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December 02 2010

(SPOILER) For the discussion of Buffy #39. The fourth part of the 'Last Gleaming' arc and the penultimate issue of Season 8.

Ok, so I don't know why there isn't a thread yet, and I know Simon usually creates these threads, so I hope this is alright and that I'm not stepping on anyones toes. :)

Anyway, I've read the issue. Who want spoilers?
@Kaan: Comics aren't out in the U.S. yet, due to Thanksgiving last week. Why that translates to a shipping delay this week, I have no idea, but lots of folks won't be able to get it until tomorrow...
Apparently folks in Canada already have the issue.
Well in my area the comic wasn't released on Dec. 1st. it will be released tomorrow, so I guess that is just in the USA (because of the Thanksgiving delay). So I'll leave so that the Canadians can discuss it without spoiling me!
I want spoilers, please. Wont get it in two weeks time...
Spoilers please!!!
There are supposed spoilers floating out there and they are looking more and more legit.
There are plenty of spoilers over at SlayAlive. If you can get in. Apparently the server is currently flooded or something.
yup, no getting in there at all, but seeing as we already have a spoiler alert up on the page, who wants to provide us with details?!
The server is having serious issues. I don't think it'll be accessible for awhile.
wenixia-can you tell us what's the what?
From the spoilers at Slayalive.The gist is...

1)The Twilight possesed Angel kills The Master and Giles.

2)Buffy destroys the seed with the Scythe.

3)All the invading demons are sucked back to their dimensions.

4)The end of magic

5)Willow is left insane.

There are some more details at Slayalive but those are the major bullet points.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2010-12-02 03:21 ]
He's dead? Really? Dead dead? I'm not sure I can handle this.
GILES DIES!?!?! Oh no. So is this how Fray's future comes along? Nothing that happened in TOYL was relevant and nothing changed? I may sorta hate Twilight-possessed-Angel right now, but in the way that I can't wait for his redemption.

Thanks Buffyfanatic!
Yes,if these are accurate and they are looking like they are,Giles is killed by Angel.He snaps his neck from the sound of it.
So that's a Jenny reference then...
Wow. Just, wow. The Jenny relation makes it even sadder.
And the Scythe is apparently broken in the process.
I wonder if that means the spell it carried was broken as well.
I haven't read it yet, but can I just say that I'm not a huge fan of Jo's cover on this one... and it's very rare for me to say that. But both Buffy and Angel look very... off. Angel in particular looks odd...
luv4whedon that's what I was thinking. Does this unslayify all the girls?! Are we back to season 6 betrayed and broken Buffy? Is Faith gonna have to lead? How will Fray get the scythe now that it's broken? What will become of Willow seeing as Buffy knows how she ends? So many questions!!
I don't want broken and betrayed Buffy again, we've been there, done that. Poor Willow; though I'm intrigued by her new insanity.
Yep, Giles is dead. :(

Angel snaps his neck, mirroring the way he killed Jenny.

And I don't think Willow has gone insane. It not clear yet. She has lost a lot of power and her connection to the Goddess/Saga Vasuki, as well as the other slayers and is really upset.

Scythe got broke. It's power apparently came from the Seed.

Don't know whether the slayers have lost the powers.

Twilight!Kitty stops his possesion of Angel and goes on his merry way into Pandora.

Last page/panel: It's the "Betrayal" scene from issue #10(?). The broken Scythe in the foreground, dead Giles in the background, distraught Angel off the the side, Xander bending over the shattered Buffy. He says, "Buffy...?"

Next: Coda.



Oh and when Buffy brakes the Seeds and magic starts to leave the earth... Warren dies a gruesome, horrible, deserved death!!!
According to Aluwyn, the Slayers already Called don't lose their powers. She referred to the already Called Slayers and vampires as "vestiges".
So, no, I don't think it undoes the spell.
Stupid lack of willpower! Well, the death of Giles wasn't that big of a shocker. Lots of people were predicting it, and that Jeanty cover was pretty much telling us that it was the end for him. Still, sadness...
I would rather not have Buffy like that either, hope it somehow imporves her. Minus Giles after their heartwarming talk last time, killed at the hands of her ex/baby(evil monster ridden dimension)daddy, can't see that ending well.

What did Faith do? Heard it was supposed to be remarkable, that word was tossed around once...

Thanks Kaan!
So Twilight punishes her/his/its "parents" by having Angel kill Buffy's "Dad"? That makes my head hurt.
We were jipped with Faith. A demon is psychically attacking her and a bunch of her slayers and so she punches the demon in the face with a double fist. That's it.
That's it?! So all this build up to watch her come round to the slayer Giles was teaching her to be has her actually doing her basic big sister function? Let down and a half! Maybe she'll step up next issue? blind hope is all that is keeping me.
Well, it's a callback to #24, where Faith also defeats a demon that messes with the mind. And she's a scrapper. Pretty much why she has such a following. She may not be the Chosen One, but she makes one helluva lieutenant.
Mergh. I sure hope Giles's death will have some relevance to the plot and the characterization, aside from the shock factor. In any case, as others have pointed out, these spoilers are standard fare. It's what everyone's been predicting for months.
Well there was a little bit about Faith actually leading the girls. It was one of the last things Giles says to her. "Yes, Faith -- lead them."
Okay, well I guess that is a small comfort. How will she react to Giles's death? Ooh I see a rather large beating in Angel's future.
We still have one issue to go but all in all, this season is not resonating with me. Maybe it's the switch to print that's keeping me from connecting with the story. Don't get me wrong, I love books and comics (English teacher) but it's been hard to transition from actors to drawn characters and I think that this is creating distance for me. Yes, Giles' death makes me sad but I think I'd be more heartbroken if it were Anthony Stewart Head.
Angel killed Giles in his human face, I assume? A lot has changed since Joss decided to vamp Angelus for his controversial "Passion" scene, so as not to have Buffy kissing the face of the man who'd killed Jenny.
I'm seeing a complete breaking of Angel in S9. I'm talking back to the gutters hunting rats, shunning all society. Maybe head over to Italy and sparklcide himself. ;)

But seriously, I know a lot of Angel fan's have hated S8, and I feel like they really did blow the whole masked Twilight insanity, but I am really excited about Angel's story going ahead. I think that with the inherent potential for story there Joss and co can craft something fantastic. It will have to be to bring him back from this season. I hope so anyway.
Kaan, you took my hopes and dreams and laid them out in words!(well the second paragraph anyway, didn't get the Rome reference, must be the time of year for an Angel re-watch!)
But I'm glad they really did the worst possible thing they could to him by having him kill Giles. He was so superior about Twilight and now he's lost absolutely everything. That was well played. I am very much looking forward to his clawing for redemption from now on.
If you meant the sparklecide bit, that's a "New Moon" reference. As in Twilight series.
Bah! New Moon. Blrgh.
Oh, okay, hahah! I was trying so hard to remember when something happened in Rome that I completely glazed over the sparkle bit! My total bad! But the Angel rewatch is still definitely on the cards!

Ooh, insider knowledge people(those who have read the issue) what happened with Xander and the general? Dawn doing okay?
Did Kennedy figure at all in this? You know her girlfriend was kinda playing a huge and dangerous role there.
And seeing as Giles's death was kinda the focus, how did the Master get redusted?
hmmm ... I'll wait to see how it all pans out but I don't want broken and manipulated Angel again ... we've been there done that as well ... hopefully, they'll find a way to redeem him - again.
General and Dawn: Forgotten. Don't figure in anything.

Kennedy: In the thick of the demon fighting. Last seen cradling one distressed Willow.

The Master: He attacks Angel. Angel says, "Die now." and punches his fist through the Masters head.

Also funny little thing: there is an advertisement page for the motion comic blu-ray. So at least we now know that DH are getting something off Fox.

And I think I'm finished with the spoilers, not that there's much(any?) left. I'm more of a S8 lurker these days (at least in the discussion threads) and it isn't much fun when other's haven't read it. Not enough wank. ;)

[ edited by Kaan on 2010-12-02 04:53 ]
Wow...what did we miss?
Thanks for the spoilers everyone! I'll rejoin after I've read the issue.
Thanks so much Kaan, Wexina and Buffyfanatic! Now my curiosty has been appeased! Really looking forward to the final issue now, although I still haven't got this one...
Happy to please. Still need to read it myself.
Why oh why would Joss kill Giles? He hates us. Truly. *sob*
Giles...

I guess the reasons go beyond the Jenny synchronicity. I am thinking it has to do with Buffy needing to reach her full potential. A hero must lose her mentor. I learned that in 10th grade English class. But...Giles. The core four.

I guess The Walking Dead isn't the only place where no one is safe.
Obi Wan and Yoda in Star Wars and Return of the Jedi.Whistler in the Blade films.It's a common arctype of the hero having to lose their mentor.

There is a full and detailed summery of the issue at Buffyforums.

http://www.buffyforums.net/forums/showthread.php?p=527248#post527248

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2010-12-02 06:24 ]
Apparently Buffy crawls onto the floor next to Giles' body and begins sobbing (the betrayal panel from Anywhere But Here). When I first read that I nearly cried all over my keyboard :(

I can't believe Giles is actually dead.
I love The Walking Dead! Hopefully it will be that one zombie show where everyone doesn't die.

Buffy loses everything, always. This series is starting to feel like an original Zombie flick. Nobody survives.
Vampmogs, why did you have to tell me that!!? Time and time again I said that Giles was off limits, but Joss just doesn't care. Someday he's not gonna kill some character i care for and then I'll truely be surprised!
Since I expected ( because of the hype the 39 was rising) that Angel will rape and kill every Scooby starting with Dawn then dismember them slowly before he is stopped ( exaggerating but true) I am actually relieved that this is ONLY Giles. And it is symmetric and anticlimactic. Who is the traitor then? Need to read the issue before discussing.
Apparently Buffy crawls onto the floor next to Giles' body and begins sobbing (the betrayal panel from Anywhere But Here).


**Maybe not crawls, but certainly collapses.
Tranquility, thanks for the synopsis on the forum, you have my appreciation and teared up eyes! although I did think the description of the demon Willow fought was hilarious!

dorotea, I think it's Giles, he didn't believe in Buffy and that makes him the betrayer, at least emotionally. Angel killing was bad, but she knew it would be. Giles running in for what I assume was the kill showed that he didn't believe she had grown up from the 17 year old she was, or regressed back to pre-Becoming Buffy who could kill Angel.
Oops! Thanks for the clarification tranquillity!

God, that breaks my heart and I haven't even read the issue yet. It's kind of surreal that they actually killed him after all these years. I'm really interested to see how Joss deals with the fallout in 8.40 and sets up S9.
I really don't know what it's gonna be like without Giles. There is definitely a part of me that doesn't ever want to see/read a Buffy story without him. It's Giles for f@$#sakes! CORE FOUR.

We need an alternate reality Giles post-haste. Hey, they did it with Harry Kim and nobody cared whether he lived or died.

I have no idea who/what the "Betrayal" was, nor who the Prince was, nor really why Buffy broke the Seed instead of dusting Angel. Or what this entire season has been about.

It's been fun, but in S9 let's get back to more simple stories, eh Joss?
Well in the end she did save Angel who everyone assumed was the prince and well maybe the prophecies are BS? Maybe that's what we should take from this?
Giles death just made me think about the Ripper BBC series that never got made.Even though Joss said he would ditch the comics if a onscreen continuation got made and it's doubtful the Ripper series will ever be made,my first thought just now was what does this mean if the Ripper series ever gets greenlit by FOX and the BBC?I'm pathetic,I know.

I'm also thinking what Tony Head's reaction will be since he's followed the comics some and mentioned wanting to check out the more recent issues at a convention a few months ago.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2010-12-02 07:01 ]
Kaan,

What can be simpler than repeat of S2/Angel S4 in a nutshell? From what I see that's what S8 was all about. Need to read 39 though before deciding.
Sounds to me like Giles had been secretly planning to destroy the Seed all along with his searching all over Europe for a way to prevent the ancient demons and magicks from pouring back into our universe, which would be the unexpected betrayal to Buffy since she was fighting to protect the Seed after being instructed by Willow to do so. He sacrificed himself attacking Twilight/Angel to also make sure that Faith lives on to lead the surviving Slayers and to force Buffy to see that destroying the Seed in order to defeat Twilight and save Angel, Xander, Dawn, Willow and our Universe was worth ending all magic.
Ok, so I don't know why there isn't a thread yet, and I know Simon usually creates these threads


I was holding off until today when the issue came out in the States.
deleted

[ edited by 5X5B on 2010-12-02 08:43 ]
What happened to the green lion?

RIP Rupert Giles
5X5B,No I don't think Tony Head is waiting around for Ripper or that any onscreen Buffyverse project will ever happen other then the reboot.I was just thinking about how weird it would be if Ripper did happen or had happen a few years ago in light of season 8 and Giles death.The last time Ripper was rumored which was at a Joss panel at a SDCC,Season 8 was already up and running meaning Giles death was already planned.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2010-12-02 09:07 ]
I can see the emotional pain involved in Giles' death. See, not feel. He's been peripheral forever. And I don't see how his death is the big exclamation point for a season in which he's been marginal. We never learned why he and Buffy were estranged, so the 'reconciliation' panels are retrospectively crude efforts to lay in some emotional resonance to his death

I hope the comic reads better than the synposis -- though I have no reason to think the synoposis isn't well done.

We're supposed to know what season 8 is about now. Maybe I'll figure it out at some point, but right now I've got nothing.

Not sure which is more shocking to me: the death of the guy who has been estranged from Buffy for a long time is supposed to make us feel "ill" or "devastated"; or the fact that Dawn who has been set up in so many ways to matter in the final chapter matters not at all.

It's either bad writing or I'm a bad reader. Here's hoping tomorrow will give me more insight into a season I understand not at all.
We're supposed to know what season 8 is about now.


A game of two halves perhaps? Wait till Season 9. Yay? Much in the same way that Angel season 5 was intended to be half the story until the WB cancelled the show. At this rate Buffy's comic canon tales will have lasted longer than when the show was on the air.
A game of two halves perhaps? Wait till Season 9. Yay?

So we should wait another 2 or three years and buy comics in the hope that at some point it'll make S8 retroactively good?

No, really not. Angel S5 was good on it's own, even if it was only a half of something bigger. Hell, even the individual episodes used to be fun. With S8 nothing really is.

This issue supposedly concludes all that there is to it's plotting and it explains non of the incoherencies. What you saw is what you got.

I don't think I'll buy another round of comics, I'll rather forget they ever happened and hope the reboot people do better (they can hardly do worse).

What a waste of Giles. I'm not really the type to get mad over character deaths. I think a hero's end can be the most powerful scene a character can have. But when the story is lame, it just feels empty.
Don't worry, by the end of season 9 everyone will be saying you have to wait until season 10 for proper payoff. To me if you take 3-4 years to tell a story it better hold up on its own.
With S8 nothing really is.


I think come January 20th, we'll hopefully start to get essays that take look at the season as a whole. Personally I like going back to the trades and re-reading the stories. Now has anyone here actually read the issue yet?
Now has anyone here actually read the issue yet?


...we were supposed to read it?

I, uh, my dog ate it. And my printer broke. And I forgot my email password. Can I turn my paper in tomorrow?
But I was promised donuts!!

And big Dark Horse all-the-way-day, revelations, interviews, reviews and previews.

BITSY !!!!
Yes I haven't got my issue yet, so I hope I'll feel differently after I've read more then just spoilers, but dear god what a bunch of crap this sounds like.

Giles death means barely a thing because (like other characters) we barely know whats been going on inside his head all this time, and now *poof* he's dispatched in a manner that's just some weak emotionless retread of season 2. Pathetic waste of a good character, (aren't they all in this tripe) but then I was suspecting he'd be the one to go, him being old n'all and so no use to Whedon as Giles wouldn't look good scantily clad and waving a weapon. Not impressed at all, so no change there really. *g*

[ edited by sueworld2003 on 2010-12-02 12:57 ]
Is it so that Buffy betrayed Willow by destroying The Seed?
The foreshadowing might have been misinterpreted by her (and us), referring it to herself?
Then the repercussions for season 9 would be huge.
Giles would look so good scantily clad, we clearly have different tastes and opinions here, but I don't get the anger at Joss and the accusing him of getting rid of Giles cause he's old. Just saying, you know, this whole thing never really had that slutty naked vibe to me, or maybe we're reading different Buffy comics and watched different shows. You should check out the one I do, hot older English guy sacrifices himself, sexy accent(you can even hear it on the written page!) Giles, what a fox. My eye candy is gone now. It's like season 6 all over again! I now only show interest in the plot lines(of which I enjoyed this season too, convoluted as they may have been).
And also: "Good Lord."
Well, as already noted, this was predictable given the dictates of the Hero's journey. Not a surprise, not really resonant even- this is not Harry losing Dumbledore, this is Buffy losing someone who barely figured into the last 4 years, at least in her life.

I have followed this with some dismay, but am giving it up once the next and last issue comes out. I don't see how this is even salvagable. it took 4 years to get here and there is no pay off and whatever one comes next, in a single issue, in no way can make all this dreck work out right.

Besides, with one issue to go, anyone really believe only Giles will die?
Yes Simon, I've read the issue. I actually even created a discussion post yesterday, but for some reason it was deleted...I assumed nobody believed it was actually out yet, lol.

So...if anyone has any questions about it, fire away.
I actually do have a question. I think someone else asked it further up this thread but I haven't seen an answer yet. And I'm curious.

Was Angel in vamp-face when he killed Giles?
anca: When Buffy destroyed the seed it banished the demons and magick from our dimension, including the Twilight universe that was possessing Angel. There is a panel that shows the lion back in the Twilight realm with its back to us, staring up into the sky.
menomegirl: There are 4 panels that make up Giles' murder...the very first one shows him heading towards the Seed with the Scythe in his hands (as he is the one who initially planned to destroy it) while Angel, from a distance, begins heading towards him...Angel is kind of small in this frame, but you can clearly see his glowing eyes, pointed fingers (that I find most Buffy vampires tend to get when they're in game-face), and tiny fangs. However in the panel where he ACTUALLY snaps his neck, it looks to me like he's in human face. His forehead looks a little wrinkly, but it almost seems to me like it's just normal face wrinklage from doing something strenuous (or at least I would assume snapping somebody's neck would be strenuous).

So, short answer...no, he does not seem to be in vamp-face when he actually kills Giles.
"Besides, with one issue to go, anyone really believe only Giles will die? "

The way I'm feeling right now the whole lot of them could be thrown off a cliff and I wouldn't care. They've been written so poorly these last few years I've always found it difficult to understand/sympathize with any of them, including 'pod Spike' which is a new one on me.

Nice one Whedon. :(
Axed84 Thanks. I was hoping I'll understand what this "twilight" is (reality, avatar) that it can chose its parents and that can make itself exist. Now just sits there awaiting what, fray-verse to open again? Should be reduced to a dot or thrown in a black-hole.

Another question, there's any dialogue after the Seed is broken?

----

Hi, Bitsy!

[ edited by anca on 2010-12-02 14:39 ]
Did someone say my name? We'll have a review-ish thing I wrote that I'll link to at 10am EST (once all the east coast comic shops are open) and our lengthy interview with Scott will go live at 1pm EST.
Giles dying is devastating. Buffy just lost her dad, basically.
No, 9 am, Bits. 9 am is the review time.
Why always the double Whedonesque post when I'm out of town on my phone? Sorry, all.

[ edited by buffyfest on 2010-12-02 14:50 ]
anca: Not from Buffy, no. Willow is beyond devastated that she's lost her connection to the Earth/goddesses/Saga Vasuki and keeps crying out that they (the good guys) lost and that she doesn't know where the goddesses went. Spike seems content that Buffy managed to pull another "win" out of her hat (but he's on the Pod now, separated from the rest of the Scoobies). The only dialogue in the sunken church where the Seed was is in the very last panel...Xander slowly approaches Buffy (who is cut, beaten, and battered under the broken Seed, just like the image from "Anywhere But Here") and reaches out to her, asking "Buffy...?"

[ edited by Axed84 on 2010-12-02 14:52 ]
In my mind it's even more devastating because they had been estranged for so long.
Wuzzat? 9am? Alright. You're the boss, hoss. Have a review.
Very much an all action issue with few emotional beats, I suspect we will need to read Coda to pick up the emotional pieces. I agree with Maggie that the relative lack of Giles in Season 8 (or at least that is what it felt like to me) has lessened the emotional impact of his death.

I think I need a little more time to mull over what happened before I can form a full opinion, having given it only the single read over lunch.

This issue very much kept things on track for the Fray timeline. I did enjoy the moment when Faith became a leader. It felt right for her in a way it did not in Season 7.

Also I really loved the Nosferatu nod by Georges.
Agreed, it hurts more because of the estrangement. Thankfully they did get the chance to reconcile, but that was pretty recent in the comic timeline. They never really got the chance to work things out after.
Nice review thingy, Bitsy. Now I really wish I'd read yours first.
I agree, Sunfire and Caroline. This is a devastating death, and the estrangement makes it even worse. I have to say, although I sort of expected it, this is the death (of the possible deaths in this issue) that, for me, is the most painful.

Fantastic review, Bitsy.
A very biased and bitter review , bitsy. Did not like it at all - glad I had a chance to see an unbiased overview by somebody else first. Nothing personal - just my take on the review. You absolutely have the right to feel this way of course... implied.
dorotea-Could you give a link to the 'unbiased' review you read?
Here - page 13 by Tranquility.

http://www.buffyforums.net/forums/showthread.php?t=16949&page=13

This is not a review, as I actually mentioned but an overview, plain vanilla. No personal emotions attached and not judging the characters.
I've already read that one. But thanks! :)
Well, yeah, a summary is supposed to be merely an account of the events that transpired. A review carries the author's opinions of those events. There's usually at least a hint of emotion.
Hey - did I not say I feel he is in his right to feel this way? I did. Am I not in my right to disagree with him and feel that he is biased? I am, I believe. Nothing personal, and all that. But that bit about It's about how these characters who, for better or worse, have all made sacrifice after sacrifice to try to save the world, have all failed in one way or another. It's about how they betrayed each other, it's about how they betrayed themselves. jolted me the wrong way. Is S8 nothing but crash-burn and negation of the entire series ? I like the : 'If nothing we do matters, all that matters is what we do.' much better.

[ edited by dorotea on 2010-12-02 18:05 ]
Indeed. I'm sitting here wondering what was supposed to be biased about Bitsy's review. It's emotional, yes. But biased? I don't see that there.

ETA:

dorotea-That passage you quoted? Is one of the better descriptions of season 8 that I've seen.

[ edited by menomegirl on 2010-12-02 18:12 ]
Well, I've read it and while it is a compelling read, as it's such a crucial issue for the season, it's full of disappointments for me. If you've been enjoying S8 up till now, then I imagine you'll be happy with it, but if you're looking for something that will change your mind or offer explanations you feel are missing, then you won't find it here.

Giles' death didn't move me at all, but I would put the blame for that mostly on the whole second half of S8 rather than this issue, as I've become increasingly disconnected from the comic over that period. Buffy's devastated and I'm sure some readers will be too, but not me. The fact that we were all expecting a death didn't help either.

The other major point is getting rid of magic. It'll be interesting to see how that plays out. Without magic, the big world ending threats that Buffy's faced in the past are no longer possible. Certainly no more weird demons, dimensions or superpowers is a plus in my book. That stuff is ok in moderation, but S8 went way overboard with it.

With the scythe broken, I wonder if the former potentials still have their power (since that was the source of it), or it's back to just Buffy and Faith. I'd hope for the latter. We need to get back to smaller, character-driven stories and having a whole slayer army doesn't tend to lead to that.

I've got a lot of specific points on the issue itself, but they'll have to wait till a little later.
I think bitsy's review captured the emotional essence of the season very well. The outcome in this issue doesn't negate the series but the season has been very dark in its willingness to explore heroic intentions gone deeply, horribly wrong. And at a scale new to Buffy. There is literally no safety left for Buffy or anyone else. There was a global-scale war, magic is gone, and Giles is dead.
This actually does a bit to make the crazier bits of Season Eight sit better with me. It was devastating in a way that didn't click the first time I read it... but then I went back and holy crap. I'm impressed. I wonder if, in retrospect, the entire thing will read better. I still wish that Angel's motivations didn't seem to flip and flop back and forth from "the girl" to "the world" but... huh. This was good. Great parallels with Season Two, very strong connections to everything that came before.

The fallout from the death of magic, if possible, was almost as shockingly sad... or at least as upsetting... as Giles' death.
I'm not sure that I will be able to read S9 without Giles. I thought losing Anya was hard, but GILES that is just crossing the line...
I've read the issue and still have questions for those who have read the issue. I'm thinking this is due to some blind spot of my own and am open to being ridiculed for it, but I'll be brief:

Who is the prince?
Who is the betrayer?
@dorotea: Not saying that you don't have the right to disagree. Merely pointing out that reviews tend to be biased, whereas overviews ideally aren't. S'all.
Agree with everyone who has said Giles' death is even more painful because of the estrangement and lack of a real resolve there. It's gutting, frustrating, and downright enraging, really. Ugh...feels good to finally get that out!

[ edited by buffyfest on 2010-12-02 19:33 ]
Kairos: I'm leaning towards Angel as being the Prince who needed saving (from Twilight), and as for the betrayer, I see 2 betrayers; Angel, obviously, for murdering Giles, and perhaps more likely (and the one I think Robin was referring to in "Anywhere But Here") is Buffy for betraying Willow by eliminating all magick from the world. I think we were being mislead to believe somebody would betray Buffy, when in reality it was her that was going to end up doing the betraying.
I think we were being mislead to believe somebody would betray Buffy, when in reality it was her that was going to end up doing the betraying.


That could fly, yeah. She asks "What happens to me here?" and the answer is "Betrayal", which doesn't have to mean "You are betrayed."

Interesting. All this time, I was thinking that the magick in the world was an extravagance that Willow had convinced herself and the others was an absolute necessity. I still can't see the destruction of the Seed as a bad thing-- seriously, how else were they going to get rid of all those demons?-- but maybe if Buffy had used the Scythe on Angel instead of the Seed in that crucial moment, events would have spun out with less death and more power in the hands of the good guys.

I think Giles was right, that Buffy needed him between her and Angel, because she wouldn't have been able to make the choice on her own. It also seems likely that his intent and expectation was that Angel would immediately kill him, and his death would provide Buffy with motivation to kill Angel right back. I don't think he imagined that she would go for the Seed instead. So in a way, she betrayed him too by choosing an end to the fight instead of vengeance on his killer.
Kairos,

I finally read the issue 39 and I agree with you. Giles sacrificed himself to force Buffy's hand and make her kill Twilight, which did not work, of course, since she never does what she is supposed to. Angel possessed was likely the prince - although I do not get why saving/rescuing him was 'the most important thing to do'. I agree with you also that killing Angel would have been a better choice for her - and that's likely why Buffy is the betrayer. Overall the issue left me with the desire for the S8 to be over soon - the sooner the better.
Bitsy, I really enjoyed your review. It gave me a useful way of looking at the season.

I've now read the issue and I think it works well. I think it's important to bear in mind that it doesn't matter who dies; it matters who kills them. Giles didn't seem to me to be thematically important to season 8. But if the point is that Angel kills someone who is core to the story, that makes sense. And Giles' relationship to Angel gives that choice more power. It will certainly make Giles' reaction to Buffy's choice to keep Angel's return a secret from Giles back in season 3 all the more poignant. She kept choosing her lover over her father, and now her father is dead.
I have my copy of Buffy Season 8 #39.The summerys and stuff are pretty accurate so I don't know if I really need to post dialog and such.Plus in this case it's better to read it clean.I expected Giles to die after last issue but it it still hit me.This whole issue hit me and i hope everyone can come back from this one.
Good Lord, I'm bored.
In general? Overall I thought this was a very good read. Giles sacrificing himself was heart breaking. Poor Buffy. I would imagine next season will see her trying to correct her mistakes.
You mean raising the dead?! ;-)
Well Giles death wasn't a supernatural one. But there is no magic is there?
What? There is no logic is there?

Just pulling our leg. ;-)

(And how do You "correct" genocide anyways?)
The last three years Giles was everything but father to Buffy. In fact, he was probably closer to being Travers, IMHO. In Season 8, he had his own agenda, plans, covert operations that Buffy never knew about. So he could not be betrayed by Buffy, he was way too secretive for that.
If I didn't know DH is going to give Angel his own series I'd think this would end with an obvious dusting.

I am sorry and angry that Angel has been treated in this way and I barely recognize the character I love in this stupid Twilight. Angel was never stupid, he always was very intelligent. And this Angel/Twilight the writers MADE is far away any sort of intelligence.

Scott spoke about the similarities between s2 and s8... but in the middle of them there has been the whole ANGEL show ( five seasons!), and the evolution of its main character. Well apparently Scott AND Joss are unaware of it.

I'm a huge fan of Angel (and AtS) and now I can only look at his destruction. And it is sad it happens in another series at service of another character. It shows no respect of the fans of ANGEL. Thanks.
I have read my copy, and I'm pretty upset about Giles being gone; I had always hoped for more stories about Giles and Faith teaming up and fighting evil/monsters. I still hoped for Ripper, someday. It seems to me that Giles dead kills a lot of my hopes for the future of the BtVS world. Of course I started watching BtVS in the first place because of Giles, so this is really sad for me.

But I wasn't really surprised, I knew there would be some deaths.

[ edited by embers on 2010-12-02 22:51 ]
Ok, so I'll go through the comic by character as that seems more useful than page-by-page. Fair warning – this is going to be pretty negative.

Willow – After chaining up the Master and doing whatever she did with the seed, Willow goes back to doing exactly what she would have been doing if none of the stuff with the Master or the seed had happened – fighting demons with her magic. It looks to have simply been a mislead to make us think that Willow would be the betrayer. But, my issue with that is Willow being central to the end conflict would have been much more interesting than her being sidelined and just getting more Buffy vs Twilight/Angel.

Twilight/Angel – He's possessed so who cares what he's doing. Buffy fighting Angel loses its impact when it's not actually Angel at all. When Angelus killed Jenny and set-up Giles to discover her, it showed to us just how sick and twisted Angelus was. What did Twilight/Angel's killing of Giles tell us? That it/he doesn't care about humans? I think we've got that by now – it's trying to destroy the Earth. The whole Twilight/Angel story is so ambiguous and badly told that it's impossible to know how much blame we should attach to Angel for what's happened. The biggest disappointment of the season is how this part of the story fell so far short of its potential.

Spike – Remember how Spike was thrown into sunlight at the end of the last issue? Well, the writers don't, as it's not dealt with at all, just ignored – he's fine. Until he's grabbed by Twilight/Angel and taken into the sunlight (again). It's just about believable how long he survives (and he's using his coat to protect himself a bit), but the arrival of his ship to save him is the sort of thing that drives me up the wall. How the hell does that happen? Completely implausible. And after that, he doesn't feature except for right at the end. If you're going to bring Spike in so late in the game, then he really should be more involved in the final battle than that. For all the exposition that he delivered, he didn't seem to know anything about breaking the seed. Which was the key point.

Buffy – She saves Spike by knocking him out of Twilight/Angel's hands. In mid-air. In sunlight. What was the plan there exactly? Oh, it's because the writer Buffy knows that Spike's ship will be around in a couple of seconds to save him. Well that's ok then. So, skipping past the fighting, we get to Buffy breaking the seed with the Scythe. Why? Why does she do that? Since when did Buffy know anything about breaking the seed? Aluwyn, Willow, the General, Xander and possibly Giles all know about it, but I don't remember anyone ever telling Buffy. Does she have a clue what the consequences of her action are? Because that really takes away any meaning from the decision if she didn't know what she was doing.

Giles – So Giles returns with an Earth demon army. How did he manage that in such a short time? Anyway, then he gets the Scythe from Faith and then heads underground. So what is his plan? From his words, it sounds like he's going to try to kill Twilight/Angel, but he actually makes straight for the seed and fatally pays no attention to where Twilight/Angel is. Despite the fact that Giles is holding the Scythe with the blade pointing towards himself (sigh), you could probably assume that his intention was to destroy the seed and end the battle. However, if he knew what destroying the seed would do, then why didn't he do something about it in the previous issue? Or tell Buffy? (And if he doesn't know, that's even worse than Spike not knowing - Giles has been researching it and he's good at research!)

I see there's a suggestion that Giles intentionally sacrificed himself. That hadn't occurred to me. It works pretty well, but it should be much more clear - I'd want a drawing of his face where he's resigned to his fate. And, Buffy did kill Angel in S2, so I'm not even sure that the fight needed an intervention - especially if breaking the seed was an option in their minds.

Xander – Like Willow, the developments in the previous issue were a bit of a mislead and therefore his part is also an anti-climax. He just stands on the sidelines not doing anything at all. That's believable while Buffy and Twilight/Angel are fighting, but the Xander I watched for seven seasons, is a guy who would go in with Giles to help, even if he didn't think it was the best idea.

Faith & Random Slayers - Faith's been sidelined for the whole time that she's been with Buffy in S8, so it's no surprise that it continues. The scenes of two groups of slayers being killed (burned alive and melted) were really quite disturbing. Normally that doesn't bother me at all, but it just seemed a bit much for the material.

The Prince & The Betrayer – I never paid much attention to the prince thing and this issue doesn't mention it at all. The betrayer was a much bigger issue and it's really disappointing to see it not dealt with. You can make arguments for a few people, but none seem at all deserving of this huge piece of foreshadowing.

The Seed & The Scythe – The seed makes the Master stronger and Buffy and Twilight/Angel weaker. So there's no way that Twilight/Angel could just put his fist through the Master's skull then. Ok, good. And to add to the crazy amount of things that the seed can do, it also makes the Scythe stronger. Great, well that piece of exposition really paid off when . . . err, well it didn't. No-one ever suggested that breaking the seed required an extra powerful weapon. (To be fair, #40 may address some link between the two).

Amy and Warren - Didn't really pay off. There should be a really good reason for bringing back old characters, especially when they're dead, but here I don't think it was good enough. It never made sense that Angel (or Twilight) would want help from nutters like present-day Amy and Warren. If there was a final conflict between those two and Willow, then it might have been worth it. But in the end, they were just sidelined too.

The Master - Like the above, not really worth messing with continuity to bring back for that. He was little more than a guard, easily dealt with and ultimately unimportant.

Kennedy, Dawn & Leah – Perhaps I'm forgetting, but I feel like we haven't seen Kennedy for ages. Last I remember, Willow was keeping her out of the fight and away from Buffy. But here she is, right in the middle of things. No sighting of Dawn, which was a shame (though they still manage to find space to fit in Andrew). But on the bright side, Leah's still alive – yay.

[ edited by NotaViking on 2010-12-03 01:21 ]
Geez, now I remember why I don't read these comics' comments sections anymore. They are so very depressing. I wonder how many other people there are like me who enjoy or are engaged by the comics but avoid these discussions like the plague.
Hey, I gave you fair warning! ;)

Well, the comics sell several tens of thousands of copies, so obviously the percentage of people discussing them online is fairly small.
deleted

[ edited by RichiePalmer on 2010-12-03 00:23 ]
I wonder how many other people there are like me who enjoy or are engaged by the comics but avoid these discussions like the plague.


Who knows? Their numbers may be legion.
Rage. Ill. Devastation. That about sums it up.

Might as well pack it up. This series won't survive without the core foundation. What could? Ripping the foundation out causes everything to crumble. I had to lol at the notion that Giles isn't important to this series or season. Killing Giles is about the same as killing Buffy. Or Xander. Or Willow. Or Angel.
I would say that killing Giles, Xander, Willow, Angel is quite different from killing the titular character of the show/book. Buffy had to lose Giles, Joss knows the mono myth he's following.
bigsofty: Don't worry, I'm with you on this one...I've been thoroughly enjoying the comics! It can certainly be disheartening to fans of the comics to read comments from others who aren't enjoying them as much as we are, but at least they have the same opportunity to voice their opinions that we do. :)
CHERYL: Dumbledore & "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" beg to differ.
At the moment, the series still has the same Core Four that has been the functional Core Four since early-to-mid Season 6. Giles let Dawn play his hand in that game a while back.

I really don't see where killing Giles is that shocking -- it's actually a pretty safe play since they had teased his death in the previous three straight seasons.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2010-12-03 01:03 ]
I cried for Giles (although I haven't read the issue yet). But, cerebrally, I understand that Dumbledor, Obi Wan Kenobi, John Winchester and others have to die so that Harry, Luc, Dean and Sam could grow up.
*shrugs*
There are exceptions, of course - Gandalf who died and got resurrected. So who knows, maybe Giles has reunited with Ethan in the dreamspace and will be back in season 8 as Buffy's mystical guide.
Moscow Watcher, for bringing hope to the Giles loving verse I thank you!
We’ll have to see if Giles is removed from the alternate cover for 8.40.

A few points that caught my attention.

Giles say that he needs the scythe for Buffy, but it's not clear whether he attempts to pass it to her (or is making directly for the seed) and therefore whether this is just a way of persuading Faith to hand it over.

However, when Spike says that Buffy did it, he could be implying that he knew the seed would have to be destroyed – and that it would be Buffy that would have to do it.

Xander and Andrew both feel that they are losing because the monsters are winning. Yet Willow says “we’ve lost” on the basis that the magic has gone, not noticing that the slayers are no longer under attack from the monsters.

The flying monsters (in the scene where Giles rescues Leah) are of the type that attacked Faith on her undercover mission.
I'm pretty sure Buffy is the betrayer myself.

The earlier issues were setting up the old phrase, "Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely." It took Giles' calculated sacrifice for her to realise what she had become. There's nothing closer and more unexpected than realising you've betrayed your own ideals and beliefs.

I don't have the time to write a dissertation at the moment, but that's where my thoughts are at.

EDIT: heh, and Scott Allie's said as much in that interview linked on the main page. Glad I got the point at least.

[ edited by GooberMan on 2010-12-03 02:43 ]
At the moment, the series still has the same Core Four that has been the functional Core Four since early-to-mid Season 6. Giles let Dawn play his hand in that game a while back.

Do we still have even that Core Four anymore, though? I mean, we haven't seen or heard anything of Dawn since before the Seed went smash, and her absence strikes me as ominously conspicuous and significant. Does she still exist, or has she been erased (both physically and from the other characters' memories)?
Finally got my copy. I don't mind core characters dying but I do have a pretty high standard for the death of a character as important as Giles. This did not disappoint.
I love you, moscow, for bringing up those Winchester boys! First genuine smile I've had since reading this thread. And yes, monomyth-wise, Giles had to die in some form or fashion in order for Buffy to grow beyond him - though from Season 6 on, she has been consistently growing beyond him already, but I think this will devastate her in the same way because she took his presence even though they were estranged for granted. They weren't close, but he was there, at least, and now he isn't. Maybe it's time for Buffy to get a stint in a Buddhist monastery for a while. This is going to hit her hard

And Bitsy, this was your best review yet.
For the record, I'm not so sure we've really seen the betrayal yet.
Dawn was in this issue, she was the one talking to Xander while he was watching the battle. I never considered her to be likely threatened by the Seed. There has never been any sign that her status as human is anything other than permanent, which, like a Slayer or vampire, would be unaffected by the Seed breaking.
Last issue (or possibly the one before that; can't remember exactly), we were reminded through the dialogue about Dawn's Key-ness. I know we saw her at the beginning of this issue, but we haven't seen her since Buffy broke the Seed, which is the point. And enough other things that I didn't think were possible in the Buffyverse have already happened this season, so Dawn's permanence doesn't seem altogether guaranteed anymore.

(Please note: I don't particularly want to be right about this.)
jgsugden- yeah, we have, according to Scott Allie.
PS. No magic, no Dawn.

[ edited by Dana5140 on 2010-12-03 02:29 ]
Nifty piece of continuity: The demons that Giles rallies and returns with look to be the same species as the one he was speaking to in the very first arc.
Wow. I think this is officially the most depressing season ever.

I mean, other seasons went dark, sometimes for most of the season--but there was always something of an "up" feeling at the end. This is just all-around devastating. For everyone.

And I'd say that Buffy has betrayed herself (not to mention Willow. Ye gods and goddesses, poor Willow. I have no words.). After all, the end of magic means the end of Slayers ... not immediately, but in the near future, since no more Slayers will be called. Plus, her crazy-space-sex with Angel led *directly* to the fabled Battle of Starbucks, so ... yeah. She pretty much caused the whole thing.

And with Buffy's tendency toward self-blame to begin with ... yeah, I still think Willow has it worst, but ye gods. Poor Buffy, too.

And if it turns out her actions have led to no more Dawn? Yikes.
Pat..not a Potter fan so I have no idea what that means, doesn't matter much to me anyway. I'm referencing this universe, not another.

King...agree to disagree. None of the non core four characters could ever take the place of the original, accept no substitute, core four. Those non core characters are an extension of the core, not a replacement. Dawn was an extension of Buffy. Anya of Xander. Tara of Willow and so on.
Just wanted to pop in and say thanks for all the kind words re: my review. I'm also glad to see that, now that people actually have eyes on the issue, there's been a more positive response.

I'm wondering about Dawn now, too. I don't know if Buffy could realistically take any more death, though.

Re: the prince. I think that information is still forthcoming so, at this stage, I'm assuming nothing.
I hate the Giles thing myself. But my question is, if the magic is gone, what's the point of season 9? What's left to tell?
GilesQueen, there's apparently still supernatural "remnants" even if they're not magical. For example, Spike's crazy bug crew and the alien/demon they were chasing, and even Spike and Angel (vampires) themselves. What's left is basically the fallout that anything that relied on magic before is done in the Buffyverse, including the future of the Slayer army. However, as we know from Fray, both the Slayer line and vampires continue on for a few centuries, if not permanently... so there's still other supernatural elements left.
The problem for future slayers is that they can't use magic to track them now, right? So that will essentially impede the finding of the chosen ones, thus they live and die never knowing their missions which could allot for the belief that they died out? This has obviously been mentioned before, but I wanted to clarify, is that more or less accurate? Slayers are a fusion of demon and human, which both occur naturally, so they too can continue on, right?
I'm wondering about Dawn now, too. I don't know if Buffy could realistically take any more death, though.

That's assuming Buffy even remembers Dawn ever existed. If the Seed's destruction caused Dawn to cease to exist, it may also have erased everyone's memories of her. She would be gone, but none of the characters would realize it because, as far as they know, she was never there. They would neither mourn her nor attempt to get her back. All that would remain would be an inexplicable hole and that vague "I feel like there was something I forgot to do..." sensation. Which, I think, could be rather more tragic and/or rage-inducing for the fandom than a typical character death.
Well that kind of treatment of Dawn would be the same as Conor in S5, although I hope he was put on ice for being rage-inducing for the fandom. Losing Dawn AND Giles AND her mom, this puts Buffy back to loner central at the start of S8, except worse!
Oh, ok, thanks Archon.
anyone have ideas about the visual that is shown with Vi and the Wicca Slayers - that image of a take off on Klimt and the Salome and John the Baptist beheading?

It could be a clever joke about all the complaints that are expected about Season 8 or how so many online comments are wanting to have some severe punishment for Angel. The visual could possibly be connected to what may still happen in the finale issue.

The series started out with the visuals of Queen Elizabeth or Mary and the visual of the prince - this issue has the visual of a beheading which still connects to issue No. 1 - as Mary eventually was beheaded from all the power struggles between those two queens.
From the Buffyfest interview with Scott Allie comes this curious exchange:

"Buffyfest: Is anyone else going to die in Issue #40?

SA: Yes.

Buffyfest: Wait, what? Say again?

SA: Oh, it’s not what you’re thinking. Next?"

Could this be referring to Dawn ceasing to exist?
The painting on the wall seems to be Klimt's "Judith and the Head of Holofernes", also referred to as "Judith I".
But my question is, if the magic is gone, what's the point of season 9? What's left to tell?


My guess is to tell the story of how Buffy saves the world from the mistake that was destroying the source of magic in the world. Which comes on the heels of her saving the world by calling too many Slayers to defeat the First which started the whole Twilight chain reaction. Which of course was only necessary because that pesky First somehow needed her artificially brought back to life, thus disrupting the balance. Which I might remind you, was only necessary because *SOMEONE* went and got themselves killed by saving the world.

Nope, I haven't a got a clue where Joss could possibly go from here.
My thoughts exactly, jettamesis.
Wow, I don't know who wrote it - and sorry, I'm not going to reread the thread to find it - but someone put the "Buffy betrays herself" theme into a perspective that may have changed my WHOLE outlook on Season 8. I've been really upset with this season. I felt that the characters I love and revisit often via DVD were lost. Gone. OOC. But the idea that Buffy betrayed herself and that this betrayal and Giles' death made her realize that she'd lost her cause, that what she'd become was not what she set out to become, it just clicked with me.
If I can look at this season as the downward journey of the Slayer I feel like I can see my characters again. Buffy's downward (or backwards or sideways, any way opposite of up) journey was not like Season 6 - Buffy wasn't suicidal, she wasn't pushing her friends away, she was trying to be a global leader and in the process she lost her way. I totally get that! I'm not saying everything Buffy did was OOC, I'm just saying that her journey makes a lot more sense to me. So thank you whedonesque poster that I can't name. I think I'm going to reread Season 8 to prepare for the finale and I'm sure to find lots of interesting stuff.

*Side note: I'm still not sure what to think of Angel and his journey and how he bought into the Twilight thing but that's a conversation for another time.
PS. No magic, no Dawn.

I don't buy this. (1) The end of magic didn't undo all existing magical things, since we know the called Slayers should remain Slayers, and vampires are still around. (2) As far as anything's ever indicated, Dawn is human; not energy disguised as human, but human. There's no textual reason for the monks' spell to turn the key human to suddenly undo itself.

None of which is to say there can't now be a textual reason brought up to make it come to pass. Just to say there isn't one currently, as far as I can tell.

However, I suppose what could happen is that the spell which made the world think Dawn has Buffy's sister might break, leaving Dawn still existing as the human she is, but no one knowing anything about her.

That would also be more consistent with the idea of going for the pain instead of going for the kill. Dawn, more fully accepted into the world than ever before by being involved with Xander, is suddenly remembered by absolutely no one.
The world gets Dawn-amnesia!

(*cough* Sorry, I just had to say that. It's a good theory. I like.)
I don't get it. Who's this "Dawn" character everyone is talking about?
Ben is Glory?!?!
And Xander loses yet another love interest.
And Xander loses yet another love interest.

Although from his perspective, it wouldn't be so. Almost a tree falling in the woods with no one to hear it thing.
But we can hear it!

And that is such a painfully great theory, I hope they consulted you on the final issue...
In this theory does Dawn retain her memories?
So...has anyone mentioned the porn in this issue yet? (Link is sort of NSFW.)
I wish that people would put Scott Allie's comments about future issues behind blinvisible spoiler protected print. I didn't read his interviews for a reason, and I thought I could safely discuss the current issue here.
While Whedonesque has been away, Scott Allie confirmed in an interview that Giles was not intentionally sacrificing himself, but was trying to destroy the seed. So my complaints about that, above, stand. That such a crucial point had to be cleared up in an interview, shows that the scene was poorly staged. There was no reason to make Giles' attempt look so inept that people would think he must be sacrificing himself.

Giles shows no interest in destroying the seed and saving the world in the previous issue, when it would have been much easier to do so. Willow would have been an issue, but he didn't know that. And he doesn't bother to tell Buffy this essential piece of information (so does she have a clue what she's doing?). These are huge plot holes.

[ edited by NotaViking on 2010-12-04 02:43 ]
I haven't received my copy yet so I'm going on comments. If magic is destroyed and people (Warren ... Dawn?) are gone/dead because they're alive because of magic - wouldn't Buffy have to die as well? She's alive now because Willow cast a spell and brought her back ... correct?
@resa Well, she is lying on the ground in the last couple of panels...
Magic was keeping Warren alive; thats why he died. Dawn's keyness has been a nonfactor since the end of season 5. She has been purely human since, meaning no magic has been sustaining her all this time. Buffy was brought back by magic but she, like Dawn, has not been sustained by it.

[ edited by jay swif on 2010-12-04 03:55 ]

[ edited by jay swif on 2010-12-04 03:57 ]
How do you know no magic is sustaining her? Reader (wait for it) response that I am, where in the text is that?

I am willing to consider b!X's comment about no one knowing who Dawn is- that's worth a deep thought or two. I am certain more death will come, though. If not Dawn, sorry Kennedy.
Very Late Getting into this discussion but I really loved this issue, it was just as brilliant and devastating as promised
I think the presumption is obviously in favor of Dawn not being actively maintained by magic. There has never been any ambiguity that the monks made a permanent change into human form for the Key. They've even referred often to the Key as a past tense thing. And we had very clear exposition that Slayers and vampires would be intact, and the qualities that make them different from witches intuitively seem to apply to Dawn as well.

It's much more fair to ask where the textual reason to think she might not be okay would be coming from. Warren's skin has been something they've been fairly clear takes active maintenance from the beginning.

I'm not sure where the grey area is even being found. Vasuki is very, very plain about this -- witches will lose the abilities they gain from drawing upon other dimensions. There is no sign in any word of this arc that supports a conclusion that destroying the Seed would start retroactively reversing spells. If you were to try to reverse everything in the Buffyverse that happened because of magic being involved, the thing would evaporate just as surely as if Twilight had gotten the Seed, and that's obviously not the intent.
The monk told Buffy in season 5 that Dawn was human. Her only magical purpose was to open the dimensional gates for Glory. Once that one chance passed, she had lost any magical properties. Dawn had even said that herself in Bargaining pt 1 to Spike.

And even though magic had created her, she would now be considered a remnant much like slayers and vamps. This is what I as a reader/viewer have gleaned from the show/comic because there was never any indication in the text since the end of season 5 that she might have any magical power or purpose about her.

But hey, I could be wrong....Next issue will tell.
And might I add that it would suck if Dawn goes bye bye. First Giles and then Dawn too? Poor Buffy. Poor Xander. There should be a limit on tragedies, even by Joss' standards.

[ edited by jay swif on 2010-12-04 04:49 ]
Sure, Dawn has been non-magical ever since she stopped being a key. But the memories of Dawn's presence, before she was created and sent, are magical. By that reasoning, the end of magic would mean that people would lose the recollection of Dawn's presence prior to season five. Their memories of Dawn from that point on would remain intact.

[ edited by dorkenheimer on 2010-12-04 06:04 ]

[ edited by dorkenheimer on 2010-12-04 06:05 ]
i wonder how much of #40 if any, will actually be set in Sunny D, Scott Allie is saying that #40 will take place in San Fransisco (Probably didn't spell that right) which means any death will either be in flashbacks/ them saying someone died. OR might not occur at sunnydale. Dawn WILL be in the last issue, that has been confirmed, i agree with both of you, there was NO magic tying Dawn to this world anymore. she's completley normal- sort a.
AHH! I can't believe it! I started crying in Spanish class.
Giles (this is the WORST thing that could possibly happen, the WORST), the Master (3rd time, no biggy), Warren (about time) are dead.
Faith, Andrew, possibly dead.
Buffy seriously depressed now, Angel Angelus, Willow-was she just panicking or has she actually gone crazy?
I thought Giles was going to die in that barn thing in S5, now this is terrible! I envy those who stopped at S7 and think he lives happily ever after. It was so unexpected, I never thought they'd kill off characters from S1.
Three things: first, is the magic completely gone now that Buffy killed the seed? I saw something about this somewhere in the comments.
2nd, I just read that Angel snapped Giles' neck in the same way as Jenny's, which hadn't occurred to me but I Think that's sort of poetic if he had to go. I'm a big Jenny fan and I'm really sad that some people hardly seem to remember her.
3rd, the lion from Twilight addressed Angel in #38 I think it was as Father or Dad or something. Is that just because Angel is the "father" of Twilight or is the lion somehow Connor?
@dorkenheimer: I think the simple distinction remains that unless it is sustained by magic (e.g. Warren's magical skin), nothing changes. Slayers were created by magic, but they remain, as Aluwyn had mentioned previously. The memories of Dawn may have been crafted by magic, but there is no suggestion that they are sustained by magic.

@meggie the goose: I think it's safe to say that Evil!Kitty is not Connor. It's basically the incarnation of the universe birthed by the cosmic shenanigans.
New thought. Didn't everything foreign to the dimension get ejected with the Seed's destruction? And isn't Dawn foreign to the dimension?
Everything foreign, as in not from Earth, yes. The Key's origins are unknown.
I still don't understand why or how The Master came back. Could someone update me?
The seed restored him. It had chosen him years ago.
I think when the Seed broke it was less about everything foreign to this demension being ejected back to their own but it was more about what can not be contain in this one without the Seed. Dawn may POSSIBLY fall under that category (PRE- season five finale) but she is no longer the Key, or if she is, she doesn't open anything, so she doesn't fall under that catergory.
Damn i think i screwed up what i was trying to say. Don't really know where i was going with it. Oh, nevermind.
Okay, you know who I'm really worried about now?

Lorne.
I think we are all reading to much into the foreign demon thing. i think it was more just the demons that came through when the walls of reality were ripped apart, by buffy and angel. or i could be completley wrong.
Okay now i'm worried, i really hope Lorne doesn't get sucked back to Pylea
If there is no magic then Angel's curse is definitely out of the picture. He can be as happy as he'll allow himself to be (if he ever forgives himself)
Or his curse is exactly the same as ever, but if it breaks again, there would be no way of reattaching his soul.
This may have been discussed before, but was Angel's "role in the apocalypse" hinted at the end of After the Fall supposed to be in reference to his being/spawning Twilight, or is it still yet to come?

Taaroko, that adds a whole level of intensity to Angel's character if that's true and the curse is still on! Angel would basically have to be killed if he lost his soul again.
Okay, you know who I'm really worried about now?

Lorne.


Dude. I hadn't thought of that.

:(
Even though we were told that only slayers and vampires would remain, I have a feeling that demons who were already here will be fine too. It seems unlikely that Lorne and Illyria would just be written out of the story, off-screen.

It's a blurry distinction anyway. Vampires are supernatural creatures and half-demon. If they're allowed to survive the end of magic, then excuses can be found for other things too.
Illyria wouldn't be affected, even if Lorne would. She's not a foreign demon; she's an Old One. She was here first. Illyria's descriptions of vampires make it seem like they've always been here, too, and that would still be the case if Giles was right in "The Harvest" about how vampires were originally made. In fact, Illyria may have been talking about the Uruk-Hai Turok-Han, while Giles was talking about regular vampires.
Yes, but my point is that we weren't told that only foreign demons were being kicked out. We were told that only vampires and slayers would remain out of all supernatural beings.
We weren't told that, either. She didn't structure that sentence such that Slayers and vampires exclusively would still be there, she was drawing a distinction between things that were "passively" supernatural and the witches, who rely on access to powers drawn interdimensionally, who would be deprived of their power.

On the Dawn subject, as there is not one word of text over the course of her four seasons in the franchise that suggests her human status requires active maintenance*, and all metaphysical questions over whether or not the Key is "foreign" or not being completely speculative and not even raised at any point in the text, I don't even want to say we should "presume" she's safe, I'm more inclined to say that if she somehow wasn't safe, it doesn't make much sense at all.

I find it sort of amusing, but also fitting since Joss got heat over the Warren retcon -- Willow did kill him after all. The injuries she caused in "Two To Go" have now managed to successfully cause his death; she killed him. The moral impact of "Two To Go" has been unretconned.

Also, I don't think it was a good idea, if we're supposed to feel sorry for Willow, to have her crying out specifically for Exposition Snake. Don't care about her hurt feelings over lack of access to her serpentine skank on the side/magical guide with benefits. Would much rather have had her crying over suddenly losing that "Mother Earth" feeling if I was supposed to really feel bad for her there.
@archon I haven't read all of ATF, but I seem to remember a bit about Angel being on the wrong side of the Apocalypse. I'd say this one fits that bill quite nicely.
Also, I don't think it was a good idea, if we're supposed to feel sorry for Willow, to have her crying out specifically for Exposition Snake. Don't care about her hurt feelings over lack of access to her serpentine skank on the side/magical guide with benefits. Would much rather have had her crying over suddenly losing that "Mother Earth" feeling if I was supposed to really feel bad for her there.

Agreed. I was profoundly unmoved by her grief there. In fact, I was even a little amused by it. I have always found Aluwyn and Willow's connection with her extremely disturbing and icky, so good riddance. The destruction of "Mother Earth" and the soul of the world, on the other hand? *That's* something to be upset about.
KoC: Let's just quote it - "There would be vestiges, remnants of demonic powers -- vampires, the slayers already called -- but the connection to all other realms would be severed."

I'm just saying that if the writers wanted to say that some demons would also still be here, then they should have included them in that list. Otherwise, how are we to know what the position is? If it was clear, then people wouldn't be wondering what the situation regarding Lorne is.

I agree that Dawn should be fine, but logic hasn't been particularly important in S8. I'd be surprised if she wasn't ok though.

Willow killed Warren? No, Buffy killed Warren. Willow left him in a vulnerable state, sure, but without the breaking of the seed, he'd have been fine. Buffy may not have known what she was doing, but she did it nonetheless.

Don't know if we're supposed to feel sorry for Willow or not, but I certainly don't either. She betrayed not only her friends, but the entire world, in her selfish desire to hang on to her magic. And she was no good excuse (eg. the death of Tara or possession). She's badly damaged in my eyes.
It's actually a pretty classic hypothetical -- you shoot somebody and put them in a coma. 20 years later, someone blows up a power station as a political protest and blacks out the hospital and the life support losing power and the person in the coma dies. The charge against you? Murder. Willow killed Warren.

I don't think "good riddance" says it enough for Vasuki. I freakin' hate that character and pretty much everything about that character and its influence on Willow's behavior.
Willow's in shock. She was perhaps the most connected human to Mother Earth at the time Mother Earth lost her magic. Could this be the spark which causes her insanity?

Also, what if Dawn is missing and nobody remembers her but, say, Willow (perhaps because she was so connected to the magics when the seed died). When Buffy finally admits to Willow she was the one who killed the seed, but doesn't even remember her own sister, that could create some painful drama between Buffy and Willow.
I don't think "good riddance" says it enough for Vasuki. I freakin' hate that character and pretty much everything about that character and its influence on Willow's behavior.

Oh, "good riddance" definitely falls short. I'm just fond of the phrase. I powerfully despise Vasuki/Aluwyn. Why couldn't Willow's magic have been like it was on the show? She never tangled with freaky goddess monsters back then. Oh, wait, except when she was trying to destroy the world in "Grave", using the temple of Proserpexa.

[ edited by Taaroko on 2010-12-04 17:38 ]
KoC: There are laws that cover these sort of situations like Intervening cause and the Eggshell skull rule. You're not responsible for random things that happen to people after the incident in question. And if a victim is weaker than average, then that's just tough luck for the defendant. Willow isn't responsible for what Buffy did and Buffy doesn't get off just because Warren is vulnerable.
NotaViking, an intervening cause is not an obstacle; it's not a superceding cause. That Warren could die from being skinless and exsanguinating and generally falling apart was foreseeable and fully understood by Willow at the time she inflicted the injury, and those wounds were not only a proximate cause but the cause-in-fact of his death. She killed him. She never didn't kill him. The eggshell skull is simply being misapplied. Willow took Warren as she found him, and skinned him alive. But for Willow flaying him, the Seed breaking doesn't even affect him. More applicable examples are further down in your own causation link, under the British examples of "third party inadvertent contribution" and "third party deliberate intervention". I assure you, if you were to walk your DVD sets and Season 8 into (a rather bemused) criminal law professor's office, they'd confirm for you that, yes, Willow murdered Warren now just as surely as she appeared to have before this season.

I had this conversation in Season 2 of "Heroes", as well, when
You want my reaction for this issue?

I cried. I cried so hard. It reminded me of Chosen, how tears started sliding down my cheeks the second Anya died –not just because Anya died, but also because it's the end. S8 is over. The ride is done. I mean, all the excitement about a new Chen cover, the giddiness I feel whenever a preview is released, the way I bite my nails when reading fans' reviews and hope everybody enjoyed the new issue, and the way I tap my foot restlessly wishing I could read the new issue so I can write questions to Jeanty (And Scott Allie before)


It's all over.


I know we still have #40 but it's mostly a setup for S9…


Buffy's reaction to Giles' death killed me! I cried for Giles' shocked eyes, for Buffy's fat rich tears, for Xander slapping Angel's hand away. I also cried for Willow's wide eyes –her reaction to losing magic and connection with Aluwyn is SO WELL DRAWN! I never thought I'd cry for Willow, but Jeanty made me cry despite of myself –it's like how Alyson H would make you cry for Willow on the show. My heart squeezed for Kennedy who rushed to hug Willow –knowing nothing about Snake Lady and all the crap Willow is doing behind her back.

I was horrified at the melting Slayers, that was so creepy and awful. I hope Satsu and Rowena survived.

I really loved the Spike scene. I love his faith in Buffy and his proud smile because she did it.

While I wish that Xander did something more than just stand around and watch, I personally didn't hate his role much. His faith in Buffy made me happy, brushing Angel's hand away and going to comfort Buffy was also good.

I feel really bad for Buffy. Everybody seems to hate her now and it breaks my heart. I can never imagine how hard it must have been for her: leading all these girls, being known worldwide and not in a good light, being rejected by Giles for Faith and by Xander for Dawn, and then hearing Willow blaming her for Tara's death and keeping Kennedy away from her so she wouldn't die. Pushing Satsu and Xander away so they won't get hurt. And then, in a moment of weakness, falls for Angel's lies –or probably not lies from his prospective- and causes the new apocalypse. I have nothing but love and sympathy for Buffy. She really needs a therapist and some time alone –away from everybody and everything.

What I disliked about the issue is Warren and Amy in Rome –I wish they stuck around and fought with the others. It would have redeemed them a bit. And why the hell is Rome okay when the whole world is facing the apocalypse?
@KoC: I think Willow was calling out to Aluwyn because Aluwyn was her guide to the other planes. Her contact, basically. Her grief isn't because she lost Aluwyn, it's because she's cut off from the magic. Crying out to Aluwyn was basically analogous to what someone who had been connected to heaven would do if they were suddenly cut off. Like a "God, are you still there? Where are you?"

Willow, who had been so connected all this time, connected to the Slayers she helped activate ("I can feel them, Buffy. All over. Slayers are awakening everywhere." - Willow, "Chosen), connected to the soul of magic, great earth mother goddess, whatever, is suddenly very alone. If there's any sympathy for Willow, it's because she's lost a great deal more, on a personal level, than anyone else. She was, as quantumac pointed out, the most connected, and now that connection's gone.
Am I the only one that finds all this talk of kicking out foreign devils, oh uh I mean demons, disturbing if read allegorically (which I'm having a hard time not?)

I found it heartbreaking, after everything they went through, and her finally having found that (their relationship), that Giles' last words to Faith were, as ever, give that up- Buffy needs it. Retrospectively, it looks to me like he just said that so she'd give it to him- he knew he was going to try to use it himself and she might've tried to stop him- but from her point of view, given her issues, how awful. All about Buffy, again, to the bitter end.
The climax to this issue was incredibly powerful. When Buffy says "no more", she's saying no more to this madness. The Seed is what everyone is fighting over, dying over, and she wants the death to stop. She just saw Giles try to destroy the Seed with the Scythe and no doubt that's why she picks up the weapon he brought and continues what he started.

Giles was her Watcher one last time, showing her what needed to be done. Just as he was willing to go down to meet the Master for her, he was willing to try to destroy the Seed for her. Yet both times it wasn't his duty and instead he helps motivate Buffy to do what needs to be done.

King suggested elsewhere that Buffy's motive in destroying the Seed was to destroy something beautiful. I don't see her motive as wanting to destroy something beautiful. She wants to end the conflict, not destroy something beautiful. "No more" death, not "no more" beauty. She's saying no more death after Giles just dies in front of her. This isn't like Dark Willow in Season 6 wanting to destroy the world to end suffering, Buffy wants to stop what's motivating everyone to kill each other.

As for destroying something beautiful, look what happened to Willow when she merged with the Seed. She said, "Listen up, alien creeps. You didn't just attack the little things that crawl on the outside of the earth. You attacked Mother." Willow isn't fighting for humanity, for Slayers, she's fighting for the heart of the Earth and for magic. She just called Kennedy a "little thing that crawl[s] on the outside of the Earth." That's what the Seed does to her. While Willow has obviously lost much from losing her connection to magic, I'm not sure I consider this a bad thing. Willow will no doubt feel it is, but I think Willow's been losing herself in the magic for so long that her connection to Mother Earth comes at the expense of her connection to humanity, to the people she loves. Her motives for fighting were to keep magic and keep her connection, I'm not entirely sure she was fighting anymore to save the people, not even Kennedy.

Giles was so heroic in this issue. First, he led the demon army--"No quarter, no prisoners, cut them down!"--which was just as grimly heroic as when he said "Burst" in NFFY. Then he rescues Leah from the dragon's flames--and that was so horrifying to watch all the other Slayers turn to ash. Then he goes to Faith, urges her to lead them, shows his support for her, while he goes down into the Hellmouth to help Buffy one last time. This entire issue was the exclamation point on how heroic Giles was to the very end.
"Destroying something beautiful" is more illustrative than literal. It is and was a reference to Fight Club. There, as here, that what was destroyed had "beauty" is an afterthought -- what's important is the sense of spite and even malevolence that underlined the act. Besides, "beauty" and "good" are not even mildly related for me. Galadriel promised that, with the One Ring, she would be "not dark, but beautiful and terrible as the dawn". The Seed of Wonder is a little like that. It's a horrible thing. It's a beautiful thing.

What it was, and its relevance to Buffy destroying it, was, in the immediate sense, something Angel wanted to have, and therefore it had to be destroyed simply to defy and thwart him. In another sense, to whatever degree Buffy knows what the Seed is, it's also to blame for almost everything she ever wanted to blame anything on. Every thing she ever gave a speech about to her mother about her destiny, to her friends, to Satsu -- it's all contained in that Seed. I don't see anything but the most petty, base, and hostile motives in Buffy destroying the Seed, which is not to say, she shouldn't have done it. It needed to be broken, regardless of why. But that was no more about heroism or the greater good than Angel once setting Darla and Dru on fire was.
She wants to end the conflict, not destroy something beautiful. "No more" death, not "no more" beauty. She's saying no more death after Giles just dies in front of her. This isn't like Dark Willow in Season 6 wanting to destroy the world to end suffering, Buffy wants to stop what's motivating everyone to kill each other.

If you look at her thoughts before she declares "No more," then it seems like she has decided that all the disastrous events that have brought the world to almost certain destruction are a cosmic vengeance directed against her. So yes, her decision to destroy the Seed was motivated by her desire to end the source of it as well as to follow Giles' last lesson to her.

[ edited by jettamesis on 2010-12-04 22:13 ]
This is her conversation to herself as she is fighting Angel up to the moment when she decides to destroy the Seed:

"I can't process it.
I've seen Angelus, and Angel's attempt to be "Twilight."
This is neither.
This is some cosmic vengeance that I had coming.

No more."


[ edited by jettamesis on 2010-12-04 22:14 ]
KoC: As you obviously know, (and I had to look up ;) an unforeseen intervening cause is a superceding cause. And I'm saying that Buffy breaking the seed and ending magic was unforeseen and a new act. We're in a fantasy world where being skinless doesn't have to lead to death. I'm not arguing this in an attempt to excuse Willow – she was absolutely trying to kill Warren and is guilty of attempted murder. But Amy intervened and prevented that murder.

If Amy had simply forgotten to maintain the spell and Warren had died, then I can see the comparison to a patient on life-support, whose machine is accidentally turned off. But if Buffy's action is more like someone intentionally killing that patient, then the responsibility cannot just go back to the original offender. If she did it without knowing the consequences, then that seems like manslaughter to me.

I'm glad you brought up the Heroes example as that made the difference in the way we're approaching the situations click for me. I don't remember the scene very well, but I'll go with the telekinetically propelled option, as that seem more clear-cut. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you're treating both victims as though they were never saved, but just given a stay of execution. Whereas for me, they were saved from the first murder attempt and any subsequent murder attempts have to be judged separately and not ignored. The fact that stopped the bullet and saved the victim, does not give him any right to then murder the victim himself. , like Willow is guilty of attempted murder, but successfully committed the murder and is the murderer.
To salvage the Frayverse, Joss went back to the show and tossed away the last few good parts of the fumblign aletr seasons. Good for him, very solid 7th-grader story crafting.
NotaViking, my comparison to the shooting/coma/power outage and it not relieving Willow of guilt most accurately reflects the model rules of causation and of homicide statutes in general. In my example, someone intentionally sabotaged the power -- i.e. Buffy breaking the Seed. It doesn't change anything. What's at issue is whether or not the reasonably foreseeable consequences of Defendant's actions resulted from her actions; Willow skinned a man alive; he fell into a pile of blood and organs. She knew it could happen, and has the specific intent for it to happen. When it happened is simply irrelevant.

What you're looking for more would be if Willow had skinned Warren and left him on the ground, Amy had found him, picked him up, taken him to the hospital but gotten into a car accident on the way, requiring Warren be taken to a different hospital by helicopter, getting full skin grafts, and later cutting himself and dying from an infection. There's your superceding and intervening causation, and there's your lack of foreseeability. Here, Warren literally died from the very injuries that Willow inflicted -- Amy's fake skin amounts to nothing more than the magical equivalent of a couple years of emergency room doctors working on keeping him from dying from those specific injuries.

It sounds almost absurd, but it is what it is; if you shoot someone and put them in the hospital, and they die from their wounds as a result of someone else's medical malpractice in the treatment of those wounds, you are still going to be charged with murder. They may, as well, be charged with a homicide, but you're still on the hook.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2010-12-04 22:46 ]
I got the power plant example, but I think that the protesters who blew it up should be responsible for the consequences of their actions. If someone intentionally murders a patient on life-support, then you're clearly charging that person and not the one who put the victim there. So why the huge difference if it's protesters destroying a power plant?

If Buffy bursts into that emergency room and stops the doctors from working on Warren, at gun-point, and he dies, who are you charging with murder? Willow or Buffy?

(I think we'd be going a bit too far off-topic with medical malpractice. Warren didn't die from attempts to save him.)

[ edited by NotaViking on 2010-12-04 23:37 ]
This issue was waaaay to fast paced. As was the last. And i suspect #40 will be too.
espalier, I agree. The pacing was the main issue for me with season 8. There should've been far more time spent on the actual Twilight event and the core and far less on everything else. I'd almost say that that was what they were going to attempt for season 9 except there ain't really a core anymore is there? Giles gone, Buffy defeated, Willow in who-knows-what-state over the loss of magic... Even Angel as we knew him is tainted.
Did Giles sacrifice himself? A third reading seem to suggest that he did. But maybe he didn’t know exactly what it was that he was doing.

Sometimes a story demands a sacrifice.

Buffy was protecting the Seed. The seed is the source of all magic. It was there at the beginning of her story, the story of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. If it is not exactly her strength it is at least what makes possible the unbroken like of slayers. So she protects it. She fights Angel, but delays - she doesn’t want to kill him, even while a demon horde threatens to turn the story into a parable whose only meaning is “everybody dies.”

Sometimes a story demands a sacrifice.

Giles is the only one who could do it. He was there at the beginning too, her guide and father, the teacher who connected her to the history of the slayer. The first time he met her, he presented her with a book, a tome on the vampire, her enemy, their story now her story. When he died she lost not only a friend and father, estranged though they might be, but also the embodiment of her connection to that past. His end is that history: a litany of sudden, violent death.

“Enough.”

So she destroys the seed, and with it destroys the future of the slayer. No more magic, past and future of the slayer done, end of the line, full-stop, the end.

So what comes after “The End”?
"If Buffy bursts into that emergency room and stops the doctors from working on Warren, at gun-point, and he dies, who are you charging with murder? Willow or Buffy?
"

Legally speaking, both. As long as Buffy has malice aforethought in your example. If however, she stops them from working on him by, oh... throwing a light switch to prep another OR which trips a breaker which kills all the lights which prevents the doctors working on Warren and prevents them from keeping him alive, she would at most be guilty of manslaughter. But probably not even that. I know that's a mouthful, but it's the best doctor analogy I can come up with for Amy and Warren. Amy was keeping Warren alive, and in the process of Buffy trying to do something else that has nothing to do with Warren, he dies.

The problem with arguing Buffy is committing the murder through destroying the seed is that it presuposes that Buffy knew everything that would occur when she did it. Also, she'd have extenuating circumstances from here to Cleveland. Now, if everyone was just standing around and smiling nicely and Buffy destroys the seed because she feels like it, I think it's an easier arguement to make. Although Willow would STILL be guilty of murder. If she didn't want to be, perhaps she could have worked with Amy to give Warren a more permanent solution. She didn't, she STILL killed him.

[ edited by azzers on 2010-12-05 01:35 ]
Um, why is anyone caring about Warren dying? I'm just assuming that everyone would heave a sigh of relief that the freak was gone!
What is not clear to me is why Xander would leave Dawn and sneak back to the chamber containing the Seed. What was he trying to accomplish by doing so? Was he also planning to destroy the Seed himself despite the presence of the Master had Angel and Buffy not come crashing through?
I just thought of a new horrifying possible side-effect of Seed destruction. Can souls still move on to wherever they're supposed to go after death if interdimensional travel just became impossible, or is Earth going to gradually become overpopulated with trapped, confused, and angry ghosts from now on?
Ugh.

The lark/albatross quote strengthens my long-building impression that Whedon doesn't feel the same way about the Buffyverse that he did for those many TV years..nor even at the beginning of 'Season 8!' Can't blame him. But the decline in quality control makes for irritating/depressing reading. Issue #5 is one of the best things Joss has ever written, as far as I'm concerned, and the BKV/Goddard material was excellent. But Allie's arc has been rushed, awkwardly paced, at times incoherent; Meltzer's run was a disappointment; the Harmony material was mishandled and then unceremoniously dropped; frankly, it hasn't been top-flight comics material since Joss's Fray arc, and even that felt like a missed opportunity.

Having recently read Joss's (superb) Runaways arc, and remembering the gut-punch that was Joss's Astonishing X-Men finale, I'm doubly (triply?) disappointed in the recent run of the BtVS comic.

I'm not sure I'll come back for Season Nine. The idea that any force on earth could keep me from a Joss-run Buffy story would have seemed laughable just a couple of years ago.

Congratulations to all involved, then, for doing the fucking impossible.
I feel the same, waxbanks. It's so sad to me, to take this once marvelous and influential show and turn it into something unrecognizable. And to essentially work toward its very end- that is what we know is coming, since we know that there is a long period of time before Fray where nothing is going on much at all- so this S8 and S9 are means to be the end of ending the "verse. And even eliminating the people who took us there, who were along for the ride. The loss of Giles might matter if we did not see it coming; by now, Joss killing people is boilerplate and anything but surprising, and they announced it long in advance anyway. All this is sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Like you, I won't be around for S9. Joss can do what he wants; but this is not at a level close to his best work. Maybe it is Scott Allie, maybe it is Joss working on too many other things- in the period of time this comic has existed, there has been Runaways, Avengers, Wonder Woman, Cabin in the Woods, directing Office and Glee, DH, and working on Avengers- but I don't think Joss is much of a polymath any more, and in my opinion he needs to focus and stop with the mercurial stuff. But that's me. I am honestly sad to have to let Buffy go; for so many years it formed the basis for a lot of my study on my own, for community, and so on. And to see it reduced hurts. But this comic is so poorly done. And it is so obviously a signal that he is letting it go as well. Maybe the best measure of this is that there is no, and I mean no, discussion of this comic or this series on buffyology or slayerlit, nothing on jetwolf or the KB (not that in the latter there would be), nothing but here and in the comic book world, but little in the many other usual suspect locations. Sad.
embers, for my part... I just have a problem with revenge fantasy fiction. Warren had on his ledger (pre-flay)attempted rape and two murders (if I'm remembering correctly.) I don't know what to call his robot. That said, he WAS flayed alive which is a bit beyond the category of cruel and unusual because at the time, I'm not sure you'd view his crimes as intentionlly sadistic... rather, he's just a criminal who does crimnal things. I admit, it's been a year or os since my last rewatch though.

So for me, whenever people get gleeful about Warren's death I feel a bit icky. In S8, in retrospect... I really have to ask what was the point in having him involved at all. I'm not so sure it WASN'T so we could have him torture Willow to make us feel better about our hero by saying "see, he's just as bad." Because other than that, he added little to nothing.

Then again, I never liked the trio (all of them.) I always found them far too cartoonish in their misogyny and immaturity. Perhaps the point, but I thought the writers could do better.

[ edited by azzers on 2010-12-05 04:11 ]
For me, the satisfaction of seeing Warren go splat was due to how clumsy the retcon of his death was, how ludicrous the concept of magic substituting for skin always seemed, and how very content I had been with Warren no longer being involved in the story.
Thank you Taaroko, that is how I felt too: it was ridiculous that Warren was back (he'd died, he was the First), or that Amy found him so irresistible that she wanted to hang out with the skinless zombie. All other factors of Warren's humanity seemed irrelevant. That thing wasn't human and I had trouble believing that his dialogue sounded like Warren anyway. His going splat seemed long long over due, and pretty funny.

I do agree azzers that Willow flaying Warren was completely over the top, but since it was the fore runner to her trying to destroy the world it made some sense.... I found it harder to reconcile her willingness to try to kill Giles. Clearly Willow's actions were not warranted (pun intended).
Clearly Willow's actions were not warranted (pun intended).

I laughed.
Review for Buffy #39

You know, it’d have been great if Illyria and Beck were there with Spike. And Spider and Co. They would have been very helpful in the fight. And if Beck’s power comes directly from an elemental by blood or whatever, she’d still have her powers. So far, there’s no indication that demons other than vampires are no more. But Beck can be a great slayer.

The other major problem so far is there’s been no mention of when Buffy and Angel were under an influence and how powerful that influence was.


Twilight the place and the thing still exists after the magic went. All that happened it seems is people and things on Earth cannot tap into power and magic from other dimensions or whatever. It doesn’t seem even that the Slayers lost their power. (Like one would assume that Kennedy would have reacted poorly to losing her power.)


Who’s the prince that needed to be saved? Spike seems to fit. TwilightAngel was going to kill him. Hopefully, it’s not made to be Angel in #40.

Who’s the betrayer? I skimmed some posts on sites, and read Scott Allie’s interviews. It’s not Buffy. Giles sacrificed his life trying to destroy the Seed and destroying the Seed was the way to win the fight. Buffy didn’t think about or should have thought about the possible future negative consequences of the Slayer spell. She needed it to defeat the First Evil who was about to overrun the Earth with UberVamps and become solid. This time, she knew that destroying the Seed would win her this current apocalyptic battle. She shouldn’t have been thinking about how Willow and other witches would feel about it.

The real betrayers are Angel and Willow. And for similar reasons. They both were fully corrupted by the idea and reality of power and importance. And they both were doing what they were doing for selfish reasons. Angel wanted Buffy. Willow wanted magical power. And both were willing to sacrifice pretty much anything and everything to get what they wanted.


Character parts:

Spike:

Spike attacking TwilightAngel as a momentary distraction for him so Buffy could recoup is fine. Making it seem as if Spike thinks he can actually beat TwilightAngel is comical.

“Ah Christ, it’s finally happening… Angel gets the girl.” It seems that Spike thought that TwilightAngel would beat Buffy.

Before he takes off after the big demon thing, he refers to Buffy as “Slayer”. Spike doesn’t think to be there for Buffy or the others. He doesn’t even call Buffy “Buffy”. He refers to her as her job description. So using the big demon seems an excuse to leave and not much else. After the portal opened in “The Gift” (5.22), a dragon came out, lots of demons came out, and lots of real estate was changed into demonic real estate. Militaries or whatever could have destroyed that thing.



Buffy:

Buffy calls TwilightAngel “Angel” throughout. And in those first blue bubbles she seems to believe that Angelus and Twilight are Angel as well. This TwilightAngel is just another form of Angel. If this is what is meant to be realized and recognized, that’s a pretty striking and powerful statement and sentiment. Buffy before tried to bifurcate “Angel” and “Angelus” in her mind. So, if she now believes that “Angel”, “Angelus”, “Twilight”, etc. are the same, that’s a big shift.

Are those blue bubbles from Buffy? “Now we can hurt each other.” Is Buffy saying that Angel couldn’t hurt her before or that she also couldn’t hurt him before? I think the former.

And she seems to be putting the blame of TwilightAngel on herself and not on Angel, at least not totally on Angel.


Buffy mostly focuses on her fight with TwilightAngel. She tosses Spike away from TwilightAngel and maybe she does it towards his ship or not or assumes the ship would catch him or not. And then instead of stopping the jet or destroying it, she avoids it and the jet ends up killing soldiers and maybe Slayers.

Buffy does pretty well against TwilightAngel. Twilight was easily smacking SuperAngel around. Buffy actually hurts him.

Buffy follows TwilightAngel into the Seed room. Why? Probably Willow’s insistence that the Seed be protected. Buffy knows she’s weakened when near the Seed. And yet she’s able to kick TwilightAngel pretty hard.

Was Buffy ‘going easy’ on TwilightAngel before he killed Giles? She usually becomes more fierce and powerful when angered (see “Harsh Light of Day” (4.03) after Spike taunts her about her time with Angel), but a pimp slap that crashes TwilightAngel across the room into a wall?


Why does Buffy destroy the Seed instead of kill Angel: Well, Giles was trying to destroy the Seed. So, Buffy assumed it’d be the right thing to do.

A major problem for Angel’s continued existence is what will the justification be? Buffy knows that he is capable of destroying the entire world. She’s witnessed it with Angelus and Angel-Twilight and TwilightAngel. Angel’s done a lot of damage since she met him and he joined up with Wolfram and Hart which caused her to shun him and his crew during that time. Then he became Twilight. He just killed Giles after killing Jenny Calender before that. Does whatever feelings she may still have for him and his ability to help some people out warrant him being kept alive even though he’s a continued great danger to the entire planet? And this time, Buffy knows that even souled Angel cannot be counted on not to try to destroy the world. And she knows that he’s cursed with a soul to begin with and that that curse can be lifted.



Angel:

TwilightAngel seems pretty much Angel’s ‘id’. Or whatever. Part of Angel wanted to kill Spike; a large part of that reason is Spike being competition for himself, with Drusilla and Buffy, and for reputation and whatnot. So, ridding of Spike means he’s no longer competition for Buffy or for Angel’s ego and reputation. Angel beating up on Buffy? He’s most likely always wanted to be able to beat her up. Angel killing the Master? Angel didn’t like the Master, his hold on Darla, etc.

Plus, TwilightAngel refers to Buffy as “Buffy”, not “Mother”.

TwilightAngel killing Giles: Giles was trying to destroy the Seed. So, he could have been killed simply because of that. I don’t remember Angel being particularly against Giles.

“When they’re all gone, you’ll understand.” So, why was Angel keeping Giles, Faith, etc. alive? Or was he simply not under as much influence?



Xander:

Does nothing. In [i] Angel [/i] season 5 Joss went to great lengths to make sure that J. Augustus Richards and Amy Acker were still playing important characters. He did that by making Gunn very useful to a law firm and making Fred a superfighter. Lorne was pretty much just there but he provided a voice of reason to Angel, at times.

In Season 8, the deficiencies of Xander and Dawn were increasingly apparent. Willow and Buffy became far more powerful and they needed that power to fight the bad guys. Xander’s only use was Buffy thinking he’d be loyal to her. Dawn’s only use was as a space-filler and a love interest for Xander.

What was Xander thinking about doing? Fighting TwilightAngel? Spike at least could somehow believe he could survive whatever was dished out until Buffy saved him. Xander’s a fragile human.



Giles:

So, he allies with some monsters to kill some other monsters and then gets the Scythe to… Kill TwilightAngel? Sure an enraged and grieving Giles went after Angelus. With a malatof cocktail and a flaming wooden bat. But Giles knew what a scaredy-cat Angel was and that Angelus wouldn’t be too difficult to beat on a bit. TwilightAngel is knocking around SuperBuffy. Although, I believe that he is doing an Obi-Wan Kenobi and sacrificing himself so that Buffy steps up and defeats TwilightAngel.

Giles says that TwilightAngel’s power would be lessened as well being near the Seed. But Buffy wouldn’t have known or counted on this.

Giles being Obi-Wan also makes sense in why he wouldn’t at least get Faith or another Slayer to do it.

For me, Giles sacrificing himself here for the greater good almost makes up for his betraying Buffy in Season 7 for selfish reasons.

To clarify, he was going after the Seed it seems, but he would know that he wouldn’t take TwilightAngel too long to get to him and could have assumed that when TwilightAngel did get to him, that TwilightAngel would kill him.



Willow:

Crazy. She first seems to refer to herself as “the goddess”.

She then just goes about killing. Of course she didn’t know those stone creatures saved a lot of lives.

She somehow survives that fall.

After her magic is gone, she calls out to the snake lady.

I get a sense that Willow would prefer that all Slayers, soldiers, Buffy, Faith, Xander, Giles, etc. all die in the battle as long as Willow gets to keep her power. To me, it makes perfect sense now why FutureWillow wanted specifically for Buffy to kill her. She deserves it.



Faith:

Good battlefield leader.

She’s not as hurt by the electrocution or whatever that was, meaning she’s more powerful than the Slayers that were created by the magic.

_______________

Overall, a good Issue.

Most cringeworthy moment: Angel at the end trying to rush to comfort Buffy.
So, I just read the issue (finally). It's ... a LOT to take in. I find myself unmoved by Giles' death and pretty much think this finale was on par with both "Chosen" and NFA. I'm just undecided if I think that's a good thing or a bad thing.

The only comment I do have is ... what's up with the anatomically correct monsters? That was ... disturbing.
Just got my copy, very interesting issue. Laughed at the badguys's(Warren,Amy,Angel) misfortune, felt sorry for the good guys(Buffy,Giles,Spike,Xander,Faith,ect).
On one hand i am happy that Joss finally killed off one of the safe characters, on the other hand it felt kinda obvious that he went for the weakest link, the old mentor/father-figure of the group. Good things seems to be that this might actually finally open Buffy's eyes in regard to who/what Angel has always been which is a weak person. Seems like this whole season was just to have Buffy grow past that. I thought Buffy had grown past her Angel issues, obviously she did not.

I'm very curious what will happen to Willow now, she's in such a confusing state right now. I'm guessing she and Buffy will have a very rocky relationship next season. Still don't know what snake lady is gonna do to make us like her more as was stated in the previous q&a. I think maybe a merger with Willow, which will give her enough magic to last 200y in the future. Future darkWillow's magic was colored green. We don't know how the demons/magic came back in Fray's time, i'm guessing Willow had something to do with it.

Xander was very brave this issue(isn't he always) but his role here was more of a misdirect and observer. As we know from issue 40, Buffy will survive and carry on. I don't think anyone is needed to pick up the broken Buffy pieces. Xander himself might have a very hard time, Giles was the closest thing he ever had to a father figure, i hope Xander realizes how proud Giles was of him.

Giles, well he went out as a hero, as Emmie pointed out this whole issue leads up to that. And i think he was right about Buffy, she was still holding back. Hopefully now he will get his chance to be with Jenny again as they were the real starcrossed lovers since the beginning.

Angel, hahaha. Dude is by far one of the worst fictional hero's there has ever been. Every real good person in this issue shows that they are a 100 times a better hero then Angel ever could be. I really hope that it won't just be the focus on him having killed Giles, the hunderds of brutally massacared slayers. The thousends if not millions of deaths caused by him.
Having read Allie's interview i can fully say that redemption is an empty word concerning Angel. There comes a time where the word has lost all it's meaning, for Angel that time has long past. It might have happend when he came to W&H or when he set up and killed Droghyn or when he sent La to hell or it just might be when he started to blindly follow the words of talking animals as gospel. There is no redemption for this, Spike realized this all along, no matter what good you did with your soul, those past deaths cannot be redeemed. Angel is way past that, for every bad thing he does there seems to be this automatic path of redemption set for him after his wrong doings. No just no. As Buffy put it, no more.

Spike was amazing, what little there is of him in season 8 as he's obviously not there to be the centre of attention. As one of my favorite character, he's come such a long way. Much further then the insecure season 7 Spike, much further then the season 5 finding a purpose Spike. This Spike fits perfectly with how Joss has praised the character from recent interviews. The most evolved character in the Whedon(Buffy)verse. He clearly does still love Buffy but has also grown beyond being dependant on that love. Old Spike had no direction in life but being love's bitch, new Spike is much much more then that. And while he's been getting his asskicked by the the Master and evil Angel in season8, i find it amazing that he doesn't even flinch going up against characters that have godlike powers just to back Buffy up. It's good to finally see some of the potential that Spike is capable of after 5 years of downgrading/oversimplefying the character in Idw's hands. I had all but given up on comic Spike. I just hope that in season 9 Spike gets more screen-time with Buffy and the scoobs.

Buffy, i thought she was in the same state as Spike had been in. Since they were pretty much equals in Chosen. And while the fandom had also grown these past years without any Buffy, Buffy seems to have been stuck in a rut unanble to grow. Becoming an army in season 7 was needed, it was a mistake to continue on this path(creating a grander army) in season 8. Xavier made a school for the gifted, not an army. I have a lot of sympathy for Buffy, in Chosen it looked like Buffy was more free then she had ever been, instead all she was getting was more shackles that would further dictate her life. I truelly hope that season8 has opened Buffy's eyes concerning Angel. It was something i also thought of in past seasons, if Angel had killed Joyce. There would be no coming back from that. This is very much like that, Angel killed Giles(parentfigure) in front of Buffy.
I suspect that Buffy will be a colder,darker slayer and she'll need the people that love her(Spike,Dawn,Xander)to help her.

Since season 8 has been all about magic, i'm hoping that season 9 will be more grounded. Smaller cast and more character development then over-excissive action. Really glad that Buffy and Angel are no longer superpowered. The fights were boring and ridiculious. Past Spike or Buffy fights on the show were far more entertaining. Not looking forward or buying the Angel series in anyway.
Welcome to Whedonesque, beeemkcl - that's a pretty epic first post! ;)

waxbanks - agreed, sadly.

azzers - thanks for the reply. I follow what you're saying, but just a couple of points to clarify my position. I can go with Willow and Buffy both being responsible for the emergency room scenario, but I draw a distinction between that and the comic. There it wasn't up in the air whether Warren would be saved or not - Amy had saved him. He could have lived for decades like that as far as we know.

Buffy destroyed magic and Warren was sustained by it. If she knew what she was doing, then she knew she would be killing anyone whose life was sustained by magic. But, as you say, it seems like she didn't know. I don't think Buffy murdered Warren, but I do think that she killed him. She performed the action that caused him to die and that action was not a result of Willow flaying Warren. (Not that I have a problem with Buffy destroying the seed - I'm on the side of that being the best result for humanity.)

Perhaps it's manslaughter, perhaps not, but the legal issue isn't really the point - it's more of a trivia thing. While Warren was alive, Willow was only guilty of attempted murder and I just think that's still the position. But that's still extremely serious, hardly any different really - I'm not excusing Willow at all.

embers - I'm glad Warren is dead (again) and as I said way above in that long post, I don't think bringing back Warren, Amy or the Master worked particularly well, it's just a matter of who killed him. But, I've reached that point where I'm starting to repeat myself, so I'll try to leave it there.

[ edited by NotaViking on 2010-12-05 14:35 ]
Not, in your example, it would be arguably manslaughter for Buffy but absolutely murder for Willow. It may be counterintuitive, but I assure you, it's the nature of English/American common law and model statutory laws on murder. If Warren had died as a result of some other cause, Willow could be clear, but the cause-in-fact of his death was the injuries she inflicted. If Amy had cured him and he'd been run over by a bus because her skin graft had left him with two left feet, for instance. But he died because he was flayed alive, all Amy or Buffy had anything to do with was when.
Here's my review:

The issue is emotional and epic; it kicks ass and pushes all the right buttons - as long as you don't try to analyse the plot. Because it absolutely doesn't make sense. Case in point: Buffy's sudden decision to break the seed. Funnily, everybody else - Willow, Aluwin, Xander, Giles - knew that breaking the seed will banish all magic on Earth. But nobody told Buffy. Well, maybe Spike told her when she was daydreaming about Spuffy sex - but she didn't hear him. She was clueless (most likely due to co-writers' miscommunication). Another problem is overcrowding the story with characters that don't have any reason to be there except Joss wanting to make the finale epic. The main players are Buffy, Angel, Giles and Willow; the rest of the characters just stand on the sidelines not doing anything in particular. And - the "vagina dentata" monster is hilariously tacky.

But - do we watch and read BtVS because of the plots and monsters? Joss fascinates us with his larger-than-life characters making larger-than-life mistakes and paying for them - and here we have everything that makes BtVS stellar - pathos (Giles' death is heartbreaking); humor (Buffy to Angel and Spike: "I liked it better when you were kissing" Spike: "I'm fairly certain I never mentioned...") and epic character journeys.

Buffy. She falls hard, and her defeat roots deeply in her character. She's not an alpha. She's at her best when she works outside the system, when she defied the authorities, when she subverts the rules. But in season 8 she's forced to be the one who creates a system, who writes her rules and who becomes the authority. Anyway, it's not her thing. She's not cut to be a boss. She can't be a general because she cares too much. She loves too much. The softest muscle in her body is her heart. Love is her greatest gift as a person and her biggest flaw as a general. Angel here is the personification of her problems: the love that leads to disaster. As the story ends, the question remains - has she learned her lessons and closed her heart completely? And, if not, who will help her to heal her physical and emotional wounds? In any case, her story in season 9 has great potential.

Angel. I may be in the minority here, but in my opinion Angel's arc perfectly continues and develops his journey on the show. The shadow of Drogyn looms over the whole Twilight arc. Angel always wanted to be a savior yet sacrificed people on the altar of the "greater good", because he's a big-picture guy. Here his big picture mentality is raised on a global level. Angel's greatest flaw is hubris, and turning into a monster is his cosmic revenge: he became everything he hated and despised. Could there be a bigger punishment? Angel's further journey can be epic. As my LJ friend Shapinglight said once, Joss deconstructs the Angel he doesn't understand to build the Angel he understands. My take is that Joss deconstructs the Angel he isnt interested in to build the Angel he wants to explore. Angel the mission's boyfriend is no more. Angel the flawed, tragic, existential hero has risen.

Giles. The last great watcher. Sacrificed himself in the battle of Starbucks. It was a perfect exit. A fitting, heroic death - helping Buffy to stop the apocalypse, with a slayer weapon in his hands. My heart hurts for Giles - but, cerebrally, I understand that his death was long overdue. Every hero journey includes the death of the hero's menthor. Hopefully Giles has reunited with Ethan in their dreamspace and will be back in season 8 as Buffy's mystical guide.

Faith. Many fans have suggested that Faith could be Angel's guide on his path to redemption. Agree - such arc would've informed their dynamics with a perfect symmetry. My only gripe about it is that they're too similar - both are dark, intense, brooding. Angel is the most interesting when he's in a scene with Cordy or Spike - somebody with an opposite personality. But Faith has chemistry with practically everybody - so, if Joss plans to add her to AtS as a regular, it could work great.

Willow. Could she save the world by joining her magic with the Seed's power? Xander and Andrew think that they're losing the war - but they can't know for sure. Willow definitely doesn't think they're losing until the Seed is broken. I think it will be the future bone of contention between her and Buffy. Willow could accuse Buffy that she, Willow, had a chance to win the war and to heal the Earth, and to fix everything, and maybe even resurrect Giles - but Buffy's actions made it impossible. And we'll never know if it's true or Willow is delusional. And Buffy still doesn't know that Willow didn't tell her that destroying the Seed was an option. An option that could prevent many deaths including Giles'. Great set-up for the next season. Besides, Kennedy's line "Baby, lie still, I think you broke..." may mean that wheelchair-bound Muffit in "Willow" one-shot was an ominous foreshadowing.

Xander. I feel underwhelmed, frankly, because the previous issue clearly set him up as the destroyer of the Seed. But it's curious that Giles decision to act echoes Xander's own concerns in "Becoming 2" that prompted his much-argued "kick his ass" line. "Xander, it's Angel." Giles says. "At the very least she - she'll hesitate. She wants to stop him, not to kill him." This little exchange casts a different light on "Becoming 2" and it's a really great call-back.

Dawn. Frankly, I don't know what's her role in this story. In the latest interview Allie said that there will be more deaths, and Dawn is the prime candidate. First, because she has a nice, healthy relationship with Xander. Second, because her death will hit hard both Buffy and Xander, straining their relationship. Third, because, judging by season 8, Joss doesn't know what to do with Dawn and doesn't have more stories for her. And, fourth, because her death at the time of the destruction of the seed will create an eternal mystery: did she die because of her wounds or because of the broken Seed? It would be a perfect exit. (Update: Except Allie said in a TFAW interview that Dawn is okay. )

Seasonal theme. According to Scott Allie, the theme of the season is betrayal. I think it's one of the themes, but not the main one. To me season 8 was about the power corrupting and destroying even the best heroes and champions. On the narrative level Joss used the theme to return to BtVS roots, to make his show as lean and mean as it was in season 1, to get rid of 2000 of annoying extras nobody cared about. Vintage Buffy is an outsider. To tell new stories about her Joss had to return her to her initial status - and he succeeded.

Twilight. There is a lot of interpretations of what Twilight stands for. Maybe because I'm a ficwriter, I interpret Twilight as a metaphor of fanon trying to destroy canon. A paradize, created by smut writers that threatens to melt and devour "official", canonical universe. Fanon is a place where characters can be happy, don't have conflicts, can shape reality according to their wishes. But Happy Reality not a healthy place for a storyteller. To tell a compelling story you need conflict. Of course, I remember that Joss encourages fans to write fanfiction - but he could give us a subliminal warning about the danger of a conflict-less universe that has a tendency to turn characters into puppets.

And, as a ficwriter, I'm incredibly happy about the Seed of Wonder. Just think of it, my fellow ficwriters - it was there, in the underground caves, all the time, unguarded since The Master's death in Prophecy Girl till the end of the TV show. It canonically justifies any outlandish plot twist a writer comes up with - just make a character get lost in the tunnels, see a strange red orb and say something indiscreet in its presence. Thank you, Joss!

And, last but not least...

Spike. Not his season, not his story - yet he has he been brought to the finale. I think it happened for the same reason that Joss included him in his threesome panel in issue #3. To remind us that Spike is still in Buffy's heart. That Buffy is still Spike's hero. To show us that they profoundly care about each other and are perfect morons when it comes to their feelings. That Buffy is very angry that Spike didn't contact her. That he is very angry at her for space-frak. These two crazy kids are king and queen of miscommunication. It will be interesting to see what else Joss plans to do with them. They have a ton of unresolved issues, oceans of UST and it's obvious that their chemistry transcends mediums. And, BTW, his reaction "She did it. Slayer, you did it" implies that it was the plan he was talking about while Buffy was daydreaming.

No, I don't think there will be flowers and puppies for Spuffy in the future. May I remind you about a classic Joss scene in Serenity? It's obvious that Mal loves Inara and Inara loves Mal. Their UST is so thick you can cut it with a knife. But she leaves and then a bad guy makes a trap for Mal and forces Inara to call him and to lure into a trap. Mal's reaction after their conversation:


Kaylee Frye: But how can you be sure Inara don't just want to see you? Sometimes people have feelings. I'm referring here to people.
Capt. Malcolm Reynolds: Y'all were watching I take it?
Kaylee Frye: Yes?
Capt. Malcolm Reynolds: Did you see us fight?
Kaylee Frye: No.
Capt. Malcolm Reynolds: Trap.


That's my Spuffy. Always snarking and bantering. Always honest with each other about everything but their hearts' desires. Always destined to dance around each other, afraid to approach too closely. Always teasing us with millions of "what-ifs".

[ edited by Moscow Watcher on 2010-12-05 17:18 ]
Buffy paying for "larger-than-life mistakes" -- except the mistake she made in the comix is the same one she made in S2, frakking Angel with no idea of consequences, tho' back there it was the unforeseeable mistake of a 17-year-old in the throes of a big dramatic First Love, and it was something else entirely (and entirely non-sensical) with this tale.

And after Buffy repeats her mistake but in a wholly exterior manner ("The universe set us up" ????), TwiAng repeats the S2 murder of Jenny in killing Giles.

The first time, all this was tragedy, the second time, it was farce.
Moscow Watcher, please avoid making ship-based comments. Other than that your summary was a good read. I do think Buffy understood exactly what destroying the Seed would do though, to the degree that anyone could at that point. She was reacting with pain and rage and loss, and I think a lot remains to be seen about how she reacts to her actions later. I'll be curious to see how Willow reacts for sure.
bluegrrl, how was Buffy & Angel screwing in "Surprise" a mistake ? Neither was aware of the clause in the curse. Two people in love, who consumate that love (or even if they were just two strangers in need of some company) aren't doing anything wrong.
I'm still trying to figure out how the story "Always Darkest" written by Joss Whedon fits into all this, given the fact that Buffy's dream starts in that same chamber with the broken egg and Caleb telling her that "It's the one lesson you always forget, girl...You can't kill what's inside of you." Ideas, anyone?
Going back and reading "Anywhere but here" and Buffy asks "Do you know what is is? what it truly means?" and the demon replies "The end of course. Of the struggle, of the hellmouths...the final triump of the base humans over the demons. Its your life's goal acheived slayer. THe death of magic".
So I thought twilight was all about destroying demons and magic same as Buffy's goal but then Angel is twilight and his agenda was to amalgamate all the bad guys into one as well as pushing Buffy to a higher ascension so they could give birth to a new dimension. Doesnt sound like destroying magic more like destroying the world.
But then if you think maybe Angel/twilights real agenda was to get the seed and thats why Buffy/Willow were protecting the seed?
Am I only just catching up? It just feels like Twilights goals had changed halfway through.
I don't think Twilight's goal ever changed. Twilight the Evil!Kitty/universe, that is. It's goal was always to be born, and to take the Seed away from the current world for itself. Doing so would have ridded the world of magic, shut down the hellmouths, basically ending magic.
In order to do so, Buffy had to ascend. And Angel had to be duped into believing that this was a good thing. Of course, the fine print indicated that in doing so, the old world must die.
And given how hush-hush the whole Twilight (the event) thing is, I doubt anyone really knew that much about it. Sephrilian welcomed the coming war, claiming that it knew Buffy's weaknesses. Which would be antithetical if it was an earthbound demon, since welcoming Twilight would mean welcoming its own destruction (if it even knew what it was talking about). But Sephrilian "walks between worlds", indicating that it exists outside of our universe. It doesn't need it to live, and while Twilight will bring about the end of magic, that's not mutually exclusive from the destruction of humans. Yes, it will be Buffy's life goal achieved, ending magic and all that, but it will also bring about the destruction of the world. And ironically, it would be Buffy who would do both, either by removing the Seed, or allowing it to be taken.
What about the hellmouth in Cleveland? :p

I always found the occasional references to that to be more strange than amusing - the hellmouth in Sunnydale nearly caused the end of the world several times. The one in Cleveland was relatively unguarded - if I was the bad guys, I'd go open up the hellmouth that DIDN'T have a slayer guarding it.

Wow, that was totally irrelevant to the thread.
Must rescue the comment - errrrm... I think that the narrative of this season was so hugely grand that it will require a thorough re-read to make sense in my head!
Oh, god, why Angel.
How much worse can Joss make his life? On top of that Terriers is canceled, Angel must hate that too.
Hi, you know the SLAY THE CRITICS section at the back of the comic book, what is Scott Allie's email adress so you can email too him?
Pretty sure the e-mail address for writing back is given in the Slay the Critics section.
I'll check, it's probably just me being stupid, i think i tried it once but it came back undelivered. probably stuffed the adress, thanks though

I haven't gotten any emails that have said it bounced back yet so i guess it's all systems go

[ edited by Nathan on 2010-12-10 04:24 ]
If you look at the dark brown border on the outer margin of each of the letter pages, you'll see that the e-mail address given for writing back is buffy@darkhorse.com.

[ edited by wenxina on 2010-12-07 05:10 ]
yep i found it, it's really weird i thought i used that last time i tried, i guess i stuffed it that time. I tried it again and it worked.
I miss Giles. That is all.
oh, and cleveland said "Is it so that Buffy betrayed Willow by destroying The Seed? The foreshadowing might have been misinterpreted by her (and us), referring it to herself?
Then the repercussions for season 9 would be huge." Which I was beginning to put together, thank you cleveland!
The nitty-gritty: Buffy and Angel do mighty battle. Willow taps into the Seed’s power and starts playing Earth goddess. All around, the battle against the invading demons rages on with tons of casualties all around. A heartbreaking death drives Buffy to change the world once again.

Art: The scale is pretty epic, with a massive war waged between foreign demons and Slayers/military/local demons. Jeanty steps up to the task admirably here, despite his prior acknowledgement of not being so good at the military stuff. But then again, drawing demons is not quite the same as guns/tanks/planes. Where Jeanty excels is in delivering the drama, in the smaller moments, when the camera can zoom in tighter so to speak. And that’s utterly necessary at this point in time as he not only has to deliver the goods on the crazy action but more importantly, he has to sell the dramatic beats. Make them believable. Make them painful. Make sure the hard sells are earned. For the most part, I bought it.

There are plenty of deaths here. Heavy casualties on all fronts. Girls being ripped into pieces, burned to a cinder, melted, etc. Demons bisected, impaled, trampled. Heck, even the Master gets his head punched in. But the death that had to be perfectly executed was Giles’. It’s a poetic death, right down to the abrupt execution in the hands of a possessed Angel. Personally, I thought that a close-up of Giles’ dead face would have hit the angst button a little harder than the shot of Giles’ prone form. The shock and then rage in Buffy’s face is palpable as she picks up her Scythe from Giles’ dead grasp, and finishes what he had attempted to do; destroy the Seed.

The direct consequences of her actions mark the rest of the issue. The shockwave hits anyone connected to magic, as they feel “the death of magic.” The most obvious case of loss here is Willow, of course. Having just tapped into the Seed’s power, she’s experienced the ultimate connection (a callback to her realization in S7 that everything in the world is connected). Having that ripped suddenly from her leaves her in anguish and horror. The last time Willow showed so much pain was probably in “The Killer in Me”, where she realized that she had let Tara go, even for a second.

There is a brief moment levity in the midst of all the high tension drama: the end of magic also marks the end of Amy’s magical skin for Warren, and he quite unceremoniously goes “SPLAT”.

Interesting things to look out for:
1. The demons that Giles arrives at the battle with are the very same kind that Buffy and her Slayers killed in a church in #1. They’re also the very same kind that Giles had a meeting with regarding the Twilight sigil early on.
2. The gargoyles attacking Leah and some Slayers are the same kind from “No Future For You”.
3. Jeanty pays homage to the original bat-face: Nosferatu.
4. Ironically, despite the crazy apocalypse-y stuff that’s going on in the world, Venice, the sinking city, is still doing just fine, instead of being underwater.
5. There seems to be a continuity error: Buffy is seen picking the Scythe up from what has to be Giles’ hand but, in the panel with Angel looking down at Giles, saying “When they’re all gone, you’ll understand,” Giles is clearly empty-handed.
6. Jeanty draws a very pretty Vi (yeah, okay it’s not that hard to draw a pretty girl looking pretty, but the likeness is excellent).
7. The painting/print on the wall of the New York branch is Gustav Klimt’s “Judith and the Head of Holofernes,” also known as “Judith I”. When asked about why he chose that painting, Jeanty said: “I always thought that painting would make a good Slayer image. Having just removed the head of a Vampire.”
8. The top panel of the final page is almost a direct copy of Cliff Richards’ work from “Anywhere but Here.”

Writing: This is the last issue co-written by editor Scott Allie and Joss. Finally, we’re at the big one. The one that made Jeanty “angry.” The one that made associate editor Sierra Hahn “ill.” The one that has been summed up by Allie with the words “devastation.” The reason for this is simple: the death of one Rupert Giles. We’ll get to that in due time.

There are some good character moments here. As seen in the previous issue, Faith is leading the Slayers in battle aboveground. Her final interaction with Giles is rather sad, seeing as he kinda cuts her off, and then takes the Scythe from her. “For Buffy.” All Faith says after surrendering the weapon is “Right”, which is quite telling. Given their relationship before this, it is rather insensitive of Giles, but then again, he had a war to win and so it’s understandable. Sad, though.

Speaking of Giles… here we go. He’s basically set up for a noble death right from the get go. He comes galloping in on some kind of demonic steed, commanding an army of PO-ed Earth-demons, commanding them to give “no quarter” and spare none. He chops a demon in half with a massive broadsword, saves Leah from a fiery death, and then takes the Scythe and runs underground with it. Then, seeing the clash of the titans (though greatly depowered, since “their power fades in proximity to the Seed”), Giles realizes that it’s up to him to stop the madness. He doesn’t just toss the Scythe to Buffy because he knows that she “wants to stop [Angel] -- not kill him.” Ignoring Xander’s pleas to not “get between those two,” Giles states that “that’s exactly where she needs me” and goes to destroy the Seed, While many seem to be confused as to Giles’ motivation in coming down to the Seed, I think it’s quite clear what he meant to do. The Scythe was never meant for Buffy per se. He knew that Buffy had followed Angel down. That could only mean that the battle was continuing below. And as he pointed out, Buffy would try to stop Angel, not kill him. So handing her the Scythe at this point was pointless. No, the only way to end all the madness was to go to the source of the problem, the very heart of the matter itself. The Seed. Angel wants to remove it. Buffy wants to protect it. It only makes dramatic sense for Giles to want the third option: destroy it. That’s my interpretation of what he meant when he said that he needed to be between the two of them. Giles has always been the Big Picture Guy, and the Big Picture right now is that the world is going down the crapper fast, and at the moment, the two beings that would even give Earth a fighting chance are too busy violently pounding each other senseless (not in the sexy way). And so Giles does what needs to be done. Or tries anyway. And is taken out in a way reminiscent of Jenny Calendar’s death. As I said before, poetic.

Giles’ death fuels Buffy’s rage. Even in her non-uber-superpowered state, she deals Angel a massive blow, sending him flying. Picking the Scythe up from Giles’ lifeless grasp, she finishes what he meant to do, shattering the Seed and destroying the Scythe in the process. Doing so releases Angel from Twilight’s hold, and it seems that both Angel and Buffy have lost their new powers. The insets with all the Slayers looking shocked suggests that with the breaking of the Scythe and death of magic, the Chain has now been broken. In NYC, one of Vi's witches says "We lost connection with Sunnydale..." and the next text box continues "... but that's not all..." implying that they're aware that they've lost more than just the connection to Sunnydale. While the Slayers won't lose their powers (if Aluwyn's right, and I see no reason for there to be a twist in that tale), they are essentially cut off from the magic that brought about their existence in the first place. The magic that Chooses presumably left with the breaking of the Seed, hence no more Slayers being Called. Buffy's last words in this issue ("No more") also brings to mind Scarlet Witch's "No more mutants" in House of M, in which she basically decimates the number of mutants in the X-Men universe.
Ironically, it's Buffy who breaks the Chain, finally bringing about the literal disconnect she felt earlier on (see #11 “A Beautiful Sunset”). And since irony is such fun, I'd point out that this happens after she literally felt the 206 dead girls inside her (see #33 “Twilight” Pt. 3). Or well, she claimed she did... but it seems that the dead Slayer magic sponge explanation was a red herring of sorts, since it was Twilight all along. Unless of course those explanations aren't entirely mutually exclusive.

Speaking of irony and connection, Willow, who had been so connected all this time, connected to the Slayers she helped activate ("I can feel them, Buffy. All over. Slayers are awakening everywhere." - Willow, "Chosen), connected to the soul of magic, great earth mother goddess, whatever, is suddenly very alone. If there's any sympathy for Willow, it's because she's lost a great deal more, on a personal level, than anyone else. She was the most connected, and now that connection's gone. And in the irony also lies poetry. Just as Willow ripped Buffy from heaven, Buffy now rips magic away from Willow. What makes it an even more bitter pill to swallow is that it was Willow who basically set the first domino piece in motion: she brought Buffy back, apparently causing a disturbance in the Slayer line, allowing the First to act. In order to defeat the First’s army, Buffy decided to empower the Potentials with Willow’s help. Empowering the Potentials reset the status quo, and suddenly Buffy is the candidate for bringing about Twilight. She does so, and in order to stop it, she destroys the Seed, cutting off our world from magic, effectively cutting Willow off.

And so, Buffy changes the world. Again. And we’ll soon see how the others are taking to this brave new world. To the coda then…

Overall: A
I hope season 9 opens in a graveyard...

And even if magically created memories of pre-season 5 Dawn wouldn't survive the events here, might not season 5 and onward recollections of those memories survive?

But, bigger point...graveyard.
Wenxina- I thought this was an excellent summary/review. I was glad to see someone else mention the Faith/Giles interaction- I thought it (his words, her reaction) was just heartbreaking. I agree that he didn't intend to give Buffy the scythe- I'm not looking at the comic but feel like I remember there being a hesitation in the way he said it that conveyed this- but I think that makes it even sadder in a way that that was what Faith was left with as their last interaction. That she wouldn't know that.
Does Tony Head know? Did Joss phone him?
@feelinglistless Don't know about him phoning but he definetly knows
@aphasia: Thank you. I really thought that the final Giles/Faith interaction was actually a perfect moment where the art and writing totally complemented each other. I mean, the writing was pretty sparse ("Right.") but just the body language, and the way Jeanty drew that scene got the message across so well.
I just saw this issue in the grocery store.
usually they have one star wars comic,
and they are impossible to see unless
you know where to look,
but I am still kinda pleased.
They killed Giles?! They KILLED Giles?! =/ Idk how I feel about this =/
So, why does Joss want to deconstruct the entire slayer-line verve n the chutzpah that all of Buffy is based off of (especially after what he did/the emphasis at the end of the series)....and also make us all depressed again?
Actually the solution to the comics is easy--hire Brian K Vaughan as an executive writer for Season 9.

Potential additional measures to be taken:
1) Construct a pseudo-tv system of check and balances and certain BASIC do-and-don't parameters to mimics the writer's room support/chemistry and (positive/strengthening) limitations of working on tv. It doesn't have to be an expensive time consuming hiring fix, it just needs to keep this in mind and be more practical.
2) Pia Guerra as artist. Yessss.
3) Faith = the revolution. And for the love of god, focus on her rich dynamic between Buffy instead of isolating her so much.
4) Limit the freaking amount of travel and homelessness in the Slayer job description ie. This is not Firefly, but either give them a freaking spaceship or SOME other kind of stable setting and home.
5) Embrace a little healthy polyamory folks. Seriously.
Just as Willow ripped Buffy from heaven, Buffy now rips magic away from Willow.

Excellent point, wenxina. I hadn't thought of it in quite that way.

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