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April 11 2012

(SPOILER) Discuss Buffy Season 9 # 8. It's the start of the new arc,"Apart (of Me)" Part 1 of 3.

I've met people like Andrew who have never grown up and who have no idea what the consquences of their actions will be when they try to help people.
They're called politicians, Simon.

Haven't had chance to read this issue yet. Looks like a good one though. Looking forward to some robot-explainy info.
And here I thought Andrew had matured. He's gone and made himself a one-man deluded Dollhouse instead. Complete with a Stepford Buffy and everything. That's scary.

I'm not sure how I feel about the pregnancy having been basically a computer glitch all along.
He's like a child trying to please his elders in a very dangerous way.
I see it more as treating his supposed peers like action figures in a fantasy where he's the hero. It's awful and dangerous, either way.

Also what is going on with Xander? That was weird!
I'm not too happy with how this all played out. I feel that they but Buffy (and us) through the emotional ringer for no real reason except to be able to discuss the issue of pregnancy and abortion without any real consequences. That being said, sans the pregnancy story line, I'm actually quite enjoying the robot plotline. Andrew is clearly trying to help, but as Sunfire said, I would have thought that he matured past this type of behavior.

What I'm really interested in is Dawn and Xander. He's wigging out!
It's probably robot Xander. What, only Buffy could be a robot?
Still waiting for issue 08 because, I gotta tell you... Issue 09 is available on internet and I just read it.
This can only go well. I'd ask that spoilers for that issue don't get discussed here in this thread.
i thought it was kinda lame putting Simone on the cover when she's barely in this comic. Although i thought Andrew should have been kissed by the end of the 6th season... here's hoping he finally gets it!

What is up with Xander??
Okay, so Andrew just happens to forget about menstrual cycles AND "something about the PH levels" just happens to lead to a positive pregnancy test?? Seriously??? All so she can decide to have an abortion but not have to actually do it or have any actual consequences. Irritating.
I thought it'd make sense that Andrew could create such a lifelike robot with those flaws, considering that he's working from Warren's sexbot blueprints. Doubtful that Warren would have considered menstruation or digestion necessary in his constructions.
Depends, Warren was certainly arrogant enough to try such a thing.
So... Yep. Issue 9 is out. Be careful with the spoilers. It apears nothing can go smooth with this comics...
I absolutely loved this issue. Best one of the season in my personal opinion. The writing was spot-on, the pacing was great, the amount of events that happened finally seemed like it was enough to hold me over into the next month.

And the whole pregnancy/abortion issue.... mostly EVERYONE either hated that Buffy was pregnant and couldn't see a captivating season because of it or people hated the abortion choice..... so, to me, it's hilarious that people are complaining that neither of those are true.

I personally love that. Poor Buffy.... what a moment for her. She made a mature, grown up, tough decision and come to find out, it's not even real... I think she's going through a lot mentally, maybe almost as much if she did go through with the abortion.
Buffy just wants to be normal, but life keeps reminding her that nothing in her life is normal. It's so sad.

Keep it up, Dark Horse Team. Season 9 rocks and this issue is finally the point where the Buffy book is getting back on track :)
I kind of love where all of this is going. Yes, the abortion is no longer an issue but that doesn't invalidate or nullify the discussion or decision for it. Buffy made a major life choice. What's more is that that choice was stripped from her. And THAT is being discussed in the comics heavily and it's been made very clear how wrong that was. It is and isn't the abortion debate all at the same time. Buffy isn't so much upset by being a robot. She's upset that she was put into the pregnancy situation, made an important, mature choice...and then had that choice completely invalidated. Her and Spike make it crystal clear how wrong Andrew is for, and this is the core of all of it, taking away Buffy's agency. Her ability to choose for herself.

And that is why I'm loving this arc. Also, anyone else wondering what's going to happen with "real" Buffy? Are we going to re-explore the Echo/Caroline debate from Dollhouse? Is she going to have a personality of her own and, if so, what happens when she and Buffy meet and, eventually, have to switch back to each one's 'real' body?
OO! Simone isn't the Big Bad! Buffy's own self will be! That'd track off of Season 8 nicely.
I'm actually loving how closely this relates to the whole abortion issue. Buffy made a choice, but then it's nullified by some jerk who decides to do what he thinks is best with her body.

Back on the Whedon metaphor train and loving it!
For the most part I'm okay with the reasoning and execution of the Buffybot situation, having read Andrew's explanation now. It's entirely insane, of course, but from the perspective of Andrew I can see how it might have seemed like a good idea at the time, to him at least.

My only problem is with the false pregnancy thing. Not so much that it happened at all but more because of the huge amount of coincidence you have to accept that three entirely unconnected issues with how Andrew put the Buffybot together, the lack of a menstrual cycle, the problem with digestion and the entirely hard to believe 'Random PH levels = positive test', all just happened to go together to create the illusion that Buffy was pregnant. I mean, that is some seriously coincidental and almost too specific robotic malfunctioning going on there! The robot body not having a period, I can accept, but that plus throwing up in the morning AND peeing pregnancy-like PH levels? That stretches credibility just a bit too much, even in a story where Buffy is suddenly the latest model of Cylon.
Hmm. Haven't had time to process this one completely yet, but I have to say that on first read it left a bad taste in my mouth. I really thought Andrew had matured past this. And I don't like that the tone of it seems so light-hearted. I'm having a lot of anger at Andrew right now and am in no mood to laugh at his nerdiness.
It might have been a metaphor if she had been actually (or even metaphorically) pregnant, and if someone had literally or metaphorically prevented her from aborting the actual or metaphorical pregnancy. It was none of that. Instead, we got the pregnancy/abortion version of the "it was all just a dream" conceit (except this felt even more contrived than an actual dream because of the string of implausible coincidences leading up to it).

Hardly makes for a bold statement about abortion or pregnancy or anything else.

That said, I do agree that the robot plot line is otherwise sort of fun. So there is that...
Wow, that was disappointing. I really liked the pregnancy story and was hoping Real!Buffy was still pregnant, despite the robot body-swap. I hope there are actual consequences to what Andrew did--you know, besides people yelling at him and then the writers ignoring it going forward because he's "funny." If he's still part of the gang after this I'll be disgusted.

I actually kinda liked the guy in S8, because it seemed like he was maturing and becoming more of a person and less annoying comic relief. After that whole demon-spider adventure with Buffy and Simone, I really would've expected him to be beyond this behavior.
I have my copy of Buffy S9 # 8,"Apart (Of Me) Part I of III"Plus I'm spoiled fully for the leaked Buffy S8 # 9,"Apart (Of Me) Part II of III."

I didn't read Buffy # 9,but I did read many of the summaries and spoilers posted for it.My thought here are only on issue 8 and will not touch on what's known about issue 9.

The only thing I'll say is that I do think being spoiled for issue 9 a month ahead while reading this issue made me appreciate issue 8 probably more.

To start with,I've never been a fan of Andrew.I've never thought he was a cute or funny character.But he really screwed up this time and still seems to be a little kid who is way too smart for his own good.He's lucky Buffy and Spike didn't tear his head off.

The resolution of the pregnancy plot and the abortion issue really does feel like Batsu last season and probably needs some suspension of disbelief but I can role with it.It's not different than the shows in that regard.

I actually like the robot development.I'm one of the ones who really liked season 8 but has been disappointed overall in the Buffy side of season 9.There are things I like of course but overall I've been meh to it so far.I get what they're trying to do by making it more like the show and smaller and less outlandish than season 8.But I just don't think that works as well as a comic book.

Comics and T.V. are very different mediums and at least for me what works in one isn't working for me as well in the other.I think you need some of that larger outlandish stuff to work in comics and that's part of what worked so well for me in season 8 and is working in Angel & Faith.I think it adds energy and I think the robot developments have started to add it.

I most definitely see the Dollhouse comparison,something Scott Allie confirmed in his Buffyfest interview.And now Simone kidnapping fake Buffy(real Buffy body,fake Buffy mind) has given season 9 a bit of a shot in the arm I think it needed.

And the scene with Xander has me really intrigued.Why was he so angry and snapped at Dawn.Also liked seeing Dowling interact with him and Dawn.

Ship factors aside,I'm glad Buffy had Spike watching her back during this whole ordeal and I feel bad that Buffy feels bad that she wasn't really pregnant and her feeling like this takes away from her dealing with a normal issue.

So I think this is a fair start to the arc and I'm looking forward to actually reading next issue. *wink*

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2012-04-11 21:40 ]
I absolutely loved this issue, and (for me at least) they rescued the pregnancy story line from being lame manipulation, because Buffy wanting to have a real life has been issue #1 with her from the first season and first episode of BtVS. I felt that this whole silliness of Andrew (and it is so believable that Andrew would screw this up in exactly this way) is just one more thing that underlines how Buffy's life will never be even a little bit normal. Reiterating that really works for me.

And I loved Buffy's 'Betty Crocker' existence in the suburbs (like she would ever learn to cook!).
RE: Xander....PTSD? A friend I follow on Tumblr made the suggestion and it fits really well honestly. 8+ years of all this stuff, then the major war culminating in Giles dying right in front of him, and then being out of the fight. Finally all catching up with him?
I think the robot pregnancy is more like a false positive than a it was all a dream. Joss wanted to get Britney to want a non slayer life again and to discover she's a robot (among other things)so why not throw in an issue he stands for. It got people talking. Next time people won't get as passionate about a comic issue unless Joss follow throughs but it worked in s8 with Batsu and this season with Buffy choosing to have an abortion. Sure he didn't actually have to have her take a test but in this day and age you can take test early so worring about a missed period doesn't have the same wait so all the stuff about deciding to have an abortion wouldn't really happen without that positive test.

Worried about Xander so off to find info about issue 9!
One of the reasons I'm for this storyline, and think the pregnancy/abortion thing has become more of a metaphor, is because this issue seams transcend just abortion and speaks to a woman's right to make choices about her body.

It may be reaching, and I don't know where this is going, but it feels like a metaphor for the whole pro-choice/pro-life political debate. Buffy made a choice, but then some idiot who thinks he's doing something good takes that choice away from her.

If I'm wrong and this whole pregnancy/choice thing goes away I reserve the right to change my mind and call cheep shock value.
Totally agree with Squishy's comments above. Ugh, I'm so disappointed in this issue and the resolution of the 'pregnancy.'

I'm glad there was an explanation of what happened w/Buffy at the party but everything to do w/Andrew's story line left me cold. I've always rooted for that little guy and liked how his character developed in confidence and importance last season (and referenced in the last season of Angel too) and was looking forward to his intro into this season.

But this story arc seemed to relegate him back to a dangerously simple-minded childlike "geek" boy. I've always loved the geeky-in jokes but it seemed like he was acting more like an 11yr old w/too much power than the adult he seemed to have grown into.

Oh well, here's hoping #9 gets better. Off to re-read Saga #2 (now there's a kick-ass mom!)
Someone mentioned that issue 9 has been posted online?
And one last gripe...really enjoying Georges Jeanty's art, Cliff Richards not so much. :-(
Agreed, vertdragain. I really missed Jeanty this issue.
Erendis,issue 9 leaked online by accident.
I'm actually loving how closely this relates to the whole abortion issue. Buffy made a choice, but then it's nullified by some jerk who decides to do what he thinks is best with her body.

this issue seems to transcend just abortion and speak to a woman's right to make choices about her body.

Yes! Even if the pregnancy is no longer is problem in itself (and thank you!! So glad, personally), I think it's totally relevant to the story being told and the issues being addressed. I don't think it was just a cheap ploy at all, and I like what's being done. That said, wow, exposition-y issue. You know it's exposition time when your comic requires footnotes! Still, nice to get some answers. Though I notice the big "here's what happened at the party" reveal still omitted the mysterious Heinrich... All in all we have a few mysteries left yet...

[ edited by aphasia on 2012-04-12 06:09 ]
You know, even though I understand why Buffy('s mind) is upset about having the decision taken away from her (poor girl has been put through the ringer in this life), I imagine the more typical response would be relief on the abortion front.

I mean, it totally sucks to find out that your mind has been transported to a machine by some fool...but not having to go through with an abortion? That wouldn't elicit any response from me other than "oh thank the fucking gods." Pardon my French, but that's the truth.
well I thought she was more pissed off about having had to go through all that agony in the first place than about having the choice taken away; the idea that having the choice taken away is the big problem is more of a meta thing...

I mean, she was going along, everything was fine, and then she had this crisis that made her re-evaluate everything in her life and that made her basically pretty depressed about where her life was at, only to discover it was all because someone made a silly little mistake? Also maybe she'd be more relieved if she didn't have a whole new set of problems to take the place of that.

If it was me, I guess I'd be glad...but honestly, I might feel a little ripped off too. Like, I wouldn't WANT to have the procedure, but after all that mental preparation I might feel a little disoriented by suddenly finding out it wasn't necessary-- I think the relief would come later. I've had a number of surgeries and I think if one of them got cancelled at the last minute that would be my reaction, and yeah yeah I know, abortion isn't just a surgery etc etc (though to many people, actually, it is... just saying) but even so I think it applies. She'll be relieved later, if she has time to be, is what I think.
buffyfest-I would imagine there is some relief but it's probably buried under the outrage of having her mind and body highjacked against her will.

lisatwingomez-I do dislike the turn this story has taken. Instead of a story that could have been exceptional, we now have one that has been done to death in the Buffy/Angel'verse. Nearly every female character of note has had agency over her own body taken away in some form or other. This isn't new or ground-breaking; it's old and tiring. And also, I find it disturbing and gross.
I'm not quite getting the choice analogy. Buffy wanted to be sans baby. She's robbed of her "choice" and ends up sans baby. That's not quite the same as legislation that would rob women of "choice" such that they can't get rid of the kid.

Count me as someone who would have thought the outrage of being robbed of your own body would be a bigger deal than the outrage of not having to have an actual abortion in order to remain kid-free.
yeah that's the point-- she's having her agency in controlling her own body and choices taken away from her by Andrew stealing her body without consulting her. Which can be considered an analogy to having ones option of having an abortion taken away, in that it is a man deciding what should happen to your body without asking you. ("I did it to protect you!"-- subtext-- ...because you aren't capable of protecting yourself, making your own decisions....) It's not about Buffy's abortion situation, it's about her robot body situation as an analogy for abortion politics in the real world. Made more stark by abortion being specifically introduced as an issue textually.

Wow, this actually makes a lot of sense but the more I try to explain it the more convoluted and ridiculous it sounds.... Point is, I don't think anyone is trying to say that having her body stolen isn't the bigger deal; only that the body stealing can be read as a metaphor for anti-choice legislation.
Agree, the outrage should be huge and what has happened is beyond unacceptable, but with everything going on I strangely hadn't really reflected on the practicality and relief of not having the abortion. I'm thrilled that Buffy doesn't have to go through it!

That's not to say that it all being a metaphor for anti-choice isn't interesting. It's a fascinating way for this story to have turned.
Well, I'm not pro-choice in the sense that I don't think abortion is much of a choice. The whole safe, legal, and *rare* mantra seems to agree with that. It's better for women to have the choice because that's sometimes the only way they can cope. Well, Andrew got Buffy to escape the burdens of an unwanted pregnancy without having to go through the indignities of an abortion procedure. He's secured that limited notion of freedom (the right to not continue a pregnancy of one doesn't want to).

What he has also done is launch a major assault on a much more fundamental sort of freedom, namely the freedom to not be kidnapped; to not be ripped apart; to be let alone to make the choices across the full spectrum of issues that come up in a human life. So I guess my objection is that you want to reduce this affront to human dignity in all it's dimensions so it can be in service of a narrow form of "freedom" -- especially when by depriving her of her entire self, Andrew "gave" her the narrow choice she'd wanted in the first place (to be kid free). Real choice is MUCH bigger than the right to undergo an unpleasant invasive procedure in order to frustrate the natural functionings of a healthy reproductive system. Or to put it another way, I think sex trafficking and slavery and things of that sort are much graver assaults on freedom and human dignity than are a few laws that hinder women's access to abortions on the margins. (Especially in a world where insistence on access to abortion is clearly used as a substitute for making sure women have the financial and social support required to really be able to choose what they want to do with a given pregnancy).
Yes, no one is denying this whole ordeal Andrew has created is truly horrific and way worse than what we had before. Just saying: side note - I'm one of the people who are happy the abortion part is over.
Um, I don't think anyone actually said all that stuff Maggie; I know I didn't. Saying something can be considered an analogy for something else is in no way saying that those two things are exactly the same or that one isn't worse than the other. As has been said repeatedly, I think we all agree that having one's body stolen is way worse than pretty much anything and that what Andrew did was super f-d up.

That said, I happen to find it interesting to also look at ways in which the story can be read as symbolic of various other issues. If you don't, then you don't have to read it that way.

incidentally, I find this--

Especially in a world where insistence on access to abortion is clearly used as a substitute for making sure women have the financial and social support required to really be able to choose what they want to do with a given pregnancy

--to be very poorly phrased. Of course having all that infrastructure in place is very important to real choice, but SOME OF US WILL STILL CHOOSE ABORTION. Insisting on access to abortion is NOT a substitute-- those are two separate things, both of which are vitally important to true choice being available.
I've mistakenly read the 9th issue and came here to read the comments. I was already lost reading the issue, couldn't figure out how we came to that. And I questioned myself for not really understanding what I read from the comments here. I finally realised I read the leaked issue, instead of the 8th. Now I feel spoiled and stupid unfortunately.
Maybe we could have an issue 9 thread???
So if someone didn't happen to see the leaked issue ... and was dying to read it ... how might this hypothetical person go about finding it?
No links to it in comments here, please. I don't think we'll be dedicating a thread to an issue until it's actually released. It's awkward for discussion but we have firm rule against linking to illegal downloads.
Ah, sorry, didn't mean to break rules (or request others to do so). Rule noted for future reference. :-)
yes, likewise
I officially hate Andrew Wells now.
Finally read issue 8. I liked this issue. The writing was a lot tighter and the art was alright. It does feel weird without Jeanty though. I am actually enjoying this robot storyline, I just wish it didn't come straight up out of the pregnancy/abortion debacle arc.

Two main thoughts: What's up with Xander? And Andrew has to go. Seriously, is there really any redeeming qualities to this character? I'm sure they will have a Special Andrew Issue where he redeems himself, but I am done with him.
I liked this issue too, I picked in my local store today and read it before Cabin. I love the panel of Buffy and Spike confronting Andrew. And there are interesting political levels to the story. Andrew is reaching Parker levels of irredeemability in my eyes.
Not to even attempt to defend what Andrew has done (because why would you?) but I'm not quite ready to wash my hands of the character yet. As bad as what he did to Buffy actually was, there was no malicious intent whatsoever. He had only what he believed were her best interests at heart. He thought he was doing something good for her. Trying (really badly) to be a hero.

The thing about a character like Andrew is that as long as he's being funny narrator guy or geeky comedy relief we don't stop to think just how out of his depth he really is. I mean, he wasn't particularly stable or effective as a member of the Trio, and that's in comparison to Warren. Why should we expect him to be any more capable as a member of the Scoobies?

At the end of the day, Andrew is a child trying to cope and prove himself in a very dangerous adult world. One that he doesn't really belong in. He may not be quite the fool he was before Buffy tried to teach him a valuable lesson in Storyteller, but he still sees everything as a game. Still doesn't think through the consequences of anything he does.

All told, I don't see Andrew as being irredeemable but I also don't see him as ever being remotely trustworthy or effective as part of Buffy's team. No matter how well intentioned he is or how much he wants to do the right thing, this latest development has got to prove to Buffy that Andrew isn't cut out for the life he has found himself in. The best thing she could possibly do for him is help him find his own true path in life. One that is as far away from hers as possible.
I remember in the discussion of last issue that someone was complaining about how Dowling didn't even care that his partner got chopped down in the middle of a fight - but here, in this issue, this is ALL he is concerned about, and is quite upset about it. Loose thread = resolved. Well, not quite so resolved yet.

I think we need to trust in the Joss and Chambliss to deal with the issues that they have raised appropriately. I'm sure that the pregnancy issue will have ramifications throughout the rest of the season, and will inform Buffy's choices in issues to come. I'm not sure quite how we will get there - but I'm loving the ride.
I thought this was a great issue. Imo the metaphor of the robot with the missing arm is a great way to explore how detached Buffy feels from her life, how confused she is about balancing her slayer life with her humanity.
Just read issue 8 again and noticed something funny. I don't think it's been mentioned in this thread so far (despite all the Dollhouse references) but did anyone else notice that when Andrew is swapping Buffy's mind into the robot he tells her that she will sleep the sleep of the drunk "for a little while".

Thought that was a nice little Dollhouse shout-out from Andrew. Chambliss, not Wells, I mean...
Uh, I'm putting it here and I'll let the mods decide, I got a copy of the Free Comic Book Day Buffy comic from my store. I assume they've got them already and are giving out ones to all the people who have a subscription to Buffy with Buffy. I don't know if this is normal or not and whether others have. If people have, we could start a review thread, but if not, I'll wait till it's in the shops.
Well thanks for the head up. Maybe give it a day and see how many people are chatting about it and then we'll do a thread?

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