This is a continuation of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer thread I started over on the “old board” last April. Alan and Mike convinced me that the show’s move from the WB to the UPN and the start of season six is a logical time to move this discussion to the board’s new home. For those of you who might be new to the discussion, I am in the process of watching this series, start to finish, for the first time. I don’t provide much in the way of recap because I’m working under the assumption that most of you reading this thread have at least a passing familiarity with the series. The ground rules of this discussion are simple: I can (and will) spoil anything I want to, but you can’t spoil anything I haven’t seen yet. Ready? Okay, let’s begin.

SEASON SIX: EPISODES 1/2: “BARGAINING—PARTS 1/2”

I actually don’t have much to say about the two-part season opener. Most of it was spent resetting Buffy’s apparent death at the end of season five. Shouldn’t her death have triggered a new Slayer to have been called up? Judging from the opening credits it looks as if Giles is going to be out of the cast on a permanent (or at least semi-permanent) basis. I’m really enjoying the development of the “relationship” between Buffy and Spike thoughout last season and into this one. Apparently even vampires are subject to classical conditioning!

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Okay, now I am confused! I got those "series cover artist" / "collection cover artist" credits from the opening pages of the tpb collection. I did try to very by looking for a signature on the covers themselves, but the artist doesn't sign his/her ("her" I guess) work. The tpb cover art is signed, but it's too small for me to read clearly; could be either one. The alternate covers by Georges Jeanty are presented at the end of each volume. He does sign his work, the credits match, and I recognize the style as the artist who did the interiors, so at least I'm certain of that!

I'm talking about the artist who did this cover: http://www.milehighcomics.com/cgi-bin/backissue.cgi?action=fullsize...
Ah, that's right. There was a brief point -- apparently, around that storyline -- where Jo Chen wasn't doing the painted covers. I had forgotten about that.

Sorry for the confusion. :)
Okay, so which artist am I talking about? Jon Foster, right?
Jeff of Earth-J said:
Okay, so which artist am I talking about? Jon Foster, right?

Hal Foster!
Okay, compare this Jon foster cover to these Steve Rude covers (from Mile High Comics)…

…and compare this Jon Foster cover to the other by Alex Ross:

That's it, I'm opening a separate thread.
SEASON EIGHT: ISSUES #12-15: “Wolves at the Gate”

I’ve been away from this thread for several days and would like to use the tpb back cover copy to jump start this post: A team of Japanese vampires who can transform int wolves, panthers and fog attack the Slayer compound in the highlands of Scotland, stealing Buffy’s mystical scythe—the weapon that transformed thousands of young women into Slayers. Unable to fight these mysterious new foes, Buffy sends Xander to see his old friend—the only vampire known to posess these incredible powrers—Dracula.

[SPOILERS]

While the threat of Twilight continues to percolate in the background, the threat of these Japanese vampires moves to the fore. The bit I mentioned last week that I shouldn’t have seen flipping through before I read it was on page three, Satsu and Buffy in bed together. It’s a good thing I stopped flipping at that point because there are other surprises that would have been spoiled which I’ll get to in a minute. I’m fairly certain that bed scene, BTW, is a tribute to the last panel of Terry Moore’s Strangers in Paradise, available only online.

Chris brought up the issue of introducing new cast members who don’t have a TV presence behind them. I wonder if Whedon has a particular actress in mind just in case his version of Buffy should return to the big or small screen. I wondered that about Satsu and about Xander’s new romantic interest as well… until the end of issue #14, anyway.

I had little doubt that Dracula survived his TV encounter with Buffy, but it’s fairly obvious his “between seasons” relationship with Xander was revealed in order to insert him into the plot quickly. I have no problem with that because it was done so organically.

I’ve noted before how quickly Whedon’s plots progress (Buffy and Satsu’s relationship, for example), but I think Dawn has been a giant long enough. In this story she is used as the Slayers’ secret weapon, attacking the vampires’ headquarters in downtown Tokyo. The vampires anticipated that tactic, however, and had prepared for her attack by constructing (Bob will appreciate this) a giant robot Mecha-Dawn! It’s speech is printed in a “robotic” font, it says things such as “I like blue jeans and irony” and “I cry a lot,” and it’s dialogue with Dawn is hilarious! My favorite exchange is, “My name is Dawn. I am a teenage girl,” to which Dawn replies, “Then why do you have a tail?”

When I was working my way through the television series, I generally came to like the show more and more the further I went along. That trend didn’t exactly carry over into the comics (in other words, so far I don’t like season eight in comics better than season seven on TV), but I am enjoying Buffy Season Eight more and more as it goes along. “Wolves at the Gate” is the first story to have really clicked with me, firing on all cylinders. For example, the full page scene of dialogue between Buffy and Willow as Satsu is apparently falling to her death is a masterpiece in comedic timing.

I finished the third tpb last night and today is Wednesday, so look for my thoughts on issues #16-20 in the days to come.
Hey, Jeff — are you planning to read Fray? I just ask because either the next arc or the one after that (I forget) ties into it, and it might behoove you to read that mini first.
Hmm... I hadn't considered it. Thanks for the heads up!
Yes... make sure to read Fray...soonish.

also

"I had little doubt that Dracula survived his TV encounter with Buffy, but it’s fairly obvious his “between seasons” relationship with Xander was revealed in order to insert him into the plot quickly.'

There was a Dracula-Xander story in either one of the tales of the Vampires or Tales of the Slayers collections...I would guess the Vampires one...and it connects to the episode from the tv show well.



Jeff of Earth-J said:
Hmm... I hadn't considered it. Thanks for the heads up!
I forgot to looking for Fray yesterday, and when I got home I discovered I’d somehow purchased the wrong Buffy tpb! I’ll be going back tonight after work to exchange it (only because I have some time to kill before I pick Tracy up from the airport, and my LCS is way closer than my house is). I think I’ll finish up Buffy before moving on to Fray, anyway. I don’t remember if there’s three or four Buffy tpbs, but it won’t take me long to get caught up, then there’ll be a wait for the next to be released.

“WHY NOT LIMA BEANS?”

The other thing I wanted to mention about the vampires from “Wolves at the Gate” is that, in addition to being able to turn themselves into wolves, panthers and fog, they could also transmogrify into a swarm of bees. I’d never heard of that before, but why not? Most authors who dabbles in vampiric lore (an increasing number of them today) bring something new to the table. “Vampires glow in sunlight,” for example… not! But I digress…

I’m reminded of a particular Munden’s Bar story in which a classically attired vampire visits that drinking establishment. He order blood to drink, and Gordon (a bartender’s bartender if ever there was one), looks him in the eye, sets out an empty glass, rolls up his sleeve, s;ices into his arm with a knife and lets his own blood fill the glass. Then he tops it off with a sprig of celery and listens to the vampire’s tale of woe.

His story is a twist on expectations, told from the vampire’s point of view. His uncle (also a vampire) he reveals was done in by a plate of lima beans, which he had never before tasted. “If garlic,” he asls, “why not lima beans?”

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