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  • Comics re-read

    Today I finished my Buffy comics re-read, and was feeling all warm and fuzzy with the ending of s11 and didn't want to spoil my mood by reading s12, but a masochist as I am, I did it anyway. Now I hate it even more than the first time around.

    Firstly this season is no about Buffy, It's about Fray. They only have four issues left, and they wasted them on her storyline. At this point, I really didn't care about her story. If they truly wanted to finish that storyline, they should give Fray her own mini-series.
    The undid years of Buffy and Spike's character development by separating them off screen with a very vague explanation of why it came to that. Buffy is thirty years old, and we're supposed to believe she doesn't know what she wants in her life? It's not like she should have everything figured out, but I don't understand what they wanted to accomplish with her whining to Willow. I honestly didn't understand this part.

    I'm not a fan of time travel stories because soon, almost all of them become full of plot holes and paradoxes. Taking slayers power and giving them to Buffy was already done in s11, why rehash it again?
    I don't know how much influence did Joss had with the storyline and how much Gage, but everything feels rushed. Maybe they should ease down with apocalypses and give us a real and meaningful ending.
    I'm also not a fan of Jeanty's art, but I got used to it on this re-read, but with this season, I find it pretty ugly. Maybe he was rushed to finish too.

    Please excuse my rambling, I had to express my anger out somewhere.

  • #2
    I feel your pain #season12sucks


    “I like who I am when I’m with him. I like who we are together.”

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    • #3
      Joss was heavily involved in the direction of the season with just himself and Gage meeting to plan it and him giving specific lines to use, reading the drafts of each issue, as I recall. I'm yet to reread the season so there is a limit to the detailing of my thoughts on it but I did come to find some peace with it.

      I do think they did too much off the page. The issues and insecurities that fed into Spike and Buffy breaking up should have been explored when it was a relationship that they had said themselves they had wanted Buffy to have as a healthy relationship experience. But I don't think it is impossible for their existing issues to have pulled them apart. Buffy had been feeling uncertain/unsettled at the start of S11 about her life, but was then distracted by the events of that season. That supports that a quiet spell afterwards, without an apocalypse to fight, could have had her start to feel the same again. But she starts to pull her life in a different direction and we see that through S12 she finds a different/new way to draw her daytime and nighttime selves together in taking a step towards this police/slayer role. She also openly states at the start of the season that she has realised the problem wasn't her relationship, so it definitely wasn't being swept entirely away as impossible to fix. They even between them discuss it as being 'a time' apart. And Spike could do with working on his own sense of worth and fear of failure. Now my issue with the break up is that I don't think either needed to be apart to realise or come to work on these areas of their lives, but I also think they spent a lot of page time establishing that they still meant a lot to each other, that it still felt current to them both, and that there was the possibility of them getting back together in the future.

      But they also spent some page time establishing that Buffy still felt a lot of affection towards Angel too. I don't have an issue with this because it has always been the way and it is a potential relationship for her that they have never wanted to fully have her seem able to move on from. And Angel has a really big role in the season and as it was the ending for his canon continuation too I can see why these balances were woven in. I think it is a shame for Buffy's comic to end with less than the full focus on her as the protag, but I can understand why they did it. I also think Buffy facing Angel in an established relationship and her support of him at the end was an element that could be seen to draw a new line under their past somewhat that was a positive step as well. But I appreciate that is partly about subjective interpretation of where she was at in her relationship dynamics at the end.

      I don't really like the time travel element to the story, didn't in S8 either truth be told, but I like Fray well enough and didn't mind that being built in to tie up too. It certainly put a bit too much pressure on just four issues though and was another protag in the mix, but I appreciated that they were trying to tie everything up/together. I also think the overall message, that you can always positively affect your future works well with how they used Fray and is another reason why I think they really underscored that possibility of the relationships, as changing things is worth it if you come to realise what you want and need has changed.

      Anyway, missing out on some other aspects like why Giles chose to re-age and how Dawn and Xander handled the news of the pregnancy, whether it was planned, and how they were choosing to shape their future too definitely did feel lost. These aspects didn't get the attention that Buffy and Spike's relationship did through the season and so I didn't really feel like I had gained insight into what had happened in these instances particularly. It makes the shifts in the season itself, the character moments here harder to see the depth or through lines for.

      Whilst the, I'm sure, unintentional message that a woman can't 'have it all' as she needs independence to be able to make choices for herself that focus on her individual path and wants is one I find hugely negative and frustrating. I think the overriding message that the future isn't set and you can change your path for yourself then come to question it and change things again is sound and very in keeping with the message of the show. The factor of having family and friends that see you through shifts and support you through difficulties, celebrate with you and how relationships can bring out the best in you too is really a solid aspect of the season for supporting the themes of the series. It does feel like there were missing details and so the season was too disjointed from what came before, but the intention of leaving things where the emphasis is being surrounded by possibilities and potential paths I think is an understandable one for them to have opted for. The ambiguity means the majority of fans can probably find potential paths that could follow on from where it was left and I think leaving that potential rather than possibly creating an ending that shuts things down was kinder to the wider fandom perhaps.

      As I say, I've found some peace with it, but am yet to reread it. I am intending to read AtF/S8-12 after the rewatch finally completes S7 (and I do another rewatch of AtS 5 afterwards obviously too) and am actually looking forward to it generally as I haven't revisited the entire comic seasons as yet.

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      • #4
        What I absolutely hate is how indecisive they wrote Buffy. Again. She's been through so much in life, and yet she's written like she's eighteen. One day she would like a normal life, when she gets that, she would like some action and then what? In ten years she would like a normal, quiet life again? And everyone around here should be and act according to what Buffy wants and feels?

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        • #5
          I don't see it like that but as her potentially finding a way to finally merge the two sides of herself more effectively than she has managed before. In not feeling like she is bouncing from a desire for one thing to a contrasting wish any longer. So, in having a daytime job that connects to being a slayer, doesn't try to deny or shy away from that side of herself, but is also in some part about playing a part in every day society too she is satisfying varying wishes in a way she hasn't successfully before. It's that connection to 'normality' so often yearned for brought into better cohesion with the other side of her life. It's a 'normal' job that plays on her strengths, but is also somewhat reimagined to combine with her slayer side and the duty that she wants to stay committed to too when they start the new unit.

          I don't think anyone else was making choices based on what Buffy was doing which didn't suit them individually. Even Spike, in that he was choosing to stay around even though they had split. It was implied that might only be temporary but regardless of that, him wanting to be there outside of his relationship with Buffy, wanting to belong around the others he cares for too, was established when he first returned in S9 when Dawn was in danger and then when he moved in with Xander. So that isn't purely a Buffy thing. He feels he is his best when around all of them, even if that is especially with her. And although it seemed obvious that the split had come from Buffy primarily it doesn't mean he can't potentially gain from taking time towards feeling better worth in himself. If they did get back together when she has managed to achieve some greater satisfaction with the balance of roles in her life and he has gained some more self worth, they would be independently stronger and so better together possibly. Everyone else seemed to be exploring new things that they had arrived at themselves as far as I recall.

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          • #6
            To me it season 12 starts falling down with Harth bragging about how he framed the sorcerer because everyone had forgotten that vampires could be in human face and that was how he secretly placed vampires around the sorcerer. But Harth himself always is in human face. Huh? How could the sorcerer not have noticed that?

            What's the deal with Future Dark Willow? Why did Buffy have to kill her? How could Buffy kill her when the future has been changed by Buffy?

            Why did Erin look so much like Buffy? Why does Buffy act so prudish and literally put her palms over her ears when Frey and Erin discuss the sex life of vampires?

            Angel and Illyria. Don't even get me started. They don't match. Full stop.

            I also don't get how they changed the outcome of the Reckoning. I mean, it had happened before. Harth had the memories. How could it be changed?

            flow
            Last edited by flow; 29-03-20, 10:58 PM.
            ................................ Banner by buffylover

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            • redtent
              redtent commented
              Editing a comment
              Yes, I Agree. That's why I don't like time travel stories. They always bring inconsistency and plot holes.
              Maybe it would be better is they never did make s12. All the major plot points have been concluded in the previous seasons, and there wouldn't be this weird characterization, not only of Buffy but of other characters too.
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