Or – “I Fail To See The Controversy, I Guess…”

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For some time now, there have been some underground rumblings regarding this particular issue of Buffy, and how it would be shocking and world-changing.  While the events depicted herein (which aren’t really even the point of the story) can certainly be seen as life-changing for the characters, they don’t, as of yet, have a whole lot of effect on the storyline…

BuffyC.jpgPreviously, on Buffy The Vampire Slayer – Season 8:  Buffy got a castle, Xander got a jumpsuit, Kennedy got dead, but then got better, Willow got out of Dodge, Dawn got huge, Faith got redeemed, Giles got demoted, Andrew got to be a bit player, Amy got crazy, Warren got resurrected, Renee got hit on, the Government got irritated, the Slayers got motivated, the Big Bad got a nice leather mask, Buffy got her butt kicked, and Satsu got a lesson in why you don’t fall in love with a girl whose boyfriends are all dead.  (Now, granted, two of those boyfriends were dead when she met them, but y’cain’t split hairs like that.)  Last issue, it was revealed that the person whose pure and devoted love for Buffy brought her out of a coma waaaaay back in issue 4 or so, was (as I told you months ago) Satsu, a fellow slayer.  Last month, Buffy and Satsu wiped out a nest of vampires together, and bonded with a little of the old-ultra-violence, while also discussing their relationship or lack thereof.  Meanwhile, strange things are happening at Castle Summers…

“I was right the first time,” says Xander in his inimitable style.  “We got wolves at the gate.”  It’s not only a bad omen, it’s really not all that sanitary, with animal droppings everywhere.  Xander offers to let his crush, Renee, check to be sure (“I got no depth perception here.  For all I know, it’s a swarm of bees.”  Heh…) and she does her little self-deprecating thing, telling him he doesn’t have to babysit her.  While Xan puts the geek moves on her, we see Buffy and Satsu, post-flagrante-delicto (Actually, now that you mention is, do either of them have a flagrante?) and they sum up their night with ” ‘That was wow’ pretty much covers it.’ “  It’s a cute moment, and they’re obviously not wracked with regret and pain, there.  The one thing that I’ll say here is this:  nearly every season, Buffy has a paramour of one sort or another, and Satsu fits the bill nicely.  Her love for Buffy should make for a familiar plot element while adding a little dash of something extra.  After all, unlike Riley, Angel, and (arguably) Spike, she’s Buffy’s physical and ideological match.

Speaking of lovely tribades (look it up) Willow Rosenberg arrives, with annoying Andrew in tow, flying in for a landing on the parapet.  She sends Andrew on his way, and is immediately jumped from behind by someone who looks remarkably like Nico Minoru from ‘Runaways.’  Not realizing that his best pal has just been yanked by some gaseous thing, Xander and Renee flirt on the castle wall.  She tells him that if he really WANTS to spend time with her, he could take her out.  “You want me to ASSASSINATE you?” asks Xander, and I can’t tell if he’s serious or not.  It’s a wonderful moment, as he suddenly smiles and asks her out.  More mysterious fog follows the lovers inside…

Buffy and Satsu have a deep discussion about how this needs to be a one time thing, how they have to keep their physical moment to themselves…  when Xander walks in.  Then Renee…  Then Andrew… Then giant Dawn appears at the window to tell her that the barn is full of bees.  It’s a silly moment played for laughs, and Buffy’s discomfort is funny.  But not nearly as funny as Xander’s response.  “Oh, thank God.  This is a dream.”  When told that it’s not, he waves it off.  “No, I’ve had this one before.  [Renee] is here.  They’re here.  I’m just gonna go sit in the corner and wait for Willow to arrive…”  HA!  God, I love Xander.

Right on cue, Miss Rosenberg arrives, but only because she’s been smashed through the ceiling by an unseen something or other.  Buffy shakes off her embarassment, puts on her pants, and realizes that they’re under attack.  They mobilize, but not before they discover that they’re fighting vampires who can transform into mist, into creatures, and even FLY!  Everyone is stunned by this (which is ridiculous, since even *I* know that these powers have been attributed to vampires in the past, why would it be odd to find a sect that actually HAS them?)  Worse than that, though, is the fact that they’ve grabbed Buffy’s scythe (which isn’t a scythe at all, more a modified battleaxe, or perhaps a guisarme, in my opinion.) Having realized that something weird is up, Buffy and Willow look expectantly at Xander, upon whom the truth slowly dawns.  Xander and Renee immediately set off in a helicopter (“This isn’t exactly what I meant when I said ‘date,'” she remarks.  Heh…) for ANOTHER castle, and he warns her that the castle’s occupant makes him act a little “wonky.”  The door opens, and DRACULA greets them, to which Xander replies “Hey, how’s it going… master?”  Dum dum DAAAHHH!

There’s a lot of interesting things going on here OTHER than the bisexual tryst, including Willow being bothered at Buffy’s actions, the return of Drac (I keep hearing Nicholas Brendon in my head, yelling “I’m tired of being everybody’s BUTTMONKEY!”) awesome geekflirt from Xander and Renee as well as some interesting bits of something with the Neo-Tokyo goth vampire squadron.  It’s kind of a shame that the only thing everybody will remember is the sex.  Still, as Buffy issues go, this one is chock full of goodness, with writer Drew Goddard nailing all the character voices, and Georges Jeanty managing to stick the landing with his usual artistic aplomb.  It’s a 4 out of 5 star issue, lacking only a bit in the explanation department, something I know will come in the remainder of this arc…  This is a series that continues to impress me, both as a comic fan, and as a Buffy watcher.

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The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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10 Comments

  1. Rowan
    March 11, 2008 at 3:10 am — Reply

    I was really excited about this new Buffy series as it is a continuation of the show That I love and when I read this issue, I said wow. Wow this is stupid I’m tired of homo sexuality being the new “IT” thing in comics like long hair on dudes and Holo Foil covers !!!! was in the 90’s I have no problem at all with homo sexuality. But there is no need for it to be a gimmick to get new readers hooked or whatever reason Whedon did it for I do not know maybe this was what he always envisioned happening. I really just want to know who the masked gentleman is I feel as if there is more I want to type but it is 4am and I’m gonna go pass out oh and one last thing “Raspberry tounge noise !!!!!” to Joss ! BOOO HISS BOOOO

  2. March 11, 2008 at 9:19 am — Reply

    So… not seeing the controversy really *IS* just me, then?

  3. March 11, 2008 at 9:47 am — Reply

    I don’t see it as a controversy at all, but more of a change in the character – or more precisely the continuing struggle buffy is having in trying to find herself. She’s done the college student thing, the return from the dead thing, the coping with returning from the dead thing, the sleeping with the dead thing, the Dracula thing, the heterosexual relationship thing, and so on and so on, so this is just another point where she is trying to find out what fits for her.

    On the other hand – I was rolling on the floor with laughter when Xander walked in the room – if ever timing in a comic book matched the feel of the original source material, this entire book was great.

    Matt – you are right, the sleeping with a girl thing is not the issue, it is the reaction and comedic reaction of the rest of her “family” that is priceless.

  4. Rowan
    March 11, 2008 at 11:51 am — Reply

    OH MAN clearly since it was soo early in the morning I was not thinking ! ohhh Stephen thank you for helping me to see the light !

  5. March 11, 2008 at 12:16 pm — Reply

    Rowan: I’m not trying ot change your opinion, just pointing things out the way I see them. If you hated the issue, then that’s good to know too.

  6. Roy
    March 11, 2008 at 6:46 pm — Reply

    I can see the “controversey”, but I can’t really understand why its controversial. Why, in a comic based on a show that had several gay characters, would the lead being a bisexual be controversial? Buffy having a fling with Satsu isn’t OMGWTFBBQ – its more like Stephen said, its just Buffy continuting to find herself.

    If you REALLY wanted to be controversial – her fling would have been with Willow. That would change the whole dynamic of the show, IMO. Not because of the homosexuality, but because of the fact that you’d have the lead in bed with arguably the most important supporting character (maybe tied with Xander). Eventually one of them would have to die/go away, and it wouldn’t be Buffy. Just like eventually, Satus is going to die.

    At least I think that’s what’s going to happen.

  7. Sanlear
    March 12, 2008 at 7:10 am — Reply

    “So… not seeing the controversy really *IS* just me, then?”

    For me, this issue wasn’t so much controversial as it was disappointing. “Oooh, look, Buffy is sleeping with girls now. How edgy.” It felt forced and cliche to me. If you rustle the pages together you can almost hear the sound of Buffy jumping the shark.

    I’ve been a long running fan of Buffy (and Angel), but this development doesn’t make any sense to me. I think this issue was just a result of bad writing, although to be fair I never liked her relationship with Spike either.

    I’ve enjoyed the series for the most part, but found the past couple of issues to be lacking (for instance, like you Matt, I found the fight last issue with Twilight to be too “comic book-y”) I’ll still continue to collect the series, but I sure hope it improves soon.

  8. Rowan
    March 12, 2008 at 6:51 pm — Reply

    oh no no Stephen I read it and then was like bah and didn’t think about it, I just got grouchy as I said before it was 4 am when I Posted too but I had read it not too long ago that day. I didn’t even use my nerd heart to remember that she is always trying to find herself because she is so many things at once and that is what buffy is about and all she really wants is some love so hurray for Buffy. But who is the guy in the mask ! I think it is Adam or possibly Riley or maybe yeah A.D.A.M but made whole or it would be great if it was the old mayor or that spirit/computer virus

  9. March 13, 2008 at 1:18 am — Reply

    Listen.

    Anyone who complains that Buffy the vampire slayer had sex with a hot Asian vampire slayer is dead to me.

  10. Kevin
    April 1, 2008 at 1:37 am — Reply

    Ok so I get what everyone is saying but I would have to agree with Sanlear for the most part….not so much the bad writing part, because I have to say in all my years of watching buffy (and I’ve been watching it from the very first day it was on tv) that was one of the funiest scenes. But it was a bit cliche. We did the whole homosexuality thing with Willow, I don’t see the need to have to do it with buffy, And really it doesn’t really fit with Buffy’s character….I mean she was SOOOO in love with Angel….and in love with Spike….even Riley there was some sort of love there…..Her time in college there was no hint to homosexuality. Even at the end of season 7 there was still that desire for a male companion (when Angel came and they talked). I guess what I’m saying is that this came way out of left field, maybe so much that it didn’t even make sense. If it was Joss’ intension to shock us then I think it absolutely worked…but to say I was pleased with it….I don’t think I was! Still loving season 8 and I can’t wait to read the next issue.

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