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Buffy # 8 Issue Discussion Thread(Full Spoilers)

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  • Buffy # 8 Issue Discussion Thread(Full Spoilers)

    The first review is up.It's spoilerish so I'm opening the thread.The issue is out this coming Wed(along with the new issue of Angel).

    Comic Review: Buffy Season 11 #8

    ByNat Brehmer
    - June 16, 2017

    Faith is back! After losing her position as a co-lead when Angel & Faith reverted back to Angel, I wasn’t sure what was going to happen to a character I was used to seeing in the spotlight. She hadn’t made an appearance yet in either Season 11 title until popping up halfway through this issue. In general, this feels like the beginning of the climax for this season’s story arc. That’s a little surprising, too, considering the fact that there are only four issues left.

    At the beginning, we’ve got Buffy and Willow struggling to come to terms with their loss of power. The focus is a little more heavily geared toward Buffy, which is smart as Willow got a lot of that focus when she went through something similar in season 9. Buffy even goes out and tries to do some good despite her loss of power and, in a neat twist, actually does manage to take the guy down. The problem is that once she gets him on the ground, she can’t stop herself. She realizes she could kill this guy with her bare hands.

    That’s something that Buffy has always dealt with. As good as she is, she’s the slayer, and she’s long contemplated how close that is to being a killer. This was a particular focus in the episodes “Bad Girls” and “Dead Things.” In that respect, it’s the perfect time for Faith to make a return to the comics.

    Also making an important appearance are Riley and his wife, Sam. It’s a relief to know that Riley is still on the side of the angels—so to speak—given that his motivations were very unclear the last time he and Buffy spoke. He’s been working on a larger plan with Buffy and Willow, one that they can’t even tell Xander and Dawn about for fear of endangering them.

    Faith, too, has also reached a good point with Riley that allows him not only to trust her enough now to ask for her help, but for her to come when asked as well. As great as these return appearances are, it’s kind of amazing enough just to see Xander and Dawn again after several issues without them. The focus has been on Buffy, Willow and Spike—who doesn’t actually appear in this issue, funny enough—for so long that it’s nice to get the gang back together and watch them finally come up with a plan to bring this whole thing down.

    Even if we, the readers, aren’t quite sure what that is yet. I’m on board. It doesn’t look like the plan will be too effective, though, considering that there are still a few issues left. I’m sold simply on the fact that the comic is returning to form, that even powerless Buffy and Willow are taking matters into their own hands and fighting the good fight, and that Faith is back to lend her help to whatever it is that they’re doing.

    This is a strong, tightly plotted issue. Rebekah Isaacs continues to crush the art. As much as it sets up larger stakes and gets the wheels moving in terms of the overall plot, the focus is very clearly on the characters, first and foremost. And that’s what I’ve always loved about Buffy.


  • #2
    Another enjoyable issue. I was glad the possibility Riley/Sam were intending to help further on the outside was true. And I like that Buffy's feelings about her beat up on the guy in the park were so mixed and confusing for her. I think this was a real strength in this issue and is definitely a scene I'd like to read over again. I think it was a great way to show both her intrinsic 'self' and her sense of a loss of identity all at once. It was a shame her jumbled emotions were moved past by the weakest part of the issue for me. The whole thing of Sam's 'clever' manipulation of Buffy/Willow really stood out as a moment of awkwardly weak writing/characterisations. It was just too clichéd and blatant, just a poor prompt to use for pushing Buffy back into a 'can do' attitude for me.

    A jumble of other thoughts.. I absolutely loved Faith's entrance and I adore Rebekah's depiction of her, probably my favourite character artwork from RI, so I was delighted to see her again. I doubt this will be the last we will see of Calliope, but I liked the use of her here for the very thing that Willow had raised in camp with her, how different things could seem when out again. How distinctly Calliope separates the two isn't the same as we are seeing for our gang who live in the supernatural world in a more complete/consistent sense. This also linked in with the wiccan the guy was speaking to in the park and his conversation with Buffy before the fight. How separate or innate are the connections people have and how subjective the perception of this can be to individuals and those observing. Fundamentally you could always choose ways to judge and withdraw from accepting/understanding others if you apply prejudice. For our gang certainly, removing their powers doesn't separate them from what is happening still, and not just because Spike is still in there, but for them all on individual levels too and because they are considering the wider implications and taking a stance/responsibility. It follows really nicely from the nods to responsibility and power we had in the last issue and linked with the meaning surrounding the scythe. I was pleased they acknowledged the risk to Dawn of the magic draining, but wasn't surprised at her reluctance to being told to leave. Shame we have heard no more about the Giles mini so far.

    It's very much a piece of the whole this one. I've have nothing else to add from my first read other than it is going to be another frustrating month waiting to get to the next instalment. Very interested to see how the end face off with the camp slayers will go down.
    Last edited by Stoney; 21-06-17, 10:55 AM.


    • #3
      Agree with Stoney that it was a solid issue and an enjoyable read. Buffy and Willow had their own separate challenges fitting themselves into "ordinary" lives and I liked how they were able to fall back on their non-supernatural abilities, such as Buffy's actual martial arts training and Willow's computer skills.

      Buffy's meltdown over the guy in the park was interesting. We've seen her out of control aggressive before in "Dead Things", so she is capable of it with or without her powers if pushed too far, but her reaction to beating up another human being is definitely more extreme than anything we saw with regards to Spike all those years ago. It plays again into the moral dilemma that's been discussed before with regards to what is permissible violence when directed against demons as opposed to humans. It almost felt to me that the comic even addressed the issues we've had with the new oppressed and victimized demons when Buffy admits to Sam that she's kind of having her feelings all muddied herself and cannot really rationalize it all. She seems to be a bit of a mouthpiece for the writers and the corner they've backed themselves into when they started to ask the readers to feel compassion for certain non-violent demons this season.

      I also loved the artwork introducing Faith. Sam and Riley were nice likenesses, and I enjoyed the fact that Rebeccah can always draw goofy Buffy or angry Buffy or beat-up Buffy and still keep her quintessentially herself. It's not easy to put extremes like that on a face and still maintain a good likeness. I also like the fact that with Calliope we for once get a positive character who is not either reed-thin or super athletic. Makes a nice change of pace from your usual comic art where all the girls always have to be pin-up material.

      I also enjoyed the cliff-hanger a lot. This time I will be checking my calendar for the sequel to find out how things go down...
      Smile, listen, agree - and then do whatever the f**k you wanted to do anyway... (Robert Downey jr.)


      • #4
        Great issue!

        A powerless Buffy is challenged by a (very big) jerk and she handles it well, but not without some injuries that now will take some time to heal… and her own overblown reaction – she almost killed the man after neutralizing him – took Buffy by surprise and horrified her; he’s human, after all, and she has never gotten so violent with people who cannot fight back, she has never showed such rage. That’s because she felt for the first time (as she herself explains) how she got near to be killed in such a trivial (for her) fight. But she can’t or doesn’t want to delve more in this issue:

        Sam: How is that different from every time you fight a monster, or some whacked-out cultist?

        Buffy: It just is. I don’t have to justify my feelings to you.

        Willow and Calliope met by chance – when the girl is going to the movies with her girlfriend; Calliope’s feelings were really more about her situation in the camp, and not about Willow, it seems, and I get that. But it’s sad. However, they’re being watched by drones… so there’s hope that Calliope was just being overly cautious and fearful, not wanting to show much love to a person despised by the Government…

        Yeah, Riley and Sam are back – and they are team Scooby once again. I had said before “at this point of his life, Riley should know better, and not follow the party line so easily. Or, he is, again, an ally who can work from the inside and help Buffy and Co.” I was suspicious of him, and I’m glad that I was wrong, but I think he should leave the army for good - because if he always is discontent with their policies (although being in the right both times)… he should leave the institution.

        Riley and Sam are also ready to take Dawn and Xander out of the country (with fake passports), because without magic, Dawn will disappear (it almost happened in Season 9). But Dawn is now a big girl, and can decide for herself when it’s time to leave - and she just won’t.

        Spike isn’t in this issue, but he calls and he and Buffy talk.

        Riley, Sam, Buffy and Willow have a plan, but they don’t share with Xander and Dawn - and neither with us. So Riley, with Buffy and Willow’s approval, sends a message, which gets things going. To help them to put their mysterious plan in motion, behold, Faith comes: she’s been asked by Riley to help. The Slayer arrives destroying some drones, which puts “the brass” on alert.

        It’s time: Buffy gives the Scythe to Faith – since she can barely stand its weight - and they leave the apartment to break in the Safe Zone (with the help of Willow’s computer skills). They succeed to reach the room where the Power Drainer machine is, but Jordan and crew are ready, waiting for them…

        Obs.: The cats are well and thriving, Xander and Dawn are taking good care of them!
        My Tumblr: Dog is My Copilot


        • #5
          You’re my dog, Y'know? ~ Faith Lehane

          Ordinary People is an entertaining issue. There are some things I don’t like about it but hey, it’s fun, so, like, whatever, go read it!

          Buffy and Willow are back in San Francisco, free but under constant surveillance - phones wiretapped, drones floating outside their apartment, drones hovering over the city watching them, drones seemingly following them everywhere they go. Basically, the logical next step of the modern surveillance state. Mentally, Buffy’s deflated, as Dawn describes it, but there is a plan. At the moment, though, Scoobies need to stay put. Not that Buffy manages to. A few days after her release, while jogging ( Sweet! I adore jogging Buffy, OK? Lovely workout clothes too! ) Buffy witnesses some assℎole harassing a Wiccan. Buffy steps in, confronts the aggressor and beats the crap out of him. Then, after it’s over, Buffy melts down. Visually, the scene is amazing! It’s brutal and kinetic and art team, you are so killing it but I don’t understand Buffy’s reaction, I don’t understand why she’s so affected by violence and it’s not just me, wife of Riley actually asks her about it as well. Buffy says that it was about realizing that she could’ve killed that guy. And that he could’ve killed her. Sam counters with the obvious question - how is that different from any time you fight a monster, or some whacked-out cultist? Yes, tell me Buffy! It just is. I don’t have to justify my feelings to you. Oh, are you serious? Get out! Look, I don’t get it. Buffy has been killing daily for the last whatever years, she’s been in countless life or death situations, she even died too! What’s going on here? What, it’s ‘cause it’s a human? Buffy killed humans before, she’s been killing humans since she was a teenager, she Ichi the killed a human in half and found it hilarious. I mean, OK, it was hilarious and…and Ted! What about Ted? Sorry, I’m not feeling it. If you want a constructive take, here’s what I’d do. I sorta feel more when I don’t have my powers, it happened in Tibet too. Boom! All the shock value you want and it still makes sense. Finally, I’m not sure what was even the point of that scene. That, even without her powers Buffy can still kick ass? Yeah, no shit. That even without her powers Buffy’s still heroic? Duh.

          But what about Willow? There’s something interesting Xander says about her and can I just say how much I missed Xander? I haven’t seen Willow like this since high-school, he says, making everything she says a question, spending all her time on the computer…. And true, Willow seems less confident in this issue, even her clothes reflect that but I’m not sure if the idea of explicitly tying Willow’s confidence to her magic works for me. Willow had no magic in season nine and it didn’t turn her into high-school Willow, I mean, she slapped Angel, right? And I understand that, in theory, it’s not the same thing, outside versus inside power but the effect, as in no magic, is basically identical. Moreover, Willow started becoming more confident before she discovered magic. She casts her first spell in Passion and that’s after Halloween and Oz and whatnot. Of course, I don’t know when exactly Willow started practicing magic ( high-school series, you’re on it, right? ) so maybe it all checks out? Or maybe it’s just like Xander said, after what they’ve been through, they deserve some space. Willow’s romantic non-situation ties into this too. She bumps into Calliope and her girlfriend, happily on their way to watch a movie. Willow was right in the previous issue, it really is two different worlds and on the outside Calli’s clearly not interested anymore. Now, I can’t complain, Calliope is boring but man, aside from some character development, this non-romance seems kind of like a waste of page space. You know, another one. Oh, well, this is Willow, she won't stay single for long.

          A few days after Buffy’s fight Riley and Sam visit Scoobies’ apartment and no, not to arrest Buffy because she beat up that assℎole. They’re in on Buffy’s plan! This is why, I reckon, Riley was so eager to convince Buffy to take the deal and leave the safe zone, I suspect that Lake is also a part of this. However, Buffy and Willow are suddenly not sure, hesitant to take action. Seeing that, Sam suggests that without their powers, Buffy and Willow are nothing. Of course, Ms Finn doesn’t really mean it, it’s a gym teacher mind game as Buffy puts it but it works. I mean, OK, it’s clunky but you know what? Buffy’s and Willow’s dialog makes it worth it! Don’t blame Willow for my problems, Buffy starts. She’s never needed magic to be amazing! She’s smart, and kind. She sees the big picture, but never loses sight of how it affects everyone. And draining her magic didn’t affect her computer skills, which she’s been putting to pretty damn good use lately. Wow! Haters are finished, done etc. I’m the one who’s useless now, continues Buffy. Jesus, Buff, can you stop with this nonsense already?! Like, she beat up a guy twice her size just to protect a nameless innocent and she thinks she’s useless? Buffy, you beautiful dingus, just, just love yourself already, OK? Thankfully, Willow is quick to destroy her bullshit. Except that’s a load of crap, she points out. Your powers aren’t why you never give up. Why you refuse to leave anyone behind. Why you never accept anything less than what you know is right. Why have you done things no other slayer in history ever did, even though they had the exact same abilities? That’s you, Buffy. That’s who you are. Now kiss. No, I mean, this is almost like that Touched speech, don’t you think? Anyway, just like that, Buffy’s and Willow’s doubts evaporate. With a text send from Riley’s burner phone the plan is put into motion. Outside a literal ninja goomba stomps the surveillance drones and stylishly lands on the apartment’s balcony. It’s Faith and she came to help. And Buffy hugs her! And gives her the scythe! L-look how far they’ve come! It’s beautiful! Anyway, Sam suggests that Dawn and Xander leave the country, since Dawn is, you know, magical, she even has fake IDs prepared but well, you’ve seen Chosen so you know how that goes. Dawn and Xander receive an address they’re supposed to show up at in two days but for their own safety they’re not given any details and the two groups split.

          The Finns, Buffy, Willow and Faith travel then to the safe zone. Willow hacks into the facility’s systems. This allows the team to simply drive into the camp through the front gate as the guards can’t verify Riley’s and Sam’s bullshit because the system is down. When they’re in Wi133t Rosenberg shuts down the electricity as well. Finns then drive out of the facility action movie style drawing all attention allowing Buffy, Willow and Faith to gain access unopposed. They make it to the power drainer room where they find Jordan and her slayers waiting for them. This is where the issue ends, yes, it’s all very cliffhangery.

          So yeah, this issue is pretty great! It’s entertaining and packed with content. I recommend it!


          • #6
            Coming out of long lurkdom to say I really liked this issue. It was super solid with great art. I love the interaction with some original cast members. I loved Willow and Buffy's emotional arc here and love seeing Faith back in the fold.

            All up great issue. Season 11 is actually turning out to be pretty damn good.