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November 14 2012

(SPOILER) Discuss Buffy Season 9 #15. Drew Z. Greenberg writes the second part of the Billy the Vampire Slayer tale.

Jezz, and I thought the Guarded arc was a boring one. DH has managed to refute me. Well done. So, why did we waste 2 out of a 25 issues season, about somebody we don't know and don't care about? News flash here, first you introduce the character and then you tell his background story. And that only if the character is popular enough, and in an one shot story, a Tales of the Slayers, story. Why did I waste 6 dollars to read a story of someone I don't care? Yeah, maybe I'll care about him in the future, who knows. Do that then, why do it now? Just to drive more readers away from the main story?

Talk about the things in this arc which contradict the shows?
Vampires getting inside homes without invitation. Oh wait, they had been invited at some point when they were humans, just in case they ever turn, very provident of them, nice!
Past characters didn't care to be called slayers, but that wannabe Xander and wannabe Giles call themselves slayer and watcher.
Buffy hasn't learned her lesson after S7 when she drove the potentials to battle and death. And those potentials had slayer's powers. Now, she has absolutely no problem to drive that 16 years old to battle, fight, and possible death.
Spike some issues back, with all his vampire strength and fighting skills (he killed two slayers and faced many times Buffy, remember?) was in big trouble facing some zompires, now Billie dusts a library full of them so easily like he's killing cockroaches.
Billy and uncute Devon are like Willow and Xander. Gay, nerd, new scoobies. At least use some different characteristics, don't make it so obvious.

I don't want to waste any more of my time about this, second in a row, stupid arc. At least A&F #15 was the best so far this season, Spike's mini is OK, and Willow's despite the problems, was much better than any of the past 5 issues of Buffy.

The only thing I liked in this issue, are the beautiful panels of Buffy, who finally looked like a beautiful 26 years old woman. Unlike some others who draw her like a 12 years old child.

Is December that far away to get back to the story we want to read?
Please, DH, read those lines and don't repeat anything similar. We want to read stories of the characters we loved. Not of strangers, teenagers wannabe whatever.

[ edited by zianna on 2012-11-14 17:53 ]
I liked the story overall although I thought the ending to this issue was too pat and heavy-handed. Writing the character is the message. I don't need Buffy to show up and also tell it to me. And who gets distracted while their grandma is in a library full of vampires? That was weird. I did like the Watcher-Slayer stuff.
Buffyfest will be hosting a live Twitter Chat with Jane Espenson,
Wed, Nov. 14th at 6:30 PDT/9:30 PM EST.
For anyone interested.

Here is the link for more info.
Not sure what that has do with the thread, zianna (maybe should be a main story on the home page). As to the comic, I don't really know what to say. It's a block to the main story and does not seem to add anything.
Yeah, maybe you're right, they will be accepting questions other than Buffy related. I'll post it.
Although I just met these two boys, I was totally worried to turn the page to expect Devon's untimely death to spring upon me... since this is the Buffyverse and I saw happiness happening. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see they both survived the encounter... and suddenly Buffy is back in the panel, and the boys are in San Fran likes its an obvious conclusion to Billy's journey... I admit that this would have been a fabulous Tales comic arc, but I agree that this had almost no impact on S9 whatsoever. It was simply observations of others and outside circumstances of the seeds absence.

I enjoyed it nevertheless, but I'll be happy to get back to Buffy in December.
Sorry to be negative, but I really think this is one of the worst comics I've ever read. The story was trite and cliched and pushed the two new characters at the readers in a way that felt forced and inorganic. Also, the end made no sense. Why should Buffy accept Billy and Devon into her 'team' just on their say so?

I understand that this story is close to the writers' hearts, but I'm afraid I feel that the first openly gay male characters in the Buffyverse deserved better.
I probably won't have my copy until tomorrow but based off of last issue,I think Billy and Devon have potential but like i said last month,i think they should of been introduced in a one-shot and than brought into the main Buffy book and story.
Here's my summary and review.

And I almost want to say that it might be the last one, but knowing me, I'll always keep buying just in case it gets better. For less stubborn fans, I can imagine this two-parter being the final nail in the coffin of their interest. It's truly disappointing that a talented team like this couldn't think of anything better than this to do with an idea they obviously cared about.

Not much that we've heard about upcoming issues has terribly excited me, but at this point it'll be a relief just to get away from Billy and Cute Devon (who doesn't even look that cute anymore).
I'm disappointed. The story turned out to be more trite PSA than emotionally resonant and thought provoking. I expect more of BtVS -- this story was all cliche, no edge or subversion.

And there were plenty of opportunities. For instance, what's up with Cute Devon's obsession with Watcher/Slayer relationships? That could've gone to a dark place, and yet. What about Buffy absent her well-earned skepticism and caution? Hamnoo?

The story was predictable and preachy. It all just fell flat for me.

[ edited by Emmie on 2012-11-14 21:16 ]
I like Billy and I liked the arc. I like it more the more I think about it. Beyond the artless charm of boy meets boy and everybody lives (because In Buffy’s world happy endings are subversive) I think it bears comparison with The Chain. We're looking at the difference between the “are you ready to be strong” cover and the “join the fight” one. In S8 Buffy was reduced to a name, a power, a symbol. This time around she’s still inspirational but human. Not!Buffy wore her face but never met the original, never expected to. Billy patrols with her as an equal. In S8 she inspired an army that hid itself away from the people it was formed to protect. In S9 she’s working with the Dowlings and the Billys against a common enemy, not a new scoobie gang but a new much more grounded army. She’s moved on from reclaiming her slayerness at the end of the Guarded arc and re-invented it. Works for me.
It was fine for me, but Buffy shouldn't just be "fine". I've come to expect more from her. The story was pretty predictable, but it had its cute moments. I just couldn't really get invested in it. I also had no idea who the guy was with Buffy at the end (I assumed it was Dowling). Anyway, bring on a new arc and and "old" friend!
I really don't even have much to say about this. They simply did not sell me on these characters, such a shame. And its not that it CANT be done in two issues. I was immediately enamored with Fray the first issue I read, even the one-issue Slayer from The Chain. I'm really disappointed they wasted an opportunity to introduce the first openly gay male character on this story.

Also, I REALLY miss the Scooby interaction. I wish Willow was still here, and her miniseries was still happening at the same time, it was just filling in the gaps where she went. Or maybe the dimensions she's in, time runs differently, so she comes back and its only been a few days and the miniseries reveals what happened to her. Just some connection to people we care about.

I really am waiting for things to come together and I don't understand their thought process in the decisions of this season. In a way, this whole season seems like stuff that would happen off-screen over the summer in between seasons. We know they had adventures, but they weren't worth the audience actually having to view them.
Thanks Jane and Drew for this great character introduction, I enjoyed it very much, and can't wait to see how these new characters will interact with the core scoobies (assuming they reconnect soon ) and also excited for the next arc!

I really think this should have been a "Tales of the Slayer" two parter than part of the 25 issues allowed for this season. And yeah, I agree that the message was over handed and blatant. There was very little subtext here.

I'm still confused about two powerless males running around calling themselves "Slayer" and "Watcher" and how they would even know what a Watcher was. If anything, as a male myself, I would have approached dusting vamps in a very Batman and Robin way, the veteran helping not only train but also working the beat with the newbie and not just forcing one person to train while the other reads. It's kind of messed up, which I think is how we were supposed to feel about the centuries long custom of male Watchers sending female Slayers off to do battle with the powers of darkness, girls sacrificing their lives so that men might live on. Personally I thought it was a good thing that the patriarchal Watcher's Council was abandoned by Buffy years ago.

I don't have a problem with using the term "Slayer" for empowerment or for even lack of better words, I see it as anyone can slay vamps can be a Slayer but there is (usually) only one Chosen One.

Several times my friend has told me to just drop the book, but I'm too damn loyal and too damn hopeful that this will all turn around. I can't wait for Chambliss to take back over, in my opinion the book kind of went for crap when the guest writing started.
I sort of feel that the book has devolved into something Joss said he would never do, become a Special Episode kind of thing. We had Batsu, we had a (false) pregnancy and abortion, and now we have two gay characters in a one (two)-off. None of which really seems germane to actually progressing the story. It does, however, get press interest.
Hi there- long, long time 'watcher' and newb poster. Nice to have the opportunity to join in!

Before I joined I remember champing at the bit to get involved in debates about the comic to defend it. I thought people jumped in very quickly with negative perceptions about the direction of the story and didn't give it time to 'cook'. And now, what will I do with my first post? What they did.

It is interesting to me, that in the wake of the grandiosity of season 8 and the resulting promise of a renewed focus on the core crew, that this series seems so lost and ambling. I have almost entirely forgotten about Buffy's story. The comic lacks a momentum and focus. It could, in fact, be a symptom of bringing a television audience with you into a comic medium. I'm not a long time comic fan, so don't have much to compare the story pacing and character development to in terms of the format. But this story just feels... ungrounded. I appreciate the concept of Billy. I've appreciated other ideas in this series. But it's like the detritus of a good story floating in space. Perhaps it will pull together, but the placing of a 2 comic 'break' in the story at this point in time has not helped.

Anyway. Hello and thanks again for the chance to join in.
Wow. That was seriously lame. Please get back to the characters we love as soon as possible. And please make us care about them again.
This was extremely disappointing. Part 1 had got me interested and looking forward to the next issue, I really wasn't expecting something so cliched, predictable and heavy-handed.
I think "Billy is great" is the new "Angel loves his son."
Not learning through actions or deeds. Because xyz character tells us so. Repeatedly.
So letdown.
Terrible. Just Terrible.

This whole story arc read like some kind of horrible Yaoi-inspired Buffy fanfic -- and having Devon be a dead ringer for Spike only added to the effect.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 is shaping up to be a hot mess. Aside from a decent opening arc, absolutely nothing with this title has worked. I'm hoping that this book can be salvaged in the final ten issues, but it isn't looking good.

I pray that season ten, when it rolls around, is a vast improvement.
I thought it was very funny, felt like vintage Buffy humour which Season 9 has been lacking in. As for the story, it was sweet but it felt more like an interlude more than anything. I did like Billy and his Watcher though.
I got my copy now of Buffy # 15,"Billy The vampire Slayer part II of II."

I thought it was decent.About the same as last issue,not great but not terrible.About the same as last issue.Like I said last issue.I think Billy and Devon have potential but i feel this story took place in the wrong place.The arc IMO should of been a One-Shot titled "Season 9 Tales of the Slayers:Billy."After that,than bring them into the next arc of Buffy as part of her team with Dowling which seems to be the plan.The last page with Buffy would of been a perfect capper to a One-Shot lead in.

I liked the art especially the Buffy appearance at the end although I tend to like Karle Moline's work usually anyway.

I thought this arc was better than "Guarded" but misplaced although both arcs were still sort of eh for me overall.
I don't understand the massive hate for this it appears, or do I feel that it is as irrelevant as other people do.

It seems obvious that Billy's journey is meant to parallel Buffy's and their new redefinition as part of the new world order. It is about 'getting back to basics'. Buffy's 'acceptance' of Billy has everything to do with her own acceptance of not thinking that she has to live in the normal real world anymore. The gay thing is just an extension of that.

I didn't mind it - cliched as others have stated - but I think, like every other arc has this season, it's as purposefully thematic as it can. I really like Season 9 much better than Season 8.
..and lastly arrives Buffy. Fine! Now we can go on with the story?
^That. A thousand times that. After the first little arc everything went a bit S8... RobotBuffy! The Siphon and another new demon who isn't all bad! W&H and demon social network!

...Meanwhile; Hey, about that Xander/Dawn thing and character interaction... Remember? The stuff we liked in the first arc and in the show..?
I personally really enjoyed the Billy arc. I do think the end felt a bit rushed, but I'm looking forward to Billy being part of the cast now.
These two issues would work for me if they can use these characters to progress Andrew's storyline, which always felt to me as if they were mocking "closeted" gay men. And yes, I understand that that was the last thing they were trying to do with Andrew, but the fact that they continued on with his purposefully-ambiguous sexual orientation always came off the wrong way in my opinion. I'm also confused as to why the past two issues needed to be two issues, because it could've been put into one without losing much.
Worst mid-season slump ever in the history of BtVS. Wake me up when this limbo contest of a season is finally over.
And the season started so well.

Right now I find my self invested in the Willow series, amused at the Spike one, tolerating the Angel/Faith one, and loathing the Buffy one.
This is some terrible writing and pacing..
Yes, every month I'm very excited to go by Angel/Faith and have gotten ALMOST as excited to go buy Spike. Willow, I'm like, "Hey... it's Willow day." Buffy, I go buy with trepidation and a tiniest hope that there will maybe be even ONE little joke or nice picture. The book just needs a writer with some verve and vision to take it some place new confidently. I watched some Once Upon a Time episodes and Chambliss can okay write... but the book is so watery. And Jane is one of my heroes. But her comic books are not her strong suit. They're just having a hard time finding a writer to take over this book and DRIVE the way Gage has done at Angel/Faith.
Well it was as bad as everyone said it is. Joss seriously needs to come back and save this title.
I find it much easier to believe in Mecha Dawn than that two teens with no special powers can put wooden stakes into the hearts of zompires after a few days of training. If that's the case, why were Slayers ever needed? The Watchers could simply have spent a few days training a bunch of young people.

What about the grandmother and Billy's female friend? Should we assume no one bullies them for being different?

From season 2 on, I've wished "Buffy" would deal with the idea of women being unsafe on the streets at night, not just because of vampires, but because of human men. The Slayers could bring about a new world for women by patrolling the streets. So, it galls me that the Billy arc was so heavy handed in its message.

And what is the message exactly? Billy finds acceptance after he successfully fights back and leaves town. Maybe he could have gotten rid of his bullies by doing that earlier. I'm not saying that's what he should have done, but ... what about nerdy boys, whether gay or straight, who don't become fighters or can't leave town? Is there some city where girls and women can move to escape harassment?

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