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  • Season 8 Retrospective

    Okay, there's been a lot of heated, drastic, and somewhat loony debate (Twilight being a female? ) going on as of late in coherency with season 8. I think it's important though, and I'm glad to see everyone being so active in talking about season 8 and addressing our opinions. I think it's also important to address our concerns though, and rather than discuss what we think will happen, how will it affect us as individual readers. I'm just going to throw out some questions for everyone to answer. I know we've had a few of these threads before, but considering how many "WHO IZ DA TWILIGHTS?" threads we now have, I think it'd be cool to get our opinions on season 8 as a whole out in the air.

    1. What is your opinion of season 8? What kind of season is it shaping to be, in your opinion?


    2. Will Twilight's identity, or the outcome of the season change your opinion about reading season 9? Is your loyalty to season 8 based on the outcome?

    In other words, do you feel like you've gotten yourself wrapped up in a story that you feel doomed to not enjoy, but have put too much energy to stop reading at this point? Those who do, please speak now.


    3. Do you think season 8 has come any close to the show, at all? Any particular moments of the season that grab you like the show did? Any artwork that really impressed you, something equivalent to a Joss directed episode?

    4. Are you a fan of Twilight? Is he a cool villain, in your opinion?


    5. Just for kicks and giggles, for those who choose to pave their own canon path, does a disappointed story lead to you erasing season 8 from your mind?


    6. Do you think Joss is as invested into the story as he was with the show?

    7. Do you believe any main characters will die this season? If so, who?
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  • #2
    At the moment I hope that Twilight turns out to be a woman simply because people call it loony.

    1. What is your opinion of season 8? What kind of season is it shaping to be, in your opinion?
    It all depends on what is going to happen now. The start was pretty slow, and now it's time to answer the questions and to look if there are enough hints. Is it a beautifully planned season, or is it a freaking mess?

    2. Will Twilight's identity, or the outcome of the season change your opinion about reading season 9? Is your loyalty to season 8 based on the outcome?
    I stopped reading season 8 because it bored me and it's too expensive, but I like to follow the story by reading previews/reviews. And I'll probably keep on doing that.

    But yes, I expect a lot from season 8 and if Twilight turns out to be nothing but a cheap emotional punch ... I'll certainly not like it. Especially if the price is a very damaged character.

    In other words, do you feel like you've gotten yourself wrapped up in a story that you feel doomed to not enjoy, but have put too much energy to stop reading at this point? Those who do, please speak now.
    Well I already answered this, I stopped reading it because it all goes too slow. But I like to follow the story.

    3. Do you think season 8 has come any close to the show, at all? Any particular moments of the season that grab you like the show did? Any artwork that really impressed you, something equivalent to a Joss directed episode?
    With the exception of BVK's arc, season 8 let me down as a comic book. I'm no comic reader, but ATF could grap me while the season 8 comics bore me. The story can still be fantastic, but the character feel off and I can't connect with them. They feel different. And because the characters were for me the most important part of the show, it can't live up to it. Although season 8 has a much better story than the most TV seasons, and I hope for season 8 that it will never be as bad as season 6 & 7.


    4. Are you a fan of Twilight? Is he a cool villain, in your opinion?
    The cool thing is that you don't know who it is and maybe after the reveal he will become much better. But Twilight is pretty lame, no personality ... no great lines. Not even an epic evil plan, I want a confusing villain like Holtz and Jasmine or one that loves to be evil like Lilah, Angelus or the Mayor. Twilight seems to be really flat.

    5. Just for kicks and giggles, for those who choose to pave their own canon path, does a disappointed story lead to you erasing season 8 from your mind?
    Not sure if that's possible. I do hope if Joss decided to be lame and make Angel the bad guy simply because he could do that and Angel being evil is so cool (not). I hope that I still can enjoy the stories IDW is going to tell with him, because that looks good!

    6. Do you think Joss is as invested into the story as he was with the show?
    Well I think it's different, but he is certainly more creative than with season 7.

    7. Do you believe any main characters will die this season? If so, who?
    I'm not sure, where Joss has no trouble killing off every character on ATS, he is annoyingly protective of the BtVS main characters, even if he has no decent story for them he keeps them. It would certainly shock me if one of the core-4 or Dawn would go. But I expect some victims, maybe Oz, Kennedy or Satsu.

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    • #3
      1. What is your opinion of season 8? What kind of season is it shaping to be, in your opinion?


      Mixed -- sometimes I'm enthusiastic, sometimes worried.


      2. Will Twilight's identity, or the outcome of the season change your opinion about reading season 9? Is your loyalty to season 8 based on the outcome?

      In other words, do you feel like you've gotten yourself wrapped up in a story that you feel doomed to not enjoy, but have put too much energy to stop reading at this point? Those who do, please speak now.


      If the story goes off the rails, I'll stop. Can't define off the rails ahead of time, but I'll know it when I see it.

      3. Do you think season 8 has come any close to the show, at all? Any particular moments of the season that grab you like the show did? Any artwork that really impressed you, something equivalent to a Joss directed episode?

      Not a comic reader, therefore can't judge the art and will never be as impacted as by the show.

      4. Are you a fan of Twilight? Is he a cool villain, in your opinion?

      No. No. Though that could change if we ever find out what he's really about and who he really is.


      5. Just for kicks and giggles, for those who choose to pave their own canon path, does a disappointed story lead to you erasing season 8 from your mind?


      I haven't had too much trouble erasing AtF from my mind -- but Whedon didn't write it, and was clearly distancing himself from it. It'd be harder for me to write off Whedon's continuation. But I expect the fact that the shows were fairly complete means I have an emotional harbor if something happens in the story I can't live with or if the story goes off the rails.

      6. Do you think Joss is as invested into the story as he was with the show?

      No.


      7. Do you believe any main characters will die this season? If so, who?
      [/QUOTE]

      Yes. Dawn. Alternate candidates: Giles or Xander. Remote possibility: Angel or Spike. Joss is taking bigger risks and this is going to make us angry and upset, etc. I'm hoping that Oz is safe just because Joss knows he's become a cliche about killing off happy people and letting him live would be an easy way to confound expectations. Still, I think Dawn's a goner. They've foreshadowed it enough.
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      • #4
        1. What is your opinion of season 8? What kind of season is it shaping to be, in your opinion?
        So far, I think it's been very impressive, top 5 season at least, potential to be one of the best. It's had flaws, certain things that they've fallen into before -- particularly, the vampires in public changes have been lost, and are basically being told to us in exposition at this point, and that's a lot like what we had happen in Season 7 as the threat to the Potentials grew.

        2. Will Twilight's identity, or the outcome of the season change your opinion about reading season 9? Is your loyalty to season 8 based on the outcome?
        "Loyalty" is a null concept here -- it's the Buffy story, and I want the story. Twilight's identity, and the traitor's if different, will effect my view of the season, but it would be the difference between A and C pretty much.

        3. Do you think season 8 has come any close to the show, at all? Any particular moments of the season that grab you like the show did? Any artwork that really impressed you, something equivalent to a Joss directed episode?
        I think it's very much like the televised seasons, just evolving. Impressive art would include the last fight between Faith and Genevieve and Faith's eyes, Renee dying, and the entire two page rooftop scene in 8.15 when Xander kills Toru and Buffy goes to him.

        4. Are you a fan of Twilight? Is he a cool villain, in your opinion?
        Easily, easily, easily one of the best villains they've had -- he manages to project menace and brilliance. They managed to distill the villainous personal qualities of an Angelus or Wilkins and give them the absolute physical authority of Glory or Caleb.

        6. Do you think Joss is as invested into the story as he was with the show?
        He might be *more* invested. After all, the show came to him and he decided to take it over. He brought Season 8 to the table, he had something he wanted to say. The televised seasons were opportunity, the comic is a plan.

        7. Do you believe any main characters will die this season? If so, who?
        Oz. Possibly Faith. I don't know if any of the Core 4 (either version) are in danger, but I can't rule it out. I do think Dawn is safe, though -- if you lose Dawn, you lose Buffy in much the same way that you lose Angel if you lose Connor.
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        • #5
          1. What is your opinion of season 8? What kind of season is it shaping to be, in your opinion?


          Mixed, but often not keen, Find myself laughing a lot.


          2. Will Twilight's identity, or the outcome of the season change your opinion about reading season 9? Is your loyalty to season 8 based on the outcome?

          In other words, do you feel like you've gotten yourself wrapped up in a story that you feel doomed to not enjoy, but have put too much energy to stop reading at this point? Those who do, please speak now.


          God only knows. I mean can it get worse? Hmm, come to think of it don't answer that...

          3. Do you think season 8 has come any close to the show, at all? Any particular moments of the season that grab you like the show did? Any artwork that really impressed you, something equivalent to a Joss directed episode?

          The art on the whole has been rather average bordering on mediocre in places imo. Not being a huge fan of Jeanty doesn't help matters of course. Half the time the only reason it still seems worth getting these comics is for Chen's gorgeous covers. As to being at all like the TV show. No, not really. 'Wolves at the gate' had some nice moments. but thats about it for me I'm afraid.

          4. Are you a fan of Twilight? Is he a cool villain, in your opinion?

          No, not really, but we still know so very little about him so far, don't we. Maybe that will change when we actually see what he's about.


          5. Just for kicks and giggles, for those who choose to pave their own canon path, does a disappointed story lead to you erasing season 8 from your mind?


          Wait, there's a what now?

          6. Do you think Joss is as invested into the story as he was with the show?

          No, but then creating a live action show takes more out of someone. Far more then when overseeing a comic book series imo.


          7. Do you believe any main characters will die this season? If so, who?


          Maybe Giles, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed for Andrew.
          Last edited by sueworld; 09-08-09, 10:21 PM.

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          • #6
            Originally Posted by Maggie
            I haven't had too much trouble erasing AtF from my mind -- but Whedon didn't write it, and was clearly distancing himself from it. It'd be harder for me to write off Whedon's continuation. But I expect the fact that the shows were fairly complete means I have an emotional harbor if something happens in the story I can't live with or if the story goes off the rails.
            But I don't understand, what's the point of pretending AtF didn't happen, when it did? What did you not like about AtF?

            To be fair to the comic, if this was season 8 in televised form, would you be just as harsh? I mean, what could possibly happen this season that would qualify for "going off the rail" that hasn't before? Are you just losing faith in the Buffyverse alone? That would make things so much easier for me to digest.
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            • #7
              1. What is your opinion of season 8? What kind of season is it shaping to be, in your opinion?

              Something new that wasn't possible on the tv show. For better or for worse.
              I actually love comics, but I've just read many better comics than S8 while I've barely ever seen a better tv show than Buffy.


              2. Will Twilight's identity, or the outcome of the season change your opinion about reading season 9? Is your loyalty to season 8 based on the outcome?

              In other words, do you feel like you've gotten yourself wrapped up in a story that you feel doomed to not enjoy, but have put too much energy to stop reading at this point? Those who do, please speak now.


              Yes, this season is strongly relying on it's finish. Far stronger than any Buffy season before that did. It's building towards a big reveal, similar to Neon Genesis Evangelion, Babylon 5 or BSG. Knowing Joss I'm placing him with B5 and don't expect a botch of NGE or BSG dimensions (that would translate to Twilight is an Angel of God). But yes, the ending would have to potential to ruin it for me, I just don't think it will.

              3. Do you think season 8 has come any close to the show, at all? Any particular moments of the season that grab you like the show did? Any artwork that really impressed you, something equivalent to a Joss directed episode?

              There are some decent panels by Jeanty, Usually whole body closeups like at the very beginning. Many important scences, that where meant to be moving lacked visually though. The Fray arc had great action and visual drama, but Jeanty...Renees death for example. It just didn't do the trick (not compared to say Jerry's death in After the Fall)

              4. Are you a fan of Twilight? Is he a cool villain, in your opinion?

              So far, no, could change with the reveal. But so far he's just a cold, humorless guy with a mask. Could be Adam.


              5. Just for kicks and giggles, for those who choose to pave their own canon path, does a disappointed story lead to you erasing season 8 from your mind?


              No, I might chose to set fanfiction before it or ignoring or altering it. But I'd not need to erase it from my memory.

              6. Do you think Joss is as invested into the story as he was with the show?

              No. Or rather I think he'd like to do very different things now and is not invested in saving the status quo of the show. Which is fine by me.


              7. Do you believe any main characters will die this season? If so, who?
              [/QUOTE]

              Yes, no real idea who though. If a future story is involved I'd think Angel and Spike have been killed at some point along the way, if they ever appear. Other contenders are Riley, Oz, Xander and Dawn and Giles...urgh I just don't want any of them to die.

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              • #8
                1. What is your opinion of season 8? What kind of season is it shaping to be, in your opinion?


                A very good one. I've thoroughly enjoyed it and it's managed to keep me entertained for over 2 years now. Gotta mean something right? I don’t know where the Btvs fandom would be right now if we didn’t have new material. I can't even remember what it was like not to have new Buffy coming out.

                I found it flawless up until the Predators and Prey arc and it hit a bumpy ride there but what season doesn't have its issues? (ok besides s3 IMO) Retreat has been fantastic so far and I loved Always Darkest from last month.


                2. Will Twilight's identity, or the outcome of the season change your opinion about reading season 9? Is your loyalty to season 8 based on the outcome?


                Nope.

                My investment in the season has never been about Twilight's identity, first and foremost it's about Buffy and then the secondary characters. I think not knowing who the Big Bad is just gave the season something a little extra and made it a little more tense. That’s smart storytelling but it’s not the centre of the season for me and I don’t think it was ever intended to be.

                3. Do you think season 8 has come any close to the show, at all? Any particular moments of the season that grab you like the show did? Any artwork that really impressed you, something equivalent to a Joss directed episode?

                I think it's been far more creative and energised than all of season 7 and a lot of season 6. If it was on TV I think it would easily be one of my favourite Btvs seasons. They’ve took chances with Buffy’s character and I think there’s a lot more effort been placed into symbolism, mysteries, foreshadowing ect than there was in the later seasons of the show. I haven’t had this much stuff to think over since at least season five. It will greatly depend on the pay-off though.

                In regards to the art, I loved every single panel of A Beautiful Sunset. I think that issue was hauntingly beautiful.

                4. Are you a fan of Twilight? Is he a cool villain, in your opinion?

                Yup. I've enjoyed him as a villain because I think he looks badass and I like that he actually wants to protect the world. It's the right time to show who's underneath the mask though, he could become a bore if he stayed this way much longer. I loved him in ABS.


                5. Just for kicks and giggles, for those who choose to pave their own canon path, does a disappointed story lead to you erasing season 8 from your mind?


                Eh, no. I know it's canon and I've read it, I can't erase that from my mind. I wish I could erase a lot of s7 but I can't. It is canon and if I choose to follow a canon story I take the good and the bad, that's just life.

                6. Do you think Joss is as invested into the story as he was with the show?

                Most certainly, more so even. After all this is his baby more than anybody else’s and is far more his work than a collaborative effort. Obviously other writers have pitched ideas and written the arcs but Joss created this entire thing by himself. So far he's also written far more than he would for any other season.


                7. Do you believe any main characters will die this season? If so, who?


                I have a feeling they might.
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Nostalgia View Post
                  But I don't understand, what's the point of pretending AtF didn't happen, when it did? What did you not like about AtF?
                  Too linear and flat... not Whedonesque at all. And the reason I don't need to take it on board is that Whedon said we shouldn't think of it as season 6 because it doesn't have the level of involvement from him that a proper continuation like season 8 has.

                  To be fair to the comic, if this was season 8 in televised form, would you be just as harsh? I mean, what could possibly happen this season that would qualify for "going off the rail" that hasn't before? Are you just losing faith in the Buffyverse alone? That would make things so much easier for me to digest.
                  I was harsh? Compared to the community I call home (LJ) I'm a gung ho cheerleader for the project. In point of fact, none of my real life Buffy fan friends have cottoned to the comics, despite the fact that many began with high hopes. So the disenchantment that I experience around me is not limited to LJ -- it's all over my life. I'm a bucking all the trends in my world.

                  That said, the medium change matters a lot more than people here want to admit. You lose the actors. I think Joss is great. I think he's greater when he has other smart people to bounce off of -- which is what happens in a writer's room, and much less so in this process. The lack of space means that things are much more elliptical than on the show. etc. etc. I still think it will add up. But when people say they can't connect with the characters and so on, I get where they are coming from. If Allie is to be believed (and I hope he's not), we don't even need an explanation of how BtVS evolved into BtBR -- and skipping character development that way is NOT the way the show worked, but may well be appropriate to how comics work. Depending on what you thought was important about the show, the comics might or might not count. For me character development and history was hugely important. If we don't get more of that, I won't be able to treat it seriously as a continuation of the series because it wouldn't be

                  King, your argument about why it can't be Dawn is exactly why I think it very well could be. Buffy herself is going to be dramatically changed by the end of the series, and losing Dawn would be as good a way to accomplish that as any other. Throw in all the foreshadowing and I'd say it's more likely than not. I think it's a mistake to think in terms of what's safe and what's not safe, given that we're told that things will be radically different at the end of season 8.
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                  • #10
                    In "After the Fall" interviews, they are pretty blunt that they knew they would have to move immediately on the rewind thing after Connor died because they know the audience would suspect something was weird. Because it's true -- if Connor is killed, there's no saving Angel as the hero, he'd never recover.

                    That reasoning applies just as seamlessly to Buffy and Dawn -- they they killed off Dawn, Buffy would never come back from that. I don't see why Joss would be okay with it in her case but not in Angel's, and we know explicitly that he and Lynch knew that they couldn't go through with that with him.
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by KingofCretins View Post
                      In "After the Fall" interviews, they are pretty blunt that they knew they would have to move immediately on the rewind thing after Connor died because they know the audience would suspect something was weird. Because it's true -- if Connor is killed, there's no saving Angel as the hero, he'd never recover.

                      That reasoning applies just as seamlessly to Buffy and Dawn -- they they killed off Dawn, Buffy would never come back from that. I don't see why Joss would be okay with it in her case but not in Angel's, and we know explicitly that he and Lynch knew that they couldn't go through with that with him.
                      But one of the big reasons Lynch is a weaker writer is precisely because he would never violate the "rules". Joss will. He sent Lynch's original treatment back and told him he wasn't taking enough risks. So Lynch's sensibility about not upsetting fans has zero predictive power about what Joss would do. (Joss himself has said that aside from the initial outline and feedback he had nothing to do with AtF -- so the "let's not let Connor stay dead" gig came from Lynch, who wouldn't offend a fly if he could help it). Read Allie's latest interview for the bit about Joss taking advantage of the new medium to take even bigger chances. Not saying it has to be Dawn -- but citing conventional rules is just not an argument in this case, IMO.
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                      • #12
                        But one of the big reasons Lynch is a weaker writer is precisely because he would never violate the "rules". Joss will. He sent Lynch's original treatment back and told him he wasn't taking enough risks. So Lynch's sensibility about not upsetting fans has zero predictive power about what Joss would do. (Joss himself has said that aside from the initial outline and feedback he had nothing to do with AtF -- so the "let's not let Connor stay dead" gig came from Lynch, who wouldn't offend a fly if he could help it). Read Allie's latest interview for the bit about Joss taking advantage of the new medium to take even bigger chances. Not saying it has to be Dawn -- but citing conventional rules is just not an argument in this case, IMO.
                        I don't know where you're getting this, but Joss never boldly implied that he was that distanced from AtF. Anything with his association is canon. He openly said it is canon, he's been trademarked in the story, it is canon. It IS what happened. The season 6 remark was to make a statement about the length and how it wasn't to capture an entire season, more-so be a continuation to finish up the story. It's the movie that never was made.
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                        • #13
                          You just proved my point -- Joss riskier revision still stopped short of killing Connor, didn't it? I don't think there's anything good that comes out of killing Dawn unless the idea of Buffy as permanently broken actually appeals.
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                          • #14
                            1. What is your opinion of season 8? What kind of season is it shaping to be, in your opinion?

                            I tend to think of this season as the weakest in Buffy's history to date. The emphasis is very heavy on symbolism, themes, and characters doing weird things with no real explanation. The real strength of Buffy, in the past, was in the plotlines and characterization, and in the excellent storylines. In the comic, the story is less about the characters than the themes that they're acting out, with a lot of pop culture references substituted for dialogue. In the past, the emphasis was on why the characters were doing what they were doing, and on placing it logically within an emotional and developmental arc. You might have a theme, but it tied into the characters' development. In the comics, the emphasis is on the Big!Reveal on the why and wherefore for all the inexplicable actions, or to tie into the morality theme of the month, to the detriment of the storyline, I believe.

                            Joss can have all the big questions he wants - Is Buffy going bad? Is Xander the mole? Is Willow going bad? Why is Willow cheating? Will we ever get a real status update on Spike and Angel, or just endless fanteasing? Who is Twilight? Who is the big betrayer? Why is Buffy continually acting like an idiot? Where did things really start to go wrong? Why did Buffy shun Giles for so long? Questions that go on for so long without any resolution are not a good substitute for actual plotline.

                            2. Will Twilight's identity, or the outcome of the season change your opinion about reading season 9? Is your loyalty to season 8 based on the outcome?

                            No, I don't think the Big!Reveal of Twilight will change my opinion. My thought on Season Eight is that it's like watching a trainwreck - so awful, yet you can't stop looking. Whoever Twilight actually is will just be another exploding hunk of fusellage.

                            3. Do you think season 8 has come any close to the show, at all? Any particular moments of the season that grab you like the show did? Any artwork that really impressed you, something equivalent to a Joss directed episode?

                            No. If the two were to spar in an arena, I have to say that the show would stomp the comic in a few seconds flat. It's very hard to care about the characters when you don't understand any of their motivations, unless you count yelling at the characters to stop being so darn stupid. The art is also spectacularly bad in many cases - over 20 comics later, and Andrew looks like a 40-year-old man.

                            4. Are you a fan of Twilight? Is he a cool villain, in your opinion?

                            I define as good villain as someone you can't wait for to get what's coming to them, or someone you can't wait to see again. In Season Two, we had the well-developed and enjoyable scenes of villans Drusilla, Spike, and Angelus. You could see the individual strengths and weaknesses of each - you knew that Spike would call off an entire attack for the sake of Drusilla, that Angelus was more about breaking his assault victims down mentally, that Drusilla would always respond to her maker first - and that Spike deeply resented it. In Season Three, the Big Bad of the Mayor was compounded by how he drew Faith over to "the Dark Side" and the genuine affection he really seemed to have for her. Just looking at his checklist for the day - fitting in a visit with Boy Scouts while becoming invincible - you knew he was going to be an enjoyable villain.
                            Glory started out as a fairly flat villain in Season Five, but became more interesting as things progressed - you learned about her, about her human connection through Ben, about her sadistic glee at sucking minds when she got to Tara. The Season Six Troika was an annoying, but interesting bunch - one was flat-out wicked and frustrated at being so powerless, two wanted to be cool - one ultimately came back to the side of good, betraying the other two, and the other came back to the side of good through a great deal of posturing before really coming over to good.

                            All these villains, they have backstory, and reactions, and real problems. We know so little about Twilight, except that he's probably someone we know, knows a good deal about Buffy's weaknesses, and is running rings around her in the intelligence and strategy arena. A big problem with the series is setting up a Big!Reveal on Twilight, instead of bringing his or her character to light. Instead of dialogue that sheds actual light on the villain's motivations and character, we've got stale dialogue, mostly orders, minutely examined for clues on who the speaker could be. In a season where motivations don't really seem to matter, this exercise is pointless.

                            5. Just for kicks and giggles, for those who choose to pave their own canon path, does a disappointed story lead to you erasing season 8 from your mind?

                            Yes. Indeed, it leads to a bit of brain-bleaching.

                            6. Do you think Joss is as invested into the story as he was with the show?

                            Not at all. With Buffy the show, Joss was into character-building, motivation, backstory, the works. In the comics, he just has them do whatever will draw the biggest OMG reaction. Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if the whole comic effort was part of a scientific experiment to test the reactions of a fandom base online.

                            7. Do you believe any main characters will die this season? If so, who?

                            Giles. Our favorite Watcher might as well don a red wool sweater. The inexplicable reunion with Buffy, after months of coldness? Reminds me of Tara's inexplicable reunion with Willow right before her death, Anya's reunion with Xander before her death, Fred's sudden love for Wesley right before her death, Serenity's reunion with Book before his death - Joss kind of has a pattern, you know...

                            She's not exactly a main character, but I wouldn't mind seeing Sat-Mary-sue offed. Perfect in every possible way - the best fighter, wise leader, voice of logic and reason, never gets truly angry when her rights are stepped on, faults herself for what isn't her fault - she's just plain annoying. Killing her off and replacing her with a Slayer with more depth and a few flaws - I might be tempted to give a thumbs-up to the comic in which that happened.
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