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Buffy 8.20 "After These Messages... We'll Be Right Back" Spoiler Discussion Thread

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  • Buffy 8.20 "After These Messages... We'll Be Right Back" Spoiler Discussion Thread

    Jeph Loeb's one-shot at the Buffyverse and a six page preview.

    "After These Messages..." Preview

    And here's the review of the preview --

    Remember that "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" animated series that never was? Turns out, it is getting new life - as the basis of an upcoming "Buffy: Season Eight" comic.

    Called "After These Messages ? We'll Be Right Back!", the storyline, out December 10, plops the Buffster down into the middle of her own animated show, in a sort of "Pleasantville"/"Peggy Sue Gets Married" kind of way. (And we have your exclusive, eight-page preview after the jump!)

    "She arrives in the animated world, but she knows it's not right," said the issue's writer Jeph Loeb. "In many ways, it's a time-travel show. She's having a day from hell and she wonders if life was always this hard, and when she wakes up, she's got a ?Season One' bod and a ?Season Eight' brain."

    We as the readers know something's off because of the different look (courtesy of animator Eric Wight), which is simpler to reflect what Buffy believes to be a simpler time: high school. And high school at a time when Willow is still crushing on Xander (i.e. she's not yet gay), Angel has yet to become Angelus, Cordelia is still alive, Principal Synder is still alive and her mom is still alive. Buffy realizes all these things when she encounters these people (especially when she sees her mom, whom she overwhelms with a huge hug). But as much as she realizes how much things will change, Buffy's also partly her old self, torn between going to a party or going on patrol. (She somehow manages both.)

    "Joss [Whedon] and I talked about how, despite all her knowledge, she still can't get over being in that time," Loeb said. "Like ?What am I going to wear?' and ?How am I going to get into Cordelia's party?' If you went back to high school and ran into the school bully, you'd still react the same way. She's aware that what's happening shouldn't be happening, but she doesn't share it with anybody."

    Well, not really. But Buffy makes comforting reassurances to folks, like, "No biggie, Will, maybe someday she'll be dead and you'll be a sorceress supreme," in response to Cordelia calling Willow hopeless. Willow jokes, "Do I get to wear a pointy hat?" Or when Synder confiscates Xander's skateboard, Buffy says, "Look at it this way, Xander. Maybe someday Synder will get eaten by a huge ginormous snake - and you'll wear an eyepatch and be in charge of lots of womens." Xander asks, "Really? Like a pirate? Can I be a space pirate?" No one gets that she's telling them their futures - they think it's just typical Buffy banter.

    Buffy starts to wish she could stay in this so-called simpler time, even if her foreknowledge keeps reminding her of things to come. She asks Angel for guidance, but doesn't come away with an answer that makes her feel any better.

    "She doesn't know why she's there," Loeb said. "And the question becomes, will she stay or not stay? If you knew something and could run away from it, what rabbit hole would you go down?"

    (The issue is dedicated to Loeb's late son Sam, with the proceeds to benefit the Sam Loeb Scholarship Fund for a teenage drama workshop at Cal State Northridge.)
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  • #2
    Oeh I really want to read this, it looks like so much fun.

    Only is Buffy aware that Cordelia is dead? And how she died? Because if she does, that was just a very mean thing to say.

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    • #3
      Yeah, I missed that the first time -- if Buffy even knows she's dead, this is a helluva way for the audience to find out. And it speaks very poorly of her if that is the best regard she holds Cordy in, even in Season 1, given how we saw her reacting to her mother.
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      • #4
        I really want to know why they included that line. Is it some morbid joke? Or is that really how Buffy feels about Cordelia? (which would be very hypocrite of Spordelia) She also could've said that Cordy would be broke and lived in a crappy room in LA. Which would also work to cheer Willow up.


        I probably search too much in it, but it just rubs me the wrong way. And now I really want to know what she knows about Cordy's death. (We know that Andrew could've told her that Cordelia wasn't around in 'Damage'.)
        Nina
        and her haircut.
        Last edited by Nina; 02-12-08, 09:08 PM.

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        • #5
          I agree, the line regarding Cordy's death was out of line. I mean, Cordelia's just as heroic as Buffy, if not more! I certainly remember her choosing to become a half-demon and fighting along side Angel instead of having a successful acting career. She definitely deserve a little more credit, especially considering some of the stuff Buffy has done in recent years...

          Though, maybe Buffy's just bitter? A natural hatred because Cordelia' is one of Angel's "great loves?" It's no secret that when it comes to Angel, not Angelus, the two women he loved the most were Buffy and Cordelia.
          Thomas
          Ŧħ?'mąś
          Last edited by Thomas; 02-12-08, 09:11 PM.

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          • #6
            I love that Buffy is still conflicted over killing Willow in the previous issue. Also, love seeing Xander's skateboard again... even though it's a new one.
            Made by Trickyboxes
            Halfrek gives Spike the curse that will change his entire life. Teenage Dirtbag

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            • #7
              Interesting! Maybe Buffy'll mention Spike if Angel's in this one? And maybe we'll find out exactly what she does know about what happened in season 5 of Angel.

              I'm kind of digging the art, it's pretty good, it makes a differences from the attempted realistic art from the other comics, I like the cartoon-ness to it, which is probably because it was gonna be a series, anyway, the plot sounds very interesting and I can't wait to see how it all unfolds. It made me laugh when Buffy's talking to Willow and Xander and mentions about Willow liking Xander, but still being gay without knowing it.

              I also like the return of Cordelia (and probably Angel), it'll be funny to see her bitchiness again, compared to the overt nice-ness in Angel.
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              • #8
                Originally posted by Thomas View Post
                I agree, the line regarding Cordy's death was out of line. I mean, Cordelia's just as heroic as Buffy, if not more! I certainly remember her choosing to become a half-demon and fighting along side Angel instead of having a successful acting career. She definitely deserve a little more credit, especially considering some of the stuff Buffy has done in recent years...
                Definitely agree. I mean, what's with Buffy? (Or, with the writers?)
                Because if Buffy does know Cordy is dead, she must know how she was and what she did in LA. If she would have just made a comment about living a shallow pointless life in LA or something in the lines of that, that would have been perfectly understandable. But she says dead?!?!
                I wonder how she knows about Cordy. Because all Andrew saw was just that she wasn't there...
                As far as I was concerned Buffy didn't know much of what happened in LA, but now she seems to know and NOT care a bit. Weird.

                Also it will be very interesting to see her interaction with Angel. And I wonder too, whether seeing Angel brings up the topic of Spike.

                Also, being back in the beginning of her high school years, should definitely make her think about all the things that are yet to come... So that should be very interesting to see. I've read a fanfic with exactly the same premise - S8 Buffy wakes up in high school Buffy's body - and it dealt mainly with the issue of how could Buffy change the course of upcoming events (and should she try?).
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                • #9
                  I was hoping that the art would be there for a reason, i mena i wish buffy would just say something like, 'and what is up with me, i look like a cartoon!'. I mean if it's canon it should look realistic, im just nit picking but it bugs me.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Thomas View Post
                    I agree, the line regarding Cordy's death was out of line. I mean, Cordelia's just as heroic as Buffy, if not more! I certainly remember her choosing to become a half-demon and fighting along side Angel instead of having a successful acting career. She definitely deserve a little more credit, especially considering some of the stuff Buffy has done in recent years...

                    Though, maybe Buffy's just bitter? A natural hatred because Cordelia' is one of Angel's "great loves?" It's no secret that when it comes to Angel, not Angelus, the two women he loved the most were Buffy and Cordelia.
                    I thought that was an appalling thing for her to say. Are they purposely trying to make her sound like a hard old so and so or what? And as for the "Xander in charge of a lot of women' remark. Huh, so much for female empowerment then

                    I have to say though I love the look of the artwork, but then I loved this retro style in the Batman animated series. I think it suits 'simplistic' Buffy a great deal.

                    I shall look forward to seeing how poor old Angel comes across in this, and what Buffy gleams for this journey through her past.

                    And I wonder too, whether seeing Angel brings up the topic of Spike.
                    I very much doubt it somehow.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by sueworld View Post
                      I very much doubt it somehow.
                      Especially since Jeph Loeb is a blatant Angel/Buffy 'shipper.

                      As for the preview, meh. Both the art and the script give this a very childish/immature feel, which the series never was, even back in Season 1. Or are we supposed to conclude that it just looks that way because we're seeing it from older-and-wiser Buffy's point of view? Also, way rushed: BAM WHAM, this happened, then this happened, then this happened, with no organic transition between the scenes or Buffy's thoughts.

                      Pat made a lot of good points in his Whedonesque review, as well.

                      I thought I'd have liked to see more Season 1, but now I'm mostly just impatient to get on with the main story. The delays may have something to do with it, too.

                      (set made by Francy for me)

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by sueworld View Post
                        And as for the "Xander in charge of a lot of women' remark. Huh, so much for female empowerment then
                        Why, it's just Buffy trying to lighten up Xander's face. And as long Xander is a good and respectful leader I don't see why it is the end of the female empowerment. Xander is the best option to be a leader and it would be stupid if he wasn't aloud to be one because he is male. The whole point of female empowerment is to make them equal to the man, not to make them better. (Although BtVS fails to bring over that message sometimes)
                        Nina
                        and her haircut.
                        Last edited by Nina; 02-12-08, 11:10 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by sueworld View Post
                          I very much doubt it somehow.
                          Well yeah, agreed actually. I don't count too much on that too. Could even be that not having to deal with Spike is one reason this going back to the past is set in S1. No Spike there.
                          Although it would be perfectly normal if seeing Angel reminded her of Spike too. I guess. Or perhaps she's so overwhelmed she'll just want to bask again
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                          • #14
                            Other question;

                            What's up with the comment about Dawn not being a robot monkey?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Nina View Post
                              Why, it's just Buffy trying to lighten up Xander's face. And as long Xander is a good and respectful leader I don't see why it is the end of the female empowerment. Xander is the best option to be a leader and it would be stupid if he wasn't aloud to be one because he is male. The whole point of female empowerment is to make them equal to the man, not to make them better. (Although BtVS fails to bring over that message sometimes)


                              Oh I'm partly kidding. It just makes me smile thats all.

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                              • #16
                                I loved the Dawn/Joyce/Buffy scene, it was so cute and heartbreaking at the same time. I also loved Buffy's comment, "You're just little. Really really...when were you ever this little?" both because it's a great moment, and because it brings up some interesting questions.

                                Dawn never was that little, right? If this is straight up time travel, then it throws the Monk's spell into a whole new light. Instead of simply inserting memories of Dawn into the minds of the Scoobies, a version of Dawn was literally inserted into all points in the past. That makes the Monk's spell probably the most powerful bit of magic we've seen on the show. On the other hand, Dawn's appearance might be a tell that this isn't really time travel, but some sort of interactive memory construct. Either way, it's awesome to see Dawn as a ten-year old interacting with her big teenage sister. Sooo cute!

                                Loved Buffy's slip with Joyce about being a Slayer.

                                Ah, man, you don't know how good it is to see some real inner monologue! In Issue 19 Joss worked on it a bit, but it was mostly for plot reasons, not a real exploration of what the character is thinking and feeling.

                                About Buffy's line to Will about Cordelia: I think it was more a riff on the fact that Willow lived for two hundred years rather than an admission that Buffy knows about Cordelia's death. Even if it wasn't, since when has Buffy ever really liked Cordelia? And she's just trying to make her friend feel better. Lighten up, guys.

                                I found the interaction between Buffy, Xander, and Willow to be interesting. For one, it's a reminder of how actively Willow worked, in Season 1 especially, to prevent any romantic feels from developing on Buffy's part. I mean, one attempt at making Xander feel better is enough to send Willow into coughing fits. For another, there must have been some vibe coming from Buffy for Willow to be so threatened by what seemed like some pretty innocent dialogue.

                                I think the purpose of this issue will be based on the idea that a visit to the past (usually metaphorical, but this time literal) will usually throw the present into much sharper focus. So, from the preview, some of the things that I think will be thrown into focus for Buffy, who seems to have not done much introspection for the past year and a half:

                                *her real feeling about where she is in life. Now that she's gotten to visit the past she's been missing so much this season, what will it bring about in the present? Will she have a new appreciation for where she is? Will it cause her to radically change her situation?
                                *her attitude towards Dawn, who she's still treating like a little girl. Actually seeing Dawn as a little girl will be a catalyst for change on that front.
                                *Probably her relationship with Giles.
                                *her relationship with Xander! Despite living with the guy, being partners in pretty much every sense of the word, I bet she still thinks of their friendship in pretty much the same way she thought about it as a teenager. Having Willow react with jealousy to what she considers normal interactions with Xander, probably having past!Xander get all doe-eyed at how she's behaving towards him, etc. will cause her to see how different Xander and her relationship with him have become.

                                At least I hope it does. This could all be a contrivance to get Buffy to kiss Angel again...

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                                • #17
                                  I think the fact that Dawn *is* there speaks to this being more of a dream world for Buffy rather than her actually being back in the past.

                                  It makes sense to me - after all the high dungeon drama of ToYL and the fate of two worlds, Buffy decides to retreat to simpler times in her mind. Probably aided by some malfunctioning spell.
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                                  • #18
                                    At least I hope it does. This could all be a contrivance to get Buffy to kiss Angel again...
                                    One can only hope!

                                    I actually can't wait for this. I hope it's done well, since my favorite line so far is the very poignant Buffy inner monologue where she talks about how she'd forgotten what it was like to just be scoobies.

                                    I want to see Buffy reconnect with family and friends after being reminded of how it used to be. I'm cautiously optimistic that this issue helps lead to that kind of story continuance.

                                    -Luc
                                    lmblack21
                                    Hasn't he always?
                                    Last edited by lmblack21; 03-12-08, 01:58 AM.
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                                    "If you're an Angel/Buffy fan, there's a big payoff," - Jeremy Atkins, Darkhorse

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                                    • #19
                                      Sadly, as it always must, 'shipper politics is preparing to eat discussion of this issue alive. Can we please just concede certain facts?

                                      1. The issue is set at "Episode 7.5" because that's where the animated series was going to be set, period, and that this is not an editorial comment on which vampire 'ship is better?

                                      2. Jeph Loeb deserves at least some benefit of the doubt for being one of the truly preeminent comic book writers to tell a good story that is not driven solely by any 'shipper preference he has?

                                      I think this will be a very important issue if it results in real movement, one way or another, for Buffy's character. She has been this very distant and forlorn woman since, oh, "Fool For Love" and her mom going to the hospital. And we've gotten teased more than once that Buffy was going to be happier about things in general before. This is the alamo for Buffy's emotional growth -- either it will get back in action after stopping completely at that point, or she will become full on "Wishverse" Buffy for good and all. It's time for Joss to pick.

                                      I tend to think the whole point of this issue is to have Buffy thinking about the truth of her key relationships again -- most importantly Giles, her sister, Willow, and Xander. I would be surprised if we didn't get some reflection on Angel that will segue into 8.23 (maybe), but it won't be the focus, nor should it be. This is about the people who have been part of Buffy's life the longest and the closest.

                                      While it may seem unfortunate that Spike can't be a part of this, even if it was in Season 2 or Season 3, it would be too unbelievable (completely unbelievable) for Buffy to have any nostalgic feelings for that Spike. And to set her big memory issue in Season 5 or Season 6 would basically defeat the point.
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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by KingofCretins View Post

                                        I think this will be a very important issue if it results in real movement, one way or another, for Buffy's character. She has been this very distant and forlorn woman since, oh, "Fool For Love" and her mom going to the hospital. And we've gotten teased more than once that Buffy was going to be happier about things in general before. This is the alamo for Buffy's emotional growth -- either it will get back in action after stopping completely at that point, or she will become full on "Wishverse" Buffy for good and all. It's time for Joss to pick.

                                        I tend to think the whole point of this issue is to have Buffy thinking about the truth of her key relationships again -- most importantly Giles, her sister, Willow, and Xander. I would be surprised if we didn't get some reflection on Angel that will segue into 8.23 (maybe), but it won't be the focus, nor should it be. This is about the people who have been part of Buffy's life the longest and the closest.

                                        While it may seem unfortunate that Spike can't be a part of this, even if it was in Season 2 or Season 3, it would be too unbelievable (completely unbelievable) for Buffy to have any nostalgic feelings for that Spike. And to set her big memory issue in Season 5 or Season 6 would basically defeat the point.
                                        I actually don't disagree with any of that - especially the bolded part. It's why I'm *most* excited about seeing some (hopefully!) true SG repairing, including Buffy/Giles AFTER this issue. And why my favorite line so far is Buffy's inner monologue where she talks about being able to just be scoobies.

                                        I'm really hoping this does mean something big for her in terms of emotional thawing after season 6 and 7 and so far comic season 8.

                                        -Luc
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                                        "If you're an Angel/Buffy fan, there's a big payoff," - Jeremy Atkins, Darkhorse

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