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September 14 2011

(SPOILER) Discuss Buffy Season 9 #1. She's back (and in San Francisco too). Btw if you're curious about how the issue ends, then head here.

Last page funny. Rest is pretty good too.
I can't buy the book til tomorrow. what happens on the last page?
Coupon for Forbidden Planet NYC TODAY ONLY from Buffyfest

I wasn't sure if I should start a new post for it.
Those Slayers have a habit of doing that...

So rude really....maybe not as much.
Skytteflickan88, saw your letter.

eddy, you can see the ending here.
Here with summary:

First page is the one with Buffy red-eyed in a sloppy bed, wondering what she did. It cuts right to the party flashback, with Dawn and Xander arriving as the first guests. They haven't been there before, and Buffy introduces them to her roommates, Anaheed and Tumble. She's asking Xander if he wants to see the bedroom when Willow shows up with her girlfriend, Aura.

In the middle of the page we flash forward again (the colors become noticeably duller during these scenes, a good indication), to Willow checking on Buffy and teasing her with implications that they had sex. Buffy is very hungover, but Willow, while sympathetic, doesn't seem worried. She kisses Buffy's forehead and says, "I'm not the only one whose powers are gone..."

The next page continues the quote, "...Everyone's feeling some loss," overlaying a crime scene. A beautiful young woman lies dead on the sidewalk without a mark on her, and with no ID. One of the detectives, a young man who may be the new friend of Buffy's that we heard about, says he's a rookie. The other says this case is the third one like it this month.

Buffy welcomes Riley, Spike, and Andrew at the door. Spike tells his S4 story, Dawn questions Tumble about his name, Buffy bonds with Andrew.

Back to the washed-out present. Buffy is having a hard time with the shower and her shoelaces, and feeling not just pain and guilt but also dread. She remembers Spike at the party warning her about something inhuman and not nice coming for her, though he doesn't know if it has to do with the Seed. Bottom panel has an unfamiliar man and woman talking to someone who is shown on the next page to have scaly green hands. They hand him(?) packets of information about something that "has to be dealt with", and he removes a photo of Buffy and says (hisses) she'll pay in full.

Buffy world is back to normal colors, and she tries to go to work. Her boss says he already told her not to come in, "You know, after..." She still doesn't know what she did, but gets coffee and leaves.

A troop of demons with glowing spears is facing a ball of green flame. One says that the spells that bind it have weakened, and instructs them to move as one and protect the peace. Then an arm reaches out from the ball and rips his head off, putting an end to that plan. A larger, roughly humanoid demon breaks free and starts killing, having broken thoughts about his task, which seems to be "Kill all."

Buffy's out in the city drinking her coffee and trying to assess last night's damage. She remembers a chicken fight in the pool (everyone's dressed, and she's on the bottom supporting Andrew and exclaiming that this is fun and responsible). Next page seems to take place during the night of the party, as she's in that outfit, but she's alone with Riley and he's showing her his surveillance van while she talks about what she could do with her life. He's fighting terrorists, she's trying to convince herself that things are better now, he calls her out on it, she says the van needs a woman's touch.

Flash....forward-back? Colors are washed out again, but only for a panel while she frets about making a pass at a married man. Then she's talking to her roommates about her friends, whom they love. Anaheed says Willow's turned her bi-curious, and Tumble says he and Spike are starting a band. They admit the party got out of hand, but Buffy also made friends with a grumpy neighbor, and Anaheed says she's got a way of drawing people in.

Simone is driving a VW bus full of weapons through San Francisco and drinking a Red Bull. She's planning "something big", that "shows them we're still here."

Back at the party, Buffy demonstrates how small her room is to Xander. She has an extremely questionable conversation with him that involves her hand on his forearm and Dawnie never having to know. Dawn's in the kitchen, back to back with Anaheed, who's bemoaning her years of pointless education (she's now a fact checker for a website). Spike's telling Tumble about the dirigible. It continues with the montage page, and sad-Buffy-on-patrol in the middle.

When it pans out, we see Willow's with her. Spike appears too and adds to the tally of "after last night" comments. He's there to warn/protect Buffy, though Willow says she'd rather talk to Buffy alone - about the Seed, which Buffy doesn't want. They begin to argue about blame and consequences while Spike makes fun of them, until Willow says, "...I just don't want it to be too late." Green demon-hand shows up, saying, "It is too late." He's not the one who broke free of the flaming ball; he's the one hired by the pair in suits. When they turn to look at him, he's orc-ish and accompanied by tendrils of smoke, and he says "Buffy Summers, it is time for you to pay..."

Final page. Huge voice bubble. "YOUR STUDENT LOAN!"

To be continued.
I think 1 Buffy in Season 9 opener-y was way better than 2 Buffy's in the Ringer opener-y.
I have my copy of Buffy Season 9 #1,"Freefall Part I."

First of all,I had a feeling Angel & Faith #1 was going to be a hard act to follow going in to Buffy #1.Unfortunately I was right.I was disappointed in issue 1.For reference,I loved Buffy Season 8 #1.I just thought this was a very weak start.Again, maybe it's because i found Angel & Faith #1 such a strong start making this feel even weaker as a result.

There were little things I did like.Usually I can find something to like in every Buffy or Angel episodes.

I do really like Buffy's new roomies and I'm glad it sounds like we'll see more of them.I thought it was cute that Spike mentioned living with his bugs still.Although a little weird he mentioned it to one of Buffy's roommates,Tumble.I assume Tumble doesn't take what Spike said literally.The plot with the dead girls could be interesting as well as the problems with Xander and Dawn.

But on a whole I didn't really care for the issue.I thought the crosscutting back and forth between the party and the next day was on the jarring side and the whole issue felt anemic to me.

Also the ending of the issue I thought was dumb.

A demon being sent to collect on Buffy's student loan was a pretty big let down to end the issue on.

I'm hoping things improve as we go on because I thought this was a lackluster start to season 9 for Buffy while Angel & Faith got an amazing start to season 9.

The whole premise of Buffy in season 9 hasn't hooked me the way Angel & Faith has and the first issues of both series just strengthened my first impressions of the direction of the season for both titles.

I'll see if this changes as we go forward though.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2011-09-14 18:33 ]
Ok, I'm sorry, I have to be that guy. How much student loan debt could Buffy have possibly accrued during the series? If I'm not mistaken, she was only in college for Season 4 and parts of Season 5. So let's say 3, maybe 4 semesters tops. She later audited a few classes with Tara in 6, but I seriously doubt she paid any tuition for that.

Let's assume for a moment that, unlike with Willow, Buffy didn't acquire any academic scholarships for going to an in-state school. (even that is sketchy, because she had been accepted to a high profile school, and it seems like UC Sunnydale would sweeten the deal by offering her $). At UC Sunnydale, she would surely have been awarded Pell Grants for her comparatively low in-state tuition for all of those semesters, right? So all we're talking about here is living expenses (living in the dorm) and textbook costs for 3-4 semesters? I'm guessing 15-20K tops. Big deal, Buffy!

Not to mention the fact that Joyce seems like the type who would either have a college fund, or would help her daughters out with these costs. Granted, if she did have debt from 2 years of school, I could imagine how her absence from the country for several years could lead to huge interest building up. :D

Ok, I'm going to stop now, and go back to finding a way to pay off my own college loan debt...
Love the ending, way to bring it back to Buffy's trevails of being a very young woman facing seemingly mundane problems with a supernatural twist. :)
A demon that collects student loans seems like a season-1 plot or a cheap joke. I'm unfamiliar with comic book structure; is the first issue the equivalent of the first episode of a season, or the equivalent of the teaser of an episode? It seems ok as a funny way to end a teaser, but very weak to set up a season.

[ edited by Ragondux on 2011-09-14 18:43 ]
More like the teaser of a first episode. I take each arc to be a episode of the series.
I loved this issue so much. As a 22 year old college student who has suffered his few (ok maybe more than few, like I said college!) "what did I do last night? oh right that, I hate me." experiences this whole thing really clicked for me.

I loved how we got thrown right into this new life that Buffy has, I love the way the dynamics are going. I'm scared of the way the dynamics are going (Buffy and Xander? What are you doing? Why do I kind of like it? What is wrong with me?).

This feels like Buffy; human, dark, and extremely funny as well as complicated and messed up. With this issue as well as Angel & Faith, I am chomping at the bit to get into this season.

I'm really excited for Andrew to get some gay spot light too! Yay queer boys. That is happening right?

[ edited by cazador on 2011-09-14 20:13 ]
The main question left up in the air, in my opinion, is: "God what have I done? Also why did I do whatever it was I've done?" And because this is BtVS and there's cues connecting Buffy's behavior to demonic activity, I expect something's a-foot now.

Buffy feels like such a failure that she's overly desperate to convince herself she's okay--she does it here with avoidance and alcohol. Later in the issue, she's out patrolling so she'll feel "useful." That'll probably be the mode by which she tries to prove herself later -- and the consequences are a strain on her relationships. This is reflected in Buffy's parallel "damage report" with the demon unleashed. "The spells that bind it have been weakened" aka Buffy's acting out on her impulses when typically her superego, her conscience, would keep her id in check. And the consequences of this acting out is damage to her relationships, the people she draws in (as Anaheed describes).

Actually, I'm beginning to wonder if something wasn't done to Buffy here (and yeah, I was naysaying before, but I see textual cues now beyond Buffy acting like a drunk girl). Because when she wakes up, she looks like a corpse to constrast the dead girl who looks beautiful. And her need "damage control" is contrasting the demons release -- so Buffy being ~released from constraints last night is in parallel to this demon's bindings being released. And she says she "didn't drink that much," but clearly she was being affected. Her behavior looks like she got really drunk, but there's hints that it's connected to the supernatural. (Actually, when isn't something happening to Buffy connected to the supernatural?)

It could just be a metaphoric connection, but there might be something literally affecting Buffy since she only had "a few drinks" and she "didn't drink that much" and she doesn't "think that anyone could," yet when she wakes up she looks like death hungover. She looks like she drank a fifth of vodka with her red eyes and the massive pain and the threat of barfing. Also worth thinking about -- why isn't her Slayer healing kicking in to heal her? I expect she'd have trouble ever being hungover with her metabolism. I think there's hints that it's something mystical connected to and possibly causing her "Freefall," taking her already falling form vaunted status as Slayer General and turning it into a supernatural event of Buffy's misery. She fell, but instead of landing and standing tall, the supernatural is keeping her in freefall.

Spoilery Speculation based on the new character depicted in the Issue 4 cover:

[ edited by Emmie on 2011-09-14 19:21 ]
@Emmie - interesting theory, but how to explain that all the three victims are girls? Why he doesn't kill guys?
Moscow Watcher -- presumably there will be a in-story reason for why the girls are being targeted (e.g. a revenge scenario on a girlfriend or mommy issues), but we haven't met the character yet so there's not enough information to say. For symbolic purposes, the targeting of women locks in with all Slayers being women.
So, just finished reading the issue and enjoyed it. Love all the callbacks to episodes of the series sprinkled throughout. Willow and Spike telling the partygoers about the time in S4 when Spike tried to Bite Willow but "failed to perform". Cave-slayer Buffy, and career-test-future-cop Buffy of S2. Buffy waking up and thinking she and Will had slept together was funny. Shamelessly trying to put the moves on Xander was a little surprising (and kinda not). The student loan demon at the end was funny, and as someone who has racked up years of school debt, is definitely something I can relate to.

Poor Buffy. It seems that she's trying so hard to convince everyone she's "of the good" and this happy-go-lucky girl that everything for her ( reactions, behaviors,) is just so over the top. I see someone who is lost, confused, and scrambling to find her place in the world again.

And, does Willow have new hair?

Well, those are my (incoherent) thoughts for now. I'm sure there are more but I'm drawing a blank right now. Will have to wait and say more when I read the issue again.

Ringer last night, and the kick off of S9 today. Good times! All and all a great start to the season. Can't wait to see what S9 has in store for us and the scoobies!
Loved every page! This is the Buffy I know and love!
So with that last page, are people now hiring monsters?? It's funny that her student loan has come back to haunt her...and tragically sad that she never actually got her degree.
If Season 9 were televised, who would you cast as Anaheed and Tumble? (Also, what kind of a name is "Anaheed"?)
Anaheed is an Arabic name. (As is Nadira from A&F) - a common theme?)

My review

I thought the comic was extremely silly, but in a good way. It felt like the first half of 'The Freshman', with Buffy feeling adrift and looking for direction while all her friends have their own lives going on around her.

I also didn't get a flirty or come-on vibe from her conversation with Xander at all, though I can see that Joss was teasing us with it.

Although given that the issue hints at her having slept with Willow, Xander, Riley and Spike the previous night, I'm wondering if next issue it'll turn out she actually slept (casually) with a completly new character, and that's how he's introduced to us.
I liked this issue so much. I think my favorite thing about it (likely controversially) is that Riley seems to be back in as a permanent major character. I relate to Riley for various reasons, and I always thought his dynamic with Buffy was really interesting. It may be even moreso now that he is (presumably) happily married.

And even though I'm sure most people won't back my enthusiasm on that particular point, the fact that we're even talking about Buffy and her relationships again is proof that this is a major step up from the last half of Season 8. Buffy is at her best when she and her problems are relatable, and it seems like Joss remembered that.

Reading this issue felt like watching the show again, finding parallels with my own life and looking to Buffy for inspiration on how to handle it all. That's the Buffy I love.
One question, though. I read EW's review here:

The author of that review suggests that one of the plot arcs kicked off in this issue calls back to Angel Season 1. Anyone know what he's talking about? I guess it's possible that the corporate-types who hired the student loan demon are from Wolfram and Hart, but I didn't see that made explicit anywhere.

Maybe he's talking about the dead girls?
Last page - very strange twist. What I connect it with, and I am sure that I will be wrong, is that Buffy will be getting some Heavy Cost Lessons In Life. Already we see with her conduct at this party that the numbing of alcohol is totally the wrong approach to dealing with life.

It may well turn out that this mysterious "something" that Spike speak of is using this party to get to Buffy - but for now, I am going with Buffy is still in major meltdown from her part in the events of BS8. The three men from her former life are all of a status symbolically of relationships that would not be right or attainable: married, dead and guy.

Emmie - like your theory.

What did I absolutely hate in this issue? those, IMVHO, completely lame jokes given to Spike - Please can we not have anymore "dumbing down" of this character.

Hope that Buffy and Xander using the same phrase about that fruity dangerous punch is not a foreshadow of a terrible turn of events for Xander and Dawn. I sincerely hope that this turns out to be Xander not feeling sure about this "normal everyday life" that might be coming his way.
I think the last page is there to prove us that we will deal with real life problems instead of last season's over-the-top events.

I really loved the issue. The dialogue was amazing and I loved all the references to the show, especially the Beer Bad one.

My only complaint is that the drawing is not good, at all. After seeing Angel and Faith, i expect more from these comics in terms of likenesses. Buffy especially looked really bad.
I have zero self control and wound up buying all three covers like a good, little nerd. Actually kind of liked Jeanty's.

The issue is good, but not great. Definitely a step up from where we wound up by the end of Season 8. I still feel like we're getting the story through Buffy's perspective so I am hopeful that, as she starts to get her act together, we'll start to get a better sense of what's happening with everyone else. There could be some really compelling stuff happening with Xander and Riley. What's happening with Xander and Dawn? Is everything okay with Riley and Sam? I feel like I care about these characters again and that's very refreshing.
I don't really think that Buffy being wasted at an awesome party that she threw really signifies meltdown. Directionless fun? Yes. The girl is what, 24? She doesn't have a college degree or a normal 9-5, she deserves to go a little crazy and enjoy her current lack of army-sized responsibilities.

Edited to note: I think Faith would have totally fit in with the San Francisco situation too. if they could get past the Giles stuff I think Faith would be able to relate to Buffy more than anyone can right now. I just really enjoy their dynamic when things are amicable between them I guess.

[ edited by cazador on 2011-09-14 22:58 ]
drnotsobad, I think he's referring to the dead girls. That's the kind of case you'd have expected Kate to call Angel in on.
Loved the issue. I thought most of the likenesses were not good though. I had to make sure it was Riley Buffy was talking to like five times. And Andrew looked nothing like Andrew.

I'm interested in the Buffy/Xander bedroom scene. What exactly had Xander so down, and not wanting Dawn to know?

And of course the ending was hilarious. Loved it. Great issue.
I loved the issue, it actually did a lot for a first issue: it made it plain that this will be character driven since we were given a lot more character set up than plot set up. I loved the introduction to Buffy's roommates, who I love right away (of course it helps that they loved Buffy's friends!). I laughed quite a bit, usually at Spikes lines (which I considered perfectly in the style of his old snark and not in any way 'dumbed down'). Georges Jeanty definitely knows how to draw Spike (but I agree Andrew and Riley are not as successful).

I will be happily following this series (Angel & Faith may seem to have the more important plot line at the moment, but BtVS has the laughs).
Brierly, Tumble would absolutely be played by Mark Webber. Total Stephen Stills.
I loved this. I think they managed to cram in so much, while having no exposition-y parts. I love that, and the tone of it-- I thought it was actually funny and charming, rather than trying to be, like some of S8.

I think the loan demon is 1) totally funny, and 2) totally relevant; I think that's how they show the one thing that will be a major part of S9 that they didn't really address otherwise in this issue, which is the mainstreaming of the supernatural. IE, loan collectors are now hiring demons! For mundane transactions! That's a huge change!

I also think the idea of the Buffy Xander interaction being romantic is a mislead- it's scripted to be ambiguous but it is actually really ambiguous and unclear-- and I bet it turns out to be something else. And I'm very curious to find out what.

There was an interview a while back where one of them (Chambliss?) talks about a new character, a love interest for Buffy, who "fights evil in his own way"-- I assumed the rookie cop was he.

I just adored this issue. I hope they are all like this and they can keep their promise of staying character focused and not get too caught up in the evil demon of the week.

ETA- sorry to nitpick but Simone is not driving through San Francisco-- she is arriving in SF, from the north to be exact..

[ edited by aphasia on 2011-09-15 01:14 ]
I also think the idea of the Buffy Xander interaction being romantic is a mislead- it's scripted to be ambiguous but it is actually really ambiguous and unclear-- and I bet it turns out to be something else. And I'm very curious to find out what.

I was completely un-misled, apparently. I never read it that way, and I can't even see it when I go back and re-read.
Great fun and light issue coming off the drama of the last arc in season 8. Certain dialog was lol funny and the art was good as usual.

I like that this was set up as Buffy trying to figure out who she is NOW that magic isn't a force in the world. Reminded me a lot of WML and there was a nice call back to that episode, with the police officers at the door.
Is it me, or does the dead girl look like That's who I thought it was.

Other than that, I really wasn't feeling it.

[ edited by The Goose on 2011-09-15 02:44 ]
My comments on the Buffy/Xander of it was this --

"I don't think she was, but I don't think she was really hitting on Riley, either. But, since Buffy does think she was hitting on Riley, I do wonder if she thinks she was hitting on Xander.

I am intrigued by their generally inscrutable scene.

...I don't think she was hitting on him intentionally, and I don't think she was with Riley, either. But if she thought she was hitting on Riley and felt bad about it, she could just as easily feel the same about how she acted toward Xander, in either scene. It's Buffy's mental state I'm curious about -- Xander sidesteps flirty territory in the first scene and in the second he is way too down for it to seem flirtatious on his side, despite the words "Dawn never has to know" (which out of context would sound pretty flirtatious)."

I think inscrutable is the word. The mood is very much not about any type of sexual energy, but there is still built in intimacy to some of the context -- the light hand touch, the language ("(Dawn)... never has to know"), the bedroom exchange when he and Dawn arrive, etc.
That scene (?) read as more strong friendship-y to me. I interpreted it as there's something else going on that's incredibly important in Buffy (or Xander's) life right now and they need each other for it. I thought the fallout may be similar, though, if such a thing was happening. Dawn would question why Buffy and him was hiding something of such magnitude and then they'd breakup.

Of course, it may never get brought up again.
Well, I don't know if Buffy and Xander are keeping anything from Dawn -- I don't see any sign that Buffy knows herself. She asks to talk about it and he declines; that doesn't mean she knows already, she may be trying to find out. All he is definitely asking is that Buffy not let Dawn know that Xander's upset.
Maybe there is a question as to Dawn's well being now that magic has been destroyed, considering she was created by magic. Could become really important later.
Jaymii, I was thinking the same thing!!
cheryl, I think Dawn is safe magic-wise. Warren fell apart into a puddle the second the seed was destroyed. Plus all the monks who made Dawn were already all killed in season 5, so she pretty much definitely fits into that self-sustaining magic category. I'd be disappointed if they went to this well.
fun, entertaining issue. At first glance it seems like A&F #1 had more meat to it but I'm not sure it will seem that way in retrospect, after some of the narrative threads that it sets up have spread a little. Anyway, can't wait. Also, something is very wrong with Xander. And that's very interesting.
I agree with Buffyfantic in that this issue was kind of a let down after A&F. I liked it, but I was expecting better.

The constant jumping around in time got very jarring and after a while I just wanted it to stop and be linear.

Also, that WAS supposed to be Andrew? Man, what happened? I always thought Jeanty drew a good Andrew. I was sure it had to be a new character. That's frustrating.

Xander/Buffy. I could see things going either way. It was definitely suggested that there was romantic stuff going on, if not in the dialogue then definitely in the imagery: the panel with Buffy's hand on Xander's arm was very suggestive of that. At the same time, I think it might be a mislead.

I think it's a good supporting cast and I'm especially happy that Riley looks like he's going to be a regular. I'm interested to see how things are with him not being Buffy's love interest. I wonder if we will be seeing much of Sam.

Anyway, if anyone's interested, here's my full review of the issue.
My review can be found HERE if anyone's interested in reading it. I really liked it, and I personally thought that the nonlinear jumping about made sense thematically.
"Art: I’m not even going to bother addressing the “Ugh… more bobblehead stick figures, childish scribbles, blah blah blah” criticisms beyond saying that art is subjective, and I like what I see, and if you associate “cartoony” synonymously with “childish,” then well, I think you might want to revisit some Calvin and Hobbes."

Anyone care to explain?
If Spike and Tumble are starting a band what would they be playing?
The triangle of course.
For me, the problem I have is Willow and Aura. I think Aura has the potential to be a red shirt, not with death, but with relationship; she's there as a set-up for something to happen to Willow. 'Cause we know nothing about her, know nothing about how that relation happened, and as a result are not invested in it.

The Buffy Xander exchange I feel deals not with sex but with something they both know, something bad, and what it means for Dawn. I also feel the loss of magic has implications for Dawn- how do you lose all magic and not affect a person who was created from it? Despite the fact that she seems to have dodged the loss to begin with?
Dana, I think it's too much to assume that Buffy actually knows what Xander's issue is. Asking him to talk about it is equally likely to be her trying to find out as her trying to talk about something they both know. He just wants her to keep quiet about seeing him all depressed is all we can say for certain.

I don't really care about Aura, and Willow doesn't seem particularly invested either. I think they're a pretty casual thing.

Spike is a bass player, no doubt.

EDIT: The answer to how do you lose all magic without it affecting Dawn is... by not having it affect Dawn. I won't even call it a writer fiat, because I think the "Last Gleaming" explanation already put her in the clear since it's been a long time since the writers even cared that she was the Key (she doesn't open anything anymore, a Voice of the Author if there ever was one, in the very next episode after "The Gift"), but call it writer fiat if you must.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2011-09-15 14:16 ]
Was worried I'd hate it. Loved it. Decompressed story telling and not a single fight means it reads as though not much happened, but the amount of info about where Buffy is now, and where the rest of the scoobies and her new cast are, what the threats might be (random demon out to kill everyone, random dead girls, simone) and some other weird things (next door neighbour?) is phenomenal. It's a good comic.
KOC- agreed. I just am not sure that this has any indication to do with sex, and I think it is set-up to sow that seed (oh, bad choice of words here in too many ways). I still think Dawn ain't off the hook. (Hey, she's with Xander and we know how that usually ends, just kidding). We shall see.
I think we will probably see some turbulence with Dawn and Xander, but I'm not sure that it will be at all related to Dawn's key-ness. I'm intensely curious to know why Xander is so out of sorts though. He seemed perfectly happy at the end of S8.
Did Xander seem perfectly happy? In #40 they kept him in the background, and just saying business-like things. In fact, I thought something might be up with him then (though I mis-guessed and thought it was a bit of distance from Buffy I was seeing).
Gotta take issue with the criticism of Jeanty's art. My favorite thing about his work is that he gives the characters their own look and feel as comics characters, rather than photorealistic copies of their actor counterparts. They don't look exactly like the people we remember from tv, but they look like slightly abstracted versions of those people, which allows him to draw their faces more expressively. I'd rather have recognizable comic book characters able to express a full range of emotion than realistic-looking copies of actors reduced to 2D with faces that can't move.

Jeanty's art got a little rough in S8 when he was forced to draw huge scenes with lots of characters on tight deadlines, but if you give him time to work his magic, he's among the best at this type of character-driven art.
Thank you, drnotsobad. I agree completely with you on the matter of Jeanty's art.
I was so discouraged after seeing the previews, but those work so much better in the context of the actual story. It was very, very good. I wouldn't say that I'm jealous, just... actually, no, jealous is a good word. I loved it. Great, great work. The writing is especially strong. I don't run Buffyverse Comic Reviews anymore, but I posted a review here for those interested:

Great start to what looks to be a very fun story.
I've read it through twice now and decided I like it very much. I was a fun issue, a nice break after the everything was so heavy at the end of Season 8. I also like the contrast btw Buffy and Angel and Faith. They have different tones, and feel like two different "shows" to me.

As for the art, I love Jeanty and think he did a great job with this issue. There was that one part with Riley where I was unsure as to who it was, but as a pretty regular comics reader, this happens a lot, so I'm used to it. I don't need Buffy to look like SMG, I need her to look like Buffy.
so much funny! i am relieved that whedon-co didnt immediately delve into major trauma dealing-withs. i am not ready!! i need to laugh a while...and pay off some student loans asap.
drnotsobad, I mostly agree with you. However, I felt that Jeanty was a bit off his game this issue. Particularly his Andrew didn't look ANYTHING like Andrew to me. I didn't even think it was him until I discussed it with other people. It's strange because I've always thought he was good at drawing Andrew. Suddenly he gets long hair and his face has completely changed? It was weird.
Hmm... I recognized him as Andrew, but I guess his look has changed a bit. Still, now that you know, you can be like "oh, that's Andrew" going forward. Easy enough!
Yeah, it's a bit of a remodel. I imagine new looks, and bit of aging is something we're going to (thankfully) get each season going forward. I didn't have trouble recognising him at all, and I thought Jeanty was pretty stellar throughout this issue. All the images were big and clear enough it worked. I concur he wasn't doing his best stuff for some of the Middle-Earth battle parts of S8 though.
I love Georges' art so much. I did think Andrew was hard to recognize; but although he doesn't look much like he did in S7 of Buffy, he actually looks very much like he did when he showed up on Angel S5, which is just how he should look! His hair was just like that (long and shaggy) for example.
I liked the issue a lot . . . until the last page. Then i was all, WTF? Seemed like a really lame joke. And I don't buy Willow and Spike's reactions (laughter), or Buffy's for that matter (irritation). I think things were made worse for me because a review I read earlier touted the last page as a great ending which was set up brilliantly by the rest of the issue. I didn't think the end had much of anything to do with the rest of the issue, and if there was any brilliance I missed it. Am I being dense here? (That happens a lot.) Am I missing something? (Happens a lot too.). Admittedly, I never made it through the end of season 8 . . . does the "student loan" thing tie in with the end of season 8?

To end on a positive note though, I love that Joss seems to be getting back to the characters, and all the Jossy dialogue.

[ edited by Squishy on 2011-09-16 03:51 ]
I think the payoff is in the sense that Buffy's conflicts are a bit more mundane now, as evidenced in the issue itself. It was also set up by the two nervous people hiring that demon earlier in the issue. That joke actually didn't go over to well with me either. I hit the end and could tell it was clearly supposed to be a huge comedy bit, but it didn't seem that funny to me. However, it did get a chuckle out of me the second time through.
Disappointed. Yeah it was back to a smaller story, but I didn't like this Buffy. She was kind of awful. Why is she so much less mature than she was in Season 7?
Also, having lost IDW's ongoing Spike series and having it replaced with Stalky the Clown? Disappointing isn't strong enough.
I guess I got my hopes up because I enjoyed the Spike online mini so much. But I guess that was a bit of an aberration. Maybe that's why they made it kind of hard to get.

I was really hopeful about Season 9. I was hoping to get my show back. The real Buffy, the continuation of the series.
Nope. Not so far.
Was I the only one who didn't read any hostility at all in the "stalky the clown" line? He was stalking her, as he is wont to do, and she called him a funny name in reference to it. I didn't think it was anything cruel on her part.
It wasn't cruel. But it was a jerky thing to say, since he was out to help her; and because if she were at all related to the Buffy who we saw in season 7, she'd know how far he's come from the days when he really was a stalker. I suppose a lot depends on whether you think the word stalker can be invoked without a negative connotation; and how you think a word like that should be deployed in a relationship with the sort of history that subsists between Buffy and Spike (again, depending a lot on whether you think this Buffy has or should have any relation to the one we saw in season 7).

[ edited by Maggie on 2011-09-16 06:47 ]
drnotsobad, that's a false dichotomy in regards to the art being either Georges' way or "2D with faces that can't move", and to provide an example I point to Rebekah Isaacs' incredible work on Angel & Faith #1. Not only in A&F #1 can you immediately recognize the characters you're supposed to recognize (when you're supposed to recognize them) in the issue, but there is a huge range of emotion and action that fits both the medium of comics as well as showing the characters with a modicum of resemblance of their TV counterparts. Again, this is not a personal knock on Georges but Isaacs is the latest in the long line of great artists that Joss has worked with that I prefer over Jeanty.

[ edited by archon on 2011-09-16 06:52 ]
Liked the issue overall but sure, i didn't like everything in it. Buffy annoyed me a little and even Spike. The whole "adding -ey" thing felt cheap to me instead of a nice piece of fan service. No plans to dump the series though by any means.

On another note, I am surprised that Bleeding Cool spoiled the entire ending in the link. Is that the usual?
archon I agree I personally think that the Angel and Faith series has superior art because If nothing else as at least the characters in question do actually look like adults rather then teenagers/children. But then as I've said before tastes vary.

I thought the art in issue one of season 9 was better then we've had before, but imo Jeanty still draws Buffy ridiculously young, to the degree I can barely associate his version with that of the TV character anymore.

As to how the Spike.Buffy relationship is coming across so far in this, well I'm not so keen. If you add Scott Allies recent remarks about her 'treating Spike like a Dog' it seems there's something seriously off going on imo.

I mean even If Spike was right in Chosen (and I believe now that Whedon wants us to see it that way too sadly) and that Buffy has never did love him, she at least respected him and what he managed to achieve, but that seems to have been conveniently swept under the carpet and we're back to a very early version of these two characters, for no real reason whatsoever as far as I can work out.


[ edited by sueworld2003 on 2011-09-16 09:53 ]
Joss & Co. appear to be making good on the promised course correction to the series. To me, Issue 1 was a welcome return to the vibe of the show. I started reading it on the train, and when the train reached my stop before I'd reached the end of the comic, I sat down on a bench and finished reading, even though it was 10pm and the weather was rather cold and damp. I thought that the last-page reveal was genuinely funny and in line with the tone of the show, which often mixed the chocolatey serious with the peanut-buttery absurd. On the downside, I did have a moment of trouble recognizing Riley, and I didn't recognize Andrew at all until later in the comic, so I had to page back and reread.

All in all, this holds great promise. It's good to be able to look forward to reading the next issue.
Here are my thinky thoughts:

Once upon a time, very long ago, when I was only discovering the wonderful world of fanfiction, I stumbled upon a gem on Buffy slept with somebody but can't remember if it was Angel, Spike or Riley.

Joss went further. Spike and Riley are in the tally, and instead of Angel, there are Xander, Willow (yes - Willow!), Buffy's boss and a mysterious neighbor. The scenes between Buffy and all her possible one-night stands are ambiguous enough to be interpreted any which way you like. Buffy herself doesn't remember anything - or doesn't want to remember. Joss teases all the shipper groups, and he does it in his inimitable style, half-jokingly, half-seriously.

So far, the only consequence of season 8 is the loss of magic. Buffy's "terrorist" activities are forgotten. Bank-robbing is forgotten. Giles' isn't mentioned at all. Unless the guy in red glasses in #40 is really Ripper, Giles is forgotten. (Pity.)

The contrast between season 8 and the first issue of season 9 reminds me the contrast between the tragic ending of season 5 and lightness of early season 6 episodes like "Life Serial" and "All the Way". The new season is smaller in scope and is dedicated to smaller problems.

Buffy's rommates represent two dead ends of her potential future. Anaheed is a walking proof that education isn't a solution of your problems while Tumble who plays computer games all the time, is apparently single and satisfied with it. Interestingly, Anaheed and Tumble's dynamics resembles that of Willow and Xander in season 1 - they are buddies, they apparently know each other for a long time, she is an intellectual, he is a slacker close to the nerd culture. Looks like they'll be recurring characters.

Re: the mystery subplot. I like Emmie's version about the cause of the girls deaths: that they are former vampires, killed by detachment of the demon who animated the body. It doesn't explain why there is no male victims, but I think we'll find out in time.

El Draco is a very colorful character. Looks like he spent so much time in his jail that he has almost lost the ability to speak. His jailers don't look like good guys. His line "Kill all" is followed by a scene in which Buffy screams "Kill! Kill" as she and her guests play Chicken in the pool. Maybe it's an unintentional parallel - but I have the impression that El Draco isn't a bad guy, and that eventually he'll become Buffy's ally.

The mysterious neighbor, Heinrich, is intriguing. (BTW, Joss indended to give The Master the name Heinrich Joseph Nest). We don't see Heinrich and Buffy doesn't remember visiting him - but in the morning he sends her flowers. Is it only my suspicious mind, or Heinrich's flowers *do* have an uncanny resemblance to Twilight boots in the first issue of s8? :) A reclusive type (nobody even knew his name before the party), sends Buffy flowers after spending 20 minutes with her. Sounds like a set-up.

I wonder what secret Xander hides from Dawn but shares with Buffy. I hope he's dissatisfied with his job but doesn't want to quit because he wants Dawn to be able to continue higher education. Or maybe he is unhappy that Buffy wastes her life waitressing and throwing parties. He always put her on pedestal, and now that pedestal is crumbling.

Willow wants to talk to Buffy alone, without Spike at her side. It's about the Seed, but not about blaming Buffy. Maybe Willow wants to restore the Seed and needs Buffy's help.

Spike and Spuffy: when Spike arrives, Buffy is already quite drunk, and she openly flirts with him. He is unimpressed. Later we see him kissing a random girl at the party. When Riley gives Buffy a pep talk, she replies that he sounds like Spike.

The next evening when Spike joins Buffy and Willow at patrol, Buffy is angry at him; she calls him Stalky the Clown. I like her passive-agressive reaction; it's obvious that these two have a lot of unresolved issues. But the season only starts. We have a lot of room for development. So far, I have the impression that Spike slowly turns into Angel circa season 1: he provides Buffy with cryptic clues and tries to protect her. It jibes well with Jeanty's recent declarations at DragonCon.

Overall, I liked the issue. The dialog is quintessestially Jossian, the narrative is energetic and the final twist about the student loan is silly and funny and very season 1.
@archon, perhaps you are right that the two options are not necessarily mutually exclusive. But often artists who try too hard to emulate the actors end up with images that look too static. Read Scott McCloud's "Understanding Comics" for an excellent analysis of how abstraction in art helps us relate to the characters, and too much photo-realistic detail minimizes this effect.

Ultimately, I guess I just don't care how much the comic depictions resemble the actors, as long as they evoke the characters I love. I want a Buffy who looks and feels like Buffy, and Georges has always achieved this perfectly.
I enjoyed the thinky thoughts, Moscow. Thanks for taking the time.
Pretty cool issue

I like the Beer Bad reference, the shot of the awesome Mass Effect 2 on the tv and Spike ending sentences with Y. LOL
The mysterious neighbor, Heinrich, is intriguing. (BTW, Joss indended to give The Master the name Heinrich Joseph Nest). We don't see Heinrich and Buffy doesn't remember visiting him - but in the morning he sends her flowers. Is it only my suspicious mind, or Heinrich's flowers *do* have an uncanny resemblance to Twilight boots in the first issue of s8? :) A reclusive type (nobody even knew his name before the party), sends Buffy flowers after spending 20 minutes with her. Sounds like a set-up.

He sends her flowers for inviting him at the party so he came at the party after the cops showed up?

And Buffy's terrorist activities aren't forgotten I think. Riley's anti-tero now and look who's coming to San Francisco not to be forgotten: Simone.

Nice thinky thoughts, Moscow, and the final twist is precious.
I guess my thoughts were pretty similar to a lot of people's. I loved catching up with where everyone was and really enjoy them just living a normal life and stuff. It's nice the scoobs finally get to go to some parties and have other friends!?

Anyway, yeah good first issue for me. I was a bit disappointed by the last page just cus the joke was so lame. Just really telegraphed and obvious. I can forgive it though.
I must be the only Mass Effect fan here as I'm surprised no one else mentioned that LOL. It's a fitting reference, as the Mass Effect series is very genre and so heavily story based
The Mass Effect comic books are also being published by Dark Horse. And I did mention that in my review of the issue. :)

[ edited by wenxina on 2011-09-18 21:15 ]
Just now read this. Painfully hung over Buffy is really awful looking but her internal monologue is absolutely adorable.
I love when they drop references like that. Just like when we saw the tardis in one Buffy issue. Awesome stuff
@Arkham258 I don't think it was the tardis, just a regular red telephone booth.
I saw that in the most recent one, and I think it was just a phone booth too, but there was one last season that had what really may have been a reference (in the Giles + Faith arc maybe?). I think there were characters walking by who looked like the (then) current doctor or companion as well as the booth...?
Finally got to read the issue, and I enjoyed it. I like Buffy's new roomies, although I thought Tumble was Oz with a beard, especially with all his one word answers. :) I look forward to Buffy interacting with "normal" people again, something we didn't see much in Season 8. I think she's at her best when she's trying to cope with real life problems but the supernatural keeps getting in the way.

Xander's "Dawn doesn't need to know" comment has me officially intrigued. I think Buffy's hand on his arm could be construed differently, but I read it as a normal sign of affection, not flirty.

The ending was funny, and the timing in the panels was such that I could totally see the original actors delivering those lines after the right beat. I like Jeanty's art - it isn't photorealistic, but the characters feel right to me.

I look forward to more Willow without magic, and hope this means her computer skills will return to the forefront again. Her hair looks really cute short, too! And that was a funny scene where she teases hungover Buffy. Willow (and Buffy) has been angsty for so long, I was glad to see how well adjusted she seems to be after the end of Season 8. Hopefully that's not a front!

Spike's dialogue seemed a little too cutesy for the character, but that would be my only real complaint about the issue. Bring on #2!
Loved the issue & can't wait for the next! I must agree with many people when they speak of the likenesses of the characters. I had NO idea that was Andrew, I must have really missed something...

Isn't the same person who drew s8 drawing s9, because I thought that the characters were easily identifiable in s8? Maybe he was having an off day?

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