Rather like the monsters in the boys' bodies, there is a great episode struggling to come out of this one. It tries to deal with male entitlement and victim blaming but as far as I am concerned it fails miserably to do those subjects justice. Plus, I don't want Buffy to teach me anything unless it's about friendship, loyalty and never to wear what Willow wears. If you ignore the episode's failures then it's not so bad: great dialogue as usual and Cordelia gives us a lovely heartfelt moment that Xander does not deserve when she is so upset when she thinks he has turned into a monster.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight #4-16 (Joss Whedon, Brian K. Vaughan, Drew Goddard, Georges Jeanty, Paul Lee, Cliff Richards, Karl Moline)
I blogged about the first three issues and then stopped. I’m not clear why. Ahem, several issues later, I’m not actually convinced that I really like them though I wouldn’t for a minute consider stopping reading them. Buffy’s relationship with Satsu felt off to me. I know I am negatively influenced by the media coverage that Dark Horse encouraged and this definitely makes me sway towards thinking it was a cheap and sleazy gimmick except I love how they broke up which was nicely done.
The Renee thing? I’m bored now of this sort of thing, really bored. And please do something with Dawn, she is not a joke.
Jo Chen’s covers continue to amaze.
Runaways #25-30 – Dead End Kids (Joss Whedon, Michael Ryan)
I have at long last read Joss Whedon’s run on Runaways. I say at long last as if it’s my fault that it dragged over many months but I suppose it is true that in years to come no one will care what delays there were unless it is poor stuff anyway. Which this isn’t. By the end it was pretty darn good.
Xavin’s constant appearances as a man really bugged me so I was delighted when JW dealt with the issue across two superb pages. I am pissed off we didn’t see them kiss particularly since we saw Victor and Lillie (the one I think of as Caitlin from Heroes) kiss at least twice. I must say that Xavin as a woman drawn by Michael Ryan was gorgeous.
However, the run was messy and abrupt in parts but much better than I ever thought it was going to be when the delays hit.
Serenity: Better Days (Joss Whedon, Brett Matthews, Will Conrad)
The least said about Adam Hughes’ covers the better though I give you the “Once More, With Feeling” soundtrack cover and rest my case. This was messy (again) and confused and frankly not very good. Shame.
I have scrapped my next candidate in this
prodigious prestigious (you nit) series because I have just read “Anywhere But Here” (#10 of Buffy season 8*).
So I am moving on to my next favourite left-handed person I
love admire who is Tina Fey.
My appreciation of Tina Fey is based on Mean Girls and 30 Rock and nothing else. I’m British, I have never seen Saturday Night Live but since I know stuff and thence I do know that it’s not actually my sort of thing and that would seem to make my like of 30 Rock a touch baffling since it is about a programme rather like SNL. But actually, it’s not really baffling at all, Jack and Kenneth and Liz and Tracy and Jenna are hilarious comic creations from the mind of Tina. And her mind is brilliant because it thinks of lines like “Those shoes are definitely bi-curious” (more quotes below) and when she’s interviewed in Playboy she says things like
But for some of these other chicks, the closest they can get to a body like that is to remove everything that’s there and add a little something on top. It’s like the ladies you see in Playboy.
And she wears glasses and she has a scar. Read Dorothy Surrenders and she’ll explain better.
Jack: Sure…I gotcha. New York, third-wave feminist, college-educated, single and pretending to be happy about it, over-scheduled, undersexed, you buy any magazine that says ‘healthy body image’ on the cover, and every two years you take up knitting for… a week.
Pete: That is dead on!
Liz: What, are you going to guess my weight now?
Jack: You don’t want me to do that.
Liz: If I’m gonna be with someone, it has to be a guy.
Gretchen: You sound pretty sure about that.
Liz: What can I say, I love a bald spot and a hairy back.
Gretchen: You’re alone there.
Jack: Human contact is important Lemon. I can tell from your stress level that you have not been touched in any way in quite some time. Not caressed, not massaged, not even groped on the subway.
Liz: I hate going up to Donaghy’s office even for something normal. I always feel like I’m entering the Death Star.
Liz: No, Tracy took advantage of my ‘white guilt,’ which is supposed to be used only for good like over-tipping and supporting Barack Obama.
Gentleman: Excuse me, is this seat taken?
Liz: [Sighs] Really dude? I got to move my coat? There are like 4 empty seats over there – can’t you just be cool?
Jenna: That guy wanted to buy you a drink!
Liz: Really? But I already have a drink. Do you think he’d buy me mozzarella sticks?
Liz: [on the phone] Hi, my name is Liz Lemon and I received flowers from your shop tonight and I can’t tell who they’re from. [pause] No, no, I did read the card but it’s not signed…. no, I’m not with so many men that it’s impossible for me to guess…well, that is just…oh, well you know what, I found the card, actually, they’re from your mom, so tell your gay mom I said thanks! [hangs up]
OK, she isn’t credited with writing all these lines but she’s in charge.
And proof she is left-handed is in this compilation of all her scenes in Mean Girls (PS Lindsay Lohan is so lovely at the beginning of this film).
*However, if you are going to draw Tina Fey then maybe glasses would help and please give her a waist!
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Long Way Home #3
A few thoughts:
Ethan Rayne looks like Nathan Fillion as Caleb (at least in the first panel).
My eye while looking at the image of Buffy with Angel and Spike is caught not by the nudity but by the fact that Buffy is in a nurse’s uniform and suspenders which doesn’t strike me as a woman’s fantasy (but what do I know? see later).
Pixellating Willow, Willow has blue eyes, Willow says “bone a thricewise”, say what?
Tara is in the cube on the bottom left and that is Joyce atop Faith (this must sound kinky to the uninitiated).
Any panel with Andrew in it is a wasted panel, rather like season seven when any scene with Andrew in it meant less screen time for characters I actually cared about. There is no offence intended to the actor because it’s the character that sucks. And the strip poker panel is just lame and offensive.
I do have problems that these not particularly bright men (except Giles) are directing the actions of hundreds of women. I’m not exactly getting a feminism vibe yet.
As for the dead Kennedy misdirect I was genuinely shocked when I read that. Firstly because I was made to feel guiltily happy that Kennedy was out of the picture, and secondly, I was appalled that Willow now had two dead girlfriends. It wasn’t funny, it’s baiting Tara fans and Kennedy detractors (not always one and the same thing) and it’s mean Jossing.
Willow fancied Xander (and Malcolm) and actually had sex with a very stubbly guy called Oz. I’m happy that she’s “gay now” but please stop with the suggestions that Willow was only marginally interested in guys.
Oh blimey, this sounds like I hated it but I didn’t, I enjoyed it a lot: it was the best issue so far. However, the dissection that goes on the net makes me rather jealous I couldn’t do the same for the TV series.
Which brings me to this criticism of the cover by Jo Chen which reminds me of my first reaction which was “gosh, look at those”. I am conflicted because yes, Willow’s boobs are bigger than before (maybe she’s pregnant?) but at the same time I love it. I’m not a man and if she is drawn for men then it’s worked on me too. However, I do agree with a commentator (Ravenwing263) who criticises Chen for her portrayal of Gert as far from dumpy.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Long Way Home #2
I’m sure the title is also a reference to how long it’ll take to get through the comics. The dialogue is fab but the artwork is variable: giant Dawn is superbly drawn, the military guys less well, Giles was a bit weedy (not tweedy) looking and that was Amy? I have a problem with Andrew playing any sort of role in the training of the Slayers and Buffy as Sleeping Beauty is hard to stomach (I’d love to say I have faith in Joss Whedon but I didn’t have a clue what was going on in Astonishing X-Men: Torn).
Still, Willow is back and is looking like Kate Bush in an homage to Tara’s dress in Once More With Feeling.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Long Way Home #1
I was lucky that I could go along to Forbidden Planet in central London and get a copy of the Buffy Comic on Thursday. I walked in and there was a woman in the queue with two copies (Chen and Jeanty covers). I inwardly squealed with excitement and there was a couple in front of me who sauntered down the stairs. I’m a not a barger but I so wanted to shove them aside and get there. To cut a long and not very interesting story short I picked up the two covers and, of course, a trade paperback of Fables and the first issue of a new series of BPRD because I didn’t want to look like a Buffy geek which is madness because I am a Buffy geek.
The comic exceeded my expectations which had been lowered by Joss Whedon’s work on the Serenity comic and the Dangerous arc of Astonishing X-Men plus season 7 was, erm,… As a season opener I was very happy with it though I missed Willow and Giles. The dialogue was superb and I found the action easy to follow. Some commentators have questioned the step up from the poverty of the gang in seasons 6 and 7 to a gang with Global Frequency type communications and at least two helicopters. I say that there has been a step from two Slayers to almost five hundred and some of them must be rich and with connections. And maybe that castle belonged to the very defunct Watchers’ Council and rather like the Vatican, I suspect they were a wee bit rich.
My favourite bits were “‘cept I feel a little weird about using a crucifix to kill someone” “yeh, dinno much about religion, do yeh?” and “but she’ll tell Willow, fine, her first time and it all goes wrong which I’m totally well versed in and anyhow Willow’s the expert on boys since when now?”
Criticisms: I hate exaggerated accents, it jarred in V for Vendetta and it jars here. The view of Sunnydale suggests it was a small place without an airport or docks or even a beach though it’s a great illustration.
Who was hovering over the church? Who is Amy’s boyfriend? Why aren’t the Summers girls allowed to lose their virginity without there being huge complications?
Jo (Runaways) Chen’s version of Willow for Buffy season 8 in comic book form