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"Harmony has minions?"
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October 12 2011

(SPOILER) Discuss Buffy Season 9 #2. Find out what happens after last issue's cliffhanger (ahem).

The link doesn't go to the comments page, it goes straight to Dark Horse. Is that what usually happens when we discuss the issues or am I just going crazy?
It's what usually happens. I link to the comic book on the publisher's website and we discuss it here in the comments.
"Poor demon" "Poor jacket" "Poor bank account"
Nice issue..While reading it, I felt like a watching an episode of Buffy! It is getting very interesting. I loved the new guy! He could be my favorite new character in Buffyverse in the recent times, there is much potential there. Can`t wait for more issues!
Summaration:

Opens with one question resolved right off the bat: not all the mysterious victims are women. This one's a young guy in a tie. As the detectives discuss him, the camera pans out to show that he's just one in a room full of bodies like him.

Back to Buffy, Willow, Spike, and the loan demon. He threatens Buff with bad credit; she retaliates by choking him, but Willow and Spike pull her off, reminding her of the futility of killing him. The demon gets all sad-faced and talks about being trapped in this realm and needing a job. Buffy finds an ATM and gives him all her money, which he says isn't nearly enough.

A few more logistic issues are covered when Spike asks Buffy what happened to all her jewel thief money - it seems she gave it back when Riley negotiated an amnesty between Slayers and Interpol. (Go, Riley!) Demon departs with a final warning, and Willow picks up her argument about how Buffy isn't seeing how her actions affected everyone. She leaves, and Spike picks up his warnings about "rumblings".

Another demon (kind of a cute one, like orphan child cute, not Fillion cute) breaks into Buffy's apartment and begins searching it. Tumble hears him and thinks it's Buffy, but the demon is gone out the window before Tumble can offer ramen.

Severin and his partner are in the morgue looking at the unmarked bodies and files and pictures on them. Severin has found missing persons files for several of the bodies, but all are from the '60s or earlier, and there's no sign of aging. He comes up with the vampire theory ("Have you been watching reality TV lately?").

A sharp-dressed man is running from a vampire. Buffy hops down from a rooftop to save the day, thinking all the while about her Seed and money issues. The stranger says he can help, but Buffy orders him to leave. She stakes the vamp and is immediately caught in a spotlight and at a cop's gunpoint.

Next page, we see her in cuffs and in an interrogation room. Our detectives are back, asking her if any of the photographs they have (of their "victims") look familiar. They know she's a Slayer, though apparently there's some info on her that the feds won't give them. Buffy educates them on how a vampire turns to dust when it's slain, which is immediately turned on her as she's reminded of the vampire she just "killed".

The detectives argue privately about the case and conclude that they're not letting her go until they learn more. They return to the interrogation room and she's gone. We see her on the rooftop outside looking down at some shouting police officers, wondering if she should have waited for a lawyer.

At Xander and Dawn's apartment, Buffy comes in through the window to find them watching her face on TV. Xander congratulates her for being a fugitive. Dawn asks who's really responsible for the bodies, and Buffy says she'll have to find out or never show her face in public again. She then asks for a place to crash and is denied - Xander and Dawn have apparently been fighting, and Xander's occupying the couch. Buffy doesn't press the issue, but she's not too happy about it.

Spike finds her at the top of a skyscraper. He asks how she got pinched, she explains and laments being the Chosen One. He says he'd be dead if she wasn't, and that he's investigating her pursuer(s). She seems cheered as she leaves, but still worried about evading the law while she's trying to solve the case, especially since she almost instantly spots another vampire.

This one's fighting the same guy as last time. Again he says he can help, and "I'm a Slayer. Like you." Buffy forgoes the obvious gender jokes to point out his lack of stake, and runs off after the vamp, chasing him into an alley. As she's about to finish him, she sees that at least a dozen more have cornered her there, and the original one leaps at her.

Close on the vampire's face as he begins steaming and then shifting from game face into a human face. The stranger is revealed behind the body as it falls, his eyes gone white, saying "I told you I could help." Buffy is fascinated and asks "How what why, please."

Magical Slayer Boy explains "He's not a vampire anymore," and the camera pans out to a lot of markless bodies once more. "None of them are."

"You trying to put me out of a job?" asks Buffy. Then she smiles. "'Cause I might be okay with that."
Hey everyone, SlayAlive's Q&A with Scott Allie is open and accepting questions.
i thought a boy-Slayer was going to change EVERYTHING we knew about the Chain. but he seems to be using some form of magic(???) to purge the demon from the human body, so he is not so much a slayer. can't wait to find out more about him!
According to Allie's Q&As for #40, Joss has abandoned the initial Season 9 plan around issue #28 or so. Pretty close to "Harmonic Divergence" in which the world found out about vampires. So far, it looks like the season will be about the consequences of vampires going public as much as about the the destruction of the Seed. Because it looks like Joss decided to up the ante and to turn the killing of a vampire into... well, a real killing. With a fresh corpse. Very interesting.

It's not clear so far if Severin has an inner, physiological ability to "burn" the demon out of a vampire's body or he uses some technology. If it's a technology, it becomes especially murky, because in that case everybody would be able to kill vampires and demons quite easily. Just imagine a situation in which everybody can (and have the right) to kill Lorne. But most likely it's Severin's innate ability. Still -- creepy and reminds of inquisition and burning witches on a stake.

Detectives Dowling and Cheung's situation is quite delicate. They know that Buffy kills other vampires, but, as long as she dusts them, it's not a crime, right? It becomes a crime only when they have a vampire corpse on their hands. An interesting case of double standards - or should I call it double think?

Buffy's new moral quandary is really Joss-worthy. People live next to another species who look more or less like them; who apparently work for human employers; who appear on television; who can't get away from Earth even if they want to. Is it okay to kill them?

So far, it's unclear where the story will go; but it's a new, intriguing premise. For a long time, vampires and demons were metaphors of human fears and frustrations. It's hard to face our fears; should we destroy them or should we learn to live with them without letting them to destroy us?

Plot-wise, it's interesting that in this issue Severin has switched from killing girls to killing male vampires. A coincidence? Or he did it to make a good impression on Buffy? I don't trust the guy; so far he looks like an Angel-lite: a handsome impeccably dressed stranger.

Buffy and Spike have two scenes together. I like that the writers develop their relationship slowly.

Xander and Dawn's decision not to hide Buffy from police is a plot point that demands suspension of disbelief, I think. As a Xander fan, I'd love him to help her. As a Spike fan, I'd love Spike to invite Buffy into his ship so that they could fly as far away as possible until the police solves the case. I got neither the first nor the second option. But I look forward to the next issues.
My comic book guy said they didn't get it because of Columbus Day... but it seems like he was the only one who didn't? I think I need a new comic book guy! :(
I enjoyed the issue, but I'm still having a hard time with the whole "vampires are popular" thing. Do people really believe that they don't feed on the innocent? It seems like a stretch, but then again I am reading a comic book about vampires.

I'm very interested to find out how Severin is doing his thing, particularly considering the lack of magic. In my own brain I would think that once the demon was removed the bodies would wilt and die, since it was the demon that was sustaining them.
"They know that Buffy kills other vampires, but, as long as she dusts them, it's not a crime, right? It becomes a crime only when they have a vampire corpse on their hands. An interesting case of double standards - or should I call it double think?"

Y'know, I raised this point in a past thread...
This is clearly how they are going to get around the Angel/Spike being vampires thing. They will figure out how to use this guy's powers without killing the vampires. I assume since they aren't dusting he makes them human and then kills them.

That seems to make most sense.

Actually really enjoying these comics. thought season eight was going to be the end for me, but these are much less ridiculous, with a much narrower more character based scope. Like it.
@Dana5140 - I'm glad that you noticed it too. It's a very unexpected turn of events, and it will most likely create a controversy in the fandom. We'll see how it will be developed later.
I have Buffy S9 #2.

I thought the issue was better then #1 but I'm still not feeling it.There things I liked though.

Buffy ends up having to pay the demon loan collector and is now broke.She maxes out her savings.It's still not enough.And we see this as one of the consequences of of destroying the seed.The demon loan collector was trapped in this realm and can't get back home and now is trying to make a living here.

There is a nice callback to Buffy's bank robbery from season 8.

It's a nice resoultion to Buffy The Robber from last season although I still think a demon loan collector is silly.

As Willow points out though,the destruction of the seed is having fall out both big and small like this demon being stuck here and Buffy will have to deal.

We finally meet Severin.The new normal guy who is a sort of "male slayer" in this issue.The whole issue is basically a build up to this and his ability and I am very intrigued on that front.As suspected,Severin kills vampires by burning out their demon and just leaving a normal human body.The problem is that unike normal dustings,this leaves bodies for the cops to find they go after buffy because she's a slayer.We meet Detectives Dowling and Cheung who are investigating theses cases.They suspect the victims were vampires and bring Buffy in.When Buffy feels threatened she escapes putting her on the run

She's turned away by Xander and Dawn who are having a fight.Xander is sleeping on the couch.Hopfully more will be revlealed on that front soo.The only one watching her back right this second is Spike.

Severin has two run-ins with Buffy.The first we saw in the preview pages.

And it's after that she's caught by the cops.The second is at the end of the issue where Severin uses his power in front of her.

Buffy is back to wanting a normal life I think she sees Severin as way of getting that and letting him take over.

Severin definitly interests me and his powers.It does make me wonder what would happen if he used that ability on Spike.

We already have a setup for vampire with a soul Angel becoming human via Morah demon blood in Angel & Faith and now at the same time I do wonder if we also are getting the same setup with the other vampire iwth a soul Spike in Buffy via Severin.

I also liked the two new cop characters and hope they stcik around.

Not much to say yet on El Draco yet based off the first two issues

So far,I've really liked the new characters introduced in the first two issues.But I'm not feeling much for are original.I think Andrew Chamblis has the voices for the most part and i thought the issue was paced better than last issue without all the jarring back and forths to the party.But other then Severin,I felt board by the issue.The setup for Buffy's book just feels dull to me where I found season 8 and I'm finding Angel & Faith exciting.I can't wait for each issue of Angel & Faith where I'm just having a mostly eh reaction to Buffy's book right now and not hyped for each issue to come out.

Issue 2 was a improvement for me over issue 1 so hopfully that continues and I can get more drawn into the story like I am with Angel & Faith.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2011-10-12 21:51 ]
I don't perceive a double standard about killing vampires between dust and leaving a body. Remember, Dowling and Cheung are working a theory that their victims are vampires, but they have no proof. In fact, the only person who might know that they asked said they weren't. And their own patrolman saw a vampire get dusted, so that probably went in his report.

We have no reason to assume that, seeing as Buffy didn't appear to be in trouble for dusting that vamp, were SFPD to determine that the victims were vampires, that they wouldn't just drop the matter. Yes, yes, then we get into the whole (entirely unwelcome, cumbersome, and done-better-already-in-other-series, including Alien freakin' Nation) racism angle, but that's beside the point. Didn't say they had the "correct" single standard, just that so far they aren't applying two different standards.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2011-10-12 22:30 ]
I suspect that the law, and police procedures, simply haven't been updated yet to account for the existence of vampires and demons. Nobody is really sure what to do. Does killing a vampire count as murder? Pest control? Desecration of a corpse? I doubt anyone knows. (And Faith seems to back this up too, according to the A&F #3 preview...)

As for Severin's power, I presume it removes the demon from the human body leaving just that... a human body. Turning someone involves killing them before they can rise as undead, so without the demon they're just plain dead.
@stormwreath - it depends. I can see a scenario in which Joss bends the mythology even further and says that demon is a necessary part of a person, an innate "dark side".

I don't insist that I'm right; but I flash back to "Serenity" and the fate of Miranda.

Besides, practically all the demons in the regular cast were artistic persons: Angel - an artist, Spike - a poet, Oz - a musician, Lorne - a singer. I don't know if it was deliberate. But, consciously or subconsciously, Joss correlates creativity and demons - our "dark side".

So, removal of a demon from, say, Spike or Angel could have unexpected results.
I don't know. Metaphorical demons, sure. Everyone has those. But if we're talking about the mythological aspects of the show I thought it was always pretty clear that the thing that made a vampire a vampire was the demon inhabiting the body. The thing that was always iffy was the soul part.

I quite liked the issue. It seems like they are really dealing with aspects of Buffy living "in the real world." I'm wondering if that is going to be major theme of this arc or even of the season. Fun stuff.

All my thoughts on the issue can be found here.
Well, they did Buffy living in the real world once before. It was called Season 6... and I loathed it. I sincerely hope they are not going down that road again.
Now I want to know what happens if you de-vamp a vampire with a soul. Not to mention, can new guy remove Slayer powers as well? Slayers are a little bit demon, no?

Otherwise this issue has me thinking, possibly for the first time ever, "Wow Summers, suck it up just a little." And I really don't feel I should be feeling that way at all with Giles being dead and Buffy's world turned inside out recently. And yet she seems really self-centered in this issue.
You probably have home-brew Shanshu and a whole new rash of shipper wars? Get Severin to do Spike, some Mohra blood on Angel, and we'll never get to talk about anything else :)
The demon in chains getting free (thanks for not killing Tumble), Severin's ability, it looks like Buffy will have a strong support in "the final triumph of the base humans over the demons"
...Wasn't every season of Buffy hypothetically her living in the real world? (Aside from season 8 since I'm pretty sure very very very few individuals have castles full of teenage girls as a militia.)

I'm not clear if I missed something, how did we learn the name Severin? Such a suspiciously fictional sounding name and that generally implies a bad guy, but I like the way he dresses and am kind of shallow. Frankly I was always a little surprised the show never even did a fake out about a male slayer, yet I am so surprised to see them actually go ahead and do it though. Having super-powered male characters isn't exactly new in Buffy but blah blah blah, subversion of subversion gender norms or whatever, I still haven't really thought this out. It's slightly "Gary Stu" as a concept but I trust the creative team and really wonder how they let this play out. Or what the explanation for it even is, since it was far from anything I'd have imagined. (I had just bought into that fake-out they subverted towards the beginning of the issue, that these bodies were all Slayerettes who were mysteriously dropping dead.)

Another point on this guy, who seems to be pushing out the demon spirits to me, it is interesting that to some extent his power seems so much more gentle than impaling vamps with a stake. (I can't quite tell if he's snapping the shocked human shell/body's neck afterward but I suspect not.)

That said, I'm kind of having trouble telling how to visualize or recognize a character in Jeanty's art style. I'd prefer getting something like a cover image to try and establish what someone's supposed to look like if it turns out they're important.I say that now having googled and seen the gorgeous cover for #4.

Does this mean that Jo Chen is off the cover duties though? I wasn't sure at first if I just got to my local store late, but it seems like they're still doing the two cover thing, just one of them is a cycling artist that tends to be Jeantys? I do love and miss Chen but I do really like this new cover artist. His stuff reminds me a little of James Jean and whoever does Unwritten covers in terms of generally being gorgeously quasi-painted, thematically relevant if not a literal depiction, and also that whole thing about occasionally being grotesque.
Sunfire -- yeah, I'm not a fan of Buffy's characterization in this issue. It doesn't really feel like her to me. I'm missing her self-denial and gritty determination and interpersonal insight.

[ edited by Emmie on 2011-10-13 06:17 ]
....the name Severin? Such a suspiciously fictional sounding name....


I don't feel like it's so uncommon; I know three (3!) babies/children with this name. No idea why.

I feel certain that his beads (around his neck and wrist(s?) are significant; pointing to magic as the source of his ability.

It's interesting I guess; I'd kind of almost rather just watch the known characters walk around and chat and argue and deal with regular vamps and cops and roommates; but at least this season there will be half that and half outlandish fights and world-saveage. I enjoyed this issue, though it felt like a lot of set up and not much actual action- but I remember that being my complaint with pretty much every issue of S8 so maybe I need to just get over it and acclimate to the new medium and the fact that a comic book is just not a 45 minute tv show (sniff sniff).
I have reread the issue again after a few hours of sleep, and here are my humble thoughts:

The art: Wow, so much improvement from the last issue, especially how Jeanty is drawing Buffy. She looks far more beautiful in #2 than she did in #1. The Satsu hairstyle didn't really suit her. I love the close-ups, there are so many Buffy close-ups I loved, there's that one with Spike from the previews, and I love the one with Xander looking away with his mouth in the shape of an O.

Buffy: She's trying to fit in in the new magic-less world. It's gonna be hard being a slayer in a world that considers vampires persons with rights. I sympathized so much with her in this issue: she feels Willow is being unfair to her, but doesn't fault her for it, it was a big blow when Spike agreed with Willow considering she usually relied on him to be on her side. I'm not sure she understands what Willow wants from her and that's frustrating her. On top of that, when things get tough, she goes to her family asking for shelter and gets kicked out. That's gotta sting.

I do think that while Buffy is complaining a lot about everybody having a normal life, she's not really doing anything to have one herself. She deals with the conflicts of her life irresponsibly that I think Xander was on to something when he mocked her life plans. She knows she needs to go home and figure out how to pay the demon, but she chooses to go out and slay. She knows she should stick around at the police station and call a lawyer, yet she runs away making things worse for her. She's being irresponsible.

Not to mention that Buffy obviously blames her irresponsibility on her being a slayer. She thinks that if she wasn't a slayer, she'd be much better off in the world and will probably get on well. Being a slayer isn't the problem, the problem is Buffy running away from the hard real life to a life she's used to and is good at: slaying vampires.

Xander and Dawn: I have read everybody's opinions about this, but I still think Xander and Dawn were being jerks. All Buffy asked them was to crash in their apartment for a night, not to investigate and do Scooby research stuff on what's happening. They could have given her that, after all, they are her family and family should be there for you. They could deal with their couple quarrel the next day.

Willow: After being so impressed with her in #1, I have completely lost her in this issue. I can't shake the feeling that she's just using the demon's homeless predicament to further guilt Buffy about breaking the seed. I find myself completely on Buffy's side here, but I'd be proven wrong with future issues.

Spike: I liked him the best in this issue. He was the only one who clearly cares about Buffy and acts to help her. From giving Buffy suggestions to how to pay the demon, to trying to reason with the demon about Buffy's student loan, being there for her when no one is, and promising her to try and find out who's after her.

I don't think that Spike should be in the same level with Xander and Dawn because he didn't suggest Buffy could hide in his bug ship. At least Spike had showed his willingness to help and I'm sure if Buffy asked, he'd open his ship for her. And Spike isn't a relative or a long time best friend. Two years had passed since he and Buffy had seen each other and he's willing to be there for her when she needs him. That's a true friend.
@Sosa Lola-I totally agree regarding Willow. I think that she is being extremely selfish and a bit childish about the seed breaking. I get that she is now cut of from magic and that hurts, but she is not really seeing the big picture either. It almost seems like she is still hooked on the juice.
I think that this season is about Buffy living in the "real world" in the sense that she must deal with more mundane difficulties. Obviously she's been living in the real world before, but she's never really had to deal with the police or financial difficulties, except for a bit in Season 6. They did do that a bit at the beginning of Season 6, but it seems like they are coming at it from a different angle here. I'm interested to see where it goes, and I like Sosa Lola's thoughts about Buffy's irresponsibility and blaming it on her slayerness.

Severin: I don't know why everyone seems so upset that he called himself a "slayer." I didn't interpret that as there being a true male slayer. I thought it was just like, oh, he slays vampires too. Just because he slays them doesn't mean he's a Slayer. Gunn isn't a Vampire Slayer either but he did alright. Obviously there's more about him to find out, but I don't think we will find that he was Chosen the same exact way Buffy and the other Slayers were Chosen. And I'm in the "Severin is a dumb name" camp.
I've linked to this on the sidebar, the roundup of the reviews will probably be going up tomorrow night.
Quite trivially, I noted that Willow was wearing a cardigan/coat thingy that looked a lot like the one that Tara wore in "Tabula Rasa".
Even more trivially, I noticed upon reread that there is a landmark outside Buffy's apt window that makes it possible to pinpoint where she lives! So as your San Franciscan correspondent; ta-da! According to my calculations, THIS is roughly the apt Buffy, Tumble and the girl whose name is briefly escaping me live.

A completely silly exercise, but I couldn't resist.
I can't get the link to work. bleh. maybe next time.

[ edited by aphasia on 2011-10-14 10:50 ]
It makes sense to me that if Severin can remove the demon from a vampire then what you would have left is the corpse of a human being (since you have to die in order to become a vampire). Of course HOW one would remove the demon without magic will be interesting to discover. It is certainly more unpleasant to have those corpses left behind, but I don't see where it is a bad thing to extract the demon, and in fact the name 'Severin' seems pretty right on the nose since he is 'severing' the demon from the human being. Just saying.
My review can be found HERE if anyone wants to read it. A little late because I was away on a research cruise when the issue hit the shelves.
A disappointing season opening following a disappointing season closing. I've said before I've gone from "fan" to "casual viewer/reader;" I've now gone from "casual v/r" to "on autopilot." I'm at the point of hoping I truly hate, rather than merely dislike, the eventual end of the run storyline; that way I can be truly glad it's over.
Yikes, I was into this issue for the set uppyness that it is.
I didn't see where the name "Severin" was introduced. Was it revealed somewhere else?
@1starbuckstown - here's the text of the solicitation of issue 4 :

As Xander, Dawn, and Willow retreat into their own complicated lives, Buffy finds herself drawn more closely to her new friend Severin, a mysterious crime fighter in his own right, and a snappy dresser to boot. Together they take on a new kind of vampire threat while Buffy's not-in-the-know roomies start snooping through her unslept-in bedroom. Now what could they possibly find?
Yikes, I may be the only one but since when is bringing info from future issues into the discussion of the current issue ok? I don't read spoilers, I don't look at future issue covers or descriptions. Can't we just focus on the issue we have? If not can threads be tagger with spoiler tags if people bring up future stuff?

I for one would have liked to discover this guy's name in due course and not from you lot.

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