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Buffy Season 9 Re-Read

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  • #46
    Originally posted by betta View Post
    The worse part of this was that... I liked Marrack.

    Another whitewashing (the other being Twangel), but this time really erasing all the really bad things Dark Willow did?
    I liked Marrak too. He seemed to be the only one who was being honest with Willow, trying to get her away from Aluwyn and her coven.

    It definitely changes everything about Willow. She's not a murderer, she now doesn't have to carry that guilt around with her. It's a totally whitewash and imo reduces the complexity of Willow's character. I really wish they hadn't done this. The could have just had Marrak as a new character, they didn't have to make him Rack.


    • #47
      Welcome To The Team - Part 1

      It's so nice to see Xander and Dawn behaving like a real couple, with him taking care of her.

      As has been mentioned in other threads, I have no idea why Billy is now living with Buffy, sleeping on the floor of her rented room. It just seems silly.

      I really like Dowling, he's one of the few new characters that I do like. But I am glad they didn't try to force him and Buffy together, even though it looks as though it's going in that direction.

      It's good to see Illyria here. I like the way Jeanty has drawn her, even though he makes all the women look very child-like, I think it works for Illyria.

      Welcome To The Team - Part 2

      Now I understand how important Billy is to the gay fans of the show and the comics, but I still don't like him here. 'I'm not just a kid, I'm also a slayer in training' . . . well, no you're not Billy. Slayers are female. I don't know if they can only be born female, and trans women can be slayers, I don't think that's been covered yet. But I'm pretty sure you can never be a slayer. (I'm even a bit annoyed that Harth gets the dreams in the future)

      It also really annoys me that even the Magic Council blames Buffy for the end of magic. It seems that when she's needed, everyone thinks the best way to get her on side is to guilt trip her, and that's getting boring!

      Absolutely love Xander and Dawn fighting. It's these character moments that are so important in BtVS. I love seeing Xander suffering with ptsd and taking it out on Dawn, who is so understanding of what Xander has been through. I also like Xander moving his eye patch to block out the noise, it's the sort of humorous bittersweet thing Xander would do.

      Really this is a momentous moment for Buffy and the comics. Buffy is now working with demons and monsters to defeat Sev and Simone, the human threat.

      Buffy immediately thinks Spike is going to help her fight Sev and Simone, but it's Koh. They and Illyria look good fighting together.

      Dawn starts to fade away. This storyline really moves me. I love Dawn and I hate the thought of her vanishing, but the way it's written is very well done, with people's memories slowly fading.


      • #48
        Welcome To The Team - Part 3

        Xander's anger and distress are heartbreaking. It must be horrible not knowing what's happening and not be able to do anything to put it right.

        We have the big reveal that Anaheed is a slayer. I like Anaheed and I'm glad she's being used more, but it's such a waste to pair her with Billy. I wonder if they were hoping for some sort of spin-off.

        I like that Buffy wants to help the Magic Council and Illyria, even if it is out of guilt for destroying the seed. But it does make me wonder how Buffy is going to feel once she finds out about Frangellyria in S12

        Welcome To The Team - Part 4

        It makes me laugh that here Illyria says 'Under the best of circumstances, undoing the past could lead to a minor apocalype' - when we know that's exactly what she did with Angel in S11, just kept jumping from time to time.

        Billy keeps whining about not being a slayer, like it's news to him. Anaheed saves his life and he's angry at her, which is just jealousy of course, because she's what he wishes to be.

        I wish I cared about Illyria or Billy or Anaheed, but I don't. What I care about is Dawn fading away and Xander not coping. That story has emotion and depth and it's about characters we know and love. Everything else seems like a waste of time.

        It breaks my heart when Buffy realises Dawn is fading away because she destroyed the seed. I just want to hug her and tell her that she didn't have any other choice! Xander punching the wall and blaming Buffy is just brilliant. Last year Xander was her second in command and her best friend, and now they've just moved so far apart and the thought of losing Dawn has made him turn against his once best friend. I think it's great writing, and along with the robot-abortion storyline, is the most powerful in the season.

        - - - Updated - - -

        The Watcher

        I adore this issue. We finally learn what happened after the seed was destroyed. We see Giles' dead body and Angel doesn't remember that he was Twilight, and Xander just loses it and tries to beat him to death. It's only that Buffy stops him that Angel survives as Xander was going to stake him.

        This is the first time we are told how important the Vampyr book is, because Severin and Simone want it badly.

        I have every sympathy with Xander for betraying Buffy. He's in an emotional crisis, his girlfriend is 'dying' and he is so full of a rage that's been with him at least since Giles was killed.


        • #49
          The Core - Part 1

          It's here that Buffy discovers the Vampyr book is important, because Severin and Simone want it. Xander plays double agent very well. He gives Buffy just enough truth to cover up what he's really doing.

          Xander is so blunt with Dawn, telling her she soon won't be here. His honesty to Dawn is pretty cruel, but I understand he's suffering and can't help himself.

          Billy's there, 'I'm a full service slayer' . . . no you're not Billy, not by a long shot.

          Willow is still annoying me 'I've not see you so confident since, well, before you destroyed the seed' - she's so damn judgemental and I'm fed up of her constantly blaming Buffy. I'm glad she apologises, but it just feels like too little too late.

          It's great to have Spike back. He's back for Dawn, which is the important thing, he's not here for Buffy and doesn't go chasing after her to the Deeper Well.

          The Core - Part 2

          Buffy tells us that fighting the Magic Council is the biggest battle she's fought since destroying the Seed, and she's using the scythe again. She's slowly coming back to herself.

          Strange how Andrew is baking cookies. Cookies are such a big part of this show

          It's so good to see Spike and Dawn together. He's there with her, protecting her as he did in S6 . . .

          Dawn - You can make it stop?

          Spike - No. But I can take awasy some fo the scare

          Dawn - How?

          Spike - By telling you a story. About a person who can always pull me out of a funk

          Dawn - Who?

          Spike - You

          That just brings a lump to my throat.

          The Core - Part 3

          There is a beautiful drawing of Fred/Illyria by Phil Noto. It's gorgeous.

          I appreciated that Willow followed Buffy into the Deeper Well without a second thought. If i were in a good mood I'd say that was about loyalty and love, but I can't help but think this is another way for Willow to gain more power for herself. Buffy feels the same way too and admits she was hurt that Willow left her when she needed him most. Willow says she won't let Buffy down, she'll find the magic to cure Dawn. It's really nice to see the two of them behave like true friends again.

          Dawn saying she doesn't want to die, as she's fading away, is heartbreaking. Xander sounds so brave and loving talking to her.

          The Core - Part 4

          Simone has a valid point, no one asked if she wanted to be a slayer. But we know a lot of slayers were called but didn't join the army or use their powers. Simone always had a choice on if or how to use the powers she was given.

          Xander is great here, going against a vamped Simone and he's the only one who remembers Dawn's name. Then we see an empty sofa where Dawn should have been sitting.

          Willow is to birth a new seed of magic. but it is going to take a very long time, which they don't have.

          Illyria says ' Even at the height of my power, I was unable to alter the past' - is that true? What does that mean for Angel S11, if anything? Was it only Angel that changed the past, not Illyria?

          The Core - Part 5

          The Core has to be one of the most exciting arcs in S9, as well as being the most emotional. There's so much going on. Simone has wounded Buffy. The scoobies are trapped in the Deeper Well along with Koh. Maloker is going to kill them. Illyria is with Severin, trying to stop him destroying the world before the scoobies can make their escape. And there is some cheesy banter which I enjoyed;

          Maloker - Slayer Blood . . .

          Buffy - . . . Demon Breath

          Severin transfers all this power into the seed. He and Illyria sacrifice themselves to bring back magic. Just as it seems Buffy is going to escape, Simone grabs her and drags her back into the Well. Buffy kills Simone. Yay! It's a very satisfying death. The Deeper Well explodes. And Buffy crawls out of it. Also very satisfying.

          Buffy has to give her blood to help recreate Dawn. It isn't just about the magic, there has to be a physical component too.

          Buffy and Spike talk, she touches him and thanks him for being here for Dawn.

          Buffy forgives Xander, and there's a lovely panel of Xander stood alone on the roof, contemplating what he's done.

          Shock! The Vampyr book is empty! What could this mean?!

          Then we see Vickie, recently turned, able to stand in the sunlight and turn into a bat. The return of magic has bought some massive changes to the world.

          The Core is possibly the best arc of S9 and it's a great way to end the season. Unfortunately there is a Billy story Love v's Life that follows, but I am choosing to ignore it. It includes Billy having Slayer dreams which may be a foreshadowing of Harth Fray, but I'd rather finish the Season with the Vampyr book and the return of magic.


          • #50

            Freefall: I'm not too fond of this season-opening. I don't like that Buffy doesn't know who she slept with, and I get that she's in a bad place because of what happened with The Seed of Wonder and Giles, but she's acting like a teenager who went to her first party. However, her behavior is probably influenced since Andrew put a roofie in her drink, as we learn later. The fact that she doesn't know if she slept with Xander or Riley or anyone else is just awful.
            Her roommates seem nice.

            Demon extorting Buffy to pay student loans is funny. The artwork here is fantastic with the expressions.

            Willow looks defeated, maybe she's even envious of Buffy. She lost all her powers while Buffy gets to keep all of hers. I think she hates feeling weak. She identifies herself through her powers, and she's feeling lost without them and doesn't know what to do next. She doesn't want to be Willow who's just good with computers again.

            Severin is an interesting character, and he has fascinating power, so him working for Simone doesn't make much sense because he seems more powerful than her.

            Vampires are made famous by television and are being romanticized. No wonder so many people want to become one.

            In Space No One Can Hear You Slay: I liked this issue, a little homage to Alien. Spaceship with bugs doesn't seem like a very BtVS thing, but I didn't mind it in s8 and don't mind in it s9. Spike and the bugs are always fun.

            Slayer, Interrupted: Apparently, Buffy doesn't have any slayer friends left except Kennedy. The dreams have more meaning on the reread and can be interpreted better now when I know what's following. Oh, and Buffy is pregnant, maybe it's Xander's!

            On Your Own: Nikki is the only slayer who we know of that was pregnant. Council seems cruel to put her through cruciamentum when she's pregnant, but they don't deviate from their rules.

            Spike sure likes big entrances.
            Interestingly, Robin had a closer relationship with his mother's watcher than her.
            I like Dowling. He and Spike would make a great team against zompires.

            The whole Buffy is a robot thing, is not my favorite part of s9. As much as I like the buffybot, I think one time was enough. I know it's not the same bot, but nevertheless.

            Apart (of Me): I don't get what Simone's motive is? So she's stronger than an average human, does she plan on kicking everyone around now?

            When Buffy sees what kind of life Andrew planned for the other Buffy, she realizes she's longing for this kind of life. A part of Buffy wants a life with a beautiful house and a baby, but she also wants to be the slayer, and she knows the two don't mix.

            Buffy in her daydream in s8 is imagining a conversation with Spike, she tells him he's her dark place, but Spike in s9 doesn't want to be Buffy's dark place anymore. He wants to be her normal life, not just someone she relies on when things are bad. This reminded me of s6 when he wanted her to acknowledge him to her friends.

            I don't believe Buffy doesn't know how Spike feels about her, after everything that happened in s7. What other reason would he have to stay? Perhaps Buffy is ignorant about Spike's feelings because he represents her darkest feelings and desires. He doesn't seem like normal life to her. She could be afraid that things with Spike will go the same way as in s6.

            The Spuffy scenes here are so beautiful, and I love the colors. My heart breaks at the panels with Spike leaving, but it's the right thing for him to do. Like many times before, Buffy can't express her feelings, and what she wants, so she stays silent for the most part. She wants Spike to stay but doesn't find the words to ask him.

            What does Buffy touching her belly mean? I may read too much into this, but it seems like she's saying goodbye to the possibility of her being a mother and chooses to be a slayer first. I'm probably wrong here.

            Guarded: I loved Kennedy in this arc. It's good to see that the end of magic didn't affect her much, and she figured out how to continue to use her slayer powers and make a living out of it. The arc is action-packed, and it seems fitting.

            Billy the Vampire Slayer: I don't have much to say about this one. It's a nice story, but nothing new and exciting. We already saw that ordinary people could slay vampires too, even though they have to be more careful and have more training.

            Wonderland: The art is beautiful, and the story is ok. I like that Willow is trying to bring magic back on her own, but this arc was too long for me, and it's started to drag somewhere in the middle. I'm not a fan of resurrecting every bad guy from the show, leave them dead, and come up with someone new.

            Welcome to the Team: Dowling is cute, but I'm glad he and Buffy don't get very far in a romantic way.

            Dawn is sick, and Xander doesn't know how to help her. He feels helpless because he doesn't know what's wrong with her, and he seems devastated at the thought of losing her.

            We find out Anaheed is a slayer, which I forgot since my first read. Still don't care much about Billy. He's, and Anaheed's parts of this arc are the most boring for me.

            I love Severin's new hair color.

            Xander blames Buffy for what's happening to Dawn. They are all starting to get on my nerves, blaming her. It's not like she had all the time in the world to think about all the consequences. It's easy to judge when you're not the one making difficult decisions.

            The Watcher: It's great that Willow is back with the brand new looking scythe. Xander doesn't want to feel helpless anymore, so he makes a deal with Simone and Severin.

            The Core: Spike came back for Dawn, not Buffy this time, and I love the fact that he's trying everything to remind her about who she is. What's with Andrew and cookies? It's so sad to see Dawn fading from everyone's memories.

            I find Simone's plan to turn herself into a slaypire lame. What advantages does she get? She can't go out in the daylight anymore. With Maloker's blood, she's stronger, but if she didn't want to be a slayer in the first place, why would she want to be a slaypire? We see some slayer turning away from the slaying, why didn't she do the same?

            The ending of S9 is one of my favorites of all seasons, including the show's. The action in The Deeper Well is done really well. The conversation between Illyria and Severin and their sacrifice was so good in the end. I was thrilled seeing Buffy finally stake Simone.

            Dawn is back and is so good to see everyone happy in the end. Xander is feeling guilty for making a deal with Simone and Severin, but Buffy is just glad she has her sister back.

            The return of magic will bring some changes to the world.


            • #51
              Originally posted by redtent View Post
              I don't believe Buffy doesn't know how Spike feels about her, after everything that happened in s7. What other reason would he have to stay? Perhaps Buffy is ignorant about Spike's feelings because he represents her darkest feelings and desires. He doesn't seem like normal life to her. She could be afraid that things with Spike will go the same way as in s6.[/FONT][/COLOR]

              The Spuffy scenes here are so beautiful, and I love the colors. My heart breaks at the panels with Spike leaving, but it's the right thing for him to do. Like many times before, Buffy can't express her feelings, and what she wants, so she stays silent for the most part. She wants Spike to stay but doesn't find the words to ask him.
              As usual I'll emphasise it is a while since I read these but I have to say I found S9 a really believable continuation for Buffy and Spike where they are both continuously seeming to try to feel out the other's feelings and responses. They are tentative and unsure and after such a long time apart since S7, which included the whole awkwardness of Spike not letting Buffy know of his return and then the events at the end of S8, it makes a great deal of sense to me. So whilst I'd question Buffy not even considering the possibility Spike might still love her, I can understand why she wouldn't feel certain and would ask him. And yes, it does make sense for Spike to leave when he does. After holding himself slightly distant all season, escaping to the bugship and meeting on the fire escape etc, his feeling he is still kept as her dark place makes sense. But he is partly creating it himself of course, and it isn't how Buffy actually feels I don't think, not with all its layers anyway(!). So the progression after his confession when he does then return but now looking to integrate himself more all flows really well for me moving on from how it went and then ends at this point in S9. As I recall anyway.


              • redtent
                redtent commented
                Editing a comment
                These are some great points. Now I have to think about them some more.

            • #52
              Just finished a re-read. I really hate how Illyria is written. Simone is a boring "Big Bad". The whole "Evil Slayer" thing was done way better with Faith back in "Season 3". Buffy feels kind of immature. The Spike and Dawn scenes in the final story arc were a nice callback to their friendship on the show. Willow's really annoying in the first story arc going on and on about the damn seed. Pregnant Buffybot is still really stupid.
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