Buffy's Back
March 16, 2007 7:52 PM   Subscribe

Buffy is back. If you're a fan of the show still jonesin' after all these years, Joss Whedon and the staff have created an official season eight - in comic form.
posted by Roman Graves (57 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
That's not Sarah Michelle Gellar and I claim my $10.
posted by cillit bang at 7:54 PM on March 16, 2007

Makes me wish they'd been able to get that animated series done, but what are you going to do. I very much enjoyed the first issue, and I look forward to many more.

I'm still waiting for Giles to show up.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:10 PM on March 16, 2007

My wife and I loved discovering Buffy a few years back, and were kind of heartbroken when the series ended.

sooooo, needless to say, despite not being a big graphic novel fan, I already have a subscription to Season 8!
posted by newfers at 8:10 PM on March 16, 2007

sooooo, needless to say, despite not being a big graphic novel fan, I already have a subscription to Season 8!

Which answers this question...
posted by aburd at 8:18 PM on March 16, 2007

This is wonderful news for Buffy and Whedon fans, of whom I'm somewhat reluctantly one, but it's not much good for MetaFilter without greater web-pizazz. Please, commentators, hope us!
posted by cgc373 at 8:27 PM on March 16, 2007

I thought a three-way tie on Jeopardy was big. This is fucking huge.
posted by phaedon at 8:34 PM on March 16, 2007

++ to what newfers said. :)

I'm a giant Buffy/Angel nerd, and I actually got into after both shows had already ended. Very much looking forward to Season 8!
posted by VirtualWolf at 8:35 PM on March 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

Your favorite TV show SUUUUUUCKS!
posted by papakwanz at 8:40 PM on March 16, 2007

And I thought you were talking about Buffie. . .
posted by pwedza at 8:50 PM on March 16, 2007

Hey Bart! Remeber Alf? He's back .... in pog form.
posted by Rhomboid at 8:55 PM on March 16, 2007 [3 favorites]

*squees in excitement then explodes*

Been a fan for maybe eight years now, and am waiting eagerly to have this comic in my hot little hands.

Incidentally, one week ago marked 10 years since the first episode of Buffy was aired.

Joss Whedon is my god.
posted by liquorice at 8:56 PM on March 16, 2007

posted by phaedon at 9:00 PM on March 16, 2007

Reading this comic is going to be like watching a single episode of the show over the course of a year. Issue one is pretty much the opening teaser to the first commercial break. I think I may ignore the rest until the first compilation is released.
posted by Tenuki at 9:07 PM on March 16, 2007

Previews from Darkhorse

Slayage : the Online International Journal of Buffy Studies

episode guides and transcripts

Watcher Junior: Undergraduate Journal of Buffy Studies

All Things Philosophical on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel: the Series

And more buffyology
posted by girandole at 9:14 PM on March 16, 2007

Whedonesque is the alternate news source for Whedon-related activities and whatnot, and it's layout is based on MeFi.
posted by liquorice at 9:21 PM on March 16, 2007

So fun to see some actual Buffy/Angel fans who post here!

I still insist that the "Once More With Feeling" episode of Buffy is one of THE greatest episodes of television, EVER! And I HATE musicals!
posted by newfers at 9:28 PM on March 16, 2007

Huh, strange, I've been listening to the Once More With Feeling soundtrack the last couple of days apropos of nothing but an insidious bout of weepy schmaltz. It's excellent, still, although I'm not sure how I didn't notice the buckets of AutoTune on Sarah Michelle Gellar's voice when it aired. Still, I think this is a totally acceptable usage - she wasn't hired as a singer, and it makes more sense than her lip synching to someone else.

The lyrics of "I'm Under Your Spell", though? It's basically one long extended paean to lesbian sex,far as I can tell. Not that I'm complaining.

Still, I hope he hurries up and gets a new TV show going, I love everything he's done so far.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 9:42 PM on March 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

How about a full season of Firefly?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:46 PM on March 16, 2007

I think movies and comics are his focus now, what with his unfourtante run of luck with his last series (Firefly). There is talk of doing a canon Angel comic line, and even though Wonder Woman fell through, we still have the mysterious Goners to look forward to.

Yes, it finally comes out. I'm a big, fat, geek.
posted by liquorice at 9:48 PM on March 16, 2007

Oh, and I strongly suggest you all read Fray.
posted by liquorice at 9:51 PM on March 16, 2007

I was thinking the same thing Brandon Blatcher, but at this point I'm beyond hope of any kind of resurrection. Serenity was a nice addition to the franchise, but I'm pretty sure they are done with any kind of filmed version.

Now another comic series...

That would certainly be welcomed. And this posts indicates that he is willing to revisit older projects that he has worked on, so there might be hope.

And (assuming that it doesn't suck too much), the upcoming Firefly MMOG will keep the series alive in people's thoughts.
posted by quin at 10:07 PM on March 16, 2007

All right, fine, instead of merely complaining or snarking—which is all I seem to be capable of, today—I'll link Making Light's Buffy anniversary thread. 600+ comments mostly about the Slayer, many comments in ROT13, and a lot of spoilers for Whedon stuff, as well as for 300, which got involved in the open thread somehow.
posted by cgc373 at 10:10 PM on March 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

*squeeees and jumps up and down with liquorice*
posted by zarah at 11:09 PM on March 16, 2007

Georges Jeanty, Buffy Illustrator
posted by zarah at 11:12 PM on March 16, 2007

How's Mrs. Beasley?
posted by davy at 11:53 PM on March 16, 2007

I was first in line at my comic store. :)
posted by happybunny at 12:28 AM on March 17, 2007

What's the Big Bad in this series?

Everything I read has been so vague.
posted by RavinDave at 1:49 AM on March 17, 2007

I dunno if we want to go into SPOILER MODE, RavinDave. I can email you a description of the final page of the issue, if you want. You get a pretty clear idea who's supposed to be the Big Bad, if it's not a Big Bad Red Herring.
posted by cgc373 at 1:59 AM on March 17, 2007


I just hope this doesn't cause delays on Astonishing X-Men and Runaways.
posted by Target Practice at 2:06 AM on March 17, 2007

There should be a top level domain for Wheedon.
posted by BeerFilter at 5:46 AM on March 17, 2007

A mathematical proof of how many vampires inhabit the Buffy universe.

Except whoever wrote that clearly has never watched the show. The mathematician assumes that everyone fed on by a vampire turns into a vampire, when as any fan can tell you, it's more complicated than that:

Buffy: To make you a vampire they have to suck your blood. And then you have to suck their blood. It's like a whole big sucking thing. Mostly, they're just gonna kill you.
posted by EarBucket at 6:08 AM on March 17, 2007

Oh, sure. Post about a comic book the same day that Dark Horse announces it sold out. Half the people reading this thread won't be able to get the comic for another week and a half!
posted by faster than a speeding bulette at 6:20 AM on March 17, 2007

Suddenly it's metafilterjr.com
posted by wfc123 at 7:10 AM on March 17, 2007

I dunno... I love Buffy madly (Angel, not so much) but this description doesn't fill me with enthusiasm:

Since the destruction of the Hellmouth, the Slayers--newly legion--have gotten organized and are kicking some serious undead butt. But not everything's fun and firearms, as an old enemy reappears and Dawn experiences some serious growing pains . . .

Tell me it's better than the blurb, plz.
posted by jokeefe at 9:43 AM on March 17, 2007

Wesley is dead.

I wish to do more violence.
posted by poweredbybeard at 9:46 AM on March 17, 2007

I'm a ridiculous fan of the show. Whedon probably received more of my entertainment dollars than any five guys out there. That having been said, I'm in no rush for the graphic novels for Buffy Season 8. My reasons are complicated and a little grumpy. I could be wrong, but the impression I always got was that Gellar pretty much bailed in Season 7 while Whedon's attention was elsewhere (and you can always sense that in the writing), some of the other actors found out in ways that didn't make them happy, then Whedon swooped back and loudly said, "No, we were all getting pretty tired of Buffy! Yes indeedy! New horizons for everyone involved!" ... because he was a gentleman about it and didn't want there to be hard feelings. It was a spectacular bit of real-life retcon. Thus, we had an enormously uneven Season 7, wherein it felt like the writers weren't too interested in the show for most of it, then a very hasty and unsatisfying wrapup. Speaking of wraps, Gellar? Didn't show for the wrap party, ouch. Afterwards, he said he was done with the show, more or less, and told the fanfic writers that it was theirs to play with from there on out. So he wants it back and he's going to give us a frikkin' graphic novel? Sure, I have graphic novels, but that's quite the step down from a TV show. Don't get me wrong, I loved the show's writing and the dialogue, but how about some credit to the actors? The comedic timing, the subtle little expressions and changes in posture that let us in on so much ...

Whedon does TV very, very well. I'm glad he's trying other things, but this is not a great idea, and he's forgetting that the fans actually have a memory. Okay, horribly bitter, disjointed rant over.
posted by adipocere at 10:12 AM on March 17, 2007

Read the first issue of Buffy Season 8 this week. I have guarded positive feelings about it.

Whedon's wonderful writing voice comes through loud and clear.

The characters sound like themselves. That's good -- I've missed them.

I'm a little worried about how convoluted the plot seems to have become since the end of television season 7. Why is Dawn now about 50 feet tall?

The issue seemed much shorter than a tv episode, and of course was not plotted like a tv episode. All in all, I was disappointed by the brevity, and worried that I might lose track of the story by the time issue #2 rolls out.
posted by bshock at 12:57 PM on March 17, 2007

Oh, sure. Post about a comic book the same day that Dark Horse announces it sold out

We just got back from the comic book store with two copies of the regular cover & one of the variants! My mom completely panicked when she realized we'd missed the first day of sales, I've never seen her leave the house so fast in my life, hah.
posted by zarah at 3:05 PM on March 17, 2007

"Please, commentators, hope us!"


The fact is this: Whedon's imagination is too much for Hollywood to bare any more.

They aren't willing to pay what it would cost to do what he wants, because he doesn't rake in big enough numbers. He's not a mainstream seeker. He has stories he wants to tell and if you want to go on the ride with him, he welcomes you aboard the train, but he's not gonna change the story beyond legitimate compromise to appease suits and polls and stats.

He is well-known for doing a lot with very little, from a standpoint of budgetary financial concerns. He's not wasteful, but he does have a vision and he does not easily retreat from it in the face of corporate pressure. I believe the reason why he hasn't made any visual fare in recent years is because he's been unofficially blackballed. That, coupled with the fact he does have a child now and his focus is more on being a father and a husband and not fighting guys in suits and ties who think they have a better idea how to tell a story than he does.

Whedon was asked a couple years ago to write a script for Wonder Woman. As he posted himself to Whedonesque.com: "I had a take on the film that, well, nobody liked." Rather than go back to the well and try to fish out a second script that someone might like, he thanked the suits for their time and walked.

He's admitted in the commentary for Serenity the Movie that there were certain things he had in mind for the film, one of them being a 'mule' or hovercraft land transport that could seat up to five people. On the tv series, Wash had a small vehicle that could pull a small trailer worth of supplies. In a pinch it could carry a couple people more than the driver, but for a movie... he was either gonna get his big damn mule or he was gonna pick up his things and go home. He got his mule.

In comic books you can do a lot of things. You can make one of your principal characters bigger than Madonna's ego. You're not limited by budgetary concerns or practical camera effects or CGI limitations. If it can be imagined, you can hire a guy who can draw it for you. So some can say he just changed to a medium that gives him a more varied palette from which to build.

Ultimately, this is a sad day for cinema. It's a sad day for Whedon fans. It's just a sad day. Cuz rich suit crapheads are winning. They're catering to the lower common denominator cuz that's where the money is, and intelligent entertainment is getting relegated to cheaper mediums and formats than the feature film.

I hope they sell the heck out of the comic book, and I wish that would someday tell someone that Whedon is worth banking on for a feature film, but the truth is those days are behind him, and he's on a downhill slope.

He's already done the impossible. He made Serenity the movie. It did pay for itself before it got out of the theaters and sold a helluva lot on the DVD market, but it didn't rake in over a hundred million dollars on its opening weekend, and for some reason that means it's a failure. I can't believe doing the impossible isn't enough for some people. Give a mouse a cookie. Meh.

Screw Hollywood. Screw Television City. I hope the best for Mister Joss Whedon: husband, father, and occasional storyteller. I thank him for telling his stories to us. It was a hell of a ride.
posted by ZachsMind at 8:01 PM on March 17, 2007 [1 favorite]

Do you really think Whedon's going to be stopped from big-screen or small-screen storytelling because suit-types don't like his stories, ZachsMind? My impression of him is, he's gonna do his thing, and we're going to benefit by it, because it's what he loves to do. He loves to tell us stories. He's well aware that some people don't like his stories, but he's much more aware of people who desire stories for their lives. I'd even guess he feels a responsibility to tell stories, because he thinks of them as necessary for us. It's arrogant in some ways, but it's really wonderful, too.

Your post reads like a eulogy, but I don't think Whedon's gonna be walking away from us, or falling down. There's work to be done.
posted by cgc373 at 8:46 PM on March 17, 2007

Here, watch Joss accept an award. He accepts it, but it really feels like it's about us, more than about him. He does what he does for us. It's why we love him so damned much. Joss is one of the only people who work in television who can disappoint me, because I honestly expect him to be good.
posted by cgc373 at 8:50 PM on March 17, 2007

The more Buffy I've seen, the more I think that maybe it was a good thing that Firefly was canceled. It's probably better to have gone out like it did than to have Jayne become gay, Mal find out he has a troubled teen sister, and Badger spin off onto a different show.

Because of the overwhelming and continued acclaim I tried recently to give it a fair shake and got about 3 episodes into Season 1 before getting annoyed and bored. Should I try again, maybe with another season, or should I give up if I don't enjoy it from the start?
posted by ODiV at 9:45 PM on March 17, 2007

I'd argue Buffy the Vampire Slayer's effects are cumulative, like a novel, ODiV, because events that affect characters earlier have repercussions later. The writers usually remember what's happened better than the audience, which is rare for a television show. You can, as a viewer, watch them again and see things you missed the first time, that were actually there. Important things. Your snark about characters becoming gay, for example, actually had a bunch of foreshadowed stuff that works pretty well, and it doesn't feel forced—not to me, anyway, and not to a lot of other fans. Of course, your mileage will vary.
posted by cgc373 at 9:59 PM on March 17, 2007

As for whether you ought to give it another shake, well, what else do you like? Knowing what you like will give folks who like Buffy a sense of whether their recommendations will help you or not.
posted by cgc373 at 10:00 PM on March 17, 2007

I dunno ODiV, the womanizing thug that is Jayne is one of my most favorite characters on the show. But given a full multi-season run, I could see your idea working in a limited fashion:

After a head injury sustained during a getaway, Jayne's behavior becomes erratic; he no longer seems to be the testosterone driven machine that he once was. Simon gives him a clean bill of health, but fears that he may be psychologically retreating into a sort of post-traumatic stress induced shock and feels that he may need counseling. As they are on the run for their latest job, the only one on the ship with the training to help him is River, and because of her emotional problems tied to her twisted sense of humor, she convinces Jayne that the feelings that he is experiencing are his inner and latent homosexuality coming out.

Jayne, in his diminished state completely accepts this and decides to 'come out' to the crew by renaming his 'most-favorite-thing' (a precision high-powered rifle) Vera to Vern.

Kaylee and Inara spend their time enjoying his now, non-threating company, whereas Mal and Wash take every effort to make fun at his expense.

Sheppard Book spends the better part of the episode trying to explain to Jayne that he isn't going to hell because he isn't, in fact, gay.

Than, after a near escape with the Alliance, where Jayne is forced through close combat, embrace an enemy soldier in a somewhat sexual way, that he isn't feeling the feelings that he should be, he realizes that he has been had.

He demands, at relative gunpoint, that no one on the crew ever mentions this incident again.

It may be goofy, but I could see that being an entertaining episode.
posted by quin at 10:27 PM on March 17, 2007 [7 favorites]

For the moment, quin, you are my very favorite MeFite.
posted by cgc373 at 11:01 PM on March 17, 2007

For the record, ODiV, Season 1 of Buffy is the least interesting. Things take off big time in Season 2.
posted by divrsional at 11:15 AM on March 18, 2007

When I go back to watch the earlier seasons of Buffy, especially Season One, I find them a tad dated. Not in the storyline, or characters and all that, but rather it sits very much in the 90's and I always have a harder time connecting with characters set in another period.

But honestly? It's well worth it. Well worth it. It really picks up the pace through Season 2 all the way into Season 6 (with the exception of Season 4 which did have gems of episodes, though). It's a big investment, I realise but if at the end you didn't like it at least you can shoot down all the rabid fans with "I did watch it, and it sucked!". They'll probably just call you Christian, though.

And, if you really can't be bothered with that then I beg you to please, please, try out Firefly. It only has half a season worth of episodes but it needs no time to find its feet.
posted by liquorice at 3:16 PM on March 18, 2007

Looks like there's gonna be an Angel comic book written by Joss as well, so we'll find out what happened in the alley that fateful night!
posted by zarah at 3:29 PM on March 18, 2007

liquorice, I got the impression ODiV has watched and liked Firefly but had trouble getting into Buffy. Can't be too many people who know who Badger is, who haven't seen Firefly. (Speaking of Badger, Mark Sheppard, who plays him, is playing Baltar's lawyer on Battlestar Galactica now.)
posted by cgc373 at 3:39 PM on March 18, 2007

I really liked Firefly almost without reservation (River does get a tad annoying from time to time).

Other fiction shows I liked were the first season of Six Feet Under, the first two seasons of The Sopranos, the first 3 or 4 episodes of Lost, the first season of Veronica Mars, the first 3/4 or so of the first season of Grey's Anatomy, the entire run of Arrested Development, the first season of The Wire (though I haven't seen any more yet, it might just continue to be awesome)... and that's all I can think of at the moment.

I think it may just be that I didn't catch Buffy when the time was right and now it's simply too late. I can think of specific things that I don't like about the show, but I have a feeling that they're just incidental, scapegoats if you will, and I wouldn't mind them so much if I liked it overall.
posted by ODiV at 4:22 PM on March 18, 2007

Based on your second paragraph, ODiV, I'd be surprised if you didn't like the second and third seasons of Buffy, and if you get really involved in the characters' troubles, you will like about half of the rest of the show, at least as well as you like other television. A lot of stuff will piss you off, but the best of it will break your heart. I'd say, watch.
posted by cgc373 at 5:06 PM on March 18, 2007

Because of the overwhelming and continued acclaim I tried recently to give it a fair shake and got about 3 episodes into Season 1 before getting annoyed and bored. Should I try again, maybe with another season, or should I give up if I don't enjoy it from the start?

ODiV, personally, I'd suggest you watch only enough of Buffy to get to know Angel, Spike and Wesley, then watch Angel, starting with season 2.

But then, I think I'm in the minority among Whedon fans in that I put Buffy at the bottom of the pile (which is still a far more pleasant place than the top of most other piles). The constraints of the original concept got to be too much when the show started getting even darker. It got camp, but not self-conscious ironic camp (which, incidentally, Angel also did much better). Seasons 4 and 5 of Angel are some of the best television ever made, and it's tragic the show was cut just as they were so clearly hitting their stride in terms of the aesthetic and the characters.

This comment is going to come back and haunt me somehow, some day.
posted by poweredbybeard at 6:51 PM on March 18, 2007

Like, right now. I'd reconsider that "best television ever made" statement, since I don't actually watch television.
posted by poweredbybeard at 6:52 PM on March 18, 2007

cgc373 said, "Your post reads like a eulogy"

You're very astute, cgc. That was my intent. I dare Whedon to prove me wrong, and would look forward to that day when I get to eat my words, but I ain't holdin' my breath. With all due respect to comics? This don't cut it. His career in television is dead and buried.

ODiV, to be really honest, the series doesn't come into its own until the addition of Spike & Drusilla in the episode School Hard, which is the third episode of the second season. That episode's a fun romp all by itself. You can skip Inca Mummy Girl as it's rather uneventful, but then you got frat-fu with Reptile Boy, the introduction of Ethan Rayne in Halloween, Buffy's past haunting her in Lie To Me, Giles' past haunting him in The Dark Age... Oh man! This is where it gets good!

Reptile Boy also includes the first ever Willow outburst, She tells off both Giles & Angel simultaneously for being stupid men, defending her Buffy like a stalwart Lancelot with breasts, which alone is worth the price of admission.

If you tend to be more upbeat and positive in your life, I'd recommend starting with season two all the way to the end of season three. Then go back to the beginning after you're hooked. Most fans of Buffy agree that seasons two and three are BtVS at its level best. I disagree, but I'm not upbeat and positive.

If you tend to suffer from manic depression, I'd suggest starting with the first episode of the sixth season of Buffy. That's what hooked me. I had seen occasional episodes of Buffy in the first four seasons, but only when there was nothing else on, and I didn't get it. Out of context, any one episode seemed like pointless twaddle. There are subtle character arcs though that can only be experienced properly by seeing several episodes back to back in a relatively short period of time - not once a week with reruns out of order as is television's usual process. Whedon's simply too good for the TV medium. It's like throwing caviar at preschoolers.

The sixth season really spoke to me and I went back through and watched the entire series, being able to withstand the weaknesses of the first season on the understanding that I liked where it was going. The sixth season gets dark. Really dark. And wrong on so many levels. Deliciously wrong. It's the Empire Strikes Back of Buffy. If you're upbeat and optimistic though? You're gonna hate it.

Avoid season four until after you're an avid fan. It's very rough in spots and at points, quite hard to swallow. Although I strongly recommend "Hush" whether you see any other episode - damn good work there. Season five is kinda stand-alone. BtVS ret-cons itself. I don't recommend it for non-fans, although it's a story that's rather self-contained within the season, then doesn't really get referenced very often afterwards. Kinda strange, that.

If you haven't grokked Buffy the Vampire Slayer by the time you get to "The Zeppo" then Buffy just ain't for you. That's cool. Hopefully tho by then you'll at least have learned to appreciate the series for what it is, even if it's not your thing.

Grrr. Argh.
posted by ZachsMind at 7:14 PM on March 18, 2007

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