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July 23 2014

(SPOILER) Discuss Buffy Season 10 #5. It's the final part of the Dracula arc.

It was a pretty enjoyable read. The nice but schmaltzy togetherness of the arc was underlined plenty in Buffy/Spike's final pages with the friends are the family we choose for ourselves point of view. It did make total sense having Spike making that point following on from his thinking last season and his return back to the gang. Xander and Drac sorted it out and Buffy has one big functioning family of scoobs around her that she appreciates and (yet again) she is determined to take charge of her life and stop avoiding. Even the Xander and Dawn break up was reasonably angst free and maturely handled, particularly considering one half being someone who is theoretically partially emotionally reset to being a teen, hmmm. I did like Xander's determination that he could make her fall for him again and hope he does tbh. When it is in the context of the overall season the heavy weight they have put on all of this togetherness will probably scan better than it does stood on its own where it looks somewhat sentimental. As tends to go with these things it feels set up to start unravelling!!

I am finding new magic tiresomely limitless, they can just do anything and more easily than old magic allowed. Dawn going dizzy and it being less stable seems a pretty half hearted show of 'weakness' in the new mojo to me. Willow whisking everyone around, making Dawn giant, the magic conference call idea... I find it all a bit too much.

As for the placing of Into The Light mentioned in the letters, surely they would have expected some fans to want to know how well it fits with canon before choosing whether to buy it? The strange thing is those who have read it seem to say the text clearly places it before S7 after he got his soul as JM described it. I don't see why it couldn't have fitted to canon there if they had made more of his mental decline from the nightmares as he dealt with doubts about going back to Sunnydale. But it sounds like JM wanted to just stick with it as was and they didn't edit and put it through continuity testing for proper canon placing. Going by reviews it still seems to have been taken as a nice enough non canon tale though.

EDIT: Scratch that, I have just read Into The Light and it can't fit early S7 because Spike beats up two humans at the beginning so he has no chip and it doesn't work later as he says he has gone for a 'fresh start' and then he gets injured and says it takes weeks to get better. It just simply doesn't fit pre or during S7.

Mentally move it to post S7 perhaps it could fit somewhere. Quite simply there is no logic at all that they didn't do that. Huh, I actually quite liked the idea of a pre S7 story if his nightmares were building and he was wary of returning to SD but the lack chip is just too big to ignore. I didn't think it was written well enough generally either tbh.

[ edited by Stoney on 2014-07-24 09:49 ]
I have my copy of Buffy # 5.The Conclusion of the "New Rules" arc.

Overall I've been pretty happy with Gage's And Isaacs;s work in the buffyverse.There Angel & Faith run last season was stellar IMO and this opening arc of Buffy continues that streak with the added bonus of Nicky Brendon with issues 3-5.I'm very happy that nick will be around for more issues(# 7 his next).

This concluding chapter of the opening arc of seaon had as much pop as the last four and gave a satisfying end to the story whiel setting up interesting elemnts of where the story is going.

I'm still not sure how I feel about the nature of the Vampry book now but I do like the setup of the not just buffy but the Scoobies as a whole acting as guardians to overseeing the rewriting of the rules in the book with D'Hoffryn and his mystical council as advisers.A nice check and balance system.I do worry that the whole season could be about people trying to steal the book for their own purposes.Dracula did it in this arc and based on upcoming solicitations,someone else will try the same again.I have to believe though there will be more to things then that.

I'm also really curious how writing in the book and The Scoobies overseeing it will effect what goes on over in Angel & Faith with Magic Town.This actually gives a good setup for Angel to crossover down the line I think.

The resolution to the Xander/Dracula story was great although I was surprised Dracula wasn't killed.Much like pre souled Spike and Harmony,Drac gets a not get staked card due to the character being who he is.On the surface,Xander and Dracula being buddies is nice but when I think about it,it is hard to swallow given Xander's hatred of vampires but I'll go with it.

I liked the call back to season 8 and Giant Dawn.

The conclusion ot the Xander/Dawn stuff was sad but expected and I did like how it was handled and even left the door open for them in the future.I like the idea of Xander hoping to get Dawn to fall in love with him again.It's a nice thought.

Also some interesting progress on the Anya front and Xander asking D'Hoffryn to look into it for him(Liked D'Hoffryn's thoughts on Anya).Still not sure how I feel about bringing Anya back though even as a ghost.Still too many dead characters returning for my taste but we'll see how this continues.

Overall this issue and arc had a nice message as emphasized in Buffy and Spike's talk at the end.The Scoobies are a family and their in this together.

Also,I picked up Spike:Into The Light today too.I didn't have enough money last week to pick it up so my shop held it for me for this week.It was a nice little Spike story.My feeling is a a good story is a good story so the continuity issue does not bother me.Yes,it probably would fit better in Angel season 5 but I just treated it like some of the IDW Angel stuff and not worried about where it fit in.
I enjoyed this first arc a lot. It was mostly lighthearted but posed a lot of interesting questions: who's writing new rules in the book, aside from the Scoobies? Why is Anya back as a ghost?

If I have any issues at all with it, it's that Willow is using magic too easily (as much as she did in season 8) and that Anya seems to feel a little too positive toward D'Hoffryn. (Um, remember Halfrek?)
Yes, this whole 'Magic Book' concept creates a lot of questions. For example, why don't they just write "Giles magically turns back to his older self" in the book? Or "Dawn magically gets all of her emotions and memories back."

I'm looking forward to seeing how future issues clear up these 'new rules.'
Yes, this whole 'Magic Book' concept creates a lot of questions. For example, why don't they just write "Giles magically turns back to his older self" in the book? Or "Dawn magically gets all of her emotions and memories back."

Ah, but if you've ever played D&D you are probably familiar with the risks of a poorly-worded wish. "Giles magically turns back into his older self" could send him back to the Seed Chamber, dead with a broken neck. And "Dawn magically gets all of her emotions and memories back" could cause her to suddenly remember every second of her life (maybe including her previous life as the incorporeal Key) and simultaneously experience every emotion she's ever had, driving her insane.
I don't buy Dracula just backing out of the situation after previous issues painted him as an ambitious power collector. That was a cheap exit.
Considering the recent article on the ethics of re-ensouling vampires, why don't they just write in the book that all vampires retain or regain their soul?
Because not all vampires were "good" or "friendly" people to start with before they were vampires? Because we've seen with Spike and Angel that having a soul returned or restored to a vampire results in periods of massive guilt, depression, suicidal tendencies, etc., if they're even capable of feeling guilt for the terrible things they did as soulless vampires?

Sorry, but I really think that article about the "ethics" of re-ensouling vampires was ill-informed, at least concerning what we know about vampires in the Buffyverse. This isn't True Blood or Anita Blake; these vampires are not a metaphor for oppressed minorities yearning to be accepted or integrated into society.
GUys don't you feel super bad for Xander? :( He has a whole relationship that never even HAPPENED to the other person. And to have to be kissed like that. (heart breaking drawing, Rebecca). I have just been in pain for him all week.

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