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January 04 2011

(SPOILER) Scott Allie shares Buffy S8 finale panels. Dark Horse offers up a sort of trailer in the form of individual panels from the forthcoming final issue of Buffy's eighth season.

The last panel reminds me of the last page of Fray.
Awesome artwork. The last one of Buffy perched on a gargoyle in the rooftops of SF is reminiscent of the artwork of Faith in Cleveland.
I had the same two thoughts, Simon and gettamesis. And, "awesome shot".

Wonder who's getting shot by the rogue Slayer?
That last panel is gorgeous (and I'm again reminded of the Buffy/Batman crossover Whedon has plotted out in his head).

Very exciting.
Oh no! Spike?
Oh my god, Awesome! But who was Simone shooting, i hope it's not Andrew, he was her old watcher. maybe it's Spike or Angel cause she doesn't know or care they're good. it wouldn't kill them but Andrew it would kill. it's probably none of them, just some random character, maybe a slayer. MAYBE KENNEDY! i don't want Kennedy to die, she's gotten less annoying in the comics.
AH!!! i can't wait!
The last panel reminds me of the last page of Fray.

No doubt an intentional callback (or does this count as foreshadowing considering in-story that Buffy does the pose first?).
If that one panel is of Giles' funeral... Roses? Seriously? Not the flower I'd choose.
guys, all the flashbacks have those weird edges but the funeral one doesn't. why would they have the funeral four to six months after his death. it must be some else. or maybe it's another fake out. like when Cordy got impaled and they paned past a funeral over to Buffy and Willow who said she was fine.
I might be totally off (esp. since I haven't looked at TLWH in a little while) but the last panel, to me, reminds me of one of the very first in #1. When Buffy and other slayers are on the rooftop, in full-on uniform/gear, carrying guns and diving from helicopters. Those panels in #1 were to show people that this is a different Buffy/Scooby gang - much more complex than it used to be.

Now, with this panel at the end of S8 (possibly toward the end of #40 for all we know), it's almost like they're saying we're back to the basics - back to Buffy (and only Buffy) doing what she does best: slaying vampires the old-fashioned way.
The first and final panels there are made of epic.
Wow, I'm actually quite excited for this issue. That hasn't happened in a while. The first (new) panel is heart-wrenching, the Spike/Buffy exchange is both tender and hilarious, and the issue's low-key premise is more Buffy-esque than anything we've gotten in S8 (with the possible exception of "No Future for You"). Just when I thought I was out, Joss pulls me back in...
I'm not sure I'm ready to see what Giles' headstone says. But I sort of need to know, at the same time. It's weird.
Can't wait for this. Back to the good ol' Buffy we know! Love the first (new) panel and the last. Poor Buffy. Poor Willow. Poor Angel. Poor...well, everyone.
I also thought Fray and Faith in Cleveland for the last panel: the background is like the Faith panel, but the pose is Fray. Anyone else think that the lighting looks more daylighty in the Buffy/Spike panel? Or maybe it's evening...?
I'm getting so excited for this issue! Character interaction! New setting!

The art is really superb even in just these few brief glimpses and there's so much emotion here (the Giles funeral is so sad; the panel reminds me of 'Watchmen' somehow). I love the fire escape panel (fire escape = the new backporch) and I'm still mad for the final panel with Buffy crouching atop the gargoyle looking out over her city.
Thoughts: Glad we get a flashback to 39, but wow Angel looks awful.
-Is Angel in isolation now?
-Oo, Simone's back. Long time no see. I get the feeling this is just "Yea, she's still around and evil" more than "she's killing someone we love".
-love, Love, LOVE that last panel. Immediately had the Fray comparison and Buffy looks excellent.
Can't wait for this. Two more weeks!
are we sure it IS Gile's funeral, it wasn't in a flashback panel. why would they have his funeral that many months after his death
Here was my first thought on seeing that:

Buffy broke the Scythe. The Scythe that empowered all the new Slayers. So with it gone = no more Slayers except her and Faith??

That explains a whole lot.
This preview hit on my way out so I'm just now getting a chance to comment.Very interesting stuff.
storm, I think the scythe only acted as a satellite for Willow to awaken the slayers, not as a source.
Amazing stuff! I'm incredibly excited for this issue!

I can’t believe they actually showed Giles’ funeral as I never thought we’d get that. I also loved the flashback to Buffy and Xander sobbing over Giles’ body and Angel trying to make sense of what happened. The whole scene is a mess and utterly heartbreaking but, man, you just want Angel to shut up. Just don’t speak, kay? Not the time.

The panel of Buffy on top of the gargoyle is so freakin’ awesome and it did remind me of Faith. I can’t wait to see if the vampire she is hunting is anyone significant.

Simone... what a bitch. Was really surprised to see her show up in the panel and I wonder if she's killing somebody we know?

The Buffy/Spike scene was great and I love Spike's line about the scythe. It sounds like they're talking about the slayer hierarchy and that the others are having a debate about cutting Buffy out completely. If that's true, it goes with the idea that, Buffy might have been the figurehead of the organisation, but she was never in control of it, it was in control of her.

Based on the earlier preview and these new panels, 8.40 could finally be the issue to knock off A Beautiful Sunset as my fave issue of S8. It all looks so wonderful.
Some random observations: The funeral panel is very cinematic. Spike had been exposed to the Scythe in Season 7, so I don't know why he would say that he didn't know what it was. Looks like an arc involving Buffy going after Simone will be in store for us in Season 9. Angel is now in a similar situation that he found himself in Season 3 until he finds a way to redeem himself. Willow is going to be very bitter about losing her powers; perhaps the way she gets it back will irrevocably convert her to the Dark Willow of the Frayverse. My guess is that the hero panel of Buffy watching over the streets of San Francisco like the Batman will be the final panel in issue 40.
I think Simone might try to shoot Angel or Spike. I also think Simone is going to be killed. maybe
If that one panel is of Giles' funeral... Roses? Seriously? Not the flower I'd choose.

Holy CRAP you are right.
Seconding that the Buffy/Batman panel is the final piece. That was my first thought after "Hey, it's like the end of Fray!", which would be all the more fitting.

@the roses comment: Wooooooooooooooow, that's kind of hilarious in a really horrible kind of way.
Spike had been exposed to the Scythe in Season 7, so I don't know why he would say that he didn't know what it was.

He wasn't quite sure what it was back in Season 7, either. ;)

Spike: Honey, you're home. And you did it. Fulfilled your mission. Found the Holy Grail, or the Holy Hand Grenade, or whatever the hell that is.

[ edited by Enisy on 2011-01-05 04:39 ]
The roses catch really is brilliant, in a totally dark and disturbing way :/
...oh, I just got the roses reference. I wonder if that was intentional on Joss's part. Spooky. o.O
Oo, Simone's back. Long time no see. I get the feeling this is just "Yea, she's still around and evil" more than "she's killing someone we love".

Oh I disagree SO MUCH- she didn't get introduced than forgotten- she was saved to bring back as a loose thread till the very last issue for a reason! Joss doesn't do that stuff by mistake. And if the slayers really lost their powers hoo boy is she pissed off! I don't want it to be true (and it probably isn't cause I'm atrocious at guessing/prognosticating), but I'm thinking Andrew (getting shot). She'd want to shoot him the most, and it would have the biggest emotional impact without totally screwing up the balance of the verse- much like killing Anya.

Roses- yeah, no. Yikes. Poor Giles. Well, maybe they aren't for him.

I can't believe how good this looks. I feel like this is the issue I read the comic books hoping for for all these years and then there's just the one of it...sniff. I can't wait but I already feel sad about it being all over... (until S9, I know, but then what? Another 2 years till the really really good emotional payoff stuff? I hope not.) And I love the preview style!
Hm, what if the Simone/gun panel's the final scene? Kind of a huge cliffhanger ending to the season if it's done with dialog to tell us it's someone we know, without being too specific.
a while back, scott allie and georges said no other deaths in the last issue, so my guess..simone is shooting someone during a robbery or something.

so excited for this next issue!

-RIP Giles
and also- these frames were selected for a reason, read them together, they in some ways, tie together
Hm, what if the Simone/gun panel's the final scene? Kind of a huge cliffhanger ending to the season if it's done with dialog to tell us it's someone we know, without being too specific.

Ooooh, I like that idea! That’d make sense with Allie’s “not how you’d think” line about someone dying in this issue. Technically they’d die in the S9 opener , even though they were shot in 8.40. Trick, tricky…

Or maybe it’s just some random unknown character, but I really like your idea. Talk about a cliff-hanger! It’d make the next 6 months unbearable!!

I was looking over the panels again (for, like, the 50th time today) and it suddenly hit me that freakin’ Giles is in that coffin. That sadness still manages to sneak up on me when I’m least expecting it.
Ouch, thanks vampmogs. :/

Had another look at the panels and can't get past the fact that those two damn vamps still walk the earth while Giles lies dead.

Also... Buffy's outlived two Watchers now.

It's ok, I have more, um... Merlin.
Giles isn't dead! He was actually transported back through time by the Doctor to Camelot, where he changed his name to Pendragon (to go with his undercover persona of an unprincipled cad), conquered the kingdom, had a son who he raised to be a very attractive arrogant clotpole, and waged war against magic in an attempt to create such a disruption in the timeline that it would ripple effect forward and undo the Twilight storyline and restore the magic of the present so he would at last be able to return home!

Crackfic strikes when least expected. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
The next 6 months will be unbearable because Breaking Bad is on hiatus. Buffy, especially now, will be tough to wait for, but my heart lies firmly with the emotional state of Jesse.

Am I using Whedonesque to promote my other favorite shows/books more than is appropriate? Maybe. But Buffy is the VERY FIRST show that made me feel like a fan. And I will love her forever for that.

Also? This issue looks amazing.
Why is Buffy wearing gloves?
Those panels look great. And the setup for season 9 also looks to be amazing.
Why is Buffy wearing gloves?

1) It's cold. 2) She's planning on climbing lots of buildings and doesn't want to break a nail.
I love the Merlin crossover Taaroko. Someone actually fanfic'd it like that too lol.

How could the scythe get broken if it pops up in the Fray world later?
I love the Merlin crossover Taaroko. Someone actually fanfic'd it like that too lol.

*blinks* Wow, really?
I had no idea Angel was gonna be in this, now even more excited to see how they deal with it. poor guy, totally confused about what just happened. Didn't know that he was completely out of it.

Buffy looks more sad than anything else in the last panel. not quite Fray or Faith...
I think the Twilight dimension will have something to do with Future Dark Willow - perhaps she somehow found / will find a way to siphon powers from there? I can't wait for this issue! Also, with Giles gone, I wonder if we will be seeing any new watchers coming out from the woodwork?
Well not exactly like that, they based it after Buffy's season 5 death. But the other part was similar, Giles going back in time and all. Once and Future Watcher is the name, I hesitate to link someone else's work but maybe you can google it.

I do refuse to accept him dying though...I substitute my own reality.
Wouldn't it be three watchers she's gone through? Sure, Wes wasn't her watcher when he died, but still...
Crud, now I've gone and made myself sad.
I wonder if they're setting up for Spike to be Buffy's Watcher. I also did wonder about that scene in Restless.
Spike killed 2 slayers! Also, isn't he getting his own comic?
How many Slayers did the Watchers Council kill with the Cruciamentum? I'd rather have Spike.
Spike, a Watcher? Does he really have the right skill set? Or personality?

Huh. Then again, we have Andrew.
Watcher Spike? Ummm, no thanks. Well at least not Buffy's Watcher. (I don't actually see the story heading in any direction where Buffy gets another Watcher type figure. Not in the strictest sense.) He probably would be a pretty good Watcher for another slayer, one where there isn't all that convoluted personal history between them, but like Taaroko questioned I don't think his personality suits the job description. I mean, a Watcher is meant to, you know, Watch right? I can't see Spike doing much of that. He loves the fight to much.
I agree with Simon, Spike also saved directly/indirectly all the slayers in season 7 and 8. He's also had the most different kinds of relationship with a lot slayers. Ranging from enemy,friend,trainer,lover,confidant and watcher.
The single biggest advantage of having Spike be Buffy's watcher is helping her deal with her innate darkness. Which looking at season 8 she still has not come to terms with.
But i have a strange hunch that Spike might in the end become Fray's watcher/mentor. Her only link to the slayer-line which made her feel connected to them was the scythe and Buffy destroyed it. Spike on top of being the expert on slayers having the most experience with them is also the only one that could make it to that time and be a good example for Fray(Future Willow has her own agenda and Angel is the worst champion role-model to be for Fray).

That being said Spike would never accept being called a watcher, sorta like Urkhon. And i highly doubt we will see a return of the old watchers methods. That already died when the group was crippeled in season7. And Buffy's model of the watcher's council was vastly different. Having a watcher that could back you up would make a world of difference. So yes i think this will be Spike's unofficial role in season9, we'll see in issue 40 which will set the tone for season 9.
Spike a watcher! Ha! But I don't see Buffy looking for a new watcher, and it seems like keeping him around to work with the other girls would just be going backwards to S7... can't they just be pals and work together? I think it's realistic that he'd be willing to hang around where ever she was and help out, and she'd like the support and having someone who wasn't wrapped up in someone else. But I don't think that'll happen cause nothing's ever easy and simple like that for this poor bunch...

I agree Spike would not want to be called a watcher. And he'd point out that he's not so much for the research (though I guess he did all right with that with the twilight business on his own so maybe not?) But it's true that they must be setting him up for something- it seems that much as they dawdled on bringing Angel and Spike in to S8, now that it's been done, Angel will have a big enough role alongside S9 to have his own title and I can't see Spike just disappearing again...
It would tie in nicely with the Restless scene where Giles was training Spike to be a Watcher. :-)
I suspect we will see little to nothing of Spike in S9; this panel may be his swansong. After all, we have an apparent 'backstory' in which he became 'king of the bugship' and that has little obvious linkage to the coffee shop or slayers. However, I do like the concept of him linking to Fray. Meanwhile, we will likely once again have the tedious and incomprehensible (to me) hair-shirting of Angel for bad acts that he is deemed to be not responsible for (he lost his soul, he was possessed, he tried to shield his kid, he has amnesia, the moon was in the seventh house...). I'd understand it if others in the stories treated these events as cases of diminished responsibility (e.g., as in killing someone when driving drunk) but I never get why Angel is simultaneously not responsible and yet needs to be redeemed for these acts. is driving drunk somehow an example of less responsibility? Fairly certain that still involves active choices and such. Worse ones even. Perhaps a better example would be hitting someone who ran out in front of you?

As for Spike's presence in S9, was it confirmed that he was getting a book? Not an on-going, but a mini, but still a book right? I thought both he and Willow were more or less confirmed, with Willow being the less concrete one. I may have them reversed though.
Yes, I agree, baxter- it's inconsistent, and frankly a little tired. But maybe I just feel that way because it (Angel's quest for redemption) never totally resonated for me in the first place- the things that I like I'd be happy to see repeated ad infinitum probably... But I guess I can see it- I mean, even if you take the view that he isn't responsible for these acts, it is possible to imagine him A) internalizing the other characters' belief that he is or B) having to try to redeem himself in their eyes even if he didn't feel the need personally. I personally see him as responsible, possessed, etc, or not, as he has generally been responsible (in my eyes) for the situations leading to these acts he has committed while 'not in his right mind' or whatever. As yo said, much like someone who gets drunk and gets behind the wheel of a car.

Do you feel that other characters let him off the hook for acts committed as Angelus, etc? I think they try to but are rarely able to really forget/separate, with the possible exceptions of Buffy and Faith.

[ edited by aphasia on 2011-01-06 06:39 ]
Well while it is up to us to see Angel as not responsible for these acts, he feels responsible. That's the difference. In the first episode of his show the girl refused his help and ran away. He tried, she ran. He still felt like her death was his fault and had to save her. He felt responsible for Darla and was willing to sacrifice himself so she could have a second chance. He always feels responsible(whether or not he is or whether or not the text tells us he is) and that's why he is a champion.
Angel is responsible for choosing to become Twilight. If he hadn't done that he could never have been possessed. His story just becomes a joke at some point if he keeps killing tons of people but it's never really his fault.
Well at some point they've all done bad; Faith made a conscious decision to kill people for a living and changed(with the help of Angel who made a conscious decision to help her, not kill her right back), Willow tried to end the world, Giles raised a demon that killed lots of people. All these were brought about by bad decisions(weslesy dealt the final blow to faith's sanity in fairness). But yes, while Angel does it more often and on a grander scale, many of our beloved characters have made semi-informed decisions that ended badly. As Whistler said in Becoming, "it's what you do after that counts". While we see a whole lot of white washing and what not(Willow crying into Xanders arms and going red headed again infuriated me! Paft! A summer in the English country side is not exactly a jail cell or a hell dimension!) the characters do continue to pay for their actions in some way. Willow turned into Warren, Faith and Angel have their consciences everyday to deal with, Jenny got possessed and Buffy almost died cause of giles. It's a never ending cycle of pain and bad decisions, if it weren't, would we watch?
The Kennedy panel is fantastic, and is very reminiscent of the panel (and placement on the page) of her "Tara, of course" in Anywhere But Here. (Have I mentioned that Anywhere But Here is probably my favourite issue? Let me do so again.) "What did you expect?" My theory/hope is that it's to Willow, that Kennedy has she's found out about Saga Vasuki, and so is not overly sympathetic to Willow's plight. Is Kennedy getting her coat to leave?

"Buffy, what happened? Did we...did we win?" Oh Angel. So clueless.

Xander's grief is heartbreaking.

The funeral. Roses reminiscent of the roses left for Giles on the stairs leading to up to Jenny.

The umbrellas remind me of bats and of Batman. (I know, I know, but: origin story for season nine Buffy, seeing her "father" killed?)

Great back porch scene. And this is the panel that dialogue has been presented to us for.

Simone is the one with the power, Willow is the one without the power. No magic means that guns are the new power.

Buffy in the Fray (and NFFY-Faith) pose. It's a harsh world out there.

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