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"To coin a popular Sunnydale phrase, 'duh'!"
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April 27 2010

(SPOILER) Cover art and info for the Buffy Season 8 Riley one-shot. Penned by Jane Espenson and drawn by Fray artist Karl Moline, this issue will be out on August 18th. And Comic Book Resources has Jo Chen's cover art for the one-shot.

I really wish they would stop devoting time to Riley.
Ive always liked Riley and thought out off all of Buffy's love interests he was (emotionally) the best for her!
Really looking forward to this and getting the backstory on Riley's role in season 8 and what happened with Sam.So it's out August 18.
I'm actually pretty excited about this issue, I've been wondering what happened to Riley's awesome wife.
Excited would be overstating it for me, but it's nice that one of S8 105 backstory holes is going to get filled. Maybe it will serve to make the story seem more solid and less arbituary.
I dont think I will be picking this up. Will read a synopsis, but not that interested in the story. More interested in how Angel got from AtF #17 to being Twilight.
"Thrilling spy adventure" starring Riley Finn had me at meh but with Espenson/Moline it has to be better than the synopsis is suggesting.
Ah, Karl Moline. Him alone makes me really excited for this.

I liked Riley in season four, but he really dragged in season five. I didn't like how Buffy was treated because of their break up, but sometimes I like imagining how Once More, With Feeling would have been if Riley was still with the gang.
OMG...can't wait too read this and find out this backstory. Still unsure if I actually want Sam to be dead (I'm a Buffy/Xander shipper, but now that that's dead (*sobs*)) because if there's a possibility of a happyish life for Buffy, I can see it happening with Riley.

So over the Riley-hate. I was one once upon a time too, but I, uh, got over it. Now it's just lame.
Stop devoting time to Riley? They would need to start before they can stop, I think. Always liked the character myself. And, though Jane E. has yet to fire on all cylinders in the comic books ("Tales of the . . ." excepted), IMO, I'll definitely check this out.
Is more Riley really necessary? He was on the show far longer than he should have been and now we have to see him in the comics as well?! Not cool...
It's definitely necessary. He was introduced as a plot point, and then Scott said, "Nah, we're done, not gonna explain that." The fan reaction, the need to know *why* he played this role and how he got there, is what made this comic possible.
It's Sam! Who seems to be still alive! And, if the hand-holding is any indicator, still happily and functionally married to Riley!

Though, granted, this is a prequel-y issue.
Looking forward to this. I'm glad this story is finally be shown. And that's got to be Moline's best depiction of Buffy on the cover there.
Nice to see confirmation, (and right on the cover page, not just in the synopsis) that the whereabouts and possibly the fate of Sam will be addressed. She didn't leave much of an impact, if any, in Season 6's "As You Were" (she was nice, she was capable, she was wife-of-Riley), so...I can't say I actually care about her, except in relation to how she effects Riley. Maybe Jane will pull off the feat of adequately fleshing her out in 22 to 26 pages, we'll see.

Hope Moline's art is a lot less sketchy/anime-looking than it was for "Time of Your Life" (like anime okay, but not Moline's evolution toward it). I miss the look of his work during the Fray days (sorry, I know I'm repeating myself on this issue). Which, admittedly, even by issue 7 or 8 (I think the crazy delay was between issues 6 and 7, when it was originally being released), had started to morph into the current look.

If the cover's at all indicative of the content, looks promising (except for Buffy's head. Don't like "big floating head" covers. Either shoulders-up shots or full body shots, please. At least Riley is appropriately beefy, he hasn't been slimmed down any the way he was a little bit in Jeanty's art. Though Jeantry slimmed Xander down even more unrecognizably, at least he got the face/"feel" of Xander right most of the time.

Hope this is a good fill-in for Season 8/pre-Season 8 backstory, or at the very least, contains a few laughs like the Willow one-shot.

[ edited by Kris on 2010-04-27 21:07 ]
I'm interested in this story, not so much because it's about Riley as because it covers him getting involved with Twilight's organisation back in the early days of its war against Slayers. Now that we know who Twilight really is, and have his statement that he was secretly trying to sabotage the anti-Slayer war machine from the inside, I hope we'll see some signs of how that actually worked in practice. (Or, y'know, if Angel was lying.)

Plus, nice to see they haven't "forgotten Sam's existence" after all, despite what a lot of people were claiming when Riley showed up in S8 without her before. :)
I thought that the Willow one-shot was a lot more than "a few laughs". There were laughs, yes, but it was a really dense introspective issue.
Have a feeling this will be a lot less introspective, which is cool. Just hoping that Espenson gets this one... her previous efforts in S8 have left me a little wary.
I've added a link to Jo Chen's cover art for the issue.
Ooh, the Jo Chen one is gorgeous. As if that's still a surprise to anyone.
Love the Jo Chen cover.Might be one of those times that I'll get both.I don't usually do that for the One-Shots.
Riley in Moline's cover looks terrible. Aside from that, I'm really excited about this.

Riley was always my favorite of Buffy's love interests. Don't hate.
Nice Jo Chen cover, though I always have the image in my head of Riley with bangs/less moussed-up-looking hair. But great likeness. Sam reminds me a little more of Jennifer Carpenter (plays Deb Morgan on Dexter, the title character's sister) than what I remember of the actor from "As You Were".

wenxina, no bashing intended to the Willow one-shot, it was a decent comic (I read it at the same time as the Buffy issue that came out right after it though, which kinda overshadowed it, for me) and it nicely sorta scratched the surface of pre-Season 8 Willow. The few jokes or sight gags are what stuck out for me most though, what the issue was memorable for. Before Season 8's finale, I'll likely give the comics a re-read all the way through and maybe put the Willow issue in its proper place, see what more I get out of it.
@Kris: No worries. I'm with you on operation reread...

On a more relevant note... meh to the Chen cover. It's pretty, yes, but wholly uninspired.
I REALLY would like a Giles one-shot
Looks like, as with the Willow one-shot, they're dinging us for an extra $0.51 on this one. :)
The Jo cover cover is beautiful! Great likeness of Marc/Riley. I am glad to see him back, I wish his arc was longer.
Ah, the Riley one-shot. I've been looking forward to this 0one. Jo's cover is gorgeous. But what happened to his scar?
Didn't Riley have a scar along his face, in Season Six? I can't remember for sure. Also, great covers, really like them both. I actually thought Sam had been forgotten until this point. Thank god for this issue.
The scar is no more! It has ceased to be!

Yep, Riley had a scar spanning across his forehead down across his left eye and ending at the top of his cheek. All the art in Season 8 hasn't shown the scar. Not by Moline in Time of Your Life nor by Jeanty in Retreat.
Oh wow. I never noticed the scar on the TV show. That's crazy!
I want Jo Chen to draw my life.

That is all.
I want Jo Chen to draw my life.

If that happened, all the women in your life would get free breast enhancements. ;)

[ edited by Emmie on 2010-04-27 23:59 ]
Isn't "dying Sam" a fic thing, not canon?
DUH people. He got his scar fixed just like Victor in Dollhouse. Ok, so it's only been about 3-4 years since we saw him last but maybe he just had a short term in the DH...
Or it's just an oversight.
Iím very much looking forward to this. We really, really needed to know how Riley came to work for Buffy as a triple agent and as Stormwreath said it will hopefully shed more light on Angelís apparent ďsabotagingĒ or lack thereof. Plus how can a character be married and then his wife just vanish for the story for no reason!? Címon, this is a story that had to be told!

Plus I also really like Riley so he can have as much time devoted to him as he likes :D

And yes that's Moline's best Buffy yet. I say Moline should be the main artist for S9. I was re-reading ToYL today and I love his style.
Not so much a Riley fan but I am a Jane fan so I will pick this up.
To paraphrase Indy "Riley. Why did it have to be Riley?"
I like Riley. I think he was the healthiest relationship Buffy's had. I'm not saying they should be together but he wasn't all bad.
I actually like that they're acknowledging the fact that they suddenly dropped this character in and then are finally trying to explain it away. Part of the appeal I found in the original series was that things actually had consequence and characters tended to develop. (Granted this didn't always apply since there were random things that come from nowhere ala the slayer scythe.)

While it's totally reasonable that they could expect fans to try and rationalize plotholes, I'd rather they actually acknowledge or not introduce them in the first place. (Like the fact Riley had a wife. Or that thing about him having a scar. Or for that matter, Andrew losing the hobbit hair.)
I know some fans hate Riley, but we REALLY need this issue. Can't we just see it in a more objective light? There's so much to know about why Riley is here and what happened to his wife and how did he join Twilight. It's an important issue.
I know some fans hate Riley, but we REALLY need this issue.

But is this really need to know information about the current story? Yeah it's a massive plot hole, but knowing how Riley ended up in Twilight's camp, what happened to Sam etc... those are kinda small secondary questions to consider when discussing S8. There are a lot bigger, more important stuff to cover. Beside filling in back-story, how does this issue pertain to understanding the current storyline? I mean, Riley has done nothing so far and seems like he wont do nothing for the rest of the season. I just hope we'll get some more Twangel explanations in there.
Well thatís probably why itís not included in the official numbering for the season. It is just a side issue to fill in some gaps whilst we have a break from the main story.

I disagree this issue won't help us understand the current storyline. For a start we'll get to see some more Twilight/Riley interaction which will shed some light on WHY Angel allowed Riley to pass on information back to Buffy knowing all along he was a triple agent. That will give us more insight into Angel's decisions throughout S8. And I want to know why/how Buffy contacted him because a lot of fans have accused her of acting foolishly throughout S8 but trying to plant a mole in her enemiesí camp is actually showing some great initiative and I personally think heíll be her Ďlegitimate benefactorí as well.

Plus, whilst Riley seems pretty unpopular here, I donít see the harm in giving his fans some idea of what happened to his *wife* who he seemed very much in love with during S6. I mean Ė thatís a pretty significant plot point that needs to be addressed if they want to use him this season, which they did. Itíd kind of be starting S8 with Willow coming back but never mentioning Kennedy whatsoever and the audience having no idea if they are or arenít together.
For a start we'll get to see some more Twilight/Riley interaction which will shed some light on WHY Angel allowed Riley to pass on information back to Buffy knowing all along he was a triple agent.

That's only if the story focuses on Twilight at all. I'm pretty sure it will, mind, but another possible way is that Riley fell in with Twilight through his army connections. And then just rose up through the ranks as Twilight kept killing those people working for him. There is a perfectly sound way to structure this story with next to none Twilight/Riley interaction. I don't think that's what they'll do, but I've said that a couple of times since season 8 started only to get slapped with the page art.

Plus, whilst Riley seems pretty unpopular here, I donít see the harm in giving his fans some idea of what happened to his *wife* who he seemed very much in love with during S6.

Hey I like Riley fair enough. That isn't my gripe. I'm saying that this is the last one-shot of S8 and I feel comfortable in saying that every other major character is more in need of a filler issue. The only reason we're getting Riley is because of poor planning. Riley's * back-story* could have been dealt with in half a dozen pages throughout S8. We don't need a 'thrilling spy adventure'. 2 pages with what happened to his wife, 2 pages of Riley/Twilight interaction, 2 pages of Buffy recruitment. Spread over fifteen or so issues.

I would have much rathered a one-shot that focused on some of the other Slayers in Buffy's camp. There's death a comin' and I suspect those girls are gonna be canon fodder again pretty soon. But for me, I couldn't care less, because besides a little of Satsu, we don't know squat about any of them. There like the Potential's in S7.
Well, I'm glad we're getting more Riley back-story and getting to see more of Sam, whether Angel/Twilight is mentioned or not.

I prefer not.
First, I'm excited about this issue. Here's why:

I admit that I didn't always love Riley as a character. But I submit that's because he was given the shaft in the writing. Some of the cheesy dialogue (as in his first meeting with Buffy with the dropping of the books on his head), and his apparent purpose as a foil to Angel practically guaranteed that he would not be embraced by fans.

But life experiences have convinced me, personally, that Riley is the only man that Buffy has dated (that we've seen on the show or in the comics) that could possibly be healthy for her. He is not and has not been abusive to Buffy, he does not want to EAT her (no jokes, please), he cares about BUFFY more than about THE SLAYER, he has integrity, he is physically and intellectually strong, he is loyal and has a sense of responsibility, and he also happens to be HOT! Oh, and he is human, which is an attribute that Buffy seems to value very much.

To get some back story on Riley in the current "season" is very welcome to me. Here's hoping the issue does him justice!
Very true 5X5B.

I confess I hated Riley with a passion (although I loved him when he punched Parker) but I blame that on "I Will Remember You." Being a teen and seeing Buffy go from the forbidden, passionate love to safe, stable Riley?! Blech.

That being said, I warmed up to him and shed some tears over his departure. As I grew up (and rewatched him as an adult) I realized just how much I understood his character. And I give the writers their much-belated props. What we were missing is that Buffy is as toxic to Riley as Spike was to her in S6. He was a good guy who got mixed up in Slayer darkness.

Her powers come from somewhere murky with bones and swirly black mist. He grew up in a cornfield. He was not prepared for our Buffy...and yet he was drawn to her and loved her passionately without reserve. He tried to understand her and nearly got himself killed.

So yeah, I like Riley. Yay for his one-shot! I will be buying it.

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