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  • Buffy # 22 Issue Discussion Thread(Full Spoilers)

    Advanced review for Buffy # 22.

    http://www.wickedhorror.com/horror-r...ire-slayer-22/

    Comic Review: Buffy the Vampire Slayer #22

    December 15, 2015By Nat Brehmer

    I think Buffy the Vampire Slayer #22 went in a different direction than people were expecting, which is a good thing by and large. The previous issue ended with Dylan—a character from Spike’s spinoff graphic novel Into the Light who was introduced as a possible romantic interest—coming to town and wanting to talk to him. A lot of people were afraid that this would destroy Buffy and Spike’s relationship, but that’s not what happened. She isn’t looking to date, she just wants to thank him because her meeting with him allowed her to ultimately grow up as a person. Yet again, this is a character brought into the middle of things not to intentionally stir up trouble, but to make the characters stir up trouble within themselves. What I like is that it doesn’t go in an obvious direction where Buffy is simply jealous of Spike’s female friend. That’s not really it at all, thank God.

    Having said that, I definitely don’t think that Buffy and Spike will still be together at the end of the season. It would be nice to be surprised on that front and I think their relationship and their doubts are being handled well, often extremely well. But if I were a betting man, I’d bet Spike’s doubts get the better of him and lead him to be the one who walked away. It would be entirely different than anything we’ve seen between these characters before, but it also wouldn’t be remotely out of character for him. Naturally, the best case scenario would be for these two to once again acknowledge their doubts and fears and make the decision to do their best to overcome them. Unfortunately, they’ve been doing that a lot this season and the doubts still remain, no matter what they do or say.



    This issue really belongs to Willow, though, which is an important thing. If anyone has been on the sidelines this season—other than maybe Dawn, who I know they’re saving for something big—it’s her. Willow’s been there to help with the big issues and then kind of disappeared, even though she and Buffy live together. Now we have the big reveal that she’s decided to work with the military to help restore magic and calm things down on a bigger scale than she’d be doing normally. It’s not something that Buffy agrees with at all, to the point that a large focus on the issue is on whether or not they can even continue to be friends after this.

    Of course, Willow’s decision to work within the military is just one of many things that have been building over time, with the focus really being on the fact that maybe Willow and Buffy simply became too different as people to have the relationship they had before. All that means, and it’s kind of a sweet thing, is that their friendship has to evolve. It’s not going to be the same as it was, but that’s probably going to make it better overall. I’m very happy to see Buffy and Willow entering this new stage.

    We’re winding down on the season now, so I’m a little curious to see what’s going to happen and if all of these characters will build to a complete resolution to their arc. So much is being juggled right now. The band’s all back together, but we’re not seeing them all at once. I have faith in Christos Gage as a writer, but it will be interesting to see how it develops as time is running out.

    WICKED RATING: 8 Stars (8 / 10)

  • #2
    So hard without having seen it, obviously, but whilst I know Spike stayed away due to his insecurities after S7 and then he left in S9 when he was rejected I think him actually opting out of an active relationship with Buffy would be out of character for him. I do think it is a feasible direction for it to go in though and have suggested that before as they aren't really giving his feelings in the relationship much airtime other than him worrying about Buffy's, and because his internal dissatisfaction with himself was covered in his outburst to his fake mum, him deciding for reasons relating to his own insecurities and development to break it off was possible. But I think saying him splitting from the woman he loves is in character is a false statement and a really poor character read. But I'm still not convinced though, I still think it is equally feasible that they have been gearing everything towards them working through obstacles, it could go either way.

    I'm also (obviously without reading it) unconvinced about what the reviewer is saying about Dylan. Someone that manages to stalk someone into a totally different city than they had any reason to connect them to and hangs around said city for months is not believably just coming to say 'thank you for the moment of personal growth'. That is about the weakest, limpest reasoning I can imagine for her inclusion. So I still expect her to hang around and stir up more than this, or be involved in the overall bad guy plan somehow as suggested before. We'll see how it reads in a week.

    Comment


    • #3
      Season 10 simply stopped making any kind of sense. Kennedy's suddenly more important than Buffy? Archaeus is still alive and being dealt with by a Fang Gang's whose power is a small fraction of the power of the Scooby Gang. Buffy/Spike having relationship problems even though Buffy seemed to have decided to give up the idea of having children and being in a normal relationship because she most prefers to be with Spike -- and given the timeline, Buffy possibly in her 30s by now -- and Spike clearly had decided he'd rather be with Buffy (even though their relationship isn't perfect) instead of be with Drusilla, or be with Morgan, etc.

      Vampires themselves are public knowledge and people are okay with them. There essentially is no reason Buffy and Spike in Season 10 wouldn't be married to each other and certainly at least cohabiting.

      Faith's being able to kill New Rules Vampires much easier than the combined forces of Willow, Dracula, Buffy, and Spike makes less than zero sense.

      Drusilla only 'worked for' Wolfram and Hart because she wanted her family back and likely already knew that one day she would sire Darla. Hers being a minion of Archaeus makes little sense as-is but it would be easily resolved by simply having the Scoobies sans-Buffy go to London. They would defeat Archaeus and Dru would rather hang out with Spike than be a minion.

      It makes no sense that the Scoobies wouldn't know about all the demon activity happening in the world.

      Comment


      • #4
        Buffy and Spike having relationship problems is perfectly feasible, they have a complicated past together as well as being complex individual characters with their own hang ups and issues in the mix. Spike choosing to be with Drusilla who is an evil vampire would be a very negative turn for the character and he rejected Morgan because he wasn't interested in what she wanted and wasn't at all pleased that she tried to use her mojo on him to manipulate him, or however he phrased it, and her betraying actions then led to the bug ship being destroyed and Seb's death. So, again, a negative character pairing wouldn't be a good alternative move for him. I don't pretend S10 is perfect but, to my eye, it works as a progression from previous seasons and your issues with it seem to be about how it doesn't fit with your character preferences or how it has contradicted your previous held personal canon. But we have discussed these things on previous threads so there is likely no merit in doing so again, we clearly don't agree.

        Dru was delighted with Archaeus when he made contact with her and seems to be happy with his plans, wants to please him and gain her family back. I can't see how that makes little sense. If Dru would be happier with Spike, as a good guy, then she would have made some moves at some point to show that or contact him, but she hasn't. No, instead she wants Spike and Angel to join with Archaeus in an evil plot, and is killing/siring people to help him very readily. Dru is clearly on the other side to both gangs and still, like it or not, counts as one of the bad guys.

        Unless the Scoobies were deliberately monitoring world-wide activity, how would they know about it and why would they be doing that by default? Being global demon fighters isn't used/established as their typical role.
        Last edited by Stoney; 18-12-15, 01:37 PM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Stoney View Post
          Dru was delighted with Archaeus when he made contact with her and seems to be happy with his plans, wants to please him and gain her family back.
          Dru and Darla were family girls, Dru accepts Archaeus now, Darla was devoted to the Master. It would be a very bad idea to bring Angelus back, though - he would never follow Archaeus, probably he would end up killing him... now, Angel being controlled by Archaeus can work.
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          • #6
            My thoughts after reading the issue...

            The Willow/Buffy side felt like the start of a problem even though they got to a stage of addressing it by the end. It seems likely that this break in perspective is something that will be likely to cause further disagreement in approaches to future situations and whether they can develop a way to roll with these clashes when they come certainly didn't seem sure. Changes to friendships, perspectives and personal priorities just seems a really realistic thing for them to be facing and I like the overall intention to see them growing up more and finding things flex with time. Greater or equal focus shifting to career choices and relationships over high school/college friendships is just realistic to me and I welcome the story for the characters staying progressive and relateable.

            I'm not trusting the military personally. Lake's interest in Willow seems predictable or convenient, or both, and that alongside the whole set up with Satsu leading to an obviously deliberate plan from Harmony/Vicky to stir the pot, well, I just keep trying to see how it may all fit together. The sculptor's remark on understanding such things keeps playing in my mind and seeing D'Hoffryn cropping up again, in no doubt another power play, makes me want to see a tie to Anya and the book too. It might not necessarily come together but I'll be impressed if it does all tie up in the end, and works!

            The Dylan stuff was pretty forced to make the cross-selling opportunity in using the character imo. It doesn't seem that there is anything nefarious to her being around, she is in the area irrespective was what I took from it. It makes her 'one that got away' comment pretty strange if she really has no interest in pursuing him romantically and we will see if that was the extent of her contribution/appearance. She refers to him running off when they met before, which was hardly the case, but as I wouldn't encourage anyone to read ITL, I'll just underline that understanding the original non-canon history between them seems as irrelevant as DH admitted it was. Her inclusion really just seemed to be there for the very set purpose of repeating issues already raised and they were all instantly covered in the issue in quite a heavy handed way I think.

            Firstly we had the negative of pedestaling someone to give a repeat to Harmony's digs ("grown adults don't put someone on a pedestal, make them some kind of romantic ideal, and decide they're the key to happiness in life") and then Dylan also gave emphasis on the changes she had made and the different person she had become, presumably to underline Angel and Willow's thoughts on immortals not changing. They clearly are wanting to question if Spike has changed, or perhaps whether he feels he has. Sure he has stayed the same in some ways since we met him, but then so have all the humans we know too. But he has also shown an ability/wish to change, to adapt, and that has consistently been a major part of his story too. Only last season he determined not to focus solely on his romantic interest and try to change his lifestyle to 'belong' somewhere. Of course there is a fair argument which could be made that him showing an inclination to adapt is him not changing, ha. But if the end result is just a simple reflection of Angel/Willow/Harmony's perspectives it will be weak imo. I actually expect that we will see him again determine what he wants to change and it'll show that other people's points of view aren't always totally accurate, can be misjudged, deliberately warped to unsettle someone or can be from them projecting/applying their own issues and experiences.

            Anyway, if he does identify what is making him unhappy about himself and/or something he wants to change it may or may not affect his relationship with Buffy. If they are tying it with the relationship, the only 'new' aspect I think Dylan brought to the story may become more of a feature. Buffy expressed surprise that Spike could/would have any friendship with someone 'normal'. I don't remember if it was clear whether she means 'human' or just someone not involved in the supernatural realities of the world. If it is the former, her placing him firmly in the supernatural bracket still may tie in with his personal insecurities and his self identification of himself as a monster, as well as his relationship insecurities in how she perceives/accepts him.

            The choice of the painting did highlight another consistent reference to light in his arc. Being in the light and not confined to the dark, imagining himself/Buffy on the beach and his preparation of the solarium on the bug ship in the mini... effulgence has always been a part of Spike's story. Him getting to walk in the light for real would be a big thing for him. He was burnt in the sun at the end of S8, rejected being the dark place for Buffy in S9, but was still confined to the liquor store at the start of S10 and yes, now with the new vampire ability to daywalk, this is as relevant as ever to his story. His choice of the sun painting just seemed another clear flag and nod towards it in the current season and these all add in to that longing for more than being the monster he became when Dru murdered him. It will surprise me if this in no way comes into play with his doubts about himself and dissatisfaction and just seems brewing for Dru to come in as another ex and possibly continue part of the Archaeus/inner demon plot for him (her and Angel).

            Comment


            • #7
              Pretty airy and inconsequential. I didn't really read more than one out of two panels of Dylan content. Seemed like a lot of talking to get to the end of a conflict that hadn't been simmering before this issue, was brought up during the issue. I probably agree with Willow here mostly, my point in Buffy's defense of her suspicion is also a point in defense of Willow's perspective -- this is, in fact, who the Scoobies were and what they were doing until pssst his name is Angel starting hunting and persecuting them out of it.

              And of course, segue, Buffy loses 100% of her credibility and standing for moral outrage when she blames/resents Angel's flunkies entirely and Angel zero.
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              • #8
                I agree with Stoney's and KingofCretins' reviews. I liked this issue better than the previous one, but we still get dialogue that is very expository and somewhat preachy and making its point in a very repetitive fashion.

                To me the central point of the discussion really revolved around whether you should be making the most of your life irrespective of your emotional attachments or to modify what you want to do to take the feelings of others into consideration.

                Lake is one extreme example in that she worked so hard she lost her girlfriend (and didn't even realize it right away). She also makes the argument for Willow to let go of Buffy if Buffy cannot support her or accept her point of view. She uses all her school-friends she lost touch with as they don't have any interests in common to reinforce her point of view that people sometimes give up on their emotional connection because they develop in different directions. At the moment I don't really trust her, because she made Willow keep her new employment from Buffy and seems pretty intent to split the two friends up.

                Buffy strongly feels the other way: that the connections you have with people should influence the kind of decisions you make and that loyalty should prevent you from pursuing interests that you know will hurt others you care about. Both Lake's and Buffy's attitudes are somewhat selfish, and I think Buffy even realizes that when she lashes out at Spike: "Sure there I go again, making it all about me!" I think she's so prickly, because she's really still steamed by what she feels is Willow's betrayal.

                Dylan I think found the best solution to the two extremes we get with Lake and with Buffy. She uses an emotional connection to inspire her to do more with her life and to pursue her dream. From that position she can reach out in a fairly mature way to reconnect and have the best of both worlds, friendship and a feeling of accomplishment. Its a solution that Willow and Buffy seem to arrive at in the end as well.

                One comment on Spike's choice of the painting of a sunrise over a meadow under a tree: I had to think back to "Into the Light" and Spike's and Dylan's date. He pretty much picks her depiction of the spot where they met and kissed and Dylan wanted to show him the sunrise he had to run away from. That makes it something of a loaded choice for me. Combined with Spike's initial silence regarding the meeting with Dylan and her gallery invitation I think we still have a bit of baggage there...

                Smile, listen, agree - and then do whatever the f**k you wanted to do anyway... (Robert Downey jr.)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Well as I said, the sun and being in the light have forever been a part of Spike's story. I don't think it has to have any 'Dylan' meaning in it for him for it to have been a meaningful choice, his story is rife with references. I did think it had links back not only to the sunset moment in the story, clear with Dylan's reference to his taste, but I think he saw a similar painting in her apartment or some such, I'm not going to make myself open it up to check though. But whether one or two related references they were already referencing a relevant point in his overall story and as we were told there is no issue if people don't get the connection to ITL I don't think the details back to that will matter. We'll see.

                  Gah, now you have given me visual references I'm going to have to drink all evening to rid myself of the memories of that awfully written tripe again now.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Stoney, sorry, sorry sorry!

                    I WANTED ITL to be good when it first came out, and then there was so much wrong with it, don't even get me started. The timing was probably the worst of it. I'd have bought it if they'd set it in Angel Season 5 (like he walked out in a huff for a few weeks to find his own bearings), but right after Africa and WITH the coat. A whole boatload of NOPE! It was so disappointing.

                    Anyway, "Cheers!" At least it's a good reason as any to grab a nice glass of wine! (Not that I'm proud to drive people to drink!)
                    Smile, listen, agree - and then do whatever the f**k you wanted to do anyway... (Robert Downey jr.)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Clavus View Post
                      Stoney, sorry, sorry sorry!

                      I WANTED ITL to be good when it first came out, and then there was so much wrong with it, don't even get me started. The timing was probably the worst of it. I'd have bought it if they'd set it in Angel Season 5 (like he walked out in a huff for a few weeks to find his own bearings), but right after Africa and WITH the coat. A whole boatload of NOPE! It was so disappointing.

                      Anyway, "Cheers!" At least it's a good reason as any to grab a nice glass of wine! (Not that I'm proud to drive people to drink!)


                      The overall thought of exploring the practical difficulties in lifestyle once souled is interesting, it just isn't what we got. And it wasn't just the canon inconsistencies and the cynical abuse of fan loyalty to get us to buy something promoted as working where it didn't. The story itself is also poorly written and although JM refused editing, DH still sold it. The idea that Spike never achieved anything for himself is ridiculous and then JM's 'positive' story has him trying to gain back loot from his soulless crimes and when he can't, and the shop owners gain it, they then give him the boots as a thanks, so he didn't even achieve the 'small thing for himself' that was, in theory, the premise of the whole frickin' story. Geez, the levels on which it sucked has levels, how bad is that?!!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        This issue feels a little short to me, but I have to praise the art and the small details (the new monsters of the Council, Spike feeding the cats, and the paintings in Dylan's exhibition...) that make it more enjoyable.

                        I agree in what you people are saying, I guess we are all in the same page here. Also, I can say some predictions about what all this was going, that were discussed here, were very accurate. Probably this is why I wasn't very surprised.

                        I still don't know how to feel about the meaningfulness of Buffy and Willow's fight... I guess it will depend on what happens next.

                        I do find the Lake thing suspicious too, though... I can't help but wonder... Don't you think "Lake" is the perfect name for a love interest of someone named "Willow"? Willows do grow near to lakes, swamps or other kinds of wetlands. When I think about a willow, I have to picture it growing next to a lake or pond. I don't know if this was intentional, but IMHO just adds to the odd feelings.
                        Last edited by Rihannon; 25-12-15, 12:26 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I was also surprised that Spike let the comment by Dylan pass about vamps just varying like humans - 'different kinds of you guys, just like people' - and not saying anything about the soul difference, that vampires still shouldn't be trusted and are dangerous etc. This and the vamps at the speed dating as well seem to show that society is too complacent about vamps playing along to me, have always seemed so tbh. His lack of comment is probably indicative of him still feeling somewhat separate and ties into that, but also possibly sets up for her being a casualty and through that and what she has been shown to achieve, an inspiration for him to act on his self examination.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I have Buffy # 22.Part II of," In Pieces On The Ground."

                            I'll keep this short since I very busy with the holiday right this second.I was lucky to get to the comic shop today but I really wanted to get my comics before the Christmas holiday.

                            The Willow/Buffy conflict I actually really enjoyed and like others,I don't think this is the end of it.

                            Dylan ended up being much adoe about nothing which I guess was playing with our expectations.What the character represents is nice but there wasn't really much to the character.

                            Overall a decent but not remarkable issue IMO.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Clavus View Post
                              I agree with Stoney's and KingofCretins' reviews. I liked this issue better than the previous one, but we still get dialogue that is very expository and somewhat preachy and making its point in a very repetitive fashion.

                              To me the central point of the discussion really revolved around whether you should be making the most of your life irrespective of your emotional attachments or to modify what you want to do to take the feelings of others into consideration.

                              Lake is one extreme example in that she worked so hard she lost her girlfriend (and didn't even realize it right away). She also makes the argument for Willow to let go of Buffy if Buffy cannot support her or accept her point of view. She uses all her school-friends she lost touch with as they don't have any interests in common to reinforce her point of view that people sometimes give up on their emotional connection because they develop in different directions. At the moment I don't really trust her, because she made Willow keep her new employment from Buffy and seems pretty intent to split the two friends up.

                              Buffy strongly feels the other way: that the connections you have with people should influence the kind of decisions you make and that loyalty should prevent you from pursuing interests that you know will hurt others you care about. Both Lake's and Buffy's attitudes are somewhat selfish, and I think Buffy even realizes that when she lashes out at Spike: "Sure there I go again, making it all about me!" I think she's so prickly, because she's really still steamed by what she feels is Willow's betrayal.

                              Dylan I think found the best solution to the two extremes we get with Lake and with Buffy. She uses an emotional connection to inspire her to do more with her life and to pursue her dream. From that position she can reach out in a fairly mature way to reconnect and have the best of both worlds, friendship and a feeling of accomplishment. Its a solution that Willow and Buffy seem to arrive at in the end as well.

                              One comment on Spike's choice of the painting of a sunrise over a meadow under a tree: I had to think back to "Into the Light" and Spike's and Dylan's date. He pretty much picks her depiction of the spot where they met and kissed and Dylan wanted to show him the sunrise he had to run away from. That makes it something of a loaded choice for me. Combined with Spike's initial silence regarding the meeting with Dylan and her gallery invitation I think we still have a bit of baggage there...
                              Whole thing seems like a rehash of S4 for the most part. Growing apart, finding separate interests/relationships and dealing with how they do or don't fit into long-term careers. The message of the show was routinely that your friends should come before everything and I doubt this'll be any different given how shady the military setup and introduction seems to be.

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