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September 12 2012

(SPOILER) Discuss Buffy Season 9 #13. It's the final part of the Guarded arc.

I'm sorry, but the issue was full of plot holes.
Why did W&H send a file to Koh and not just actually TELL him the name?
Why does it take so long for a file containing a name to be downloaded by the TinCan's server? They must find a new internet provider...
Why didn't Kennedy shoot Koh?
Why did Buffy give back the check? She worked for it.

And the last pages with Buffy's and Kennedy's dialog, seems like there are lines missing, it doesn't make any sense.

As for the "being THE slayer" part, isn't something that we've already seen it? Hasn't Buffy said the same in S08#40 to the other 2 slayers that she fought? Hasn't Faith told her the same thing when she gave her Giles's Vampyr book? Was there really a need for 3 issues and a whole arc so Buffy could realize, again, that she is THE slayer?

I'm not gonna talk about the art, I really wonder though, when you have your top selling product, you keep your best there and not just some random arts all the time. Change the color of the hair, and Buffy is Kennedy and Kennedy is Buffy.

Let's hope that #14 and #15 will be a much better story, because IMO the Guarded arc was the worst of S9 so far, both books included.

[ edited by zianna on 2012-09-12 17:57 ]
Enjoyed last issue a lot more. Something of the idea that we were "hearing" the actual Wolf/Ram/Hart say those lines that could've been cleverly hidden from screen, only to be yet another `unexpected` conduit from a hell dimension which again speaks perfect English... letdown.

...But the cheque line was the funniest, most `show accurate voice` line since it went off air.
Have to agree with zianna on this one. Weird plot choices.

Why did W&H send a file to Koh and not just actually TELL him the name?

THIS. It completely made no sense in story.

The whole arc felt pointless. How, exactly, has Buffy grown in these issues? What has she learned? What do we know about the character we didn't 3 issues ago. That she is "The Slayer"? Buffy knows that. We know that. Not that every arc has to have such specific "character growth" subtext but this seemed to just re-iterate something that's already been said.

Still waiting for some kind of Big Bad to show up. And any sort of forward momentum. After Jane and Drew's side-arc, hopefully this season picks up some steam.

Oh, and when you are in your mid-twenties, broke and in debt (and apparently homeless as well) and someone hands you a check for the work you've already done, you don't give that check back.

[ edited by Kaan on 2012-09-12 19:37 ]
Lots of nonsensical writing in this issue which is done in such an obvious way that it's impossible to ignore. Sometimes things don't make sense on a literal level in BtVS (e.g., Buffy's blood = Dawn's blood), but it still carries through because the metaphor and the emotion are powerful enough to drive the story home. Unfortunately, that's not the case here.
@Emmie - Is that your letter in the back? :)
I have my copy of Buffy S9 # 13.The conclusion of "Guarded."

I've honestly been trying to figure out what to say.Many of my thoughts from last issue basically match this one.

This issue was slow.I liked the art.I liked little moments.I continue to like Kennedy(and how she still cares for Willow).It's interesting how Wolfram & Hart are back in the verse through another no magic loophole.Also I thought it was cool how Buffy was aware of Angel's & Spike's last encounters with them(the end of season 5,After The Fall and the IDW Spike miniseries)

I'm also glad to see Buffy defending destroying the seed.

As for the Koh cliffhanger.I do wonder if there is a fakeout coming or not but I'm more convinced than ever that Illyria is the demon that imprisoned him and that's how she'll be entering the story and I also wonder if that is what is at least in part what will bring Spike back into Buffy later in the season.

Overall though,it was a dullish issue.IMO

I thought this issue was slow too.I still liked the art and little momments.The Buffy/Kennedy confrontation and the Buffy/Kenndy Koh face off where Koh threatens to blacken Kennedy's other eye and she says he didn't do that and then kicks him in the face and says I did.

I guess Koh being a traitor wasn't a fake out.Disappointed there but now wondering how he'll factor into the end of the season.We've still got Severine and Simone out there.Now him too.And they are practically flashing a neon sign that illyria was the one who imprisoned him.With Koh's betrayal and if Illyria is the one who imprisoned him,I wonder how Spike will factor in when he does return to Buffy later in the season?

I'm also curious now about why he was imprisoned.I wonder if this is it for Wolfram & Hart too.

As for the ending.Like others,i don't get why Buffy didn't take the money atleast for the job she did do even if she was quitting.She did earn it.

The ending and last panel with "I'm the slayer."It's a cool moment but it feels like territory already covered.

My feelings are like last issue overall.I found this issue and arc dull.And honestly that how I've felt for the most part about Buffy's half of season 9.I'm just finding the Buffy half of season 9 slow and dull and a bit on the aimless side vs. season 8 or the Angel & Faith half of season 9.There are things I've liked.Moments and I am curious about some things for the second half of the season but overall the best way to express it is I was excited for each issue of season 8.I'm excited for each issue of Angel & Faith.I've been really invested in them.Buffy's side of season 9 not so much.I've said it before but more T.V. show like approach just isn't working for me in the comic book medium.It worked great for me on T.V. but it's just not clicking for me as a comic book.The more outlandish larger than life epic and cosmic stuff of season 8 just worked for me in this medium that the back to basic approach isn't.That is also why I think Angel & Faith is working so well for me too.It's closer in tone to season 8 than Buffy's half of season 9. My favorite aspect actually of Buffy's side of S9 so far has actually been the zompire and robot stuff.I also like Spike's spaceship and bugs.So you sort of see my leanings when it comes to the comic book format.

The Guarded arc as a whole exemplified my whole problems with Buffy's book this season. The storyline is just not exciting me.If they were doing this as a season on T.V. or a movie,I think these storylines would work much better for me.

We'll see how the second half of the season goes and how the Spike and Willow miniseries impact things.
Agree with most of the comments above. Sending a file (instead of just telling Koh the name) made no sense. Buffy refusing the check made even less sense. I mean come on--she's a twenty-something who recently quit her crappy part-time job, trying to figure out your place in the world--she's not gonna hand back that check.

The big emotional confrontation about Giles didn't really make sense to me, either. I don't get how Giles' death was in any way about Buffy trying to save the world when she should've just saved one person. If memory serves, she took decisive action to save the world *after* Giles was killed trying to do the same thing. I just ... don't get Kennedy's point here.

Overall, I thought the whole arc (especially this issue) was just kind of lackluster and poorly written. :-(
I'm sorry but did anything HAPPEN in this issue? In this arc? I mean really, what do we know that we didn't before it, where are we that we weren't before it? DISAPPOINTING.
Jelly, why yes that is my letter!
To comment on the sending the file thing - was not 'Illyria' an extreme short-cut of the God-King-...-...-... original name? If so, the name itself might actually be a few pages long - and since imprisonment happened a millennium ago how would Koh know the ... became Illyria on Earth? Some explanations on her getting to be in her current body would have been in that file as well - with a picture or two. Also, saying the name 'Illyria'(if it is indeed her) to Koh in front of Buffy and Kennedy might not have been W&H choice exactly because Buffy might have heard of the dear Elder God current state, while Koh did not.
Oh, this was just boring. I never thought I would say that!
Some of the beats were nice, and a few lines that I thought were cute or clever... but not much else.

I guess they are selling this Slayer concept so hard (again) because of the next two Billy issues and the shifting focus to zompire proliferation?

[ edited by cazador on 2012-09-13 01:20 ]
I agree on the boring, I hope something about this pays off later, but I'm not feeling very confident that that will be true. AND I agree that I had a very hard time telling Buffy and Kennedy apart throughout a lot of this comic. Plus I thought the whole not taking the check thing was lame.
I feel that Buffy has reached the same issues that Spider-Man , Batman and every other mainstream superhero has hit. How do you tell a new story with these characters?

I'm not going to bash this issue; it's pretty much what we've got all season long. Good but not great.

The one thing I did not like more so than an other issue this season was the art. It seemed rushed and lacked the attention of detail. Hopefully this was a schedule thing and the break in the next 2 issues brings Geroges back to the level I've come to enjoy.
Oh yeah and I forgot...I still don't get what the overall plot is for the season? Am I missing something???
I was enjoying this season up until this arc. What a complete bore.

I hope it gets better soon.
I actually really enjoyed this issue. I thought Buffy's voice was really coming through in this one, and this issue kept me more interested than the rest of the Guarded arc.

I loved how the Buffy/Kennedy scene played out in comic format. You see Kennedy say Giles and you know whats coming next and you get that pause, you turn the page and bam!

I understand peoples annoyance at the rehashing of the Buffy accepting her role as the slayer concept, but I believe it's an ongoing struggle for Buffy, and an ongoing journey to figure it out in context of other elements and possible paths in her life.

I also get Buffy's refusal of the paycheck as confusing, but I think it showed a lot of integrity. Buffy felt that accepting payment for protecting someone was a subversion of being the slayer, and that refusing it was necessary to keep her from losing her way.
Hmm, I was worried I'd come across as too negative in my reaction to this issue, but now I almost feel compelled to offer some defense.

Before I get to that though, let me just say I really, really agree that there were some bad plot holes and contrivances in this issue and this arc. ESPECIALLY giving the check back, which was just silly. (Then again, I felt the same way when Angel got rid of that magic ring in one of the early Angel seasons.)

That said, there were some things to like. I liked the young entrepreneur character, for example, and the whole link between science and magic. The Koh character is also interesting and obviously has some powerful motivations and mystery about him, even if his dialogue is at times insufferable. He and the entrepreneur guy reflect some decent character work, something that I felt was lacking in Season 8.

I also enjoyed the brief return of W&H, and look forward to seeing more of them -- maybe even having them as the Big Bad. More generally, there was a comprehensible, and mildly entertaining, character-driven story here (albeit not an especially good one). I think this also reflects an improvement over Season 8, which just left me confused and frustrated.

Finally, at least the contrivances and plot holes here were done in service of a story. To me that is infinitely better than say, the robot pregnancy contrivance, which seemed designed solely to provide a basis for a gratuitous and tonally awkward political "message."

I can't pretend that this was a great issue or a great arc, but compared to what we've seen thus far, it seemed to me like a modest improvement.
Feeling really torn: I want to praise this issue and look at its strong points, but there aren't a whole lot...same goes for the majority of S9. I've reached the point where I just can't pretend to get excited for these issues anymore. No sure why this story needs to be told at such an excruciatingly slow pace with SO much filler and throwaway events... It seems like the intention and the overal concepts of each arc had potential but have been executed in the dullest way possible. I blame loss of magic...on the writers' end.

Good: Buffy punches Kennedy and kicks Koh in their respective faces.

Bad: W&H...lame depiction! Total letdown.

I'm exasperated by this season.
I've enjoyed this season a lot, actually. It's got plenty of little character moments, which were promised to us, and I feel they are the best part of the season. This arc... not so much. This one felt kinda void of those sweet little moments, besides keeping the mystery over Koh, which will probably pay off later in the season, and the Giles shout-out, which might probably pay off . I agree that Buffy's path seems to have done some loophole this last issues, albeit a good one since I wouldn't like the season to turn out into Buffy: The Nightclub Doorwoman. We'll see where she's headed now, I guess.
I've been turning this over in my mind... and I guess the point of Buffy turning down the money she earned was some kind of statement that she won't ever steal again (like she did in Season 8 to finance her Army)? It seemed lame, and kind of pointless... and not very cleverly presented.

In fact that is my problem: I feel that Joss isn't even reading the comics at this point, because even when Season 8 was annoying, it was never boring.
More of the same, it seems.
I liked seeing the White Room again.
The giving of the check back was nonsensical. I don't get it. Unless she would only get the check if she took the job permanently? I don't know.

I miss everybody. Buffy alone is not enough.
Also I read a lot of fic and there are plenty of jobs for Buffy that fic writers have made work perfectly. The most obvious being a self-defense instructor. It would even be constructive in that she would actually be saving lives by teaching people how to defend themselves.
I like the combining of the two shows by using Wolfram and Hart in Buffy, but none of this particular book resonated with me.
There is an elephant in the room and it's not breaking the seed. I wonder if they will ever address the real issue in either Buffy or Angel, which has nothing to do with breaking the seed. If they aren't going to address all the deaths that happened from Buffy and Angel's choices in regards to Twilight and the Space frak then I kind of wish they would stop bringing up season 8 completely.
Leary of saying you liked something any louder than that, Simon? Wow, it must have been really bad then.
It was just ok. I liked the Buffy/Kennedy dialogue, fun was poked at Facebook and there were giant tentacles. But Wolfram and Hart was a big let down and the arc felt like a Buffy episode from one of the later seasons which screamed "and this is how we must move the plot along". I would reread it in the trades but I wouldn't go out of my way to read it if I was revisiting my favourite Season 8/9 arcs.
What are your favorite season 8/9 arcs? And why?
Long Way Home, Wolves at the Gate, Last Gleaming and Freefall. Why? They more or less found the perfect pitch of comedy, angst, drama and epicness.
Even Angel took a check once in awhile. Even heroes need to eat (so to speak).
Also, I feel like they're dragging out the reveal of Illyria being Koh's warden a little much...especially considering we all know it already.
I liked seeing the white room again too. That wasn't the problem I had with it. It was a letdown that it was just another conduit (a curiously Earthly looking bird? Er...) talking from yet another dimension with... oddly humanoid creatures talking perfect English.
A lot of my like from the previous issue came from the thought that it was fairly well inferred that it was the Senior Partners *directly* communicating - the lines come over much more powerfully with that idea behind it. Like a lot of what we've seen this season so far, it was just a letdown issue closing an arc once more. They've brought the series back to Buffy which after S8 is great... but the sidestories just seem to taper out and nothing much seems to be going on. We still have no real idea what was up with Xander and Dawn, for instance.
I'm obviously not paying enough attention. What is the basis for concluding that Illyria imprisoned Koh?
We still have no real idea what was up with Xander and Dawn, for instance.

Those background characters who occasionally showed up in the series... I think they were even in S8 once or twice.
Hello all! Here's my thoughts on Buffy's Season 9 arc and how it builds upon the aftereffects of Season 8.
Wow Emmie, that is a really awesome way of looking at it! Did not think of it that deeply before. I always saw the Theo/Tincan and Buffy/Seed link. But not to the extent you did! Bravo!

I enjoyed this arc myself (Even more now after Emmies post!), had some very nice character moments, and Koh's story intruiged me to no end! Season 9 is definitely moving slow, but i have complete faith as we lead up to the finale things will pick up, and lots of pieces we have been given will start to come together!

EDIT: But i really REALLY hope we have alot more Xander and Dawn in the future issues, now buffy has "Found herself" again. The Scoobies need to get back to work!

[ edited by Fuelreaver on 2012-09-13 23:13 ]
My late review of Buffy #13.
Squishy, apparently everyone else reads spoilers and knew Illyria would be coming back soon. I do my best to avoid them.

I enjoyed this issue, but Emmie, your review made it even better.

Here's what I find most unreal about the comics: There's an army of young women with great strength and training, but it never occurs to any of them to protect other women. Like in Take Back the Night. Except for places with zompires, women could safely walk alone at night.
*Sigh* I guess not all of us knew who Koh's warden was...I blame only myself for reading the comments. Let's try to use spoiler tags more often, shall we?
Jonnathan-There's 'spoiler' written in big red letters in the header of this comment thread. It's been over a week since the comic came out. If you didn't want to run the risk of being spoiled, why did you read this thread?
Hi menomegirl, yes I saw the flashing, red lights. I bought the comic in question a week ago when it first came out. Unless I missed something, there's nothing in this particular issue to reveal that ****SPOILER ALERT**** (SERIOUSLY DON'T READ ON UNLESS YOU WANT TO HAVE YOUR DAY RUINED)....*checks to make sure no one's around*: Illyria is supposed to be Koh's warden. This may be true or not, I'm guessing it's either been surmised by folks who have taken sneak peeks at upcoming covers (which I avoid like the plague) or from leaked info in articles (which, if marked appropriately, I also avoid) but I don't expect for the cat to be let out of the bag during a run-o-the-mill current issue discussion. Usually Simon & co are pretty good about 'black barring'such details (which I imagine they'll do here as well, unless I'm the last mortal on earth who didn't realize this plot point was so well propagated.) That's all.

[ edited by pacer on 2012-09-22 10:31 ]

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