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September 01 2010

(SPOILER) For the discussion of Buffy #36. The Season 8 finale kicks off with the first part of the Joss Whedon penned 'Last Gleaming' arc.

Oh, dear. Just read it. I say again: Oh, dear.
I won't be able to get this for a while. Hopefully later today but who knows. So, I wouldn't mind if someone wanted to summarize. Bitsy is making me nervous, and I don't even know what I should be nervous about!
Bitsy Take a deep breath, pause..and spill it!

Buffy really get transformed into Bella, like on the Jeanty cover?
Oh dear! Now I am nervous! I don't know if I can stay away from this place before I get the issue! Has Joss really lost it completely?

[ edited by Shep on 2010-09-01 16:22 ]
Anca, I don't want to spoil too much. Angel deserved a bit of a stern talking to by Buffy at the least, and what we get is more like a slap on the wrist and an "I still love you the best, anyway". Willow's got her hate on for him, though, which kind of makes me love her more than I have in a long time.

As for Spike, there is good and there is bad. For a guy whose face is on the cover, you'd think he'd get a little more face time and a little more love. Buffy is a little curt with the guy who just saved their collective bacon. On the plus side, Spike sounds more like himself than any of the other characters have in a while and he comes off as a lot smarter and more honest than everyone else.

Joss seems determined to kill Spuffy dead with the biggest sack of hammers he can find. I'm going to write up a full review shortly but, sufficed to say, I even see a bit of meta aimed directly at the fans.
I don't have my copy yet but I read some brief spoilers at Buffyforum from dorotea.

The Master is involved in this.The seed is a artifact of The Masters.This is why Buffy and the gang will return to Sunnydale on Spike's ship.To find this artifact.

The Jo Chen cover for Buffy #37 is cropped and actually features Buffy and The Master on it.

From dorotea's impressions,Buffy knew Spike has been back.They don't spend much time on it.dorotea also said spuffy shippers will not like this issue at all.

Buffy sends Angel away at the end of the issue
I can just hear people taking up arms!
...maybe people already realize this, but in the flash forward in "Anywhere But Here," Buffy seems to be crying next to a broken artifact that looks like a seed. Perhaps this is the same thing? Perhaps we are moving toward the betrayal that is the "closest, most unexpected?"

Exciting!!
Why am I not surprised to hear these spoilers? I may be speaking prematurely, but It seems that the crackfic theme is still all the rage in the Buffyverse right about now.

It all sounds absolutly dire. :(
So, do we know that Buffy knew about Spike being alive or not?
By the sound of it she knows, and frankly just doesn't care. Pretty much the 'authors message' it seems.
What is "crackfic?" Not a term I have heard before.
A derogatory term for canon you don't agree with.
Yup, the thingie that's the Seed looks like huge red glowing egg - exactly the thing that is shown broken in the 'betrayal' panels.
"Crackfic" = "Not the story I wanted."
"A derogatory term for canon you don't agree with. "

Err, no. For me It means a story which goes beyond the bounds of credibility into out and out farce. *g*
Joss seems determined to kill Spuffy dead with the biggest sack of hammers he can find


Joss can't kill Spuffy dead simply because 99% of Spuffy fandom doesn't read comics.

So, time to start theorizing who will break the egg-seed thingie?
I'll do my best to summarize:

Angel discovers his powers directly after the preview pages, and uses them to safely land the plane (which, by the way, says 'Oceanic'-- didn't need that!) and save everyone in it. This includes a woman who turns out to be the dog using another body. She tells him that the powers are a reward that "makes 'Shanshu' look like a sack a' crap."

There are other references to AtS and AtF, such as a remark about flying without a dragon under his butt, so we can safely assume that the character is being written to include his full canon history, not just the BtVS bits.

Next we get another flashback ("Some other time ago"). Spike is sitting on his steampunk pod, which just popped out of a portal. He's cheering, but then notices where he is and asks his crew (OF GIANT BUGS) what happened to the wankers that were apparently giving chase. He lands/crashes in London and picks up a newspaper, which tells him what's been going on in the world with Buffy (and Harmony lol).

One page of mixed backstory for Angel and Spike, which I think we all saw already-- Angel's hearing more voices from his dog-guide, and Spike's researching and finds out about Twilight.

Back to the present: the Slayers are taking refuge in Spike's ship; Buffy and Angel are still fighting the demons. Angel comments that he doesn't trust Spike; Buffy replies that she doesn't trust Angel, but he has her heart and Spike has a ship. After proclaiming this the best day of her life, Buffy sends Angel away so that Spike will reveal his agenda, and because of the feeling of the others, which Willow demonstrates by turning him into a frog and back by "accident". They part ways, Angel to save who he can, Buffy to talk to Spike.

Everyone has gathered in the ship with the giant bugs. Buffy grabs Spike, thanks him for his sacrifice in "Chosen", and asks him what he knows. (It's implied in her wording that she knew he was alive but wasn't able to find him.) Spike starts by pointing out that she can't trust Angel, and then explains that Buffy and Angel opened a gateway to a new reality and then abandoned it, and there's going to be big trouble if it comes looking for Mummy. He also says that "the Seed of Wonder" is what this comes from, and they're digging it up.

He announces to the crew that they're headed for the Hellmouth, the "heart". We see something that looks like a red egg, like the one hanging over Buffy in the vision in which she's betrayed by the closest and most unexpected (sorry, I forget the issue number/name).

Final page: it's the Master! The Master has the red egg seed thingy!

Also, they finally pulled off that trick covers thing that they tried to do with the Twilight arc. Kudos. Too bad it means Fruit Punch Mouth is gonna be in the pretty Sad Buffy cover.
I said "seems determined" not "will succeed" for a reason.
Guess I'll wait until I've read the issue before passing judgment, but the summaries make it sound egregious. Oh, Joss. :(
*sigh* I had a really long comment written but then the internet quit before I could post it , grr.

All I can say is this sounds VERY disappointing. The was a big deal to many fans and I feel like just skating over it is a bit of a 'screw that' to everyone who wanted to know if Buffy knew Spike was alive. I don't think I've ever been this disappointed in Joss. I mean, I've been disappointed in at least 85% of Season 8, but this part is actually written by him, so it's extra disappointing. I expected just a crumb of respect for a major couple, especially after he said he considers Spike his most developed character. But Alas, no. I'm just saying, they would never disrespect Willow/Tara or certain other old couples this way. I guess nothing can get in the way of TRU-WUV Destiny Space Frakking! I should have known.

I was pretty much hinging my entire following of these comics on if Joss could impress me. I've been hating them intensely for quite a while, maybe since retreat, or predators and prey. And my hate has very little to do with what couples I prefer. I try my best to forget Season 8, because it sours my enjoyment of my favorite show of all time. It makes me wonder, would I have ever liked Buffy at all if Joss has had this much freedom in the tv series? Probably not, since the characters and the little funny/sweet/witty/romantic/ emotional moments between them are what made the show for me. That and the metaphors, musicals, and memorable fight sequences.The comics seem to be almost all plot, and not even one that I find remotely interesting.

I don't expect to be back for Season 9. Though I will give it one more chance and try to finish this arc, for Joss. It hurts me to hate Buffy this much.
KaileeA42 you and me both. I'm starting to think That Wheon's writing brain is now permanently broken when it comes to the Bufyverse. :(

But hey ho, there's always fanfic. Far more enjoyable for me and It's freeeeeeeeeee! *g*

[ edited by sueworld2003 on 2010-09-01 17:24 ]
Well, enjoy your fanfic. Unless of course it references S8, which some inevitably will. *g*
No, why would you think It has to do that? None of the fanfic I read even touches on the comics. In fact not many fans on lj even take season 8 into consideration when writing their stories.

[ edited by sueworld2003 on 2010-09-01 17:35 ]
Yeah, I've seen maybe one, two tops, stories that reference Season 8. Honestly, I think a lot of Buffy fans don't even read it, or quit a long time ago, since overall it seems it's pretty ignored by the Buffy fandom at large. Which I don't mind at all.
Yes, the ones you read don't touch S8. But that's not the same as saying that ALL fanfic don't or won't. I was merely bidding you to enjoy your fanfic, unless of course it used any elements from S8 (which some inevitably will). I figured you'd probably avoid those like the plague.
I don't have to avoid them, nearly everyone all ready does that at the writing source. :D

[ edited by sueworld2003 on 2010-09-01 17:41 ]
Naturally, if you're reading in a closed system. But I'm sidetracked here. Enjoy your fanfic.
Oh I will. Believe me I will. :D
Well I just go to fanfiction.net, which seems like quite an open place. But yes, this conversation is pretty much pointless and off-topic, so it should probably stop.
I should say I haven't read this yet but I'm having major problems with the vitriol coming from others here who have also not read it.

Firstly, the world is literally crashing down around them, and you want Buffy to take some time out to swoon over Spike, whom she has probably known to be alive for sometime? Don't we think Buffy has been kind of preoccupied for the past year or two, and especially RIGHT NOW?

I don't know...I have just felt nothing from these forums besides thinly disguised shipping since Angel showed his face. Frankly, I'd much rather hear a discussion of the story (which I fully admit might suck).

How about: What is the significance of the seed? How does it relate to "Long live the queen," and "saving the prince." Is future Dark Willow going to exist in the current future timeline? Who set Angel up to be Twilight? The Master WTF?!
Thanks, Bitsy and Kairos.

Well, I agree with 5x5, they're in a middle of a battle, just like before Chosen. If there's to be something (talks or anything else) they'll have time later.
Thank you, 5x5B. I'm poised and ready for some real discussion to get going.

Sadly I have no potential answers to any of your questions, but I can add a couple! Like, Spike. Alien spacecraft? Giant bugs? And I just noticed something: they're calling him Your Majesty.

I also initially failed to notice that he knocked the top off of Big Ben. It seems like he may have allowed the crash for comic reasons. What a rogue.

Also on the subject of Spike, some may be interested to hear that he's not sporting all the accessories that he was at the end of the last issue, even the nail polish. I don't think that's meant to indicate an off-panel change, just that Jeanty laid up on the added quirk.
I posted a full plot synopsis and review of the issue here

[ edited by project bitsy on 2010-09-01 18:45 ]
Thank you for the definition of crackfic, which sounds like a perfect description of the comic that was explained by Kairos upthread. I don't have this yet, but what I am reading sounds fairly distressing, and I have no take at all in the Bangel Spuffy debate. Could care less who Buffy ends up with, just want a great story and terribly sad Jetwolf has disappeared and not finished hers.

The Master? That's a disappointment, and way too obvious. Just another vampire king, though this time he is more cosmic than last time, when all he wanted was to come back. Hard to kill things in the 'verse these days. Everyone who dies seems to return except, well, Tara. Darn big bads just won't stay dead. But it had to be a past big bad here; a new one would not work at all, not that this one does. That it is the Master is just a Macguffin for the egg, which is itself a Macguffin- we have an infinite regress of Macguffins... :-)

[ edited by Dana5140 on 2010-09-01 18:15 ]
I'm guessing it's The Master in the past, so history has been rewritten?
Are we sure it's the Master we're seeing and not, say, The First? Seems like that could be a better fit, though I'd be happy to see the Master again. Of all it's available forms, only Buffy herself or Caleb really would have been better 'outfits' for it to use than the only Big Bad to actually kill Buffy.

Count me in with those who are sick of the "This sucks, I haven't read it but it sucks!" with no actual reasoning and such. It's gotten old. Especially when it is, literally, the ONLY thing certain people post (and I mean in EVERY post that they make). And no, that isn't infringing on anyone's 'freedom of speech/opinion" before that BS defense comes up. It's common sense. If you're going to complain, then do so in a constructive way. Repeatedly saying "It sucks, it sucks, it's ruined forever!" and things of that nature isn't adding anything new and it's gotten beyond tired. Especially the "WHY AREN'T THEY DOING X, Y, or Z!? They should!" A)there's still time so untwist your knickers and stop attacking it for not doing something that may well happen and B)You don't have the full story. There's still four issues which is plenty of time for things to fall together. Stop acting like the story is finished and you have the full picture.
Or did you pull "ruined forever" when Dawn showed up with no explanation?
These threads have stopped being fun and interesting and have devolved into little more than unpleasant arguments at BEST. It's gotten to the point where the site is more hostile than it is pleasant, and that's a problem. When half the posts in a comics-related thread (and I mean just shy of ALL of those threads) involve senseless, unsupported bashing it puts a real drain on the overall conversation and, more importantly, the enjoyment of the site itself.
I hope it's the First Evil, that's a scary/nifty villain. The Master is so hokey.
trunkstheslayer, you're not exactly helping with a rant. Watch your tone please. The best thing to do is contribute the kind of thoughtful comments you want to see, not complain about the kinds of comments you don't like.
"I hope it's the First Evil, that's a scary/nifty villain. The Master is so hokey."

And the First (or as Buffy called him at one point 'The taunter') wasn't? My god the First was the most useless enemy ever imo.
The whole powers-communicating-through-things reminds me of Jasmine.
I forgot to add something I found interesting. You know how on the back of the front cover they do a little previouslies thing? Well listen to the one for this issue:

Temperatures run high when Buffy and Angel reunite to fight all matter of evil things. Enter Spike former vampire, former lover, latest prophecy keeper. Needless to say, things get complicated. In order to save humanity from crumbling in on itself, Buffy must elicit the help of those closest to her and take the fight home.

I'm sorry. Former vampire? Spike? Is that a mistake or what?

[ edited by project bitsy on 2010-09-01 18:34 ]
Latest prophecy keeper? Another prophecy? Well we all know those go so well!

[ edited by Shep on 2010-09-01 18:35 ]
project bitsy-Something about your review link is hinky.

Edited to add:

Dana5140, Simon & Rowan Hawthorn:

Crack fic:

Named after the drug to imply that it can only be the product of a deranged mind, crack fic is identified by its absurd, surprising, or ridiculous premise.

The plotline might be twisted into a knot, the fic might be a thick parody, or the fic might feature an unlikely or rare pairing ("crack pairing").

Sometimes random, nonsensical, or stream-of-thought fics are termed crack, but other crack fics proceed logically, in character, and with internal consistency from their bizarre starting points.

The former is generally derided by fandom as badfic while the latter is often praised. Generally these are humor pieces.


[ edited by menomegirl on 2010-09-01 20:02 ]
thanks for the heads up. fixed it.
Menomegirl - take off the end quotation marks and it works. :)
That is an interesting possibility, Simon.
project bitsy-Very nice review! I quite liked it.
I actually really liked this one. The whole twilight arc kind of dragged on for me, but now the reintroduction of Spike seems to have made things a bit more interesting. Loving all the references the ATS and After the Fall (Many of which have already been mentioned - flying without a dragon under your butt, "powers" speaking through people etc). Needless to say this has definitely made me want to finish the rest of Season 8. Wonder how the master is still alive though??
I don't know. Maybe Amy saved him before Buffy busted his bones into dust.
This was a great issue for two reasons:

1. Spike is so utterly and unbelievably brilliantly in character that I need more adverbs to fully describe him. The trope of Spike announcing his presence by crashing into landmarks doesn't get better than him seeing Big Ben, saying, "Turn! Just turn! [pause] On the other hand... funny..." and then we see Big Ben smoking in the distance as Spike's lounging in a cafe reading the news with a pint of beer on the table.

2. Spike says you can't trust Angel. Buffy says she doesn't trust Angel. And yet he has "[her] heart"? This is not the same Buffy of Season 6 and 7 who said, "I could never trust you enough for it to be love." This is not the same heroic Buffy who sacrificed her happiness for years so that others could be safe because she couldn't be happy if those she loved were suffering--this Buffy calls birthing a new universe that is destroying the world "the weirdest, bestest, weirdest, best day of my life." Really, Buffy? Because last time I checked, people are dead from what you did on "the best day of your life."

Buffy is acting out of character. Why? Because she is missing the character that has defined her identity for so long that it's become an overriding factor: guilt. Buffy feels guilty for things that aren't even her fault--she has done this for years. But now that she actually is directly responsible for the end of the world, she's making googly eyes at Angel and calling it the best day ever. Okay, I can see why being directly responsible for world-wide disasters and the apocalypse is super nifty! Right? Am I right? *crickets* I'm thinking there's a struggle for control going on inside Buffy between the influence of Twilight and her true character, and it's only because she feels love for her friends so strongly that she was able to override this influence and abandon her baby universe so she could save the world.

When I look back at #35 entitled the "The Power of Love", I can only think of that moment when Xander calls for Buffy and she hears him. The power of love is what brings you home, brings you back to who you truly are.

I loved Willow turning Angel into a frog 'accidentally'. I loved Spike focusing on the mission while still snarking at Buffy because the snark "comes with the sizeable package."

And the final page drives home that we're really going back to the beginning. The "Seed of Wonder" is the egg we saw in Anywhere But Here as many predicted, the Master is in possession of it deep inside the Hellmouth, and everyone but Angel are headed there to save their world from the new world the superpowered god sex birthed when the great "space-hymen" broke.

Because Spike was so completely 100% in character, I have to believe that the oddities in Buffy's behavior are deliberate. She's just off and I think the way everyone keeps harping on not being able to trust anyone is significant. Can Buffy even trust herself right now?
Thanks, Emmie

There's hope that breaking that red egg will bring back Buffy
Can Buffy even trust herself right now?

Good question.
thanks, menomegirl

Emmie, I agree, the issue was pretty solid and Spike was very much in character but I'm not sure I'm sold on Buffy acting out of character because of the Twilight influence, exactly. Not in the way she was during Meltzer's arc, anyway.

To me, one of the biggest undercurrents of Season 8 has been that neither Buffy nor Angel seem to be feeling much in the way of guilt or connection to the world anymore. I feel like they are their own big bads. When it's revealed in Anywhere but Here that Buffy robbed a bank Willow refers to that action as "the first domino" and it seems that Buffy has only been making further mistakes since. Power, be it of love or of anything else, is corrupting her and Angel, too.
Nice reaction, Emmie. I hope you are right that there's more to Buffy than what we're getting here -- cause, yuk. If it stands as writ, we have to re-write her tombstone:

"She saved the world a lot; but her bestest day ever was the day she destroyed it."
menomegirl: That may be the "dictionary definition" of the term crackfic (whatever dictionary that one may have come from), but I stand squarely behind both mine and Simon's. Season 8 "discussions" have fairly well cemented that in.
but her bestest day ever was the day she destroyed it

That sounds like Angel's curse
Well put Maggie *g*
Well, so 8.36 came out today.

Yeah.

Might as well get into all of it. First, what's probably the most anticipated sentimental part of the plot --

The Spuffy Remonstration

What Spuffy fans should like: They have an instant and easy rapport that reminds one of the best of their 'fighting side by side' era. They still verbally fence very well.

What Spuffy fans probably shouldn't or won't like: Everything else.

I'll go ahead and say -- I was right. Only saying it to be honest because you know you were thinking I was thinking it. Yes, Buffy knew Spike was back (she explicitly refers to having been out of touch as something she had a choice about), no, we got no details for the time being. I said that's what would probably happen to save space, and there it is. But I can't really crow about it, because the context is just... so bad. Any romantic nostalgia or sentimentality from her toward him is completely absent from my reading, and his toward her is more acerbic, more "wronged ex-boyfriend who likes to score points". It's very early-Season 2 Logan Echolls, in fact.

I can absolutely understand why you guys will probably be very disappointed by this, and while there are at least moments that speak to the connection between the two characters from where things were left in "End of Days" and "Chosen", it mostly got thrown all right the hell out the window, and for this I am sympathetic and sorry.

Angel

So, remember how Angel wasn't going to get whitewashed? Lawl.

Whitewash, total whitewash, and son of whitewash. Yes, they all name check his lack of trustworthiness, but ultimately, there's no question what they are cooking -- because Buffy has obviously decided he's Perfect and Good, and while others aren't happy about him, they are clearly covered in dry-rub "they'll get over it" seasoning, since because if the book is called "Buffy" and Buffy lurrrrves Season 8's Hitler, than Season 8's Hitler is gonna be okay.

I called the "Superman" origin reference with the airplane, but the "Lost" reference spotters still got a good one for it having been a "Lost" shout out because it's an Oceanic flight.

The thing I found most pompously laughable was Angel having the unmitigated gall to question Spike's motives. Angel spends a year flying around in a mask throwing buildings at people, bashing their heads off inanimate objects and surfaces, ordering squint henchmen killed, and willfully keeping more or less innocent people in harm's way because "they're mortal", and has the nerve to actually question someone else's motivations. I don't know if I have more contempt for Angel, or just more facepalm for the idea that Joss could actually write that dialogue without any hint of irony or lampshading whatsoever.

It's quietly enraging that Angel seems to regret his actions to the sum of zero. But even worse that...

Buffy

.. has no apparent problem with his actions. In fact, her situation is even worse. She has, in this issue, emotionally regressed all the way back to "Lie To Me"... BEFORE she found out that Ford was trying to kill a bunch of people. In that episode, she told Angel she loved him but didn't know if she trusted him. Afterwards, she learned about Ford. Then the rest of Season 2 happened. Then Season 3, Season 4, Season 5, and most of Season 6. By the time we get out of Season 6 and into Season 7, Buffy seems to have understood that you can't have the REAL love WITHOUT the real trust. It even plays into her romantic interest in Xander in Season 8.

But push comes to shove, and she is here all but explicitly telling Angel that she is cookies and he was the first to the kitchen, and... wow, poof, NONE of that character development ever happened. Because, look... she textually tells Angel that she loves him but doesn't trust him. Turns out that when cookies come out of the oven, they look surprisingly like eggs, flour, butter, and chocolate chips.

'Shipping

Buffy/Angel is the fiat winner of the 'ship race, basically.

Xander/Dawn are adorable.

Amy doesn't hate the skinless look, clearly.

Spike

The only agenda he seems to have is saving the world. No wonder Angel and even Buffy are so suspicious... that kind of thing is soooooo televised seasons. But can we get a big What The Hell? on the prologue summary calling him a "former vampire"?

Willow and the others

Willow gets the moment of the issue by momentarily (albeit slightly continuity breakingly, since what happened to him being all invincible?) turning Angel into a toad. She loses a couple points for not seizing the opportunity to take advantage of this and dissect him. But I love that they make NO excuses, for now, that Angel has lost ALL points with everybody not named Buffy. But Willow still isn't quite so hard not to console Buffy... but dammit, that better be consoling her because she's actually affected by this whole "universe ditched at birth"/demon army/Spike's back/going back to Sunnydale thing and not because she lost her freakin' woobie for a couple issues.

The Master, the Seed, the Plot, and Where It's Going

The Master being back is... vaguely cool, but I'm disappointed at pretty much anything they do to justify his return. What I sincerely hope is that that Seed (which I'm calling the Seed of Oh For F*ck's Sake, but is actually the Seed of Phlebotinum) is giving the Master the ability to BE the dog and the flight attendant and so on and that Angel really has been his bitch this whole time. It would at least save us the pure BS of pretending that all this Twilight stuff has been "good".

I'm also thinking my theory that the seed being a way to control reality, and the breaking of it being part of how Buffy will be ultimately betrayed, makes more sense.

If the Master is the old villain that someone will team up with... who? Not Buffy, one assumes. But, uh... she's the only one who EVER met him other than Angel. I'm going to say, Angel or Spike teaming up with their ancestor would be a bit boring. But nobody else even met him. Xander's the only one who ever even visited his neighborhood, in both "The Harvest" and "Prophecy Girl".
King, I love the idea that Angel has been the Master's butt boy this whole time. It's true comeuppance for the way Angelus flipped off the whole Order of Aurelius back in the day and just funny as hell. I hope you're right.
Yeah, I'm kind of into the whole Master thing..... as someone mentioned above he's the only guy to actually take Buffy out on his own terms and that's kind of significant. I also think the character will come through a little more sinisterly without the make up and weird pleather nazi uniform that didn't look so good on television.

I also think that Buffy's strange behavior is important and not just Joss Whedon going crazy and forgetting how to write his character. When has Buffy ever said stuff like that? Even in romantic bliss I've never heard her call anyone 'baby' before. Something is up.
I really hope Buffy and Angel are NOT supposed to be in character here too, because if they are, that would be the last straw for me and Season 8. At first I was SURE they were supposed to be out of character( during the twilight arc.) But, I thought it would be resolved by the end of that, or at least by now. Which is why I am now getting concerned that we are supposed to accept Angels'a actions as noble. It just disgusts me that Buffy would actually accept everything Angel did as 'for her own good.' It just seems like she has reverted to her more naive high school personality where she just ignores Angels flaws and bad decisions so she can make googly eyes at him and call her causing the end of the world 'Her bestest day ever".

Even the way Buffy sometimes talks lately seems so very high school, and nothing like who she grew to be in Season 7.When I try to imagine that Buffy doing or saying these things it feels so wrong. I'm not saying I'm against her sometimes being more lighthearted, she just feels out of character here in many ways. As others have said, the most striking thing is how completely remorseless and uncaring about the world Buffy and Angel are both acting. Even when Buffy decided to fight against the demons, it was only for her group of friends, not even for the world or all her slayers who trust and look up to her. I'm practically praying that their still under the control of Twilight or that something is making them act this way, because if not, I REALLY am done with this. It's only my ridiculous amount of loyalty to Joss and my love of the shows that has kept me going this long. I hope Joss can work some miracles and rekindle my, if not love, then at least acceptance of this story.

[ edited by KaileeA42 on 2010-09-01 19:41 ]
BTW, Great review KingofCretins. You summed up many of the things I was thinking magnificently. Interesting theories on Angel and the Master. I would actually probably like it if that were true. I thought the master was uber-cheesy on the show in Season 1, but I agree that the comics could serve him better.
Rowan Hawthorn-Dana5140 asked what crackfic was. I replied with an answer to the question, not with an opinion of my own.

[ edited by menomegirl on 2010-09-01 20:05 ]
Perhaps the moment that made this Buffy's best day ever was leaving Twilight. She said that Angel gave her perfection and then gave it up-- knowing that they finally made the right choice, and did it together, must be a pretty good feeling.
Spike-former vampire? What? How? What? I hadn't read that part, as I just jumped in, and stopped at Spike reading the paper in the café. To me, it seems like it's daylight, and I thought it strange, even though he's clearly in the shadows. Anyway, then the blurb states the former vampireness. Strange. I'm glad he's shown up. He looks timely. And also good. Sidebar, I was glad I showed up at my comic book store when I did. There was only one Jo Chen cover left! Swipe!

I agree with everyone here that Buffy sounds like she's regressed to High School Buffy. I, too, did a double take when she calls Angel "Baby". Huh?

I really hope the only redemptive quality we see of Angel isn't just Buffy saying "You can make up for a lot of damage, Angel. I need you to. I think you need it to." No one is trusting him and I LOVE that. From Willow turning him into a frog/toad, to Faith asking where the "Man-bitch formerly known as Angel" has gone to--it's nice to see that some characters have remained themselves. At least.

For this to end and conclude in 4 issues... it's gonna need to get cracking.

Also, I guess Willow healed Andrew and Faith, as they seem to be doing okay.
Buffy has a highly-edited short term memory if she thinks Angel made that decision "with" her. She made it, over his objections, and he grudgingly followed her.
Great post up there, Emmie. I haven't read the issue yet (it takes ages to get to my local comic shop), but Buffy saying the day with Angel was 'the weirdest, bestest, weirdest, best day of my life', sounds like Joss very specifically and knowingly writing Buffy out of character in just that sentence alone, not to say the whole arc so far.

We've had 'long cons' in Buffy before, and I have a hard time simply concluding 'well, Joss has lost it', like a lot of people seem to have been doing these last few issues. The story hasn't played out yet and the fact that Buffy and Angel are both acting completely out of character (and that they are the ones effected by this whole business magically), while everyone else - Spike, Willow, etcetera, seem to be behaving in character, thinking this whole Twilight thing isn't the 'bestest' thing ever makes, well, complete sense.

When have we ever known Joss to just write silly stuff that don't resonate and with out-of-character characters? Because character - unlike continuity ;) - are his strong suit, at the end of the day.

I'll be more than happy to eat my words later, if this season ends and all of this was unintentional out-of-character-ness. If we're, as an audience, still supposed to believe that Buffy having sex with the guy who killed her slayers and did massive amounts of bad stuff without first at the very least asking for an explanation and/or being angry was a good thing, and that her acting like almost destroying the universe was great (using the words 'the weirdest, bestest, weirdest, best day of my life', for crying out loud :)) is normal, I'll certainly be disappointed. But I don't believe it for a minute. I'm fully expecting both of them to snap out of it and Angel to be horrified at how he was manipulated, and Buffy to be horrified and quite possibly even a little bit grossed out at how she acted. They'll both feel dirty, guilty and will probably have all kinds of lovely issues because of this, going into S9.

So I pretty much don't think this is the magical, lovely reunion of star-crossed lovers Buffy and Angel, like the anti-Angel/pro-Spike crowd seems to believe. In fact, I think this probably won't be good for their 'relationship' at all for the short term at the very least. But, like Dana, I don't have a horse in this race. Sure, I have opinions on her relationship with Angel and Spike (neither fully positive or negative), but at the end of the day I'm fine with anything, as long as it rings true to the characters, rings true thematically and leads us into interesting story territory.
KOC- what you said.
This issue confused the hell out of me. The good obviously is Spike, he's back and he's even more awesome. Strong and confident, a true champion and hero. Everything Angel is not.

I agree with Emmie, i don't know who or what this is but that isn't Buffy.
The best day of her life? Are you kidding me? Responsible for ending the world all because of 5 minutes of space-sex.
I have to believe that Joss knows this would be viewed in such negative light. So either this isn't the real Buffy or we haven't seen any real emotion from her since her talk with Xander when she was depressed because of the 200 slayers she had lost. Maybe those superpowers suck the humanity out of you or whatever.
If however this really is Buffy then i'm really glad that Spike seemed to have grown a pair and moved past her. As it stands now, Spike deserves much better then Buffy. And Angel and Buffy really deserve eachother.

Also glad to see conflict between Spike and Angel, was sick and tired of the last 5 years of having Spike as Angel's silly little sidekick that could never measure up. Spike has long surpassed Angel.

I would assume that if this wasn't really Buffy then the Scoobies would have noticed something.

For me it's either
1:That Buffy needs to be saved(really hoping this is true).
2.We're seeing the tragic fall of a great iconic heroine.

Maybe the upcoming "ultimate betrayel" that leaves Buffy broken and beaten needs to happen for her to snap out of it.
I can't help but remember that this was exactly how Angel said he would defeat Buffy. Attack her morality,sense of justice, Buffy as whole. She seems to be turning the sword against herself.
Have to admit that upon re-reading, Buffy's dialogue doesn't seem AS horrible. Still can't get past the 'baby' ha.

I think the repercussions against Angel will be shown later though, I just think mid-Apocalypse was not the time to try to kill someone who was trying to save you plus with super powers. And Spike's insistence that she shouldn't trust Angel still make me think that there's a lot more behind the Twilight thing than we know maybe? If Angel has been misled this far I wouldn't be surprised if he could be again.... the closest betrayal would point to the broody one to me, especially given Buffy's current regard of Angel.

Or it could be a Scooby with the betrayal because they see that Buffy's acting all kinds of crazy, I could see Angel as the red herring and this occurring. Maybe it's the path that sends Willow to get all dark and veiny again.

[ edited by Cazador on 2010-09-01 20:55 ]
I've been thinking on what Emmie has said and... I don't know.

What I could come up with, trying to start with this idea, this first premise that "your Buffy is not real", and chase it out a bit.

Why wouldn't she be real? And by "real" here, I really mean herself, I was just meme-shopping from my favorite movie :) But the point is... why wouldn't she be? What's the point of writing it.

The best guess I can make is us. This conversation, this reaction -- a test of whether the audience is following the character or following a principle that the character has, in the past, stood for. And, maybe, to some extent, having Buffy calling Angel "baby" or being so absolute in her affection or so completely indifferent to every other moral consideration, is Joss making the variant cover literal and is using Buffy as a Bella proxy who can have all her stupid ideas and selfishness blow up in her face (aka, by getting her teeth gratifyingly kicked in later this season). But the only way you could do that and still have the "real" Buffy not also be Bella-fied would be if Buffy is messed up somehow. Lost her soul, Twilight-as-svengali, whatever.

I don't know. But it's not a theory (that something is "wrong" with Buffy") that I can ignore now that I can understand a reason for it be written.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2010-09-01 21:09 ]
menomegirl:
Rowan Hawthorn-Dana5140 asked what crackfic was. I replied with an answer to the question

So did I.
How is Buffy being Bellafied? I keep seeing this claim made by fans but nobody seems to be able to connect the dots.
What is it that Buffy used to stand for that she is missing now? How is she so much different?
Buffy is selfish again how? Was it when she decided to leave paradise with Angel and go back to fight for her friends, thus an attempt to save the world yet again?
I have seen claims that Buffy doesn't care about the world NOW because her concern was only of her friends survival. I am assuming by world what was meant was the multitude of folks and organizations working against her since the empowerment spell. The same world that are trying to kill her slayers while worshipping vampires. Might just be me but I can imagine why her friends, rather than the world against her, was Buffy's first thought.

IMO, being absolute about Angel doesn't negate Buffy's character at all. If anything, it's the one thing that is IN character for her. The line about Buffy not trusting Angel but loving him took me back to season 2 and a story that reeked of Dru.(We know she will be returning for Spike's canon story with Brian) Now we learn that The Master is involved, which takes us back to season 1. I still smell a reset and where I had imagined a season 5 reset, it's starting to look like it might be a whole lot earlier. Which is interesting.

I loved this issue and can't wait to see what comes next.
Rowan Hawthorn-I'm not going to debate the difference between answering a question by giving a simple answer vs. stating your own opinion of the term with you.

Back to the issue.

Maybe the "ultimate betrayel" is the moment when Buffy realizes that she's betrayed herself.
How is Buffy being Bellafied? I keep seeing this claim made by fans but nobody seems to be able to connect the dots.


Well, she's putting love of one person over her concern for the emotional and even physical well-being of others. Bella? Check.

She completely handwaves any objection to her romance no matter how reasonably founded. Bella? Check.

Hell, I could do that all day. Res ipsa loquitur.

What is it that Buffy used to stand for that she is missing now? How is she so much different? Buffy is selfish again how? Was it when she decided to leave paradise with Angel and go back to fight for her friends, thus an attempt to save the world yet again?


In one line, where she focuses her concern on the Slayers being targeted (as opposed to everyone) and her reference in 8.35, it's very easy to believe that the only reason she is even bothering with this is because she will feel bad if they die.

Further, she's openly grateful for Spike not having shown up early enough to presumably stop the sex and all, even though she KNOWS that would have probably stopped everything horrible that's happening. Implication? Sex with Angel is now more important to her than the world's safety. Bella, in that series, wants to go through with getting turned into a vampire and all the non-stop sex that comes with it fully believing that she'll end up killing people as a vampire. Bella? Check.

IMO, being absolute about Angel doesn't negate Buffy's character at all. If anything, it's the one thing that is IN character for her. The line about Buffy not trusting Angel but loving him took me back to season 2 and a story that reeked of Dru.(We know she will be returning for Spike's canon story with Brian) Now we learn that The Master is involved, which takes us back to season 1. I still smell a reset and where I had imagined a season 5 reset, it's starting to look like it might be a whole lot earlier. Which is interesting.


Yes, it took me back to Season 2 as well... when "Lie To Me" was an episode and a point in the story arc that was ABOUT how emotionally immature and naive Buffy still was about trust and love. By the end of that very episode, it's highly unlikely that Buffy would still think it's possible to truly love and not trust. And yet that's what Buffy is deluding herself with in 8.36.
Maybe the "box of bang" that restored Spike to his physical self in "Angel" did the same thing to the Master and nobody noticed? I mean, by then, Buffy and Co. were far, far away from the crater formerly known as Sunnydale, they'd hardly have any idea about the Master recorporealizing down in the Hellmouth. Just a theory -- "I've got a theory ..."
menomegirl:
I'm not going to debate the difference between answering a question by giving a simple answer vs. stating your own opinion of the term with you.


That's good, because I'm not giving my "opinion of the term", I'm giving my opinion of how it's actually being used most of the time.
"Maybe the "box of bang" that restored Spike to his physical self in "Angel" did the same thing to the Master and nobody noticed?"

Wait, huh? Explain, please.
I agree with everything that Emmie said.

"Last Gleaming" is already awesome. I can't wait to read about how Spike came to discover Twilight/the Seed/his bug ship in his mini-series. I'm very eager to discover what Angel went through before the beginning of this issue. Willow was great. Spike was fantastic.

The shippers need to relax and for once realize that it's not about them. We don't need to see how Buffy reacted when she first learned of Spike's survival after "Chosen," or whatever. It's not important. The rest of the story is.

Really glad The Master's back. I always felt he was under-appreciated as a villain.
memomegirl and Rowan Hawthorn, enough of the ping-pong match. You've both made your points quite clear.
GVH: You have summed up what I'm thinking very very nicely. I also cannot believe that we are supposed to take Angel's (and especially) Buffy's behavior at face value. I cannot accept that Joss would conceive of them being happy about bringing about The End of Days.

Beside my above reasons, the fact that every other character sees Angel's actions as outrageous, evil, and out of character further solidifies my belief that Joss believes Angel's actions were outrageous, evil, and out of character. I think we have yet to see the reason.

Also, now that I've read it, I liked this issue a lot. I LOVE how Buffy and Spike bantered with easy familiarity, and I love that neither had a sappy swoon session. That would have been completely out of place because a)The world is crumbling around them and they are in the middle of battle and b)Buffy is clearly feeling some strong feelings (whether they are genuinely hers or not) for Angel right now.
Oh...and the glowy thing from the Twilight arc; weren't we told that it was significant and was controlling their behavior? I don't think it's worn off.
So glad I'm only an ex-fan.
patxshand, at the end of "Chosen," Spike's spirit was apparently drawn into the amulet. The amulet let his spirit out into the W&H offices in "Angel" S5 # 1 and in "Angel" S5 # 8, he is recorporealized when a strange box (apparently sent by Lindsey and Eve) is opened. Here's what Spike and the Master have in common - they are both "traditional" vampires (as opposed to Ubervamps) who died in the Hellmouth. If the box of bang gave Spike a body, perhaps it did the same thing for the Master, who died as a somewhat similar being in similar surroundings (the Hellmouth). If the Master was resurrected *in* the Hellmouth, since neither Buffy & Co. nor Angel & Co. were paying much attention to it at the time, this could have gone unnoticed for quite awhile. This is simply a theory - I have no idea what canonical explanation will be given.
My problem? Years have gone by. No reason for Buffy to be madly in love with Angel. None. That time is long past. He shows up, all evilee, and she jumps him? WTF? Why would she? Why would she love him so much? He's been gone for years; she's had other relationships and yet first time she sees a guy she used to sleep with (well, slept with once, that is) but has not seen for years, she is in space bed with him? Man, I hope I don't run into my ex-wife!
She technically last saw him about a year and a half before the start of season 8 (during "Chosen"). So it hasn't been years. In addition, some people retain their feelings for others regardless of time or distance.
Emmie for the win.
I think there's too much ship-rage going on (OMG, Buffy picked Angel over Spike???? Oh no!!!!), but the only person who seems to be in character is Spike. Can't hear Angel's voice in his dialogue, can't believe Buffy would call this the best day of her life (didn't the day start with Giles, Faith, and Andrew kidnapped, and with Faith taking a serious beating?), etc.

I still think the book's fun, but the plot has literally no consistency.
Well, Dana, ridiculousness of the morality in this particular situation aside, I don't think it's that strange a result of a reunion with your first true love, certainly not after having been denied anything resembling a normal relationship. It's nothing like an ex-wife, I'd imagine (not having got one ;)), as that's a relationship that took its course and ended, with no left-over frustration of never having gotten the chance to make it work. That's not how Buffy and Angel left it and if - even after having other relationships - both find themselves single and devoid of the problems that made sure they couldn't be together in the first place, I can imagine a whole lot of sex happening quite easily, to be frank ;). (Just not so much in this case. Which I still hold is how we're probably supposed to feel about that scene).

ETA: Tnx, 5X5B. Though to reply to your afterthought: I'm not sure we were actually told the glowyness made Buffy and Angel do weird things, in so many words. We just all guessed it from what was going on/the way they were acting. And I think a lot of people assumed the effects wore off when Buffy decided to return, but - like you - I'm not so sure that's the case for either Buffy or Angel.

[ edited by GVH on 2010-09-01 22:52 ]
Shapenew-The spell that recorporealized Spike obviously had something to do with him being tied to Wolfram & Hart and the amulet, rather than the Hellmouth. Otherwise, Lindsey would have resurrected him there instead of in LA. I don't see how the Master could possibly be brought back by any of those actions.

The Dark Shape-I'm not seeing that much ship-rage. In fact, I'm seeing way less than I thought I would.
What a well-penned issue! I'm looking forward to seeing how this turns out, if that's really the Master, all that jazz. Not to mention as to hearing how Spike had the patience to research stuff. That'll be a tale and a half! :)
Points: Twilight's goal was Buffy turning on herself...seems like that's coming to pass.
The 'egg' in ABH(10) is almost definitely the seed in question. Which means the betrayal is still coming and it's likely to be the big climax. Basically, whoever it is that teams up with (presumably) the Master is the betrayer. The question though is if the betrayal is actually bad for the world, or if betraying Buffy helps.
Interesting note: The Master wanted to open the hellmouth and bring out all the demons....Mission accomplished (though differently). Seems sort of fitting that he'd be the one running this show.
We still don't know the 'prince' but I'm holding out on the belief that it's Angel. Theory: Buffy's going to snap out of this one way or the next, realize how indescribably she and Angel have been manipulated/spellbound/etc and will have to pull Angel out of it as well before he's manip/spelled/etc into doing something else.

I kinda dig the "The Master is the 'man behind the man'" sort of theory. Could be interesting. My only fear is that, with four issues left, there's a lot to be done without a ton of space. I'm assuming most of the backstory (Angel as Twilight, Spike and his bugs, etc) will be told elsewhere (Angel's upcoming DH series/the linked story from IDW, Spike's Lynch-penned story).
Shapenew- Spike came back because of the amulet alone. The Master had no such luck.
I enjoyed the issue.First of all,the recap page calls Spike a former vampire.So my first thought,did Spike shanshu?Spike:The Devil You Know #3 makes me wonder about this too.As well as the entity possessing the dog and later a women Angel rescues from the crashing plane who brings up the shanshu.

I guess we'll find out soon what former vampire means. in relation to Spike.

Okay,my take on the Buffy/Angel scenes.First of all,after actually reading the issue and seeing the art,both sound like they are in their right minds to me.The dialog sounds like Joss's IMO and I can picture both Sarah and David delivering them.

I don't think either is taken light of what they have caused and what's happened.They both know they screwed up and need to fix this

Going back to the last issue and the title of the last issue,"The Power of Love"It isn't the fact that Angel gave her paradise.Gave her everything she would want but the fact that he walked away from that paradise with her to do the right thing and fix the mess they caused.That's the real big deal to her in that exchange.That's what mattered most.The fact that they could have everything they wanted but not at that cost.And Angel chose to give it up with her.

And I like the idea of Angel trying to right some of the wrongs he did by trying to save as many slayers a possible since the demons will specifically target them.

So it does seem to confirm that Buffy knew Spike has been back for a while.

On the Buffy/Spike scenes.

Buffy and Spike's dialog is very snarky and the voices sound right to me here too.

My big question is how is The Master back?
Shapeanew — your phlebotinum works just as well as anybody else's. Keep those theories coming! (What else have we got right now?)
I have to agree with you Buffyfantic. I thought the Buffy and Angel and the Buffy and Spike scene's voices sounded right too.
Did Giles, Xander, Dawn, Amy, Warren, or Andrew even get a single line? If so, I missed it on the first read.
Can somebody please help here?

I stopped reading the IDW Angel/Spike comics after After The Fall... is there anything happening over there that is relevant to the things here we don't really know about; Angel/Spike flashbacks, FORMER vampire Spike...?
The voices are on, but that's not the same as saying they're in character. I find Buffy more in-character in the scenes interaction with Spike and the others, but I still find her OTT while interaction with Angel, and not merely the declaration of schmoopy love (which more resemble Xander's POV of Buffy and Angel from The Zeppo or the way Buffy acted with Spike during Something Blue), but the way she calls it the the bestest weirdest best day of her life when the world is literally dying beneath her.

Her bestest day ever just brought on the apocalypse. When she talks about what she and Angel did, she calls it perfect. The natural disasters alone from Buffy and Angel spacefrakking had to have led to a lot of innocent deaths. That's not what I'd call perfect and I don't think Buffy in her right mind would call it perfect either. There's no guilty in her attitude until she's parted from Angel's company.

I think the superpowers are affecting them, just as they glow when in each other's presence. Hey, it'd be a new way for Joss to creatively keep Buffy and Angel apart. 'We can't be together because when we are, we lose all reason and do things that will end the world!'
My primary reaction by the time I got to the end was "Holy crap, the Master's back!"--which, how, exactly? Also, RIP Big Ben. And what's with the nicknames? First "Buff", now "Baby".

Oh, and the Angelfrog panel cracked me up. Nice, Willow. At first I wondered if that meant he and Buffy are susceptible to damage via magic, but maybe he was only frog-shaped. Still indestructible.

[ edited by Taaroko on 2010-09-02 01:15 ]
The Master's back??

AWESOME. Can't wait to see more him!
Hello Whedonesque! After weighing the consequences of letting my first post here be controversial, I decided to just go ahead with it. A lot of you seem very upset about Buffy's "bestest weirdest best day" line. I think in some ways, it might have been one of the best days of her life. She has just been reunited with her true love (or soulmate, or first love or whatever he is), they had some kind of crazy space sex, entered paradise together, and now they're fighting evil side by side again. Under other conditions, that would qualify as the bestest best day ever!

Perhaps if she's used a word other than "weird" to describe the rest of the day, it would seem more like Willow's line in Graduation Day, when she tells Oz that in some ways, this was the best day of her life.

Just my thoughts on that topic.
"Baby" can also be read as Buffy calling Angel a whiner, because he is pretty much whining at that point. Read in context, it also makes sense. So, given my understanding of Buffy speak, I'm going to go with "whiner" vs. "object of my affection" in that moment.
That's a better reading, Xi. I really hate the "baby" endearment.

Though knowing, Joss, it could mean both.

[ edited by Emmie on 2010-09-02 01:30 ]
Eh, I still don't buy it. But heck, it's just a story, so who knows? Logical consistency never got in the way of a good 'verse story.

My own thoughts on this- Joss is setting everyone up. I don't like the comic, don't like the story, and don't like the direction- but I still think that it will make some kind of sense when it ends and the lack of consent and other issues will be resolved. So all of this is just set-up for that. And the betrayer? Dawn.
I think it was probably chosen because it could mean both. I just happen to favor the whiner version, since I'm opposed to using terms of endearment in any circumstance. Well, except when said sarcastically. :)

Also, did anyone read Buffy's "perfection" speech to Angel as her kinda buttering him up? Not saying that she didn't mean any of it, just that she was laying it on a little thick, to cushion the blow of asking him to leave. I mean, Angel's response isn't "Oh gee whiz... she really loves me", but rather "You're going to tell me to go". At this point, Buffy's being pragmatic. She needs Angel gone so that Spike will talk. The world needs saving, so Angel can do the saving.
She understands that despite his "greater good" stance, the Angel she knows would need to "make up for a lot of damage".
What is the issue, people? Any day that my fraking an old flame can bring about loss of life and property I consider at good one.
I think it's a "better" reading, but I don't think it's a "likely" reading. I mean, is there anybody who took that on their *first* reading? Admittedly, the priming doesn't help, coming off a half dozen or so very Forksian Over-schmoops -- but that is somewhat informative.

I don't think she's giving Angel an assignment to go 'save the world', at least I hope not -- after all, she says she doesn't trust him. She says nobody should trust anybody. She... does still remember what the word trust means, right?

The idea reminds me of a line in the TWOP recap for "Not Fade Away" (the recapper, for reasons I don't remember, refers to Lorne as 'Cary') --

... Cary explains that he's not "playing to the crowd"; he isn't sure they should trust Angel. Gunn stands up and says, "We don't have to trust him. We just gotta pray the Black Circle does." Gunn's loyalty would be heartwarming if it didn't seem more like he doesn't understand Cary's point. 'Cause, Gunn? Right there, you're trusting Angel.


The recapper is exactly right -- in that moment, whether he realized it or not, Gunn was already trusting Angel. And, if Buffy's basic assumption is that Angel will go fight demons while she and Spike chat and run, then she right there... is trusting Angel.

Which, to my great annoyance, is exactly the kind of distinction she's learned about a HUNDRED TIMES since "Lie to Me", when she voiced the iconic silliness of "I love you. I don't know if I trust you."
Re: The Master being a cheesefest.

In Season 1, sure. Although him terrifying Buffy in "Prophecy Girl" and getting the better of her was effective, IMO, but I watched most of Season 1 when it aired, not later on like a large portion of the fanbase who seem to have played catch-up after seeing Season 2 and later years. I was 15 when Buffy Season 1 premiered and, aside from being stock villain-ish in some of the other Season 1 eps, he kinda delivered fine in S1's finale. Or, at least, the built up threat of him did.

I enjoyed pretty much any time he came back though. Being the main villain in "The Wish" (in which he killed Buffy again), that flashback for just before human Darla's turning, when he visited her sickbed (actually that was one of the creepier vampire scenes in the series), when Darla introduced Angelus to him in the past and Angelus just scoffed at the idea of joining up with him, and finally, when an impersonation of him was shown in the First Evil's reintroduction in "Lessons".

The Master is a mainstay of the Buffyverse and the originator/figurehead of the Darla/Angel/Dru/Spike line. Although he's not nearly the best fleshed out, funniest, or compelling villain, cool things could be done with him. Maybe it's because he's kind of the cipher villain of the series (tied with Adam ? Nah, actually I like The Master better than Adam, Adam had zero personality) that Joss should do something interesting and character developing with him.

How he comes back, I have no clue. He was special to begin with, given that his bones didn't disintegrate when Buffy impaled him. He was able to be resurrected with those bones and the sacrifice of those who were around him when he died ("When She Was Bad"). Darla was resurrected somehow (I forget if it was just the sacrifice of those vamps around the box Wolfram & Hart brought her back in, or if there were extra artifacts and prophecies determining/ensuring her revival) and Spike's essence was saved in a gem, so there's precedent. It's not unbuyable in the Buffyverse. I don't particularly like resurrections (on the show, I always feared it would become too superhero comics-like with the no-one-ever-really-dying problem of those stories that robs great death scenes/storylines of their resonance at least somewhat...now Buffy and Angel are comic books). I dunno, we'll find out soon whether this was earned (or whether it's even really The Master).

[ edited by Kris on 2010-09-02 02:01 ]
Rebcake, thank you :)

patxshand, Menomegirl, the amulet brought back Spike as a ghost. The box of bang, which went forever largely unexplained, is what recorporialized him when he was already at W&H. We don't know that the box was tied to the amulet; it certainly worked differently. If the Master's essence was still floating around the Hellmouth, the box of bang might have recorporialized him there. We still don't know enough about the box of bang to say that it didn't, for instance, also cause potato chips to materialize on Pluto. Just speculation, but if the box could bring back one physically-obliterated vampire, why not another one who died in the same place?
>>Also, did anyone read Buffy's "perfection" speech to Angel as her kinda buttering him up? Not saying that she didn't mean any of it, just that she was laying it on a little thick, to cushion the blow of asking him to leave.

Oh yes, I did get this impression. Girl is sleek as an eel. And she is overdoing the cold shoulder with Spike , I feel, for exact same reason - to push him to drop all the jealousy speeches and snap out of it into being angry but active.
Um... Spike didn't start making any jealousy speeches into Buffy started badgering him. He was sort of caught up in that whole trying to save lives thing, didn't even have time for her --

"I'm navigating here..."

-- until she had to do her issues right then and there.

So, hard to think she started a conversation full of cold shoulder language to get him to stop making "speeches" that he didn't show any sign of any interest in making until she started the conversation.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2010-09-02 02:47 ]
Loved it. Totally shocked by The Master.
Okay. I may have missed this if some has already noted it earlier, but I can't help but wonder about significance of the lettering for the Master's dialog — it is the same nearly all of Twilight's dialog in season 8. I don't recall who said that this would be significant at some point.

But some one did. And should be paid attention to.
Damn.

After the Riley issue, I was hopeful again--because I thought it implied that Angel didn't actually want the Twilight reality, that his agenda wasn't in the text but was hidden somewhere in the subtext.

But after this? Still nothing that makes Angel's motivations make sense; still Buffy doesn't seem angry or confused, and still isn't demanding explanations (though at least she said "I don't trust you." It's not nearly enough, but it's better than nothing). And ... the seed of worship? the Master? Seriously?

Unless miraculous miracles happen in the next 4 issues, this may be the most disappointing season ever.
Aaaand this is why you've got to burn and ground up old vampire dude bones and spread them. But this series is def letting not only us, but itself, down.

This better get explained in a very very good way. I'm looking at you Giles when I say this, cause if Wes was still here you know sh!t would have been handled by the 3rd TPB.

Also in the letter col, liked what that guy from Victoria, Texas had to say about dropping the ball with the Faith/Giles arc. But I guess like Empire Strikes Back, Season 8 is just a series of down notes. And not well played down notes either.
This part is very significant to me.

Nameless Power embodying a woman Angel rescues: "Wanna come back to my place so I can thank you properly? Yes, I'm talking through another vessel. The phrasing was hers, but the sentiment is mine."

And I wonder if this type of control can be done without the person even being aware of it, so that the people think they're making their own choices when they're not fully in control. (It's also very meta about characters and creators.) It illustrates my belief about Buffy and Angel's characters right now--the way they speak is right, but the sentiment behind the words is so not them.

That phrase along with all the times the issue of trust is raised makes the OOC behavior seem like it's becoming textually relevant to the plot.
Shapenew-Hmm. Since you put it that way, I think it could be possible.
Scott got back to Michelle about the whole "Spike is a former vampire" thing. It was a mistake.
Thanks bitsy -- it seemed like it had to be.
It seems to me if you go to the trouble of bringing back crispy Warren (who murdered Willow's lover), and you go to the trouble of setting up Dark Willow again (including returning to the place where Willow's grief for said lover almost destroyed the entire planet), then there remains a third leg to that triangle, one a lot of fans have been asking about.

In short... Where's Tara?
No problem, Maggie. Always good to double check, especially considering the way things at DH have a tendency to accidentally get leaked in strange and unexpected ways.

[ edited by project bitsy on 2010-09-02 04:59 ]
Sweet optimistic Emmie! Myself, just queasy and disgusted.
Hey! It wasn't DH that leaked the info about Spike's crew. Just sayin'. :P
Can someone find me a way for the Master's death to be a false memory planted by the Dawn retcon? I feel like I have these jigsaw puzzle pieces and I know they don't fit but I keep wiggling them together anyway...
Wow... I just realized that if Dawn was at her time of the month, all Glory would have needed to do was stick her on top of that tower sans tampon. Sorry, completely irrelevant musing.
This is my first post!

Just hunting for some clues.

Trunktheslayer said:

"We still don't know the 'prince' but I'm holding out on the belief that it's Angel"

Hmmm. Didn't one of Spikes bug crew members call him "Your Majesty"?


Also, in Issue #34 there's a panel that says that Buffy and Angel might be moving through time while they were F#@%ing and then there's a panel that says "SOON" and it looks like Buffy and Spike are fighting side by side. (The panel on the same page that says"3 DAYS AGO- I'm not sure who that's supposed to be!).

So I'm thinking the time line is still very mixed up, so it's hard to know really what happened when and may be some things will be altered in reality. Hard to guess what though.

IMO both Angel and Buffy have been acting very OOC for a while.

But Spike is back and I think he really sounds like himself- yay!
@wenxina: Gross!

...Okay fine, I laughed.

I had another thought and now I want someone to find me a way for Angel's dogvoices to be Cordelia.
If it had been Cordelia, we would have known. Dog would have been snarkier, and less enamored by a pair of hangers. Also, it would've been to the speaker's benefit to reveal itself as Cordy, since Angel would've been more willing to listen right away, if he had known it was Cordy. So, methinks no Cordy.
Yeah, plus there was the 'I am a power without a name' comment. Oh well. Maybe she'll feature in a different way.
Emmie said:
Nameless Power embodying a woman Angel rescues: "Wanna come back to my place so I can thank you properly? Yes, I'm talking through another vessel. The phrasing was hers, but the sentiment is mine."

And I wonder if this type of control can be done without the person even being aware of it, so that the people think they're making their own choices when they're not fully in control. (It's also very meta about characters and creators.) It illustrates my belief about Buffy and Angel's characters right now--the way they speak is right, but the sentiment behind the words is so not them.

That phrase along with all the times the issue of trust is raised makes the OOC behavior seem like it's becoming textually relevant to the plot.

Have been thinking along similar lines as I've mulled it over all afternoon. And I think its starting to add up that we've got this nameless higher power who possesses people and animals that is obviously quite sexual - what with the doggie testicle facination and then offering to 'reward' Angel properly for saving the plane. We also have Twilight Glow influencing Buffy and Angel into sexual activity, plus, we've also got Willow's snake friend who comunicated via sex... I'm starting to wonder if its all connected.
If that's the case, tranquility, then "Great Muppety Odin, I miss sex" might be the most brilliant piece of foreshadowing ever.
So Maryann is the Big Bad?
Hard to kill things in the 'verse these days. Everyone who dies seems to return except, well, Tara. Darn big bads just won't stay dead.


This has been bothering me too. Am I correct in thinking that S8 has not introduced any significant new characters so far? Instead it just recycles old characters from the TV series, death be damned. Even Twilight turned out to be someone we already knew.
KOC: Maryann! LOL! TrueBuffy! That would make sense. It's a maenad!

Quantumac: I'm with ya there on the Tara question. :-)

linux: I have to give them Satsu, not that she has done much save for have sex with Buffy. I keep wiating to find out Glory is in league with the Master, and the Mayor is giving them advice.
And maybe Adam can get his power core back again and revive 'mother' to join in the fun.
I thought this issue was pretty good, Spike sounded very in character. When I saw the preview pages I was hooked when the dog said "better get started" and the plane is burning in the sky, it felt believeable to me and I could very much see the actors acting it out on the show. The only part I had a bit of a gripe with is when Buffy is talking to Angel and she is okay with him and she accepts that the other scoobies are pi$$ed off at him but she doesn't seem to care and I think this is all the reediming of Angel we are going to get. I could be wrong but it felt as though Buffy had brushed it all under the rug.
I also particulary liked how Spike sort of gave it to Buffy about the twilight dimension and she looked guilty, I'm thinking there is a lot of guilt and pain coming for Buffy.
Loved the Oceanic shoutout, although I do wonder how long, post-Lost, it'll be before we have a fictional plane that comes from a different company ;)

I haven't read the issue yet so I'm curious - is it actually confirmed The Master is alive again? i.e. does he actually make an appearance, or does anyone explicitly say "The Master is alive"?
Yep, we see him. But there is nothing that tells us how he is alive or anything like that.

And yeah, it was completely awesome. I am so pumped for these final issues. Can't wait to get back to Sunnydale! Still have no clue what's going on though.

[ edited by Kaan on 2010-09-02 14:51 ]
My disjointed, disappointed take on this:

So we're bringing the Master back again? Jeez...Joss really has turned Buffy into a comic book. Instead of a new idea, let's recycle an old one, and who gives a damn if we killed the guy off twice already now. Joss really had nothing better for season 8 than the Master? He wasn't even that great a villain the first two times around.

Let's see...Buffy still doesn't care about all the people Angel has killed? Check. Buffy still thinks it was cool to make her friends stand around during an apocalypse waiting for her while she banged an ex-boyfriend? (An ex-boyfriend who is responsible for lots of their friends being killed?) Check. Buffy inexplicably thinks Angel is her one and only true love even though they both grew apart the past five years? Check. Angel still doesn't give a shit about his son? Check...Buffy thinks the day lots of people died so she could finally get laid again was the bestest day ever. I know it's a small thing but what really annoys me the most about Buffy's behavior is the way she made her friends all stand around and wait while the world blew up around them, so she could screw the guy who has been attempting to kill them. As if they were her assistants.

I feel bad for the Spike/Buffy folks; I don't see why Joss felt the need to come down definitively in favor of one vamp boyfriend or the other in light of what he wrote in season seven, but apparently he has come to a firm decision since then and Angel is Buffy's true love despite attempting to murder lots and lots of people. A decision which sort of ignores seasons 2-5 of Angel's TV series, but hey, whatever.

One good thing about the Master and this "egg" contrivance: it might be pointing toward a complete retcon/reset. That's the only thing that can save Buffy for me now.

Cool how none of the Scoobies cares that Angel nearly cracked Faith's skull open. Maybe if she was male, and hot, and a vampire.

By the way, this idea some people have that, because it's Joss, this story will therefore make sense and be satisfying by the end--sorry, but I don't share it. He gave us Boyd as the head of Rossum. He gave us the 11th hour contrivances of the Slayer scythe, Spike's amulet, ubervamps becoming conveniently powerless because that made the story work better, and just generally a lot of rickety plotting over the years. Plots that hold together aren't his main concern. He is very willing to cut corners and he is also very willing to use shameless deus ex machina contrivances that would be laughed out of any freshman creative writing course. And unless Buffy turns out to be a robot or a clone or a doppelganger--or under the influence of an outside agent (yet another hackneyed corner-cutting technique he has used before, see Cordy in Angel season four) then I don't see how this comic book series can possibly end in an even remotely satisfying way. Because this comic book is kicking dirt over Buffy Summers, a once great character who has been reduced to a selfish, thoughtless shrew who uses people for sex without thought to their feelings, who abandons her friends when the opportunity arises, and has an ego the size of a city.

I don't see how season 8, when fandom looks back in a decade or so (assuming there is a fandom left by then) ever really gets considered part of canon. I think at best some charitable people will call it "the zany comic adaptation you don't need to read." Yes, Joss says it's canon. If it were a television season, we would be stuck with that. But considering it's a comic book, which something like 95% of fandom hasn't read anyway, I do believe it will be forgotten. And that's for the best.

One last thing. We shouldn't have to wait for a comic to "get good". It should be good now. It should make sense now. This idea Allie's pushing that if we just wait until issue 39, it will all make sense--it should make sense now. The characters should be acting like themselves now. And even if Joss wanted to do a season-long "why is Buffy acting like such a bitch" mystery, doing it in a comic book format was a giant miscalculation. On a TV series we'd have our mystery and then our resolution in nine months, and we’d get fresh answers on a weekly basis. The comic has gone on interminably long and is ill-equipped for a mystery story. If that's even what this is. I still think Joss doesn't see anything wrong with Buffy or Angel's behavior, and the quick and sloppy attempt to justify Angel in the Riley one-shot is testament to this.

In the end, the usual Hellmouthguy review for this one: makes no sense in terms of these characters, the comic book tropes continue to worm their way in like some sort of bedbug infestation, the pacing is glacially slow so once again we are left with questions and no answers, and I'm glad I didn't pay to read the thing. Now all I wasted was time instead of money.
It doesn't matter that Angel committed crimes, he's still capable of redemption. THat's the whole point of his story from the beginning. And true love doesn't have to end simply because they had to seperate back then. It doesn't mean she has to stop loving him or that they can't still want to be together. I say there's nothing that hard to believe about Bangel.

I think the comics have big problems overall with how everyone is being portrayed, and I'm waiting for the TPB collections at the library rather than wasting money buying them,but I don't know why all the anger against Bangel and the ship wars in general being reignited.

[ edited by GilesQueen on 2010-09-02 15:14 ]

[ edited by GilesQueen on 2010-09-02 15:15 ]
GilesQueen, I'm not a shipper and generally it doesn't matter to me who Buffy dates. But getting Buffy and Angel together at this juncture not only ignores Angel's character growth in his own show (in fact, since Angel first appeared in the Buffy comics he has been acting as if his own show never happened and he just stepped out of Buffy season 3), it also paints Buffy in an extremely unflattering light considering Angel's ridiculous, nonsensical, murderous behavior.
""I don't see how season 8, when fandom looks back in a decade or so (assuming there is a fandom left by then) ever really gets considered part of canon. I think at best some charitable people will call it "the zany comic adaptation you don't need to read." Yes, Joss says it's canon. If it were a television season, we would be stuck with that. But considering it's a comic book, which something like 95% of fandom hasn't read anyway, I do believe it will be forgotten. And that's for the best.""

I wholeheartedly agree. Great review Hellmouthguy
So the same power brought both Spike and Angel to the current fight. But it doesn't seem like Spike got an orientation, or needed it. Interesting.

Poor Dawn, I love her bug line.
I don't see how season 8, when fandom looks back in a decade or so (assuming there is a fandom left by then) ever really gets considered part of canon. I think at best some charitable people will call it "the zany comic adaptation you don't need to read." Yes, Joss says it's canon. If it were a television season, we would be stuck with that. But considering it's a comic book, which something like 95% of fandom hasn't read anyway, I do believe it will be forgotten. And that's for the best.

Lol, who cares what 'fandom' thinks in ten years. They'll either like it. Or they wont. As with any story.
Whatever fandom thinks in ten years, I'd bet big money it will still be here. There are people who will love "Buffy" forever, love "Angel" forever and more people who will in future discover them through the DVDs and subsequently love one, the other or both forever.
Is this thread going to be linked on the side soon?
Whatever fandom thinks in ten years, I'd bet big money it will still be here.


Big money will dictate that its there. Especially when the complete Buffy seasons 1-9 boxset comes out. So if you don't like season 8, tough really. The legacy will be around for years to come. Harsh old world.

Is this thread going to be linked on the side soon?


Yes.
You guys know much more than I do about the jossverse, which is why I keep coming back here.I've been he3lp with parts of the comic I didn't undeerstand by the comments here, and for that I'm grateful. But I think I'm done now. So much of the comments on this issue are disapointing, like the readers can't see the forest for the trees. Its like everyone has their own agenda for Buffy now, having invested so much time and thought on the saga that they can't bear it not to go the way they want it to.That would be fine except its still Joss' story. And for me at least, this issue is magic. I confess I had grown disenchanted with the comic and was apathetic about how it would turn out.Wasn't all that thrilled with ATF either...and in one issue Joss turned everything around for me. The whole saga now has unity and a common theme, at least for me. I'm in awe and wonder at how he did that so quickly. This is Joss at his best, which means its as good as it gets. For the first time I can't wait for the next issue...heck, for the first time I'm really excited about The Avengers...I don't mean to offend anyone and I sure don't want to lecture. But some need to open their eyes and accept the story on its own terms. You're missing the magic that is Whedon going full throttle and the torpedos of fan expectations be damned. Rant over
Thank you, Simon.
Buffy is one hot mess this season. Her attitude towards Faith, Spike, and Angel have regressed to the days of high school but they've grown and moved on. "What it does not see, what it does not live, it will not know." - Emerson. She doesn't see, or at least want to acknowledge, that the people in her life have changed and found their own place in the world. She calls Xander a Watcher, a role that applies to her. She doesn't see that Xander is a leader in his own right. She's certainly not living as she herself said. She confided in Xander that she feels cut off from the other slayers. And life on the run, full of death and darkness, isn't the life for a teenage girl or young lady. Those young slayers, along with Dawn, should be in school, worrying about things like homework and the homecoming dance. Perhaps when Buffy returns to Sunnydale she'll find some enlightenment; right now Spike seems to be the only one providing any.
I really love all the disdain for the entire medium of comic books. ("comic book tropes continue to worm their way in like some sort of bedbug infestation"? Really?) Buffy the Vampire Slayer was BORN of comic book tropes. It was always a comic book in motion. Disparaging comic books in general is just the silliest thing anyone who has ever loved any fantasy, science fiction can do; and that goes double for fans of Joss' very specifically comic book inspired work.

Anyway, I thought this issue was just absolutely aces. I really don't understand a lot of the complaints. The "Bella-fication" comments just hold no water, as far as I can see. The only similarities that exist between the two characters - or between Buffy's relationship with Angel and Bella's relationship with Princess Sparkles - are the ones that already existed because Whedon and Stephanie Meyer were both directly inspired by Dracula's relationship with Mina Murray in Bram Stoker's Dracula. (Or, to be less kind, that elements that Meyer ripped off of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in the first damn place.)

This comic has just been so great and I don't understand why so many people are dedicated to hating it.
Hmm, I doubt we'll see a full re-set in the "canonmics." But soemthing close to it, perhaps.

I'll finish this and buy S-9, but, just like S-1 Dollhouse, I still haven't seen anything to make me a fan again; with all that's happened, I don't even think resurrecting Tara and saying Cordelia's been a higher power behind the scenes all along would do it anymore.

That said, I look forward to seeing The "Hamster" again; as was said above, he's the most likely ultimate explanation for why Angel has done what he's done, "by my authority and for the good of the state." Hey, maybe he somehow came over from the Wishverse, where he was still kickin' last we saw.

But I agree on character a ttitudes; they seem outdated soemhow.

Whetehr or not Joss retcons this, I'll probably use this new wrinkle as a way of resolving it in my own ficverse :-), since I accepted everything before "Harmony Bites."
"I don't even think resurrecting Tara and saying Cordelia's been a higher power behind the scenes all along would do it anymore."

Cordelia HAS been a higher power behind the scenes all along.
This comic has just been so great and I don't understand why so many people are dedicated to hating it.


It's much the same as when the show was on the air. It's nothing new, place season 8 in context and you'll see what I mean. After season 1 every season got pilloried by various elements in the online fandom.

Personally I like Season 8, I enjoy it. And I don't expect to be told upfront about every thing that is going to happen.
I think I've missed something: "Hamster"?
It's much the same as when the show was on the air. It's nothing new, place season 8 in context and you'll see what I mean. After season 1 every season got pilloried by various elements in the online fandom.

Agreed. Although I think the reaction to S8 is mild compared to say, the reaction to season 6.

DaddyCatALSO-The "Hamster"? I have no idea where you got that from-I have never heard The Master called that.

[ edited by menomegirl on 2010-09-02 23:00 ]
Agreed. Although I think the reaction to S8 is mild compared to say, the reaction to season 6.

Maybe here, where people essentially behave themselves, but there are boards were season eight discussion is full of really nasty bile to include rampant personal insults to creators.
I think that if this site is tp meain anything, people should be free to discuss the good and the bad, their likes and their dislikes.

"Its like everyone has their own agenda for Buffy now, having invested so much time and thought on the saga that they can't bear it not to go the way they want it to.That would be fine except its still Joss' story. And for me at least, this issue is magic"

So, as long as you like it, that's fine? You have no agenda; only those that don't like it do? It was never just Joss' story; Joss has no story without people to read it or hear it or interpret it. You put it out for public consumption, then you take the good with the bad. And you try not to disappoint your fanbase.
And you try not to disappoint your fanbase.

Joss' primary job is to not disappoint himself as a creator. Should that ever conflict with what the fanbase (or, rather, some vocally prominent portion of it) wants, he has every right in the world to go with himself over those fans.
Ravenwing263-I've seen posts like that on several different boards. And it's still my opinion that this kerfuffle or wank (or whatever you want to call it) over the season 8 comics is nothing compared to the what went on while season 6 & 7 were airing.
So much well thought out criticism here that I totally agree with. I did enjoy some things about this issue if taken out of context of the season. Refreshing to see Spike for example, but there was a lot of WTF as well. Unfortunately, as part of S8, it made things even worse. I read Angel and Buffy's "you gave me perfection" conversation several times, looking for what I must have been missing. The plot and characters really have lost me.

Hellmouthguy - absolutely with you that the comic should be good and should make sense now. The constant pushing back of the issue where it will all supposedly click is quite funny to me. Even if there is a revelation at the end, that should be to alter our understanding of the season, not just to give us one.

erendis - completely agree with your post. I've been holding out hope for the Angel/Twilight story because there was real potential there. Angel having to go undercover and carry out evil acts, but all for a good cause - saving the world. That's a plot I should really enjoy. But either that's not the story the comic is trying to tell or they've messed it up.

KingofCretins:

which I'm calling the Seed of Oh For F*ck's Sake


So funny. Sums up exactly what I was feeling at that point. After "You are joking, right?" anyway. That whole post of yours was great. I really don't know about The Master though - he seems too small a figure to be involved in all this (plus totally dead, way dead ;). I think I'd prefer it to be The First. That would fit with all the manipulation that's going on.

[ edited by NotaViking on 2010-09-03 01:30 ]
Dana5140:
And you try not to disappoint your fanbase.

Which fanbase would that be? The one that's interested in seeing what story the author has to tell, or the one that gets so invested in their own "interpretation" of the story that they sour on the canon when it doesn't follow along and then spend every online minute trashing everything about it?
I'd like to comment on this idea that people who criticize season 8 (as I most certainly have done) are "dedicated to hating it". That seems to imply that people who are critical of the comic have an agenda; that we went in with our minds made up and decided to hate the thing without even reading it. Nothing could be further from the truth. Should I be asking if people who like season 8 are "dedicated to loving it?" This idea that praise of Joss's work is objective, but any criticism of it must be biased and unfair and have a hidden agenda, is really spectacularly insulting.

I've read the comic. I think it's terrible. No agenda. In fact the only reason I still comment on the comic is that I am fervently hoping it manages to turn itself around. A shot in the dark at this point, but we're in Comic Book Land here and Comic Book Land is the Land of Retcons and Reboots after all; that means anything is possble. I don't think the comic is terrible because the plot doesn't "follow my interpretation" of canon; I think it's terrible because people are acting out of character, in big ways and small ways. For instance, I firmly believe Angel would think much of what's going on around him is plainly stupid; I also believe he wouldn't be caught dead in that Twilight outfit. Nor would he be okay with killing his own son by boffing his ex-girlfriend.

If anyone really wants to actually debate the merits of my season 8 criticisms with me, rather than debate my motives for having those criticisms in the first place, I welcome the discussion. Does anyone want to tell me why they think Buffy is acting in character? Does anyone want to tell me why exactly it's awesome that she decided to have sex with Angel under these circumstances? Or why Angel makes sense when he thinks it's okay to destroy the world and kill his own son? Or how exactly Mecha Dawn, Slayers robbing Fort Knox and traveling around in a submarine, Angel wearing a gimp outfit and Buffy flying are actually in keeping with the tone and style of the TV series? Or how about the very notion of "the universe" choosing Buffy and Angel to destroy the world by having sex and give birth to a new universe? I think that's gigantically stupid; I think it's a comic book plot that has no place in a Buffy story. Does anyone want to actually have a substantive discussion about that? Because I really would welcome it. That's not sarcasm. I'm up for discussion.

One more thing--I know I come across as a broken record. I criticize because I still care about these characters and this universe. I wouldn't spend so much time writing Buffy fanfic if I didn't. And speaking of broken records, I recall having to refute the "if you're critical of season 8 you must be dedicated to hating it" argument before too.
Rowan, every single one of us, without exception, has their own interpretation of the story. Those who like it and those who don't. What is different about spending every minute online trashing or spending every minute online praising it?

ETA: What hellmouthguy said. I LOVE Buffy, but am horribly distressed by what is going on, because it makes no sense.

[ edited by Dana5140 on 2010-09-03 02:10 ]
Now that all the characters are under the same roof, I vote for Joss to do a remake for both Buffy and Angel comics. One that makes sense and do not abuse of magic, magic creatures and bringing back better-dead characters.

English is not my mother language, but still I'm not understanding anything from Season Eight. And I don't think issues 37-40 will change that.

And for the remake, please make it an 8 part miniseries and start with the alley and Buffy helping. Then pick up Illyria's ancient demon nature and relate it to the end of all magic and the Fray timeline.
Then, continue with a Fray ongoing and end with the Buffy run, as it was better when we left at the end of S7, not now.

I wish I could enjoy S8, I read all of them, but... Too over-the-top for me.
I should clarify that I don't think the Season 8 comic is a hot mess, only that Buffy herself has been throughout its publication. I look forward to and enjoy reading each issue. I think when someone is pushed into a corner that person likely goes back to what they know, and considering the pressure Buffy is under, she's just on automatic right now. So it's hard, for example, to see Buffy acting badly towards Faith and Spike, knowing what they've been through to become better people. We're in the final issues of the season now. Things will either get better and resolve themselves or it will be another apocalypse. Good luck, Joss!
Hellmouthguy:
That seems to imply that people who are critical of the comic have an agenda; that we went in with our minds made up and decided to hate the thing without even reading it. Nothing could be further from the truth.

"We"? You need to speak for yourself. I'll stop implying - I'll tell you flat out that there is an unpleasantly large number of "critics" who did just exactly that, and continue to do so. I may not post much anymore, but I lurk a lot.

Hellmouthguy:
This idea that praise of Joss's work is objective, but any criticism of it must be biased and unfair and have a hidden agenda, is really spectacularly insulting

There's a difference between "criticism" and outright bashing for the sake of bashing. Some of the crap the Season H8ters have come up with across the 'net sounds like the product of seriously disturbed minds, so I don't expect I'll lose a lot of sleep over anything I've said being "spectacularly insulting". If actors, directors, writers and editors are expected to check their ego at the door seeing that their work is open to public viewing, that might be a good principle for reviewers to consider, as well.

Hellmouthguy:
One more thing--I know I come across as a broken record. I criticize because I still care about these characters and this universe. I wouldn't spend so much time writing Buffy fanfic if I didn't.

These characters and universe? Or your version?

Dana5140:
Rowan, every single one of us, without exception, has their own interpretation of the story. Those who like it and those who don't.

Yeah. But you know what? We don't all get completely bent out of shape when the canon doesn't conform to our interpretation.

Dana5140:
What is different about spending every minute online trashing or spending every minute online praising it?


What, like those are the only options? Since the TV show ended and the newsgroup went all but dead, this used to be about the only place on the 'net where I knew I could find a half-way rounded discussion on the story. But it's getting to the point where there's not much point in even checking the issue "discussion" threads here, either. You daren't contradict one of the "everything sucks" crowd, and most of the people who actually tried to seem to have given up.

ETA: You know what? So have I. Knock yourselves out.

[ edited by Rowan Hawthorn on 2010-09-03 03:35 ]
ETA: What hellmouthguy said. I LOVE Buffy, but am horribly distressed by what is going on, because it makes no sense.


Exactly, Dana5140 and very well said, Hellmouthguy. I didn't start out disliking the comic. I enjoyed the majority of the issues in the first half of the season. I remember describing one as a work of genius. My opinion has changed because of the comics, not because I wanted to stop enjoying them. (And I don't care about shipping.) While the downhill trend started with Harmonic Divergence, it's only since the unmasking of Angel that it's been a complete car crash. This is the crucial part of the season. This bit has to work or it all falls apart and so far it's failing in a bizarre fashion.
Hellmouthguy, I may suggest that one reason why I might get the impression that you maybe "dedicated to hating" season eight may be because of comments like:

I think it's a comic book plot that has no place in a Buffy story.

A shot in the dark at this point, but we're in Comic Book Land here and Comic Book Land is the Land of Retcons and Reboots after all; that means anything is possble.

the comic book tropes continue to worm their way in like some sort of bedbug infestation

Comments like this suggest some sort of weird vendetta against the entire medium. In addition, the very idea that "a comic book plot ... has no place in a Buffy story" is not only silly but shows, frankly, a complete ignorance of where the Whedonverse came from in the first place; it's ALWAYS BEEN a comic book. The things that are happening currently in the comic are no more ridiculous then the things that happened in either TV series.

Angel wouldn't find any of this ridiculous, of course, because Angel's life experience includes so many more ridiculous things it's not even funny. Remember the time when - approximately one year after the birth of his son, who he conceived as a corpse, with a corpse, and who was then born of a corpse - he made a severed head say a word that turned off the magic Jesus powers of his adult granddaughter (conceived by the same, less-then-a-year-old son), and gave her her pimples? And then she got killed when his son/her father - who was seventeen years old despite being been born a year before, but is still more then twenty years too young to have a daughter anywhere near as old as his daughter looks - stuffed some rebar into her face? Or the time he WENT TO HELL and then came back? Or the other time he WENT TO HELL and then came back? Or the three times he had magical soul surgery performed on him? He went through all THAT with a straight face but, oh no, this, this is just beyond the pale.

I mean, yeah, if it's beyond the pale for you, then that's that and please feel free to dislike and criticize and everything, but this attitude like, "it's SO ridiculous, this would never happen in the TV show!" feels just absolutely disingenuous to me, like, yes it WOULD HAVE (except for the flying, they would have had to figure something else out instead of flying, but not because flying is ridiculous, just because they couldn't afford it); and I know it would have because literally dozens of equally or more ridiculous things happened in the TV shows.

Being "chosen by the universe" to end the world/start the next one is EXACTLY as ridiculous as Buffy being chosen by the universe to kill vampires or Angel being chosen by the universe (in the personage of the Powers That Be) or Help the Helpless. The one big difference is that this happened in comics and the other thing happened in TV shows.

In this way, one of the two primary criticisms of season eight seems nonsensical with the other one - the idea that everyone is acting "out of character" - is so vague and objective that there's no reason to talk about it.

That energy is why some posts criticizing season eight might come from an agenda.
What is different about spending every minute online trashing or spending every minute online praising it?

There's a third path, which is discussion. I see less of this lately here in the comic threads, and I do miss it.

I'm posting here the same warning I just posted in the other comic thread. There has been too much nastiness in threads lately. You don't have to be positive about the comics but you do have to not take things to a personal level, as I'm seeing things here creep in this thread bit by bit.
"I don't know. Maybe Amy saved him before Buffy busted his bones into dust."
menomegirl | September 01, 19:11 CET

Menomegirl that was hilarious, which (unfortunately) the comics haven't been....
I do love comic books, I think it can be a powerful medium for story telling, AND I've been one of the ones telling people that when Joss takes back the reins he will begin to tie in all the threads and provide a kick ass ending to this rather scattered and overly long Season 8. But I have to say: did Joss really write this episode?
Really??
Did Buffy just use the endearment 'Babe' when talking to Angel? Is this some alternate Universe 1970s Buffy? The one married to Sonny?

I'm sorry, but I'm getting very discouraged about this.
Being "chosen by the universe" to end the world/start the next one is EXACTLY as ridiculous as Buffy being chosen by the universe to kill vampires or Angel being chosen by the universe (in the personage of the Powers That Be) or Help the Helpless. The one big difference is that this happened in comics and the other thing happened in TV shows.


Buffy was chosen by a spell that was set up by men, not the universe. Angel chose to help the helpless - the PTB just pointed him in the right direction. The PTB are the Buffyverse version of gods and lots of people believe in god(s). I think they're fair enough. However, saying that the universe is doing stuff makes as much sense as saying that my desk is doing stuff.
. We shouldn't have to wait for a comic to "get good". It should be good now. It should make sense now. This idea Allie's pushing that if we just wait until issue 39, it will all make sense--it should make sense now. The characters should be acting like themselves now. And even if Joss wanted to do a season-long "why is Buffy acting like such a bitch" mystery, doing it in a comic book format was a giant miscalculation.


Wasn't that Allie's take "everything will be on the table" in #34 or #35 . . . ?

I thank the brave, self-sacrificing souls who managed to wade through what has become a wholly toxic mess that has done to Buffy what BP did to the Gulf of Mexico . . .
Buffy was chosen by a spell that was set up by men, not the universe. Angel chose to help the helpless - the PTB just pointed him in the right direction. The PTB are the Buffyverse version of gods and lots of people believe in god(s). I think they're fair enough. However, saying that the universe is doing stuff makes as much sense as saying that my desk is doing stuff.

Nope, you don't get to go, "this thing that can't possibly happen is completely fine, but THIS thing that can't possibly happen is just too ridiculous!"

Well, I mean, you do, obviously. As far as your own personal tastes and the kind of stories you like and what you choose to read/view or not.

But in the more general sense, it's so, so silly to say "DUDES manipulated the laws of the universe, or GODS manipulated the laws of the universe, and that's just good fiction. But, I tell you, if the UNIVERSE manipulates the laws of the universe, then that's just hackery."

The universe is intensely, intensely complex. Who is to say it can't do stuff? Desks do stuff all the time in fiction. It's certainly about as likely as turning a vampire into a puppet. A puppet that does stuff. Again, it's silly and arbitrary; and obviously you get to be as silly and arbitrary as you want when choosing the fiction that you like or dislike, but pretending that your silly and arbitrary tastes actually affect the objective quality of a fictional work?

Nope, you don't get to do it.
Ravenwing263-Sorry, but the day that Btvs is not taken apart or looked at for both its good and bad points (no matter what medium its presented as) will be the day that the Buffyverse is dead. Today is not that day.

And FYI: Buffy the Vampire Slayer was first a movie, then a television series. It HAS NOT always been a comic.

embers-Thank you. Just trying to find a little humor in all this. :)

[ edited by menomegirl on 2010-09-03 06:49 ]
Refreshing perspective, Ravenwing. Thank you.

I was a fan of comic books before I even watched BtVS, and I'm getting the impression from the Season 8 threads that I'm a minority here in that. Which is fine, we've all got our favorite ways to geek out, but it surprised me that there's this disdain for the medium itself. It's nothing more than a combination of art and words, and without the possibility of a televised continuation of the series, I think comics are the perfect vessel for keeping it alive. In fact, I even think of Season 8 as the silver lining to the shows being canceled in the first place, since we never would have had the chance to see the Buffyverse explored like this if it had always stayed with its original format.

None of us would be Whedon fans if we didn't like our stories to sometimes stray into the bizarre and occasionally cross bizarre and become utterly ridiculous. By now we should all be fairly practiced at watching something insane happen, laughing and gaping as called for, and then going back in to find the true depth and meaning underneath the insanity.

That's what Joss did when he picked up a superhero comic back in the day, and that's why he writes the way he does now. At least, that's my guess.
Of course it's always been a comic. It used to be a comic book in motion, and now it's not, but it's so obviously sourced from comic books, which have always clearly been one of the biggest influences on Joss' storytelling, especially in the Buffyverse.
Regardless of whatever may have influenced Joss' storytelling, the facts are that Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a movie that was developed into a weekly televised series. That's irrefutable.
Obviously you're right menomegirl, but after getting into comics pretty hard core post-Buffy, I completely agree with Ravenwing.

On rewatching Buffy I've come to realize that some scenes just play out like comic book scenes, every episode of Buffy could be adapted to a comic book format with some success I would think, because it's always had those comic book moments of triumph or just really iconic sets and scenes. Not sure if I'm iterating it correctly, but Buffy the Vampire Slayer the television show owes a lot of its character to its comic-ey influences.
Ravenwing263: Vampires can't exist in the real world. By your logic, now that one thing exists that can't, we can't complain about any new development, no matter how crazy or irrational. It's not just that I can say what I want, it's a valid criticism.

There's nothing silly or arbitrary of my criticism of the universe plot point, there's logic behind it. Men and gods are conscious beings, they have agency. The universe, however complex it's contents are, is not alive. It's just a word for all the planets, stars, space, etc. out there.

Turning a vampire into a puppet is just magic. If you don't accept magic in fiction, then you'd never even start watching BtVS. This universe stuff is on a whole other scale. And I've never seen a desk do anything in a work of fiction. If it's possessed by magic, then it's the person casting the spell that's doing something.

...but pretending that your silly and arbitrary tastes actually affect the objective quality of a fictional work? Nope, you don't get to do it.


I'm not remotely trying to affect the quality of the work. My posts here are subjective, as are yours and everyone else's. And on this website, even in an argument, we show each other more respect that you're doing there.
Finally got my copy!

Spike was brilliant! Completely in character. Loved the snark. Crashing into Big Ben was funny, but probably not the cleverest of ideas.
The giant bugs remind me of those thingies in Angel S3: 'Fredless'.

I didn't see Buffy being curt with Spike as anything wrong - she is kind of busy here! She does thank him, just gets it over and done quickly: "One, thanks for saving us from the ubervamps, that was crazy studly and I'm sorry I haven't been in touch, but , as you can see, I'm somehow leading an army. Two...". Scot Allie did say that, r.e. Buffy/Angel/Spike interaction, Buffy would be dealing with it quickly because she really doesn't need that crap right now. I'd say this Buffy seems like normal Buffy and from the way she's standing when Spike tells her about the new reality coming back looking for mummy, it would seem that she is feeling guilty.

However, when talking to Angel, I agree that she is more un-Buffy. At times she's practical Buffy (fine, given the situation) then she's starry-eyed Buffy. The only thing I can think of it that Twilight's influence is still there and she's struggling with it. I read the line 'Well everybody else has.' to mean 'Well you did!' so she doesn't excuse Angel completely. But then of course, calling it the 'bestest, weirdest...day' is completely off!

As for Angel, he sounds a lot more like himself. His immaturity about Spike is in-character from Chosen and then S5, but his lack of guilt is worrying. It seems he knows he messed up - he accepts Willow's anger at him (loved her turning him into a frog). He obviously didn't know that demons were going to come pouring in so I don't blame him for that (though he and Buffy did cause it). Again, I think Twilight-influence is there. It could also be that given the fast pace of this issue, they just haven't got round to showing Angel guilt yet. It's possible that in #37, while Buffy, Spike and co. are off looking for the Seed, we see Angel flying around, all remorseful and saving slayers. What I find frustrating is that we have no clear explanation yet of why Angel was all up for staying in magic Twilight-land in the first place! That's what was most OOC!

Angel's goal as Twilight seems a little fuzzy to me too. Okay, he was supposed to focus Buffy on himself so that she got her superpowers. Here we're told he's supposed to take her to a world beyond that battle, but at the end of #34 he said 'they said it didn't exist' so presumably he wasn't expecting it to happen.

I'll have to see how the Master storyline plays out. I really don't like the idea of a reset - it would have serious ramifications: Buffy and Angel might not end up saving all the people they do save in Sunnydal and L.A. If it is going to be a reset, I'm hoping it's the teeniest, tinyiest one.

And did it really have to be called the 'Seed of Wonder'?

[ edited by Shep on 2010-09-03 12:53 ]
RE: Buffy and comics. Let me try to put what people are saying into a different way of saying it.

The complaning by some that this is just a comic and is using comic tropes is really a way of saying that the scope and scale of Buffy has changed from when it was broadcast. It can do things now it could not do before, and to some, this has negatively altered their viewing of the comic. I do not believe anyone is putting comics down by criticizing Buffy for using comic tropes- I have this complaint and I am a long-time collector. My feeling is that the human scale of TV Buffy has been lost in the comic Buffy; that making the pallette larger, if you will, has actually diminished the storytelling.

Saying Buffy on TV is a comic is meaningless, really. It is not, clearly. It is a TV show, not a comic. You mean that it may have used comic book tropes, and that would be an idea worth exploring and discussing; I am not sure I'd agree, but I'd listen to a good discussion on it. But as a defense of the current comic, I am not sure that is a wortwhile argument, since clearly Buffy on TV was a TV show, not a comic, and sorry to be so literal here about this, but that is the simple fact. As menomegirl has said.
Well, maybe it didn't have to be called the Seed of Wonder, but until we really know what it is, and what it does, who knows? Maybe it's utterly necessary.
Ravenwing263: Well, yes, she has, but I don't think they've adnmitted it; yes, she appeared during "Hell-A" but so did Wesley's ghost, so most naythign could happen.

Shep, menomegirl: It's from my lousy typing. Half the time I type it as "The Amster" anyway so I decided to go with it :-).
Maybe. I suppose since we've had a giant talking hamburger a name like 'Seed of Wonder' can be accepted.

Thanks DaddyCat. Here I was searching 'The Wish' transcripts looking for a reference to any significant hamster.

[ edited by Shep on 2010-09-03 13:42 ]
Hey, another thought. If you were naive to Buffy and were a new reader of this comic, what impact would have to you to find out someone called the Master, whom you have never heard of, was behind what was going on?
If I were a new to Buffy and I saw that preview cover, I'd think that monster was very creepy in a Nosferatu kind of way and wonder why Buffy looked so worried.
Why would you be reading S8 if you've skipped by everything so far? And I guess there'll be enough references thrown in to either have you partially informed, or at least tell you that you have to go back to look it up. How hard can it be anyway, with Wikipedia on hand? :)
The same thing could be said about reintroducing Fray.
Am I the only one with worries about Buffy sending off the super-powered being she doesn't trust to save slayers? I can't imagine the slayers in question will be very happy to see the guy who, last they knew, was holding rallies calling for their eradication. Will he have to subdue them, like he did Faith, in order to save them?

Obviously, we won't know until later issues whether he can be trusted to do what Buffy has asked, but me and the crickets are wondering if this tension — will he or won't he, once Buffy is out of sight? — is entirely in our tiny, cricket minds. Thoughts?

[ edited by Rebcake on 2010-09-03 21:14 ]
I've read It too now, and I have to say I haven't changed my opinion on this issue in the slightest unfortunately. I found the whole thing to be far too stupid for my own good. *g*

Maybe this silly tale would have worked with actors bringing more richness to the text, and maybe their input would have helped pave over the cracks that show in the entire thing, (hell even a better artist might have helped) but sadly in graphic form I find it hard to ignore the stupidness of it all, and how OOC everyone seems.

And I must be the only one to think this I know, but can I tell you how much I loath Spikes 'spaceship'. Hell that whole side of It would be far better suited to an episode of Dr Who then anything Buffy related.

I'm seriously starting to believe that Whedon was taking the p*ss when he devised all of this. :D
I thought it was great, one of the best issues of season 8. Good dialogue, satrical parts and had a Buffy/Spike reunion which felt spot-on.
I'm with Simon on this one. I'm loving this arc and pretty much everything about the comic book but especially how Joss writes Buffy. He and the other comic writers resurrected my fondness for the character, who I had started to really loathe by the end of the television series. I was skeptical about seeing Angel and Spike in the comic because I didn't want her to wallow and angst about those two, but so far so good. Snarky Buffy is much funnier than mopey sad Buffy.

I read a lot of comics, and I love that the BtVS comic is one of the best comics being published today. I can't say that about other TV show adaptations - FarScape, I'm looking at you! The Jo Chen covers are always amazing, and Jeanty and Moline have done really solid work, and that's a rareity, especially over at DC Comics where they like to switch artists ever three issues or so and often within the same book itself.

And I have to say I find it hilarious and a testament to Joss and the others that a decade or whatever after the show went off the air fans are STILL arguing about Bangel vs. Spuffy. Although I could care less which vampire Buffy prefers, it is nice to see fans still passionate over these characters after all these years.
So, is the Twilight symbol an upside down Sunnydale crater, with the star being the Seed?
DaddyCatALSO, She appeared in "Hell-A" as Angel's guide, appeared to him as he was dying in angelic light, and helped him to figure out how to Save the World. The implication that she is a Power That Is is pretty solid. As opposed to Wesley's ghost, who was just kind of there, the whole time.

@Dana5140

I do not believe anyone is putting comics down by criticizing Buffy for using comic tropes

Well, Hellmouthguy certainly was. You can see in my first post several quotes taken from his posts that were clearly disdainful of comics in general.

Saying Buffy on TV is a comic is meaningless, really. It is not, clearly. It is a TV show, not a comic. You mean that it may have used comic book tropes, and that would be an idea worth exploring and discussing; I am not sure I'd agree, but I'd listen to a good discussion on it. But as a defense of the current comic, I am not sure that is a wortwhile argument, since clearly Buffy on TV was a TV show, not a comic, and sorry to be so literal here about this, but that is the simple fact. As menomegirl has said.

Okay. Fine. I apologize for using a hint of metaphor in my argument. I'll try to be more clear. The idea that the Buffyverse "used comic book tropes" is utterly irrefutable. It requires no analysis of the piece because Joss Whedon has gone and said it dozens of times. He has made no secret of Buffy the character being very heavily based on Kitty Pryde of the X-Men, or of the way the team works being influenced by the X-Men and the Avengers. I don't know if you've ever heard of a classic Uncanny X-Men story called "The Dark Phoenix Saga" but it features the X-Men's sweetest, most powerful and most redheaded member lets her incredible power get away from her and carves a swath of destruction that Our Other Heroes must stop. Might that sound familiar?

Moreover, why did Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel spawn successful comic books immediately while shows of a very similar format - say, Alias - could barely eke out a mini-series? Because Buffy, the Vampire Slayer and Angel were already comic books at heart (again, a METAPHOR) and their concept and characters were incredibly easily adapted to same.

@NotaViking
Vampires can't exist in the real world. By your logic, now that one thing exists that can't, we can't complain about any new development, no matter how crazy or irrational. It's not just that I can say what I want, it's a valid criticism.

It's exactly what I'm saying: "this is impossible" is not a valid criticism of any piece of fantasy literature. There is no such thing as "more impossible." Once you introduce a single fantasy element - like vampires - you are working within a fantasy context in which ANYTHING is possible.

There's nothing silly or arbitrary of my criticism of the universe plot point, there's logic behind it. Men and gods are conscious beings, they have agency. The universe, however complex it's contents are, is not alive. It's just a word for all the planets, stars, space, etc. out there.

That absolutely IS silly and arbitrary. Men are conscious beings with agency, yes, but their agency cannot possibly include giving teenage girls super-powers. Gods are entirely fictional constructs. Magic and divine gods (and vampires) are equally impossible as a thinking, decision-making universe.

Turning a vampire into a puppet is just magic. If you don't accept magic in fiction, then you'd never even start watching BtVS. This universe stuff is on a whole other scale. And I've never seen a desk do anything in a work of fiction. If it's possessed by magic, then it's the person casting the spell that's doing something.

It's on the same scale. It's the scale of impossible. Again, there is no such thing as "more impossible."

"This is too silly" is NOT a valid, objective criticism of the quality of a fantasy work. "This is too silly FOR ME" is absolutely a valid, subjective reason why a fantasy work is not enjoyable to an individual critic, of course. What I see a lot of in these comic threads here and elsewhere is people pretending that their (arbitrary) subjective "line in the sand" (Oh, this is just too impossible for me! *sniff*) is actually some reasonable and objective standard which does or should determine the worth of the work universally.

@ Saturn Girl
I read a lot of comics, and I love that the BtVS comic is one of the best comics being published today. I can't say that about other TV show adaptations - FarScape, I'm looking at you!

Aw, I like the Farscape comics!
An intended-to-be non-partisan observation about people saying they are "afraid to post" in this thread. This isn't the Discovery Channel where an armed lunatic may turn up in your office - the worst thing that can happen here is someone will disagree with you. Even if you *don't* express your opinion, someone somewhere will disagree with you, so you might just as well express yourself :)
If the benchmark to a good experience is not getting shot in the face, something ain't right. In my head anyway.
So, is the Twilight symbol an upside down Sunnydale crater, with the star being the Seed?

Hmm interesting. I hadn't thought of that.
The more I read this issue, the more I love it. There's so much crammed into every panel. It's hard to even know where to begin. I'm a huge Spike fan, and he's fantastic. I love the bugs. I love that Spike is the one who takes the gang home (Home, Sweet, Home). I love the send-up which is the cheesy B/A on steroids. I love the self-insert that is the dog. I love the meta-commentary. I love the huge mass of meaning attached to the Master's appearance. It's been a long, long haul to get to a point where we had enough pieces for things to add up -- and the big picture I'm seeing now is telling me that this could well end up being my favorite season of Buffy.

[ edited by Maggie on 2010-09-03 21:35 ]
Ravenwing263- Screaming "it's ALWAYS BEEN a comic book." at someone is not just "using a hint of metaphor". It's yelling your POV as loudly as you can so you can steamroll over someone else's POV.

So, is the Twilight symbol an upside down Sunnydale crater, with the star being the Seed?

Hmm. Interesting idea.

Maggie-Really? I look forward to reading your thoughts on it as we draw close to the end of the season.

[ edited by menomegirl on 2010-09-03 21:37 ]
Did anyone else think the bugs reminded them of Scott's private hell in Astonishing X-Men? I did have a look, there were similarities.
Haven't read the X-men but the bugs did remind me of something. I'm not sure what, though. It's like one of those things that's on the tip of your tongue and you just can't quite think what it is. Which is very annoying.

Not sure what I liked best about the issue but for now I'm going with Faith's man-bitch line. Oh and the frog thing. That was funny.

[ edited by menomegirl on 2010-09-03 21:41 ]
Especially with the frog fear.
Reserving judgment, can't really add much to story analyses above. *sigh* But at the end reveal I couldn't help but wonder if Mayor Wilkins and Glory will be next. I miss Drusilla - crazy at its best. And we didn't see her die yet.

It's like a big Big Bad reunion! Warren, Amy, Faith (I know, all redeemed-ish), Willow (yeah, still on the fence on that one *shudders at lizard!lady), Angel (without the 'us'- I miss the 'us'), Spike and now the daddy of all Big Bads the Master.

Oz, Riley and Whistler weren't big bads - quirky sidekicks/supporting chars? If I ask really nice can we have the return of Lorne, Clem and Willy the snitch too! :D

And was it me, or was Xander giving Spike the nasty one eyed glare?

Is Andrew still dying? Someone needs to give Spike a welcome back hug... ;)

*sends Better Luck Next Time virtual cards to fic authors who wrote a story about the gang finding out Spike's still alive*

I'm still hopeful on the the pieces that put it all together. Can't honestly judge the quality of a puzzle when so many of the parts are still missing and frankly the parts we do have, we're not sure where to place.

Final note, no trust all around. Also, bugs. Ew.
Ravenwing263; Thing is, Scott Allie (admittedly, in a letter column months before the Angel switch was announced) described Cordelia as "She died *sniff" or words to that effect. Plus, the Joss-blessed Hell-A sequence took palce in an odd dimension.
So, unless they show Cordelia intervening or at least appearing physically in a Dark Horse book, I won't trust 'em on the matter.

Also, while I'm basically agreeign with you on the plausibiltiy of the features others are questioning, I can't fully agree with your principle. Any fantasy world needs its own internal cosnsistency; dropping a satyr or a unicorn or Great Cthulhu into Tolkien's Middle Earth or Anne Rice's universe or "Alley Oop" comics wouldn't work.
The Buffyverse is of course pretty much a kitchen sink universe anyway.

I kinda like SPike's bubble-pod. For soem reason (and I didn't like this show) it rmeinds me of LAverne and Shirley riding on that forklift thru the swinging doors.

[ edited by DaddyCatALSO on 2010-09-03 22:17 ]
Oh I thought that Spike's Bubble-pod was straight out of 'Runaways' (of course the Frog had a dinosaur in it, not bugs). Maybe Joss will bring Gert back in Buffy's S8 (since he isn't bringing Tara back...). I'm still not feeling it, but I did enjoy your post Mirage.
Okay, I'll comment on this comic book thing. I won't raise my voice to all caps when I do it nor will I accuse anyone of coming to this thread with an agenda. Won't that be refreshing? It is indeed possible to debate issues without rancor. Even such weighty and important issues as Buffy the Vampire Slayer comic books. Yes, that was sarcasm.

I've read a lot of comic books; and my reading, as far as American comics go (that's an important distinction; when I say Buffy is getting too comic bookish and that's a bad thing, I don't mean to tar manga or European graphic albums with the same brush) is extensive, dating from golden age superhero stuff, through atomic age monsters and sci-fi and crime, through the silver age superhero revival, the independent movement of the 1980's, Vertigo, modern superheroes, and finally the reflowering of independent creator-owned titles at companies like Dark Horse. A lot of the modern creator-owned stuff is neat--I like Preacher, Goon, Hellboy, Alan Moore's ABC stuff, and anything by Brian Vaughn. Even some modern superhero stuff is pretty cool, if you know which writers to follow--Vaughn's Runaways, Brubaker's Captain America. However, the good stuff is a needle in a haystack against the deadweight of all the dross that has been published over the life of the medium, and if you add up all the pages of Sandman ever published, it still doesn't make up for Wonder Woman alone, never mind all the Wonder Woman T&A clones that have been fighting crime in their underwear and high heels for forty years now. There is a reason comics are still widely perceived to be the playground of adolescent boys. Even the acknowledged "good" comics are still stained by the cheap legacy of this medium--note Storm, of the Claremont/Byrne X-Men that Joss took a liking to in his youth, as she fights the bad guys in what looks like a garter belt and high heels. Did X-Men have other cool stuff going on? Sure. Did it have a persecution of gays metaphor going on? Sure. But that didn't stop Marvel from making damn sure Storm fought the bad guys in a garter belt and high heels. (And has anyone gotten a look at Supergirl's miniskirt lately? It's a belt.)

When I have lambasted the Buffy comic for being too comic bookish, I did not mean to imply that I think it's too much like Sandman or Watchmen. I meant that it is veering into ridiculous superhero comic territory. I was speaking in "everyman" speak, because just about every man (and woman) in America at least, equates comic books with superheroes. Yes, yes, maybe they're all barbarians because they don't read manga and they didn't see Scott Pilgrim and they've never heard of Neil Gaiman, but I like to rub shoulders with the barbarians once in awhile. (Note: that was more sarcasm, I am not implying that anyone who agrees with me is a barbarian) so there are times when I use the term "comic book" to imply "typical crap superhero comic book".

Comics have a long way to go and there are, in the superhero comics, many ridiculous traditions which arose because as a rule the superhero comics were hackwork tossed off quickly, and because the books were not owned by people but by corporations, and therefore had to be continually published until they either became unprofitable or were run into the ground, recycling the same stories endlessly. I will grant that Buffy, the TV show, had some villains that seemed comic booky to a degree, but it tended to steer clear of some of the more egregiously tacky comic book traditions; unfortunately it seems that Joss has decided to embrace some of them now that he's working in a new medium. (In fact Allie quotes Joss as essentially saying that exact thing--he had a more intimate story planned, read All Star Superman, and decided that's how Buffy needed to be done. Explains a lot, actually, since in ASS Morrison has embraced every hokey ridiculous part of Superman's backstory. He made it work, because Superman has always been faintly ridiculous and the character does well in that milieu. But I don't think Buffy is Superman.) Here's some ridiculous comic stuff that I think has no place in Buffy:

1. Angel's superhero "gimp" outfit. Sorry, he wouldn't wear this. And if they tried to do it on the TV show people would have been giggling at the screen. So why do it in the comics? "Because it's a comic" isn't reason enough.
2. Buffy flying. Remember back when people thought the proposed animated series went too far when we saw shots of Buffy riding a dragon? This is a step farther.
3. Retcons
4. Giant crossovers that lead to new universes being born
5. An absurdly exotic headquarters (which includes earth-orbiting satellites, giant ships that fly through alternate dimensions, submarines, and Scottish castles)
6. Villains being constantly brought back from the dead. In comics (okay, fine, superhero comics, okay? Happy now?) they do it because corporate owned characters shouldn't ever be allowed to die, as it's a waste of potential profits. (See: Blade.) I have no idea why Joss is doing it, but in bringing back the Master (and Warren) he is utilizing that hoariest, most inane of superhero plots, while cheapening his own universe by eliminating consequences.
7. Events have no consequences. Characters die, then are brought back. They are replaced, cloned, whatever. How many times has every superhero retired, died, had his back broken, been regressed to a teenager, given "the mantle" to a sidekick, etc. etc., just to return a year later when the sales bump has faded? Write yourself into a corner you don't like? No problem, just retcon it. Killed off a character you could use now? Just bring him back. Explain it with time travel. Or an alternate dimension.
8. Bombast for the sake of bombast. Mecha-Dawn! Slayers on a submarine and in Tibet! Super-Buffy! New universes being born by screwing! Buffy and Angel as Gods! Why, it just might be a Crisis on Infinite Hellmouths! We don't have to worry about a budget or actors anymore so let's just do every single thing that comes into our heads with no consideration given to tone, to mood, to whether or not this actually fits with the TV series, or is a jarring left turn.

Now I'm going to shoot my own argument in the foot. Sort of anyway. I've been saying for months now (though it feels like years, decades...centuries...Hellmouthguy haters, insert snarky jibe here) that certain concepts just don't fit in Buffy, they’re just too comic booky. I believe that's true. But it could very well be that the only reason the TV show wasn't exactly like these comics is budget and actor limitations. Maybe the comics are exactly the kind of Buffy stories Joss has always wanted to tell; maybe he didn't get seduced by the new medium but simply used it to fully realize the vision he's had all along. I sure hope not. I hope not the way Dorothy hoped those shoes would work.

Okay, that's enough words from me on this topic.

[ edited by Hellmouthguy on 2010-09-03 23:48 ]
"But it could very well be that the only reason the TV show wasn't exactly like these comics is budget and actor limitations. Maybe the comics are exactly the kind of Buffy stories Joss has always wanted to tell; maybe he didn't get seduced by the new medium but simply used it to fully realize the vision he's had all along."

That gives me chills.... It seems reminiscent of a certain flannel clad director whose movies became exponentially worse as his budget increased, until finally we had Greedo shooting first!

I hope you're wrong, but I keep flashing back to how disappointed I felt when I read the last Serenity series and the battle droids showed up. Battle droids? Really? In the 'Verse...?
5X5B:
I should say I haven't read this yet but I'm having major problems with the vitriol coming from others here who have also not read it.


trunkstheslayer:
These threads have stopped being fun and interesting and have devolved into little more than unpleasant arguments at BEST. It's gotten to the point where the site is more hostile than it is pleasant, and that's a problem. When half the posts in a comics-related thread (and I mean just shy of ALL of those threads) involve senseless, unsupported bashing it puts a real drain on the overall conversation and, more importantly, the enjoyment of the site itself.


Waterkeeper551:
The shippers need to relax and for once realize that it's not about them. We don't need to see how Buffy reacted when she first learned of Spike's survival after "Chosen," or whatever. It's not important. The rest of the story is.


Woofie:
But I think I'm done now. So much of the comments on this issue are disapointing, like the readers can't see the forest for the trees. Its like everyone has their own agenda for Buffy now, having invested so much time and thought on the saga that they can't bear it not to go the way they want it to.That would be fine except its still Joss' story.


TheOneTrueB!x:
Joss' primary job is to not disappoint himself as a creator. Should that ever conflict with what the fanbase (or, rather, some vocally prominent portion of it) wants, he has every right in the world to go with himself over those fans.


To piggyback on this (seemingly growing) sentiment:

I used to come here looking for thoughtful analysis, keen insight and respectful discussion from fellow Buffy fans. Now I just leave in a bad mood. The worst elements of fandom are on public display here. If you don't like the comics, don't read them. You don't have to like everything Joss does to be a fan. Critiques can be enjoyable and insightful to read. But there is a meaningful difference between critiquing, criticizing, and patronizing. It's troubling to see how much effort is put into convincing fans of the inferiority and illegitimacy of Joss's work, by other fans no less. And if you're not a fan, then why are you here?

Put me down as another long-time fan (since BtVS Season 2) who is now walking away from these boards. This is quite honestly a sad day for me. Ban me for this if necessary; I just felt it had to be said.
Okay, that's enough words from me on this topic.


Indeed. It's not really worked out with you has it? I've corrected that.
Just read the comic. Have yet to read the comments here. Loved loved loved #36. Great full circleness. I love a story that comes back to the beginning. Aren't we all still fighting our early demonsl? So pleased about the direction this is taking. Back to Sunnydale. Yay!

Love me some Spike and his dialogue brought forth the chuckles. :) So great to have him and his snarky (yet not mean) wit back.
Hellmouthguy Well said. Once again I'd like to marry your post. *g*
Menomegirl,

Haven't read the X-men but the bugs did remind me of something. I'm not sure what, though. It's like one of those things that's on the tip of your tongue and you just can't quite think what it is. Which is very annoying.

It wasn’t Men in Black by any chance, was it? The bugs reminded me of something too and it took me forever before I realised it was the little aliens working at the MIB headquarters.

As for the issue, I really enjoyed it and I agree that something is deliberately “off” with both Buffy and Angel. Especially when Buffy’s characterisation contradicts even her behaviour in S8 and the kind of behaviour (such as an overwhelming sense of guilt) that run throughout all of Whedon’s issues (Tara’s death, Simone/The Robbery, what happened to all her past boyfriends, killing Future!Willow etc). It’s certainly possible that in the final arc Whedon forgot how he’s written her throughout all his comics, but I don’t find it likely.

Spike was great in this issue and if they write him like this more often my apathy towards him will probably soon change. I loved all of his scenes and his dialogue and he proved a lot of laughs. The ship and his role as the captain also looks very good on him, too.

I love that we’re returning to Sunnydale and The Master was a totally unexpected but welcome surprise. I think his (brief) history with Buffy is totally fascinating. She’s the only Big Bad she’s ever truly been afraid of (even before Prophecy Girl, remember that she had nightmares about him killing her) and he’s technically killed her twice. No other Big Bad can boast that so I can’t wait to see S8!Buffy confront him after everything she’s been through over the years.
Just read it, loved it.
Then came here to read the comments, got through a lot of them and they brought my enjoyment down. There really is some hatred of season 8.

Con #1: Lack of fallout or comeuppance (yet) for Angel's actions as Twilight. But I'm guessing that the stuff labelled as 'out-of-character' will actually be explained.

Con #2: That it wasn't longer :) (Oh, and I guess, the under-utilisation of the other characters, but nobody can help that, it'd slow the pace right down)

Pros: The magnificent artwork on some of the facial expressions. In particular:
1. The dog just as Angel walks away. 2. THE FROG.
I actually burst out laughing at the frog.
Spike was magnificently in character, and I laughed again at the giant bugs using the word 'wankers'.
Laughed yet again at Spike instantly recognising Angel - although I've not kept up with the Angel comics, I know something or other is going on with Spike having the whole Twilight prophecy made for his own purposes, but hey, if it's THAT important to the Season 8 storyline, it'll be mentioned in the Buffy comics.
Loving The Master. The First annoyed me, so I hope it actually IS The Master. He's always had a lot of potential, but in Season 1 became kind of an amusing figure.
But yes. Spike was fantastic, I thought the writing was brilliant, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

For me, the only way all this could be even better is if it was a series of novels :p
I'm gonna talk about character interactions, and these are my initial thoughts, very incoherent and messy, I wrote this as I read the issue:



Buffy/Angel:


Angel is Buffy's only equal now on the strength level, fighting together for the safety of others and the world. It seems that Buffy likes it better when her partner is her equal; she enjoys the thrill of the fight as well as having someone by her side who enjoys it just as much. She and Angel are in sync with each other, literally flying together and kicking demon butts.

Angel's jealousy of Spike reveals itself, and he's acting like the 12 year old we saw in Chosen and most of AtS S5, and we saw when Buffy started dating Riley, and we saw when Buffy's friend Ford from LA showed up, and we saw after Buffy's Sexy Dance with Xander. So, that's Angel being his usual petty, jealous self.

Buffy gently tells Angel that Spike saved their lives the last time she'd seen him. That she does trust him. Unlike Angel, she doesn't trust him, but she can't help being in love with him. S1 touched on the illogicality of love. Buffy was supposed to fall in love with the human boy who brought her back to life, yet her heart beats for the dead man who couldn't breathe life into her.

Buffy also doesn't forget Angel's sacrifice. He gave her Twilight, wanted them there together, wanted peace and a life of eternal happiness, but decided to give it up and go back to the fight, the chaos, the pain. Buffy tells Angel that she understands –because she herself wanted it, but not as much as Angel, and it was hard giving it up, and Angel doing that makes her proud of him.

Buffy acts more sympathetic towards Angel than she should, but perhaps that has something to do with the powers they have, the rewards, Twilight, their connection. Something pulls them together, they want it as well, and it's pushing them against their resistance, it's taking their choice even though they want it deep down. I think this force is taking what they want deep down and bringing it to the surface against their will.

Buffy's love for Angel and her forgiving nature are the reason she's giving him a second chance, like she did with all the people in her life in the past. She knows Angel can come back from this a better man, she's been in the mud herself –though less muddy than Angel's- and she came back stronger than ever. She gives Angel a second chance for redemption, because that's who Buffy is, she forgives, she believes in others' ability to make a difference, to change, to become better. Not to mention it's also what Buffy needs: she knows deep down that she can't commit to him with all the mistakes he'd recently done. She needs his redemption as much as he does.

The lovey-dovey Bangel conversation is too over-the-top, reminds me of Xander's POV in The Zeppo, how he sees Bangel. This is actually the real Bangel on the inside brought to the outside, no barriers, no shields, naked for all to see, especially Buffy and Angel. It's not the time or place for that; they forget themselves when they're together, feelings and emotions bare, the hard façade they wear in front of others isn't there when they're together. And it's half of Twilight's doing.

Buffy asks Angel to go, because while she understands and forgives, the others don't and can't. And Angel can't blame them. What he had done was one of the biggest betrayals to them all. And he deserves to be sent away to the beginning point: the first episode of AtS S1.

About Buffy's "That's beneath you, baby," that's obviously Buffy being snarky to Angel's "Is that all you want from him?" Right now, Buffy is fed up with the pointless jealousy; she wants to fix their mess. Enough with Miss Nice Girl.






Buffy/Spike:


When Buffy goes into the ship, it's all about business. I'm sensing some hurt and anger on her part. Spike had come back years ago and never tried to contact her, she doesn't understand why, it shows in the way she glares at him, the way she grabs his shoulder and roughly turns him around. With a sarcastic raise of her eyebrow, she thanks him for saving their lives, and then talks about not contacting him because she was busy –which can probably be a shot at him not contacting her because he was busy. She cuts him off when he wants to say you're welcome because she is obviously mad at him. She reminds him that they've got an apocalypse to take care of, doesn't wanna hear him joke or snark or use dirty British words she doesn't understand.

On the other hand, Spike is also hurt and angry –not to mention disappointed at her- for having magical, space sex with Angel. He can't help but throw cheap remarks at her, and she calls him on it "Snark", and then Spike tells her that she can't trust Angel. I think at the same time, Spike also feels betrayed, hurt and let down by Angel. Seems all his idols –if you'd call Angel one- sank so low.

Spike later pulls himself together and gets down to business, reminding Buffy of what she'd done, what she'd started, what her irresponsible actions caused. Buffy obviously looks ashamed, hugging herself, unable to look him in the eyes. Spike lays it all on her, doesn't choose his words carefully, so upset with her, and it all hurts Buffy: the damage she caused, Spike's disappointment in her, her friends' fear and wary. Her expression as she looks away from Spike, filled with sorrow and guilt, her eyes as she looks back at him: shocked, upset, teary. Guilt is tearing her apart.

Buffy is back. And Spike brought her back.






Xander/Spike:


The way Xander looks at Spike can be read as "I don't trust you" or "You better have useful info" or "you're so sexy I wanna kill myself." Spike is looking at someone and I want it to be Xander –them having sexy, frowny eye contact is probably the only Spander moment I'll ever get in S8.




Willow/Buffy:


Willow is obviously so angry at Angel, yet she's sympathetic and comforting with Buffy. Angel's mistakes are greater than Buffy's, and also, Buffy is her best friend, Willow had been there through Buffy's pain and isolation –didn't see Angel's. And this time it's not black and white, Willow can't blame Angel's insanity on his soul anymore. This is gray area, and Willow more than anyone knows what it's like to be insane. She's not gonna excuse Angel because she's been there.




Xander/Dawn:


They're adorable all right, but I can't wait until we explore this ship. The tension in the Buffy/Spike scene is far more fun and interesting IMO than the cuteness of Xander/Dawn –I want issues, tension, serious talks. C'mon, Xander and Dawn, become interesting.
If you don't like the comics, don't read them. You don't have to like everything Joss does to be a fan.


I don't, and I don't.
As for still being a fan even though I don't like everything Joss does .... OMG, sanity. I'm drawn to these threads like some people can't stop looking at a fatal car crash (I am not one of those, for the record), but I care less than nothing about the comics.
BTVS ended for me when the TV series ended. I like good TV series, I don't like comics, period - so that's my prerogative. It's not the same as saying that BtS ended for you after season five, or three, or whatever. Some people may have stopped liking the show at those points, but it's a fact that it didn't *end*, because it was a TV show and still on TV.
But a change in medium this drastic is a whole different animal.

.... certain concepts just don't fit in Buffy, they’re just too comic booky. I believe that's true. But it could very well be that the only reason the TV show wasn't exactly like these comics is budget and actor limitations. Maybe the comics are exactly the kind of Buffy stories Joss has always wanted to tell; maybe he didn't get seduced by the new medium but simply used it to fully realize the vision he's had all along. I sure hope not. I hope not the way Dorothy hoped those shoes would work.


Couldn't agree more, Hellmouthyboy, with the first part (too comic-booky). But I have faith that this is not what Joss would have done with BtS on TV, with an unlimited budget. I can't believe that the depth, complexity and character driven nature of not just BtS but everything Joss has ever done on TV, is that way simply because of a lack of budget.

I dislike seeing Buffy being turned into a comic, more than I can possibly describe, especially the drawing of the characters as eternal teens. I don't understand how a writer of Joss's stature can possibly get off on this OTT, two-dimensional (in every sense of the word) stuff.
But he does, so there you have it.

I think he's proven that he's matured as a writer with both Firefly and Dollhouse, so I'm not really worried that we'll never again get those deep, character driven stories from him.
I'm reminded of Cordelia's "What, I can't have layers??" Joss obviously has layers, some of which I don't understand and find not to my taste, to put it mildly. But that doesn't mean that I appreciate the things he does that I do like, any less.

That being said, I'm really glad that I don't like comics. Because what I've seen of what is being done to characters I love, would make me ill, if I cared a whit about comics - as is apparently the case for a lot of fans.
Maybe Joss is having a mid-life crises.;-) Well, he's entitled. I'll probably enjoy The Avengers as an action romp, but I doubt that I'll take it seriously. My personal hope is that Joss eventually does another TV series - on cable. But if he never did another thing I liked, he would still be my favorite creator of wonderful stories.
I love the Buffy comics, but have no background in the medium. I really appreciate it when y'all point out similarities to other comics. For me, this is comparative literature. Too bad I can't get a comic with footnotes. On the other hand, I did get the last Jo Chen cover in my comic-book store.
Oh my God, YES! It was the little aliens working at the MIB headquarters! Thank you, thank you, thank you, vampmogs-that has been in the back of my mind a couple of days now and I just couldn't puzzle it out.
I just wrote some meta exploring why I think Buffy's OOC.

When did Dawn's sister get unbelievably scary?
Sosa Lola, great post. Could not agree more with pretty much all you said, in particular the Buffy/Spike stuff.

Shey, I'm not going to deny for a moment that it's your prerogative to not like comic books, but whenever I see that statement I have to question just how much exposure the person making it has had to the medium.

For me, it's the same as someone telling me that they don't like any television shows at all, or movies, or books, if you see what I mean? To not like anything at all from a given story telling format strikes me as a little strange and just a little bit closed minded. If I'm wrong here then I apologise but I can't imagine that you've really bothered to read all that many comics in order to know if they are any good or not. Am I right?

Not that I'm saying that you should change your opinion. Not in the slightest. I just feel, particularly in what you've just posted, that your bias against the comic book format is making you come off as a little bit rude toward those of us that enjoy it a great deal.

Comments like "I don't understand how a writer of Joss's stature can possibly get off on this OTT, two-dimensional (in every sense of the word) stuff" and "Joss obviously has layers, some of which I don't understand and find not to my taste, to put it mildly" kinda read to me like 'I don't get why Joss likes wasting his time on comic book drivel, but that's his choice', which is pretty condescending, not only to Joss himself but also to anyone else around here who shares his passion for comics, myself included.

Comics, to me, have been an exceptional form of story telling for many years now, offering both incredible artwork and exceptional writing in one handy package. I guess it just annoys me a little when I see someone dismissing the entire medium as a single entity. It's really not.
The only reason I started reading comics was for Buffy. Turns out, they're a pretty cool medium.
Buffy was always over the top. A duty to protect those who can't defend themselves, from monsters. And demons. Characters who discover their superpowers, and have trouble dealing with it. Complicated fight scenes. Tragic romance. Apocalypses plural. The show has drawn heavily from comics from the first episode. A lot of the things I see people attribute to comics here though are just genre storytelling nowadays, as easily at home on tv as on a comic page. I don't think Buffy flying is any more unbelievable than Buffy fighting knights on horseback from the top of a moving RV driven by a vampire.
Comics are an amazing medium, and for those who doubt it I recommend picking up (they should be at the local library) 'The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation' by Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colon, 'Our Cancer Year' by Harvey Picar, and/or 'Pride of Baghdad' by Brian K. Vaughan, these are all as brilliant and intense as anything you've ever read. And these are just relatively recent ones, throughout the 1980s there was the development of the graphic novel style and incredibly wonderful work being done. I've read comics all my life (I'm 60 now) and I was never into Superheros ... or Archie, but there has always been a lot more out there besides those (and I'm not putting those down, many people I admire absolutely love those comics).

Buffy was always over the top, but totally accessible: I always felt her POV even when SMG herself said she was having trouble understanding the character. But I'm feeling completely lost now. It is really hard to enjoy a story when the main characters seem to be derailed.
Ravenwing263: I never used the word “impossible”. That's a simple binary splitting of everything into “possible” and “impossible and that's not what I'm talking about. I'm using a combination of factors like logic, plausibility, consistency, etc. It is a scale and people will draw different lines on it, but I've already explained that my posts are subjective. I also explained the difference between men and gods and the universe. As there is reasoning behind it, it is not arbitrary, by definition.

Like DaddyCatALSO, I disagree with your concept of fantasy worlds. Not all fantasy stories are equally fantastical. Most zombie films only have one element that's different from the real world. That's the world the writer has created. They're not saying “I'm in the fantasy genre, so I can now do whatever the hell I like”. If they had a character start flying about, the audience reaction is not going to be “Well it has zombies in it, so that's fine.” That type of development puts us in a different fantasy world.

If you set up a fantasy world where anything is possible, then yes, anything is possible. But that is not how any fantasy story I've ever seen or read is set up. Without rules and boundaries, it would be very hard to have a story make sense.
I'd say that any fantasy reality that deals with magic as a key element automatically allows for anything being possible. Flight included.

It's not as if having Buffy flying around is being attributed to her suddenly being a mutant or being bitten by a radioactive bird. Everything that is happening is, at least as far as I'm aware so far, related to magical type energies. We already saw Willow levitate using magic, both on the show and in the comic. Having Buffy do the same thing while she has access to the same type of power isn't that much of a stretch to me.
When I said anything, I really meant anything. I mean it in the most extreme way possible - anything and everything. Not just through using magic, but without using magic. Not one person flying with some sort of explanation, but the entire human population flying for no reason at all, just because they can. No rules, no limits, no boundaries, no logic and no impossible. Anything you can imagine and everything that you can't. So no, I wouldn't say that having magic in a story puts you in that kind of world.
I had doubts until now. It happens in showbiz: a creator loses interest to his characters and passes them to other writers who see them quite differently. Soon after season 8 has started, Joss has suddenly got several new shiny toys - "Dr. Horrible", "Dollhouse", "Cabin in the Wood". He could just keep his name on the season out of loyalty to DH and let other writers re-shape Buffy according to their vision. And, given how insanely popular Stephenie Meyer is, it was possible that new writers, especially Meltzer, who never wrote in Jossverse before, tried to reinvent Buffy and Angel as Bella and Edward on steroids.

Except, no. This is Joss, and these are still his characters. Spike's big entrance, knocking down Big Ben with his ship, was perfect. All his lines reminded me again how much I love Joss' dialogue. Faith's "man-bitch formerly known as Angel" was perfect. Willow turning Angel into a frog was great. Dawn afraid of the bugs was in character.

Everybody except Buffy and Angel are in character - but they both are drugged, and Allie explicitly told in the interview: "We wanted a visual representation of what was going on, the way they were infused. But you should not let the characters off the hook completely for their actions. It worked like a drug, clouding your judgment, but you’re still you. You should not abandon responsibility for your actions, even if you might have acted differently if not under the influence."

I admit that the analogy with drug annoys me a bit. It's unfair, given that both Buffy and Angel aren't "taking drugs" voluntarily. Angel was manipulated into "taking drugs", believing them to be a medicine; Buffy was infused against her will. But that's technicalities. The point is that they are affected, and it's part of the plot.

Angearia has written an insightful little essay on the nature of the influence Buffy and Angel are under - a post in her LJ that has already spawned 200-plus comments and proved that everybody sees the situation differently. Here's how I see it (my take is pretty close to Angearia's): the drug has turned Buffy into a slightly upgraded cave!Buffy - "Boy smell nice. Want boy." - but in a less obvious manner (to make us guessing and angsting). This Buffy still can make choices that override her instincts, but only in extreme situations, like when she saw her sister and her friends in mortal danger. Buffy still loves her friends. She is protective of her tribe (slayers). But her primal urge is to copulate and procreate. So that's what she and Angel do: procreate Twilight. Cavemen win.

Now Angel's out of the picture, but he promised to return soon. He better. So far, Bangel arc has disappointed me, because Joss missed a chance to explore a really interesting conflict here. Clash of wills, conflict of personalities. On TV, Buffy and Angel were such fascinating characters. Joss could write an awesome story about them - about love and duty, about hard decisions and impossible choices. But he pursued titillation instead of conflict, created IWRY on steroids - a story about Angel making decisions for Buffy's good. Plus, porn. What a waste. But if Angel will be back, there may be a conflict, after all. We'll see.

-- Spike's ship and the crew. Why alien bugs? My impression is that Joss pursued two goals: 1) to cut off any parallels to Serenity, to avoid the temptation to reinvent Firefly characters in the new setting and 2) to show that Spike has been very, very far away and had a lot of problems of his own to be well-posted on Buffy's situation.

-- Jeanty draws fantabulicious Spike's close-ups. His general plans are usually static and can't compare to Urru's fluid and dynamic style, but his close-ups have just the right balance of likeness and stylization.

-- "Full steam ahead, Bug One!" -- "I'm Bug Three." This is so Joss. Even a throwaway line contains so many layers. Apparently, the bug sees his number as a name. He doesn't want to be called Bug One. He is Bug Three and proud of it. Am I stretching or this is Joss' comment on endless debates who's number one in Buffy's heart?

-- Looks like Andrew is alive and okay again. Apparently Willow has magically healed him. Yay!

-- Great idea (not mine, alas) that the Twilight symbol is an upside down Sunnydale crater and the star is the Seed is another reminder how carefully the season was plotted.

And, finally...

-- The Master. Ta-dam! The evil has a face, after all.

If I understand the situation correctly, it was The Master who was manipulating Buffy and Angel all along. Somehow his dust turned into flesh (again!) and he decided to avenge that pesky cheerleader who destroyed him, and that insolent vampire who took his beloved Darla away. Also, to create the evil Twilight dimension for fun and pleasure. Most likely The Master is still stuck in the Hellmouth like Vinnie-the-Pooh in Piglet's house, so he schemes from there, using The Seed - the ultimate magic artifact that can do anything: to pluck Angel from the apocalyptic place he was, to give him superpowers, to imprint The Master's scheming self into the dog, the stewardess, Whistler and maybe other creatures. The only thing The Seed can't do is to get The Master out.

Of course, I may be wrong - the actual Big Bad is the Universe, after all - and The Master is "the old enemy" who becomes Buffy's ally. At first sight, The Master's only line in #36 suggests that he has something Buffy needs - which indirectly supports "Big Bad Universe" theory. (But isn't Joss a master of misleads? And the line is written in "Twilight" font.)

Another indirect argument in "Big Bad Universe" favor: Spike talks about the Twilight dimension as an alive, intelligent species ("ditched at birth [...] come looking for mummy.") So, yes, maybe Joss got interested in the theory of biocosm - "Avatar" made it pretty popular - and applied it to season 8.

But let's look at the situation from the outside.

Evil has to have a face. Comic is a visual medium. An abstract Big Bad kills the intrigue. But if "Big Bad Universe" was a smoke screen to distract us from The Master, then everything falls into place. The lameness of "Big Bad Universe" suddenly makes sense - it is supposed to be lame and far-fetched, because it's not true. It's not the universe who wanted to create Twilight to redress the balance; it's a concrete person who wanted to destroy Buffy and used the laws of the Universe to reach his goal.

If this person is The Master, then the conflict becomes really juicy. Buffy isn't struggling against a nebulous concept. She fights an old enemy. Whom she killed twice (in Prophecy Girl and When She Was Bad). Who killed her twice (in Prophecy Girl and The Wish). Who hates her guts because she has ruined the Clan of Aurelius. Angel, Darla, Spike - The Master has lost them because of her. And he wants revenge. For him, it's about his family - and the girl who has destroyed it. He's a high-octane Holtz - upside down and inside out.

It's personal. It's visceral. It's exciting. It's simultaneously intimate and epic. Because such twist firmly connects season 8 with the show's mythology from all the 12 seasons of BtVS and AtS.

Of course, the question remains how The Master was brought back. Is there anybody behind him? A real puppeteer?

I doubt that Joss will introduce another Big Bad that late. Besides, Angel, the Universe and The Master - who could surpass these three?

Here's an idea about The Master's resurrection. In issue #34 we learned that space-frak created several events in the past and the future: Willow regaining her powers, Fray turning into the slayer. Could The Master's resurrection be the consequence of the space-frak? Then his primary goal was to make space-frak happen so that he could get resurrected. (It's pretty non-sensical, but time-travel doesn't make sense, period.) In any case, The Master has turned Angel into his puppet, using an old prophecy about The Twilight and appealing to Angel's ego and his desire to protect Buffy. Maybe he kept Angel in a dreamspace dimension and fed him nightmares to weaken his will and then sent him back confused and devastated.

The Master's plan goes smoothly until Spike's arrival - which is purely accidental; our Glorious Leader couldn't miss the chance to knock down Big Ben. The Master expects Angel to bring Buffy to him, like The Anointed One did in Prophecy Girl. Instead, Buffy arrives with Spike in tow. Replacing one vampire with another will most likely be the crucial factor for turning the tables in Buffy's favor (I don't see any other reason to send Angel away and deprive us from Spangel snark).

The only way to stop The Master is to break The Seed. The consequence: the end of all magic on Earth. After mucho angst, arguments and maybe fighting they'll finally break it and Buffy will get rid of the Twilight drug. She'll realise that the bestest day in her life is not-so-bestest and she'll break down (as shown in the flashback in #10).

What next? Up to this issue I was almost sure that season will end with Angel sending Buffy to hell to save the world, but, given Angel's departure, it's highly unlikely. There is a couple of interesting set-ups in the first arc, "The Long Way Home", that could echo in the last arc: Ethan Rayne's dreamspace and the kiss of true love.

And I'm sure that there will be surprises. Surprises that will make complete sense as soon as we accept them. The Master's return was a big surprise. But now, when The Master is here, the idea to bring his back seems pretty obvious from a writer's POV. The Master is the patriarch of the Aurelian clan - and he was killed off before the vampire mythology of the verse became really interesting and personalized. Most likely The Master has been growing and developing in Joss' mind as long as he was creating Angel and Darla's backstory - and finally, the creator found a way to play with a previously neglected character and give him his due.

I can't wait the next issue!
That's a great analysis, of which I actually agree with very little, but don't let that bother you. It's one of the better analyses of the series so far, though I have a lot of problems with it, which I don't have time to post right now (parents are in, and I am stealing a break- my folks are 80). But this:

"Of course, the question remains how The Master was brought back. Is there anybody behind him? A real puppeteer?

I doubt that Joss will introduce another Big Bad that late. Besides, Angel, the Universe and The Master - who could surpass these three?"

That is the same question I have been asking myself. The Master just does not work for me, on many levels. So I wonder, is that it? Or is there more? Good question!
Well I'm never worrying about any of my posts being too long ever again! ;) Putting aside my normal concerns, you did get me thinking about the motivation of the universe in all this. What is it trying to do? Why would it care about Buffy and Angel or whether humans or demons live on Earth? Is it interested just in the Twilight world? Which in this issue is referred to as "a universe ditched at birth." A baby universe. Have I gone crazy (quite possible) or did the universe just use Angel and Buffy to have a child?
Whatever brought Angel to the current timeline also brought Spike. It's the same sound effect and rip in time/space.
@Dana - I hope the Master if it's really The Master who's behind it) will make sense, eventually. Buffy killed him and destroyed his family. He is old enought to knoe that vengeance is better when served cold. He could plot his revenge carefully and weave an intricate web to ruin Buffy.

@NotaViking: fascinating specs - but, frankly, I doubt that Joss will pursue cosmogonic theories further. His strongest element is exploration of human emotions; even his Gods become "infected" with them. So I think that, ultimately, season 8 will tell a story about families, about revenge and betrayal.
Whatever brought Angel to the current timeline also brought Spike. It's the same sound effect and rip in time/space.


Perhaps I'm stating the obvious here, but I took that rip to be the cross-over from IDW to Dark Horse. Both characters' stories at IDW will end with them going into those portals. Not sure how that'll be explained, but it seems pretty appropriate.
Yeah that would be a nice touch. Hadn't thought of it that literally but it makes sense.
If it wasn't for comic books, Joss Whedon would have collaborated with Sarah Michelle Gellar on My So-Called Life, not Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Moscow Watcher, that is a brilliant analysis... but I'm afraid it might be more brilliant than the comic book. We'll see. But you do (almost) reconcile me to this lame story line.
If it wasn't for comic books, Joss Whedon would have collaborated with Sarah Michelle Gellar on My So-Called Life, not Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Ravenwing263 | September 05, 05:16 CET


So if there would be no horror/fantasy without comic books, there's a bit of explaining to do re. the works of Bram Stoker and Mary Shelly, just to mention two off the top of my head.

No matter how politely I put it, people get *really* defensive if someone says they don't like comics, period. And yes, I've been exposed to them for my entire (long) life.
I would never say that I dislike a form of media in it's entirety, if I hadn't given it more that a fair chance. When I was a kid, I liked the stuff that was written for kids. but as I became an adult and explored the adult target comics, I completely lost interest.
I still like short strips (like Doonsbury). And I actually loved Sugarshack, but it was short and witty and not trying to be more than that (so go figure, there's always the exception that proves the rule).

There are very few forms of entertainment/art about which I can say I don't like this at all, period. The only other one that comes to mind is jazz. I love music and enjoy a very broad range of styles, but jazz .... no, not at all, period.

It's not my intention to come off as condescending, I'm merely expressing *my* opinion. And as for rude? Has the person who accused me of that actually been reading these comic related threads?
Apparently it's OK for comic fans to be really rude to each other (until a mod steps in and stops it) but if you don't like the medium in general and hate seeing your favorite show of all time being done in that medium, that's the one unacceptable opinion to express - even politely, which I think I did.

Back to lurking now.
"Apparently it's OK for comic fans to be really rude to each other..."

Truthfully, Shey, I don't think that's okay either. That's one of the many reasons why I don't bother checking out the forums at CBR or Newsarama anymore. Not to mention one of the reasons why I stopped regularly posting around here in the last year or two. The more I read in the comic related threads, the more I felt like Whedonesque, and by extension the Whedon fanbase overall, was losing the community feeling that had made it so special. Even the worst of the shipper wars never seemed to divide us in the way that the Buffyverse officially entering the comic book world has done.

Apologies for sounding like I was calling you rude and condescending, by the way. I've read enough of your posts around here to know that isn't the case. All I was trying to say was that some of the things you had written, such as the bits I quoted further up, were making you sound that way. And it's really not a case of me going on the defensive simply because you don't like comic books. Believe me, neither does my girlfriend. It was purely how what you were saying was coming across to me.

All that said, we're in complete agreement concerning jazz. ;)
Oh guys- my jazz collection is immense. :-(
Mine too... can ease you in with some Cole Porter ;-)
@Shey
So if there would be no horror/fantasy without comic books, there's a bit of explaining to do re. the works of Bram Stoker and Mary Shelly, just to mention two off the top of my head.

Of course there would be horror and fantasy, which predate comic books by centuries. You'll notice I said nothing about horror or fantasy, I said something about Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Without comics, we would have Dracula and Frankenstein and everything else.

But there would be no Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Bram Stoker would have laughed right out loud at just the title. Everything about Buffy the Vampire Slayer but some Stoker-inspired surface trappings is drawn from comic books. The title "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" is the kind of title that could only have been taken seriously in comics before Whedon forced us to take his little TV show seriously. The blending of action and romantic soap opera elements is pulled from the "X-Men" family of titles and The New Teen Titans. The succession of unrelated "big bads" one after another is drawn from comics. Whedon has repeatedly stated that Buffy herself owes much of her characterization to Kitty Pryde, a comic boom character. The dual nature of Buffy's existence, from the early seasons, drawn from comic books.

Apparently it's OK for comic fans to be really rude to each other (until a mod steps in and stops it) but if you don't like the medium in general and hate seeing your favorite show of all time being done in that medium, that's the one unacceptable opinion to express - even politely, which I think I did.

The trouble is that no one ever does it "politely." Your use of "comic book-y" as a distinctively negative adjective or your joke about "two dimensional (in every sense of the word)" are not about not caring for the medium. That obviously is your prerogative and no one should or can tell you different. But discussing them in that way are about looking down your nose at it, as in, "I don't like it, so it is worthless and ought to be mocked" which is unfair (and, yes, condescending) in general and specifically silly coming from anyone who has ever liked Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a work hugely inspired by comics.

@Sunfire
Buffy was always over the top. A duty to protect those who can't defend themselves, from monsters. And demons. Characters who discover their superpowers, and have trouble dealing with it. Complicated fight scenes. Tragic romance. Apocalypses plural. The show has drawn heavily from comics from the first episode. A lot of the things I see people attribute to comics here though are just genre storytelling nowadays, as easily at home on tv as on a comic page. I don't think Buffy flying is any more unbelievable than Buffy fighting knights on horseback from the top of a moving RV driven by a vampire.

I would argue that these tropes are as easily at home on TV as a comic book page NOW, because television shows deeply inspired by then-comic book tropes like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Xena, Warrior Princess made it so.

@NotaViking
Ravenwing263: I never used the word “impossible”. That's a simple binary splitting of everything into “possible” and “impossible and that's not what I'm talking about. I'm using a combination of factors like logic, plausibility, consistency, etc. It is a scale and people will draw different lines on it, but I've already explained that my posts are subjective. I also explained the difference between men and gods and the universe. As there is reasoning behind it, it is not arbitrary, by definition.

It's still arbitrary if the reasoning behind it is arbitrary. In a universe where men can wield magic and gods exist, there is nothing implausible about the universe making decisions.
I know it's fun to talk about comic books in general but this is actually a thread about discussing the issue. So if we could resume that discussion, it would be appreciated.
Ravenwing263 - My reply is in what I've already posted.

Did anyone else, when reading Angel saying, "Since when do I say "ma'am"?" think back to Buffy's "Everybody calls me "ma'am" these days." in the first issue? It was such an odd little exchange over that word, that it could be a deliberate call-back. No idea why though.
Maybe Joss just thinks it's a funny word.
No idea why though.


Someone somewhere else showed that panels from the finale were mirroring panels from the premiere of season 8.

http://www.buffyforums.net/forums/showpost.php?p=498314&postcount=269

As you'll see, the ma'am thing was picked up.
I couldnt read all commetns, but about the Master re-living, I recall reading an old non-canon Buffy comic, Chaos Bleeds (not sure if it had anything to do with the game), where there were Not sure if it ever gets a proper conclusion, however.
Thanks sunfire for the time/space portal mention. I was going to post and ask about the beginning with the dog and the not in-ruins world that Angel mentions, as well as Whistler's mention of possible futures in the Riley one-shot. Maybe they're both from a different time-line? (Or am I getting my other sci-fi all jumbled with this?) I for one am trusting Joss to completely give me that "oh sh*t!" moment by the end of this. And all the clues have been placed throughout this looonngg slog that was season 8.
Having read this, I'm getting the idea this Twiliaght-Angel is soem kind of evil duplicate produced by ebign shot thru the air towaeds the sign. Since Real-Angel would know about the re-set and that LA is back to "normal."

Brasilian Chaos Man The comic of Chaos Bleeds was a etaser tos elel the game. There was novelization witha conclusion. Ends up beign clsoe-ish to my Chidlren of the Dale ficverse.

[ edited by DaddyCatALSO on 2010-09-08 01:45 ]
Thank you, DaddyCatALSO.
Since you seams to know a lot about fanfics, I would like to know if you could help me in finding one, that I read a few years ago, about a fight between Illyria Vs. DarkWillow, where there was even a trip to the shrimp dimension. If did you know it or have any idea where I can find that text I'll be very grateful.

[ edited by Brasilian Chaos Man on 2010-09-08 20:06 ]
Firstly, my first read of the "Baby" line was that she was calling him an infant. I think some of us are trying to not like the comic right now because of other issues with previous, um... issues.

When Buffy says everything else that people have taken issue with, she is speaking to Angel and getting him to leave. When I heard this is Sarah's voice, the most important part was that Angel stop reading her mind, so she distracted him with platitudes and "this is the best day ever," all the things you tell the psycho killer ex-boyfriend who tried to get you to kill all your friends so he doesn't flip out with his superpowers and put all the humans heads on pikes.

I believe it was Scott Allie who said the font of Twilight's dialogue was significant, and here we see it is the Master's font - which implies something even scarier about what's been slowly happening to Angel, and possibly Buffy as well. Spike's beginnings of an explanation of things and what he seems to know only help this theory.

The Frog transformation is clearly an allusion to Angel being "The Prince".

The sexuality of this season is a clear, looming theme. I do not think it is a coincidence that muppety Odin I miss the sex is in the first issue of a season where Buffy experiments with lesbianism before space sexing her first love thus beginning an apocalypse. Meanwhile, Willow has to have sex in order to talk to a demon who is clearly seducing her. Everything in the first arc needs reviewing for massive foreshadowing. Even the naming of Twilight now seems like it was more of a foreshadow of Dawn's part in all this than a reference to current pop culture.

Also, the big part that no one seems to be catching about this season, because we can't see the forest for the trees -- BUFFY IS THE BIG BAD. At the end of the first arc, Buffy finds out her new enemy is the ENTIRE HUMAN RACE, and says, "'kay." That means she has declared war on Earth, and has, in fact, with the help of Angel opened the portal that is about to destroy the Earth. She's usually on the other side of that kind of stuff. Her and Angel are the villains, and they're the ones whose defeat will stop this. The betrayal will almost certainly be Willow or Xander because of Dawn (or both), and it will be the move that saves the world.

And, finally: You can say all you want about agendas, but the same people over and over say nothing but negative things, not only about this story or the comics but about the creators and Joss himself... That doesn't even seem like something a fan would do. True, the dedicated love of these stories is an agenda as well... the agenda of a FAN, and of a FANSITE. Dedicated negativity is surely your right, and you do not have to like any of this stuff... but why are you coming here to do it?

"Buffy always was a comic" is a metaphor, and some of your inabilities to not argue literally informs my view of your opinions on the story. You have always been watching a show about a superhero. Regular vamp fiction features weak women being seduced by an older man whose teeth are phallic metaphors. They attract predominantly sexually repressed women. Buffy is about a female superhero who fights the phallic metaphors that rule the world, while attempting to reconcile her feminism with her conflicting attraction to older men with phallic metaphors.
"You can say all you want about agendas, but the same people over and over say nothing but negative things, not only about this story or the comics but about the creators and Joss himself... "

So, let's rewrite this:
"You can say all you want about agendas, but the same people over and over say nothing but positive things, not only about this story or the comics but about the creators and Joss himself... "

The latter seems to be okay, but not the former.

It is truly tiresome to continually suffer attacks from people who find it okay to praise all things Joss but take issue with those who don't. Who suggest you should not even come here and bother them with your thoughts. I come here for intelligent conversation, period. On a series I love, for a comic that disappoints me but is the only continuation of that series that exists, so is the only part of Buffy that gets current conversation.
It's tiresome to see this come up so often lately. The options are not limited to A) praise all things Joss or B) dislike all things Joss. It's a false choice, and it's not representative of comments here.
Riley & Buffy Season 4, Ep 14:

R: "Maggie's dead. Happy now?"
B: "How can you ask me that? Of course I'm not "happy".
*later*
B: "I'm gonna find it. I'm gonna find it and destroy it. And then you can stop asking me how "happy" all this death makes me."

This much I know for sure: Buffy WILL kill the bad. Death does follow her wherever she goes ("Slayer" not a misnomer) but she will triumph even when it hurts...even if she's the cause (remains to be seen), by any means necessary. Loving Season 8 so far!
Also from the same ep, when Buffy is confronting Maggie's 2nd in command:

"Now I don't generally like to kill humans. But I've learned that it pays to be flexible in life." Gotta love the irony. Spoken like a true slayer. (I'm sure Faith was who she learned this lesson from at this point in her arc).
Ah, haven't been available for a while, but i'm back now, so glad some things never change!
Anyway, issue wise...LOVED IT!! okay, enthusiasm gone, ahem, so the babe thing didn't bother me. She called him honey in season 3, so i didn't even notice it. But like you all said if it were to be an issue, then probably the snarky undertones of his immaturity would fit.
Is Willow no longer afraid of frogs, or just really afraid of Angel? Or did the writers for get in all their hint dropping that Angel may indeed be the prince? Who knows?
Faith(LOVE HER!!) sounded bang on! She is sometimes just too epic for words!
I can't wait to see what pops up next, sucks that I gotta wait til 10 days after everyone else though, although this was definitely worth the wait!
Oh on the bestest weirdest, thing, look at it from her perspective, despite the world crumbling, she had what she wanted since she was 16, what she had in IWRY but forgot, so forgive me, but I forgive her.
@BlueSkies agreed on forgiving Buffy for bestest weirdest,etc. She can enjoy the moment...it's not as if the torrential downpouring of demons has had the chance to bring massive repercussions yet A) she just left the perfect paradise to clean up the mess B)and great point in that to her 'conscious' self she has never had true happiness with Angel who is obviously (to the character) the yin to her yang. Also, anyone else noticed when Buffy said Spike has a "ship"..was that a nod/wink from the writers about the Spuffy-ers as in...I gotta deal with this so just go away Angel till we can be together again after the "mess" that is Spike and his "ship" lol.
Yeah Jonathon, I think someone upthread or maybe somewhere else said that, thought it was clever observation then and still do...it's a hilarious reference if true!!
I think it was funny how Angel didn't learn NOT to trust any PTB, now openly declared a power without name, only because it says that he'll be the one in control. 'Cmon Angel, those were really prophecies or the DOG licking his balls?
Hello mods, has the "no shipper comments" rule just been lifted completely???

Also, anyone else noticed when Buffy said Spike has a "ship"..was that a nod/wink from the writers about the Spuffy-ers as in...I gotta deal with this so just go away Angel till we can be together again after the "mess" that is Spike and his "ship" lol.
Jonnathan | September 10, 19:37 CET


I can't remember this kind of shit ever being allowed before, so some clarification would be welcome. Thanks.
No, the rule is still very much in place, it's just harder to catch such comments at the tail end of an old thread when other threads are more active now. The remark is definitely not acceptable, Jonnathan take note. But neither is drawing a bunch of attention to it in bold letters and calling it shit. If you want to bring something like this to our attention, email us.
I feel like the only one who actually liked this issue now... And that was BEFORE I saw that they printed my letter (First time that's happened so it was a huge moment for me >.< ). It has to be remembered that Spike never went after Buffy either when he came back. At first he did (and obviously couldn't leave W&H), but once he regained a corporeal body, he didn't go to her. I think after seeing "her" with The Immortal he'd pretty much given up on her as a love interest. People do fall out of love. I think people just hate Angel too much right now. I'm reserving ALL judgement until it's all finished. Otherwise you're just jumping to conclusions and making assumptions. And we all know what happens when you assume anything.
I dunno. I know the season is almost over, and I've had complaints, but looking back a lot of them have to do with how different the comic is from the TV show, which is a tad unfair. I think the time jump into the future (however far it's supposed to be) helped to distance itself from the series, for better or for worse.

However, I think there's a lack of follow through and direction with this season. Granted it's not over yet, but some things that, so far, haven't been explained in a satisfactory way to me yet:

The outing of vampires to a society - I don't know...it didn't seem as epic or as important as it could've and should've been. And the plot and all of the consequences have mostly been dropped it seemed.

Aside from the silly transformations Dawn was put through, I feel like there was no point in the Thricewise storyline that dominated the greater portion of the season. From the first issue I wrongly assumed there was going to be a greater storyline here. Seems out of place looking back. However, in a multi-episode arc it would be fine, but still didn't have any great resolution. Unless my mind is playing tricks on me.

Showing Dracula looking extremely old and then suddenly young again and his relationship to Xander - admittedly I haven't read the Tales Of series, but it still seemed to lack any resolution or overall point, except to tie into the fifth season - which was fun in itself. And that arc was still a favorite.

Obviously some of the character development has been an issue for me too. But I'm still trying to hold off on all judgment until the season is ended. Overall I've enjoyed it. But just in a different way.
I thought the Dawn stuff and the Xander/Drac stuff both had more to do with character development than plot points. Dawn grew a lot this season... from fighting the spectre of her role as whiny teen girl in the mecha!Dawn fight to saving herself before Buffy had to in Predators and Prey, I think Dawn has become a pretty grown up member of the group especially when you look at where she was in the first issue.

Xander/Drac was also Xander becoming all grown up and sure of himself. When Xander tells Drac he'll kill him if he calls him 'manservant' again, it seems to be the end of the "Xander as butt-monkey" aspect of his characterization... which I think has been followed through pretty well in the rest of Season 8.
Agreed, I thought the Dracula arc was important because with all those interactions we get to see Xander's quieter kind of strength shine through all the chaos and violence and bigger egos. Not that it wasn't already, but Xander felt more front and center in that arc. He used to feel the same way Dracula does but his path away from it has always been in the exact opposite direction, and I think it's easy to underappreciate that. Their interaction is also hilarious, which never hurts.
Moscow Watcher's analysis/theorizing was the crowning achievement of this thread (I hope some of what he/she came up with is in the cards/was intended by Joss in the planning of this season).

The comic-bookyness of Season 8...yeah, the TV shows already had 'em in spades (for starters--one of my biggest pet peeves when I used to read Marvel--way too many resurrections for my liking, long before Season 8 was even a spark in Joss' brain--I got over it. The shows were live action comic books, usually very well-written ones. And some characters do stay dead. Joyce, Jenny, a ton of other major players. Doubt Darla's coming back again). I'm fine with the go-big-or-go-home scope of Season 8, but would like a lot more of the TV show's character moments.

didifallasleep, this response is way late and you may never see it, but the Drac-looking-older thing is thought to be a glamour (he was vamped as an old man and uses his gypsy magic to appear young). It's probably a reference to the original Bram Stoker source material for the character, plus it was an element in the `90s Keanu Reaves/Gary Oldman film. And yeah, it'd help to read the "Antique" short story in the Tales of the Vampires trade paperback collection (or the individual issues, if you can find 'em), as that further builds on the, um, unique relationship between Dracula and Xander that was begun in "Buffy vs. Dracula".

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