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Season Eight: Reviews

Apr 10 2010 03:34 pm   #1sosa lola

My Issue 34 Review:

Okay, so this issue discussed the real mythology behind the Slayer/Vampire relationship, the greatest apocalypse of all, which… I'm not gonna focus on. I've never been interested in the big picture, the reason I watched the show and read the comic is the characters. I care about them, their relationships with each other, their suffering and happiness, and their progression and regression.

So, I'll leave the complicated talk to its people, and focus on the little details, which I've loved.

Giles' concern over Faith's wellbeing was so touching and sad at the same time. The sad part is that now he seems closer to her than Buffy, and I've always loved the Buffy/Giles relationship which is never the same since Lies My Parents Told Me.

The Warren/Andrew nerd fight. I love how it shows that Andrew grew out of his Warren worship, and right now, he dislikes him a great deal.

I've noticed how Xander and Dawn are the voice of the fans –Xander has always been the guy who objects, who gives another opinion, be it right or wrong, and he's still doing the same thing.

I'm surprised to hear fans claiming that S8 doesn't have a wise-cracking, truth-telling, sarcastic character. Dawn fills that role perfectly for some time now.

I could never say it enough. Xander wanting to help Buffy is one of the most endearing aspects of his character, he's always thinking about helping her when danger occurs. I also love how he says screw the magicks and then orders Willow to do a spell. Hee.

I laughed out loud at Willow's "Xander, I don't think you want to see this." Willow is clearly talking from memory; actually this issue does bring me back to the earlier seasons, Willow thinking that Xander won't like the sight of Buffy and Angel together, and on the other hand, Willow claiming that Angel (and Spike) is Buffy's truest loves. Wasn't Willow Buffy's little cheerleader in high school? She always romanticized the Buffy/Angel relationship.

I can't make my mind over Buffy and Angel's state of mind. Are they in full control of their actions or are they possessed by a greater force? What I do see though is them enjoying the hell out of each other. The sex, their feelings, it all looks real to me.

Buffy crushing the wall with her hand reminds me of when she crushed the pewter pitcher in Graduation Part Two. Nice touch.

I LOVE Faith's rage with Giles, of all the characters, she's the one who'd feel most betrayed by him; he'd been by her side the whole season, travelling to Germany and going around the world, and he said NOTHING. Poor Faith, will she ever find someone that will never hurt her?

The panel with all the characters staring at Giles, demanding an explanation is SO made of win! Willow's betrayed and sad expression and the way she hugs herself helplessly. Xander and Faith's angry expressions. Dawn's silent and sad features. Say what you want about Jeanty, but this guy is the only one who makes me connect with these characters.


While I do like a fair take on the Watchers' Council, I didn't take issue over the 1680s watchers taking their lives out of fear. This apocalypse appears to be the biggest the Scoobies ever faced yet. Besides, the 1680s watchers are the same as the 1999s watchers –different times, different people. Who's to say that all Slayers were brave and strong? I bet some were so cowardly and weak.

Xander does have a point when he said that nothing is going to be weird when they've faced plenty of supernatural, out-there creatures in the past. Nothing has changed.


Satsu's reaction made me sympathize with her. I don't think it's much to do with Buffy choosing someone else as the person himself. Buffy is having sex with the guy who'd been torturing them,  killing Slayers and spreading hate, not to mention the guy who sent the kitty monsters who almost caused Satsu her life.

Satsu's reaction and Andrew's "Please don't tell me that was them. It's ruining everything for me," do echo the aggravated Spuffy and Bander shippers as well as the other fans who are afraid they're losing Buffy, the character, and Angel, the character, to this new plot twist.

Giles' inability to spill it all out did frustrate me, I was with Xander when he shook him to talk. But I can understand Giles' hesitation.

Haha, loved Xander and Willow's expressions as Warren's declaration that he doesn't like them; reminds me of Spike.

Speaking of Spike, I really love how Jeanty drew him, and hey, he and Buffy will be fighting side by side again against something really huge –could it be the real Twilight?

"Oh, goddess" it used to bug me in the past when fans write Willow saying it in fanfic; because on the show I don't remember her ever saying goddess, guess it's canon now.

The Slayer/Vampire connection is interesting, but I don't like the idea of Buffy's attraction to Angel and Spike to be a result of destiny or outer force. Actually, it makes her feelings for both Riley and Xander more real, she loved them despite that connection.

So, Giles knew that Buffy was meant to be the god all along? And he was trying to find a way to kill her? Again, so sad, yet still in character.

Apr 10 2010 05:57 pm   #2nmcil
Great review - thank for posting

I too loved the Giles -Faith connections - been liking it all through the series - same for how Xander's first instinct is to "let save Buffy, she needs us"  - and Andrew, still one of my favorite, I loved him in th series in all his phases.  And you are right, Dawn is the voice of truth and reality check this series.  One of the reason that if this comes down to big time sacrifices I think either Dawn or Andrew will be involved.  And that has to be Andrew's severed head as the sculpture.

One huge question that I have, well one of many, is how this will be seen next to the last TV season - Giles described Buffy's plan as "brilliant" - now that would be just great, and I thought it was a wonderful Giles-Buffy reconciliation scene, but just how  the hell could this possibly now - If Giles and the Council of Watchers have known about this potential cataclysmic transformation of the Slayers, enough that 30 Watchers killed themselves in 1680, why in the world would Giles think Buffy's choice to use the obvious power of the scythe to bring about a complete change of Slayers.  Giles is smart, Giles knows his history, Giles knows enough to have been looking for a magical weapon that would kill a being so superior and beyond the puny humans that they would be as Gods.  Where 's the logic?  Giles is clearly shown as knowing that there is a potential connection for this disastrous transformation (for humans) to involve Slayer-Vampire - the exchange between Twangel and Giles makes this clear.  His Slayer has been attracted to vampires, so why would he so readily go along with the "let's use this powerful mystical weapon"  to change the very foundation of Slayers and their creation?  I;m with Dawn, it does not make sense. 

Let's go back to Giles again, he did nothing to attempt to stop his Slayer from connecting with a vampire, and if the premise for his allowing that relationship is that Angel has this vital soul that is suppose to control the vampire demon (this is the biggest plot crock)  after the horrors of Angel/Angelus he should never ever under any circumstances allowed Buffy to continue an association with Angel.  Again, where is the logic and all that brain power that Giles is suppose to have. If the history and origins of the Slayer mythos is going to be presented, at least have it make sense with what came before.  The only meaningful adult in Buffy's life that saw any problem with this Buffy-Angel relationship was Joyce.  It finally took the teenager involved to have the courage to end it.  Angel, if he had not been pushed by Buffy, did not want to leave Sunnydale, Buffy is the one that, first gives voice to the untenable situation of the love and relationship - well I guess after Spike gives them a reality check in "Lover's Walk"  - this just does not seem to connect.  If it does, someone please let me know how. 

What is the logic between this mysterious "universe" that has been for eons watching and waiting for that very special slayer to connect with a vampire.  Even if you accept this preposterous set of conditions - Angel/Angelus is not a true vampire, he is a corrupted form - the true vampire is Angelus.  The only way that this Slayer-Vampire-Angel  holds together is if an en-souled vampire was part of the original plan.  I don't see how you can have "the universe" would use a corrupted form - was an en-souled vampire a vital part of the equation of  the Slayer-Vampire?  If Angel, an en-souled vampire is the vital element, as is Buffy and her sharing of power, there should have been much more information coming from Giles.  Maybe that is all coming in the next issue, but all this origins stuff has got to make logical connections with the TV series or this entire shift will  simply not work.  Maybe if the only people reading this were already comic book readers, familiar with making this big changes with little text support it would work, but it won't work with all the readers that came over from the TV era - we want all the back ground and explanations. 

And Giles calling Angel the best of his kind, another WTF?  Angel is not "a kind" he was a corruption of the vampire demon form, as is Spike.  Either my senile phase has already begun or this is just not working, it's too scrambled together from elements that just are not making any sense.

My Tantric Sex theory is the only way this is making any plausible model for me.  I just hope to whatever powers are out there that we don't end up with a mystical birth or Buffy used as a vessel for this new "evolution" model.  The Tantric Sex theory at least connects with the imagery that is shown with Buffy and Angel and makes a good connection with Giles and the next step on the ladder of metaphysics.  Depending on how this is used, that is if it is even remotely what is coming, it would make for a very interesting storyline.  Already we are shown what would be a  Joss conversion of theory or story - The darkness and demons being the result of the Tantric Sex is exactly opposite of  the goals and expectations of this sexual experience system.
” Recent evolutionary models have demonstrated what politicians have long known: the best way to get people to collaborate and to think like a group is to identify an enemy and charge that “they” threaten “us.”

Michael Tomasello is co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
Apr 10 2010 07:23 pm   #3sosa lola
Interesting point about Giles, nmcil! I'm guessing Giles didn't have all the details about Buffy's spell in Chosen or her connection with vampires by that time, perhaps he only stumbled over them after they destroyed Sunnydale.

I have a couple of interesting reviews that do answer some questions and review the issue in a more insightful and deeper way:

Stormwreath's review:

http://stormwreath.livejournal.com/103769.html

And Maggie's Resonances and Themes thread at BuffyForums:

http://buffyforums.net/forums/showthread.php?t=12084
Apr 10 2010 08:15 pm   #4nmcil
thanks much for the links - I will go read now
” Recent evolutionary models have demonstrated what politicians have long known: the best way to get people to collaborate and to think like a group is to identify an enemy and charge that “they” threaten “us.”

Michael Tomasello is co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
Apr 10 2010 08:22 pm   #5Scarlet Ibis
This post sums it up for me.
"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Apr 10 2010 08:26 pm   #6Niori
Sums it up for me too.

The Bangel sex made me cringe, but what really is bothering me is that he's throwing out 7 seasons worth of mythos and creating this new one (which makes no sense). I HATE it when people do that. It's one thing if it meshed with what we already know, but as that post points out, it really, really doesn't.
~ Niori ~
Apr 10 2010 08:42 pm   #7sosa lola
Niori, the show had always retconed the vampire and slayer mythology. When the show first started, vampires were pure evil, but then we discovered a few vampires with humanity, and I remember being offended over the black men rapists in S7 and how the slayer is raped by a demon, and now she's part human/part demon. I don't think we have all the details yet for this new one, but I'll wait until the season is done. Giles could be wrong in the end.
Apr 10 2010 08:56 pm   #8Ami
Ditto scarlet and Niori...that post sums it up perfectly. Let's face it, this whole issue was just so we could get Bangel Porn, cause they couldn't do it on TV, and Angel and Buffy's story was done.  So now they're coming up with this crazy new mythos and retcon so the Bangel Porn could happen.The comics were losing more and more readers and they came up with this to lure people back with the "brave", "significant", "special love" of Bangel. (and notice they called it f%$#@%) .Whatever.

So all Buffy the show was about was these two "special snowflakes". Damn, wish I'd known earlier so I wouldn't have wasted my time, cause I disliked Bangel after S2 and nothing they do could make me like it now.
Apr 10 2010 09:41 pm   #9Scarlet Ibis
I also just read this post, which was most interesting.

As for the "vampires are pure evil" bit, I think that was more due to the fact of lack of understanding of vampires and/or simply to make the job of slaying easier for slayers.

Can't say I was offended at the Shadowmen, so much as surprised--you'd think that men of that day and age (or hell, even today), if given the chance to make a supreme being of some kind, surely they'd make it a man?  On the flipside of course is the "sacrificial lamb in case this fails" thing and the idea of a woman being more easily controlled/broodmares thing.

Someone on one of the LJ threads I'd been following mentioned that Joss just may be bitter that this show, spurred on by the success of (what he initially wanted to be hideous and evil) vampires, still lives quite well, while all of his other career choices, for the most part, have failed.  I don't know if that's true, but it's an interesting theory.
"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Apr 10 2010 10:14 pm   #10Niori
See, I always found that the Slayer somehow being part demon made sense, and connected with what had been protrayed eariler in the seasons. We were told time and time again that Buffy had that darkness in her (wasn't there a huge chunk in season five with her trying to figure that out and harness the power?), and explaining that it's some sort of demon essence makes sense to me. What better way to make the first slayer able to fight demons than make her part demon herself?

I'm not saying that making all the shadowmen black was a good call, but the first slayer was from Africa right? So it does make sense that they would be too. I also find making the slayer a woman strange, but it's probably because they thought they could control her. We even saw that in the modern world, where the watcher's council (made mostly of men) thought they owned the slayers.

I also agree with Scarlet Ibis about the vampires all evil thing. That seemed like an evolution of thought as well, not a sudden vampires aren't evil after all. Besides, it seemed to be the exception more than the rule. Oh, pretty much most of them kept some sort of humanity in a sense, but most of said humanity was leaning on the not so good side.

And hey, maybe these new developments in the comics will make sense, like Sosa Losa suggests, and all we have to do is wait until the end. If that happens, I will fully concede it, but I just don't have much faith left. So far, the things I like about them is limited to maybe three things (at most).
~ Niori ~
Apr 10 2010 11:40 pm   #11Scarlet Ibis
Dude, it's comic #34.  He should have had the story together by then.

Nmcil, somewhere, made an excellent point--evolution is a process, and not a product.  It just makes no sense.

Vampires themselves are a good example--look at the Ubervamps, the Master, the one with the hooves and the really fat one in the tub to the modern day vampire.  Vampires in Buffy's day and age weren't lasting as long as they did before, so evolution allowed them to blend in better with the human population to help them survive--they were allowed to keep a human guise.  It wasn't due to some wacky spell that affected the entire species of vampires...

Anyway, to say that the infinite Universe with infinite solar systems will give a piss about one vampire brought about my unnatural means/a crime against nature (the cursing of his soul) and a slayer who is technically a crime against nature brought about my unnatural means (her second resurrection, brought about by dark magicks), is just...ridiculous.

And yes, geographically speaking, anyone naturally from Africa is bound to have some kind of color, and since scientifically speaking, the first humans are from there, it didn't bother me that the slayer from the long ago time was black, and was created by a bunch of black warlock type of guys or whatever.
"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Apr 10 2010 11:53 pm   #12Ami
It's comic #34. He should have had the story together by then.

EXACTLY!

And Word to everything else.. Especially the Universe nonsense. Makes my brain hurt.
Apr 11 2010 05:23 am   #13ladycat713 
Ditto on the act that they should have figured it out by now.

And I've always felt sorry for Satsu, she was in love with her hero (who was probably held up to all the Slayers as the best)  and was used and tossed aside by that hero. Oddly enough Buffy screwing Angel makes her use of Satsu less personal because it says that Buffy doesn't care about any of the Slayers at all , Satsu just happened to be the one who she was callous to on a one on one level.

I gotta wonder what anyone who was honked at Buffy for being with Spike the Slayer of Slayers but is a Bangel fan thinks now. At least with Spike it was a one on one fight to the death that he knew he could lose.Angel on the other hand cheated and has always been a deck stacker .As evidenced by the flashback in canon where Spike asked Angel if he ever wanted to be in a fight he knew he could lose.

The idea of Bangel being the union of two special snowflakes though make s me queasy . There's a convo in a story by Lizzerbeathean(?) where Spike tells Buffy about this guy waiting to be rescued but will only let himself be rescued by a pink helicopter . He also compares Buffy and Angel to Royalty and how they will only let themselves be with other royalty even if that makes them unhappy.
Apr 11 2010 01:51 pm   #14sosa lola
Four more reviews on #34 I've enjoyed

William B's Review

aycheb's Review

a2zmom's Review

Vampmogs' Review
Apr 14 2010 11:42 am   #15sosa lola

Sorry for the double-post. I just found an interesting post by Vampmogs in Buffyforums:

 but what really is bothering me is that he's throwing out 7 seasons worth of mythos and creating this new one (which makes no sense).

I do believe the earth is a sentient being in the Buffyverse. From Season Seven:

WILLOW
It's all connected. The root systems, the molecules...the energy. Everything's connected.

.....

WILLOW
I felt the Earth. It's all connected. It is, but it's not all good and pure and rootsy. There's deep, deep black. There's... I saw, I saw the Earth, Giles. I saw its teeth.

GILES
The hellmouth.

..........

WILLOW
It's magic. I'm drawing power from the earth to heal myself.

BUFFY
We're on the second floor.

WILLOW
(laughs) You know Giles says everything's part of the earth. This bed. The air. Us.


If the earth is mystical energy and it taps into all other living creatures, then one could argue it's a living creature itself. And by Willow claiming the earth "has teeth" she's ascribing it features that we'd commonly give to a living organism. It's magic and it's the Buffyverse, they can pretty much say anything they want. Assuming that the "universe" isn't just a cover for an actual 'Older Party' that we haven't even got into yet.

And dimensions and different planes of existence have been interwoven with earth before, Osiris commands the pathway between earth and heavenly dimensions and makes the rules on who can return and who cannot.
 

Apr 14 2010 09:01 pm   #16nmcil
I think it was marti noxon that brought in the idea to use a real life experience of emotional trauma and desperate attempt to keep a relationship in existence and then applied it to the Buffy-Spike attempted rape. By taking this very real human emotional reaction in the love dynamics and break-up and applying it to the extremely powerful and very dark arc effectively destroyed Spike while the equally, and possibly even more responsible partner, Buffy was removed from any culpability in their relationship. Worse; all the blame of AR by a great many viewers is seen as a heinous crime - and it is, there is no mistake about that. The huge problem as it relates to Spuffy, is that the viewers have been witness to all that has taken place, with Buffy in most cases being the aggressor, and if not, always allowing herself to be an active and willingly participant. An example would be the infamous "dumpster sex" in "Double Meat Palace" - sure Spike is there, but he does not drag Buffy out to the alley, she goes there willingly. The viewers are not stupid and uninformed, we get all the dark inner demon metaphor that this is all about Buffy and her battle against her self-created self-hatred, etc, etc, etc. But then they give us such a black and white and provocative plot device of the AR that effectively washes away, probably for most of the viewers, all that Buffy has done to get them to this tragic place.

The writer that inserted this real life emotionally traumatic experience, IMO, made a very bad choice - sure, it works great as a "let kill Spike as a potential good guy lover," but it does created a Frankenstein monster for them. Spike continued to be, next to Buffy, the most popular character of all, Spike and Buffy to this day are still the two most popular characters. The powerful transformation journey arc had such depth and grand sentiments and intellectual and emotional connections, it had so much more resonance and reflected the real life adult love dynamics, all the darkness but also all the great qualities of sacrifice, devotion, loyalty and joy.

Bangel while also a powerful arc is, IMVHO, to narrow in that it was clearly a "hero mythic journey" "rite of passage" cycle. even the title for the most pivotal and defining moment, "Becoming" is the definition of the "heroes journey," - it is the Slayer finally and completely making the transition into her mantle of The Warrior Hero/Heroine. Then the grand finale of "Graduation," - Buffy has killed the dragon, she has completed her education - it's time to join the adult world and leave things of your childhood behind. Except Joss Whedon and the writers never let Buffy grow up - hell they never even gave her a crumb of a chance. Over and over, Buffy is tied back to her chains with Angel/Angelus, all that emotional and psychological weakness drags her down and makes a real love impossible. Then comes her very good chance to find love with her equal, Spike. Except that Buffy will never see what is right in front of her face because all those barriers and chains from her first love continue to weakened and imprison her. Every time that Buffy can break those chains Joss Whedon and the writers lock her right back up - so we get her emotional outburst and anger in her" killing Angel was the hardest thing in my entire life." I think that was the death of Spuffy right there, and while at the time I considered all that kissing cemetery scene and cookie dough, nothing more than a tribute to the earlier seasons and her relationship with Angel/Angelus, apparently I got it all wrong.

We all got it wrong. Does Joss Whedon has a vision that will not abandon all that happened with Riley and all those words Buffy speaks of Love and Opening her Heart - breaking all those chains? What will happen to the most powerful and compelling arc, the transformation/co-guides/resurrection/spiritual & love joining arc, the journey Buffy and Spike? Is this all to be discarded to follow some "new evolution" Universal Force Royal Couple expansion of the Buffyverse?

Bangel is fine, Joss Whedon has every right continue and to change is creative vision - I actually, I have faith that the writer to gave us "The Chain" is not about to abandon his saga at the altar of the Star-Crossed Lovers cliché or dismiss the important political, moral and ethical questions and themes. If he does, he and DarkHorse will have made a very big mistake - If I at all reflect the current readership they are going to lose a lot of their fan base. With this issue I have already cut my spending down to the smallest amount possible.
” Recent evolutionary models have demonstrated what politicians have long known: the best way to get people to collaborate and to think like a group is to identify an enemy and charge that “they” threaten “us.”

Michael Tomasello is co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
Apr 14 2010 09:22 pm   #17nmcil
"If the earth is mystical energy and it taps into all other living creatures, then one could argue it's a living creature itself. And by Willow claiming the earth "has teeth" she's ascribing it features that we'd commonly give to a living organism. It's magic and it's the Buffyverse, they can pretty much say anything they want. Assuming that the "universe" isn't just a cover for an actual 'Older Party' that we haven't even got into yet.

And dimensions and different planes of existence have been interwoven with earth before, Osiris commands the pathway between earth and heavenly dimensions and makes the rules on who can return and who cannot."
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I think this is a perfect example of what is not working with these latest 2 issues and this "mysterious universe" introduction.  It has been several years since we were able to see the continuity that we had with the TV era.  When we first had this exchange between Giles and Willow it was clear that this was related to events that were happening, or going to happen  in Sunnydale.  That Willow tells them connects with her experience as Dark Willow.  After all these years that direct and immediate connection has been severed - and where all the viewers could instantly watched episodes again for cross reference the story lines, this does not happen with the comic books.  Worst still, you have always to wait another month, and sometimes even longer, for the next tiny bit of development and information.  Keeping track of all the needed information is not easy and so much of it is forgotten.  I had not made that obvious connection with the context of this new "the universe."  

Plus this myth model is very Greek and Roman, actually very just about all myths, but if you are not familiar with this myth model, again - not so easy to follow this new plot change.   Another twist in the presentation is that they have wrapped all this together with a totally not "myth" or "fantasy"  model of the evolutionary process.  Granted the evolution process has been used  many times in the SciFi, Fantasy genre, but the structure of the story would be presented and connected logically in the work.  We are getting what looks to be the prime arc and structure for three years of work at the very last.  And what a whopper change with little background support that was useful outside of the Plot Reveal from only the 2 latest issues.  To me, there is something wrong where the majority of your readers are constantly left with the feeling that they are missing something important but they just don't get it - maybe next issue I will.
 

” Recent evolutionary models have demonstrated what politicians have long known: the best way to get people to collaborate and to think like a group is to identify an enemy and charge that “they” threaten “us.”

Michael Tomasello is co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
Apr 15 2010 06:09 pm   #18coalitiongirl
 Link to a great essay on why the comics aren't doing it for one Spuffy fan HERE.

The writer brings up some excellent, well-phrased points on what's been lacking in the comics. 
 
Apr 15 2010 09:56 pm   #19Ami
I read that essay. It was very, very good. I think alot of people who aren't rabid shippers agree on many of her points.
Apr 15 2010 11:51 pm   #20ladycat173 
Excellant essay. And it brought up a point I've thought many times through season 8, about how easy it would be to make the story good(or at least less bad) with very few minor changes.

For instance, if they had to have Dawn shapeshift have it be a side effect of her Keyness, since that plot point was dropped.

If they had to have Buffy sleep with a woman, have it be with someone who isn't under hre command and isn't madly in love with her (like maybe a female Watcher who survived. ) and make it more about mutual lonliness than a general using a girl who's in love with her for sex.And then promoting her after she was done.
Apr 18 2010 07:23 pm   #21Spikez_tart
In reading Guest's post above - a question occurred to me.  Does Joss like his Buffy character?  He seems to be making her do really jerky things lately.  How does the current Buffy really square up with the cute Buffy who moved to Sunnydale and was kind to a lonely, geeky girl Willow, who sacrificed her life for the safety of the town at age 16, who chose Willow and Xander over Cordelia and popularity?  Yes people change, but this is like a different person.  She's lost all the characteristics that made me love Buffy in the first place.
If we want her to be exactly she'll never be exactly I know the only really real Buffy is really Buffy and she's gone' who?
Apr 18 2010 09:41 pm   #22slaymesoftly
It makes you wonder, doesn't it, Tart?  It's almost like he doesn't care what happens to her character.
I am not a minion of Evil...
I am upper management.
Apr 18 2010 10:00 pm   #23ps 
I've wondered the same thing about the whole Buffyverse lately, Spikez-tart. Starting in Season 6, there's Giles abandonment and lack of commitment to Buffy.  Xander is turned into a racist bigot who could easily be spewing the "n" word every time he talks about demons.  Willow has so many wonderful aspects to her personality but the one that sticks with me from season 7 is Whiny Willow. Buffy was bitchy and abusive. Season 7 saw her begin to grow and mature both as the slayer and as a person, until it was decided she was too stupid to be the slayer and she was kicked out of her own house. She was allowed to come back when Faith was out of commission, but once more she is the slayer by committee, needing approval from Willow, Xander, Giles, Faith and even Robin Wood before acting.

Moving on to the comics, I don't see much being done to redeem any of the characters. I've read where people describe Buffy as deviant, unethical, and immoral. Angel has apparently been turned into an insane psychopathic villain and now we're told Spike will be coming "soon". IDW is turning Spike into a drunken, womanizing, buffoon sidekick. So what Spike are we going to see in the Buffy comics, the real one created by JM, or the one IDW is creating?

I can understand flawed heroes, but since Season 6 I've felt I've watched character assassination with too little being shown in growth, maturity and redemption. Couple this with Issue #34's two very anti-woman/anti-feminist messages (1. Too many strong women in the world goes against the natural order and will lead to catastrophic consequences. 2. Women cannot achieve their full potential without a man's penis.) and the very foundation the series was built upon (girl power) is destroyed. I've speculated to myself that Joss had issues with Buffy being extended beyond Season 5 and really no longer cares about the show, the characters or the comics.

I have no intention of running right out and buying an issue because they stick Spike in it. Too often I've felt Spuffy fans have been asked to bend over, take it, smile and hand us your money, so I'll wait to see if the character and the Spike fans are really treated with respect. I also suspect with news of Joss being tapped for The Avengers, that he'll have very little to do with Season 9, leaving the characters in the hands of people who are Bangel fans.

Having said all of that, I'd just like to thank all the Spuffy fanfic writers for their great work and being able to give me not only what I need, but also what I want.



Apr 18 2010 10:32 pm   #24Scarlet Ibis
Yes people change, but this is like a different person.  She's lost all the characteristics that made me love Buffy in the first place.

Heh, I've felt that way about Buffy since a third of the way into s6...

And hardcore word to ps--I think they summed it up nicely.

<--wasn't aware of what they were doing to Spike at IDW :/

In other news, Jane Espenson told me that if she had the rights, she'd totally pen a Spike screenplay.

At this point, she's the only one I'd trust with the character, or any of the characters, really.
"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Apr 19 2010 12:23 am   #25nmcil

Scarlet Ibis -

Willingham is turning Spike into a complete ass over at IDW - someone I would  never respect or like, not based on his treatment thus far,  and that is saying something as I LOVE LOVE LOVE Spike.

” Recent evolutionary models have demonstrated what politicians have long known: the best way to get people to collaborate and to think like a group is to identify an enemy and charge that “they” threaten “us.”

Michael Tomasello is co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
Apr 19 2010 12:55 am   #26Scarlet Ibis
That's...

*shakes head*

Why don't they just contract fan fic writers to do the stories for the comics?  I mean really.

If you don't know the characters or don't care, then stay the hell away from writing them!  You won't see me writing oh say SPN fic anytime ever, because I have the sense to know that I. Can't. Do it.
"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Apr 19 2010 03:35 am   #27Spikez_tart
until it was decided she was too stupid to be the slayer and she was kicked out of her own house - that would be the same people who couldn't wait to drag her back from the grave.  Makes me shiver it's so stupid.

Spike - Okay I am now officially not looking forward to Spike showing up.  They're bound to screw it up. 
If we want her to be exactly she'll never be exactly I know the only really real Buffy is really Buffy and she's gone' who?
Apr 19 2010 04:06 am   #28Ami
Re: Spike...Oh there's no doubt in my mind that they're gonna screw up Spike. Why would he be the exception?  I don't want Spike anywhere near this trainwreck. But we gotta face the fact that it's gonna happen and it's not gonna be pretty.

I just want it to be over already, so we don't have to wonder anymore

And a big WORD! scarlet.
Apr 19 2010 04:24 am   #29Niori 
So, out of curiousity and since I have no clue, what's SPN Scarlet?
Apr 19 2010 04:50 am   #30Scarlet Ibis
Supernatural

ETA: I'm pretty sure it is, anyway.  I don't watch that show.
"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Apr 19 2010 05:20 am   #31Niori 
Now I totally feel like a moron, since I love Supernatural as much as Buffy, and yet did not know that. lol
Apr 19 2010 06:33 am   #32Scarlet Ibis
Don't feel too bad--I only knew that cause a lot of my LJ peeps watch and post about it
"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Apr 21 2010 12:27 am   #33CM 
Yep, SPN and SN stand for Supernatural with the fans.
Apr 21 2010 02:34 am   #34nmcil

Here is the big chance to express your POV on what is happening over at DarkHorse - If you believe the journey that Buffy-Spike took together was pivotal in the series and to the characters - VOTE NOW.  There was quality and power and a magnificent journey of transformation that Buffy and Spike shared and that deserves to be acknowledged.   

Don't rely on other fans to show the admiration and respect that you feel toward their story together.  

 DarkHorse is convinced that most of the Buffyverse fans want nothing more than for Buffy and Angel to find their True and Final Love together - I respectfully submit that a great many fans do not share this perspective. 

 http://www.darkhorse.com/Help/Boards/viewtopic.php?t=17110

 And Yes, the fandom is not naive, PR & Marketing indeed, what better than to bring out this poll at this time than to stir up the fan base - so what.  VOTE and let DarkHorse know that you support the Buffy and Spike journey.

 Feel free to share this poll info with all your Buffyverse friends -

” Recent evolutionary models have demonstrated what politicians have long known: the best way to get people to collaborate and to think like a group is to identify an enemy and charge that “they” threaten “us.”

Michael Tomasello is co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
Apr 21 2010 05:06 am   #35Scarlet Ibis
Honestly, they may very well put Spike with Buffy, but it won't be Spuffy.

Even if it was...like Buffy/Angel, I think their romantic relationship,little that it was, in canon is over.  And they'd just make a mockery of it (maybe not space fucking mockery, but a mockery) if they put Spike in the comics in that capacity.

I just wish the comics would go away already...

<--is the cheese.
"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Apr 21 2010 05:33 am   #36coalitiongirl
 I'm fine with Spuffy being over...but I think it would be a nice reality check for Meltzer, Jeanty, Allie and the others if Spike won by a considerable margin.
 
Apr 21 2010 07:30 am   #37nmcil
Last I check Bangel Love was winning by a considerable margin - and I am with you on the Spuffy Love relationship as canon is over -

BUT I WOULD SO LOVE TO SHOW THEM JUST HOW POPULAR AND HOW MUCH SUPPORT THERE IS FOR THE BUFFY-SPIKE RELATIONSHIP.


http://www.darkhorse.com/Help/Boards/viewtopic.php?t=17110
” Recent evolutionary models have demonstrated what politicians have long known: the best way to get people to collaborate and to think like a group is to identify an enemy and charge that “they” threaten “us.”

Michael Tomasello is co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
Apr 21 2010 07:56 am   #38coalitiongirl
 Right now, we're leading with double the votes, actually. Unfortunately, double 13 is only 26, and I worry that all they need is a few Bangel fans to spread the news and we'll fall behind... And I really don't want DH to feel validated in what they've done these past few issues.
 
Apr 21 2010 09:52 am   #39nmcil
It's a strange poll - last time I checked, just a while back actually, Spuffy was at 63% now it is way down again. 

I have to say that going to these various large site boards has been very interesting - I have never really seen what this shipper debates are like - and I must say that I had no idea the level of discourtesy and nonsense that is being shown -   The Buffyverse series is so much more interesting than who Buffy loves the best and the most.  Some of the positions that I have read are, IMO, really narrow minded. 
” Recent evolutionary models have demonstrated what politicians have long known: the best way to get people to collaborate and to think like a group is to identify an enemy and charge that “they” threaten “us.”

Michael Tomasello is co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
Apr 21 2010 05:59 pm   #40coalitiongirl
 That's odd- every time I check, Angel's been at 13 votes. :shrugs: I'm also disturbed by the hate between ships and the thoughtlessness on other sites. That's why I stick to here and Livejournal for my Buffy discussions, since the vast majority of participants there are more sedate, informed, and polite. (And granted, most of them ship Spuffy, which is nice, but there's more to it than that.) It's just a show- a great source for thoughtful conversation, but not grounds enough to attack people you don't know because they like a different pairing than you! 
 
Apr 21 2010 06:52 pm   #41Niori
Yeah, shipping war can get brutal, no matter what fandom you're in. It's kind of scary actually. I mean, I love BTVS and Spuffy, but I don't love it enough to fight about it.
~ Niori ~
Apr 22 2010 06:56 am   #42nmcil
I have finally be given info on that DarkHorse Poll - it seems that I was confusing the Buffy's Boys with the current Issue 34 poll -

Niori - sorry that my long ass reply to your Train Wreck comment on the other thread got eaten up -  basically it was about how I think that this image and the Ethan and Buffy dreamspace sequence foreshadows everything that we are seeing with Buffy and Twangel in these last two issues - also how, if you apply Greek/Roman mythic characters we could be seeing a modern version of the War Between the Olympians or The Titans  and Buffy as a new version of Powerful Goddess pre domination of  Zeus and the take over of male Gods in place of female goddess.  General Voll is also like the Classical Greek culture where the males saw themselves as dominant over women and resented any power given to women.

One good thing that has come out of all this comic book mess, is that is has put me back into research mode on myths and learning about Hesoid.

” Recent evolutionary models have demonstrated what politicians have long known: the best way to get people to collaborate and to think like a group is to identify an enemy and charge that “they” threaten “us.”

Michael Tomasello is co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
Apr 22 2010 07:05 am   #43Scarlet Ibis
I see some cherubs/cupids in the background that I hadn't noticed before, and a seemingly big, purple blob (which I don't know what to make of).

Back to the cherubs though.

Don't they usually shoot people with arrows full of love potion that doesn't give you an option in who you love and how or something along those lines?

And still...Spike the Afterthought...whatevs.
"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Apr 22 2010 07:06 am   #44coalitiongirl
 Interesting thing about that picture- I know that Jeanty people say that Buffy's closer to Angel, symbolizing that their love is better, but look at the positions- Angel's holding on tightly to Buffy, locking her in, but she's tugging at Spike, who seems content in the background supporting her. I highly doubt that the artist meant it like that, but that is how it seems the comics are unfolding...

As for the background- is that a train, going into a mountain that's exploding? It could be a #34 reference, or possibly an amulet one, since the bolt of light seems similar to the one Spike channeled to close the Hellmouth. 

ETA: No, It's two trains, barreling toward each other. I'm thinking it's a dig at the shippers and the shipping wars- and, of course, the OT3 conclusion.

Another ETA: And now I get why Nmcil called it the "Train Wreck" thread. Oops.

I notice also that the cave looks like it's already exploding, before the trains reach there- foreshadowing that by the time the ships clash, it'll be pointless because they'll both be destroyed, maybe?

Looks like Cupid's shooting stakes, too.
 
Apr 22 2010 01:02 pm   #45slaymesoftly
Good assessment coalitiongirl! I missed that the stakes were coming from the cupids and that there were two trains.
Yeah, this looks to me a whole lot like foreshadowing a train wreck in terms of Buffy's love life - one accompanied by exploding mountains. I'd say it means the ships are going "Boom"
I am not a minion of Evil...
I am upper management.
Apr 22 2010 03:19 pm   #46sosa lola
Does Joss like his Buffy character?

I say yes, Tart. Why else would he write a whole season about her? Notice that Buffy and Willow, Joss' favorites, are the ones doing shitty deeds while other characters, ones he cares about less, are the well-adjusted characters.

Liking a character doesn't mean that you want them to be great all the time. For example, I love Xander, but fics about Xander being always right, being perfect, being well-adjusted don't interest me. I'm more into fics about jerk Xander, about screwed up Xander, about Xander being humiliated. I think Joss likes it better when Buffy is in pain, when she screws up. I'm gonna link you guys to Stormwreath's essay on why Buffy is the way she is in #34, it shows Buffy's state of mind in S8 excellently:

http://stormwreath.livejournal.com/102996.html#cutid1


Apr 22 2010 03:55 pm   #47Scarlet Ibis
Shooting stakes?  Deadly, tainted love (non) triangle.

Also, on a dirty note---two trains colliding in a mountain?  Yeah, considering Buffy's in the middle of a vamp sandwich, well...do I have to go on and explain where I was heading with that one?  Anyone ever heard of the phrase "running a train?"

I still think Spike looks like an afterthought to Buffy's perspective in the photo.

"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Apr 22 2010 11:33 pm   #48nmcil
Here is the link to see the Train Wreck image in larger view - good for picking up more detail - http://www.flickr.com/photos/nmcil/4542588798/sizes/o/

For all the sex and cosmic partner etc - there has been no mention from Buffy about Love in any of this - even the flowers, IMO, are suggestive of sexual act,  

the only characters that I recall saying anything about love is Giles -

You know that this sandwich term is one that is used by the writers and the PR/Marketing reps.  Not an especially sensitive or respectful description.

The flowers remind me of the lily - some interesting symbolisms for this flower - seems very appropriate.  I have for a long time wanted to do some graphics and have some drabbles to go with the images with the application of the Buffyverse as characters.

 

Dating as far back as 1580 B.C., when images of lilies were discovered in a villa in Crete, these majestic flowers have long held a role in ancient mythology.  Derived from the Greek word “leiron,” (generally assumed to refer to the white Madonna lily), the lily was so revered by the Greeks that they believed it sprouted from the milk of Hera, the queen of the gods.  Lilies are known to be the May birth flower, and the 30th wedding anniversary flower.

While white lilies symbolize chastity and virtue – and were the symbol of the Virgin Mary’s purity and her role of Queen of the Angels – as other varieties became popular, they brought with them additional meanings and symbolism as well.  Peruvian lilies, or alstroemeria, represent friendship and devotion, white stargazer lilies express sympathy and pink stargazer lilies represent wealth and prosperity. Symbolizing humility and devotion, lilies of the valley are the 2nd wedding anniversary flower.

As the flowers most often associated with funerals, lilies symbolize that the soul of the departed has received restored innocence after death.

What is very interesting, and unfortunately all part of the post that got eaten by the post monster, are the panels that follow this -

 
” Recent evolutionary models have demonstrated what politicians have long known: the best way to get people to collaborate and to think like a group is to identify an enemy and charge that “they” threaten “us.”

Michael Tomasello is co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
Apr 23 2010 03:05 am   #49nmcil
POOR SPIKE - how the mighty have fallen

Here is from an excerpt of a Bill Willingham interview at one of the comic cons -

In "Angel," Willingham's IDW comic based in the "Buffy" universe established by Joss Whedon, he announced another plot point that will

 

"Fables" is bearing down on its 100th issue

"The spoiler for this is that Spike from the 'Angel' series has been wondering for some time why prophecy never works out for him, why he's never the good guy," the writer said. "He's been looking into who gets to write prophecy. Do you go to school? Do you get a certificate? Is there a board of prophets that licenses you to?"

Circumstances will soon present Spike with the opportunity to tip prophecies in his favor, according to Willingham.

"One, he comes into a bit of money, and two, he has access to tons and tons of out-of-work Hollywood lawyers, so he starts hiring them to write prophecies where he's the star," he explained
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Who Knows,  I hate to judge the work so early and it might end up being humorous, but if it is anything like what he has done to the character thus far, it will be mostly, IMVHO, crap.

” Recent evolutionary models have demonstrated what politicians have long known: the best way to get people to collaborate and to think like a group is to identify an enemy and charge that “they” threaten “us.”

Michael Tomasello is co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
Apr 23 2010 04:55 am   #50Niori
So lillies represent chasty and virture hunh? Amusing that, since they're drawn in regards to an overtly sexual threesome.
~ Niori ~
Apr 23 2010 05:32 am   #51nmcil
That entire image, IMO, foreshadows Issue 33 and 34 - in the Greek mythic reference it is the flower sprouted from the milk of Queen Goddess Hera - with the speculation about Buffy and a potential cosmic birth it takes on much more significance.  Just the thought of Buffy and a cosmic birth makes me crazy - I hate the  idea of a Buffy birth.
” Recent evolutionary models have demonstrated what politicians have long known: the best way to get people to collaborate and to think like a group is to identify an enemy and charge that “they” threaten “us.”

Michael Tomasello is co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
Apr 23 2010 06:28 am   #52Jeleyne 
The idea of Buffy and a cosmic birth makes me positively ill. Suddenly I find myself remembering Cordelia. Wasn't what happened to her bad enough? Do we really need to relive the stupidity?

As for Spike and hired prophecies - to me, that has the horrible sound of "Let's make Spike the buffoon!" You'll have to excuse me, I need to go hit my head against a brick wall now... 
Apr 23 2010 07:04 am   #53Jeleyne 
Oops, forgot that I wanted to to say something about Sosa Lola's comment "I think Joss likes it better when Buffy is in pain, when she screws up."  I have no problem with that - without conflict, there's no drama. Or humor, for that matter. And I love angst - although, preferably, with something resembling a happy ending. But this seems to be doing serious violence to the characters we used to know, not just superficial out-of-characterness but on a molecular level. It isn't that I object to pain and screw ups, it's that I want to be able to recognize the characters while those things are going on. If the Buffy of the comics is Joss Whedon's Buffy, then who was I watching and reading about for seven seasons and forests of fanfic? I honestly don't see how they can be the same character. So while I would agree that Joss probably likes his characters, I'm not sure that he remembers them very well.
Apr 23 2010 07:33 am   #54nmcil

Did you read the post about what Willingham is planning for Spike - what a total screw up of the characters -

” Recent evolutionary models have demonstrated what politicians have long known: the best way to get people to collaborate and to think like a group is to identify an enemy and charge that “they” threaten “us.”

Michael Tomasello is co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
Apr 23 2010 07:52 am   #55coalitiongirl
 Even worse was this, which happened shortly after the furor and stirred up a new one. At this point, I know that we'll never get a voice, and I know that many people have addressed this issue recently, so I'm just going to ignore it. Would I read a fanfic with an OOC Spike? Would I get invested in it at all? No, and especially not if it were written by a known misogynist. So I'll just keep up my stubborn not-buying of the After the Fall comics, and hope that many more people do, too. 

Incidentally, LJ Userflake_sake's snappy retort? 
@BillWillingham: Maybe writing Spike instead of Jack with short hair would stop the complaints.

Who needs comics when you have a fanbase like ours?

 
Apr 23 2010 03:55 pm   #56Scarlet Ibis
I'm sorry, Jack who?
"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Apr 23 2010 06:06 pm   #57coalitiongirl
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_of_Fables
 
May 03 2010 01:40 am   #58nmcil

Been working on some commentary art based on both comic book seasons - Hope you will take a look and that you like them.  If anyone is interested, I have the image of Spike Heads with empty text bubbles if you think you might want to play around with Spike's POV -  Flickr site:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/nmcil/

     

” Recent evolutionary models have demonstrated what politicians have long known: the best way to get people to collaborate and to think like a group is to identify an enemy and charge that “they” threaten “us.”

Michael Tomasello is co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
May 09 2010 07:18 pm   #59sosa lola

My #35 Review!

I'm not gonna talk about Paradise and Twilight, if you wanna read a wonderful, insightful review about them, gotta check stormwreath's wonderful and helpful review. Always a pleasure to read his thoughts.

Anyway, I'm gonna talk about what I enjoy best about BtVS. Characters and their relationships with each other.

First, Buffy, I don't think I have as much issues with her characterizations as many do.  All season, we had Buffy feeling disconnected as a leader, so burdened with responsibilities, going against her principles to keep her Slayers safe and content, doing her best to push potential loves away (Xander by asking him to ask Renee out, and Satsu by telling her about how those who loved her end up in pain or leaving), called a terrorist by humans, chased away by demons and humans, crushed that her empowerment spell in Chosen didn't even make it to history books in Fray's time, even more crushed because she had to kill her best friend, humans taking the vampires' side over the Slayers', dealing with fame and not even the good kind, I'm talking Osama Bin Laden fame, had to run away to Tibet and by doing that endangering Oz and his family, finally feeling content and happy after losing her powers and  finally able to confess her feelings for Xander knowing that she wouldn't hurt him as an ordinary human only to have all her hopes squashed by the sight of him kissing her sister, going into war against humans –those Buffy always protected, all betraying her and trying to kill her and her people- having so many of her Slayers killed, Riley injured badly, and then when she had the courage to confess to Xander that she loved him, he turned her down, not only that, but for the third time in her life a man tells her how she actually feels and doesn't believe her, and then when she started to feel content with her new powers, she's told she's sucking life out of her Slayers to gain those powers, and FINALLY the biggest blow of them all, Angel is behind the mask of the season's mass murderer.

Seriously, POOR BUFFY!

Anyway, "Don't you wanna be happy?" Angel asks. And Buffy does. She's so tired. She wants a moment of peace. Just a moment. She wants to forget about it all, believe Angel and just be loved again. It's been a rough year, probably the roughest, being back from heaven doesn't compare to the shit she's facing right now. "This isn't real, but I just wanna feel." Not to mention, it had been foreshadowed that Buffy wanted to give in in Retreat, can't blame her when she's globally running away from humans and demons who wants her and her friends dead.

Buffy loses herself in passionate sex with a push from the universe. It's one hell of a sex. The second Buffy wakes up from the sensation, she's back to business. Looking at her surroundings, she realizes that it's a trap, takes a fighting pose, and breaks my heart when she says that whenever she catches her breath, something bad happens.

The poisoned apple feels more like a reference to Snow White than Adam and Eve. Which ties again with fairy tale theme of the season. See Emmie's essay.

I'm so happy that Satsu is back. I've read a lot of complains accusing Satsu of being a selfish brat for leaving a fight because she's upset with Buffy. I knew she's be back once she cooled down.

I understand why Giles never said a thing about Twilight before. He'd always thought it was a myth, some sort of fairytale, I'm not sure when he started to realize that it's not a myth, though. Perhaps when Buffy had sent him the symbol of Twilight in #1.

Twilight has a strong hold on its subjects -and obviously Angel and Buffy are his subjects-which suggests that Angel wasn't in his right mind when he was dressed as Twilight.

Xander doesn't really care about Twilight, the myth, the beginning of time and all that crap. He just wants to know why they're being attacked, and Giles is frustrating him to no end with his grieved tone and stalling with info. Seriously, dude, spill it out. Cut to the chase. Giles does grate.

Also, no matter how much I hear about S8 writing those characters OOC, I'm sorry, but Xander never felt OOC in the entire run of this season. His question about the reason behind Angel turning into a killer instead of going "I told you so" shows how far he's grown. I'm just sick of reading fanfics that never acknowledge Xander's character growth after Selfless and still paint him as a vampire-hater (specifically Angel and Spike hater).

I really, really love Willow's expression when Giles says "Utterly expendable." Wonderful job, Jeanty!

Aw, I loved Dawn's "Y'hear me, Xander?"

And what I love even more, Xander shouting orders at Kennedy and her "Already on it!" Leader Xander. Drools. He does remind me of Buffy in S7 when he says "Grab whatever weapons you can find." Buffy taught him well. If only we could get an issue about that year and a half with Buffy giving Xander pointers and helping him become the leader he is right now. Someone write this missing scene for me, please?

I LOVED Andrew protecting Warren and getting hurt because of it. I love that he still cares. And I love Warren's concern for Andrew even more. I do think Warren did care about Andrew, going after Buffy with a gun had something to do with losing Andrew and Jonathan, as Xander pointed out, "He won't be much good without his friends." I actually love that Warren has humanity in him and he's not really a black/white character.

Amy freaking out about Warren's display of concern disturbed me. Especially when I'd recently watched The Witch (S1). What happened to old sweet Amy?

I love Buffy's pointed TWILIGHT when addressing Angel. She's still confused and upset about what he had done while in a mask, but knows it's not the right time to discuss that when they're trapped in some sort of paradise.

Angel corrects her that he's not Twilight. Twilight is the place that had apparently controlled him throughout the season. Then starts saying mushy stuff that Buffy mocks and find cheesy.

Angel compares Buffy with Xander, that she jokes to hide her true feelings of fear, pain, sorrow, nervousness… etc. But Buffy corrects him by saying that Xander doesn't hide when he jokes anymore, he jokes because he enjoys joking. Angel is talking about Xander the kid, and much like Angel doesn't know Buffy anymore, he doesn't know Xander anymore either. (I'm actually thrilled that Angel noticed that about Xander in the first place. Aw, the Angel/Xander fan in me is squealing.)

Buffy accusing Angel of talking like Giles is a relief. Both of them grate with their incomprehensive babbling.

Aw, I'm so happy that in the middle of it all, Buffy's sole concern is about her friends.

Angel's reaction to finding out about what's happening to Earth is interesting. He's shocked and the first thing that pops to his head is helping them, fixing it, he and Buffy can fix everything. Then comes the interesting part; "After all these centuries, no more fighting, no more "failing", no more dying. We're finally going to be happy." Just like Buffy, Angel had been through hell, in #33, he mentions LA, something awful happened in LA and caused Angel to fall for Twilight's promises, caused him to give up. (I'm guessing we'll find out in Joss' arc.)

Buffy's eyes, her tears, poor thing wants to be happy, she hasn't been happy in a long, long time. The last time I remember Buffy being happy was the beginning of S5, after then it all went downhill for her.

I love Faith carrying Andrew over her shoulder. Andrew as part of the Scoobies, my heart squeezes for him!

Aw! Xander/Faith moment! Xander touches Faith's shoulder, and notes in concern, "You're bleeding."

Faith points out that she's a Slayer again, but the other girls aren't. I've read a neat theory about that in SlayAlive.

Oooh, angry Willow is ruthless. I love her.

Angel doesn't want to give up Twilight. I'm guessing he's got nothing to live for in Earth. Did Connor die? He tells Buffy that her friends can handle it without her, they managed to when she was dead. Apparently Angel didn't get the memo that Buffy's friends were the ones who brought her back because they couldn't handle life without her.

Who can finish Buffy's sentence: "My friends are different than…."

Buffy is fighting for her friends. Not humanity. I can't blame her. Humanity had been nothing but horrid to her, chasing her around, trying their best to kill her and the people she loves, preferring vampires over her, calling her a terrorist. But Buffy's friends were there from the beginning. They're the ones who helped her throughout the years and still are. They're always there when it counts, they NEVER left her, and if they did (like Willow and Giles), they always came back. And stayed. To help her. They're worth sacrificing heaven and paradise for.

Xander yelling Buffy's name. "She can't hear you." "She can. She always can." Squee!

"Don’t you know me by now, Angel? I NEVER do what I'm meant for." One of Buffy's best lines since "The thing about changing the world… once you do it, the world’s all different."

Jeanty does a great job conveying emotions. Buffy's determined expression when she tears into the white page, her stubborn, rebellious smile when she said "Yup." And then Angel's heartbroken expression because she chose her friends over him, her sad expression because she realizes she's giving him up as well as internal happiness, and then Angel's "Yeah, like I didn't know she'd do that. Oh, well."

"Okay. Let's go." My favorite Angel expression.

I love Buffy tying her hair back as a sign of going to business. And finally both of them get back to their clothes and being themselves instead of wearing other Slayers and vampires' clothes.

My favorite pages are Buffy and Angel using their powers to beat the demons, fighting side by side, beating those demons like a flash around Xander, Giles and Dawn who yell, "Buffy!" "Buffy!" "Buffy!" That moment made me wish S8 was on TV, it's so powerful.

"And Twilight!" Willow sneers. She's pissed at Angel, and Angel knows he had it coming.

Buffy apologizing to Willow, and Willow's sarcastic yet understanding line. Wonderful panel.

Does Willow know that Spike is coming? "Oh, this is gonna be good."

When his ship-thingie landed, Willow seems to have a nervous smile on her lips. Giles takes his glasses and is shocked. Faith touches her bleeding lips and she's shocked. Dawn is shocked. Warren and Xander glare at it. Satsu appears interested. Angel is curious. Buffy is shocked.

Spike stands in front of them! And shit, do we have to wait three months for the next issue?!!!!