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Buffy Season Eight: Twilight, Part 3

Xander: "And that's the universe's grand plan? Giving Buffy super-powers so she can have destiny sex?"

Synopsis:

Willow teleports the gang to Twilight's HQ, where they reunite with Giles, Andrew, and a bloodied Faith, who is magically healed from her injuries in her fight with Angel.

Willow says that Buffy and Angel are having cosmic sex somewhere out there -- and they are. We're shown Buffy and Angel having sex in the forest, in the air, and eventually in space, with lots of probably-intended-to-be-tasteful close-ups of inoffensive body parts as well as long distancey shots of the two of them naked, welded together, and in flagrante whatever.

Giles tells the gang that the last time Watchers thought "this" was happening, it was the 1680s and thirty Watchers killed themselves in fear. "This" has to do with the balance of the Universe, with yin and yang, with the universal plan for slayers and vampires, the next step up the metaphysical ladder. All those slayers in the past have died because they didn't measure up. Buffy did, because she shared her power and created a new type of being -- and because she loved a vampire. Slayers and vampires are both humans infected by demons. Buffy and Angel are the best of their kind, and they've become a new kind. *sigh*

As Buffy and Angel are doing it, they eventually move through time and space to another plane of existence. Horrible stuff happens to the world they left behind: cyclones, escalating temps, seaquakes. A crack opens in the sky and demons pour through the dimensional rift.

Buffy and Angel wake up in toga clothes among weird trees. Angel says they're in Twilight.

Review:

Can you say embarrassing? I swear I cringed as I was reading it. Did we really need an entire issue devoted to Buffy and Angel cosmically screwing? And to all of the other characters reacting to Buffy and Angel cosmically screwing? Culminating in Buffy and Angel winding up in some sort of alien Eden? Is this the big plot reveal? Ascension to a higher plane, leaving our world behind to rot? Maybe the name "Twilight" wasn't a Bella/Edward joke, after all. Maybe it was something far stupider.

Not that it matters in the grand scheme of this complete clusterf#@%, but Buffy and Angel had sex and Angel didn't turn into Angelus. Something even worse happened. How this makes me long to go back to season two. It's a shame, too, because once upon a time I would have felt really good about Buffy and Angel finally being able to make it without him losing his soul.

Bits and pieces:

-- This issue's subtitle is "Them f#@%ing (plus the true history of the universe)." Subtle.

-- At one point, Satsu resigned in disgust and stomped off, leaving Dawn in charge. Why Dawn?

-- Giles has been searching around the world for a totem, something to prevent this from happening. I wish he had succeeded.

-- There was a panel of Fray holding the scythe that suggested the Fray future might not happen.

-- The close-ups during sex were probably a deliberate echo of the Buffy/Angel sex scene in season two.

-- There were a couple of panels saying "Three Days Ago" showing what looked like Spike and a blonde woman -- who? talking about fallout from a cataclysmic event, and her getting hit by something mystical. Comic books can be confusing when you don't have actors. If anyone can tell me what happened there, I'd appreciate it.

Quotes:

Xander: "Twilight is Angel?"
Dawn: "Ben is Glory?"
Best line in the issue. It made me laugh out loud.

Andrew: "Was that them? Please don't tell me that was them. It's ruining everything for me."
Andrew, you said it.

I am so very sorry that I ever started reading season eight. On to the next one,

Billie
---
Billie Doux reviewed all of Buffy and Angel, so she knows the plural of apocalypse.

18 comments:

  1. Sigh, it sounds like it's a rough job (reviewing these comics) and here's a tip of the hat to you for doing it, Billie.

    I read them all until the Twilight volume. With the way it was going and with your reviews of these last few, I don't think I'll bother. Hang in there, just one more to go and then you can drop it.

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  2. Morgan, I'm with you. :(

    Topher Darling, this was #34. #40 is the last one. So there are six to go.

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  3. But you can't stop reviewing them! Otherwise, I'll have to read the last few issues myself.

    This sounds so awful, by the way. Just tragically bad. Are we allowed to pretend this is just fanfic and not canon?

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  4. Yes. I haven't read them, but given what I've heard about them I just pretend they don't exist.

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  5. I'm in until #40, and then season eight will be officially over. I'm planning to post a review every other day until the end.

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  6. It's unfair to judge an arc from someone else's description of it, for the record.

    As I recall, the panels were showing a number of events past and future. The panel with Spike and Buffy was marked "Soon."

    Last Gleaming has proven a better arc than Twilight, if only because there are less silly developments. Don't blame Metzler for this arc -- these are all big moments, which means they're Joss. I think the actual writing is still pretty good.

    Some wonderful dialogue coming up in Last Gleaming, even though I still don't know what's really going on.

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  7. The Twilight arc is undoubtedly dreadful, but the comics do pick up again in the last arc. If you google "stormwreath" his reviews are pretty good at explaining the plots. Lastly the three days ago was willow and oz in #31

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  8. Well done for getting through it Billie! It must have been so painful to type the synopsis, meaning you actually had to think abou this story again :( but there's only six more to go, you can do it :)

    I don't understand how seven years of utter greatness could possibly result in this season 8 awfulness, even the bad episodes of BtVS were amazing compared to other shows on TV!

    I've heard that Season 9 will be focused much more on the characters, and hopefully the writers will actually follow this and make it closer to the show, rather than all this sci-fi nonsense. I still have my hopes that Season 9 will be good and that the events of Season 8 can mostly be swept under the rug.

    I'm guessing that you won't be reviewing the issues of Season 9 separately, but will you be reviewing the arcs/trade paperbacks? I would love to hear at least some of the reaction from your Buffy-expert opinion :)

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  9. Thanks so much for the info, everyone. Stephen, I'm not planning to review any other comic books of any kind, under any circumstances, after issue 40. It's just not my medium.

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  10. I haven't picked up any of the Buffy comics, but, from your reviews, I can certainly understand why you wouldn't want to review any more, Billie.

    In fairness to the medium, though, Buffy Season 8 is hardly representative of the strengths and weaknesses of comics. One of the reasons I didn't pick it up is that I'd read some of Whedon's previous forays into the ninth art, and felt he had a profound misunderstanding of the medium. To make matters worse, comics actually seem to flag up some of his less endearing pre-existing writing ticks.

    Unless you've read other popular comics that you really hated, I wouldn't write out the medium just yet (hey, comics readers, now is the time to fill this page with recommendations for Billie--evil laughter). One thing is for sure, though, comics is just not *Joss Whedon's* medium.

    Too bad. I have a feeling Season 8 is only still selling because of the completist factor, and Dark Horse may see a sharp drop in sales when Season 9 begins.

    By the by, does anyone know whether Buffy Season 8 and Angel Season 5 are supposed to take place in the same universe? The events described here seem contradictory.

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  11. Agree about this issue..what a terrible thing it was. Just Buffy and Angel getting it on..and people's reactions to it. Complete waste of time. As a comics fan I'd somewhat predictably would like to recommend Neil Gaiman's "Sandman" even if it's umpteen volumes long. The Hernandez brothers works I also love.
    Anna

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  12. I don’t think I need to say anything. Everyone else has said it all already. I can’t see what else I can add.

    Dimitri, from what I’ve read Buffy Season 8 is supposed to take place some time after Angel Season 6.

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  13. Demitri, your comment was really interesting. What was it about Joss' other comics that you didn't like? Until Season 8 I thought he was pretty good

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  14. "Dawn: 'Ben is Glory?'
    Best line in the issue. It made me laugh out loud."

    Me too. By the way, there have been a few references of Dawn being the key, which makes me wonder if her keyness will be back eventually.

    The story gets a little (very little) better on the final arc, but it's still pretty pathetic. It's a shame.

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  15. I GUESS I'M THE ONLY FRICKIN' PERSON IN THE 'VERSE THAT LIKES THE SEASON EIGHT COMICS! GAH! It was a fun random read I thought. Please finish reviewing them! I know you won't do season Nine but please finish season eight!

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  16. I think they're fun, they just lost the story a bit after Time of Your Life. I consider them canon in the same way the Star Wars novels are -- sure, maybe that's what happens next, but I'm not going to let that influence my enjoyment of the 'real' thing.

    Billie's gonna freak at #39, I think.

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  17. Hello Anonymous,

    Regarding what I don't like about the other Whedon comics, I know Joss Whedon has a lot of fans here (and I count myself among them), so I'm going to try and keep my winging to a strict minimum:

    Simply put, Whedon seems to think comics are wild and zany, so everything goes no matter how goofy. He's not completely wrong, but there is such a thing as tonal consistency. Yes, the Fantastic Four may end up fighting Hamlet on a surf board in space, but they would never do it in the same issue that they're dealing with a more grounded problem. Mutant cures and aliens from Dimension X make for a pretty spectacular tonal clash. He's not so good with internal logic either, presumably because he doesn't care as much in the goofy medium of comic books. Again from Astonishing X-Men, how exactly does a paraplegic drive a truck in the middle of a perpetual EMP?

    Then there's the problem of lateness and pacing. It feels a lot like his comics are written as a kooky hobby in between his real job, which would explain his notoriously late scripts that held up the X-Men franchise as a whole for over four years. Even if his scripts were on time, not a lot happens in 22 pages of a Whedon comic. As a TV writer, he seems to forget that comics come out on a monthly basis, so waiting four to six issues to get the one complete story is the equivalent to watching a TV show with only 2 to 3 episodes per year. That's something you have to consider when writing for a new medium.

    Anyway, that's that. There's always a learning curve when tackling a new medium, so here's hoping he'll get better at it!

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