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November 09 2011

(SPOILER) Discuss Buffy Season 9 #3. Find out what's happening in issue 3.

OK, got my copy, quick summary

Spoiler!

The issue starts with Buffy and Severin in the alley where we left them in #2. Buffy wonders how his powers work since there is no magic now and then she thinks that turining vampires into corpses is not exactly magic. Severin replies that she is the slayer and he expects her to tell him. Buffy tells him that she gets blamed for all the corpses he leaves behind, she grabs him and she takes him on the rooftop of the building while the police arrives on the scene. The both watch the police from the rooftop and Severin tells her that he didn't mean to get her in trouble. Then Buffy asks him if he knows some place where she can sleep, someplace where the police won't find her.

Next we see the police in Buffy's appartment talking to her roommate, the page we have already seen in the previews. We continue looking at Spike, again the page we have already seen, which continues as the real estate demon tells Spike that he doesn't know the name of the demon that is after Buffy, all he knows is that he lives in Alcatraz, that's the place he found for him, because it reminds him of his home and we see the demon sitting in a cell looking at a picture with Buffy's face commenting that she is hard to find.

We continue next panel with Buffy, she is sleeping. Severin tries to touch her but suddenly Buffy wakes up and she grabs his hand and stops him from touching her. Severin says that he only wanted to wake her up while holding a cup of coffee. He tells her that he has never seen someone falling asleep so fast and that he is a trust fund kid, that's why he has such an appartment. Buffy wonders why he risks all that just to play the exorcist on vampires and Severin tells her that he has never wanted to do that, but what he wanted was to become a vampire himself.

So he tells her his story. It was his girlfriend Clare that got him into that, and she was the one that made the connections with the fanged community. Finally she found someone named Alesssandra that she went to high school with, and the arrangement was Alessandra to turn Clare, and then Clare to turn Severin. Severin got a little bit nervous when the time came, but Allessandra reassured them and Clare really wanted it so they could be together forever. As Severin continues he says that he watched his girlfriend die in front of his eyes but Alessandra told him that Clare would wake up in a few hours as a vampire and everything would go right on schedule. Buffy realizes that it was Clare that wanted to be sired and not Severin, but Severin replies that he really wanted to become a vampire himself...until Clare woke up. She wasn't like the other vampires they had seen in bars, but she was mean, bloodthirsty, an animal, she didn't even know who he was. He then says that he didn't mean to do it (=kill Clara), he didn't even know that he could, he was just trying to protect himself. The power surged right from his hands, and as he was killing her, right for a second before she died, she saw it in her eyes that she was human again, but then she was totally gone. He still doesn't know how he did it, his hands just pipped out whatever made her a vampire.

Buffy then tells him that it was a good thing that he killed her and that he wasn't sired, since she wouldn't have hesitated to kill them if they had crossed paths. Severin then mentions that it is not just Clare, but every vampire that he has seen turned ever since and he only uses his powers to kill the vampires that still sire humans or putiing the mindless ones out of their misery. Buffy asks him when Clare was sired, he says 2 months ago, and Buffy tells him that probably it is because of the destruction of the seed and it is her fault that this thing happens with the newly sired vampires now.

We continue with the last 2 panesl from the preview pages, the police talking to Dawn/Xander and Buffy calling a Scoobie meeting. Buffy uses Dawn's phone to call Willow. Willow picks it up rather happy that Dawnie is calling, only to realize that it is actually Buffy using her sister's mobile. Buffy says that she wasn't sure that she would pick it up, Willow is kind of rude telling her "I'm at working, and shouldn't you be on the run from the police?" but she gets kind of excited when Buffy tells her that there are consequences from breaking the seed. Then Buffy continues talking to Dawn and Xander, having Willow on the phone at the same time listening to the conversation. The topic of their meeting is not Severin, as she tells them, but why the vampires are on steroids (meaner, faster, stronger and drool a lot more). Dawn mentions the Vampyr book and Severin seems quite interesting in hearing that there is a book, but Buffy replies to her sister that it is more than 5.000 pages and she hasn't read it and that she can't go to her apartment now to pick it up. Willow says from the phone that they should have thought about it, since when someone becomes a vampire a demon comes from another dimention possessing the body, but now with the seed broken, the demons have to possess the bodies from another dimension. Buffy realizes that they are a kind of vampire-zombies, and Xander names them "Zompires" mentioning with a big smile that his work is done now. Severin then says that he knows a nest and he could use Buffy's help to take the zompires out. Xander then says that their job is done but Buffy wonders why, since she thought that they came there to be scoobies. But Dawn interferes saying that they only came so they could give Buffy's the card that the police gave them, so she could the detective. Dawn says that nobody is complaining about the vampires right now, and Buffy is all over the news and she should clear things with the police. Xander adds that Buffy can't hide from reality anymore, although she was trying to do the right thing. Severin then says that she can't trust the police, they only want to lock her up, and that she should help him with the vampire nest. As Dawn and Xander leave Severin's apartment, Xander adds that now everybody knows about the vampires and everybody likes them and Buffy should work with the police about the zompires. Dawn tells Buffy to be careful because she would hate to see her in jail.

Then we go to Spike, who has already arrived in the jail and he is looking for the demon. He goes in his cell but the demon isn't there. Or that's what Spike thought, since he was hiding and he attacks Spike. Spike fights back and demands to know why the demon is looking for Buffy. The demon says because Buffy broke the seed, and Spike indignant with the whole seed thing mentions that people should just get over it. But then the demons says that he was to thank Buffy, he had been imprisoned by his enemies since a millenia ago, trapped with magic. His name is Eldre Kho and he swears that now he is bound to the one that got him free. Spike doesn't believe him and he attacks him, telling him that he has beein hearing rumors that Koh has come for Buffy. But Koh tells him that it is not him that wants to hurt Buffy, but it is Siphon. Spike still doesn't believe him mentioning that Koh has just got out of jail so he can't know more things than him. But then Koh adds that he knows demons older than the vampires and they all feared the arrival of the Siphon. A being that rips mystical energy from whatever it touches, demons, vampires, even slayers.,,and he is heading towards Buffy.

Next we see Severin and Buffy going to the vampire nest together. Buffy is worried whether Severin will be able to handle it, but then Severin tells her that there is something that he hasn't told her yet about his powers. Everytine he kills a vampire, he gets stronger and stronger. So maybe, after they take out the nest, he maybe even stronger than Buffy. They open the door of a warehouse, and we see hundreds of dead vampires on the floor. Buffy surprised tells him "They are all dead!" and Severin replies, " I know" in the last panel, when it basically leaves us with the impression that he is going to attack Buffy. He has a very creepy appearance, with power coming out of his hands.


TO BE CONTINUED.
That's a quick summary? :) Thanks, zianna!
Yeah, it started as a quick one, but I guess it didn't end like that :)
zianna, please don't post a discussion thread just so you can get your summary on site. Wait for one of the mods to post the threads, thanks.
My own summary:

Buffy and Severin are still in the alley after Severin shows her his power. He doesn't know how it works; he wants her to help him figure it out. She whisks him away from the "crime scene" and explains that she's getting the blame for the bodies, and says that if he wants to help, he can give her a place to sleep.

The cops talk to Anaheed; Spike talks to the little realtor gnome, who says he set up the "something nasty" searching for Buffy in "a place where no one will find him". We see the red dredlock'd demon sitting in a cell in Alcatraz, looking at a newspaper article about Buffy.

Buffy wakes up in Severin's plush apartment. He brings her coffee and tells her his story: he's a trust fund kid (no mention of his parents), and he wanted to be a vampire. His girlfriend had a plan to get herself sired by an old friend-turned-vampire, and then sire Severin in turn. He describes being horrified by watching his girlfriend drained, and then seeing her turn into a mindless (quite ugly!) beast when she woke. She attacked him and his powers were involuntarily activated, dropping her as soon as he touched her.

All this is told in flashback frames, and then we return to Buffy and Severin talking in his apartment. Buffy says that neither Severin would have been better off as a "normal" vampire, and that she would have killed them both. He says that all vampires are now waking up feral, and that he kills them and any vampire still siring them. Buffy works out the connection to the Seed based on the timing of events.

The cops visit Xander and Dawn, and then Buffy texts them, Willow, Spike, and Andrew, asking them to meet at Severin's place. Willow and Xander come, and Buffy calls Willow again, using Dawn's phone because she thinks Willow will refuse to talk to her. Willow picks up, but isn't receptive until Buffy starts talking about consequences of breaking the Seed, and then she consents to attend the meeting through speakerphone.

Buffy introduces Severin only briefly, putting priority on investigating the change in vampires. Dawn brings up the book that Giles left Buffy - Severin's interested, but Buffy says she can't go back to get it. Willow and Buffy talk about how demons can no longer cross dimensions to inhabit human bodies, meaning the new vampires are without demons to control them. Xander dubs them "zompires".

There's argument about the next step. Xander, Willow, and Dawn don't want to get involved, but they do want Buffy to go to the cops before things get worse. Severin wants Buffy to help him take out a nest, saying she can't trust the police. Xander and Dawn leave, asking Buffy to be careful, however she decides.

Spike finds the demon in Alcatraz; they have it out briefly, and the demon, Eldre Koh, claims that he's only seeking Buffy to thank her. The end of magic released him from the prison where he was held in this realm (wrongly, according to him), and now he swears he's bound to Buffy. Spike doesn't buy it and brings up the rumors he's heard about someone trying to off Buffy. Koh says those aren't about him, but the prophesied "Siphon", who rips mystical energy from all he touches and is supposedly headed straight for Buffy.

Next page, we see Buffy and Severin headed for the nest that he told her about. He says not to worry about him; he gets stronger with each vampire he kills. After they take out the nest, he says, he might even be stronger than her.

On the final page we - and Buffy - see that the lair is already full of dead bodies. Severin turns to Buffy with an evil grin and energy crackling all around him. "I know," he says.
I'm just wondering how different the "Zompires" are from the Ubervamps of season seven.
please don't post a discussion thread just so you can get your summary on site. Wait for one of the mods to post the threads, thanks.


Oh, sorry, didn't know that, I'll know it next time. Usually I get my copies very early, basically I had read all of 6 issues so far before any written summaries. If next time you don't have a discussion opened, I'll wait for one to post my summary here. :)
This issue was boss, the cliffhanger ending.... I really can't wait a month! This feels like the show so much to me, I'm all kinds of happy. So Buffy may lose her powers for a bit or what?
Awesome issue. Great scooby interaction, though I'm a bit worried about Willow's time in the spotlight this season. Hopefully we see more of her as the story progresses.

The Goose, I'm not a terrific one for 'verse mythology, but I believe that the ubers basically a different species of vampire. They aren't evolved. I'm unsure if they could even turn people. Zompires are produced the normal vamp-y way, just that all humanness is gone. Or something.
I have Buffy Season 9 #3,"Freefall Part III of IV."

First of all,I thought Georges Jeanty's art in this issue was better than in issues 1 and 2 and ranked with his best work of season 8.

Second a list of the types of vampires in the Buffyverse.

1)The pure demon Angel became in the Pylea arc.

2)Ubervamps/Turok-Hans

3)regular vampires

4)Souled vampires

and now

5)zompires

The zompires seem to fall somewhere around....

1)The pure demon Angel became in the Pylea arc.

and

2)Ubervamps/Turok-Hans

..... as far as their behavior goes.Probably closer to #1 where Angel switched to a pure vampire demon state in the Pylea arc of ATS season 2.

They also remind me a little of The Reapers from Blade II.

From my reading of the issue,it seems the vampire demons are still trying to posses the host body but are now forced to do it from a different dimension hence why zompires are animailstic and feral without human characteristics and memory?The vampire demon is still influencing but from far away due to being cut off from the loss of magic instead of being fully able to posses and animate the dead body?

The zompires is a interesting idea at any rate and I'm hoping we see some zompires also pop up in Angel & Faith at some point.

We also get the backstory on Severin and yes it does seem he's a bad guy and the guy Spike was warned is after Buffy.The Siphon.

Also I'm now thinking Severin is the guy in shades from Buffy S8 #40.The very last panel of this issue makes me think that.Severin and his creepy evil expresion as he appears to be about to suck Buffy of her powers reminded me of shades guys appearance from season 8 #40.I just looked back at the issue and yes,Severin/Siphon looks similar minus the glasses and blood splatter.It would be interesting if somone posted the image of Shades dude from Buffy S8 #40 and Severin from the end of this issue for a comparison.

Eldre Koh the deomn freed from the end of magic is looking like an ally and will probably be teaming with Spike next issue based off Georges cover.

This issue is very exposition heavy.We get the backstory on Severin,on Koh and on the zompires but it's handled well and lively.

And for anyone who was interested about lack of Giles mentions.He is mentioned in this issue.Dawn mentions the VAMPYR book Giles lefter her in Buffy S8 #40.I know

I still am enjoying Angel & Faith more and finding that storyline more interesting but thought this was a good issue and better then issues 1-2.Each issue has improved over the last one for me.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2011-11-09 19:47 ]
Zompires remind me of the lurks from Fray...maybe a bit more feral.
The implication of how zompires work is that there is still interaction between dimensions, just not physical crossover. That's a little weird. Although rather than a general rule I suppose it could be limited to circumstances like this one, where the demonic nature of the process already exists in the world, it just had to adjust post-seed.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2011-11-09 19:40 ]
I don't think creation of zompires is going to help the whole public loving vampires thing atleast.
I wasn't on the "Issue 40 glasses guy is Ripper" train until rewatching "The Dark Age (I think that's the title)" from season 2. The memory/dream Giles has shows a guy (presumably younger Giles) with, you guessed it, red glasses...Could be total coincidence, but it would be pretty awesome if a small detail like that was carried this far into the future of the series.
If it weren't for that, I'd be siding with "Glasses guy is Severin" (and in fairness, they probably are the same guy really).
Only real reason I'm siding against it being Severin is the blood in the #40 panel. Mind you, that could have been there before they decided exactly what his powers would be.
I was originally on the glasses guy being a young evil Giles/Ripper too but after this issue I'm now leaning more to shades guy being Severin

That's interesting about "The Dark Age" though.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2011-11-09 19:50 ]
I'm also thinking that from now on if people want to post summaries, it might be better to post a link to the summary (say to a relevant post on Slayalive or BuffyForums) in their comments. Not that I don't appreciate the effort, it just would make discussion here easier.
Hm, I wonder if Severin is going to be used by a certain ex-witch at some point in order to get her magick back. If he is, in fact, "The Siphon", and he gets stronger with each vamp he drains then it stands to reason that he's internalizing their power/magick. What if Willow finds a way of tapping into him and absorbing his collected power (not his ability, just the amassed energy) into herself? We know, given Time of Your Life, that Willow gets back at least some power (and frankly, I think she becomes something akin to a second Seed). What if he's the way to do it?
Thanks for the break down on the vamps Buffyfantic. It would seem they had more in common with the pure vampire strain. Basuraboi3, I think the Lurks are just regular vampires but are just called something different as language progressed/devolved because they seemed rather cognizant.

[ edited by The Goose on 2011-11-09 19:58 ]
Are links to personal blogs okay? I'm not active at any of the big forums.
So we finally properly meet El Draco. Pretty sure that El Draco is just the phonetic pronunciation of Eldre Koh.

[ edited by wenxina on 2011-11-09 20:56 ]
Are links to personal blogs okay? I'm not active at any of the big forums.


You can link to any of your own stuff in a comment(as long as its relevant obviously).
Thanks.

I never would have thought to pronounce "Eldre" any way but "Elder"...neat find!
Just read #3 and here are some rushy thoughts:

Buffy: She's too tired from lack of sleep that she slept so fast –as Severin says. I still think Xander and Dawn should have let her sleep in their apartment and then talked to her about going back to the police.

She's wondering why someone like Severin with a big loft and nice looking life would want to go out at night and slay vampires, she uses the word "risk", knowing that getting involved with that life style may make a person lose a lot of what they have: money, home, friends, family, and sanity.

"You too?" When I first read that line, I didn't think Buffy was talking about herself. I thought of Ford when she said it. But thinking about it now, she's probably talking about the people who want to be vampires now due to vampire popularity.

Buffy uses the word "kill" instead of "slay": "Clare wouldn't have been better off as a normal vampire. Neither would you. No offence, but I would have killed both of you if we'd crossed paths."

I'm not saying she never used the word "kill" with vampires before, but she made a point to the police that the term is slay and not kill, so I thought she'd be more careful how to phrase it in the future.

This is the first real sign of the world becoming a worse place after the loss of the seed, newly made vampires becoming zompires: brainless feral creatures. Now Buffy is finally considering Willow's argument. She wasn't convinced at all that what she did was the wrong thing, still doesn't believe it, but she couldn't really see a downside to not having magic except that it hurt her friendship with Willow. She did slip before and called it "My mista… my actions" but she corrected herself right away.

LOVED Jeanty's art in the panels with Buffy calling Willow, you can just hear their voices from their expressions. You can just see how hard it was for Buffy to admit that Willow was right and the way she rolled her eyes at Willow's "Really?" before quickly replying, "I'm not saying I made the wrong choice." *claps her hands for Jeanty*

I think Buffy was being irrational when she didn't listen to Xander and Dawn. It seems that she doesn't want to do things the sensible way (going to the police) because she's so used to fixing her problems herself. She's also used to getting away from the cops with a lot of luck – S2 in Ted and Becoming, S3 in Consequences, S8 stealing. Slaying is her priority, but Xander and Dawn have a point, the world is aware of vampires, so there's no difference between Buffy's job and the police's job. Buffy and the police can work together.



Xander and Dawn: I'm not really sure if they were really fighting over Dawn's birthday or if that's a fight they made up to use whenever the police showed up at their door. Buffy had sneaked into their apartment yesterday, so they had a whole day to think of a good story to tell the cops. Xander stressing that their fight is real and ridiculous shows exactly that it wasn't their real fight. They were acting from the start.

They obviously care so much about Buffy, which wasn't clear at all in #2, but they lied straight to the police to protect her, showed up right away when Buffy texted them and they listened to what she wanted to tell them, not brush it off from the beginning because it's not their business, and they gave her a very reasonable advice. Too bad Buffy didn't listen to them.

Again, a term Xander comes up with gets picked up. He was the one who came up with Scoobies, and now zompires.



Willow: She's upset with Buffy and is ignoring her because Buffy has been ignoring her concerns, but she showed interest and readiness to help when Buffy admitted that she was right. I have to say I was being harsh on Willow before, she didn't sound nasty when I read the issue. She, too, thinks that Buffy should go to the police instead of running away from them. It's the right thing to do and shows a lot of concern for Buffy.

I don't know if Willow's explanation to the zompires is the right one, she's been wrong before when she thought that Buffy was sucking other slayers' powers.



Spike: He's got Buffy's back. He's trying to find out who's after her. There's no new insight about his character so far.
At the risk of starting another Mac vs. PC debate, I couldn't help but notice all the Apple products (complete with visible logos) in this issue: Dawn on an iPhone, Willow on a MacBook, Spike on an iPhone, Andrew with an iPod. Official product placement? (An excellent issue, BTW.)
@Kairos: My first thought when I read Koh's name was "Wait... he's Mormon?!" Then it clicked the next moment and I had a chuckle. :)
I guess the last page makes it pretty clear why Severin was so adamant about Buffy not going to the police
First of all, loved the cover for this issue. Poor Buffy looks miserable, and it's pretty evident that Xander and Dawn are NOT happy (hence why he's apparently still riding the couch every night). I'm wondering what's with the "Xander forgetting Dawn's birthday" drama, there's gotta be more going on there. Or, maybe it really is just more of Dawn's over-dramatics (no surprise there, hehe). And sad to see that Will and Buffy are still in rocky waters.

Fave lines, Xander was really the star of this issue for me:

"Is it 3 years ago? Nope, still missing an eye."
"Zompire! I've named them, my work here is done!"

Lastly, I don't know if I fully trust this Severus guy (I don't think we're suppose to...not yet anyway). Something about him just seems off to me. Anyone else getting the scary-guy vibe off him? This girl doesn't think he's entirely on the up-and-up!

That's all for now.
Zompire was a fine choice. The alternative would be Vambie, which sounds too much like a cartoon deer.
But then Xander could have made a Vambie Meets Dawnzilla joke.
Hang on, did she say she wanted to be a vampire too?
I think it was more of a "you're another one of these people who want to be vamped now?" thing.
IDK, she does have a thing for vampires with souls and wanting to be pretty. Maybe she does.
I think Willow's wrong about the zompires. She desperately wants there to be a way to connect to other dimensions, so she jumps straight to an explanation that has the vampires linked to another dimension, without considering alternatives.

Has it ever even been stated before that the demons in vampires come from another dimension? I mean, I figure the original demons that created the original vampires would have been. But I always thought that when, say, Darla sired Angel, it was more like a new baby demon was created by the act of siring ... something that was part demon-Darla and part Liam.

Anyway, whatever the mechanics of it are, I love the idea that vampires can't "reproduce" normally now that the Seed is gone. Very interesting.

Also: if Severin can take magical power from Slayers as well as vampires, could this mean Buffy's about to lose her powers? I seriously doubt she's going to die ... but maybe it works differently with Slayers than with vampires, and will leave her alive but disempowered? And then she'll team up with the cops to stop Severin?

All wild speculation, obviously. But that would be a very personal problem, would tie into the "real-life" theme that seems to be important this season. And I'd definitely prefer that to pregnant Buffy.
I don't think Buffy's ever wanted to be a vampire, even after everything. It was one of her nightmares back is S1, remember?

I enjoyed this issue, though it definitely feels like a 3rd part to a longer arc. Very much focused on getting us through the story with not as much focus on characters.

We did get some nice character bits though.

I for one don't buy for a second that Xander and Dawn were fighting about her birthday.

Buffy is still very much not facing the adult world. Xander and Dawn's suggestion of going to the police and straightening the whole thing out was actually quite reasonable. However, as seems to be the theme of this arc (maybe season?), Buffy is having trouble adjusting to being in the real world and decides to go off and deal with the situation herself.

To be honest, I called that El Draco (Eldre Koh?) was a red herring bad guy. However, Severin's true nature took me completely by surprise. His face heel turn at the end was downright terrifying and unexpected from me. As soon as El Draco started describing him, I started going... Oh Crap Oh Crap. And the moment where he opened the thing to reveal all the dead vamps was really chilling.

I actually quite liked his origin story. It was actually really sad and made me feel bad for the guy, which probably made it easier for me not to see his true nature. Particularly the part where he says "I watched my girlfriend die." That was really upsetting. Two dumb kids getting in way over their heads in something they didn't understand and one of them losing their life for it. I can assume of course that this story is true because we actually saw it in flashback?

Anyway, overall it was a nice solid issue, and I'm looking forward to seeing where it goes.
I think that Buffy is right to be reluctant to go to the police: in the old days the police didn't believe in the existence of vampires and would have seen her as a violent trouble maker. But the situation isn't that much better now, when the police see vampires as real, and popular, with equal rights (not beings that Buffy can kill with impunity). Piles of corpses point to a serial killer, and considering public opinion I don't think Buffy wants to face the police or a jury of her peers.

edited to add: I'm loving season 9, I love time spent with the scoobies (and calling them scoobies). And since Spike is in a supporting role I'm not holding my breath waiting for character growth, I'm just really enjoying his appearance in the comic.

[ edited by embers on 2011-11-10 03:44 ]
Good issue and it feels like there is finally a story to talk about! Still hasn't captured me the way that Angel's title has but I have high hopes, especially after todays issue.

Severin is a pretty cool interesting new character and I really hope he doesn't turn out to be the villian. The thought that came to my mind when he described his "gift" was to wonder if he could siphon Angelus out of Angel's body. It would be ironic to watch Faith struggle all season to locate the Mohra demons blood to try to rid Angel of his monster, while the real solution has been standing beside Buffy all season long.

Not loving Xander and Dawns attempt at living the normal life but then I never expected to. Willow's petty attitude is strange considering Buffy really had no choice but to destroy the seed. I guess Willow doesn't understand she is pretty much saying they would have all been better off dead? I find it odd and think maybe Willow is even more upset than we are being shown. Hopefully sometime soon we will get a true blue Scooby dynamic moment and the air will clear, everyone voicing their hearts griefs and desires.

Still miss Giles in Buffy's side and still hoping beyond words that Angel figures out how to bring him back, right or wrong, don't care.

All in all this was a great issue that feels like a story developing. Looking forward to the next one.
I loved the issue personally. After getting passed that crazy party form issue 1, everything has been a lot of fun.

I wasn't surprised regarding Severin's and Koh's "about-face" actually. I am wondering if Severin's attack at the end is actually going to be a mislead (however personally I'm leaning more towards Severin being our first major bad guy for the season...or our major bad guy).

I find it funny that the solicitations/covers seem more relevant to the prior issue than the actual issue (like this cover had Buffy's friends turn away from her when that was done more so in issue 2 than 3, etc).

Personally, I'm really liking Koh. We hardly know him and I want to read more about him. So far Robert and Koh seem like really great characters. Severin was interesting to me and I'm sure he'll be fascinating down the road, but I'm not as attached to him as I am with Koh and Robert. I find it fascinating to think about Illyria and Koh speaking.

It's great to see more scooby interaction and I'm just as happy as a clam with Spike back in the mix (even if he is a bit static right now, but I'm waiting patiently to read more about him and how he will be developed later on).

I'm looking forward to issue number 4, especially because we'll see a wonderful show of friendship.
Wow, so many detailed summaries there's nothing more to add.

So what exactly makes the vampires vampires if not the demons? Just ingesting vampire's blood? What happens if a living person drinks vampire's blood?

What other new changes can we expect?

Count me on the people awaiting for Illyria/Koh to team up.
I'm starting to think the whole thing about Xander sleeping on the couch is a huge mislead. I agree that their birthday argument seemed staged for the cops, and I'm wondering if maybe them fighting isn't really exactly what's going on AT ALL. What if that's just a cover for someone else staying on their couch that they're trying to hide? Admittedly I don't have a clue who that would be but I feel that the sleeping arrangement thing has been mentioned an awful lot-- starting to feel like a hint of some kind. But I'm often wrong...

So many new characters! Any other show/story, whatever... I would be thinking oh no, they'll never keep track of all these threads, this is dumb, they're over-reaching... *cough*Ringer!... But with Joss in charge I have faith that they know what they're doing so I'm super excited. Draco! Detectives! Downstairs neighbor guy, plus roommates, plus of course Severin... I can't wait to find out more.
ooh and interested in the hint that that old old book is actually going to be useful all these years later... even if it does seem like a bit of a ret-con (it's not like Giles was consulting it all the time back in Sunnydale)
Aphasia, I honestly did not think of that! (Xander and Dawn having someone staying with them.) Wow! That makes perfect sense actually, and also partially justifies them blowing Buffy off last issue but being very supportive of her here. Maybe whoever it is would be someone Buffy can't see right now! I like that theory a lot. But who...?
My thoughts:

Mythology:
When it rains, it pours. The new issue introduces so many pieces of the new mythology that it's a bit overwhelming.

Turns out, since the destructon of the seed, all the newly-sired vampires are "remotely possessed" by demons from other dimensions; this type of possession makes them more feral and ugly. They can't control their basic instincts for blood. The logic behind the explanation is very flimsy, but whatev. It's make-believe after all. So, there are "old" vampires, who abide by "Harmony rules" and the are new "zompires" who are mindless killers.

Buffy's new slaying partner, Severin, tells her he has discovered his ability to rip the demon essense from vampires after the destruction of the seed. Maybe it's another consequence. Or maybe it's just a plot necessity.

Spike tracks the demon who escaped the mystical prison, Eldre Koh, finds him in Alcatraz (writers revel in trademark SF locations) and discovers that the demon considers himself indebted to Buffy because she has freed him by destroying The Seed.

Eldre Koh says Buffy shoulf beware of "Siphon" who drains magic from everyone he touches - vampires, demons... even the slayer. On the last panel Severin-Siphon tells Buffy that he becomes stronger with every vampire he drains... and it looks like he's about to attack her. Will he or won't he? The cover of the next issue features Spike and Eldre Koh running to the rescue; OTOH, the solicitation of # 4 calls Severin her friend.

I don't remember so many new elements of mythology introduced in a single episode, ever. The changes are staggering. Two types of vampires. A demon who considers himself Buffy's ally. A human who kills vampires - yet he apparently isn't a very good guy. Maybe he's a bad guy. He admits that we wanted to become a vampire.

It's a different world. More grey. More adult.

Relationships:

The much-debated Xander and Dawn's refusal to let Buffy sleep on their couch turns out to be a good thing, as police detectives visit them soon after. When Buffy calls the Scoobie meeting, Xan and Dawn are the only ones who arrive (Spike's on his way to Alcatraz and Willow is at work). Dawn gives Buffy Detective Dowling's number and ask her to call him. I can't figure out if we are supposed look at Xander and Dawn's stance from a RL standpoint or from a TV show standpoint. Because, from RL standpoint, Buffy is an irresponsible idiot who fled the police custody and now endangers the lives of her sister and her friends. They could end up in jail because of her. While from TV show standpoint, Buffy is right because of genre conventions and protagonist privilege: she was right to flee the police custody, because she's the one who saves the day, while cops have always been depicted as clueless and helpless. And Xander and Dawn are wrong to refuse her shelter because, according to the show, being arrested for helping a criminal is a non-issue on BtVS.

The same situation is with Willow who doesn't come to a Scoobie meeting because she's at work. From RL standpoint it's normal. From TV show's standpoint, work could wait; Scoobies' meetings have always been Scoobies' top priority.

Spike and Buffy don't interact in this issue, but he works hard to find out who's after her. I miss their snark. Hopefully they'll have some screentime together in the next issue.

Art:

Hit and miss, as usual. There are wonderfully executed panels of Buffy's close-ups. There are great details, especially in the demon (Nomed) rental agency. My favorite detail is Willow's co-worker off-screen reaction to Willow's line: "Shouldn't you be on the run from the police?": we don't see the co-worker, but the documents she has printed are flying around - apparently poor girl has tripped.

I wonder who is responsible for visual continuity. On the penultimate page, when Buffy and Severin approach the zompires' nest, there are stars on the sky on the upper panel, there are no stars on the middle panel and there are stars on the bottom panel. In the scene where Severin's girlfriend becomes a vampire, she doesn't wear striped stockings initially; when as she attacks Severin she wears stockings, but they mysteriously disappear as soon as Severin sucks her inner demon out of her. Apparently, her stockings were utterly demonic and Severin accidentally sucked them in.

Writing:

Fast-pacing narrative, full of shocks and twists. Inventive transitions from one scene to another through the use of offscreen dialogue. My only gripe is that the episode is heavy on exposition, and there is no time and space for small intimate moments. The dialogues are good, but after the brilliance of issue #1 simply "good" is a bit of a letdown.

Specs:

Severin's story developed so quickly over the course of this issue that I have the impression that by the next issue his story will be over. Do you remember Buffy's roommate, Kathy, from "Living Conditions"? She represented a radical shift the the mythology, being a demon who could suck the souls out of humans - but, ultimately, she was just a one-episode concept. I may be wrong , but it seems to me that it's Severin's fate too. There are specs that Severin and the red-glasses guy from the flash-forward in #40 are the same guy, but I doubt it. The guy is left-handed, Severin is right-handed; Severin doesn't wear glasses or jewellery. I still hope that the red-glasses guy is Ripper.

Bits and pieces:

It's hard to keep an elastic timeline in the show as studded with cultural references as BtVS. According to Xander he has lost his eye three years ago; apparently now it's 2006 with iPhones and Lady Gaga's songs.

Dowling's police badge indicates that he works in South San Francisco police department (South San Francisco is a different town with a separate police department), but his card says he's from San Francisco police department. Another continuity blunder or a future plot point?

Is Andrew building another Buffybot to distract cops from real Buffy? And, BTW, the only way to tell that it's Andrew is the poster of a Lucas movie on the wall, THX 1138.

Spike is travelling in a boat, by day. He is smoking a bit, in his Sam Spade attire, but he doesn't turn into dust. Another consequence of the destruction of the seed or just a plot necessity?
Moscow Watcher, I love you. I mean, I love your eye for detail and eidetic memory of the Buffy mythos. And you stayed mostly objective whilst doing so? I am definitely going to look forward to your reviews from now on.
He is smoking a bit, in his Sam Spade attire, but he doesn't turn into dust.


That bit reminded me of Pangs? When Spike was smouldering at the door. You could also see it as an indication of his devotion to Buffy.
@The Goose -- thank you for kind words. I'm afraid I can't be objective - I love Buffy-the-character too much to be objective about Buffy-the-show. I hope I'll go on writing my impression on the next issues.

@Simon - yes, poor Spikey is smouldering with devotion! :) Given how many changes BtVS underwent recently, writers could go a bit further and provide Spike with a necro-tempered skin protection, preferably with some hilarious side-effects.
"Dowling's police badge indicates that he works in South San Francisco police department (South San Francisco is a different town with a separate police department), but his card says he's from San Francisco police department. Another continuity blunder or a future plot point?"

Given that Buffy is named the "Jackson Point" Killer, a non-existent neighborhood, I'm thinking it's not a plot point.

"Is Andrew building another Buffybot to distract cops from real Buffy?"

Yes what is going on here??? I really wondered... also I thought it was strange as Andrew was never the robot-eer...

[ edited by aphasia on 2011-11-10 22:58 ]
Yeah, Andrew was... what did he do as a member of the trio anyway? Warren did tech, Jonathon did magic... I forget what Andrew's shtick was.
Andrew controlled demons. Which is a type of magic.
Just finished my review, which can be read HERE. Comments and thoughts are always appreciated.
I thought we had seen in the past (as Simon pointed out, in Pangs) that Vamps could go out in the day as long as they were not in direct sunlight. I'm guessing the boat also had a roof, and there is only sun coming from the windows.
Great issue, I surely love Season 9. Just wanted to ask if we ever found out who the prince was (mentioned in "Anywhere but here")? Maybe with Severins seemingly connection to the seed we got a new candidate.
I'm willing to bet the prince was Angel, who needed to be rescued from Twilight's influence...or something like that anyway
I think "the prince" was just the plain old Dracula (in the next arc). But speaking of "Anywhere but here" I wonder if we'll see the first Robin/Willow meeting.
Another depressing, off-putting installment.
What was off-putting/depressing?
Finally got to read this. I did take Buffy's line to mean she's also wanted to be a vampire. It makes complete sense, as does her quick bonding with the new mysterious dude with the superpowers. Not her smartest move, obviously. I don't understand why Severin waited to lure her to a fake vampire hunt before attacking her, but hopefully that will be explained as things progress.

I feel like zompires are stretching the mythology a bit much. But the show's mythology never met a weird new vampire thing it didn't like.
@Sunfire: Severin implies that he couldn't take Buffy before sucking the magic out of the vampire nest. After the fact, he thinks he's stronger than her now.
And taking her to an isolated spot is a better idea than attacking her in the open.
I got my issue today and I really enjoyed it. Andrew is impressing me with the dialogue between the characters and the "tempature between the Scoobs right now is totally believable. I particularly enjoyed the Spike bits.

And yes, unless Willow is wrong and she's just guessing, we've learned something major about vampires.

I do find vampires being given sentience by some demon spirit perplexing at the moment. What are these demons in another dimision that "guide" the zompires and make them full-fledged vampires? Do these demons have their own personalities? How do they get "assigned" to a particular dead body? Is it just whoever is up next gets to crossover to our world and inhabit the host body along with the vampire? Are their three personalities fighting for control of the reanimated body? The feral vampire, the dead human's brain with all the memories and the demon from the other dimension?

When a vampire is dusted does the demon spirit exit and go back to it's dimension and wait it's turn for another chance to inhabit a zompire? Does that mean that each demon spirit might have been inside countless vampire bodies? Of when the vamp is staked does the demon go somewhere else besides it's home dimension? Do these demons have a gender? Names?
Yes! Totally.

I see why they did this; it simplifies things morally greatly, the growing question both from outside (us) and inside (their perspective in a post-Harmony world) about whether slaying vamps is, in fact, murder. But in making that dilemma easier-- they're feral beasts! They need to be put down! ergo, not murder.... they have opened a can of worms that...well jeez.

There is just no possible answer to these questions! Or maybe it's really simple and they'll lay it all out in the next issue but I really doubt it. I like season 9 so far much better than the way season 8 ended up, but that's largely because the Twilight thing was such a confusing jumble, IMO, and I hate to see them going down that road again... can't help but feel that this is kind of like that though. I respect the desire to focus more on the story and character development than these kinds of details, but at the same time, one of the things that really made BtVS special and better was its consistency of mythology... the fact that it wasn't like the X-Files or Battlestar Galactica where if you have enough time and a dry erase board it all adds up, but even then you need to do a little fanwanking here and there to make it all work.

I hope this isn't as garbled as it seems. (this could refer to both the zompire thing and my post, I guess!)
So Severin is sucking out the demons from heads? Because Buffy grabbed his hand when he tried to wake her up and nothing happened - or we don't know yet?

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