Nombre de messages : 31378
Age : 28
Localisation : Belgique
Date d'inscription : 02/12/2006
|Sujet: Buffy Comics: Reasons To Love And Hate Them Jeu 20 Sep 2012, 20:31|| |
5 raisons d'aimer et de détester les comics:
- Citation :
- I don’t know if you’ve heard, but Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy, Angel, and Firefly etc. etc. is kind of a big deal in Hollywood now. I mean, to geeks like me, he was always considered somewhat of a God (“we are not worthy”) but now, after directing the third highest grossing film of all time, The Avengers, and subsequently being given the position of the supreme leader of all Marvel films (for the next two years at least) he isn’t exclusively just for the Scoobies or the Browncoats anymore… (and we have to share him with the world).
One of the many, many, MANY projects he is now the overseer of (and probably the least talked about… why am I writing this article again?) is a comic book canon continuation of the project he is best known for (pre 2012 anyway), the television series Buffy The Vampire Slayer (my favourite series- maybe “thing” of all time- oh, that’s why I’m writing this) but I bet a lot of Buffy fans out there have never read an issue. Maybe they are scared of it ruining their memories of the show, maybe they gave up after Buffy *spoiler* died, maybe they have simply never heard of it, or don’t really enjoy comics all that much (I used to be one of you).
I, a massive Whedon fan, remain unsure on the series and comics (but will read every issue none the less… I am a slave to the mighty Whedon) and here are my reasons why…
WHY I LOVE THEM
1. More Buffy
The simplest reason is the first reason. As a massive Buffy fan, I miss the show, and the comics are the closest thing we will (probably) get to more Buffy on the small screen (let’s try to forget about the attempted but failed movie reboot… without Buffy or Joss’s involvement. Sacrilege!).
I used to pine for a big screen version, written and directed by Whedon, and involving all the original cast, and started to get excited when Whedon suddenly (and very quickly) became more and more famous. But, almost 10 years after the show ended, this is very unlikely, and a big screen doesn’t sound like the best idea anymore.
But the comic can do things the TV series could not. The comic has an unlimited special effects budget and isn’t restricted by availability of the cast, or damaged by poor acting (potential slayers… I’m looking at you). The comic has a freedom the TV show couldn’t even dream of, and in that respect, the comic is arguably more cinematic.
2. Buffy and Angel, Together Again (Kind of)
Whether you ship Buffy and Angel, or you ship Buffy and Spike (does anyone out there ship Buffy and Riley???), the comic has allowed the two main characters of each of their individual shows the freedom to interact more than they did whilst on television (well, since Angel had his own show) , and that element of the television series often bugged me at times.
Forgetting the terrible episode of Angel (“The Girl in Question”), didn’t it seem pretty unrealistic that whenever one of the shows faced almost certain apocalypse (and there were A LOT of times) that neither of the characters, whose lives were dedicated to stopping exactly that from happening, didn’t even talk about each other’s apocalypse, and basically never lent a helping hand. Buffy could have probably benefited from Angels help defeating Glory, and though they kind of explain why Angel couldn’t help Buffy defeat the First… I think at that point Buffy could have done with all the help in the world.
The comic doesn’t suffer the limitations of the show in this respect.
3. A Lot of Potentials Die and Buffy is a Super Hero Again
One of the biggest complaints of Season 7 of Buffy was the potential slayers (and for good reason). Though I like the overall arc of the series and the message of female empowerment, added to the entire series long arc of Buffy wanting to be just another girl, and finally getting her wish- no longer one of two, but one of thousands… a lot of the potentials simply couldn’t act, or were too brattish and unlikable. (And as a fellow Brit who loved the bad ass-ness of Giles and Spike, Molly’s terrible cockney accent made me die inside).
Also, the potentials kind of took a little of the coolness away from being THE CHOSEN ONE (emphasis on the ONE). If everyone on earth suddenly had all the same powers as Superman, would Superman still be cool? Buffy suffered from this.
Thankfully, for all you haters out there, a lot of the potentials are murdered, down from thousands to hundreds, and *major spoiler* magic disappears from earth, meaning that no new potentials can become slayers again (The Whedonverses version of M-Day).
Also, whether you like the end result or not (me- not really), Buffy briefly gets some cool Superman- like powers that are interesting for a while… At least it makes her powers briefly cooler than the potentials.
4. Long Forgotten Characters Come Back
Like Whedon, since Buffy ended in 2003, some of the actors have gone on to find a different kind of fame in a different kind of project. Willow has HIMYM, Giles had Merlin and Buffy had… Ringer… I guess that’s not really the same. Poor SMG.
But by far the coolest and most different career change is Oz (Seth Green) is now Chris from Family Guy, and the showrunner for Robot Chicken. Would Oz had ever come back to Buffy had it continued on TV or Film, considering his other projects, probably not (but maybe), but even still, the comics don’t have to worry about stuff like that. Oz came back in the comics, and though his arc was kind of confusing and less cool than it could have been, it was nice to see him again.
Also, Dracula comes back for an arc, which is a lot cooler than maybe it sounds, Amy and Warren are also back (less cool), The Master is back (briefly) and… Riley… actually, forget I said that last one.
The comic also deserves some credit for leaving some characters who should remain dead (Tara, Joyce, Anya) dead. Though Season 9 will potentially ruin this… but in a more explainable way. Bringing back Warren though was a mistake that kind of made Willows actions in Season 6 more forgivable (and that’s not good for her character arc).
Also, Fray is back, in the coolest arc of Season 8 written by Joss… If you haven’t read Fray, go read it now. (Why isn’t Fray a movie already???).
5. Not Afraid to Make Risky Choices
Buffy Season 8 ends… but not without a big bang (almost literally). A lot of awesome but controversial stuff happens, which changes Buffy’s world forever. Arguably, the changes at the end of this season are the biggest changes a Buffy finale has ever had (maybe not quite as big as Season 7).
People die… a lot of people. But more importantly, one of the core 4 Scoobies die (and no, it isn’t Buffy… again). Considering Joss said that it was important to keep Buffy, Willow, Xander, Giles and Dawn together at the end of the television series, the choice to kill off one of these characters, in a fairly surprising, brutal, undignified manner, was one of the most risky and brave choices Joss has ever made (on the same level as killing Wash in Serenity or Fred in Angel).
Not to mention he completely changes the lives of pretty much every single main character, particularly Angel and Willow- and more on Xander and Dawn later…
Why We Hate Them
1. Confusing, Unclear Storylines
My least favourite season in the Buffyverse was by far Angel Season 4. The arc of that season was ridiculous, and what they did to Cordelia’s character was unforgivable and lame… oh so lame.
Buffy Season 8 reminded me a little of that season unfortunately. The overarching storyline made very little sense, and is ridiculously difficult to follow. I’m not even sure the writers are all at an agreement at what actually was going on with “Twilight” (the season’s main villain… not “those” movies… weird name choice though).
It all kind of fell to pieces, but luckily it was mostly saved right at the end… and season 9 has so far been more promising, and much easier to follow.
Was Angel evil, was Angel not evil? What exactly is Twilight and who thought it was a good idea that Angel and Buffy having super powered sex would create a new universe? This is one reason why perhaps the “big budget” comic books allow isn’t always best, especially when the audience is so used to relatively simple, “small budget” TV episodes.
Also, why does Spike have to now live in a Spaceship controlled by strange space insects? Why? Just why?
Season 8 needed to be drastically toned down. Luckily Season 9’s mission statement was exactly this and so far the storylines have been an improvement… although Buffy getting pregnant then realizing she’s a robot is not the best of starts.
2. Xander and Dawn
Most Buffy fans seem to hate Dawn, as they would their own annoying bratty little sister. Me, I love her (I’m sorry). She brought a whole new dynamic to the show which was much needed at the time (my opinion) and her character history (a mystical dimensional opening key) has so much potential. Though doesn’t it kind of seem like the characters completely ignored this fact about Dawn after the end of Season 5. There must be more to the “Key” than bringing hell to Earth. The monks must have protected her for a reason?
Whether you hate her or love her, doesn’t the idea of Dawn and Xander dating, and then living together (yes, this happens) kind of creep you out a little. I mean, it isn’t completely out of the blue… in the TV series there was a connection between the two, a bond they shared being the only normal Scoobies without superpowers… but did they really need to hook up. Also, with the sheer amount of women Xander hangs around with during Season 8 (he basically becomes leader of the potentials), would he really be interested in getting into a relationship with a girl he once babysat for, a girl who is his best friends little sister. Creepy…
Both Xander and Dawn deserve better.
3. When Is This Set?
The television seasons of Buffy were all clearly mapped out in terms of time. In season 1 of Buffy- Buffy was 15/16- Season 2- 16/17… and so on until Season 7, where she was (as were her friends) 22. So they were all meant to be 22 in 2003 right?
How old are they supposed to be now? How many years have there been between the TV series and the comic books? In one of the earlier arcs, Buffy fantasizes about Daniel Craig in his blue swimming shorts- a reference to 2006’s Casino Royale. So is Buffy supposed to be at least 25?
But wait a minute, on the tombstone after *spoiler*… Giles dies an event that happens at the end of the same Season, it says he died in 2011. So is Buffy supposed to be 30?
Season 9, set obviously after the events of Season 8, is supposed to explore the life of a woman in her early twenties. But, as every Buffy fan knows, a fact that was clearly displayed on her tombstone at the end of season 5, Buffy was born in 1981. So, she’s 31 right? Was Season 8 supposed to have spanned Buffy’s life for almost a decade? There was nowhere near enough story for that, and this was obviously not the writer’s intention.
I only wish the comics had taken the TV route, and made it so that each season was set over the course of one year, so that season 8 explored the years 2003-2004, and season 9, 2004-2005.
4. Too Much Waiting…
The worst things about high quality monthly comic books, is that you have to wait a month (obviously) for each new issue- an issue that takes about 10 minutes to read.
A week was long enough for me to have to wait between each individual episode of Buffy, and those lasted 45 minutes and had a lot more story than an individual issue does. Having to wait 2 and a half years from the beginning of season 8 till the end was agonisingly long. And the same applies now with Season 9.
Also, TV episodes were free when they aired… To own the complete season of Buffy Season 8 will cost you around £100. You could purchase the entire seasons of both Buffy and Angel for around that price. 12 seasons the same price as 1… Kind of annoying.
5. It’s Still Not Quite Buffy
There were a few things that made the television series so great… the writing and humour (which is still mostly intact for the comic books thankfully), Joss Whedon’s brilliant mind and involvement (he is still involved, though less now than he was because of “The Avengers”… grrr argh)… and the wonderful cast… which unfortunately are not involved.
Though the characters mostly look the same (Buffy and Willow not so much) I miss SMG and everyone else. Whether or not you like the character of Buffy, there were two people who made Buffy the show that it was; Joss Whedon is one, and Sarah Michelle Geller was the other.
Without Sarah Michelle Geller, would Buffy have been as great as it was? Katie Holmes once auditioned for Buffy and was very almost cast- in fact she turned down the role. Imagine Buffy with Katie Holmes (makes you appreciate SMG much more doesn’t it).
Without the mostly wonderful cast, and their uniquely great comic timing and dramatic acting abilities, this show wouldn’t have been this show, and unfortunately, this comic is only half this show because of that fact.
Despite its many, many flaws, I would still recommend you read both season 8 and 9 if you are either a Whedon fan or a Buffy fan… or most likely both. They could be better… but they could also be A LOT worse. Plus, pretty pictures (YAY!)… and it’s still probably the most imaginative story involving vampires in this oversaturated current cultural climate.
And if you made it to the end of this article, you probably have enough time to spare… I clearly do.
p.s. I didn’t include the whole, Buffy-turns-bisexual-briefly storyline because I couldn’t decide whether this was something I loved or hated?
- Citation :
- Now, these kids are not destined. In fact, loving each other was a byproduct of their destinies in the sense of their destinies brought them together, but them loving each other actually pushed against their destinies. Their destiny is the mission. Their love distracts from that. The mission wins out. This is their great tragedy. ~ anythingbutgrey, about Cangel