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August 26 2011

(SPOILER) Buffy Season 9 #1 three-page preview. Brought to you by Dark Horse Comics.

Some good laughs on those pages!
I have to admit, outside of Spike, I have absolutely no idea who the other two at the door are... I am really bad at recognising likenesses, I think. Stab in the dark from the remarks Buffy make about them: Riley and... Andrew?
I think that's Riley and Andrew, yes.

I think the missed the title page, or whatever it's called. I feel like they jumped in mid-inner dialouge with "She's the third one this month".

Really funny preview. I got what Spike & Willow were talking about, but the ones in the second panel on the second page are...? And they're talking about...?
Actually, I didn't recognize Buffy in many of the panels. Fortunately she was given an odd hairstyle and unique patterned shirt.
Is that Dawn asking about weed?
Yes, that's Dawn asking about weed. :D
Nevermind.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2011-08-26 22:27 ]
So amusing party scenes. Buffy gets bored. Goes out on patrol. Meets X? Finds out she's lost her edge and then gets back into the game.

Also hurray for the 20s wilderness years. I can relate to that.
Looks like a fun party. :D

Isn't Dawn asking about "tumble"?
I have this weird memory of having seen the page before that "first" page. Did we not, once upon a time? I know we'd seen the "first" page here before.
There's something missing there, yes. For instance, everything Dawn's saying to the other guy is a reference to the word "Tumble." Rough and Tumble, Tumbleweed, etc. Guy's named Tumble?
I have this weird memory of having seen the page before that "first" page. Did we not, once upon a time? I know we'd seen the "first" page here before.


There was the 'making of' the first page that got posted awhile back. Maybe you saw the page before at a CSTS event in Portland or something like that.
So amusing party scenes. Buffy gets bored. Goes out on patrol. Meets X? Finds out she's lost her edge and then gets back into the game.

Also hurray for the 20s wilderness years. I can relate to that.


My theory is that the party is actually a fantasy or a game of "Anywhere But Here" Buffy is having while she is out patrolling, very much alone.

And I hear you on the 20s wilderness years; that party was like a scene from every house party I have ever been to.
Maybe Riley, Spike and Andrew could represent Buffy's id, ego and super-ego but I have a feeling that the party is real and it shows that Buffy is getting burnt out. We'll find out in three weeks time.
Buffy's sort of got Satsu hair.
That was really fun and funny. I noticed that the behind the scenes lettered page we saw a while ago had Buffy wearing a plainer shirt. Now they have her back in the same shirt as the coloured page we originally saw.
Willow seems so have meet someone new. I didn't even notice the hand on the knee at first. Or the kissing.

Seems like Dawn & Xander and Spike & unknown woman are having fun too. I wonder what Spuffy fans will say.
I can't imagine that's Willow, all things considered.
No, that's Willow- that's who Spike referred to as "Red" and who then picked up his tale.
Says? (I mean, maybe that's a line I should recognize that Spike is quoting...)

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2011-08-27 01:41 ]
Not. Sure. How. I. Feel.
I believe Spike is referring to Season 4 when he first gets the chip and tries to bite Willow, only to realize he can't. So yeah, I think it's Willow.
That was the best party ever. I hope it doesn't turn out to be a dream.
Apparently, I'm comic-dyslexic. I blame it on my comic-free childhood.
I'm a Spuffy fan and I love the preview.

I saw a platter of brownies in one scene. Not that I'd know anything about it personally, but I've heard about brownies with ingredients in them that can really liven up party...
Wow-a-wow. When Andrew is a strapping success and you...aren't, what do you do? Willow + unknown. Spike + unknown. Scary new times.

Loved the Initiative reference.
This is excellent.
I love Buffy's interaction with Andrew here. It's very her. I've seen the first 2 pages before and I think there was another one too?

ETA: no I guess I was half-remembering the same "making of" Simon mentioned.

[ edited by Sunfire on 2011-08-27 04:18 ]
These preview pages made me think "Buffy: I lost it myyy waaay!"
Strange thing about the policemen coming to check and ending up being parts of the party and dancing. Something strange is going on there.
Zianna - I agree.

Yesterday evening I rewatched "Life of the Party", to refresh my memory. Their behavior is very similar to the behavior of people affected by Lorne's advices. Could an empath demon be around?

Re: Xander's absence. I hope it will be him who'll arrive late (or maybe come by to drive Dawn home) and realise that something is wrong there. Unlike policemen, he has a lot of experience with people acting weirdly.

If it's Xander who finds a way out, then it could explain why he is reluctant to give Buffy shelter when she flees from police custody. He knows that her presence could hurt Dawn.

I wonder if Spike's words about giant mosquito are addressed to a police helicopter. :)
Kind of agreeing with the "it's a dream" idea. The last page, with Buffy in slay!gear in the center kind of lends itself well to that theory.
And wow, everyone's getting some. Cept Buffy. Yay party shenanigans.
@trunkstheslayer - it's definitely a flashback. In a script page, posted last month, there is a mention that the party happened three days earlier.
Re: Xander's absence.

Isn't that Xander and Dawn kissing in the background in the second panel on the last page?
@Kaan - hard to say if it's Xander or not. Maybe they're playing "Spin the bottle". In any case, even if it's not Xander, Dawn is hardly the one to blame: the apartment makes people act strangely.
Willow and a new lady, who is African American. Interesting development, but not yet sure what it means or if it means anything at all.
Is Joe Chen still the cover artist for BTVS?
I was definitely in a muddle reading that, but that is probably just an accurate reflection of a house party.

Definitely looks like Dawn is in the background, so I imagine that is Xander. Then again, I would say Spike is probably snogging a random party goer, rather than someone he is in a relationship with. Note him arriving with Riley (going to be a regular?) and Andrew, not a lady friend.
There is no meat on the "the party is supernatural" bone. I could give a hundred reasons, from it being the first issue of the season that exists in the post-magical Buffyverse, to there just not being any visual or verbal cue of any kind on which to base it. There's no reason to think anyone is acting out of character; for one, we don't have enough context. Nor do we really have any reason not to just observe this as though we're just seeing them at a big party and this is how they are.

As for spin the bottle, in my experience, and for obvious reasons, people in relationships don't play nearly so often as single people. Further, a spin of the bottle typically doesn't result in three couples all kissing, some on a couch, some over here, some over there. So, it stands to reason that that's Xander that Dawn is making out with. Still quite obnoxious if, as is the case so far, he's the only main/regular/recurring character at this party for whom nobody could contrive an actual word of dialogue.

I agree, Spike is probably just making out with someone he met at the party. Willow, who knows -- she could have met that woman that night, a day before, be on their 4th date.
Is Joe Chen still the cover artist for BTVS?


Only for issue 1 as far as I can tell.
KOC says: "There's no reason to think anyone is acting out of character; for one, we don't have enough context."

I really disagree here. Spike snogging some random girl, five feet away from Buffy, is out of character.
@Xane

Or maybe it's character development, that Spike and Buffy have moved on?
I suppose it's possible. But it's not well done characer development if that's the case. Unless there's a lot of pages we missed.

I guess maybe that B + S written in the heart on Spike's space ship might have been written by Beck. It's possible.
Is it out of character, or does it not conform to a template built up around who he's supposed to be over the course of a half decade of fanfic and forum discussion? I think the latter. He and Buffy have a complicated thing, and there's no real chance we're going through Season 9 without dealing a lot in their thing, but we already saw in Season 7 (and 6... and 8, even) that they were capable of being okay about each other having their own love lives.

I mean, hell, is it "out of character" when Bones or Booth date other people when you know they are the elephant in the room? Or Castle and Beckett? And since "dating" is really overstating what we're seeing here, I think "out of character" is excessive to say the least. There's no contradiction whatsoever to "B+S" -- people date person A while pining for person B, and if they don't date, they certainly might casually make out at a party.

There are hazards to interpreting scenes that are not about any particular romantic relationship purely in the context of a particular relationship, and I think this is one. In glib-corporate-efficiency speak, it's audience paralysis by analysis.
I don't watch Castle or Bones so I can't respond to that. The part that I think makes it out of character for Spike is the doing it in front of Buffy. Making out at a party Buffy wasn't at, sure. Unless she actually told him to go away I think it more likely he would be chatting her up.

Anything can happen I suppose. It never would have occurred to me in a million years that Buffy would jump on Angel after all that time so what do I know?
Xane, it's hardly just those two examples. Moonlighting. Any romantic comedy ever. It probably has its own trope link if I could be bothered to look.

Point being, it's hardly new ground, or ground so unfamiliar to what is/was/used to/should be just about the most genre savvy audience that ever was, that it should be alarming. If nothing else, Buffy's reaction is pretty instructive -- she either doesn't notice (meaning she isn't so dialed in Spike's coming and going at the party that she's even looked over there) or she doesn't mind (which means she doesn't mind, for reasons unknown -- intense 'shippers that don't want more Spuffy and even Spuffy 'shippers convinced of their own doom would tend to infer it's because she's DONE with him, just DONE, whereas for my part, seeing that she didn't act that way at the door, I just figure she doesn't consider him "hers". Which, really, is emotional progress for her about relationships in general).

And for Spike's part, him having his nose up Buffy's butt in every social setting they are together in would definitely feel much more like a product of the time between "Not Fade Away" and "The Long Way Home". That's not who he was (souled version) in Season 7 of "Buffy" and it wouldn't be consistent with who he was in Season 5 of "Angel" either.
I wasn't expecting him to make out in front of Buffy either, ever, but I don't think we got to know enough about Spike and Buffy's feelings for each other in ATF or season 8 to say if it's weird or not. Lots of time have passed, maybe they moved on in the same way Xander moved on from Buffy, but it was never said.

It's suprising, but it doesn't seem like out of character. To me.
I expected Spike to make out with someone. He is 1000% sure that Buffy isn't interested. He's had a whole thousand and a half hours to decide that sitting around and moping about it is not a good idea. He's proactively making a new life for himself. I'm sure he's still got feelings for her. I'm also sure he's working hard at burying them as deep as he can.
Nothing here that would cause me to buy season 9. All these characters seemed so immature considering what they have all been through, less grown up really than in earlier seasons. Unless it improves, I will skip it.
Said it before, I'll say it again: So much sadness that Jo Chen isn't on board :(
@Del I always loved that the characters can be both serious and silly. I doubt Joss lost the ability to balance the two.

I personally love that the season start of with a few fun relaxed pages.
@Skytteflickan88: OK. But I still think I will wait and see. I spent so much money on season 8 that I am a little gun shy about starting the new series.Maybe I will buy from a comic shop rather than through the mail and at least save the postage.
Great tease as to what's coming. Thankfully it won't be long now.
Agree with Skytteflickan88 about Joss and balance, an element that was sorely missed while mia. Looks like a fun preview.

More than being surprised by Spike's behavior, lets face it, he gets around, was the Willow reveal. Last we heard she was in love with snake lady...
@ Simon On the linked page, it reads that Steve Morris is the cover artist for issue 1. I'm wondering why it isn't Joe Chen. I hope that she'll be retuning as cover artist.
buzzkill, there's actually three covers for issue 1. The Morris one, a Jeanty variant and a Jo Chen one too.

http://www.darkhorse.com/Comics/18-923/Buffy-the-Vampire-Slayer-Season-9-1-Jo-Chen-variant-cover
SO far I am with Del- I have no plans to buy S9.

And "I always loved that the characters can be both serious and silly. I doubt Joss lost the ability to balance the two." Dollhouse....
As far as I'm concerned Whedon lost the plot mid way through season 8 and so far these panels aren't making me think anything different. And don't get me started on the appalling artwork.

I mean dear god couldn't they have got somebody new?

[ edited by sueworld2003 on 2011-08-28 10:15 ]
The amount of excitement I'm feeling after these panels is inexpressible. Buffy having parties! Buffy being relatable! Buffy being cute and competitive, embarrassed with Andrew, all of these super Buffy things! I love her, I really do.

This book is going to be such a great balance with Angel and Faith, I am psyched.

[ edited by cazador on 2011-08-28 11:03 ]
Sueworld... What appalling artwork? The artwork has generally been great for the new canon comics. I have absolutely no clue what you're on about.

[ edited by Mitholas on 2011-08-28 11:20 ]
there's actually three covers for issue 1.

Agrr! Okay, going for Jo Chen, always a safe bet.
@cheryl

I doubt Willow ever loved Vasuki. Cheated on Kennedy with seems likely, and made her feel connected to the magic and world, but I don't think it was more. It does creep me out so much that Kennedy comforts Willow after Willow is screaming about her maybe-lover. I mean, I don't like Kennedy that much, but come on.

@Dana5140

I didn't watch all of Dollhouse, just first season and part of the second, but the balance was there as well. I just didn't feel like watching anymore because I wanted more than half the main characters to die.
Maybe because I just sat through a small part of Irene, or maybe because I shook through my first earthquake, or maybe because I am watching the writers systematically destroy vampire characters in another TV show, but this Spuffy girl thinks all is good on Spike + Buffy front. Wasnít this Buffyís recollection? Isnít she remembering, through perhaps a drunken haze, all these hookups that she was left out of? Isnít this classic Buffy?

I really do hope Spike snogged someone. He needed some and is without reservation HOT and single. Buffy is either not interested or emotionally unavailable. I agree that Spike probably thinks sheís not interested. My guess is that he's right.

Hey, at the very least, they are in the same room, they attended a party and the world didnít end! Thatís progress in my book.

PS. I really thought Chen was going to work on more covers, which wasn't based on anything, isn't she?
Mitholas on the whole I think Jeanty's work is pretty poor. His style of drawing grown adults as some kind of man child creation I find really off putting to say the least, and I have to say his balloon headed likenesses are really hit and miss. I've seen so many people on fan forums trying to guess whose meant to be saying what to who in the strips that I rapidly came to the conclusion his style of art just wasn't conducive to easy story telling.

But hey thats just me, and art just like humour is avery personal thing.
I do think It's about time we were due for a change though. Surely DH know of other artists?
@sueworld2003: Yes, DHC knows of other artists. They're also well aware of the criticisms of Jeanty's work. DHC and Joss happen to really like Jeanty's work, so why bother getting another artist if Jeanty is available? You can't please everyone... *shrug*

[ edited by wenxina on 2011-08-28 15:12 ]
Jeanty was the MVP of Season 8.
@ Simon, oh, okay. Cool!
Hmm, interesting. I was a little thrown by the Andrew drawing, I only figured out it was him through a process of elimination...and then the speech bubble made sense. It was fun, slightly confusing with some of the characters. I was like, is that Dawn? Is she talking to Oz or some random guy? Etc etc.

Anyhoo, I concur it is classic mid twenties house party funnage which is nice. And it's nice to see Willow having a bit of fun with a new woman.

Looking forward to this immensley.
I'm with Del when they said, "All these characters seemed so immature considering what they have all been through, less grown up really than in earlier seasons." And with Sueworld2003 when they said, "As far as I'm concerned Whedon lost the plot mid way through season 8 and so far these panels aren't making me think anything different."

It seems the Buffy title is more of an Archie/Scooby Doo comic featuring vampires than about a girl, sorry, not a "girl" but a 30 year old woman trying to balance real life with the horrors of darkness that it should be. It's become, in a term Joss has used, "reset television". Where despite previous events they return unchanged.

Most of these characters seemed to have stagnated and become caricatures of themselves. So here's to hoping with fewer issues Joss and co will focus on story and developing the characters.

[ edited by The Goose on 2011-08-28 20:58 ]

[ edited by The Goose on 2011-08-28 21:05 ]
Two words: Three pages.
The Goose, I think Buffy is roughly 22/23 in the comics. Not 30.
From what I understand from the wikia she's about 28 or 29 now at the most, and at least 25ish.
"The story takes place "at least a year and a half" after the events of "Chosen", placing it at its earliest in the latter half of 2004 and after the events of "Not Fade Away" in Angel. (In issue #23, Andrew makes references to Heath Ledger's death, indicating it takes place after 2008, though in the same issue Buffy refers to having known Xander for only eight years, rather than at least 11)."

The chronology is all jacked. I assumed by season 9 the time will be updated to reflect the current world climate shy by a few months for publishing time. IDK, I could be wrong though.
Our world and the Buffy world are not in synch. In the Buffy world, Heath Ledger obviously died prior to 2008 since

Season 8 started in November 2004 and, according to an interview with Scott Allie, I believe, ended roughly a year later. So Season 9 will take place roughly sometime in 2006, but in a 2006 that's more akin to our 2011.
Two more words: Comic Books
I welcome a return of the fun back in Buffy-verse and I certainly don't think it is out of character. Even after her depression in season 6, Buffy had plenty of moments wanting to let her hair down and be "immature." If anything, during the later half of season 7 she learned that not having any down time didn't help anyone.

I would say Simon is pretty much right about the age, although my guess might be a little older. Each season went through about a year, so Buffy was 22 when Chosen ended. If the story of season 8 takes place "at least a year and a half" after that Buffy must be 24 at the start (birthday episodes were usually around the mid-point of a season, if I recall correctly, so she would have just had one.) That means she must be 25 when season 9 begins, using Scott Allie's comment Brierly mentions.
Here's my take.We are in laid back comic book time line now.Season 8 started a year and a half after Chosen with season 8 taking up about a year.Then issue 40 was a few months later.Season 9 #1 is probably a few more months later after that.And that's our starting point but like most comic book universes,it's best not to think about it anymore or you start wondering about Buffy knowing about the Twilight franchise and the Daniel Craig Bond.

With comic books there is almost a laid back timeline.It's why Bruce Wayne stays the same age yet Dick Grayson grows from a ten year old as Robin to in his twenties as Nightwing and eventually a current Batman,Or Jason Todd and Tim Drake continue to age as well

Another example is the DC relaunch next month that reboots the line and makes Superman the first public superhero and superhero's being around for five years yet somehow Batman stories prior to the relaunch are still in continuity.Meaning Batman has gone through five Robins(Dick Grayson,Jason Todd,Tim Drake,Stephanie Brown and Damian Wayne)in that five years.

It becomes almost a compressed timeline and I think the Buffyvese now falls under that idea now too.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2011-08-29 01:26 ]
The little anachronisms and fuzzy chronolgy don't bother me, personally. The pop culture references have mostly seemed like a fun way to ground the characters, even if some references are technically a few years too early in the Buffyverse.
I do remember there being an interview and someone brought up a question about the timeline issue and the answer was roughly along the lines of a sheepish apology that itís hard to keep your pop culture references together when writing something in the past. And, yes, I am aware about how time is handled in comics, itís hard to keep it all up to date or they excuse it all as a parallel universe. Not my first time to a comic book shop.

I guess Iím just expecting Buffy to have grown up in a way that I approved of, or at least could logically accept from that storyís point of origin. But I also think itís kind of one sided that everyone loves these three pages and cheers for it and when a few people balk at it theyíre given a little bit of ribbing for it. I assure you that I love Buffy just as much as the next person, Iím just worried about where itís going. Season 8 ended in a dark, melancholy place. Itís just jarring to open with everyone having a party and getting along. Which Iím sure is done with a purpose, but if this teaser preview is taken at face value I feel, personally, a little let down. So I have a lot of questions.

Yes, itís just three pages. Yes, I am aware it is a comic book. But I should be allowed to voice my concern/doubt/worry just as much as those celebrating a return to fun.

Guess we all know now who never went to 20 something wilderness years parties.
I've always bought the comics and will continue to buy the comics at this rate, but I just wanted to chime in and say that honestly I'm not a fan of Jeanty's either. He seems like a nice enough guy and I like the little homages/in-jokes he does, but even if you're a fan of his you have to admit... half the time you can barely make out who the characters are supposed to be. I will say that he gets the FEEL of a Buffy comic well, but his likenesses leave much to be desired. I'm buying the comic because it's Joss and the writing shines through for me. Jeanty is unfortunately my least favorite Joss paired artist (and I've read them all).
I don't think he's going for likeness. He's not trying to *really* draw the actors but the characters. As you say, he gets the "feel" well and I think those are his marching orders. You know, "draw Buffy, not SMG". Then of course you have those gorgeous Jo Chen covers where "likeness" is the most eye-catching feature (at least for those of us who can't draw, anyway ;) and it feels a little jarring. Because that's SMG as Buffy, all the way.
He well maybe trying to draw the characters, but If so It would help that they actually looked their age. Folks are saying Buffy's in her mid twenties, and yet he continues to draw her looking like a fifteen year old. I sometimes find that really disturbing, particularly in issue 36 of season 8.

Mr Jeanty seems like such a nice guy, but I just don't take to his work sadly as I find It really distracting.
Guess we all know now who never went to 20 something wilderness years parties.

The Goose | August 29, 03:06 CET


I assure you, even in Soviet Russia, 30 years ago, there was a lot of wild student parties. But our cops never joined the fun.
Add me to the camp who's not a big fan of Jeanty's Buffy work. It's too bad Chen or Morris can't do the interiors---when you're doing a comic book based on a tv show or movie, likeness is everything. Ahh well, I'll just have to suffer through it.

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