Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Season Nine #8
by Greg McElhatton, Reviewer
"Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Season 9" has had its fair share of strong cliffhangers; first Buffy discovering she's pregnant, then deciding to go through having an abortion and finally realizing that actually she's not pregnant but merely a robot. With that level of "surprise!" moments for the past few months, it was just a matter of time until writer Andrew Chambliss had to bring in a massive amount of exposition. With that arrival, "Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Season 9" loses all of that steam.
Chambliss (along with editor Scott Allie, stepping in this month) does his best to explain how, when, and why Buffy was replaced with yet another BuffyBot, but the reasoning never feels quite that strong. It's a little hard to believe that the person behind the swap would have actually done so (especially considering the use of the character in previous comic stories), and the telling of the events comes across as extremely flat. It doesn't help that we've got more of Spike's alien bug friends (whose arrival in "Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Season 8" was one of the low points of the series) and all in all we end up with a limp, subpar story.
Cliff Richards steps in to pencil this month's issue and it's a little uneven. Some characters are still strongly on model (most notably Buffy), but others are unrecognizable save for the dialogue pointing them out (most notably the person behind the BuffyBot swap) and in general everything feels a little unenergetic and blocky. Even when a new vampire rises up in the morgue, it comes across as something uninteresting from a visual sense. Richards has done a better job on past "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" comics, but this is not one of his stronger efforts.
The frustrating thing is that there are good ideas behind "Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Season 9" #8 and the series in general. Unfortunately, an unenergetic script paired with average art has muted the ideas that did work and help emphasize the ones that are being thrown away (most notably Buffy trying to live the life of an average person). "Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Season 9" has overall been an improvement over the last year or so of "Season 8" comics, but this is a reversion to those earlier issues. Here's hoping it's just a temporary blip.
DanielW wrote:Of all the titles Dark Horse is/was going to do with the Buffyverse the Drusilla comic miniseries was the only one that raise my interest. Even Angel and Faith has lost me.
Q&A with Georges Jeanty for Buffy Season 9 #7
Rules are simple: Post up to THREE (3) questions per member until I submit your questions to Georges. I will post a note to let you know when I send off questions to reopen the floor.
Keep it clean, keep it civil. Simple right? Entries are welcome until I post a closing post.
This is a whole new era so be creative with your questions. Within reason, of course. No questions that are meant to simply further your agenda (especially in shipping!). Everything else is fair game, but be respectful of each other AND the artist who's gracious enough to take your questions. Please also remember that Georges is the artist and not the writer; he may not be the best person to ask editorial or writerly questions.
Anyone who's reading this and not a member, I'm accepting questions at wenxina[AT]slayalive.com. Feel free to send me your questions and I'll add them to the queue with credit to you.
1. Bamph: I've been curious since Buffy # 5 which had Karl Moline as guest artist and had the pregnancy reveal. For the issues or arc you don't draw like issue 5 or the upcoming arc in issues 8-10, do you still go over the scripts for those issues even though you aren't doing them? And do you speak to the guest artist?
Georges: Not as much. I'm not consulted on the stories, but I do have a say on the way they're visualized. I read a script once it's been written and make some suggestions from time to time, but I don't have a say in the plotting. That's done between Joss and the writers. What I'm responsible for is the storytelling. To take the script and visually interpret the script.
2. Bamph: We know you and Juliet Landau are good friends. You are doing cover art for the Drusilla miniseries but was there ever any temptation for you to take a break from Buffy and do the interior art on the miniseries?
Georges: Yes. I would have loved to have done some interior work on Juliet's book! For a while there, it did look like I might get the chance to do some interiors, but scheduling just didn't allow for it. It has been a joy to do the covers with her. Juliet and I are friends and we've been talking about doing something together for years, so when it came to covers we would talk at length about it. i'm glad we got the chance to do that.
3. Bamph: Welcome back. In the past you've talked about how Scott Allie and Joss sometimes keep things from you until the last minute because you're such a fan and get upset when major things happen to the characters.So when did you find out the robot reveal in today's issue and what was your first reaction?For that matter when did you find out the pregnancy news in Buffy # 5 and the abortion topic in # 6 and how did you react to those?
Georges: I think I read the plot up through Issue 12, so I knew about the Buffy-bot and the pregnancy early on. This was a case where I thought we might have rushed through things a bit. I would have kept the pregnancy running for a couple of issues before we got to the robot. But since this season is only 25 issues long, we have to move pretty fast to fit in all the things we want to for Season 9. It's always something. Sometimes the season is too long, and it looks this time around that it might prove too short.
4. Morphia: Hi Georges. Great issue. My questions:
There's some debate about Spike's reaction to learning that Buffy is stuck inside a robot body (am assuming that's what's happening, not asking for you to confirm or deny). To me, he doesn't seem to react much at all, whereas other people think he looks quite shocked. Or maybe he's just numb? What were you going for when you drew the panel?
Georges: Well, he's surprised as much as anyone can be, but I think the idea that he's been duped settles in pretty fast. Next issue will explore that a little further. I drew him with the idea that if this isn't Buffy, then the Buffy-bot would know how to get to the real Buffy. Wherever she is...
5. Morphia: Spike's face when he tells Buffy he doesn't want to be her dark place any more is so well done. Lovely panel. Are his eyes welling up? I wasn't quite sure.
Georges: I didn't necessarily draw it that way but by the time it got to the coloring I think that's where it was headed. I like the emotion that scene brings out and if it seems that Spike is welling up to you, all the better. I like that it's strong and revealing image.
6. Morphia: The cabin on the bug ship looks a lot dingier than it did in Season 8. Is that deliberate to show that maybe Spike is neglecting the place?
Georges: I saw the bug ship as being a derelict. It was a used ship when Spike got to it, and it's been slowly going downhill for years. The bugs were charged only with keeping it functional for the last dozen years or so, not pretty. Dark Horse gave IDW the opportunity to establish some of the back story for the ship. If you're interested, go look up the issues, I think it's in the last Spike series that IDW put out. You'll see the ship in the next few issues of Buffy.
7. ThatEvilLawFirm: Hi Georges, thank you for doing this again! Beautiful art as always! So obviously there is some crazy stuff going on in the comic right now! My question for you (and I promise I'm not looking for spoilers) is whether or not you had the opportunity to draw any flashbacks in upcoming issues, particularly as pertains to this issue.
Georges: Aside from the Nikki Wood stuff, which I loved, I don't do anymore flashbacks. Once Spike and Buffy go looking for answers I had to bow out. Really. I had to jump a few issues ahead to get caught up on deadlines. You will get answers, but I don't know about any flashbacks, sorry.
8. ThatEvilLawFirm: The story and scope of Season 8 and Season 9 differ greatly, and I think you've really nailed the artwork this season as well as last. Are there things you like more about Season 8 (both drawing them and overall story) than you do about Season 9, and vice versa?
Georges: I love the growth in Season 9. I loved doing Season 8 but that now felt like I was getting to know the characters. Now I know them and draw with a lot more confidence toward this universe. I miss drawing Faith and Angel, and it seems this season has been very singular. Not all the Scoobies are together a whole lot this season which makes Buffy on her own a lot.
9. ThatEvilLawFirm: Is there anything you are particularly proud of to look for in the upcoming issues?
Georges: Well, this is nothing I can go into detail about, but I'm looking forward to the climax. It's going to be a doozie!
10. Moscow Watcher: Congrats with another great issue. Buffy/Spike panels are awesome, especially the almost-kiss. When Spike says he doesn't want to be a "dark place", there are tears in his eyes. Was it written in the script or it's your interpretation of the character's reaction?
Georges: I don't remember it being written in the script about Spike's eyes tearing up. I did put in the extra panel where it looks like Spike and Buffy are going to kiss. I thought the scene needed a beat before the arm gets torn. I like the idea that it created a little more tension before the big reveal.
11. Moscow Watcher: When Buffy and Spike almost kiss, was it your idea to depict them as black silhouettes, an iconic romantic image of a couple in love?
Georges: My idea was to have a strong compositional sense. Both these characters have distinctive outlines and I knew I could get across what I wanted with just their silhouette, and it breaks up needing to fully draw them on the page. As a story teller you don't want to hit the reader over the head again and again with the same images. If i were to draw Buffy or someone on the page every time the same size with the same perspective, it gets boring and you're likely to lose interest. Keeping the reader entertained, you have to engage in variation. Mind you, there are times when keeping the same angle works for what you want to get across, but you use it as an effect not as a rule.
12. Moscow Watcher: How Spike's reaction to Buffy's artificial arm was described in the script? I ask the question because there are debates about his possible involvement in the conspiracy against Buffy. To me, he looks stunned, dazed and disappointed that he talked about his love to a robot. But I'd like to know what script says.
Georges: I read it as Spike being surprised. Again, next issue you'll learn a whole lot more about it.
13. Skytteflickan88: There's sometimes debates over certain moments/panels among fans, when a drawing leaves room for interpretation. For example, the situation Morphia just mentioned, how some people think Spike was shocked, and some don't. So what is the process when you and the writers decide "How will this panel look, how will the character react, does he look suprised enough" etc etc? I know artists sometimes get detailed scripts, panel by panel, and sometimes they get to decide more. So let's say you get a script describing a moment, but not panel by panel. You get to decide some on your own. Do you go through with with the writer afterwards so that you're on the same page about what that panel want to show? For example
ARTIST:I drew him suprised in this panel and angry in the next.
WRITER: Really? He looks angry in both.
I guess what I'm asking is, how far do the writers/editors and artists go to make sure that they're not interpreting the same panel differently and that everyone are agreeing on what the character is feeling? Is there a possibility for misunderstanding?
Btw, I hope you realize that I wouldn't blame anyone if there was a possibility for misunderstandings and you guys can't sit down and discuss every panel. I mean, rarely anything in this world is ever made perfect. Especially if there's a deadline for it.
Georges: I can't speak for all artists, but the way I like to work is to get the script, read through it, and then talk to the writer about what was written. I'll jot down notes and such when I read and when talking to the writer I'll ask what he was thinking here and there, when he was writing to make sure (forgive the pun) that we're all on the same page.
14. Composite question from Maggie, Dorotea, and KingofCretins: Hi Georges. Your art this season has been great -- especially with the attention to emotional nuance. A couple of questions: We aren't given to know just when it is that Buffy became a bot. How does that affect your ability to draw her? Is the idea that Buffy and the Buffy bot are seamlessly interchangeable such that there's no way of telling (until the arm comes off)? Or did you have to cut corners a bit to keep it so that there was no way of telling from your drawings that anything at all was amiss?
Georges: The Buffy-bot had the memories of Buffy implanted so the robot thinks she's the real Buffy.
Did you decide/was told to just go on and draw the face as if it was human - to both preserve the mystery and to go on more metaphorical level than simple - ah she is a robot with metallic skin and synthetic muscles, etc.
Georges: Again, everything should seem like we're dealing with the real Buffy so all the art is done from the point of view that she's the real thing.
Did the writers spring Buffybot 2.0 on you, or did you know? If you knew, did you use or did you deliberately avoid any sort of artistic affectation about how you drew her that you wouldn't have done if she were herself?
Georges: No. Everything was treated as if Buffy-bot were Buffy and no one's the wiser. It's the effect we wanted to create not the illusion.
15. Maggie: It seems like Joss and his writers are extremely loathe for Buffy to be anything other than opaque when it comes to the question of how she feels about Spike. In this issue, we get a pretty full exposition about Spike's feelings, and very little from Buffy (with whatever response she might have had cut off with the WTF-ery that ends the comic). Do you aim to keep her reactions ambiguous, or do you feel like readers should be able to infer Buffy's feelings from the way you draw her?
Georges: I can only speak for myself and what I think is going on between Buffy and Spike, but I feel Buffy has deep deep feelings for Spike, not all of them good, but in her own way she loves him, but she won't allow herself to take it an further. I personally feel she's not ready for the type of relationship Spike could offer. In a weird way I don't think she feels she deserves it. I'm sure you hear all those stories about girls being in relationships that are not healthy for them and more often than not, they'll say when asked how could you be in such a relationship, they don't think they deserve any better. I think that's where Buffy is.
16. Maggie: Spike's black nail polish is back! Whose idea was that?
Georges: Mine I wanted to give him some color, and he's such a rebel...
17. Reddygirl: Hello Georges, I really enjoyed the art for this issue.
Silly question, but do you at DH ever discuss Spike's wardrobe? (loved the closet dialogue between Buffy and Spike).
Georges: Not that I wouldn't, but no one has mentioned anything special about what Spike wears. I put him in what I think looks good. Let you in on a little secret; I've been drawing him in the pants and boots James Marsters wears from his appearances in Torchwood as Captain John.
18. Reddygirl: I loved that when Dets Cheung and Dowling went off to face the nest of zompires that they opened up the glove compartment to reveal....a stake. Was that in the text or did you insert that panel?
Thanks for taking the time to participate in these Q&As.
Georges: That was in the script.
19. tigerfan: This might be too spoiler-y, but I certainly miss Xander this season. Can you give me any hopes or something to look forward to in the coming issues?
Georges: I think you'll get a little more on the future of Xander and Dawn's relationship...
20. tigerfan: I know one of the statemenst for this season was wanting to get back to the basics and I've seen some talk of people not really feeling that so far for the season with everyone so separated and all of the outlandish crazy things happening, even for BtVS, so how do you feel about it so far?
Georges: I agree, I would like to see more of the Scoobies. But don't lose heart. Because Season 9 is a little more structured than 8, taking Buffy away like this was planned so that when the season winds up you'll start to see the Scoobies coming back. In what shape they'll be coming back remains to be seen...
21. tigerfan: This also probably falls along the lines of my first question but is there any Scooby action you've drawn recently or going to draw coming up that you're excited about?
Georges: I'm not sure about that question. i enjoy drawing in general, so most scenes are great to draw.
22. cheryl: Hi Georges,
Thank you for the taking the time to converse with us and answer questions. As usual, the art remains stellar.
The reveal at the end of this issue was one of those moments that you just can't see coming, are there clues in the story up to this point, that would hint to an exact time Buffy left the story and the Bot entered? Should we be able to figure it out yet?
Georges: Yes. And you no doubt already know how that story goes.
23. cheryl: Does this bot more resemble a cylon in make up or is she more nuts and bolts?
Georges: I'm going off of the Buffyverse-bots. The ones Warren would make when he was alive.
24. zamolxis: Hi Georges. Great job on your last two issues. There was some great emotional stuff there. I was wondering if you're skipping the next 3 issues to work on more good stuff with the Real!Buffy?
25. zamolxis: I think I got the European/alien joke (are we Europeans like aliens to US?) but what was Buffy going to plug in that socket?
Thanks so much for talking to us.
Georges: I think it was supposed to be a hair dryer. It was never really discussed in the script, it was just a gag.
26. AndrewCrossett: Way back in issue #1, Buffy woke up in bed the morning after the party. In bed with her were what appeared to be a man's belt and pair of pants. Were those items called out in the script? It seems like they'd be a pretty major clue as to the identity of Buffy's bed mate that night, and therefore the father of the baby (assuming the real Buffy is actually pregnant).
Georges: No, that wasn't in the script. Joss just wanted her room to look like the aftermath of the party of the century, so I just threw stuff in there.
27. bonnaleah: Hi Georges. To me the Buffybot seemed a little sad..maybe even a little disappointed, as she realized that she probably wasn't pregnant...was there anything in the script describing her mood when she was coming to this realization?
As usual, fantastic artwork.
Georges: No. It was a straight deception with the Buffy-bot, but I agree, now that it's been revealed that she's not real, it diminishes the idea of Buffy being pregnant which I thought was a great character arc. Now it's rendered irrelevant. I would personally love to know how Buffy would have handled all that.
28. KingofCretins: I'm very curious what both the script or you on your own were going for with how Dowling reacted to the zompires. Do you feel like he was genuinely panicking and sort of flinching from the moment, almost like Jeremy Davies in Saving Private Ryan? His reaction didn't seem to conform to how composed he was in "Freefall", so I'd love more insight. Also, nitpick that Cheung wasn't mentioned after she was grabbed, hope she wasn't "girl in fridged".
Georges: I played Dowling totally freaking out. He's a detective with the San Francisco PD, he's used to robbery, or gun shots. Vampires are not in the police hand book, so he's shittin' bricks.
29. KingofCretins: Visually, you don't seem to detail the zompires faces quite as much as you do human characters/original recipe vampires like Spike. Is that sort of representative of their lack of higher reasoning/sentience? Or does it relate to how you actually see them looking in your mind's eye?
Georges: I did do the zompires with a more feral state of mind. So their forehead is a little bigger than regular vamps and their mouths are more exaggerated on purpose. I wanted them to look like hyper vampires.
30. Stoney: Hi Georges. I got the impression that the speed of the zompire attack on Cheung alarmed Dowling greatly, probably safe to say terrified him. Is it difficult to convey pace in your work? Are there any particular areas/issues where you often have to redraft to feel that you have conveyed something so difficult to make perceptible like this?
Georges: This is the one place where we in comics are at a disadvantafe from film or TV; Movies move, comics don't. This is where comics have to pick a certain set of images to imply an action. If I can make you feel that there is movement on the page then I'm doing my job. My job is to be able to pick that one image to make you feel there is movement. It's a constant struggle but when it pays off, it's magic!
31. Stoney: Obviously the free comic book day issue of Buffy is going to have some Alien referencing, had you already based any of interior visuals for Spike's ship on the Nostromo or did you specifically rewatch the film for inspiration for the free issue?
Georges: I'm one for the classics. Shamelessly I did a lot of... let's say homage-ing.
32. Stoney: I was really engaged in issue 7 in the emotions of both the scenes on top of the spaceship between Buffy and Spike discussing her plans and their conversation before Buffy was attacked. Can we expect any more emotion packed interactions in the upcoming issues between these two?
Thanks for taking the time again.
Georges: Of course. This is Joss Whedon we're talking about after all...
33. spuffyspangellover: I'm not trying to spoil anything or fish for spoilers, but what do YOU personally as a fan think that Buffy is feeling at the very end of issue #7, after these two realizations, 1) that Spike is still in love with her and 2) that she's a robot?
Georges: As a fan I think she is living out the true meaning of WTF. The robot has Buffy's memories so she is feeling what Buffy would have felt if it was really her. I think Buffy is a lot more clued in about Spike's feelings than people give her credit for. She knows where Spike stands. She knows what he wants, she's just so hung up on all the other things in her life that the issue of Spike just keeps getting pushed to the back.
34. spuffyspangellover: I'm very glad Dowling is still around, for the moment at least. Out of all of the new characters that have arrived in the comics through Season 8 to Season 9, Dowling is definitely my favorite. Are we ever going to get even a glimpse of his backstory?
Georges: Yes... and more of his front story...
35. spuffyspangellover: I'm obviously a huge fan of Andrew Chambliss' writing and think he's done a fantastic job so far. With his scripts, is he extremely informative on how certain panels should look like or is it vague and you create the picture, or is it a mixture of both? A great example of this is when Spike is walking away from Buffy's room and Buffy is smacking her forehead in disdain.... I could read the script and think of something completely different visually, but you nailed it by adding action and having Spike walking away with Buffy realizing she said something wrong.
Georges: Andrew is new to comics and I think if he wanted it, he has a great future in it. It's no secret that he's done some TV writing, so I think the guy's doing pretty good. I love what Andrew has brought to the table. Joss obviously saw something in him from the Dollhouse series and I would agree that Andrew was a great choice to bring in as lead writer for Season 9. I've been very pleased with his work.
36. Bamph: Can you let us know what issue you're currently penciling and where you are at on covers?
Georges: I am starting Issue 16 and I'm doing the covers for Issues 14 and 15 right now.
37. cheryl: Are the fairies from the Angel & Faith series connected to the fairies on the Buffy book?
Georges: That's a good question....
38. Moscow Watcher: On the variant cover of issue 10, Buffy's shirt has flowery pattern. Is it supposed to be a symbol of fertility, or it was just a random choice?
Georges: Wow. I didn't think about the fertility angle, but that would be a great way to explain it! I just thought the shirt looked nice. No hidden meaning.
39. FangedFourLover: Georges, thank you for your continued great work. Much appreciated!!!
My question is about the Drusilla miniseries. I am such a huge Juliet Landau fan, and Drusilla's in my top 3 favorite characters in the Buffyverse. What was your involvement in the start of it, and what inspiration did you use for that first cover?
Georges: Juliet and I have been wanting to work together for years and it was sure that when she got her limited series, I would be working on it in some way. I talked with Juliet extensively on the covers and it was a great opportunity. I love working with her. She is a passionate woman and when she works on a project she gives it 100 percent. She is very protective of Drusilla. The cover was one she chose from several that I sent her. I tried to model all the covers with the theme being tragically beautiful.
40. Wenxina: Hey Georges. Other than your cover gigs for the Drusilla miniseries and the occasional cover for The Guild and the odd short project (e.g. FCBD) do you have other projects coming up, or is Buffy being ever the demanding mistress?
Georges: More on the demanding mistress part. I can't really do too many things in a given month and Buffy pretty much takes up all of my time. Buffy is my full time gig for the next year or so.
41. Vampire in Rug: Hi Georges. I find the zompires to be pretty scary looking. Do you have anything specific in mind when you draw them? Were there any specific instructions from Joss? I've noticed that their eyes are redder than regular vamps and their fangs are bigger and scarier. I think you've done a good job of making them menacing and inhuman. Is there anything else you try to get across when you draw them?
Georges: Just what you said. Bigger. Badder. And scarier. It was written that they be just that. When I started I looked at some other books that were done on vampires and I really like the way a European artist by the name of Springer, on a book called Volunteer, did his vamps. It's a great series, you should look it up. Unfortunately I don't think it's been translated to English, great art, though.
42. Vampire in Rug: So apparently Illyria is going to show up in season 9. You must be looking forward to drawing her. In the IDW miniseries "Illyria: Haunted", she took on a slightly different look after some stuff happened to her. It was a pretty great book. Her hair turned completely blue as opposed to brown with blue highlights and her eyes turned green. Any chance you would keep this newer look for her? Or do you think Joss and Scott would prefer her classic, "Angel Season 5" look?
Georges: From my understanding Illyria will look like she looked in Angel Season 5. I don't know how the IDW continuity fits in, if it even does. As to what she's been doing since the IDW books that's up to the writers. I do look forward to drawing her!
Dark Horse Announces Willow Series
By shabbir – April 18, 2012Posted in: News
DARK HORSE ANNOUNCES WILLOW SERIES!
JOSS WHEDON’S FAN FAVORITE RETURNS!
Dark Horse Comics announces another exciting addition to the Buffyverse:
Willow gets her own miniseries!
Written by Jeff Parker (Thunderbolts, Agents of Atlas) and drawn by Brian Ching (Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Witchblade), Willow tells the story of the witch’s obsessive journey to recover her magic.
Willow is on a quest to bring magic back to the world, and she’ll do anything to make it happen, including forming some unhealthy alliances after cracking the code to travel to other dimensions—something thought impossible since the destruction of the Seed.
Willow #1 is on sale November 21, 2012.
Dark Horse Announces Spike Series
By shabbir – April 18, 2012Posted in: News
DARK HORSE ANNOUNCES SPIKE SERIES!
JOSS WHEDON’S ANTIHERO VAMPIRE RETURNS!
Dark Horse Comics announces a brand-new Spike miniseries slated for release this summer!
Written by Victor Gischler (X-Men, Deadpool: Merc with a Mouth) and drawn by Paul Lee (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Devil’s Footprints), Spike promises to be the series all Joss Whedon fans will be talking about.
Spike ventures off world in his bug ship in order to get away from some personal frustration on terra firma, and winds up sucked into a demonic plot to take advantage of the absence of magic on earth.
“What I love about working with Dark Horse on Buffy-related material is that they take great care to capture the feel of the characters and stories from the television show, of which I was a huge fan. Getting my hands on the characters I’ve loved so much over the years is a dream come true,” said Gischler.
Spike #1 will be on sale August 22, 2012!
04/14/2012 at 7:18 pm
Thanks again! Buffy #3 is one of my faves, I think bc it’s very straight forward…which I don’t often do
The style of Spike covers will be a bit different than my normal covers, they’ll be more traditional…in a comic book sense, to contrast the main cover art. So far, I’ve been pleased with the results, hopefully the readership will be too
Joss Whedon says that Giles-centric Buffy spinoff ain't dead yet
There's been so much Avengers this and Cabin in the Woods that lately that it's easy to forget how many other potential projects Joss Whedon is still juggling. There's that cool web series he wants to do with Warren Ellis, the inevitable return of Dr. Horrible , and then there's that long-dormant Buffy spinoff starring everyone's favorite badass librarian.
Whedon's been talking about a spinoff starring Buffy's mentor and teacher Rupert Giles (played by Anthony Stewart Head) since back in 2001. The project would be called Ripper—a nickname taken from Giles' early days as an occultist bad boy—and would focus on Giles alone in England, struggling with loneliness and getting into ghostly adventures. Sometimes it's a series, sometimes it's a miniseries, sometimes it's a TV or straight-to-DVD movie, but it's never really gone away. Then Whedon got the whole Earth's Mightiest Heroes gig and we all sort of forgot about Ripper because our heads were filled with dreams of wise-cracking Iron Man and Whedon-style Hulk.
But at least one person hasn't fully forgotten yet: Whedon himself. In a new interview that (predictably) mostly covers Avengers and Cabin, he responded to the idea that we should maybe all just let our Ripper dreams fade away with this:
"No, the thing about Ripper—the essence of it—is that the BBC came to me at one point like, 'It doesn't have to be Ripper. It can just be [Anthony Stewart Head], and there's magic, and he's Tony, cuz he's awesome.' And that's the thing: For some reason, he keeps getting sexier every year. That's not happening to me! I'm like, 'What are you doing?' And that story was always about a mature guy who's lived, and about the choices he's made. So you could make that now, or you could make it 10 years from now. And I've tortured Tony more than any other living human with, 'We're definitely gonna do this!' Because I thought we were. He's working so much, though, I'd feel too guilty. But that's the thing with Ripper: It doesn't go away in my head because he's still right for it, and he could still bring it."
We all want a kickass Buffy spinoff, but hey, we'd take an unrelated Joss Whedon-helmed supernatural story starring Head too. Now if Whedon can just find some time for that between a web series, a new Shakespeare film, a sci-fi romance, Buffy comics, Angel comics, Dr. Horrible 2, relentless questions about a Firefly reunion and the inevitable Avengers sequel.
Yeah ... we might have to wait for Ripper a little while longer.
(via The AV Club)
'In Space no One can Hear You Slay'
by Andrew Chambliss
Buffy accepts Spike’s suggestion of a holiday in space aboard the bug-ship – but as usual things don’t go according to plan. One of the bugs, Irene, was killed by a vampire whilst on shore leave, and after her corpse was brought back aboard the ship she has since become a blood-thirtsy space-bug-zombire-thing. Now it’s up to Buffy to search the dark and spooky corridors of the ‘S.S. Infestation’, and slay the alien menace before it can claim more victims…
Penciled by Georges jeanty
Inked by Dexter Vines
Coloured by Michelle Madsen
Lettered by Richard Starkins and Comicraft's Jimmy Betancourt
Executive Producer Joss Whedon
*Featuring Buffy and Spike
*Published by Dark Horse Comics, April 2012
*This comic was given away free as part of 'Free Comic Book Day'; it also included the strips 'Alabaster' Part 2 and 'The Guild: Beach'd'
*The zombire Irene bears an uncanny resemblance to something from the alien worlds of H.R. Geiger and Ridley Scott – could this be how such creatures really came to be?
*Time-placing: Buffy doesn’t refer to her pregnancy, so I’m choosing to place this between ‘Freefall’ part four and ‘Slayer Interrupted’
C2E2: Dark Horse Has More Goon, New Buffy Spinoffs
Brigid Alverson, Contributing Writer
Scott Allie, who is the editor (together with Sierra Hahn) of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and the other Joss Whedon books, talked about the two new Buffy spinoffs announced last week, one featuring Willow and the other featuring Spike. Allie said the Willow comic will be written by "Agents of Atlas" and "Hulk" writer Jeff Parker with art by Brian Ching. The first issue has a cover by David Mack, and Megan Lara, who has done some "Whedon-related online artwork," as Allie described it, will also do covers for the series.
"Punisher" writer Victor Gishler and artist Paul Lee are the creative team on "Spike," with covers by Jenny Frison and Steve Morris. "We had previously announced that we wouldn't do a Spike series, because he was going to be too busy in the Buffy series," said Allie. "We wanted to have him playing off Buffy, but the way the stories evolved, he kind of needed to take off and do his own thing."
Another Buffy-related series, "Drusilla," will not be happening in the near future. However; in response to a question, Allie said that the series, which was to have been written by actress Juliet Landau, had been put on hold "for a variety of reasons." " Right now we don't know what is going to happen with it," he said. "We have got a bunch of work on it done, but we are not sure if it is going to go forward or not."
I just had a good long email from Scott Allie about what was going on with this change. He's given me permission to summarize what he said.
1. They originally wanted Spike in a stand alone series, but decided they liked Spike with Buffy and the other characters -- pretty much the sort of thing we saw in the first ten issues.
2. As they were breaking down the details for the next ten issues, they realized as they hit the big plot points, Spike wasn't showing up in them. It'd be Buffy does this, Xander does that, and Xander, Koh and Spike do that. Nothing specific for Spike. They didn't think it would be doing a service to his character just to have him around doing good dialogue. And there were Spike-specific issues that were interesting to them to explore but they couldn't do it in the main book. Ergo miniseries.
3. All the pieces of season 9 work together in complicated ways. It's not one big story, but all the pieces are important. That means A&F and season 9 are NOT running on separate tracks -- though the way they fit together is not what fans might think. This is true of the mini series as well. We won't see the big picture until it's all done.
4. They have never adjusted the story to manage sales. That's true of the pregnancy, the abortion, the non abortion, Spike's presence and Spike's absence. They feel like the best they can do is bring in good talent to tell a story true to Joss's vision. If they were pandering to fans to juice sales, it would be in the other direction -- Spike is very popular. I'll add that Scott's pretty excited about how the story works, and he writes about it in a way that is 100% consistent with the thought that they write the story as best they can and hope the sales will follow.
5. This was a big change, but they thought it was best for the character and best for the books, and probably best for Spuffies.
My take away... this is about the plotting of the midsection of the season. It's not a big shift in whatever they were planning for Spike and/or Spuffy. It was the dead zone for Spike that got them to change things, not them changing away from something that was well-thought out. They hadn't realized until they broke it down that there was nothing substantive enough for Spike. I like that their interest in the character caused them to think about how they could get more of Spike's story out there when it wasn't going to fit in the book.
ETA: Scott adds that he's sorry he hasn't had a chance to reply to everybody -- he's been really busy.
Buffy Season 9 #8, Summary and Review
You know what I like most about doing these summaries? I'm always one of the first ones to get mine up. New Comic Day comes and I run right off to the store and have my post written by that afternoon. It just makes me feel good to be punctual, that's all. Well, I know you're all waiting eagerly to see what this issue was about, since you haven't been able to get your own copy yet, so I'll get on with it!
(Seriously, I know there's a bit of silly in doing the summary thing at this point, but I didn't want to leave a gap in my archives, and I figure I'm at least getting this one in before the next issue comes out tomorrow. Just pretend I was never gone. Moving along...)
Andrew's sleeping when his window lights up, a gust of air blows into his room, and he sees two silhouetted figures. Assuming he's being abducted by aliens, Andrew begins to pack, chattering about how excited he is, while the figures enter and are revealed as Spike and one-armed robot Buffy. Andrew greets them, resigned, but Buffy wastes no time in grabbing him and demanding answers.
The next page shows Dowling identifying the remains of his partner, Cheung. He listens to the pre-autopsy analysis of her injuries without comment.
Back at Andrew's place, Spike is trying not to step on something that looks like a rawhide bone while Buffy listens to Andrew speculate on what gave Buffy a positive pregnancy test - "Maybe something in the PH balance of the Trueblood". She tells him about her late period and stomach sickness, and he has robotic reasons behind those, too. He opens up a cabinet of robot parts to find her a new arm, but only has a left one. Buffy declines, again demanding to know why she's a robot. He flinches away from her and says that Spike asked him to help, and Buffy whirls around to Spike, who says, "I bloody well didn't!"
Andrew clarifies that Spike simply asked him to track down whatever was after Buffy, and leads us into a flashback to the party in the first issue. He explicitly states that he roofied her, and that's how she ended up in the bedroom with Spike - we see how he led her to her room after she got out of the pool. She's clearly affected (there are even pink bubbles floating around her head, but her dialogue and movements are indicator enough), and falls off the bed, unconscious, while trying to take off her shirt. Spike lays her down and covers up her bare chest, putting her to bed. He assumes that she's simply drunk and the hangover she'll have the next day is her own fault, and back in the present-day panels, Andrew quotes him on that.
Spike defends himself against the lack of context, but Buffy shushes him and asks if Andrew was watching all this. He was, and the next pages show how he brought her robot body in after Spike left and switched its mind with hers, using a compact device that looks like two cups attached by a telephone cable. Back in the present, Buffy in her broken robot body says she's not real, not Buffy, and Andrew says she is, because Buffy's mind is in there. "Are you less real than your memories?" he asks, and then backs it up with some geek references, causing Buffy to turn away from him, saying "Oh God."
Andrew babbles on about how he got the tech from Warren's lab (a reasonable explanation, considering what we've seen Warren do in canon versus what we've seen Andrew do), and how there had been a risk that the transfer would leave Buffy permanently drunk. Spike interrupts by grabbing his lapels and shouting in his face, "You have any idea what you put her through?" Andrew claims it was all about protecting Buffy, keeping her body safe, and counters Buffy's interjection that he should have told her by saying that witness protection doesn't work if anyone knows about it. He reiterates that it's her mind in the robot, and says he's using the Trio's evil know-how to good. He even points to his acceptance into the Scooby Gang, which Buffy instantly revokes by saying that this is how he screws that up.
Spike points out that the danger, the Siphon, is now gone. Buffy asks again, brandishing her solitary fist, where her body is.
For the next page and a half, we see firsthand where her body is. First she gets out of a nice car in a nice car in a nice neighborhood, wearing a nice suit. Then she goes through a series of domestic chores in a nice house and yard. There's no dialogue, but she seems to be handling everything well until she's stirring some batter and breaks her thick wooden spoon, saying, "Oops."
The bug ship is in flight, the bridge visible below. Buffy's peeking out the window, crying, when Spike comes in and greets her. She says she doesn't want him walking on eggshells, and asks him to say something that will make her forget that none of what she went through was real. He wants to talk about how it's not over yet, but she interrupts to express her frustrations over her choices about "something normal" being irrelevant, as the supposed pregnancy turned out to be "more bizarre Slayer crap". She then thanks him for giving her one real thing by being there when she needed someone. They clasp hands and Spike leaves, smiling, while Buffy goes back to the window.
Andrew's in the control room, badgering one of the bugs about turning on the cloaking device that he's sure they've got, though the bug says it doesn't know what he's talking about. Spike walks in and confronts Andrew again, this time in vampface. He says he could throw him off the ship for the baby scare alone, and threatens him with "one decisive solution" if he doesn't fix this.
We cut to Xander and Dawn's apartment. Xander's calling from the bathroom for Dawn to get his eye patch. She doesn't answer, and he calls louder, slamming his fist into the wall and cracking a tile. She enters and sees it and tells him to relax, and he apologizes, interrupted by the doorbell. It repeats until Dawn opens the door to see Dowling, incapacitated and leaning on the wall. Confused, she says she doesn't have anything to report about Buffy, and asks if he smells gas. In slurred language he says no, that he saw Buffy, and that he and his partner hit a zompire swarm, and asks if he can come in to talk to her and the guy with the patch. "Jesus. Dead officers everywhere..." he goes on. Dawn asks if Buffy's okay, and he replies, "Sure, aside from being a robot, she's fine."
The next pages are from the preview; Dowling describing the attack to Xander and Dawn, and Cheung rising as a zompire. Next we go back to the bug ship, still cruising as the sun sets. Andrew is narrating the situation with his usual dramatization, excusing his own part in it by calling his plan "perhaps flawed". He's not bothered by the bugs, although they're getting irritated by him. Spike and Buffy enter, and Andrew shows them Buffy's body in its safe house on camera. Buffy peers at it with an unreadable expression, then says, "My kitchen is awesome." Andrew points out the entertainment center, and Spike asks if this is what Buffy had in mind if the two of them were going to run away. Buffy says, "It wasn't..."
The screen goes red and an alarm beeps. Andrew says that the Buffy stand-in doesn't hear it, but he doesn't know what set it off. Spike orders the ship to advance at full speed, and we cut to suburbia. Buffybodybot is taking a sip from a glass of wine (?!), and suddenly finds herself at gunpoint. It's a woman in a ski mask, who says "How the mighty have fallen," and then claims she's going to liberate her from "this Betty Crocker bull$%*". She appears to pistol-whip her before throwing her unconscious form into the back of a van. Before she gets in herself, she takes off the mask (don't know what kind of sense that makes, either). It's Simone.
It's an understatement to say that I'm not happy with where this issue brought us and what it's doing, but time has passed since I read it and I'm prepared to say so without ranting and raving. When the series concludes, I hope and to some extent expect that we're all going to look at this issue and the ones right before and after it as the low point. It's more bad luck than anything - the weakest character from TV canon took the spotlight just as a promising plot was severed and replaced by an unwelcome one, hoisted on the shoulders of the shakiest moral message in the Buffyverse, and the whole thing wrapped up with an appearance by the least interesting villain. The characters' relationships were treading water, I didn't find an occasion to laugh, and only one panel made me feel any real sentiment.
That one panel (it actually took two to make the point, but you know what I mean) was Buffy gazing wistfully at "her" kitchen. Over-identify much? Sometimes you see a beautiful home, or even a picture of a beautiful home, and you can't help associating it with a beautiful life. Does anything symbolize domestic bliss like a fully equipped, clean, pleasant kitchen? I could fully believe Buffy's longing for that environment, and I feel a little dense for not getting her next line, when Spike asks if that's what she had in mind. Why would it not be? Is it him? Did she not have a clear picture at all? Am I missing her tone?
Second place for almost-making-me-have-an-emotion was Xander's violent reaction to losing track of Dawn for five seconds. I have no idea what this is about, but we're clearly meant to see that it's about something, and I'm looking forward to finding out what (finally).
Alright, but the real matter at hand here, yeah. If this is all there is to the pregnancy plot, and that's certainly how it appears right now, it really was pointless and I am deeply disappointed. I refuse to feel sheepish about all the speculating that we put into it, all the talk of fathers, and all the feelings we expressed about it. Falling for a bait-and-switch doesn't make the suspense worth it; it just makes the payoff a failure.
I have theories, of course. There are two ways that I could see this dead end being (somewhat) redeemed. First, Buffy's body is, in fact, pregnant. Andrew engineered his "Trueblood" using a sample of Buffy's blood that he got post-Twilight and pre-switch, so it showed up on the pregnancy test. (I mean, his answer for that was pretty flimsy.) The obvious hole in this is that we just saw Buffy's body and there's no sign of anything of the sort, but we shippers did come up with a few workable ideas for how and why the pregnancy could be paused if it happened during Twilight, so we might as well recycle those. Hey. Has anyone come up with any new thoughts on Heinrich and his role during the party?
My second theory is a bit more meta. Basically, Buffy was put in a position where she had to think about what it meant to be a mother, how it would affect her life, whether she was ready, and who she could or couldn't trust to raise the child with her. Why? Well, because she's going to get pregnant for real at the end of the season. By then, things will be different - she'll have learned Valuable Lessons about herself, she'll be independently stable, and the conception will have happened while she was sober and passionate.
I'd like this one a whole lot better if I could say that it will turn the pregnant-robot scare from a bad joke into a foreshadowing. If it does happen, though, all I'm going to be able to see is Joss looking at an outline for the season and realizing that he's allowing Buffy to be happy in motherhood before he made use of her to display his pro-choice colors. All in all, though, it would still give the first third of Season 9 a bit more of a long-term purpose, and it seems more of a possibility than my first theory, so I'm for it. Not greatly optimistic, though. The whole thing might very well have an ending that has nothing to do with the beginning.
The other major complaint that I/everyone have/has about this issue is Andrew, and the utterly contemptible thing that he did to Buffy. He doesn't get it; of course he doesn't get it. No other character would be allowed to exhibit that kind of crudeness and have it played as humor, but here's Andrew, practically invincible. It's nice to see Spike give him the good-and-angry talk, but we know it'll come to nothing. (We've been promised several times that Andrew's getting a boyfriend this season. OH I HOPE THEY'RE HAPPY TOGETHER.) A man with a child's sense of responsibility doesn't necessarily need to be locked up...until he makes friends with rapists and murderers and starts to participate in their activities. Anyone remember when that happened?
Sorry, this did turn into ranting and raving, didn't it? Well, it's late and I'm...out of practice? Now I can't make that excuse tomorrow!
Buffybodybot's kitchen really is awesome, though.
Mignolaversity/Buffyversity Presents: Scott Allie [Interview]
- Posted by Brian Salvatore on Wednesday, April 25, 2012
David: On the BPRD books you co-write with Mike and on the Buffy books you co-write with Andrew Chambliss. How exactly does that process work, and do you have a specific breakdown of operations with each of those writers, or do you develop the plot and script together?
Scott: It’s always different. It’s always different.[...]And with Andrew, on the Buffy arc we co-wrote, that was one where his schedule just sort of got in the way. There was no plan for me to co-write any of season 9. I wrote the end of season 8 with Joss, but there were no plans for me to write any of season 9. |
But Andrew just got so jammed up on the TV show he was working on, he was having a tough time with the schedule. He had plotted a five issue arc with Georges drawing 2 and Cliff drawing 3, he plotted the arc and scripted the first two, but as he got into scripting of those, his schedule was looking rough and I was just like “why don’t I just jump in and I’ll script off your outlines.” The stories are ever changing and evolving, so I think the scripts I wound up writing were fairly different than the outlines that he wrote, but the outlines were definitely the bones of the thing. With that, the basic shape of that is mostly what the script is. Is mostly mine. But there are a lot of different ways of co-writing. I used to be baffled by the idea of co-writing a comic, but now I feel there are so many different ways to make it work.
Brian: Moving over to the Buffy books, what can you tell us about the arc you’re co-writing?
Scott: Buffy Season 9 #8-10 is an arc that I did with Andrew [Chambliss] from his outline, where I did most of the writing. Buffy recently had a pregnancy scare, but it turns out she’s not pregnant, she’s a robot. In issue 8, she figured out that it was Andrew Wells, one of her sidekicks that she’s not very fond of, decided that to protect her, her put her real body in hiding in suburbia and has a robot walking around. Buffy’s not too happy about that.
So Buffy, Spike, and Andrew have to go find out what happened to her real body, which has gone missing, and they trace it to this abandoned warehouse on Angel Island, south of San Francisco. They encounter one of the disgruntled slayers.
At the end of Season 8, Buffy destroys the seed that connects the Earth to all the magical realms, and when she destroyed that, she pretty much bans all magic from the Earth, and everybody is mad at her for it, no one more so than Willow. But also all the slayers, who used to be a part of her army, are really angry with her, especially one named Simone. Simone has hatched a plan that will continue to spread out across Season 9, but we get our first real glance at it in these issues.
My favorite part of the issues is that there is some pretty great interaction between Buffy and Spike. Buffy has just gone through this insanely personal thing, and now she has to run around dealing with robot bodies and all sorts of genre contrivances, while her mind is completely screwed up because of the personal experience she just went through. And so, the thing I liked most writing this, was putting her with a character with whom she has a really complex relationship with, Spike, and having her really not on her A game. And I like that idea of characters existing in genre fiction doing action/adventure kind of crap, but have their actions deeply affected by the personal stuff going on in their lives.
Brian: With both Buffy and BPRD, you have a very dedicated audience that loves your books, without the overbearing DC or Marvel “you need to have an X character book out every month” mandate, so your story structure isn’t so strictly tied in to the monthly release cycle. That said, because of that freedom, have you guys discussed an end game for either of these properties?
Scott: Well, in different ways, yes. With Hell on Earth, we know how things are going to be at the end of the road, and we know the path to get there, but we don’t know exactly when we’re going to get there, because things are in flux and evolving, but we do have an end game we are working towards. We don’t think too much about what life is going to be like after that, because we feel like it will be a lot different.
With the Buffy-verse, Season 9 will be 25 issues long, which wraps up in June of 2013, after which we will take a break, and then start Season 10. So, we do know pretty much how Season 9 ends for all of our characters (with details still to be work out), but the endpoint was handed to us, pretty much, by Joss. It’s a smaller end point, since it is just ending a season, and then we start up again 6 months or a year later.
With Hell on Earth, the end is much bigger and what don’t know what, if anything, happens next, but this will keep us going for a while. With Buffy, it is a little different, because we have to be very mindful of where it leaves us, because we have to be thinking about how we pick it up next. We haven’t had a lot of talk about Season 10 yet, but we know how to leave everything at the end of this season, to have enough threads to pick up again.
David: Gil, our resident Buffyologist, gave us some more specific questions that look into the Buffyverse. Simone has become a very important villain; is there someone pulling her strings, or is she the sole shooter on the grassy knoll, so to speak?
Scott: She is calling her own shots – Simone is highly motivated and is much more puppet master than puppet, that’s for sure.
David: His other question was about Xander and Dawn. They have turned into the stable couple in the book, and knowing the way that Joss and his books have worked in the past, does that mean that one of them is going to die soon?
Scott: (Long pause) You know, that would be entirely consistent with the way Joss does business. (Laughs) But, Joss dearly loves any of his characters and would NEVER kill any of them off, right? Oh wait, I was thinking someone else.
Things have been relatively stable and hanging out in the background, and Xander fans in particular have been frustrated that he hasn’t had more to do, but so far, Xander hanging out in the background, being relatively happy, has been his story. Xander isn’t the star of Season 9, but he does have a distinct arc that he is on, and in issue #8 we start to see his path a little more.
Brian: Does the extreme popularity and intense relationships readers have with the Buffy characters come into play when you’re editing the books? Do you feel added pressure due to the fandom?
Scott: Yeah, it definitely comes into play. Since we announced the Spike miniseries for later this summer, I’ve been getting a ton of emails about it, and the irony is that a lot of Spike fans are mad that there is a Spike series, because that means he won’t be with Buffy. And I get that; they are more interested in seeing the Buffy/Spike relationship than they are in just seeing what they fear might be the frivolous adventures of Spike. But I can assure you, it isn’t frivolous, it is a crucial Spike story. I wanted to write it myself, but we have this great guy, Victor Kishler, who really gets the character and is doing some great stuff.
I get that the fans are passionate, but sometimes I will get an email that will say “All the fans want this – this is what you have to do to make the fans happy.” And then, ten minutes later I will get an email saying the exact opposite thing. We tend to think that they are more monolithic than they are – there are a million different strong opinions.
Preview: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 #9
Andrew doesn’t always make the best choices (see Season 6). And now Buffy finds herself and the very course of her life profoundly affected by one of Andrew’s over-the-top, idiotic . . . hair-brained . . . schemes. Together with Andrew and Spike, the worried Slayer will have to confront herself and her comrades, as well as a long-standing annoyance, the number-one Buffy hater of all Buffy haters: Simone, the gun-toting Slayer.
Review – Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 9 #9 Apart (of me) Part Two
By Jenny– April 27, 2012
Script: Andrew Chambliss and Scott Allie
Pencils: Cliff Richards
Inks: Andy Owens
Colors: Michelle Madsen
Cover: Phil Noto
Alternate Cover: Georges Jeanty with Dexter Vines and Michelle Madsen
Created By: Joss Whedon
Published By: Dark Horse
This issue begins with RoboBuffy, Spike and Andrew arriving at the real Buffy’s house. They find signs of a struggle and Buffy is nowhere to be found. RoboBuffy is having trouble dealing with all of the things she has just learned about herself and that everything she believed to be true, isn’t. As Andrew bumbles along, it becomes clear that he actually did think this through and has put some safeties in place for situations such as these. They get a lead on Buffy’s whereabouts and off they go to rescue her. Meanwhile, Simone is beating and berating Buffy and is having trouble figuring out that Buffy has no idea what is happening. Buffy has no memory of Simone let alone that she is the Slayer. Spike, RoboBuffy and Andrew arrive in the vicinity of where they believe Buffy to be and they separate in an effort to find her. One of them however runs into a surprise along the way that none of them expected. While all of this search and rescue business is going down, Xander, Dawn and Detective Dowling are on their own mission. They are searching for Dowling’s on a rampage, recently zompire turned (ex) partner. Dowling is taking the loss hard and soon appears to be in over his head!
I liked this issue, I really liked the way the interactions between Spike and RoboBuffy have subtlety changed. Andrew’s explanations of why he did what he did seem genuine and it really appears that he thought he was doing the right, good thing. I really enjoyed the dialog in this issue a lot, it felt very real and believable. The art was great and both of the Buffy’s emotions were captured well. All in all it was a solid read and truthfully I was initially unhappy with the direction the story line was going. I decided to suspend snap judgments and gave it a chance and I’m happy I did. It will be very interesting to see how everything progresses from here.
Release Date: May 9th, 2012
http://comicsgrinder.com/2012/04/29/buf ... -9-review/
April 29, 2012
BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER SEASON 9 #9 Review
The second chapter to “Apart (Of Me)” teases out a little more of the tension between Spike and Buffy and gives us on eyeful as to what some people (Andrew) think is best for Buffy. If only Buffy, as a plucky mere mortal, could get it together and buy into the American Dream by getting a mortgage on a two-bedroom starter home stocked with IKEA furniture! That is Andrew’s dream for Buffy. And, ever since his amazing and disastrous ”plan” to keep Buffy safe, he has managed to secure only part of it, “part” being the key word here. Buffy’s programmed body had been made secure in the suburbs, until it was kidnapped, while Buffy’s mind was encased in a bot! So, for the purposes of this review, “Buffy” is the one encased in a bot. And “the other Buffy” is Buffy’s body programmed to believe it has a personality. A bit confusing, no doubt, and a bit of a mystery as to how this was going to keep Buffy safe in the first place!
Buffy observes that the space in Buffy’s “dream home” that is designated as an office is in between a bedroom and a bathroom. Is it possible that the other Buffy might have plans for a nursery in the future? Spikes dismisses that as rubbish. But Buffy begs to differ. Indeed, there are two Buffys with their own ideas on what is real and what is rubbish.
And then, quite abruptly, Andrew reveals that he has placed a tracking device in the other Buffy’s necklace. That seems rather convenient but plausible. It’s an intimate chocker that she might like to keep close to her body indefinitley. Whatever the case, that’s what they’re working with.
Circumstances being what they are, it makes sense that things would have cooled down for Spike and Buffy. Buffy is simply not herself! However, there is a scene with Buffy trying to reach her friend, Dawn, on the phone and Spike casually asks if Dawn is aware that she is no longer going to become an aunt, at least, not yet. Yep, mark that as a tease for what my lie ahead for those two. Spike, for his part, remains protective of Buffy and has his own ideas to work through. That leads to a nice little dust up when Buffy pulls away from Spike and, given that she’s part robot, tells him she isn’t exactly all that vulnerable. But she may regret those words. Inexplicably, she takes things too far in the other direction and is barking orders! Andrew and Spike, feeling rather guilty, just follow along but maybe that’s not such a good idea. In what seems like a nod to Joss Whedon’s recent movie, “The Cabin in the Woods,” Buffy decides to split up the group as they zero in on the other Buffy and her captors. Andrew and Spike obey. And then Andrew thinks it over. Hasn’t Buffy seen enough horror movies? he asks himself. Doesn’t she know that splitting up the group is the last thing you should do?
“Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 9,” issue 9, arrives May 9. Visit Dark Horse Comics.
Which villain is making a return in the Buffy comic books?
Come August, Buffy will face off against an antagonist we haven't seen lately. Who is it? None other than the evil interdimensional law firm of Wolfram & Hart.
These nefarious attorneys will be making their return in an upcoming issue of Dark Horse Comics' Buffy series penned by Dollhouse writer Andrew Chambliss. As Dark Horse editor Scott Allie told io9:
Wolfram & Hart are showing up, but not in the title you'd expect, and not in the way you'd expect. The funnest challenge here was figuring out how to portray them. [Artist Georges Jeanty] has, as usual, done a beautiful job, but points to Andrew for the idea that got approved...
Here's an exclusive rundown of this comic, which hits stores August 8:
BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER SEASON 9 #12
Andrew Chambliss (W), Georges Jeanty (P/Variant cover), Nathan Massengill (I), Michelle Madsen (C), and Phil Noto (Cover)
By working for Deepscan-the company that recruits Slayers as bodyguards-Buffy thought she would disengage herself from the world of demons and garner a more significant income, to boot. While the income may get her closer to paying off pesky student loans, the demony population is closer to her than ever, thanks to her first client. Buffy, under the tutelage of a disgruntled and heartbroken Kennedy, has her work cut out for her and is forced to call on the honorable Eldre Koh for help, culminating in a little demon-on-demon violence.
• Executive produced by Joss Whedon!
• Buffy vs. Wolfram & Hart!
Shade of Pale wrote:I'm going to make a wild guess, though - DH are not going to reference the events of the Spike series with regard to W & H in their story, judging by what happened in Angel's latest series with Dru where the reason for her sanity was given an entirely different source.
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