroko, i don't agree with any of your previous replies. I never saw Angel as positive as you see him and i doubt i ever will.
I didn't say Spike never did anything admirable before "Damage", I said it was the first time he earned my respect. That conversation was the first time he actually verbally owned up to what he'd done without a soul (while he was sane), rather than blaming it on Angel or being generally cavalier about it or cruelly rubbing it in Wood's face. Then again, I haven't watched either Buffy season seven or Angel season five very recently, so I could have forgotten an earlier example of this.

When Angel first got his soul, he was barely functional under the weight of his past as Angelus, and he didn't have the First whispering in his ear to make him crazy. He still had all of those vampiric instincts too, encouraging him to act as he had for the past century and a half, so even if he wasn't doing constructive good, the fact that he wasn't doing further harm all those years that he had no support system whatsoever says a great deal.


Well earned your respect that's different. I suggest you do watch season7 again because there are plenty of episodes where Spike owns up to his wrong doings. It was Buffy that made him realize that he couldn't wallow in self-pity of his past actions, she needed Spike in the game again. And the payoff was huge, he got to save the world in less then a year of having a soul.

As a lot of people have pointed out, Angel isn't Spike and Spike isn't Angel. Angel was never the example of how all vampires would be when they got their soul again. And Angel wasn't just not doing constructive good, he tryed to rejoin the gang. Early soulled Angel was not a good man, he still killed. The difference in their journyies all comes back to who the person was before and who they were when getting the soul. Angel was Angelus, Angelus would never willingly get a soul or do good. Him getting a soul was always a violant transformation that Angelus hated and fought. Soulles Spike had been chipped for a few years, had activaly done good, most of the time for selfish reasons(saving the gang after betraying them) but sometimes also for selfless reasons(guarding Dawn after Buffy is dead.). Spike's journey has always been more natural and it was the demon that went after it's soul. For whatever reason the humanity in Spike was always unique and much stronger then in most. The fact that Spike suffered a trauma(turning his mother and the first using it to control Spike) when being soulles also speaks volumes on how unique of a vampire he was. And no sorry, i don't see Angel's wasting away a 100y as anything positive, Spike did have Buffy's support later on but he also had the First making him crazy. I see it more as Spike exceptional character strength where as with Angel he himself pointed out to Buffy that he had always been a weak man. It also doesn't help imo that Angel did try to do good(in the 50's hotel) but because of human fear he was betrayed and decided to damn them all. I never saw Angel as having the true heart of a champion like Spike or Xander for that matter.
When Buffy was on UPN and Angel on The WB, WB execs forbade any crossovers due to UPN acquiring Buffy. Had Buffy remained on The WB, it's likely that instead of the off camera meeting in Buffy season 6 and Angel season 4, we would have got some sort of two-part crossover.

That makes no difference just as Spike was stuck on Angel because he was on that show and couldn't go to Buff


Buffy had finished several months before or do you mean something else?
Yes and no Simon, those mentioned were outside the show reasons why some characters couldn't meet up. Inside the show we got different reasons. My point was that to the verse and all the characters inside of it the oustide the show reasons don't matter. Angel chose to go to Tibit to get over Buffy's death. Spike felt insecure about Buffy's love and remained on Angel.
They could have just as easily dropped a line that Angel comes by every two weeks to help out or something, instead we got nothing. Angel himself was able to get over Buffy's death, it did not break him as he thought it would.
And we also got further mention of Spike's real reason for not going to Buffy, he never believed he had a shot with her but he still wants to see her happy. Which is the same mentality he had in season7, Spike only came back to help her.
I suggest you do watch season7 again because there are plenty of episodes where Spike owns up to his wrong doings. It was Buffy that made him realize that he couldn't wallow in self-pity of his past actions, she needed Spike in the game again. And the payoff was huge, he got to save the world in less then a year of having a soul.


I've always thought Spike's ultimate motive behind his acquisition of a soul was established by his desire to be worthy of Buffy's love, and had very little to do with him consciously willing to atone for his transgressions. Even if he did wallow in self-pity, which I've always attributed to simply the pain of his memories as pre-soul Spike, and not the immoral nature of his actions, he regressed in Season 5 of Angel - "I'm not like you. I don't give a piss about atonement or destiny." I don't think Spike learnt what it truly meant to be a champion until late into the season - it doesn't simply involve a grand gesture in a sacrifice, it entails the recognition of and atonement of past sins. The disparities between his treatment of Wood and his attitude around Buffy is enough to illustrate this. And this isn't aimed at anyone in particular, but I've always felt that the argument that Spike fought for his soul and is in effect more of a champion than Angel does not measure up to the fact that Spike had very little interest in redemption in his quest for a soul. Because of this, Spike is no more noble than Angel even if Angel had his soul forced upon him - and really, how does this negate Angel's status as a champion? Angel can't be blamed for actions for which he had no control, and ultimately, it doesn't change the fact that he *is* good.

In any case, it's difficult to compare Angel and Spike. Spike has always been an anomaly in the Buffy mythology, as has been reiterated by the likes of David Fury. His characterisation has been heavily influenced by the writers' objective of character evolution and I suspect Spike demonstrates a sense of humanity for this reason primarily; to allow for interactions with the Scoobies.
The scoobies obviously didn't need help; they had the Buffybot, as you said a strong vamp protector for dawn and two powerful witches. Angel needed to tow the line elsewhere. i don't see any of your point here. Angel had much the same issues in LA that they had in Sunnydale, as I recall the Hellmouth wasn't all that menacing since season 4. So Spike stayed and babysat, doesn't exactly strike the notion of challenging to me. Angel freed an entire dimension, offering his very existence to do so and to protect his friends when he turned into the green vamp. THey had very different vacation plans!
I've always thought Spike's ultimate motive behind his acquisition of a soul was established by his desire to be worthy of Buffy's love, and had very little to do with him consciously willing to atone for his transgressions. Even if he did wallow in self-pity, which I've always attributed to simply the pain of his memories as pre-soul Spike, and not the immoral nature of his actions, he regressed in Season 5 of Angel - "I'm not like you. I don't give a piss about atonement or destiny." I don't think Spike learnt what it truly meant to be a champion until late into the season - it doesn't simply involve a grand gesture in a sacrifice, it entails the recognition of and atonement of past sins. The disparities between his treatment of Wood and his attitude around Buffy is enough to illustrate this.

I agree it did, being worthy of Buffy's love and the guilt he felt over the attempt of rape which as he pointed out for a demon he shouldn't have. What made him a champion was what he decided to do with a soul. Angel didn't seek out redemption until a 100y after he had a soul. I disagree, Spike didn't regress in season5, he was in the process of becoming a champion without any support from anybody and he achieved that. By the season's end he fights the good fight because it's what he wants to do, he wasn't pre-ordained or has to ptb's backing him up. He just does. Spike was right, he's not like Angel, he doesn't believe one can redeem their past, what's done is done. As for destiny, Spike makes his own.
The scoobies obviously didn't need help; they had the Buffybot, as you said a strong vamp protector for dawn and two powerful witches.

The first season6 episodes beg to differ. What sunnydale needed was a champion with soul like Buffy. Spike while being an equal warrior couldn't be that person on account of him not having a soul. That had been the moment for Angel to step up and prove himself, he didn't. The scoobies wouldn't have lasted doing the patrols, either someone was going to get seriously injured or they would lose interest. At some point the desire to have a life would be more important then continuing to fight Buffy's fight. And they were already losing the town to demons when they brought Buffy back.
Just so i make myself clear, i'm not faulting Angel for choosing his own life,friends,mission over Buffy. I just see it as proof that Buffy wasn't everything to Angel, he could live on happily without her. Losing her didn't break him. Nor imo did he ever really prove to have loved her the most. Xander had to force him to fight for Buffy in season1. And i don't believe that his motives were selfless in IWRY.
I don't see how having a soul makes him a better fighter, he had reason to fight, an almost NEED to beat up demons cause that's all he could do! The scoobies weren't exactly badass fighters, but they were loyal to the cause and bonded through that, with Spike and the bot they were fine, plus planning on bringing Buffy back they probably didn't need anyone else, like Angel getting in their way! Angel had a mission and people that needed him in LA, the PTB were all over him! It would have been a world of wrong to turn his back on that cause Buffy died and go help out a town that already had various superhero types! Cordy had the visions for Angel to prevent, he left her to fight evil and give her a life, she sacrificed that life for the good fight, why should he let her death be in vain cause he wanted to stay connected to her friends and family?
It would way more selfish to have stayed human enjoying the fruits of his relationship with Buffy knowing that she would die without his help(what would have happened in Chosen had he not deus ex machina'd that moment!?) What he did was the right thing to do! I can't imagine a reason for it to be seen as selfish...
And Spike had Lindsey feeding him the crap about being a champion to take Angel away from his work, he was spoon fed delusions of what could be his and not Angel's, from the moment he was corporeal he had it out to get that reward, so he fought for all the reasons Angel once fought, but Angel did it out of remorse and the need to save souls in s1, after that there was the prophecy, after that...well he had somewhat mixed feelings...but he still fought!
I don't see how having a soul makes him a better fighter, he had reason to fight, an almost NEED to beat up demons cause that's all he could do! The scoobies weren't exactly badass fighters, but they were loyal to the cause and bonded through that, with Spike and the bot they were fine, plus planning on bringing Buffy back they probably didn't need anyone else, like Angel getting in their way!

The soul gives power especially in Spike's case. He was never able to nor did he want to defeat Angel. Yet with a soul he did, it gave him more willpower, to care about something. Something most soulles beings do not do. Angel even told Hamilton, those that don't care about anything will never understand those that do. And Hamilton's reply being Yeah, but we won't care. Or something like that but the gist of it is that that is why Angel kept fighting getting his ass kicked because he cares. It's why evil Angel is so much more dangerous then Angelus. Being a badass fighter never had anything to do with it, for example Xander, it's his spirit,soul,heart that makes him the champion he is. In a group of supernatural beings many would see him as having the strongest heart. Spike was able to transform himself. Angel while he did change and become a champion, he never did it from Angelus's point.
It would way more selfish to have stayed human enjoying the fruits of his relationship with Buffy knowing that she would die without his help(what would have happened in Chosen had he not deus ex machina'd that moment!?) What he did was the right thing to do! I can't imagine a reason for it to be seen as selfish...

Except she did die, with or without his help. Buffy making it isn't dependant on Angel, she's a big girl she can fight for herself. And what kind of screwed up feminist message does that give saying that poor little Buffy needs the big strong man to save her. Chosen would have been no problem, going by the script, Buffy and her slayers were winning the fight and turning the tide of battle. I agree that it doesn't look like that but that's how it is in the script thus fact. Spike finished the fight and closed the hellmouth. I wouldn't call it selfish as much as it was Angel making a choice, he wanted to be a champion and save lives more then being with Buffy, that i can respect and it clearly shows that Buffy isn't everything to him, she has long not been that. Given that Buffy has died and was saved from dieing by others several times i don't see any way that Angel did it so he could save her. Even now his actions as Twilight contradict him 'helping' her.
And Spike had Lindsey feeding him the crap about being a champion to take Angel away from his work, he was spoon fed delusions of what could be his and not Angel's, from the moment he was corporeal he had it out to get that reward, so he fought for all the reasons Angel once fought, but Angel did it out of remorse and the need to save souls in s1, after that there was the prophecy, after that...well he had somewhat mixed feelings...but he still fought!

I wasn't really talking about the Lindsey arc but it doesn't change that Spike did save those people, whatever way Lindsey did to see the visions or make them. But after that we again get perfect examples why Spike is a hero. Once Lindsey's ploy is found out, Spike shrugs off losing the destiny gig in less then 5 seconds. And he still went out and fought the good fight. He makes Fred's death matter and chooses to fight in her name because she can't anymore. Saving souls i can respect but not out of remorse. That's what Angel didn't get in season1, he can't make up for his past, saving someone now does not save the person you killed back then. And that's why i respect Spike more as a hero, there is no destiny,prophecy dictating his life. Perhaps even better is that in the grand scheme of things he doesn't seem to matter. Yet none of that will stop him from doing what he does, saving lives.
Vergil, BlueSkies, et al.:

It was said here that Spike earned the title of champion more than Angel cause he fought for his soul, while Angel was cursed with his, but the thing is, Angel fights for his soul everyday!


This comment is vital and should be amplified: These aren't avatars of various moral philosophies we're talking about, nor are they people. They're vehicles for providing emotional experiences (to us, the writers, et al.). If they act inconsistently, if there's some moral rule left unexplained, well that's how things go. It might be entertaining to argue about whether Angel or Spike is morally 'better,' but the show has never been about that. Even in 'Destiny' (Angel 5x08, the one with the phlebotinous Cup) the big deal was along the lines of 'destiny is what you make of it,' parallel to Buffy's big speech in 'Chosen' (wielding power depletes it; sharing multiplies it). The truer each character is to something like human psychology and biography, the less 'comparable' they are - because their stories endlessly diverge. They never face 'the same choice,' not really. I know that's one of fiction's purposes, to model such transitions, but the good stuff avoids abstracting in that ploddingly hierarchical way.

So when we get into childish frameworks like this -

Saving souls i can respect but not out of remorse. That's what Angel didn't get in season1, he can't make up for his past, saving someone now does not save the person you killed back then.


- feel free to carry on talking this way, but UNDERSTAND FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE that you're not actually comparing Spike's and Angel's moralities, only your own. These characters do what their writers require of them in order to tell stories. Anyone who says differently is gratifying himself with pleasant fiction.

God almighty, Spike barely showed up in this issue and no one has any idea what's coming up in the story. Who does the breast-beating help, exactly?
waxbanks, I agree with you to a point, and many of the Angel vs. Spike arguments get tiiiiiiiiiring (especially in an issue in which one of the two seems to be possessed for the entire thing and the other appears for two panels), but I'm not sure you're right that "the show has never been about [moral comparisons]." Angel and Spike are set in opposition to each other constantly, and while most of this has to do with emotion and personality issue morality comes into play as well. (An example of the emotional stuff is the way "Pangs" has Spike, who doesn't care about anyone there, begging to be let into the family dinner while Angel, who cares about Buffy terribly, begs to be left out; and this sets up IWRY and "Something Blue" in which Angel and Spike each get a magically-induced special day with Buffy.)

In season five after all, part of Spike's function was to criticize Angel for his decisions as part of Wolfram & Hart (and to take up Angel's original mantle) in mid-season; the season ends with Spike saving a baby (which Angel originally did when running away from Darla) while Angel orders assassinations of his teammates--there is a moral contrast intended. Ultimately, that's not because Whedon et al. are trying to convince us of a certain moral philosophy, but that we are meant to see that Angel is getting compromised, and how the introduction of a new model for how to live his life--a more integrated manner, with less of a soulless/soul dichotomy--affects him and whether he is willing to let it change him.
So when we get into childish frameworks like this -
Waxbanks, i would watch it with the insults.

- feel free to carry on talking this way, but UNDERSTAND FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE that you're not actually comparing Spike's and Angel's moralities, only your own. These characters do what their writers require of them in order to tell stories. Anyone who says differently is gratifying himself with pleasant fiction.

God almighty, Spike barely showed up in this issue and no one has any idea what's coming up in the story. Who does the breast-beating help, exactly?

Is that your excuse for everything? You can't favor one story,journey over another because in your opinion the writers didn't intend it that way? No, i'm not comparing my morality, i look at the characters and form an opinion on what they say and what they do. That's why i find Spike's story all the more interesting.

Oh, so now we're all just beating our breasts in a show of dominance. There's nothing wrong with discussing where the story is going and since we do have a legit reason to talk about Spike as they are hyping his soon arrivel in the comic, i don't see what the problem is. We don't know what role Spike will play that leaves us only to discuss where he's been and speculating upon that what his purpose might be.
Reminder: stick to the issues, avoid personal comments about other posters.
Wait...Spike had 2 panels? what was the other one?
One is the Spike with Buffy in fighting stance that says soon. The other is the truest loves of Buffy panel, it shows Angel and Spike.
Oh yeah i forgot the second one...duh!! wasn't that majorly talked about up thread? someone please hit me!
Right, after all this speculating, I can't wait to see what happens...will this thread hold the answers?? have we, the fans, changed the shape of the world to come by sitting here for 400 plus messages and told Joss "well you could be a little more explainy"? or has all this just left us even more divided? Oh Joss, you really know how to throw us for a loop!! maybe he'll pull a rabbit out of a hat and suddenly everyone will agree!! okay well if everyone else can have their own hopeful speculations, so can i, no matter how ridiculous they are!!
maybe he'll pull a rabbit out of a hat and suddenly everyone will agree!!

*pets you*
Is that your excuse for everything? You can't favor one story,journey over another because in your opinion the writers didn't intend it that way? No, i'm not comparing my morality, i look at the characters and form an opinion on what they say and what they do. That's why i find Spike's story all the more interesting.


I'm just saying it's not worthwhile getting overheated about Spike/Angel comparisons. The ways the story affects us are mostly unconscious anyhow, academics' pretensions to dispassionate objectivity and 'critical' reading notwithstanding. Spike's story and Angel's story aren't the same, and in any case Spike's story (in particular) arose out of the structural needs of the BtvS plot. The whole 'Spike joins up with the good guys because he has a chip' thing was always thin. He came on as one kind of character, explicitly to sex the show up a little bit, and stayed until they figured out what to do with him. Aspects of his 'biography' arise from that. Same with his move to Angel.

Let's not overburden these storytelling choices with undue importance. This isn't an almanac of True Moral Facts, and Whedon's stories are all about maintaing the complexity of these characters' moral existence(s), not establishing one or another as superior beyond doubt.

William:

...there is a moral contrast intended. Ultimately, that's not because Whedon et al. are trying to convince us of a certain moral philosophy, but that we are meant to see that Angel is getting compromised, and how the introduction of a new model for how to live his life--a more integrated manner, with less of a soulless/soul dichotomy--affects him and whether he is willing to let it change him.


Oh, you're 100% right (neat point about 'Pangs' btw). Obviously Spike is meant to contrast with Angel in some ways. I just mean that the moral contrast between the characters doesn't need to a measuring-tape contest between them. The 'shipper' stuff - even the 'I like one character and so construct a parallel narrative in which he's the True and Genuine Hero of the show' stuff - doesn't really serve. It's one thing to reckon with what the show is trying to say; it's another to run some kind of moral-evaluative modeling program on the Buffyverse when the stuff doesn't really matter to the story. It feels like misplaced simulationism, know what I mean?
Indeed you can Blueskies, indeed you can. I'm still not going to pet you though.
I'm hoping next issue we'll start making history and reach 500. I think this thread already has one of the most postcounts for a Buffy issue.
Aww...thanks for the petting, and Vergil's non petting!! Maybe this one can hit 500! hmm...random topic from the issue to keep it going....hmmm, how bout; I am so sick of Willow gluing all the pieces together waaay too late!! If she can understand it when it's explained, then why does she need to act all superior and finish Giles' sentences?
Or, Satsu was sooo pissed, but what did she expect? Buffy made it clear that she was using her..didn't she?
I'm just saying it's not worthwhile getting overheated about Spike/Angel comparisons. The ways the story affects us are mostly unconscious anyhow, academics' pretensions to dispassionate objectivity and 'critical' reading notwithstanding. Spike's story and Angel's story aren't the same, and in any case Spike's story (in particular) arose out of the structural needs of the BtvS plot. The whole 'Spike joins up with the good guys because he has a chip' thing was always thin. He came on as one kind of character, explicitly to sex the show up a little bit, and stayed until they figured out what to do with him. Aspects of his 'biography' arise from that. Same with his move to Angel.

Let's not overburden these storytelling choices with undue importance. This isn't an almanac of True Moral Facts, and Whedon's stories are all about maintaing the complexity of these characters' moral existence(s), not establishing one or another as superior beyond doubt.

I wasn't getting overheated because of the discussion we were having. I simply stated my opinion and others countered with their arguements.
I disagree that that was thre reason or cause of Spike's story. They way you dissect it can be attributed to any story, including Angel. All the character including Buffy started from a simple mission statement, in Buffy's case it was the beautiful blonde doesn't run away screaming from the badguy. The writers took it from there and continue develop the characters in question.
I never found Spike's chip to be thin for his reason being joining the good guys because it never was. It's a continuation of things that happen that have him end up being one of the good guys. The chip was just a means to an end and it was not what changed Spike. It was the culmination of chip,love for Buffy,rejected by Buffy,attempting to rape Buffy that made it possible for him to get a soul. Biggest factor was his love for Buffy.

It can and it is the almanac of true moral facts for this verse. We as the viewers see all. We know what the characters do, have done and will do. And upon that we can judge the characters. There isn't a single character that the writers or Joss knew how he/they would turn out.

Blueskies, about Satsu, i don't know. I think she might have still hoped that there was a chance or maybe she's just angry because Buffy decided to boink the guy that has been hounding,killing,torturing them(the slayers)in less then 5 seconds.
waxbanks: Thanks. I do know what you mean. I do still think that the general argument you offer is somewhat ungenerous--the Buffyverse works in great part because the characters (for the most part) act with internal consistency, and because they make interesting moral choices. And there is enough actual textual information suggesting that we are meant to think of Spike as a different kind of hero than Angel (esp. season 5 of AtS) that I'm not even sure you have to construct any 'parallel narratives' to do so. I don't think it all comes down to character favouritism, though I think it's true that it (ultimately) does fairly often.

ETA: I do really like your observation that the more complex and fleshed-out the characters are, the less comparable they are though. Of course they don't in meaningful ways face the same choice--though sometimes similar ones, maybe not to show that one character is "better" but that one still makes better choices.

[ edited by WilliamTheB on 2010-04-14 22:31 ]
Personally, I don't think one character can be defined as being better than the other. They're just different and both are flawed in some way. It's what's made them both so interesting.
Oh yeah, I think we get that, we're just pointing out the flaws :p
But also, just not loving one as much as the other does kinda throw the dynamic off a tad, so it suddenly becomes more intensified when you come up against someone of similar resolve in the opposite direction! Basically our disagreement over Spike or Angel as deserving the term "best of his kind" is kinda like their Astronauts vs. Cavemen argument...eventually someone will get killed...hopefully it won't be at our hands!!
Hmmm. Well, I'll be way over here on Team Riley eating popcorn while you all argue it out. :)

Also, I finally have a copy of this issue so I can see for myself what the big to-do was all about.

[ edited by menomegirl on 2010-04-15 03:40 ]
Okay so I read through it. I'm too tired to try and go into what I think of the story-line tonight but I did want to comment on the artwork. I think Mr. Jeanty did a pretty good job with the B/A panels. I found them neither erotic or pornographic; they were just what they should have been IMO. I would have preferred more story/backstory/an explaination of wtf is going on along with the sex but hopefully, thet'll come next month. :)
memnogirl...was that pun intended? :p
Yes. :) Although it looks to me as if arrival was achieved. (several times over)
Hmmm. Well, I'll be way over here on Team Riley eating popcorn while you all argue it out. :)

I'd say Riley is the most complex love interest Buffy ever had, though also the least satisfying for a whole host of narrative and nonnarrative reasons. Certainly I'm more invested in her relationship with Angel. But yeah, Riley fans are 150% justified in their affection!
Yeah Riley hate is a little extreme, if ever there was a realistic love interest for Buffy and not just carrying on the idea of the sensitive boyfriend or the bad boy, Riley was the everyman who really was every man!! He had the most real relationship with her outside of their work, she invited him in while the other two were already part of it. Riley then had to endure her need to be self reliant and that's where he fell. Up until then he was perfectly mundane and yeah there was the whiny Initiative leader who felt like his authority was in question with her, but for the most part their relationship was based on the personal and not the dangerous exterior!
Erm. That has to be the most passive/aggressive Yay! Riley statement I have ever seen.
I'm on the fence about Riley...I think he was just painted too real to be a tv character!! I like my fiction fictional!!! but they did wreck him at the end...and when prof walsh died...they did alot of bad to his character imo!!
They did indeed.

I still don't have much to say about the issue. I don't care much for the 'balance' thing. One slayer vs. a horde of vampires, demons and who knows what else is NOT balance of any sort. In fact, it's *more* an even scale now that there's more slayers. So, not liking that. (also, repeating what I said earlier: nature had nothing to do with it; the Shadowmen made the slayer, not 'nature' or 'the universe', dammit) Glad that Faith got her powers back, especially since the Slayer line actually stems from her and has since the death of Kendra.

I found that the panels with everyone else talking reminded me a bit too much of Skip telling the Fang Gang how everything was pre-ordained and had lead to Jasmine's birth.

Next issue needs to give us some serious info on Angel and the Twilight thing in a way that makes sense without white-washing his actions once again.

*sighs*

But I'm still in wait-annd-see mode.
I think the whole "balance" thing is being taken too literally. I viewed it more as vampires hunt humans and the Slayer hunts vampires. The predator is always outnumbered 100 to one by it's prey. Not so much a straight one to one balance, but more of an ecological thing.

On the other hand it still reads like slapped together fan wank and remains totally out of character and tears me from my disbelief....

Joss is a better storyteller and we deserve a better story for our patronage. I've been fooled before though, and maybe the the next 5 issues will win me back....
Joss is a better storyteller

I thought so too.

And then there was skinless Warren. Alive.
I'm going back on what I said earlier about not talking about the sex in this issue anymore because I wouldn't mind mixing it up with some more non-'shipper talk for a bit and I had this part of an earlier post saved anyway (the post it was gonna be included in was too long and borderline-confrontational as it was anyway).

KingofCretins said:
"It's more than just the pornishness of the sex itself (and, I'm sorry, any fiction does lose its artistic way the further it trends toward full-frontal, full penetration XXX, so I'm pretty much just going to have to categorically disagree), it's the horror show against which its set. I've already seen far too many people squeeing over the sex and ignoring the fact that what's going on around it are events (revealed in exposition) that will kill hundreds of thousands -- at least -- people around the world, and that's *before* counting the portal full of demons that just opened up above all the Scoobies."

What about full-frontal, full penetration sex makes a work of fiction lose its artistic way ? Just curious, if you’re willing to qualify that statement/explain from your point of view.

Also, dude you seem to have let other people’s comments on the issue infringe on your ability to enjoy it (re: all the fanboyish/fangirlish squeeing over the super-sex). If I’d let all the ‘shipperness over the years get to me so easily, I would’ve quit Buffy at Season 3 (right about when Buffy/Angel was getting to be too much of the focus, or had been for too long, and there were characters I’d rather have focused on more/would’ve rather seen Buffy single). Let folks have their squeeing, however nonsensical it might seem when the rest of us take into context that a whole lot of horrible things are happening to the planet while Buffy and Angel are going at it. It’s not a failing of the writer(s)/story if large portions of the audience are reacting in a way that’s undesirable to you.
What about full-frontal, full penetration sex makes a work of fiction lose its artistic way ? Just curious, if you’re willing to qualify that statement/explain from your point of view.

I'm curious as well.
The predator is always outnumbered 100 to one by it's prey.


Agreed. It's not about raw numbers going up against each other. Slayers are more powerful than vampires and are supposed to keep their numbers in check. That's the balance the "universe" is maintaining. So if one Slayer was supposed to balance thousands of vampires, a couple thousand would certainly need a boom in the demon population to make it "equal."

It's not fair, but being fair was never the issue here. As mbeauparland said, the prey always out numbers the predator. Now you have just as many predators running around as prey to be hunted.
What about full-frontal, full penetration sex makes a work of fiction lose its artistic way ? Just curious, if you’re willing to qualify that statement/explain from your point of view


I can't speak for him, but human beings clothe themselves, with marginal exceptions, universally & depicting a sexual encounter in this way gives the simple physical effects (be they enthusiasm or revulsion) on the audience primacy in the interpretive response; worse, for all the pretense on the part of the writer or artist that he's doing it for story's sake, to amplify meaning, s/he puts a veil between whatever the tale unless the sex IS the central point. This is one of those twisty fakes where the person demonstrates that he's compelled to present it out of bad faith -- like the over-eager waiter in Sartre's famous example, Joss shows that he's playing the part of the taboo-free artist by breaking something which, in fact, ISN'T a taboo in contemporary graphic art.

In addition, it supplies the writer/artist with a ready-made refutation of any criticism of the story: 'Clearly they're just uncomfortable with the sex & can't see past it' -- even though they themselves really weren't seeing past it.

[ edited by bluegrrl on 2010-04-19 08:44 ]
Well, I'm just going to say it:
Connor's the Prince that Buffy's supposed to protect. He's constantly referred to as such in the current Angel issues. When Connor died (#15), Angel realized that it's in him to become "the downfall of all that is good." By protecting Connor (from what, I don't know, possibly Illyria because that's an odd twist) she can prevent Angel from being the key factor in bringing the apocalypse.

And she may not save him, being that there's the "soon" caption with Spike and Buffy fighting together. Spike has told Angel he will kill him if necessary. I've always been a fan of Spike's character development. He was evil, yes, but not Angelus evil. And I think the part where he and Angel are driving and he tells Angel that it's possible that Angel's destiny isn't certain is significant. Angel replies that the best part of not being in the spotlight is that they never see you coming. So is that a hint that Spike is a key and central element, moreso than we realize?

Help me out here with follow-ups and/or contradictions. But I'm putting dollars down on Connor being the Prince.
Whoa. If it weren't for the licensing issue, I'd be fully on board with your Prince Connor theory. It fits so well that it gave me chills. But there's still the licensing issue.
Not so, my friend (at least, that's how I'm interpreting the license issue) because of this interview at http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=24393

Basically, to go back...IDW got the "Angel" license, and Dark Horse still had the "Buffy" license. Scott and I concocted "Season 8," and Dark Horse has license to use any of the characters from Buffy, including Angel, Spike, Wesley and all of that.

This jumped out at me too:

The intent was always that, when Angel finally showed up [in the pages of "Buffy"], we'd make some very vague comment saying how "Things had gotten very funky, and now I'm here doing whatever it is I'm doing" which people now unfortunately know. [Laughs] Actually, they really don't, but that will become clear later.
I think it's been said in the past that Dark Horse could use any Angel character that originated on Buffy (e.g., Angel, Spike, Cordelia, Wesley), but that IDW has exclusive rights to characters that originated on Angel. If I'm remembering this correctly, that would mean Connor isn't available for Season 8.

I kind of hope I'm remembering that wrong, though: I'd really like to see the Angel-as-Twilight arc tie into Angel's journey on his own show, and of course by the end of the show Connor was the most important person in Angel's world. So yeah, if he was somehow involved in Season 8, I'd be happy.

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