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Thinky Thoughts on Buffy Comics Season 8 Number 34 Omnibus [Wednesday 5 May 2010 at 02:09 am]
Owen
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Now that 35 is about to come out, I'd like to publish a last minute thought on 34.

Call Me Nostradamus

I wrote a fanfic called Queen Maud just after issue 33, back in March, which I labeled with a sarcastic warning, “contains spoilers for Buffy Season 8 comics issues 34 and 35.” Officially, I don't get to see previews of the issues a month before they come out, but I predicted the story structure, the events, the narrative technique, the exposition and revelations, and a fair amount of the scenes and blocking of issue 34.



Friendship Flash Fic

"Why's Angel get a reward?"

"Because," Willow explains, "he's the yin to her yang."

"Now there's the fantasy," skinless Warren snarks.

"It's not a fantasy. Passion and love are more potent magicks than you think."

"Oh, I know. Amy." Warren gets starry eyed as he leans back against the wall. "She's my skin, you know. My life."

Willow leans back along side him, "Being apart as long as they have, you can imagine how they must feel." She conjures a golden, glowing image of Buffy and Angel as Willow remembers them and gently touches Warren's shoulder in support.

"It's a beautiful thing," Warren wraps his arm around Willow, leaving a bloody smudge on the far shoulder of her waffled green top.

"I was in love like that once," she sighs.

"With the blondie? You two were hot together."

Willow looks at him surprised.

"We hid a camera in your bedroom."

"Oh," the redheaded witch smiles, "you silly boys; we had a time in Sunnydale, didn't we?"

Science

I posed a comment on the theme of science in the Buffyverse and comics universe (or omniverse – whatever, Giles) in gabrielleabelle's journal:

“In the Buffyverse, evolution is teleological and Lamarckian. The universe seeks a more evolved destination and evolution can come through personal ascension to a higher form rather than natural selection over the course of generations. If it were Darwinian and operated over generations as in our universe, Giles would know.

In the Buffyverse, psychology works according to Freudian literary theories. Souls function as a distinct superego establishing the possibility of good and evil. Modern experimental and neurochemical psychology doesn't apply to humans or vampires.

In the Buffyverse breath carries a life giving substance over and above its chemical nature. This theory is known as Vitalism (you can look it up in Wikipedia, the source of all knowledge). It was popular in the nineteenth century just like Lamarckianism and Freudianism. Xander has vital breath because he's alive. Angel doesn't. Talking and smoking are entirely different things because words and cigarettes aren't alive.

Now I wonder how Relativity (or rather, 1800s Aether Theory) and Quantum Mechanics (the Bohr Atom) work in the Buffyverse.”

See, it all fits together.

Forgetting something, Rupert?

In issue 34, Giles says, "I needed to know how to kill a god." So far as we know, there is only one mortal who has ever killed a god in the Buffyverse. Giles is uniquely qualified; he already knows how.

Yin and Yang

Willow says Angel is the Yin to Buffy's Yang. It's the destiny implication between those two that turns the stomach at first, and that Willow is still such an awful Duck. But thinking brings up another issue.

Yin is slow, wet, and feminine. Yang is hard, aggressive, and masculine. So Angel, like his name sounds, is a big girl.

My ex-wife's theory

My ex-wife used to say that people were generally incapable of lying and that they would tell you the truth whether they wanted to or not. You just had to pay attention to what they really said and take it seriously. If I'd taken that advice, it certainly would have allowed me to see the divorce coming several years further in advance.

Joss said in an interview a few years ago that he was planning three issues of Blight (Buffy/Twilight) fucking and that Spike would be in two of them. We all thought he was kidding. If we were as wise as my lovely ex, we'd have known. Tomorrow's issue should be the final Blight fucking issue and have Spike in it. I choose to feel dread.

They say you can only wank so much before your hand gets tired

So Buffy/Angel. Buffy/Twilight. Blight fucking. How do I feel about it, as a fan of Buffy the person, the character? I fall somewhere in between Satsu, – “I'm done,” stalking off – and Giles – who went looking for something to kill Buffy with.

If I predicted it, it must make some kind of sense, right?

Not necessarily. The most important principle with Joss is “never go for the kill, when you can go for the pain.” The most important principle is not, 'a plot is a series of events that logically follow one another.'

Blight and Spuffy, why there could only be this

Blight is the ship that built Joss into an icon and his first proudest moment in Buffy was Becoming 2, still the best of all the season finales. The pain he can put together between Angel and Buffy and the shipper base he built around them still means something to him, so he will insist on getting them together from time to time. They will not, of course, end up happy. That's not what Joss loves about them.

Spike and Buffy would have insisted on making their way as a real working couple if BtVS had continued to an eighth season. Joss can't have that so Spike and Buffy's dynamic was never a candidate for plot points in the comics.

Whistler promised me better

“It wasn't supposed to go down like this. Nobody saw you coming. I figured this for Angel's big day, but I thought he was here to stop Acathla, not to bring him forth. Then you two made with the smoochies. Now he's a creep again. Now, what are you gonna do? What are you prepared to do?”

Well, Angel's a creep again. But now Giles thinks they're destined by the universe to fuck the world apart. That's way less beautiful than the Buffy and Angel drama from the series, where at least they were getting in trouble through their own free will.

More

I've made a huge mistake.

Fighting the First, I could see it coming. I knew the prophecy. Sharing her power and loving a vampire with a soul would end the universe. The stories, the terror that once led thirty of us to take their own lives were coming true. And yet she kept coming closer and closer to Spike. So I did what I had to.

It couldn't make sense to her. She didn't know the traditions, the nightmares of the Council. The dangers of mixing the two conditions of the prophecy. I had to take him away from her by any means available.

But I should have known it couldn't be Spike. He wasn't chosen. He was never chosen. Spike's soul was an accident, an act of outrageous free will against the omniverse's plan. He couldn't ever be the agent of the Twilight.

And I lost Buffy's trust. I was relieved to see he didn't come for her when he was resurrected. I sent Andrew away to keep the secret. One squad of slayers sacrificed to his pathetic leadership was a small price to pay to keep her in the dark and hold back the Twilight.

Maybe if I had revealed the truth to her, Spike could have given her the strength to beat this. That's always how prophecy is, though. If I didn't resist it, it couldn't have happened. Spike might have been the pillar of her will to resist Angel, who was her destiny.

Now the oceans run red in blood and in lava, the Earth has split apart, and a hailstorm of demons has arrived to take the world back from the animals. This castle in the mountains has held us alive a few moments longer than the men in decimated cities and fields and birds that drop from the skies and fish that rise lifeless from boiling seas. We are all dying now. And it's my fault. I didn't trust Buffy. At least I won't be alive much longer to regret it.

Angel is Lame

Buffy subverts and undermines prophecy; she does not become its victim. That's Angel's job. Over on AtS, prophecy and godlike powers were essential. On Buffy, the kids took care of each other and beat down the Powers.

Do we remember the last time some Powers had an idea about how to make the world better and raise us all to a beltless new existence? Even Angel should know better, though he was taken in by Jasmine, wasn't he?

They used to say Buffy was a new feminist kind of horror adventure story

They used to.

LinkReply

Comments:
From: beer_good_foamy
Wednesday 5 May 2010 at 12:46 pm (UTC)
"Oh," the redheaded witch smiles, "you silly boys; we had a time in Sunnydale, didn't we?"

Heee. You should post this to comicsnarkathon.

In issue 34, Giles says, "I needed to know how to kill a god." So far as we know, there is only one mortal who has ever killed a god in the Buffyverse. Giles is uniquely qualified; he already knows how.

Well, according to Allie, all he'd needed to do was tell Buffy what was happening and he would have averted the whole thing. Clearly that was too hard.

So Angel, like his name sounds, is a big girl.

*snerk*

Spike's soul was an accident, an act of outrageous free will against the omniverse's plan. He couldn't ever be the agent of the Twilight.

Heh. That actually makes sense.

Even Angel should know better, though he was taken in by Jasmine, wasn't he?

And he grieved for what happened to Cordelia, so it would make sense that he would put a whole lot of hard work into making the same thing happen to Buffy. Except not.
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[User Picture]From: owenthurman
Wednesday 5 May 2010 at 09:03 pm (UTC)
Thanks for commenting. I really liked your concentrated crack snarkathon entry. I really wanted to like the comics story more than I can, but snarking about it is at least some kind of bonus.
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[User Picture]From: fangfaceandrea
Wednesday 5 May 2010 at 12:54 pm (UTC)
That Giles Ficlet was just brilliant, loved every single thing about it.

And can I just re-post this all over the internet? specially twitter: "They say you can only wank so much before your hand gets tired" bwahahahahahaha
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[User Picture]From: owenthurman
Wednesday 5 May 2010 at 09:10 pm (UTC)
loved every single thing about it

I started missing the real Giles in Season Seven. Now I had to explain somehow what was going on in his head in issue 34, just for the sake of writing something about it here. And I discovered that the only plausible backstory also explained pod Giles from S7 and especially LMPTM. So there had to be at least a tiny bit of fic.

Please re-post promiscuously!
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[User Picture]From: rebcake
Wednesday 5 May 2010 at 01:05 pm (UTC)
Mmmmm. I sort of love the angsty Giles one. It might not happen that way, but it probably works better than what we'll get. *expectations are low*

One squad of slayers sacrificed to [Andrew's] pathetic leadership was a small price to pay

That'll teach ya to focus on the greater good!

Edited at 2010-05-05 01:07 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: owenthurman
Wednesday 5 May 2010 at 09:46 pm (UTC)
I sort of love the angsty Giles one

Thank you. That one wasn't even planned when I outlined this post. It slipped its way in.
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[User Picture]From: norwie2010
Wednesday 5 May 2010 at 02:45 pm (UTC)
That was hilarious! Thank you.

PS: I also want to apologize to you because i never came back to your post on linguistics, such an interesting theme and unfortunately no time...
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[User Picture]From: owenthurman
Wednesday 5 May 2010 at 11:30 pm (UTC)
You're welcome.

i never came back to your post

Happens all the time; it's Livejournal. Don't worry. Someday it'll come back around.
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