Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Buffy #37 Review (SPOILERS)

The Preamble: The title to this issue should be "The Tightrope" because, good lord a'mighty, is everyone walking it: the characters, the writers, the readers.  We are all of us perched precariously upon the precipice that is this final arc, full of expectation, worried we won't be satisfied, afraid the magic is gone (more on that in a bit) but full of hope that, somehow, against the odds, we'll all blunder through.  Casualties of war are certain and I've got my fair share of wounds to show the wife when I get back home but the battle's not yet done and the best and worst are yet to come.  On that little rhyme, let's soldier forth with Buffy #37.

The Plot: It's the Exposition Hour with your host, William the Bloody.  He tells Buffy that the Seed of Wonder is the source of all magic in the world, that the world itself came from the seed, and that it is like a cork, pull it out and the world goes bye bye.

Spike tells Buffy that her and Angel's groiny behavior has created a new universe, one that threatens this one we live in.  Buffy insists it wasn't her fault, because the universe made them do it but also says she and Angel weren't out of control.  She says it was "Elemental.  Like we were outside ourselves, in each other... like we were the wind that swept us up"  Spike doesn't want to hear it.  Buffy apologizes but says that Spike is her guy, the one she can tell the things she knows she shouldn't tell anyone.  "You're my dark place, Spike".

Then Buffy and Spike make out. Buffy's imagination.  While Buffy was fantasizing, Spike apparently explained how to save the world.  She says she got distracted and Spike assumes she's thinking of Angel.  He tells her it's time they got to bed.

Then Buffy and Spike have sex. Buffy's head.  "My brain's turning into Cinemax over here".  Indeed.

Meanwhile Xander and Dawn are talking about getting a place together and making a go of a normal life once the smoke clears.  In Japan, Angel is helping slayers fight giant demons.

Back with the full group, Willow suddenly passes out and finds herself with her old snakey pal, Aluwyn.  Aluwyn, tells Willow that there are more than two options available.  The seed can be protected, it can be removed, or it can be destroyed.  That third option, she says, is the one that Spike and Giles will realize soon.  It's like if you break a cork inside the bottle, then the cork can never be removed.  But there is a price.  The seed is cracked and magic goes bye bye, save for the demons that already exist and the slayers who were already called.  In other words: the Fray future.

Willow wakes up and declares "We have to protect the seed".
Meanwhile Angel is fighting off as many demons as he can find.  Back on Spike's ship, Giles and Faith talk about what's coming, how neither of them expected it but how they both hope there are still girls left when the fight is over that they can guide and teach.

Sunnydale.  A shell of what it once was.  A crater.  And it is full of demon hordes and human armies.  It's war.  Buffy's war.  She and Spike fly into the center of it, through the ground and into the core.  Buffy wants to know where the Seed is but first she has to face its protector.

The Master.  He smacks Buffy down like she's a high school kid and then he comes for Spike.  "It said you'd come.  Although she was supposed to be with the other one.  Twilight."  He asks why Buffy would bring Spike as her protection.  But that's not why Spike's there.  "Not protection.  Distraction."  A rock is hurled at the Master's head.

Buffy.  "I'm sorry.  You were talking about power."  She pummels the Master's head into the ground.  Spike, looks up: "My hero."

Finally, Angel rests, staring at a crumbling city, piles of bodies everywhere, bodies of demons and slayers.  A feast fit for the vermin of this world.  Angel knows he has to continue fighting but someone has other plans.  It's a cat and a bird and they are talking again.

"It'll be a fight alright.  Your work is nearly done."

Angel: "I liked it when you were the dog better."
"Oh, I was just talking through those forms... Father.  The real me wasn't born yet.  But I'm here now.  Father.  You can't deny the universe you created."

The bird and the cat combine, transforming into a huge lion with green flames around it's head and Angel wings.

"You will finish what you started."

To be continued!

The Review: I think this was probably the best issue of the comic ever.  It might even be one of the best episodes (as it were) in the show's storied history.  It was, in a word: epic.  The over exposition between Buffy and Spike was well worth the great dialogue we got and, man is this crow tasty, because the Spuffy was palpable and, I have to admit, both hot and sweet.  I still don't think the story will ever end with wedding bells for these two but there' really no denying the spark's still there, at least for Buffy.  Some might argue Spike is over her.  Not sure I agree.  I think he's just on mission. 

Lots of great little moments.  I love the set up for doom with Xander and Dawn.  After talking with Nick Brendon and being reminded that Joss planned to kill Xander in "Chosen", I'm now suspicious that our young Mr. Harris's time may be up.  The Faith and Giles moment was short but necessary.  The comics are often guilty of losing the small but important give and takes that made the show what it was.  Seeing Giles and Faith talk about what they'd hoped for and what they have to do was important.  It made me feel connected to them.

Then there's Willow's vision.  How psyched am I that we're linking back to the Fray future?  It really feels like all the pieces are falling into place.  When Willow says that Aluwyn knows who the betrayer is, I got chills.  I love that Willow now has her own motivations, that, really, everyone is going to have a different take on what the right thing to do is.

And then there's Angel.  Poor bastard.  He and Buffy are destined, alright.  Destined to be on the opposite sides of the war to end all wars.  I know people don't like Angel, I know he's in the wrong but damned if I don't have a lot of sympathy for the guy.  He made some bad decisions this season and I suspect the worst is yet to come.

Can I get a what what for my girl, Buffy, who was so in character this issue, so strong, so... fun?  This is the Buffy I love, the one that knows it's all come down to her, that when the lights go out and everyone's freaked and doesn't know what to do, the decision is hers.  And she owns it.

If anyone out there still has beef with Scott Allie?  Read this issue.  You will be over it.  He and Joss knocked it out of the park and into the stratosphere.

Loved this issue.  Loved it.  More, please?


othersadhistory said...
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Anonymous said...

Nice interview, Bitsy! Thanks for posting it! And thanks for the spoilers! I've just bought the issue from my e-bay seller and I can't wait to read it!
You know I was so worried for my beloved vampire, but I can relax now! Scott Allie is great and I believe Spike's in good hands!Thanks again!