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Angel&Faith #11 thinky thoughts

July 6th, 2012 (03:24 pm)


Detailed transcript by Zianna is here (thanks, Zianna!)

Overall, a strong issue, interesting plot, many beautiful character moments. Rebekah Isaaks' Willow is a bit stylized yet very recognizable. I'd love to see Connor who looks a bit more like Vincent Kartheiser, but that's just my nitpicking.

What I found especially interesting.

In the lettercol, Scott Allie says that "the original idea for season 9 was going to be a very cosmic odyssey". I guess Spike's ship was part of that initial plan. Yes, it the plan had been changed completely by "Predators and Prey" arc, but, according to Meltzer, he wrote his arс before season 8 has even started. Which makes me wonder if they plan to use some earlier ideas by Joss in Spike mini. Allie has confirmed that they don't have an overall, conceptual idea for Spike's mini - but maybe there are some non-conceptual ideas from Joss' initial plan for season 9?

Back to A&F#11 - it changes the global situation drastically. According to the issue, the destruction of the Seed destroyed all creative forces on Earth; suicide rates are growing, people are losing hope, and it's getting worse with every passing day.

So far, it's not clear if it's just a one-shot plot necessity (like Angel's hoodie safely protecting him from the sun) or a conceptual development of the verse. Buffyverse has a history of such plot necessities that looked huge when they were introduced but quickly fizzled out (vampire brothels, governmental anti-demon programs).

If it's just a plot necessity to justify the trip to Quor'Toth', I'll be mildly disappointed, but, ultimately, happy that they used it to explore Angel and Connor's dynamics.

But if it's part of the long-running mythology, then it's very interesting. If the situation on Earth worsens quickly, then by the end of the season they must find a way to stop it. Maybe by creating a new Seed - a baby Seed (thus making the pregnancy plot on BtVS very relevant).

Now, about the most controversial panel of the issue.

Photobucket

On one hand, Angel's line: "Once we'd given the Twilight universe form, I was going to bring everyone over" - blatantly contradicts the events of #35. Angel was "given the Twilight universe form" on the last panel of #34. And in #35 he explicitly talked about himself and Buffy staying there.

On the other hand, he mentioned in one of the previous issues that the power of Twilight over him was becoming stronger and stronger as his plan progressed. So, the way I see it, Angel's initial plan was to bring people over to the new universe, but by #34 he was completely inder the influence of glow and couldn't think straight. I can live with this explanation.

What bugs me is Angel's phrase "Why does everyone have such a hard time getting this?" Um, Angel - because it didn't look that way.

Actually, when I read the phrase, I hear the writers complaining: "Why does everyone have such a hard time getting this? It happened because on BtVS Angel was servicing Buffy's journey. That's how our storytelling works. When Buffy was servicing Angel's journey on AtS, she was depicted as a jealous bitch in "Sanctuary" or as a stupid bimbo in "The Girl in Question". Now Angel is back in his own title, and he's protected with the protagonist privilege again. Deal with it."

As a (fic) writer I can understand writers and as a fan I can understand fans. In serialized entertainment, all characters, even the most complex and multilayered are inevitably stuck within their roles and are bound to repeat the same mistakes, only on a bigger scale. Or be killed (but we know that it doesn't work in Jossverse). But fans don't want to suspend their disbelief. They judge the characters as if they're real people in real-life situations.

So I guess it's kind of an unsolvable situation.

I only hope that in the further issues writers will use less flippant, more serious approach to that pesky Twilight retconning. That they'll explain Angel's behavior in #35 either by Twilight's growing influence in Angel's mind or some other way that allows to restore Angel's status without destroying the unity of Buffyverse. "I didn't mention it because Buffy was worked up" is lame. Ultra lame.

About the unity of Buffyverse. The issue gave me a strong impression that after season 9 the structure of Buffyverse will change radically. There will be an ongoing Buffy title and there will be many spin-offs - one-shot, minis and maybe even one-seasonal titles - "Willow", "Spike", "Illyria", "Willow and Illyria" etc. I wonder if the upcoming "Willow" and "Spike" minis are there to gauge the interest before planning the post-9 season Buffyverse.

It's just an impression; I don't have anything to substantiate it. But if that's the case, writers will have a hard time to sustain this schisophrenic approach to Angel's journey. It's BUFFYverse, first and foremost, and nobody but Buffy will have protagonist privilege in that universe.

P.S. A funny typo.
Faith: "Listen, Angel and Connor aren't exactly on "take your son to work" terms. Angel's been ducking his calls like he's a drunk hookup. Which I told him is being a tool..." Apparently, the writers meant "fool", not "tool" - but maybe it was a Freudian slip? (Update: I was told in comments, that "tool" could be a slang version of "fool". Apparently, my English is far from perfect. Sorry, guys.)

Comments

Posted by: empresspatti (empresspatti)
Posted at: July 6th, 2012 11:37 am (UTC)

My kids always said 'tool' as slang for jerk or fool or some other idiot behavior.

Posted by: Elena (moscow_watcher)
Posted at: July 6th, 2012 11:42 am (UTC)

Oh, I didn't realise that it could be slang. Thanks for clarification!

Posted by: lostboy_lj (lostboy_lj)
Posted at: July 6th, 2012 03:43 pm (UTC)

Interesting stuff. One thing I didn't quite get was:

When Buffy was servicing Angel's journey on AtS, she was depicted as a jealous bitch in "Sanctuary" or as a stupid bimbo in "The Girl in Question".

Not so sure about either characterization, there. In Sanctuary, she wasn't ready to forgive or trust Faith (with good reason, considering their history) and I don't think being wounded by what she saw as a betrayal by Angel was OOC for her (again, considering their history). And in "The Girl in Question", they don't really depict Buffy very much at all, except for the fleeting, ghostly image of her in the night club. Wasn't getting a "stupid bimbo" vibe from anything anyone said about her, unless getting a new boyfriend makes her stupid, somehow. That episode just gave me the impression of someone who was moving on with her life (which Angel and Spike then decide to try to do at the episode's end).

But then, of course, the s8 comics went ahead and immediately retconned that characterization as well, explaining it away with body double. XD

So, I guess there's that aspect of retconning based on the shift in protagonist focus, but it seems to me to be a bit more about freeing up each character from the bounds of the other's narrative. I'm thinking that the way the writers look at it is, if Angel has to dwell on his Twilight-ness too much, there won't be enough room left to tell the new story they want to tell. So, they let him off the hook with a (somewhat lame) joke. It's like their version of saying, "Okay, that other stuff happened, but let's move on."

About the unity of Buffyverse. The issue gave me a strong impression that after season 9 the structure of Buffyverse will change radically. There will be an ongoing Buffy title and there will be many spin-offs - one-shot, minis and maybe even one-seasonal titles - "Willow", "Spike", "Illyria", "Willow and Illyria" etc. I wonder if the upcoming "Willow" and "Spike" minis are there to gauge the interest before planning the post-9 season Buffyverse.

I have a few good friends in the industry, and the weird thing about comics these days is that they don't actually make money (and aren't expected to). Even the major titles (Spiderman, Superman,etc) are almost always a loss at the print level, and are mainly seen as marketing costs by the two biggest publishers (DC and Marvel) for other media products with the same brand names (movies, video games, tv shows). I wonder how this model changes for a somewhat smaller publisher like DH? I don't think they've had many movie properties based on their titles, except for "Hellboy", "300" and "Aliens vs. Predators", and for the latter they have to shell out licensing fees. Only reason I mention it is because it seems a little odd to want to branch out with so many separate titles and minis unless they were already turning a really good profit on the two core titles, or they had some other licensing project in the works (new TV show, new movie) that would leverage it. Hmmm....


Edited at 2012-07-06 05:11 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Elena (moscow_watcher)
Posted at: July 6th, 2012 06:08 pm (UTC)

Not so sure about either characterization, there. In Sanctuary, she wasn't ready to forgive or trust Faith (with good reason, considering their history) and I don't think being wounded by what she saw as a betrayal by Angel was OOC for her (again, considering their history). And in "The Girl in Question", they don't really depict Buffy very much at all, except for the fleeting, ghostly image of her in the night club. Wasn't getting a "stupid bimbo" vibe from anything anyone said about her, unless getting a new boyfriend makes her stupid, somehow. That episode just gave me the impression of someone who was moving on with her life (which Angel and Spike then decide to try to do at the episode's end).

But then, of course, the s8 comics went ahead and immediately retconned that characterization as well, explaining it away with body double. XD

So, I guess there's that aspect of retconning based on the shift in protagonist focus, but it seems to me to be a bit more about freeing up each character from the bounds of the other's narrative. I'm thinking that the way the writers look at it is, if Angel has to dwell on his Twilight-ness too much, there won't be enough room left to tell the new story they want to tell. So, they let him off the hook with a (somewhat lame) joke. It's like their version of saying, "Okay, that other stuff happened, but let's move on."


I admit, I was too harsh on Buffy's characterization for the argument's sake. Re: Angel - I really hope they'll introduce more convincing explanation.

I have a few good friends in the industry, and the weird thing about comics these days is that they don't actually make money (and aren't expected to). Even the major titles (Spiderman, Superman,etc) are almost always a loss at the print level, and are mainly seen as marketing costs by the two biggest publishers (DC and Marvel) for other media products with the same brand names (movies, video games, tv shows). I wonder how this model changes for a somewhat smaller publisher like DH? I don't think they've had many movie properties based on their titles, except for "Hellboy", "300" and "Aliens vs. Predators", and for the latter they have to shell out licensing fees. Only reason I mention it is because it seems a little odd to want to branch out with so many separate titles and minis unless they were already turning a really good profit on the two core titles, or they had some other licensing project in the works (new TV show, new movie) that would leverage it. Hmmm....

Interesting information! I think that small publishers's situation is even harder than the majors. But I doubt that we'll find out if BtVS titles are profitable. The publishers won't disclose such data.

Posted by: red_satin_doll (red_satin_doll)
Posted at: October 14th, 2012 04:52 pm (UTC)
Come What May outtake

I admit, I was too harsh on Buffy's characterization for the argument's sake. Re: Angel - I really hope they'll introduce more convincing explanation.

Actually, your impression of Buffy as uber-bitch in Sanctuary was the same one I had, and it seemed a bit over-the-top IMO. She was the person who had literally "walked a mile" in someone else's shoes, and she certainly had a right to be angry, but at the end of WAY it was Riley, not Buffy, making the dismissive/judgmental remark "Well I guess she's had her fun now". (Of course, he had just slept with Faith in Buffy's body, and we can call that rape, but there was that awkwardness.) So maybe not OOC but a bit OOT?

I haven't seen TGiQ so I can't comment on that one.

What bugs me is Angel's phrase "Why does everyone have such a hard time getting this?" Um, Angel - because it didn't look that way.

Actually, when I read the phrase, I hear the writers complaining: "Why does everyone have such a hard time getting this? It happened because on BtVS Angel was servicing Buffy's journey. That's how our storytelling works. When Buffy was servicing Angel's journey on AtS, she was depicted as a jealous bitch in "Sanctuary" or as a stupid bimbo in "The Girl in Question". Now Angel is back in his own title, and he's protected with the protagonist privilege again. Deal with it."


EXACTLY.

The other thing that bothers me here is that the failure of everyone else to "get it" is immediately pinned on Buffy by Angel - and Willow is tee-heeing in agreement. Oh just give me a BREAK. Buffy, the person everyone actually complains doesn't talk enough, doesn't say the right words, is too closed-off, etc is suddenly Miss Chatterbox? And this coming from Angel and Willow - from Miss Runs-at-the-Mouth Rosenberg? (And I love Willow, btw, but that was always part of her characterization.) I just...gah.

Posted by: Barb (rahirah)
Posted at: July 6th, 2012 04:01 pm (UTC)

So I guess it's kind of an unsolvable situation.

It's not unsolvable. It's just that solving it is hard and takes time, and these writers don't respect their audience enough to take that much time or effort. :shrug:

Posted by: Elena (moscow_watcher)
Posted at: July 6th, 2012 06:12 pm (UTC)

That, too.

In Gage's defence I can only say that he took a hopeless case, in a way. No matter how he writes Angel, the problem of his actions in season 8 looms over the character.

Posted by: Barb (rahirah)
Posted at: July 6th, 2012 07:53 pm (UTC)

True. I don't envy him.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: July 6th, 2012 05:08 pm (UTC)

Angel's line: "Once we'd given the Twilight universe form, I was going to bring everyone over" - blatantly contradicts the events of #35. Angel was "given the Twilight universe form" on the last panel of #34. And in #35 he explicitly talked about himself and Buffy staying there.

I don't see that as a contradiction. We saw in 8.35 that the new universe was pretty much entirely a blank slate - literally so in the panels which were just a plain white background with Angel and Buffy standing in front of it. The universe was shaping itself around them, and changing in response to their thoughts - it looked like the Garden of Eden at first, then it looked like the Bronze. Buffy's clothes kept changing to suit her subconscious mood. In other words, the new universe wasn't finished, and still needed to be shaped into form before it could receive its new inhabitants.


'Tool' is a fairly mild slang word for penis, actually. Faith is saying that Angel is acting like a dick.

Edited at 2012-07-06 05:09 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Elena (moscow_watcher)
Posted at: July 6th, 2012 06:21 pm (UTC)
Fuffy kiss

We saw in 8.35 that the new universe was pretty much entirely a blank slate - literally so in the panels which were just a plain white background with Angel and Buffy standing in front of it. The universe was shaping itself around them, and changing in response to their thoughts - it looked like the Garden of Eden at first, then it looked like the Bronze. Buffy's clothes kept changing to suit her subconscious mood. In other words, the new universe wasn't finished, and still needed to be shaped into form before it could receive its new inhabitants.

The new universe turned blank slate when Buffy declared that it's a Daffy Duck cartoon. Before that, it was a full-fledged paradize.

Apparently, the new dimension was shaped by its inhabitants' mental state.

Tool' is a fairly mild slang word for penis, actually. Faith is saying that Angel is acting like a dick.

:))))) I'm an idiot, LOL!

Posted by: lostboy_lj (lostboy_lj)
Posted at: July 6th, 2012 10:39 pm (UTC)
Man with a tool (thanks moscow_watcher!)

:))))) I'm an idiot, LOL!

Hahah, no you're not!

Although I admit I always thought you were purposefully using Xander's quote as a double-entendre in this icon of yours I snagged. :D

Posted by: Elena (moscow_watcher)
Posted at: July 7th, 2012 05:08 am (UTC)
Spangel

Heeeee! I swear, I was clueless about the double-entendre!

I remember my dearest beta deird1 telling me that English is such a tricky language in regard to sexual innuendos. Almost every second combination of words may have a sexual connotation.

Posted by: Rebcake (rebcake)
Posted at: July 7th, 2012 05:38 am (UTC)
btvs_giles_lol

I knew there was a reason I liked English! Tee hee.

Posted by: blackie_da_minx (blackie_da_minx)
Posted at: July 6th, 2012 09:46 pm (UTC)
FuffyHotBlueClose


What do you know.....Moscow is rockin' my favorite avatar. <3 Anyways I just got the 'Live Through This" trade.....so I'm behind. And as much as I love Buffy I can't justify buying them both because I'm living pay check to pay-check...and yet...whenever I come in to scan through what's going on in S9....I get more and more confused or it's flown off the shelf :/....Luckily I scan through your notes every now and again....but here it is... a Faith AND Angel trade....how in the hell would I ever have gotten around buying that?!?!? :p

Posted by: Elena (moscow_watcher)
Posted at: July 7th, 2012 04:52 am (UTC)

Hey, sweetie,

Here's a link specially for you: Lee Garbett's Fuffy test cover.

http://www.leegarbett.com/2012/07/gotta-have-faith.html

He will draw A&F #15.

Posted by: blackie_da_minx (blackie_da_minx)
Posted at: July 7th, 2012 06:04 pm (UTC)
Heart on Window


Oh YEAH, that's the stuff---Thanks for the linkage girl....it's soOooooo pretty. :D

Posted by: Rebcake (rebcake)
Posted at: July 7th, 2012 05:51 am (UTC)
btvs_spi_biteyourtongue

In serialized entertainment, all characters, even the most complex and multilayered are inevitably stuck within their roles and are bound to repeat the same mistakes, only on a bigger scale. But fans don't want to suspend their disbelief. They judge the characters as if they're real people in real-life situations.

So I guess it's kind of an unsolvable situation.


I don't think so. Or, as a writer, I hope not. I mean, treating your creations as if they have reasons (emotional or intellectual) for the things they do, letting your audience in on what those reasons might be, and having them deal with the consequences of those actions in a way that makes emotional or intellectual sense seems like Storytelling 101 to me. Or, are you saying that if serial fiction paralleled real-life, that the characters would all learn, grow, solve their weird problems, get married, have 2.4 kids, and devolve into wearing khaki? In short, a serial that doesn't end in death will end in boredom? I...don't believe it has to be that way.

Posted by: Elena (moscow_watcher)
Posted at: July 7th, 2012 07:27 pm (UTC)


I mean, that, on one hand, Joss makes his characters so alive and compelling that they vecome real to us. They become our brothers and sisters. And we talk about the the way we talk about real people.

But, OTOH, they're characters of a heroic epic. They're they're bigger than life, and they make bigger-than-life mistakes. If we judge them by RL standards, practically all regular characters should be in jail.

And Joss needs to up the ante perpetually, to create new challenges for himself as a writer. I think that Buffyverse is the project where he can experiment freely, without studio constraints. Sometimes he fails, alas...

Sorry my incoherent ramblings - I'm a bit drunk, I had a very pleasant day at my friends' country house, and I'm afraid I can't think straight.

*hugs*

Posted by: red_satin_doll (red_satin_doll)
Posted at: October 14th, 2012 05:00 pm (UTC)
Come What May outtake

I get what you're saying, but I don't think it's too much to ask of any story - serialized or not - to expect some sense of consistency and logic? If I don't understand a character I can't feel for them much less be interested enough to care.

I don't think an "epic story" need get in the way of that - if anything, an epic story demands special attention to characterization, or else we wind up with what we've got now: "big" movies (action movies) with interchangeable cardboard characters. Baz Luhrmann made that mistake with his movie Australia, in a more "romantic" vein. Batman isn't interesting because he wears a cape, tv Buffy isn't interesting because she's the Slayer, but because of how she's characterized. Because of that, I can feel for her when she's less than heroic, or at least understand her motivations even if I'll never have a soulless vampire for a lover (or two) whom I may have to send to hell, etc.

Posted by: yeezus h. christ (yeezus_christ)
Posted at: July 7th, 2012 08:09 pm (UTC)
ASH Dr. Frank N. Furter

twilight retcon...?!?!?!

the joy flowing through my veins at the possibility of this is indescribable.
the only story arc i can think of that's more deserving of a retcon is chuck austens retcon of grant morrison's "planet x" from new x-men.

Edited at 2012-07-07 08:23 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Elena (moscow_watcher)
Posted at: July 8th, 2012 08:38 am (UTC)

I agree that Angel's story needs a retcon. I only wish it was made less flippantly.

Posted by: Speaker-to-Customers (speakr2customrs)
Posted at: November 6th, 2012 08:35 am (UTC)
Scourge

Did you get hacked yesterday (5th November)? There were a string of Cyrillic posts on your journal, too many to count posted only seconds apart, and (although I can't even recognise words in Cyrillic) they looked suspiciously similar to each other and contained dozens of links. I had to defriend you because it was filling up my entire Friends list but I checked today, they've gone, and so I've Friended you again. I presume that someone had hacked your journal and they were robot spam.

Posted by: Elena (moscow_watcher)
Posted at: November 6th, 2012 04:33 pm (UTC)
Spuffy

Hey, *waves*,

Yes my LJ was hacked. Maybe I'm paranoid, but Russian hackers became very active since the new law has passed in Duma (Russian parlament). Our government wants to block social networks because Russian opposition can organize anti-Putin actions in them. With TV and printed media under governmental control Internet stays the only free place. They can't block it for political content so they passed a law that sites that have pornography must be blocked. The law became effective November, 1, and the same day we've got a wave of pornography on LJ and other social networks popular in Russia. I'm afraid that soon LJ will be blocked here. :(

Posted by: Lidia (beloved4always)
Posted at: April 16th, 2013 10:44 am (UTC)

Hey there sweets. just dropping by to wish you a very, very, very Happy Birthday!!! Hope things are well with you. I miss your posts. :(

Posted by: Elena (moscow_watcher)
Posted at: April 16th, 2013 02:20 pm (UTC)
Spuffy

Thank you, honey! My life is pretty busy lately, I became a granny, and I try to help my daughter to nurse her little baby. Besides, politics in Russia became very interesting (if a bit too extreme), so it takes a lot of my time, although I mostly read news and analytical stuff, and go to demonstrations from time to time. I still read the comics, but I don't feel the drive to talk about them. Maybe it will change when Spike will get back to Buffy title. We'll see.

*hugs*

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