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BUFFY #5 - spoilery specs

January 12th, 2012 (04:31 pm)

"I imagine this issue of Buffy will leave fans talking, and some of it is gonna be unhappy..." (Scott Allie in the lettercol). Boy, was he right. "Some of it" was so unhappy that Whedonesque issued a new rule: people who don't like comics are not allowed to post in comics threads. "Post again and you're banned from this site forever. All this at the mods' discretion."



In a nutshell: Buffy is pregnant - who's the father?
Here's a link to a full recap (big thanks to Zianna!)

Apparently, the action takes place the next day after the events of the first arc, including the night of the party when Buffy (apparently) had sex with somebody (in issue 4 Buffy's roomies decide to talk to her about weapons in her room; in issue 5 they try to talk to her). In real life, pregnancy tests don't work so quickly. Are we supposed to suspend our disbelief and assume that Buffy was knocked up during the party? (Scott Allie said in Q&As that the party will have consequences, but, as usual, his answer is open to interpretation.)

If so, we have at least seven suspects: Xander and Riley (she spent some time with both of them); Buffy's boss; her mysterious neighbor, Heinrich whom nobody saw and who sent her flowers the next day; Andrew; Spike (maybe his bugs used some advanced medical methods when they were treating his wounds :). And, let's not forget about the elephant - I mean Angel. He already has two children - Connor and Kitty Twilight. Three's a charm. (He could have knocked her up in season 8, but her slayer essence was blocking the development of the foetus - until Severin took it away, if we assume that Severin's de-demonizing process starts with reproductory organs).

In any case, I'm sure that Joss' choice of father was based on the principle of maximum pain for Buffy. And if the previously established rules stood in the way of the story he wanted to tell, he bended or rewrote them.

So far, the most likely candidates are Angel and Heinrich. Angel, because it would be very painful for everybody involved for obvious reasons; Heinrich - because he's a dark horse and Joss can go in any direction (Heinrich could be a demon; an anti-slayer activist with an agenda; a time-traveller from the future who is a recluse to avoid changing the timeline) to bring on the angst.

Then again, Heinrich-as-a-father can be The Immortal of season 9 - just a faceless plot device to keep the shipping status quo intact.

Another question is where do we go from here. Given the history of pregnancies in Jossverse, I expect all kinds of horrors. Buffy's enemies will try to kill/abduct/sire her baby. Or Buffy finds out that her baby is evil. Or that she has to sacrifice her baby to restore magic. Or she will have twins Melaca and Harth whom time-travelling Heinrich takes to the future in a mission to save humanity.

Or something even more heartbreaking will happen. Joss has a carte-blanche here. "You must save the prince". "Unlock the key [to bring magic back]". "You're not the slayer". There is a lot of random clues that point to global importance of Buffy's pregnancy.

I looked through Google links for "female monomyth" + "pregnancy" and couldn't find anything interesting. Apparently, it's pretty uncharted territory (except Xena, of course).

Looks like the season will be quite a ride, after all. Time to buckle up.

I hope DH and Whedon will pull it off. Overall, the issue is very good. Moline's art suits better to the storyline about Buffy becoming a mother, because he draws her with more womanly proportions. I wonder is Joss plans to compress the timeline - for example, they make a break after May issue -- and the next, August or September issue will feature Buffy with her already-born baby.

And to cheer up from all the gloom and doom - a rec for a funny fic that kinda reflects current situation: The Completely True Story of Buffy, the Slayer of the Vampyres as told by A.W by st_salieri

Comments

Posted by: sueworld2003 (sueworld2003)
Posted at: January 12th, 2012 01:07 pm (UTC)

Hopefully without sounding paranoid I suspect that he whole Banned thing was aimed mainly at me. *g* I see some critting of the comics have been allowed to pass, so long as it's low key.

Posted by: Elena (moscow_watcher)
Posted at: January 12th, 2012 06:33 pm (UTC)

Sue, I can understand when people have a strong reaction to some stuff. I consider myself thick-skinned. So you can post your rants here instead of Whedonesque - you're always welcome :)

Posted by: sueworld2003 (sueworld2003)
Posted at: January 12th, 2012 06:39 pm (UTC)

Posted by: leyki (enzialla)
Posted at: January 12th, 2012 09:38 pm (UTC)

Posted by: sueworld2003 (sueworld2003)
Posted at: January 12th, 2012 10:25 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Rua1412 (rua1412)
Posted at: January 12th, 2012 01:20 pm (UTC)

It's Xander for me.
Sure she was drunk, but having a baby by her sister's boyfriend is the most painful thing for her to imo.
Plus I don't think Angel is the father because Joss loves to play with shippers, and since he usually gives chance to both Spuffy and Bangel, to have a son with Angel would upset the balance among the shipper battle out there.

Posted by: thepuddinhead (thepuddinhead)
Posted at: January 12th, 2012 02:02 pm (UTC)

I agree with you in that if Joss is the ultimate baby daddy, he'll opt for maximum pain. I think he'll also create a little wiggle room for ambiguity. I suspect the identity of Papa will shift around as much as humanly possible, and then shift a little bit more.

Personally, although I keep up with the comics, I'm not a big fan of many of the choices they've made. The jury is out on this whopper of a choice, but I remain skeptical. As always, you have to give Joss props for going to places that few would dare. In the meantime, I'm perfectly content with the future fics in our own Spuffy community. For instance, "Time's Fool" by MsJane. She's constructed a compelling Buffyverse that gets me even more jazzed than the comics!

Posted by: Elena (moscow_watcher)
Posted at: January 12th, 2012 07:35 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Lisa (shipperx)
Posted at: January 12th, 2012 04:59 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Elena (moscow_watcher)
Posted at: January 12th, 2012 07:40 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Mrs Darcy (elisi)
Posted at: January 12th, 2012 06:29 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Elena (moscow_watcher)
Posted at: January 12th, 2012 06:37 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Rua1412 (rua1412)
Posted at: January 12th, 2012 09:30 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Elena (moscow_watcher)
Posted at: January 12th, 2012 09:46 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Rua1412 (rua1412)
Posted at: January 12th, 2012 09:51 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Elena (moscow_watcher)
Posted at: January 12th, 2012 10:05 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Rua1412 (rua1412)
Posted at: January 12th, 2012 10:09 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Elena (moscow_watcher)
Posted at: January 12th, 2012 11:15 pm (UTC)

Posted by: a2zmom (a2zmom)
Posted at: January 13th, 2012 01:54 am (UTC)

Posted by: Elena (moscow_watcher)
Posted at: January 13th, 2012 08:45 am (UTC)

Posted by: TimeTravellingBunny (boot_the_grime)
Posted at: January 12th, 2012 03:16 pm (UTC)

Well there is a difference between using "maximum pain" plotlines that make sense from the character and storytelling perspective, and throwing completely random OOC stuff just to shock people.

I don't consider the idea of a vampire being the father at all seriously. And Angel being the father is just hilariously craptastic and nonsensical. Mystical elephant pregnancy by a vampire, LOL. So is there going to be 3 more years since she gives birth, if it took her over 7 months to find out she's preggers? :D Add to this the fact that he isn't going to be appearing in season 9 and has a whole separate story.

I am very relieved that Spike's out of running for the father because of being a vampire. The last thing I want for the two of them is to have had drunken off-panel sex Buffy didn't even remember or didn't want to remember (and their interactions in season 9, from "not this year" to their behavior since, absolutely don't support this idea) and to get back together after she finds out she's pregnant by him, which would always leave the question if they only hooked up because he knocked her up. Ugh.

On the other hand, I have a dreadful feeling that they might go with "Buffy and Xander had sex earlier and the whole party thing was just a distraction", even though that doesn't make sense for the characters and is totally OOC and would ruin the well written development for Xander and closure that B/X got in "Turbulence", and would make absolutely no sense for Buffy's character (the idea of Buffy sleeping with her sister's boyfriend is already OOC, and additionally, she's ashamed for possibly coming onto a married man, but she's not ashamed of sleeping with her sister's serious boyfriend? WTF? Does anyone believe that?!)... This would be the worst, most character-assassinating and implausible plot point ever (season 8 at least had the glow and Twilight's influence) and the only reason I'm not discounting it that I've lost my trust in Whedon's storytelling choices. The cumulative effect of The Girl in Question (which he thought at the time was a good closure for Buffy's character), season 8's Twilight and the current marketing from Dark Horse leaves me with the impression that he thinks it's great writing if he drags Buffy through the mud as much as possible or piles all sorts of random trouble and torture on her and annoys the fans/subverts their expectations, whether what he makes her do makes sense or not (TGIQ didn't, but he must have thought at the time it was a good idea, even though he seemed to have come to his senses a few years later). And it's not like great closure for a storyline/character development from a previous season hasn't been ruined before just to have characters act like arseholes in a barely plausible story (hello, Willow/Xander in season 3!) though this would be several orders of magnitude worse and would definitely assassinate both of those characters.

I've just stopped being optimistic when it comes to Whedon's storytelling choices.

Posted by: Elena (moscow_watcher)
Posted at: January 12th, 2012 07:59 pm (UTC)

That's why I think it may be either Heinrich (and Buffy doesn't remember what happened between them) or space-frak consequences. Because other options demand OOC behavior from Buffy or her potential partner (s).

But iа it's the tresult of space-frak, there will be some rules-bending but no OOC behavior.

I've just stopped being optimistic when it comes to Whedon's storytelling choices.

*shrugs* Pregnancy is one of the most popular tropes in soap-opera - and BtVS is a supernatural soap, at least formally. More complex and tragic that an average soap-opera, but still.

Posted by: TimeTravellingBunny (boot_the_grime)
Posted at: January 12th, 2012 10:19 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Elena (moscow_watcher)
Posted at: January 12th, 2012 11:20 pm (UTC)

Posted by: a2zmom (a2zmom)
Posted at: January 13th, 2012 03:36 am (UTC)

Posted by: Elena (moscow_watcher)
Posted at: January 13th, 2012 08:47 am (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: January 12th, 2012 03:57 pm (UTC)

Issue 9.05 takes place over the course of four days, because we see Buffy asleep and dreaming on three consecutive nights. Since Anaheed and Tumble therefore waited at least four days before getting up the courage to approach Buffy about their fears, I don't think there's any problem in assuming even longer went by between 9.04 and 9.05. Plus, if this is the very next night after the event of 9.04 you'd expect Buffy to be thinking more about Severin, but he never even crosses her mind.

So here's the timetable in full:


The first arc takes place over four days:

Day 0: the evening of the party.
Day 1: Buffy is nursing her hangover. That night she meets the debt collector demon and is arrested.
Day 2: Buffy escapes police custody. She appears on the news as a wanted fugitive. That night she visits Xander and Dawn then meets Severin.
Day 3: Scooby meeting with Xander, Dawn and Severin. That night Buffy goes to the docks and fights Severin.

An unknown length of time x goes by between 9.04 and 9.05.

Day 4+x: That night, Buffy dreams about Xander and Dawn being vampires.
Day 5+x: Buffy talks to Willow in the street. That night she sees the Scythe in her dream.
Day 6+x: Buffy goes to Willow's workplace. That night Willow spends the night in her room.
Day 7+x: Willow goes. Anaheed and Tumble confront Buffy. Buffy discovers she's pregnant.

Seven days after conception is apparently the absolute earliest a pregnancy test can be used. 14 days after would typically be when Buffy's period should be due, and she'd have had another clue something was wrong. So 'x', the time between 9.04 and 9.05, would logically be anything from nothing to seven days. Story logic say's it's probably at least 3 or 4 days.

Posted by: Elena (moscow_watcher)
Posted at: January 12th, 2012 08:07 pm (UTC)
Fuffy kiss

You're right. I didn't take into consideration that the events of #5 take place over the course of several days.

I wonder if the writers realise how thouroughly we dissect every aspect of the story. Most likely, they didn't give much thought to the timeline of Buffy's pregnancy.

Posted by: Lisa (shipperx)
Posted at: January 12th, 2012 04:53 pm (UTC)

people who don't like comics are not allowed to post in comics threads. "Post again and you're banned from this site forever. All this at the mods' discretion."

Don't you love it when there are open demands for unified groupthink.

Posted by: Fender Love (fenderlove)
Posted at: January 12th, 2012 05:34 pm (UTC)

Are we supposed to suspend our disbelief and assume that Buffy was knocked up during the party?

Why not? We already suspend our disbelief to believe that Buffy did the right thing in torturing a social worker, that hospitals and the government work they way they do in the Whedonverse, and don't forget all the vampires, zombies, and demons. I don't trust the writers of this story to have actually done any research into pregnancy. It seems like they understand, "Morning sickness! That's a sign of pregnancy! Let's have Buffy do it!" whether or not it would be reasonable that she would be having pregnancy nausea at this stage.

Posted by: Elena (moscow_watcher)
Posted at: January 12th, 2012 08:48 pm (UTC)
Duster_by_awmp

You're most likely right. As I replied to Stormwreath upthread, writers may be unaware how fandom dissects the details of the story.

We analyse details much more thouroughly than writers. Sometimes we don't see forest behind the trees.

Several days passed in Buffy's world. Five months passed in our world. It's hard to correlate two timelines.

Posted by: Lexi (eilowyn)
Posted at: January 12th, 2012 06:05 pm (UTC)

This is the first I've heard of Whedonesque's new rule, and I can't say I'm surprised. The anti-comics people have become downright nasty - to the point where I'm afraid to post my mixed feelings about the plotline for fear of being mocked, as I already have been for even the slightest glimmer of optimism. In a forum where people are supposed to discuss the comics, the bashing antics of the few ruin the dialogue for the rest of us by taking the focus off discussing the issue and putting it on their own opinion that the comics are terrible, horrible, no-good very bad tripe.

Posted by: sueworld2003 (sueworld2003)
Posted at: January 12th, 2012 06:38 pm (UTC)

"The anti-comics people have become downright nasty - to the point where I'm afraid to post my mixed feelings about the plotline for fear of being mocked,"

Really? Have I ever mocked you then?

Posted by: Emmie (angearia)
Posted at: January 12th, 2012 10:34 pm (UTC)

Posted by: sueworld2003 (sueworld2003)
Posted at: January 12th, 2012 11:28 pm (UTC)

Posted by: sueworld2003 (sueworld2003)
Posted at: January 12th, 2012 07:11 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Elena (moscow_watcher)
Posted at: January 12th, 2012 09:00 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Emmie (angearia)
Posted at: January 12th, 2012 10:35 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Elena (moscow_watcher)
Posted at: January 12th, 2012 11:07 pm (UTC)

Posted by: sueworld2003 (sueworld2003)
Posted at: January 12th, 2012 11:30 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Emmie (angearia)
Posted at: January 12th, 2012 10:38 pm (UTC)

Posted by: leyki (enzialla)
Posted at: January 12th, 2012 09:37 pm (UTC)

Oh, you forgot Willow as a canditate. Maybe she grew a penis, who knows with the way the story is going. I mean, really? Even the timeline doesn't work. Buffy has a party, 2 nights later she meets Severin, she sleeps at his place, fight him the next night, and then goes home and we have her roommates talking to her about moving out. So it's maximum 10 days since the party, and 6 months since the spacefrank. So the only candidate in logical conditions, can be somebody she's had sex before season 9 began. Or else it's a mystical pregnancy.

But of course I don't expect them to say anything better, for them it makes total sense to get a positive pregnancy test in 10 days. I'm really disappointed about the story. And they think we're total idiots, wow the fans guessed it so soon! Really guys? It ws screaming from the other side of the world, that's why we thought that maybe you would actually have some imagination and have something else in mind and that you were trying to misdirect us. Buffy's pregnancy with what was in #1 and the craps you revealed in interviews and Q&A screamed pregnancy and you think we're so idiots?

This is going back to basis? Buffy the one armed unmarried pregnant by a drunk one night stand. Sounds like a very bad fanfictin, doesn't it?

Posted by: Elena (moscow_watcher)
Posted at: January 12th, 2012 11:08 pm (UTC)

I admit, I was surprised to find out about Buffy's pregnancy. I didn't expect Joss to go in that direction.

But I'm afraid that Joss will use a baby storyline to subject Buffy to more torments - and it's a very delicate matter when a baby is involved. It's so easy to slip into tasteless horrors or silly fluff.

Hopefully it won't happen.

As to "back to basics" - they say this mantra at the beginning of every season. :)

Posted by: Cordykitten (cordykitten)
Posted at: January 12th, 2012 10:06 pm (UTC)
moscow_watcher Spike Oh Joss !

Couldn't resist the spoilers. But I'm just happy I don't read the comics.

Posted by: Elena (moscow_watcher)
Posted at: January 12th, 2012 11:12 pm (UTC)

Not reading is the most sensible decision, that's for sure! :)

(I say it as a fan who has already seen April covers)

Posted by: Kerry (kerry_220)
Posted at: January 12th, 2012 11:27 pm (UTC)

I'm just wandering about another option. What with there being no indicators of pregnancy until Buffy woke from the dream, is there some significance to the 'stomach punch' she 'felt'. What was the significance of the 'You're not the slayer' and the key reference and turning Xander and Dawn into zompires?

Is it too left field to think (maybe HOPE) that the pregnancy has nothing to do with drunken mystery dads but something related to the dream and the faery?

Posted by: Elena (moscow_watcher)
Posted at: January 13th, 2012 08:33 am (UTC)
Buffy

I used to think that fairy could impregnate Buffy with her fairy dust. But, judging by the dialogue in #5, fairy has nothing to do with it. She says "I discovered something you need to know" - and, to me, it sounds like Buffy's pregnancy was a surprise for fairy, too.

After the breaking of the Seed Joss can change any rule and explain that it happens because there is no Seed. Vampires could become fertile, because there is no Seed. Maybe it's immaculate conception that will produce a magical child.

Posted by: leyki (enzialla)
Posted at: January 14th, 2012 07:46 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Elena (moscow_watcher)
Posted at: January 14th, 2012 09:34 pm (UTC)

Posted by: leyki (enzialla)
Posted at: January 14th, 2012 10:14 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Elena (moscow_watcher)
Posted at: January 14th, 2012 10:38 pm (UTC)

Posted by: The Anti-OTP (snowpuppies)
Posted at: January 14th, 2012 07:20 am (UTC)

Great Review, hon. I just caught up with all the comics, and I've got to say I'm liking S9 more than S8, and I guess I'm in the minority that doesn't mind the pregnancy. I actually think there are a lot of directions this could go!

Posted by: Elena (moscow_watcher)
Posted at: January 14th, 2012 09:47 pm (UTC)
Buffy

I'm glad you like the review and I'm even more glad the you like season 9. So far, many people are very unhappy with it. I'm in "wait-and-see" mode - I don't like what happens to Buffy, but I realise that this is writers' intentions - to create a controversial situation.

We'll see how they'll deal with it.

Posted by: mrs_underhill (mrs_underhill)
Posted at: January 14th, 2012 04:24 pm (UTC)
puppet_spike

I saw your point on Whedonesque, about how being drunk during conception can jeopardize baby's health, and you were speaking my mind.
I knew people when I was in college ~20 years ago who were in this situation and for whom it ended in lots of pain. :(
Women would want to do anything in their power to give the best for the baby - quit smoking and drinking, eat healthy etc. But then again, women having power in this - what a ridiculous notion.

But after reading the comments and seeing how they banned negative feedback, I wasn't comfortable posting my thoughts there.

The way Allie speaks about it, being oh so generous on Buffy in not blaming her for this situation, is offensive.
How about blaming the jerk(s) who did it to her?!
Someone, or maybe even several people (isn't it fun to guess?), used Buffy for sex when she was out of it, and didn't even bother to use condoms!
I love how some male posters are going out of their way there to shift the blame off the guy(s) who did it. Oh, maybe it was her who took advantage, or maybe they both were out of it - pathetic! It's her paying the price which they cannot even comprehend!

There was a recent case in Boston when two policemen escorted a drunk woman home, and took her being very out of it and grateful to get home as an invitation for taking turns in having sex with her.
Guess what - she sued them and they both are facing jail sentences now, and I say - all the power to that woman!

But again, women power doesn't seem to be Buffy theme anymore...

I'm not against Buffy a single mother storyline, would make sense for her to finally decide - screw it, I'll never get a normal boyfriend or husband, but at least I can get a child all to myself so that we can love each other. Lots of women are taking this route.
But the way it's shaping up is nasty - especially if they make Buffy blame herself after all this, and decide she "has to deal" (words of some poster, *shudder*), instead of confronting the guy who put her in this position.

I was keeping an eye on storyline without reading but now it's time to stop even that and just look at the covers. That cover of Buffy and Spike being domestic is awesome but I'd rather not know what would go on behind it.

Posted by: Elena (moscow_watcher)
Posted at: January 14th, 2012 10:20 pm (UTC)

I saw your point on Whedonesque, about how being drunk during conception can jeopardize baby's health, and you were speaking my mind.
I knew people when I was in college ~20 years ago who were in this situation and for whom it ended in lots of pain. :(


Interestingly, only two posters talked about it - me and another fan, who is from Russia, too! And I was told by a mod that it's not dangerous to conceive in a drunk state.

*shrugs*

I don't know what to think about it. I guess I hope that Joss will eventually reveal that Buffy wasn't dead drunk, but she was influenced by fairy's vibes (Tink was there - Spike's line about "giant mosquito" was directed at her). Or something.

I love how some male posters are going out of their way there to shift the blame off the guy(s) who did it. Oh, maybe it was her who took advantage, or maybe they both were out of it - pathetic! It's her paying the price which they cannot even comprehend!

Yes, it's interesting how the dynamic of the fandom changed as soon as Buffy crossed over to comics. There is a lot of fanboys who look at Buffy through male eyes. I often visit BuffyForums, and I remember a 30-pages long debates about dubcon immediately after the first issue. Was Buffy raped? Was she under influence?

If Buffy went to Heinrich to invite him, spent 20 minutes there and came back by her own - she wasn't dead drunk. Yet she doesn't remember anything ( she was very drunk in "Life Serial" - but she remembered what happened.) I wonder if her amnesia is just a convenient plot device to create a "who's the daddy" mystery or the indication that something unusual happened at the party.

I'm not against Buffy a single mother storyline

I don't think there will be a single mother storyline. I expect all kinds of horrors happening to Buffy's baby :((((

I was keeping an eye on storyline without reading but now it's time to stop even that and just look at the covers. That cover of Buffy and Spike being domestic is awesome but I'd rather not know what would go on behind it.

I'm weak - I can't keep from reading. I try to distance from fandom opinions, but it's hard - suddenly, the level of passion and controversy is as high as during "Twilight" arc.

Posted by: Becky (joans_journal)
Posted at: January 14th, 2012 09:00 pm (UTC)

You're right about buckling up, Elena. The ride's only just begun and I'm already reeling. All I know is Buffy deserves to be happy. I don't know how much more pain she can take. Losing a baby would be devastating.

I hope her Spike raise the baby together, regardless of who's it is. That's my dream and I'm sticking to it.

Posted by: Elena (moscow_watcher)
Posted at: January 14th, 2012 10:30 pm (UTC)

Evil!Joss will never let Buffy be happy.... :(

But, at least, we'll have more canonical Spuffy goodness, and, hopefully, a lot of great fanfiction based on it :)

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