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Thread: Buffy # 26 Issue Discussion Thread(Full Spoilers)

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    Default Buffy # 26 Issue Discussion Thread(Full Spoilers)

    Advance review for tomorrow's Buffy # 26.The kickoff of the final arc of season 10.

    http://www.wickedhorror.com/horror-r...ire-slayer-26/

    Comic Review: Buffy the Vampire Slayer #26

    April 19, 2016By Nat Brehmer

    We left things in a very dire place in the previous issue. The best thing about this month’s Buffy, though, is that it’s a whole lot of fun, even though it leaves us in an even more devastating place than we already were. Compared to what they’ve dealt with in the past, this hasn’t been a season of very high stakes for the Scoobies. Buffy’s had a pretty sustainable relationship with Spike, Giles may be very young but is at least alive, Dawn and Xander broke up but stayed on amicable terms, and Willow has sort of been doing her own thing working with the military with a good deal of success. They took it upon themselves to rewrite the rules of magic. It’s come back to bite them in only a few ways and they have always had the magic council to fall back upon when that happened.

    Things are different now. Dawn and Xander are stuck in another dimension while everyone scrambles for a way to get them back home. And this causes Buffy to be at odds with all of her friends. She’s anxious, angry, and can barely look at them without pointing fingers—including Spike. It’s the most tense we’ve seen things between Buffy and her friends all season and it’s honestly kind of refreshing. Finally, the stakes are high, and like the best of the TV series, the stakes are high for reasons due entirely to the characters. Buffy isn’t angry and hostile for no reason, she’s acting out of a love for her sister and fear that she might never see her again. That makes things very interesting.



    The real stars of the issue, though, are Dawn and Xander. These are the characters who actually should be without hope because they’re lost on an alien world with no way of knowing if they will ever make it back home. Instead, a lot of what we see is genuinely funny. The demons here worship Dawn as a goddess because of her newfound powers, which she’s getting the hang of very quickly. Xander also shows his usefulness in really interesting ways. He introduces them to basic architecture to protect their kind from this world’s hellish acid rain. He also teaches these demons some techniques he learned in therapy to help mellow them out. Xander’s growth this season has been really cool in general, so it’s nice to see it actually being explored in both touching and hilarious ways.

    The timeline of the issue is pretty unclear. It could take place over a couple of days, but in the case of Xander and Dawn, it seems to last weeks, if not months. That could just be due to the time differences between the two dimensions, but either way, an explanation would go a long way.



    A lot of the reveals regarding D’Hoffryn and the Magic Council are not in any way surprising, they’ve been coming for a long time, but it does make things interesting to get all of that now. It’s never been a question of “Is D’Hoffryn going to turn on them?” It’s “When is D’Hoffryn going to turn on them?” He couldn’t have picked a time when they would have been more vulnerable or less prepared, so that’s going to make things very interesting heading toward the finale.

    This is a very strong issue that captures the balance of the show very well. It’s funny, it’s quirky, it’s emotionally weighty and compelling, but it doesn’t have to sacrifice any one of those things for the sake of any others. That’s what always made Buffy work and it works here. I think it will be interesting to see D’Hoffryn finally be a major antagonist. He’s been an ally for some time, and has been way too nice, considering he’s a really bad guy. I also fully predict Ghost Anya turning on him, but I can’t wait to see what happens, regardless.

    WICKED RATING: 8 Stars (8 / 10)

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    First impressions: I was surprised by how much I liked the Dawn/Xander in the other dimension scenes. I was expecting to hate that (although I do hate Dawn's sudden powers, waaaay too convenient). The other-worldly demons were great.

    I loved the panels where D'Hoffryn was destroying all the other council members, paired with Willow's voiceover. That was really nicely done and impactful (although no one will be surprised).

    I continue to not like the fighting between Buffy and Spike. It's not that they're fighting, I always loved when they argued in the show. Something just feels off about it and I still can't really put my finger on what. Out of character somehow.

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    kimothyschma, I agree with your impressions.

    The Xander and Dawn thing was much more than what I expected too. I have to love seeing Xander back to his feet and being the best version of himself. I really think he deserves more love than what he's been getting. And yes, the panels where D'hoffryn was shown killing the Council members where quite shocking, which is pretty awesome by itself.

    Quote Originally Posted by kimothyschma View Post
    I continue to not like the fighting between Buffy and Spike. It's not that they're fighting, I always loved when they argued in the show. Something just feels off about it and I still can't really put my finger on what. Out of character somehow.
    My feelings, exactly.

    The way Buffy has been handling stuff worries me a bit. It seems to me like a regression from where she was in season 7, and even in season 8. I know things changed, and she is not General Buffy anymore, and I like how she is more in touch with her humanity than she was during season 7, for instance, when she was willing to sacrifice everything and everyone for the grater good.

    I can relate a little with season 10 Buffy, though. Now that I'm an adult I feel a lot less fierce and a lot more sentimental than what I was in my late teens or early twenties, so I don't think Buffy's behavior is totally off. I mean, eventually one has to get to the moment in life when saving the world seems less important and taking care of your family and having a life becomes a priority. It is part of growing up. I just feel a little worried that they are just too close to crossing the out of character line, and how harmful this could be to Buffy as a character, and to the Buffyverse in general.

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    I enjoyed this issue. The humour of the scenes with Xander and Dawn was great, if a little too cheesy at times and blunt in the use as a contrast to what was happening on Earth for me, but it was entertaining. I'm not sure at all about a Wolfram & Hart link in BtVS, I wait to see how that gets used. But Xander and Dawn seem to be heading towards 'building' something of substance again away from the everyday chaos of their lives and I think that is nice. Sometimes you do need to give time and space to something to get to see it clearly, have less background noise you know.

    I do hope that some scaffolding of Dawn's powers is coming, even if not in this season. I can accept that she has only just tapped into a power that is innate to her but with not even the slightest sniff of anything before it is all coming just oh so easily and way too conveniently. That her powers are capable of providing the answer to anything which would possibly cause them to stumble for their immediate needs when left in a hell dimension just overly lightens a situation that should have some sense of tension and jeopardy to it I think. That she just 'knows' what is safe to eat felt a bit of a silly stretch to me and a huge leap from being just this energy ball that could simply open a portal. I'd just like a little support to the new direction they are taking her now. Also, her powers feel a little too generic and ill considered in what she can do for me, at a glance they just looked a lot like competent witchy powers. I am still going with Dawn being key (no pun intended) in dealing with D'Hoffryn. Her shrinking of the demon who threatened Xander was too much of a match to D'Hoffryn shrinking the soul glutton I felt.

    D'Hoffryn's slaughter of the council was done very well and I really liked the use of Willow's words against such excellent art from Rebekah. The highlight of the issue for me. I find it a little surprising though that none of the members of the council saw the inherent flaw which he exploited, but hey-ho. That Buffy et al were left alive was a huuuge stretch but a massively common and much mocked trope. It really made me think of the whole Austin Powers scene I saw again only the other day where our very lovely Seth Green is challenging Dr Evil's intention to not just finish off the good guys.

    I have to say I didn't expect the book to get taken without Anya involved so I'm now assuming that she is going to redeem herself and have a character step to put aside vengeance. I'm struggling to see the point of her other than to be mysterious in the writing and vaguely hint towards D'Hoffryn being involved earlier in the season. It just feels far too far a stretch to believe that a convoluted waiting plan was necessary to get her to feel vengeance towards the gang to get the wish re: the mistress and soul glutton out of one of the Scoobs. I'm intrigued to see how she is used from here.

    I actually thought Buffy's short fuse with everyone was very believable and it didn't feel like it was a huge red flag to any significant relationship breakdowns in and of itself from this issue. Sure it can be indicative of existing/building tensions, but people shouldn't imo end such established friendships/relationships from such little outbursts when someone is understandably under a very significant personal pressure. Buffy's comments to Willow/Giles/Spike were all unfair and unreasonable and I think very deliberately so to read very clearly as tension releases from her. I'm not saying that there isn't trouble ahead that needs dealing with for her/Willow or her/Spike, but Willow's reasonable approach in going to her about presenting a united front with the council and Spike's subtle supportive hand after her outburst at him both I felt showed that the care/support that has been shown earlier in the season isn't refuted, it is just being put under strain at the moment. So I don't really see what is happening as fighting so much as the flexes that relationships endure and cope with in real life as people deal with individual issues and changing situations/choices, whilst staying connected. I could be proven wrong, it would just be nice to see the stated maturing of the season expanding to include how people handle their relationships overall and everything not be just wafer thin between all these people that have known each other for so many years because the writing wants to add in some tension/angst. Those things can all happen without people totally falling apart. If we are heading towards any meaningful breaks in friendships with Buffy then the build up to them believably happening needs to move quite a large leap from where they are at now and have been so far for me.
    Last edited by Stoney; 21-04-16 at 01:33 AM.

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    That was by far... by far... the most enjoyable, well-paced, well-structured, and authentic feeling issue of these books I've read in a long time. Very glad of it. Even the D'Hoffryn slaughters the Council scene works very well, and the confrontation reinforces just how stupid the gang have been this whole time, how self-indulgent and off-task. Almost hope that might be the takeaway in this reprise of "life is the big bad", that Season 6 frankly didn't commit itself too, and that there is a very essential Adulting you have to start doing and doing all the time. Everybody was so into trying to make all this as much not their problem as they could, D'Hoffryn had them easily -- it was like a wish granting curse that required no wish.

    Also enjoyed Buffy coming unglued in a petty vindictive fashion. That's... actually spot on characterization, ya'll. Character flaw is legit. Being unfair to others in a time of emotional stress is something we see many times over the course of the series. What we don't usually get is non-submissive pushback from people who aren't Xander or Spike.

    The Xander/Dawn stuff was pretty pleasant. Just a nice way for them to start reconnecting. Dawn being Lady of Exposition and Convenient Powers is silly, but it also works in the Rule of Funny, so I enjoyed it. Honestly wish they could get Buffy a message and tell her they're straight for at least a while.

    Wolfram & Hart tease was nice, too. Probably easiest way to contrive a way back for Xander and Dawn, too, by having to deal with evil.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rihannon View Post
    kimothyschma, I agree with your impressions.

    The Xander and Dawn thing was much more than what I expected too. I have to love seeing Xander back to his feet and being the best version of himself. I really think he deserves more love than what he's been getting. And yes, the panels where D'hoffryn was shown killing the Council members where quite shocking, which is pretty awesome by itself.

    My feelings, exactly.

    The way Buffy has been handling stuff worries me a bit. It seems to me like a regression from where she was in season 7, and even in season 8. I know things changed, and she is not General Buffy anymore, and I like how she is more in touch with her humanity than she was during season 7, for instance, when she was willing to sacrifice everything and everyone for the grater good.

    I can relate a little with season 10 Buffy, though. Now that I'm an adult I feel a lot less fierce and a lot more sentimental than what I was in my late teens or early twenties, so I don't think Buffy's behavior is totally off. I mean, eventually one has to get to the moment in life when saving the world seems less important and taking care of your family and having a life becomes a priority. It is part of growing up. I just feel a little worried that they are just too close to crossing the out of character line, and how harmful this could be to Buffy as a character, and to the Buffyverse in general.
    Buffy was never going to sacrifice everything for the greater good. She wouldn't sacrifice Spike or take the demon injection, you can't beat evil by doing evil, yada-yada. She was lying and putting up a front. Everything she says is immediately contradicted in action, which is her character. A doer, not a talker.

    Buffy's been OOC since jumping out of that helicopter, I wouldn't worry about it now. She'll say whatever needs to be said to push the others stories along like when she told Billy you shouldn't date your slaying buddies. She's there to be wrong. In this case it'll be so the others outgrow her 11 year-old foot-stomping crap and move on. Fans'll cheer. After all, they're better characters anyway and the books'll improve. Buffy is a dead weight character and the bizarre, directionless writing of her weighs the story down.

    Then S11 will be about "growing up" again. It'll deal with the adventures her housemates putting Mr. Yuck stickers on the bottles under the sink.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KingofCretins View Post
    Honestly wish they could get Buffy a message and tell her they're straight for at least a while.
    Yes, I thought of this too...

    Quote Originally Posted by HardlyThere View Post
    Buffy was never going to sacrifice everything for the greater good. She wouldn't sacrifice Spike or take the demon injection, you can't beat evil by doing evil, yada-yada. She was lying and putting up a front. Everything she says is immediately contradicted in action, which is her character. A doer, not a talker.
    Of course she is a doer, nothing to argue there. She did let Spike sacrifice himself in season 7, and she lead everyone she cared for to a battle that could have killed them all, herself included. And some of them actually did die. She had no choice, of course, and I'm not saying she didn't care who died, but season 7 (and 8) Buffy was in General mode. In later seasons it seems that they are trying to bring back the Buffy that wants to have a life (normal or not) which I also find believable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rihannon View Post
    Yes, I thought of this too...

    Of course she is a doer, nothing to argue there. She did let Spike sacrifice himself in season 7, and she lead everyone she cared for to a battle that could have killed them all, herself included. And some of them actually did die. She had no choice, of course, and I'm not saying she didn't care who died, but season 7 (and 8) Buffy was in General mode. In later seasons it seems that they are trying to bring back the Buffy that wants to have a life (normal or not) which I also find believable.
    General mode =/= sacrifice any/everyone for the 'greater good'. She didn't have a choice in the First waging war on them and they all chose to be there. Spike chose to die as opposed to letting Giles kill him. That's the difference. S7 is in no way shape for form comparable to S8 where they form an army to battle a "force" that didn't happen until...they formed an army. She's not in General Mode in S8. She's in Psychotic Warlord Mode.

    In later seasons it seems that they are trying to bring back the Buffy that wants to have a life (normal or not) which I also find believable.
    Once a button is pushed, you can't unpush it. Hence the problem. They pretend all the character stuff never happened. She has no relevance to this story other than having the Scythe which anyone, man/woman/slayer/demon, can wield and do the dumbest thing possible. She wants a life? If only. I see no indication. No search for a job or to continue schooling or travel, doesn't even talk about such things. She tried dating for all of one night. Every other character has a goal driving them. She's less dynamic than Harmony. Just last season they did Buffy Embracing Slaying Story #12 with her quitting Kennedy's company. Now, what, 6 months later she wants a life. Again. See what I'm getting at? Circles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HardlyThere View Post
    General mode =/= sacrifice any/everyone for the 'greater good'. She didn't have a choice in the First waging war on them and they all chose to be there. Spike chose to die as opposed to letting Giles kill him. That's the difference.
    Yes, of course. But she was willing to let him sacrifice himself, which season 10 Buffy isn't. Giles trying to kill Spike was blindsided and stupid, and Buffy knew that. Regardless of her feelings for him, season 7 Buffy was positive about Spike being an asset, not a liability as most of the others seemed to think. Letting Giles kill Spike was in no way equivalent to sacrifice him for the 'greater good' (or letting him sacrifice himself, if this is more accurate).


    Quote Originally Posted by HardlyThere
    S7 is in no way shape for form comparable to S8 where they form an army to battle a "force" that didn't happen until...they formed an army. She's not in General Mode in S8. She's in Psychotic Warlord Mode.
    Ok, I give you that. I think everyone, to an extent, agree that S8 was over the top. Still, I see it like a stage, as many of us could have before finding out that we are not really cut for something, or that the loss is in no way worth the gain.

    Do you think they are pretending nothing of this happened? I agree with you in the 'circles' thing, I get what you say. I'm not yet convinced that this is not valid, though. The way I see it, S10 Buffy is tired of losing people, since no matter how great the battle is, there will be another one around the corner. It never seems to stop, so what's the point of giving up what makes her life worthy? I think she has to feel that the responsibility of leading people to their deaths is more than what she bargained for. She's been there, done that, not in the mood for doing it again. She is still giving priority to her Slayer job, though, maybe accepting that that's what her life is about? At least during this stage of her life. Also, apparently the degree of life normalcy she wants, and what she gets, is something she has dealt with all along her life as a slayer.
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    This issue was really enjoyable. I didn't think I'd enjoy the Xander/Dawn parts this much. They made the issue.
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    I got Buffy # 26,the first part of,"Own it",the final arc of season 10.

    I really liked the Xander and Dawn stuff.I do think they are going to be back together by the end of the season.

    Buffy was certainly not acting her best in this issue although I sympathise with her mental state.

    D'Hoffryn's actions weren't a surprise.We've known this was coming for a while.Still,I'm interested to see how the gang deals with him and his amped up powers.

    Overall,I liked the issue.

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    Since I was away on vacation last week it took me a little to get caught up on #26, but I read it earlier today and I really enjoyed it. A lot of you already mentioned the really nice elements of this issue and I completely agree: Xander spreading the love among the demons was just precious! (I wonder what will come of Wolfram & Hart's involvement, though...)

    Did anyone else feel reminded of Palpatine's goons taking out the Jedi knights in their separate engagements in "Revenge of the Sith" as D'Hoffryn hunted down the Council? A well-drawn homage, I think!

    Buffy's lashing out at everyone was psychologically sound for me. However, I liked the way her friends stood up to her without becoming aggressive in turn - more like a caring confrontation thing.

    A really solid delivery for story and art.
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    What did Buffy "say" to Willow in this angry rant?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clavus
    Did anyone else feel reminded of Palpatine's goons taking out the Jedi knights in their separate engagements in "Revenge of the Sith" as D'Hoffryn hunted down the Council? A well-drawn homage, I think!
    Yes, absolutely! Of course! At least D'Hoffryn didn't kill any babies off-screen...

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    Willow and Giles were telling Buffy how Lake's people and the Fae people did try to help finding a way to the dimension where Dawn and Xander were left behind, but no one had any luck for one reason or another. Buffy lashed back out of frustration, and with unnecessary harshness, about how they were just centered in their new relationships instead of really trying to help Dawn.

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    I really enjoyed this issue. I'm glad we got to see D'Hoffryn actually being evil, I was kinda worried that the writers had forgotten that about him. I wonder if they'll actually have the balls to kill him off at the end of the season? My guess is that he'll be done in by his own ambition, writing something into the book that he shouldn't.

    So here's a rundown of D'Hoffryn's new powers -in addition to his original ones:

    The ability to detect and pinpoint the usage of concentrated mystic energy (new ability for D'Hoffryn that was written into the book). I guess this means that if Willow does a major spell, he'll sense her location immediately.

    The ability to drain magic power of any being not native to this dimension (acquired after he killed Monarch) I don't think this ability will be useful against to scoobies at all, since only a handful of them have any magic power to begin with, and all of them are native to this dimension. I guess D'Hoffryn could drain other demons like Severin could to power himself up further.

    The ability to absorb and redirect kinetic energy. (acquired after killing Keiko). This is huge. He might now be immune to all physical attacks. If this is a passive ability, rather than having to be activated by concentrating or whatever, this means that D'Hoffryn (and Keiko before him) is completely immune to physical attacks based on movement such as blows or stabs. His whole body would be like Captain America's shield. This is very overpowered and frankly, the scoobies were morons to give anyone this ability to begin with.

    The ability to return any being to its native dimension (acquired after killing the Quiet Man). This ability is pretty useless against the scoobies since they are all native to this dimension.

    The ability to sense any opponent's greatest weakness (acquired after killing Brahma). Not sure how this ability would manifest... I'm guessing if he fought Buffy, he'd be able to sense where her vital organs are at all times? Or maybe if he fought Spike, he'd instantly gain knowledge of vampire weaknesses (if he didn't know them already).

    Invulnerability to magic attacks (acquired after killing Matango). This one is pretty big too. Coupled with his immunity to physical attacks, an immunity to magic makes D'Hoffryn largely unstoppable. Willow and Giles can't hurt him with magic blasts.

    D'Hoffryn is now one of the most powerful big bads we've seen. I'm guessing the only way to kill him now would be to give him a weakness by writing something in the Vampyr book. Or you could kill him with fire. Halfrek was killed by immolation, and although it was non-canon, the way to defeat Anyanka in the Chaos Bleeds game was to keep throwing hellfire at her. For what it's worth, Anya got pissed when Willow's locator spell burned the carpet, although that was more to do with the carpet being ruined than any possible harm to Anya. I think it seems likely that Vengance Demons have a weakness against fire. This would be a way around D'Hoffryns immunity to both physical and magical attacks. More likely the scoobies will use the book to defeat him though.

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    I think Dawn is going to come into play against D'Hoffryn and how the abilities he has stack up against her is a little less certain. Dawn is human and originated in this dimension even if her key power wasn't, so I'd guess he wouldn't be able to drain her. Equally I don't think he would be able to send her elsewhere because she is human and 'Dawn' originated on Earth. You may well be right that the book is going to be a part of his downfall, I also think the scythe which was noted to be the only thing that worked against the Kraken might be pertinent. Perhaps in Dawn's hands it could be used in a non-kinetic way, as Willow has used its power before. I don't know. I'll just be surprised if Dawn isn't part of his defeat.

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    I feel like I have a bead on the way out of uber'Hoffryn. can someone refresh me, as I can't look right now, what was the putative wish that faux-Anya heard and ostensibly granted? I remember distinctly feeling that was his long game, for that to happen and that it somehow enabled his big move (total Batman Gambit, for you tropers).

    But that aside, I am guessing she is the solution here -- we know explicitly vengeance demons are not immune to the realitied of their wishes, so a wish could be the big fix to their problems.

    Not for nothing, but our problems, too -- a wish to reinstate the original rules of magic, for instance? could get something close to a plot justified reset of 80% of the things that have wadded up the Buffyverse and its entertainment value. Maybe I am just wishing

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    Buffy's wish that ghost-Anya granted was merely that D'Hoffryn could have the power to defeat the Soul Glutton and. Mistress by himself, which he's done. I think that wish is granted and done with, I don't see it becoming important again.

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    That wish, no, but the one who achieved it, whom we already know will be about in the near future? mebbe. After all, if that little coup was the whole point of her they could have already had D'Hoffryn murk her just to up his evil bastard factor that much more.

    Her being his undoing hoists D'Hoffryn on his own petard as surely as messing up with the book does. Better, actually... because vengeance wish.

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    I do like the irony of an evil being who is thousands of years old being done in by a slip of the tongue. Would have to be some clever writing though.

    Do you think the writers will actually kill him off? I kinda fear they'll treat him like Drusilla, and he'll be allowed to escape to the detriment of the world merely because he's a familiar face. Ever since these comics started, the only character from the show who has died and stayed dead is Ethan Rayne. I don't really count Warren, Rack or the Master, since they were considered dead when the show ended.

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