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Buffy 9.25 "The Core, Part V" SPOILER Discussion Thread

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  • #31
    Originally posted by BAF View Post
    So is the Vampyr book being blank the big ending Georges Jeanty was talking about?

    I will tell you, this ending is so good. Right up until the last page, of Issue 25, you're going to be asking, 'OK, so what is that?'… I can only tell you that the last shot is of Buffy and Willow and they have a very big dilemma.
    I've been wondering that too. WTH?

    In fact that's the only thing I've wondered about. Other than that I'm bored into snoozeville.

    The only satisfaction to be found is in having been right in my predictions. There are no babies --not an unabortable 'kharmic retribution' Dawn-baby or drunken roofie baby or any "the only possible way to 'fix' Buffy is to impose a sterotyped gendered domestic template onto her done through knocking her up without her planning it!!" story, because even in the miasma of fail they created they knew that would be an action story killer. Also, there is no nyan poptart cat for the resentful to gripe and moan about (which was the reason for the OTT proclamations of it in the first place). This is not a 90s rom-com. It's WYSIWYG. No dramatic reversal (or drama for that matter) was planned. Just the same ol' same ol'. No subtext. No arc. Nothing more complicated than exactly what it looked like (which other than trying to cobble together a half-@$$ bridge to a set of fans they had gleefully (repeatedly) torched nearly all bridges to during in Season 8, I can't even see why they bothered. They could've just started here...)

    And there was no Xanpire and was never ever going to be.

    I know that I never posted this last naysaying prediction as opposed to the first two, but that was basically because the giddy predictions of Xamp Xander were far more entertaining than anything actually happening in the comic. Still never thought it had even a tiny shred of a chance of happening. (Not even sure why some Xander fans wanted it so very badly. Contemplating that question was more interesting than anything happening in the comic too.)

    Honestly, do they even have anything to actually say with the characters any more? Especially Buffy, who had no discernible arc whatsoever. From the comics, it doesn't look like it.

    To quote a show infinitely more involving than these benighted comics: bored now.
    Last edited by shipperx; 11-09-13, 03:53 PM.
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    • #32
      Originally posted by KingofCretins View Post
      Also, the new vampire mythology has only three definite facts so far -- 1) they are vampires, not zompires, 2) they are daywalkers, or at least have a high resistance, 3) they can shapeshift to bats (would be curious if that's inherent or if they all get some variant of Drac's old bag of tricks?). It is funny to me that they prove this by having something completely incongruent happen -- a bat flying off into the sunshine. But I want them to change the game on some fundamental things. Vampire identity, the soul question, etc. That's where the Buffyverse vampire mythology has needed the most work, IMO.
      The problem as I've said before in getting into the human aspects remaining in the vamp and the difference of the soul is that rewriting it needed something to pull distinct from Spike and Angel so that it didn't undermine their arcs/stories. An entirely new mythology (if this difference applies to any/all new vampires that any/all past vampires/zompires try to sire and not just the first one post Malorker death by seed) could set a new clear cut answer but that doesn't mean that it wouldn't undermine the story of the souled vamps so I really just don't think they will go there with the soul.
      Last edited by Stoney; 11-09-13, 01:32 PM.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by shipperx View Post
        I've been wondering that too. WTH?
        Yeah, their priorities are not like our earth priorities. Yes, I get the book is sort of there to represent that we're on a clean sheet of (literal) paper with vampires that she'll have to deal with, but really, for the Lebowski fans, "who gives a shit about the ****ing marmot?"

        There is no nyan poptart cat for the resentful to gripe and moan about. This isn't a rom-com.
        I seem to remember my qualifying remark on this was that if there wasn't time to spend on it here, that there would be a scene of them sort of adoring each other. Granted, it was just a panel tucked into a broader scene but... like you said, what you see is in fact what you get. Nyan-watch = still on. Still a terrible idea, but probably still what they think they need to hold out there as a carrot to get people to read.

        And there was no Xanpire and never ever was going to be. I know I never posted vocally the last prediction as opposed to the first two, but that was basically because the predictions Xamp Xander were more entertaining than anything happening in the comic. Still never thought it had even a tiny shred of a chance of happening. (Not even sure why some Xander fans wanted it so very badly. Contemplating that question was more interesting than anything happening in the comic too.)
        I don't know if anybody wanted it, it was the ultimate in cynicism, the final acknowledgement that they would have to turn him into the undead just to show any interest in it. If you found "want" in.. any post, really, you brought it with your own glasses. I can already see where it's a missed opportunity that they have this whole vampire mythology reset but no vampire on hand that the audience has insight into to be the tour guide, and Xander ending up in that role would have had synergy with him actually having been given a damn plot that went somewhere. That, right there? That was the ridiculous thing for anyone to be predicting that was never going to actually happen.

        Originally posted by Stoney View Post
        The problem as I've said before in getting into the human aspects remaining in the vamp and the difference of the soul is that rewriting it needed something to pull distinct from Spike and Angel so that it didn't undermine their arcs/stories. An entirely new mythology (if this difference applies to any/all new vampires that any/all past vampires/zompires try to sire and not just the first one post Malorker death by seed) could set a new clear cut answer but that doesn't mean that it wouldn't undermine the story of the souled vamps so I really just don't think they will go there with the soul.
        Honestly, I don't think Spike's or Angel's story "needs" their souls. I mean, Angel's literally never, ever did. They could have done every inch of his arc from his introduction on without it, they just did it so they'd have a narrative shortcut, a trite and easy excuse for why he was good and other vampires bad. Him having a soul is the same sort of convenience as vampires dusting was. Most of the story they tell now, when it comes to their morals and choices, don't really require the soul, most of the times when the souls come up, it's as a plot device (oh look, the soul's in a jar! oh look, the soul is... gone, or whatever from IDW!).

        Now, anything that happened here, I agree, can't change the rules for former vampires, at least not without a lot of shovelling. But it does give them a green light to do it a better way.
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        • #34
          Originally posted by KingofCretins View Post
          Honestly, I don't think Spike's or Angel's story "needs" their souls. I mean, Angel's literally never, ever did. They could have done every inch of his arc from his introduction on without it, they just did it so they'd have a narrative shortcut, a trite and easy excuse for why he was good and other vampires bad. Him having a soul is the same sort of convenience as vampires dusting was. Most of the story they tell now, when it comes to their morals and choices, don't really require the soul, most of the times when the souls come up, it's as a plot device (oh look, the soul's in a jar! oh look, the soul is... gone, or whatever from IDW!).

          Now, anything that happened here, I agree, can't change the rules for former vampires, at least not without a lot of shovelling. But it does give them a green light to do it a better way.
          But if they have vampires keep their souls then they will have to change a lot of the feel of the verse as they will be in a situation like TVD where you are focussing on a group and their good/bad qualities same as any person. But BtVS has vamps as canon fodder in quantity, patrol and take out a handful a night. Plus we have the hoards of left over zompires so there are too many to really manage the good/bad aspect like TVD does. The out in society/Harmony's rules was already causing problems that the zompires side stepped in whether you should still dust on sight if they can choose to be good and keeping souls would just make that worse.

          So, if they went for any aspect of 'souls don't matter' instead then you can't do an 'apart from former vampires where it did' because they just don't sit side by side well. Spike's arc, the drive to gain his soul and what difference that made looks less of a significant action if souls don't really matter anymore. Vampires in society already makes it murky but, like Harmony showed in S2/S5 AtS, really the thing that still remains is that vampires can't be trusted without their souls. Now demons are able to come and go again, presumably, so one of their reasons for playing ball with the rules has gone. I always found it flakey anyway so I would welcome an end to vampires in society far more than a rewriting of the soul issue. Too much is already set around the latter.

          I don't think they are going to make it so all vampires from now are sired and can walk in the sunlight or change into bats either. Existing vampires will probably still sire normal/standard vampires. The first vampire sired post Maloker's essence spill, the GotR girl, has produced a different vamp. That line of vamps will probably now create something different but unless they are going to go a darn sight darker in the tone I can't see it being wide reaching in those that are sired through that line, maybe just for odd ones. I would welcome a change of tone, a bit more wishverse perhaps, that is triggered by vamps in society taking off the friendly mask when they feel more at the advantage by having their daywalking cousins on the team and dimensions/magic being back. It is wide open at the moment but the souls I would say not so much.

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          • #35
            Well, no, see, you totally can. The exact same way that it is done for any other dropped mythological concept, you just... stop talking about it. Like, completely. Stop referring to them as though the distinction were immediately material, stop doing subplots about souls getting moved hither and thither, and eventually, it just turns into something that a future Anya-like character can wave off with a "yeah, I never really got that", or Oz just declaring that Buffy isn't a murder suspect.

            Of course, right now, my concern is that the upshot of all of this will be daywalking Spike and Angel, which... facepalm.
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            • #36
              Originally posted by KingofCretins View Post
              Of course, right now, my concern is that the upshot of all of this will be daywalking Spike and Angel, which... facepalm.
              Not necessarily. We only know for sure that the rules for newly sired Vamps are different, not that Vampires everywhere are operating out of a new playbook. Actually, it seems pretty likely that they aren't, given that the Zompires in the nest went poof in sunlight.
              “The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.” -- Albert Einstein

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              • #37
                I'm rather unsure what about the comics would inspire someone to think the comics want (or are remotely capable of) aiming for something more complex or more nuanced than the show's canon re:... well... anything (souls included). The comics can't even manage a complete seasonal story or character arc, remember who they killed, or maintain any continuity with themselves.

                It's basically like asking the comics to perform a triple axle-triple flip combo when they can barely manage to strap on ice skates before landing ignominiously on their butts.

                I've railed many a year about the show's failings in the soul-dichotomy format, but at the end of the day it really boils down to Joss liking leaving it a contradictory vague 'whatever.' He didn't want to pin things down when he could cast a nice 'we'll let the audience think on that one... or not if they don't want to' fog while leaving himself quick room to maneuver to 'fix' something when writing himself into corners that he creates (which he has a habt of doing from time to time). Plus much contemplation to developing an internally consistent philosophy for slaying-vampires-souls-etc. would be hard work...

                And that's Joss. The comics aren't even attempting to aim that high. They want to keep things simple. Everything is simple, (and writer/editor caveat dependent. Look at the way that Twilight is now wink-winked into being 'not really Angel.' ) THESE people are up to re-writing soul canon into something nuanced and complex? They just recreated a bastardized version of it (that had no rules or markers but was terribly convenient to salvage the mess made of Angel only without any euphemism of 'soul' being involved. Just 'he was or wasn't taken over whenever we say" No set parameters, rules or distinctions). It's just belated writer caveat, because they did NOT want to deal with the character issues they themselves raised in Season 8. We just got two separate comic book series doing as much avoidance and walk-back as they could manage. I am not left with the impression that these are folks trying to artistically challenge themselves by dealing with difficult to answer questions.

                What about the comics makes it seem likely that they are wishing to (much less capable of) developing anything more nuanced than the show? Because looking at what's been produced, I just don't see it.
                Last edited by shipperx; 11-09-13, 04:40 PM.
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                • #38
                  I have a quick question about Willow (obvious, right?). Why did they show Willow using a wand to levitate them out and not the magic she supposedly has now that magic is back? Is this supposed to mean Willow can only use magical objects to do magic or does Willow have magic as she normally has been able to use it?

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                  • #39
                    King I still think that undermines a main show arc too much for them to go there, but I see what you are saying.

                    I never really considered that it would track back like that and whatever changes occur would/could apply to any existing vampires too. I can't see why it would. Although it does fit with showing the truth of Dawn removing all facts of her to the vampyr book suddenly going blank. But I don't see what would be triggering it back historically in this case. With Dawn it went back to the original spell, it took magic to create her so the link was there. But this, why would it remove/change what was?

                    The zompire definitely went poof in the sunlight when she didn't so it is not a vamp/zomp widely applicable change, or at least not zompire affecting and/or not all of them are changed at least. I think it will be a separate and distinct breed, hence the indicative red eyes. Plus there was an awareness of difference from the new vamp with her 'you like that/I'm full of surprises' instant knowledge. I'm still not completely convinced there isn't more substantial Maloker in there than just some essence/magic/mythology revision. The 'where am I' could work just in the fledgling way but also if he had been awakened suddenly outside the well.


                    EDIT: Just seen Pointman already raised the point about the dusty zompire.

                    DorothyFan just because they needed them to get out in a group and they needed Simone to be able to stop Buffy without the others willingly leaving her behind I'd suggest. No reason to believe magic is totally the same I suppose but none to think it has to be magic object based when Willow seems to perform the spell to return Dawn without any.
                    Last edited by Stoney; 11-09-13, 04:45 PM.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by DorothyFan1 View Post
                      I have a quick question about Willow (obvious, right?). Why did they show Willow using a wand to levitate them out and not the magic she supposedly has now that magic is back? Is this supposed to mean Willow can only use magical objects to do magic or does Willow have magic as she normally has been able to use it?
                      Maybe it's like Harry Potter in that the simpler spells can be done with a wave and a command but the bigger, more complicated ones require a point of focus in order to channel all that power. Or maybe Jeanty just thought it looked cool.
                      “The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.” -- Albert Einstein

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by PointMan View Post
                        Maybe it's like Harry Potter in that the simpler spells can be done with a wave and a command but the bigger, more complicated ones require a point of focus in order to channel all that power. Or maybe Jeanty just thought it looked cool.
                        I thought that Willow didn't have any magic until the seed exploded. This is why she needed the wand to get them out of there. When the seed exploded and magic came back, they were already out and she didn't need it anymore.

                        Also, the first thought I had with the two last pages was that the girl who turned into a vampire looked like Willow a lot. She obviously knows about vampires (hence the 'you turned me?' comment) so I don't know... Hmm.

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                        • #42
                          Ha, yes, chronologically the seed had not given magic back when they started trying to get out, good point.

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                          • #43
                            BtVS 9.25 bullet points and analysis



                            * The artwork is atrocious. It’s the worst artwork I ever remember from Georges Jeanty.


                            * Slaypire Simone just beat Buffy and yet somehow a powerless Willow and Xander threaten to kill Vampire Simone.


                            * Maybe Simone made a deal with Maloker that Maloker would get to kill Buffy?


                            * It seems Slaypire Simone stabbed Buffy below the shoulder. Buffy’s immediately recovering from that isn’t as impressive as her immediately recovering from the gut wound she received in “Chosen” (7.22). Also, Willow made a makeshift tourniquet for Buffy out of Buffy’s coat.


                            * Maloker knows what Slayer blood is and seems to know its power.

                            This seems extremely odd unless Simone told it about Slayer blood. Maloker would have been created before Slayers existed.


                            * Maloker ate The Council but D’Hoffyrn is still alive.


                            * With magic back, Illyria could have gotten her powers back from Severin (or whatever power). So, she’s possibly still alive.


                            * Buffy’s suddenly a lot stronger than Slaypire Simone and then survives a massive explosion that obliterates the Deeper Well tree.

                            Essentially, with one hand she outmatches Slaypire Simone’s two hands in terms of strength and then stakes Slaypire Simone with the Scythe.

                            Buffy doesn’t even have burn marks on her.

                            What does this mean? Is Buffy a SuperBuffy now?


                            * Andrew Wells has a penthouse San Francisco apartment.


                            * Dawn being made from Buffy’s blood still doesn’t make full sense.

                            The blood should mean Dawn would have Buffy’s DNA and yet Dawn doesn’t look like Hank, Joyce, or Buffy. So, essentially, Buffy’s blood simply provided something like human DNA.


                            * Buffy obviously wants to be with Spike. She’s touching his chest again, etc. Yet Spike is perhaps actually acting offended that Buffy thanks him?

                            Spike’s more affectionate with Dawn than he is with Buffy. And seems happier to be around Dawn than he is with Buffy. Does this make any sense? Spike kisses Morgan and yet later turns her down, then begs to have sex with either Faith or Giles’ great aunts, settles for sex with Harmony and comes back and perhaps seems possibly annoyed with Buffy.

                            And what from IDW is canon? Does Spike even care that Illyria may be dead? If the stuff from IDW is canon, Spike should be shedding tears over Illyria’s demise. If canon, does Spike even know that Drusilla at least for a time was no longer in Mosiac?


                            * WHAT?! Buffy instantly forgives Xander simply because his betrayal ultimately resulted in the Seed being back which ultimately resulted in Dawn being back?

                            I have the sick feeling that Buffy’s going to forgive Angel for BtVS S8 merely because ultimately that resulted in Giles being saved from his soul having been tied to Eyghon.

                            And why would Buffy tell Xander to forgive himself for betraying her yet again?


                            * The Vampr book being empty and Willow saying, “something feels different” when doing the spell to ‘cure’ Dawn means that the rules for magic have changed.

                            I’m not sure how much I want to speculate about the ‘New Normal’ for new vampire sires.

                            This new vampire seems resistant to sunlight and is able to turn into a bat. Well, the Gem of Amarra was a magical object and magic is what allowed Dracula to turn into a bat. So, this new vampire now simply has magical powers vampires before her didn’t have.

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by MikeB View Post

                              * It seems Slaypire Simone stabbed Buffy below the shoulder. Buffy’s immediately recovering from that isn’t as impressive as her immediately recovering from the gut wound she received in “Chosen” (7.22).


                              Glad I'm not the only one whose mind kept returning to that. All the questions of "how will Buffy recover from a shoulder wound?!"... I just kept thinking "Same way she magically will-power recovered from a gut wound in Chosen..." People, it's just there to amp momentary drama not to be dealt with logically.

                              Originally posted by MikeB View Post
                              * WHAT?! Buffy instantly forgives Xander simply because his betrayal ultimately resulted in the Seed being back which ultimately resulted in Dawn being back?
                              While, both within story and without (aka meta), I have no problem with Buffy's insta-forgiveness of Xander based on their long history, the fact his 'betrayal' never actually cost anyone anything, and the fact that she screwed up pretty massively herself last year (plus it spares us needless --you know this will inevitably blow-over-- melodrama), her expressed logic for it is... odd.

                              Forgiveness based on history and humility -- great! But her expressed 'rationale', if taken remotely seriously, would have the ludicrous effect of her needing to thank Simone and Severin for their dumb@ss plan and decision to involve Xander. Seriously, Buffster, go with the history and humility reasoning, it makes a hell of a lot more sense.
                              Last edited by shipperx; 11-09-13, 10:11 PM.
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                              • #45
                                I'm really annoyed that Illyria (allegedly??) died without a Joss send-off, considering the mediocre writing for this entire season. It seems to me, from news way back when, that her death was plotted out in the beginning because Joss wanted to write her.

                                I'd been looking forward to his writing her character again and I've been disappointed with how Chambliss wrote her. Just... sigh.

                                Sucks. Universal suckage for the title, frankly.
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