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February 08 2012

(SPOILER) Discuss Buffy Season 9 #6. Find out what happens in the aftermath of last month's revelation.

Love the Buffy and Spike of it. I've never really got Spike before the comics - wasn't a fan in the show years - but, man. Poor Spike. Poor Buffy. Great - figuratively and literally - issue.
To kind of condense the subject matter of the issue and the subject matter of Joss' USA Today interview -- Buffy announces her decision to have an abortion. It's ambiguous, IMO, whether or not she's going to follow through on it, by virtue of it having just been said but not done in this issue. One might say it would be cheap to change now, but it would be a bit ridiculous to suppose that they couldn't reverse the indicated plot direction of the Issue #6 cliffhanger when that cliffhanger would, by definition, nullify the Issue #5 cliffhanger.
Sounds like a strong issue.I don't think she'll get a abortion either but it's certainly a subject that's reasonable to bring up and consider.
My only complain to this issue is that it was too short!
Wow, this ending threw me for a loop...

But I could literally see, as the last scene progressed, the ending credits start up...

This issue being like the TV show is an understatement. And I LOVE it.
The issue's pretty good. I think all the emotional beats are right where they need to be. I'm sad to see Buffy doesn't think she can handle raising a child though. I understand why she thinks that, and I'm not saying she's wrong to decide to abort. But I don't think she ever gives herself enough credit when it comes to handling real life problems.
Comic Book Resources has an INTERVIEW with Scott Allie about the issue.

ETA: Oh nevermind, just saw that we already have the article linked on the main page. My bad.

[ edited by wenxina on 2012-02-08 15:50 ]
Just read the issue, I liked it. More than I did #5. Didn't expect the ending though, and I doubt she'll actually do an abortion (I hope not, that would be a huge anti-climax).

Did anyone else get a "Ringer" feeling from this issue? For some reason it felt like an episode of SMG's new show...
I found it really interesting that she goes to Dawn to discuss the pregnancy initially, but when she decides on the abortion she goes to Spike instead of Dawn. This seems to fall in line with Spike saying that Buffy only comes to him when she needs "Dark", because, no matter how you slice it and what your political and moral views are, abortion is a "dark" subject.

It did seem like Buffy's conversation with Robin had the opposite effect; he encouraged her to have the child because he believed that Buffy could handle it. What was interesting was that, in the end, it was Buffy's real life situations rather than the slaying aspect of her life that pushed her to the decision.

I'm struggling with her decision, as I feel that the Buffy I know wouldn't make this choice. That being said, maybe the Buffy I know is changing, or maybe I don't know her as well as I thought I did.
When I read her saying she wanted to get an abortion at the end, my heart sank. I really hope she Juno's the pregnancy and either gives the baby to an agency or Dawn and Xander.
First issue of S9 that I have mostly liked. Glad Georges is back. The writing was... better than it has been, that's for sure. Still missing something for me though. The abortion decision at the end felt like it came out of nowhere, in the sense that the whole issue was building up Buffy (Dawn's total support, Robin's belief that Buffy had it in her to be a mother) only to flick a page and have her decide to not have the child. I don't really care whether see keeps the child or not (but I do agree with most of what KoC is saying in the other thread) but I would have liked to see more of Buffy thinking about her situation before making the decision. I'm guessing we'll get more of that next month.
The abortion thing doesn't bother me. I am upset that Buffy was ready to run away with Spike. With Spike a regular in Season 9 and Angel off in his own book, I was afraid this was going to happen.

As for the pregnancy and abortion itself, I just don't see what the point is of this story. If she terminates the pregnancy, how will it be any different than before she found out she was pregnant? I just don't see what this will add up to.
I enjoyed the issue quite a bit. Normally I can take or leave Georges' art, but he really knocked it out of the ballpark this time around; loved how natural and true the Robin scenes came off, and the Spike/Buffy pool scene at the end was just ethereal. I have only praise where the pacing is concerned, too, but I fear that the writing could do with some improvement; quite a few lines were clunky ("Been there. Done that. But you know that"), and the ones that weren't still lacked depth and subtext. I loved Chambliss's work in Dollhouse and Vampire Diaries, so I'm kinda disappointed. And I miss Joss.
The abortion development reminds me of Claire's abortion on Six Feet Under...she had an abortion and that was that. There was no real narrative point to it...she didn't even tell the father until long after they had split (if I recall correctly). And then it was hardly ever mentioned. It was just sort of a plot development that went nowhere.
It's a very good issue. The last page had me almost weepy.
I loved the issue, and I especially love how Season 9 is shaping up to be more and more like the show.

I suspect she'll change her mind about the abortion, though I can't say for sure. Ending the pregnancy now would deprive the story of all the dramatic opportunities that would arise during the ongoing pregnancy and eventual birth. It would also short-circuit the resolution of many of the important unresolved pregnancy issues -- including the identity of the father, and his views on the matter. Finally, if she really were going to end the pregnancy, I doubt they would have simply announced that fact as the climactic resolution of issue 6, without actually following through in the same issue. If an abortion were really going to happen, they would have had more dramatic payoff by actually having it done, rather than annoucing that a decision has been made.

Thus, IMO, whatever your political views on the choice itself, the best narrative choice at this point is to have her change her mind.
The abortion thing doesn't bother me. I am upset that Buffy was ready to run away with Spike. With Spike a regular in Season 9 and Angel off in his own book, I was afraid this was going to happen.


Aurrie, you are dancing on the shipping line. Please step back to this side.
Full summary, something of a review. I'm not happy with the plot going in this direction, but I did like the issue a lot.
<---- snip ----> - Toodles - Simon

[ edited by Simon on 2012-02-08 20:28 ]
Shortest... Whedonesque... membership... EVER!
I am so glad to have witnessed that most epic of fails before the inevitable mod intervention. I'll be grinning all the way into tomorrow.
I was sort of annoyed with myself for reading this thread and getting spoiled, but that was funny, and kind of worth it ;).
I was shocked by the ending too, but it truly is the best and most sensible decision Buffy could make. Actually, it can go either way since I see potential for a pregnancy-birth-baby story as well as the story of a woman facing an abortion and its emotional aftermath. The latter seems more fitting too, as a metaphore for Buffy breaking the seed and the fallout of a magicless world.
I really enjoyed Georges artwork this time around. I feel like he got a lot of good shots of Buffy enveloped in varying emotions: worrisome, contemplate-ee, happy, and glum. Plus Robin looked nice in comic form too since his appearance in NFFY. 1 out of 10 - I give this issues artwork a solid 8.5. It connected the character portrayals to their emotions quite accurately, plus excellent mood coloring for the transitions of scenery (the talk with Robin, NYC, the pool scene).

Plus! I finally got to see my letter published in back - Woot! First one too ;)
Georges is absolutely at the top of his game when he's doing close-up and emotion. I don't think many come close. He struggles with action and distance a bit though, but thankfully there's a bit less of that this season. (Still nice action too though).
So am I reading the URL bar correctly? Is this a milestone?

28,000th Whedonesque story? Can that be right?
I only just read it once through; haven't processed it enough to give my full an complete thoughts except:

I. Loved. It.

The last scene made me cry.
alexreager - yep, though as you may imagine some of those are deleted posts :)
The abortion development reminds me of Claire's abortion on Six Feet Under...she had an abortion and that was that. There was no real narrative point to it...she didn't even tell the father until long after they had split (if I recall correctly). And then it was hardly ever mentioned. It was just sort of a plot development that went nowhere.


This is Joss, so I doubt that's how it will go down. Put me down on the list saying she won't change her mind on this and he'll actually get into the fallout. People forget (or have never experienced) the range of emotions that occur because of an abortion. It colors relationships (what if someone ISN'T ok with it), it's something that sticks with you, and people often question their decision forever. Add to that, you can contain a great deal of it within a "season" and refer to it later. A birth storyline just locked you in to the types of stories you can have in subsequent seasons.

The main concern is that the politics of the storyline turn people off. Many who identify with being pro-choice do not necessarily agree with abortion. They simply believe it is the woman's right to make that decision. Hence there may be massive disagreement within the fans as to the correctness of her decision. To me, honestly this is where Joss can excel.

[ edited by azzers on 2012-02-08 21:50 ]
I can attest to that! I think I've had 2 posts and 3 deleted. I'm horrible at posting apparently.

[ edited by azzers on 2012-02-08 21:46 ]
heh, zeitgeist, I'll bet half of those deleted posts were mine (or apparently azzers)!

Major kudos and congrats to all the mods, and to the rest of the members for maintaining the highest standards while making Whedonesque a place other fan sites can only dream about! 28,000 Joss-related stories in less than 10 years; you guys are rock stars!
I have my copy of Buffy S9 # 6,"On Your Own Part I of II"

First of all,I loved all the Nikki and Crowley flashbacks.That was a real highlight of the issue for me.And it's interesting seeing another Watcher like Giles in a way who deeply cares for his slayer.As I mentioned with the preview pages,Nikki is interesting since sh'es more buy the book.

I also really liked all the Buffy and Robin scenes.I thought he gave good advice and I really like his interaction with Buffy,something I liked too in season 7.I really hope he shows up again this season and even better I would love to see him drop by Angel & Faith at some point too.

The Buffy Dawn stuff I thought was gold and really loved seeing her be there for Buffy.I'm sure Willow would be there too and her absense is felt in this situation.As for the choices of the daddy.

I guess if Buffy is throwing Spike as a possiblity due to the loss of magic re-writing the vampire rule book then anything I guess is possible and you can write it off as a mystical explanation.So fans speculating that Angel is the father somhow via the Buffy S8 # 34 sex have that loophole that Buffy speculated on(loss of magic changing the rules/mystical nature).If you create one loophole via loss of magic you can create any loophole to suit the story.That would be a big gotcha to pull.

The Buffy/Dawn talk does really make wonder if Buffy is aware of Connor since that's proof of a vampire conception via mystical means even before the loss of magic.It's happend once before.

And Buffy facing motherhood once again makes me really wish Connor would guest star in Buffy.I know Scott said that's not currently in the plans but damn,I wish that would change and happen.

I did notice that Xander wasn't mentioned by Buffy in her talk with Dawn.Pretty obvious why Buffy wouldn't say anything but that would be a gotcha too and a pretty destructive one for the Buffy/Dawn/Xander relationships.It would give Xander and Dawn a big storyline in relation to Buffy but at a pretty big cost to all three.

For me though,I'm still thinking the daddy is Buffy's mysterious shut in neigbor,Heinrich.That's still my pick

I'm really liking Dowling and I liked his dynamic with Spike.

As for the big cliffhanger ending.Abortion is a touchy subject for many.And I certainly don't want to get into the debate of pro or against.It's an understanble subject to bring up and I can see why that option is something Buffy would consider.Adoption is another considerationton.Something Buffy discusses with Robin.

But as far as abortion goes,It's a subject that deserves to be brought up as a consideration and not something you usually see in comic books But I really think this is just a cliffhanger ending and Buffy will change her mind,delay the decision or something will prevent it especially given solicitations for upcoming issues.Did it seem though that Buffy wanting to abort seems jarring/sudden given her last panel with Robin where he sees her off?

As for the Buffy and Spike interaction.I'm not a fan of the Buffy/Spike pairing and yes,that aspect of season 9,I'll admit,I'm not enjoying(two characters now trying to play matchmaker has shades of Fred and Lorne in season 3 of Angel with Angel/Cordelia IMO) but I'm glad Buffy has someone to be there for her at this time(once again,I'm glad Dawn is there too).

So we'll see how this plays out going forward.Good issue overall.

One final thing,something I saw someone else bring up on a forum.Has anybody noticed both Buffy and Angel & Faith are telling two sides of being a parent?

Buffy's book has Buffy dealing with becoming a mother and we learn more about Robin and his relationship with his mother.



While Angel & Faith has Faith coming up dealing with her father.Giles relationship to his father in the flashbacks.Angel dealing with his vampire daughter in Drusilla(So vampire father/daughter relationship with Angel/Dru and

Buffy Season 9 theme = Parenthood?

Buffy = dealing with the mother aspects

Angel & Faith = dealing with the father aspects

Scott said that like season 8(Betrayal and Self Betrayal),he couldn't reveal the theme of season 9 at the start of the season because it would give too much away.Given the current and upcoming known info,

I do wonder if the theme of season 9 is Parenthood and what that means from the mother side in Buffy and the father side in Angel & Faith.And I think on the Angel & Faith side I think that extends to Angel being the father of Twilight which is a factor in that book still and some of the speculation/rumors about Giles role in that story.
Well I am really glad I wasn't spoiled for this issue, because I did not see this coming (I shouldn't be surprised that BtVS is taking such a sensitive issue on though). I'll confess that I do kind of wish that I'd gotten a hold of the comic earlier so I could have read the deleted post(s), but I guess I can guess where we were headed there? Maybe not.

Anyway I'm VERY keen on issue #7 (and I'm very happy to see Spike at Buffy's side). Actually I'm happy to see Dawn at her side! And wishing Willow was there, and really missing Giles a lot.
Embers, the deleted threads weren't related, they were just ones deleted over the years.
Very powerful issue, Andrew and Georges did an amazing job.
I don't know if Buffy will get an abortion(my guess is no), i'm just happy that they have shown Buffy to seriously consider it as a viable option.

Nikki's story was also very touching. Lots of similarities between Crowley and Rupert, it goes even deeper then what we saw on the show. He like Giles also cared for his slayer as a daughter. The only difference is that Nikki was the slayer that died and Giles was the watcher that died.

Dawn, nothing suprising there. She loves her sister and is there for her.

Same goes for Spike, not in the least suprised that he would just do about anything for Buffy. It's even funny how every new character that spends 5 minutes with Spike automatically knows that he loves Buffy. Dowling,Koh, face it Spike you still wear your heart on your sleeve.

What i was not prepared for was the depth of Buffy's feelings for Spike. I knew there were some deep feelings there but not to this extent. I mean asking a guy to run away with you and raise a family, that's huge. Then again Buffy has always been more about actions then words.

For me this issue strongly hints that Spike is the father. The identity of the father shrouded in mystery gives us i believe 2 things. One: Not remembering the conception gives Buffy the ability to address the abortion issue completely solo(as it should be). Second: Wether Spike is the father or not, it shows us that he will always be there for Buffy.

My previous theory on how the conception happend still stands for now. Short version: Buffy and Spike slept together in issue 1, Severin while sucking the lifeforce out of Buffy and Spike was stopped by getting shot and thus zapped back more alive then previously.
Just want to side-step the political miasma regarding this issue and offer a prediction that she won't terminate and she'll use the pregnancy to sort her personal life out. I then figure
What an issue! The roller coaster of feelings generating from both Nikki's story and Buffy's has me reeling. Everyone's talking about the last scene, but there's an equally poignant moment where Nikki tells an infant Robin that they're going to be a family.

I've been a Jeanty skeptic from the beginning, but he goes above and beyond in character likenesses and background cityscapes. New York and San Francisco feel real, even though you only see apartment complexes like Buffy's down in Southern California (I've lived in several).

I'm really beginning to like the formation of Dowling's character, and having him interact with Spike does as much to let us get to know Dowling as it does in explaining Spike's feelings.

If the dialogue was a little clunky, I barely noticed. The art, pacing,story structure (cutting between Nikki and Buffy's story, with asides to Spike and Dowling) and emotional resonance were enough to forgive any quibbles with Chambliss' writing.

People are saying this issue feels the most like the shows this season (and I add last season to that summation as well), and it's true. We feel Buffy's indecision, we see Robin's memories of his mother. Problems with the story so far were dealt with, and though I still argue that blackout sex is of dubious consent, my only problem with the issue is it's apparent they aren't going to treat it as such.
I enjoyed the issue, too. But what bothered me was that nobody even mentioned Angel. He is the only one we know Buffy had sex with in season 8 - but it is like it never crosses her mind. What about that whole naked issue? (33 or 34)
but I fear that the writing could do with some improvement; quite a few lines were clunky ("Been there. Done that. But you know that"), and the ones that weren't still lacked depth and subtext. I loved Chambliss's work in Dollhouse and Vampire Diaries, so I'm kinda disappointed. And I miss Joss.


My feelings exactly, Enisy. Loved the art, disappointed with the writing (the clunky et al). I was expecting more because Chambliss was the first new Dollhouse writer to impress me. After "A Spy in the House of Love" aired, I immediately went back to learn the writer's name. I feel let down. And yeah, I miss Joss.

~~~

Unfortunately, I don't agree that this feels the most like the show. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a postmodern wonder full of irony and self-awareness. It was sharp and clever and impossible to pigeonhole due to its complexity. This story in the comics is very straightforward and tonally flat in comparison to the experimental ingenuity that made the television medium stand up and take note. For me, this is a lukewarm facsimile. I miss the satire that cut the saccharine sweet -- it all feels a bit too sentimental.

[ edited by Emmie on 2012-02-08 23:28 ]
Stupendous, that was all too long ago and Buffy seems to know that she got pregnant the night of the party so Angel really isn't an option.
Thanks, Irrationali. I guess I still have the end of last season the brain. . .but isn't that the likeliest explanation. Maybe they are being quiet b/c buffy asking spike to help w aborting angel's baby will be dramatic in a future issue. Plus what better way to tie the 2 titles together now that they are both at dark horse.
I thought it was a very exceptional issue, with wonderful character work.
Whew! Not much I can add to the argument over whether it was the right decision, but I have to say I'm glad they showed her weighing her options and offering up reasons for choosing the way she did. Really, this issue hit all the points (logical & emotional) that I hoped it would. And even though she made a definite statement at the end I'm pretty sure we haven't seen the end of this yet.
I thought it was a very good issue. Some of the dialogue (especially between Dowling and Spike) is not the best (though I did like the cliff-notes version of Buffy and Spike's history). But the emotional arc of the story rang very true to me; I liked the use of flashbacks; and Buffy's decision makes sense to me, logically and emotionally.

Also, I think Spike's wrong about something: Buffy doesn't go to him when she needs dark, she goes to him when she needs strength. I also think it's interesting that Buffy *does* take part of Wood's advice. The last thing he says to her is "don't do this alone." And in the last scene, she reaches out to Spike for support (literally and figuratively). I think this is really positive--one of Buffy's biggest issues (in season 7 and somewhat in season 8) was a tendency to shut people out when facing difficult/painful situations ... which is exactly the thing Wood sees as being Nikki's weakness. The fact that Buffy's dealing with this situation by reaching out for help and support (first talking to Dawn, then Wood, then Spike) suggests that she's moving in a healthy direction emotionally, and that--whether she sticks with her current decision or not--she *can* do what Nikki couldn't.

I wonder if this is also setting up a contrast with Willow ... who is going alone to solve something, and cutting ties with everyone (her cell phone is never on). Too early to tell whether Willow's isolation is a healthy choice or not--maybe it *is* the right thing for her right now--but it could be interesting if she and Buffy are moving in opposite directions.
I also think it's interesting that Buffy *does* take part of Wood's advice. The last thing he says to her is "don't do this alone."

Thanks for bringing this up. It was something I was going to back to the site to mention as well.
I personally thought those last few panels of Buffy and Spike at the pool were stunning. Georges did a great job drawing the expressions of their emotions during the discussion, the coloring was also beautiful this last scene truly felt like a TV show. I am sad that Emmie doesn't agree because I think she is one of the best fans in the fandom, however, just because I highly enjoy and relate to this arc doesn't mean everyone will.

That being said I do want to weigh in on a couple of things my 0.02 if you will...
I know many people have been arguing about whether this decision is "in character" for Buffy but this isn't something Buffy has ever dealt with before and it was never dealt with in the Buffy tv series. I understand that Buffy gave up her life for her sister but that isn't the same as this situation at all. Being pregnant is something you cannot understand fully until it happens to you. I am in the same life situation as Buffy and I would most likely lean towards getting an abortion if I got pregnant right now, yet; I am not pregnant. I do not know what I would actually do in that situation. There are many young women that are absolutely 100% sure that they would get an abortion if they got pregnant at a young age out of wedlock and working a minimum wage job but if they actually do get pregnant they may change their mind. I have a very close friend who was always positive she would get an abortion and yet did not. There are also many people that do the reverse. They "know" for sure that they will never ever get an abortion, but; there they are: at 22, in their crappy apartment, cut off from mom and dad and the father of the child is crazy or unfit or unknown.

Some things I liked:
I really enjoyed that Dawn was the first person Buffy told.
I like Dowling he seems like an interesting character.
I feel like I can relate to Buffy in this issue.
The art was incredible this issue.
Edit: I think Wood was the best likeness so far

Dislikes:
I felt the pacing was a bit off (though I disagree that is seemed weird going from Buffy's talk with Wood to her deciding not to have the child, it made sense to me)
I would prefer that romance for Buffy be put on the back burner for a bit so I wasn't too keen on Spike thinking of admitting his feelings to her. (not for any "ship" reason I just want to focus on Buffy as an individual for a bit)

All in all this was my favorite issue of season nine and one of my favorites in the comics as a whole.

[ edited by Stryker on 2012-02-09 02:06 ]
Political-ness aside, we've seen what happens when a woman sleeps with boyfriend and the worst happens (BtVS Surprise/Innocence) and we've seen what happens when a woman has a first date/sleeps with a guy/becomes pregnant from it (AtS S1 Expecting), so why not get into the worst of what could happen when a woman wants to/gets an abortion--buffyverse style? The pixie said last issue that Buffy is not the slayer, what if the next true slayer in the slayer line is Buffy's baby and she aborts it? What if the baby is magic coming back to the 'verse? What if the baby is a parasite slowly killing her from the inside? What if the abortion/pregnancy has nothing to do with it and she ends up with an STI (and subsequent false positive pregnancy test) that tries to eat everyone she loves??
This was my very favorite issue of the Buffy comics to date. Tearful Spike on the last page really got me, too.
Another thought on this issue: finally a Buffyverse pregnancy that's not some kind of monster-possession deal that's killing the mother! A normal, human pregnancy, with normal, human decisions involved. This is way overdue, lol.

Of course, as darknight points out, this could still turn out to be some kind of mystical monster deal. But I really really hope it doesn't.

Also: someone (KingofCretins, I believe) suggested upthread that Buffy's care for Dawn made it implausible that she would consider an abortion. I'd argue the exact opposite. Buffy knows first-hand what it's like being a single parent working a minimum wage job. It makes total sense that she'd think twice before taking that on again (and with an infant this time, instead of a teenage sister). She didn't really have a choice with Dawn; she does now.

Which is really the biggest change, post-magic: for the first time ever, Buffy is in a position where she has choices. Maybe that's what her dream meant--"you are not the Slayer"--because being the Slayer meant, first and foremost, that the course of her life was largely determined for her. It's not anymore.
I don't know how I feel about this yet. I want to get more of the story so I can know how I feel!

On a non abortion related note, why is Spike still flying around in the bug ship? I always forget he has that thing and then it randomly shows up. It feels like some sort of holdover from whatever Season 9 was going to be before Joss decided to scale the story back. I know how he got it, I've just never understood why it's there.
"Another thought on this issue: finally a Buffyverse pregnancy that's not some kind of monster-possession deal that's killing the mother! A normal, human pregnancy, with normal, human decisions involved. This is way overdue, lol."

I'm still not convinced that it is entirely non-mystical though, to be truthful. I'm getting the feeling that Buffy will try to abort the pregnancy but won't be able to. If the mystical traits of the pregnancy, or the entity inside Buffy, come from the existing mystical nature of whoever the father is then the fact that magic is gone from the world won't matter at all.

Something else that has occured to me, as far as the abortion is concerned, didn't we just see an abortion of sorts on a universal scale in season eight? Twilight had to go somewhere after it wandered off into the night, right? What if it found itself another way to enter our world, just on a more human scale? One of my biggest problems with how the season ended was the fact that Twilight pretty much just seemed to casually wander off after the seed was destroyed. Shrugged its shoulders and went home, basically. Might it not have had a back up plan for getting a hold on our reality? If that is the case and Buffy is carrying the embodiment of Twilight then an abortion is most likely completely off the table, regardless of what she decides. Pure speculation but it would make sense. Especially if that led to Buffy's child's birth somehow being responsible for the return of magic. That's just about poetic enough to work out.

"On a non abortion related note, why is Spike still flying around in the bug ship?"

If you had a space ship that could cross into other dimensions, would you give it up? ;)
Spike does like to keep stuff he finds/steals: the coat, the bike...
Very good issue. Really inspired art, especially in the last scene. All the emotional nuances are written on the characters' faces.
Great dialogue. "We don't all have spaceships!" - hysterical!
Interesting, controversial content. I don't want to assess the story before reading it whole - but, so far, it's fascinating.

When Buffy confides in Dawn about her pregnancy and makes the list of potential fathers she mentions Spike. Dawn: "Is a vamp baby daddy even possible." Buffy: "Normally, I'd say no... but since I destroyed the seed, the vampire rule book is being rewritten." Oh, Joss -- you love to complicate the already-complicated situation!

Xander isn't mentioned - but, apparently, Buffy can't bring herself to tell Dawn "Your boyfriend is on the list too".

When Buffy goes to Robin Wood, he tells her about his childhood: according to him, Nikki couldn't quit slaying. "She was chosen, Buffy. Just like you. No matter where she went, no matter how much she wanted to be with me. She wasn't strong enough to ignore it. She had to be a slayer." Of course he could mean that the sense of duty forced Nikki to return to slaying. But he could mean something more primal. Rooted in a personality, or even in physiology - most likely, magicaly enhanced. We'll see if this idea will be developed or not - but The First Slayer's words "You're not a slayer" in #5 may acquire an additional meaning.

Meanwhile Spike and Dowling talk about Buffy during a patrol and we are literally hammered on the head "YES! SPIKE LOVES HER!" It's scary, because Joss never gives shippers such good stuff unless he plans to do something utterly devastating. Dowling urges Spike to tell Buffy about his feelings, and Spike is ready to talk to Buffy, but...

When he meets Buffy, she tells him she's about to have an abortion. Spike, who is crouching behind her, is so shocked that he falls (literally) on his ass. Interestingly, he has a reflection in the water on these panels.

Looks like Spike's chances of being a father are highter than a month ago. In the new interview with Joss and Andrew Chambliss, Joss says that we don't know stuff yet - stuff that will make us judge Buffy less harshly. Of course, if it's Spike, then it's no wonder that he didn't use condom (and if it's Xander - we have to judge Buffy harsher). Chambliss' words, too, becomer very clear: Spike doesn't want to hurt Buffy, so he doesn't tell her that it's his baby, because he doesn't want to make abortion harder for her. Let her think it was nameless neighbor.

I'm not sure it's Spike - but, for the first time, I started to ponder seriously on that possibility. And I think that if it's really Spike's baby, then it won't survive - because Joss has to keep his shipper status quo.

I don't want to discuss the abortion topic, it's too volatile - but I'm with Dorotea, Emmie and Reddygirl.
Loved the last page. Spike always offered his hand even when Buffy refused it. So her reaching out to accept his help this time was noticed with a feeling of great relief - finally! Love the cover art too!
Just read the issue, and I just wanna say that I agree with /exactly/ what Emmie put.

The issue wasn't bad, but it wasn't good either. It was 'eh', as this season mostly has been so far, IMHO. I just did not feel the characters at all. I just felt like I was reading words, not quotes from my favorite characters. There's no life in what's written, and it makes it hard to picture the characters saying those things. The art was fairly good this issue though. The plot is interesting, but it just feels too... sappy? Idk. It's hard to say what I don't like about it. I think it could be great if written greatly, but it's only mediocre writing, so... There's the problem. The flashbacks were probably the best part of this issue, I think. The Spike scenes felt awkward to me. Thinking about that now, the whole /issue/ feels awkward. It just doesn't feel like Buffy. It doesn't even feel like the Buffy characters in a non-Buffy situation. Just not Buffy at all.

At this point, I just have to conclude that it's Andrew that's not doing it for me. He doesn't capture the characters' voices for me. When he does for a line or so, it's shocking, because I've become so accustomed to reading strangers every issue.

Sorry for this turning into such a complaining post, but I just was left with all of these feelings after reading. This story had the potential to be great, but apparently we can't get greatness out of these comics without Joss. As it's been said, I miss Joss.
Did we know that Robin was in SF and not Cleveland? Did he fly in just to talk to Buffy, is he living there too....?

RE: bug ship, it's where Spike lives, I believe. So even aside from the Why would you get rid if that if you had it?!, I think he'd keep it around for that reason.
Spoiler? Scott Allie's Twitter avatar hasn't happened yet.

ETA that the pencils for this panel previously appeared on CBR a month ago, specifically stating that it's from issue No. 7.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2012-02-12 20:06 ]
That panel twitter avatar is a panel from 9.07 apparently, and it fill me with more trepidation than the entire abortion plotline on its own ever could. (Discussion of image in spoilers)
You can discuss it in the preview page enty if you want. Same panel there.
Late review, as usual. Check it out if you're interested in reading my rather lengthy thoughts on the issue.
I'm really late to the party and I haven't read any of the other comments but I think that was the best issue of the comics since The Chain.
I'm even later, and nobody in the universe is going to read this, ever, but I agree with Vortigun... And contrary to some I really think Andrew Chambliss nails the characters. And Georges Jeanty certainly showed us what he can do. Loved it.
1) I love that the issue is still discussed
http://comicblogjones.blogspot.com/2012/02/buffy-season-nine.html

2) The previews for the next issue are about to be available ..when exactly?

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