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Herc’s Seen Episode 8.4 Of

I am – Hercules!!
I’ve been a bad bad Hercules. Issue four of Dark Horse’s new “Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Season Eight” series has been on the stands since Wednesday, but all sorts of last-minute stuff – mounting piles of pilots and Galactica and Jericho and Veronica – kept me out of the comic-book stores until a few hours ago. But I’ve now read and digested the wonderful “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” 8.4, which successfully concludes writer/mastermind Joss Whedon’s excellent initial “season-eight” arc.
Here’s what doesn’t happen in 8.4: * Dawn Summers, 60 feet tall since season’s start, doesn’t shrink. Not an inch. * We don't meet a thricewise. * We don’t definitively learn which true love woke Buffy with a big wet one. * We don’t learn where Rupert Giles is. * Andrew Wells is not glimpsed, nor is he reunited with skinless fellow nerd of doom Warren Meers. * A familiar character is not introduced on the final page.
Here’s what does happen: * Dawn beats up an entire castle. * We meet some of Willow Rosenberg’s newer friends. * We get another hint of what happened with Kennedy. * Xander Harris has a line on page 10 that to my ears sounds suspiciously like, “Winifred Burkle. Go.” * The action moves to two miles south of Sunnydale and doesn’t move back. * Another face from season one returns. * There’s a couple of payoffs to that Ethan Rayne business. * We learn who this season’s symbol-happy big bad is. (Highlight invisotext for more specificity.) It’s us!!
Whedon writes one more issue – focusing on the Italy-based Buffy-double introduced in the antepenultimate episode of “Angel” – before handing the season off to other writers for a while. Freshman “Lost” staffer Brian K. Vaughn writes issue six, which deals with what Faith the Vampire Slayer has been up to. Herc’s rating for “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” 8.4? ***** In comic-book shops now.

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Readers Talkback
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  • June 9, 2007, 2:04 a.m. CST


    by PirateEmery

    We're the bad guys? Typical...

  • June 9, 2007, 2:04 a.m. CST

    Oh, and first...

    by PirateEmery


  • June 9, 2007, 2:34 a.m. CST

    bit hard to follow

    by samsquanch

    not sure what was going on there towards the end...

  • June 9, 2007, 2:45 a.m. CST

    Not first

    by thestarkiller01

    but the closest I HAVE ever and probably WILL ever get to being first. You guys are just too fast with that s*#t. Oh, and I'm loving this series so far. Then again, Whedon could write an issue with nothing but a demon taking a big crap for 24 pages and I'd probably think it's freakin' gold. I'm just excited to have Buffy back.

  • June 9, 2007, 3:05 a.m. CST

    Actually it was kind of hinted who kissed buffy

    by gwarwilleatyou

    She puts on that girls chapstick and comments on its cinnamon flavor. Much like she commented in issue 3 after the kiss about tasting cinnamon buns.

  • June 9, 2007, 3:10 a.m. CST

    I was just going to mention that

    by Archangel7883

    But I missed the hint about Kennedy. Where was that? I'm too lazy to go dig up the comic again.

  • June 9, 2007, 3:44 a.m. CST

    'Freshman “Lost” staffer Brian K. Vaughn'?

    by vroom socko

    Herc, don't undersell BKV. The man's the writer behind books like Y: The Last Man and Ex Machina. Oh and don't forget he's also the man who created The Runaways, that other comic that Joss is currently writing...

  • June 9, 2007, 4:08 a.m. CST

    New Joss Whedon show "BOOK" in the works for the CW!!!

    by Man_of_Stool

    You heard it here first. Can`t stop the signal.

  • June 9, 2007, 5:23 a.m. CST

    Trouble with the comic book "season"...

    by Jinxo

    ... is what TheApostle said. Each issue does not really equal the content of a TV episode. Maybe two issues. So then you end up getting the equivalent of one "episode" every two months. I mean, I get that that is just how it goes with the length and format of comic books and I am happy to be getting any Buffy but, man, I can't help but wishing for more.

  • June 9, 2007, 5:47 a.m. CST

    Four issues = 1 hour of television

    by Prof. Pop-Cult

    The first four issues comprised a one-hour episode. Most of Season 8 will consist of 4-issue story arcs.

  • June 9, 2007, 6 a.m. CST

    Four or two

    by Jinxo

    You know what, I was going to say four issues equals one episode but in a way it doesn't. Straight up based on what is on the page it 4 to 1 is probably on the money. But looking at the flow of the story, taking into account that to fit the comic book format the story would be trimmed and streamlined more than if they made it on TV... I think that makes it 2 to 1. For example, all the stuff with the army over the course of 4 issues? That would never play out in a single episode. You wouldn't have then set up wanting to get Buffy, hooking up with Amy and then playing out their whole plan in one episode. It would be at least two with extra action and extra character moments thrown in.

  • June 9, 2007, 6:13 a.m. CST


    by kwisatzhaderach

    total and utter horsecrap.

  • June 9, 2007, 6:14 a.m. CST

    The first issue that was really good SPOILERS...

    by DanielKurland

    That whole Warren monologue that ends with, "Well, are you bored NOW?" would have been so fucking great on television. It's the first thing that I really loved from this comic so far.

  • June 9, 2007, 6:15 a.m. CST


    by kwisatzhaderach

    Whedon did write something with nothing but a demon taking a big crap for 2 hours, it was called Alien: Resurrection. Way to go Joss.

  • June 9, 2007, 6:18 a.m. CST

    'Freshman “Lost” staffer Brian K. Vaughn'

    by newc0253

    i think Herc knows who Vaughan is. i think he also knows we know. i think he was merely noting his latest job, for those coax visitors who might not be aware that he's writing for Lost now.

  • June 9, 2007, 6:29 a.m. CST

    It keeps selling out before I can get to it!

    by Yeti

    Gaaaaaaaaaaaaah! Yeti Smash!!!

  • June 9, 2007, 7:33 a.m. CST


    by Wungolioth

    I actually haven't read it yet, just picked it up yesterday, but I believe Warren there is referring to when Amy cast that spell to turn Willow into Warren when she kissed Kennedy the first time, from season 7. The big reveal being that Warren and Amy had already been working together at that point. The "And hey, THAT was quick." refers to the time between Tara's death and Willow hooking up with Kennedy, just a little more salt in the wound.

  • June 9, 2007, 8:56 a.m. CST

    What's that about Fred?

    by slfricky

    "* Xander Harris has a line on page 10 that to my ears sounds suspiciously like, “Winifred Burkle. Go.”" No idea what your referring to there, Herc.

  • June 9, 2007, 9:09 a.m. CST

    Recaps online?

    by buffywrestling

    As comic stores in my area are few and far between, I have been going to to get the recaps. They are ok, some pics but not all. Does anyone know of a better site, without downloading illegally, that is? Herc, I love that you have continued these talkbacks but you don't give me enough info! *poke*

  • June 9, 2007, 9:10 a.m. CST

    I'm hungover and this faggy non-spoiler shit is

    by James_O'Nasty

    High-larious! So glad I clicked on it!!! This is worse than the Sopranos... fuck sake, you haven't spoiled a thing. Fuck.

  • June 9, 2007, 9:37 a.m. CST

    So goddamned retarded

    by Tallguyme

    ... to call this episodes and seasons. It's a fuckin' comic book for christ's sake. get over it.

  • June 9, 2007, 9:44 a.m. CST


    by Mr Ages

    If Warrren didn't die then how did the first take his form? I thought the first could only take the form of a dead person.

  • June 9, 2007, 9:44 a.m. CST

    Wheedon: Bring Back Fred!

    by Raymar

    The death of sweet-as-candy Winifred Burkle was the most tragic thing in the history of fiction. Seriously. Her very soul died for pete's sake! So to remedy this may I suggest at some point in the comics that Spike and a now-repentant Illyria go back in time (maybe with one of those time-travel kar demons) and save Fred. Or at least her soul.

  • June 9, 2007, 9:50 a.m. CST

    Mr. Ages, a very good point...

    by DanielKurland

    Now that they've established that Amy saved Warren moments before he would have died, there is no way the First could have taken his form. Or did he actually die and Amy brought him back? Wish Whedon could answer this.

  • June 9, 2007, 10:27 a.m. CST

    Haha, I am wearing that Dwight shirt right now

    by BrowncoatJedi

    I am awesome.

  • June 9, 2007, 10:42 a.m. CST

    Why won't this awful show just die?

    by Flim_

    Please go away... I mean, really.

  • June 9, 2007, 10:44 a.m. CST

    cant get into these comics

    by blindambition238

    It feels like im reading buffy fanfic

  • June 9, 2007, 10:48 a.m. CST

    Hey, Flim_

    by Spamgelus

    What kind of a total loser ARE you? You click on a topic that you hate, read the article, then insult everyone who doesn't feel the way you do about it. It must suck to be so lonely. Get a fucking life, buddy.

  • June 9, 2007, 10:50 a.m. CST

    Re: First as Warren

    by Catullus85

    I assume the official explanation would be something along the lines of "Warren as an average, mortal human did die when flayed, Amy merely transferred his essence into a magic based form. Thus the First was able to assume his mortal form." Or some other similar BS. Working in a universe where the rules of magic are fuzzy and unestablished gives them great wiggle room for apparent inconsistencies like this.

  • June 9, 2007, 11:58 a.m. CST

    Amy's a pretty powerful witch

    by newc0253

    if Willow could bring someone back from the dead, i'm sure Amy could too.

  • June 9, 2007, 12:19 p.m. CST

    Re: Amy's a pretty powerful witch

    by Mr Ages

    But in Season 7, shes mad @ Willow for being more powerful than her.

  • June 9, 2007, 12:25 p.m. CST

    Warren: I call shenanigans.

    by redfang

    If Amy had brought Warren back to life (or unlife), I wouldn't have minded. However, in this issue they went to awkward-expository-lump lengths to make it clear that Warren *didn't* die, thanks to Amy. Am I the only one who really didn't care for this issue? I dug the first 3, but (in addition to the Warren problem) this one was hard to follow, somewhat unsatsifying (wtf happened to Willow?), and really had the feeling of having two issue's worth of story awkwardly crammed into one (given that they're apparently skipping next month, is it possible that something like that is actually the case?).

  • June 9, 2007, 12:38 p.m. CST

    BKV? that i have to read.

    by ashhole

    i loved the show, but have never bought a buffy comic. if brian k. vaughn is taking over the writing duties, i'm in. everything i've read of his has been absolutely stunning. his work is poignant, funny, and engaging, qualities he shares with joss. he's one of the best writers working today and i'm excited to see what he'll do with the buffyverse.

  • June 9, 2007, 12:42 p.m. CST

    I'm sorry...

    by blacklodgebob

    This crap shouldn't be in coax. Can't you just append this on to @$$holes? This isn't a TV show Herc, and it's sad. Can't we just let Buffy as a TV show go?

  • So far it's been Amy, Willow, and Warren, all reappearing at the very last moment of the "episode" (much like Giles did in season 6 and Angel did in season 7). As if Whedon didn't have enough cliches in his hat.

  • June 9, 2007, 1:05 p.m. CST

    Oops, you covered that

    by bah

    Didn't you.

  • June 9, 2007, 1:41 p.m. CST

    For those who can't find it locally

    by Tarven

    I've used a couple of times. Their shipping is a bit high, but I've always gotten the comics in good condition (even with the crappy USPS service in this one horse town). Plus they take subscriptions so you'll always get your copy. (and for the record, no I don't work for them)

  • June 9, 2007, 2:45 p.m. CST

    please don't call these "episodes"

    by dragon-lord

    You are confusing people with this comic book crap.

  • June 9, 2007, 2:56 p.m. CST

    why isnt this in the comic books section?

    by provider84

    i mean "season 8", i keep getting excited thinking i missed something about a new season on tv and then i realise it is a comic book that most Buffy fans will not read.

  • June 9, 2007, 3:28 p.m. CST

    The First as Warren

    by mediocrates

    Warren *did* die. He even says (in reference to Willow's "Bored Now") that they were the last words he heard in his *mortal life*, so he did die. And what he is now probably isn't human.

  • June 9, 2007, 5:08 p.m. CST


    by Poopoodio

    It's not "seen episode 8.4", it's "read issues 4". It's as bad as you insisting series 3 of the new Dr Who is series 29. It's confusing and wrong. Quit being an ahole.

  • June 9, 2007, 6:21 p.m. CST

    Everyone who is a hater FUCK OFF

    by CarmillaVonDoom IS Season 8...this show is NEVER going to die....EVER! Fred hopefully will STAY dead like Bucky and Jason Todd both should have...ILLYRIA is a great character that I hope comes back in Angel Season 6. The Whedonverse is going to keep growing, just like DC and Marvel.

  • June 9, 2007, 6:42 p.m. CST


    by underscore_only

    then you're a giant idiot.

  • June 9, 2007, 6:54 p.m. CST

    Vertigo Style?

    by Boffin

    Remember when Sandman introduced that 4-part arc + 1 personal stand alone format. I think they may be trying to mimic that style. Herc said BKV is doing 5 issues, so it may likely be the case. I believe he currently uses that format for Y: The Last Man.

  • June 9, 2007, 7:28 p.m. CST

    The Buffyverse is a pile of shit.

    by Hint of Smegma

    Whedon's only good work is Firefly. The only reason Buffy was so popular was the fact that Gellar is a hot chick and there was always the hope that one episode would break new televisual ground and she'd drop her clothes in a full 3D frontal before engaging in a lesbo orgy with Anya and Darla. Or maybe that's just me.

  • June 9, 2007, 9 p.m. CST

    Season 8

    by buffywrestling

    Herc, and others, call it Season 8 because it's printed on the covers of each book: Season 8. It's how it is being marketed. What is the confusion?

  • June 9, 2007, 9:35 p.m. CST


    by Pound Sand

    ....,exclaimed the man dressed as a Stormtrooper to the other man dressed as an Orc. It's my Buffyverse/Whedonverse/Viggoverse and I'll read what I like...,

  • June 9, 2007, 9:43 p.m. CST

    Winifred Burkle. Go.

    by bah

    Why is everyone so confused? Angel said those words to rally everyone as they were splitting up to try to save her. Whatever Xander says on page 10 is similar. I neither watched Angel regularly nor read the comic, and I got it.

  • June 9, 2007, 10:08 p.m. CST


    by chrth

    I think we are in need of a Talkback!

  • June 9, 2007, 11:04 p.m. CST

    This is ME talking about BUFFY

    by Brians Life

    Hey Talkbackers, why would some of you COME into a TB on Buffy the Vampire Slayer JUST to spew venomous bullshit...I've accepted that some of you are 14 and think NOW what you're doing is wait till you're 20 and you realize how much time you've wasted. Anyway, Season 8 has been spot on so far and I'm REALLY glad they didn't end this issue with a "GUESS WHO'S BACK"...that would've gotten tired. For those bitching about being "confused" by the use of SEASON or're dumb. Those that think Sarah Michelle Gellar's attactiveness had more than 5% to do with fanboy enjoyment of Buffy....ya just don't get it. Deal with it. Whedon has writtenn some SHIT movies (I do take his THEY CHANGED SO MUCH excuse into consideration though, but he knows what fanboys wanna see. The guy writes good television and SO FAR, some damn good comic books. That's all.

  • June 9, 2007, 11:07 p.m. CST

    He knows what fanboys want to see, eh?

    by Hint of Smegma

    Oh, the originality.

  • June 9, 2007, 11:23 p.m. CST


    by Brians Life

    Where you referring to MY originality or that of Joss Whedon!?! CLARITY is another "ity" word ya might wanna look up.

  • June 9, 2007, 11:30 p.m. CST

    Smegma...instant apologies...instead...

    by Brians Life

    Dude, I never snap back like that. Apologies, you're entitled to your opinion. I'm just curious because I saw Firefly well before I watched Buffy on DVD...I was of the same attitude. Have you given Buffy a chance beyond the first season?

  • June 9, 2007, 11:45 p.m. CST

    I Will Not Accept this Comic As Canon

    by tonagan

    And will hold my breath until everyone agrees.

  • June 10, 2007, 12:03 a.m. CST

    I don't like that Amy's a villain

    by Drath

    You know the poor girl did nothing to deserve being stuck as a rat. In fact there were much worse characters who deserved that fate--Buffy user Parker from season 4 comes to mind. Yet somehow they got to thinking Amy was no good and deserved to be stuck that way and by the way she must be a villain now. And they never failed to mention she was an ex-rat in the commentaries of the DVDs either, like this is something she deserves to be ridiculed for even while we redeem murderers in this series. If she had been a spoiled brat in the beginning like Harmony, I could maybe get the animosity, but she wasn't so it has never made sense. But I do like her and Warren being like the new Spike and Drusilla duet. Although somehow I bet their love is more like Spike and Harmony. I can't imagine Warren's love being genuine, and poor Amy has been taken to a real dark place so she's probably very maleable. Here's hoping she's converted to the good guys' side. Also, I hope her mother comes back somehow, that was a scary woman.

  • June 10, 2007, 12:17 a.m. CST


    by Hint of Smegma

    ...unfortunately I've seen all of the Buffy episodes due to my wife's love of all things tacky, except for moi of course. The show was seven seasons of so called witty remarks and martial arts....of course, if I was an evil vampire who knew I was about to fight an accomplished vampire killer, I'd have shot her from a distance but I guess that's just a ludicrous idea. It was not a good show, end of story. It sure as hell wasn't as clever as it was touted here or in the mind of Whedon. Now Firefly was indeed original although it did suffer from an overabundance of Whedon's unrealistic 'witty' dialogue, which always licks balls.

  • June 10, 2007, 12:22 a.m. CST

    Drath...about Amy

    by Brians Life

    Amy DID turn herself into a rat with no apparent means of turning herself back...kinda stupid of her. I also think that Whedon and company were willing to consistently bring her back is a testament to the character. They could have easily just never picked up the story again...the fanboy in me loves things like in Season 4 where Willow accidentally turns her human for a second, but doesnt realize it and turns her back before Amy can say "NO!"...great stuff.

  • June 10, 2007, 12:25 a.m. CST

    yeah, but Amy's always been a bit power hungry

    by oisin5199

    like mother, like daughter. And it was her own spell that turned her into a rat, right after she threatened the Sunnydale residents (even though they were under a spell themselves). So she's always been a bit morally ambivalent. She certainly was pissed that her magic buddy Willow got drawn back to the Scoobies, thus the season 7 spell. So I can totally believe she'd be a bad guy. <p>And to all the idiot haters: 1) you're wrong. About the show, the comic, etc. Everything really. 2) as was stated, the 'season 8' thing is a marketing ploy, plain and simple. I'm sorry you can't get your little brains around this. The four issues = one episode is an approximation. Is it exactly like a television show? Of course not, you idiots. One's a comic, the other's a television show. But these are Buffy stories that Joss himself wants to tell, and they're the continuing story of the characters he created, after the events of the show happened. So what's the problem? Buncha frakkin whiners. <p> And yeah, I totally picked up on the cinnamon buns thing, but that was after a re-read. So does that mean Buffy might follow Willow's lead? Hm. Though I'm still wondering if she's actually crushing on Xander, which would be funny, since he's clearly over her and after Renee. And did the last page of this arc remind anyone of Peter David's Fallen Angel, with the whole 'kay' thing? Could be interesting. Sucks we gotta wait 2 months for the next one.

  • June 10, 2007, 12:27 a.m. CST

    All I can say is...

    by GIRv2

    what a bunch of fuckwits you whiny little bitches are. WHO FUCKING CARES if JW wants to call this Season 8. I believe the whole point is to say specifically "This is a direct continuation of the shows storyline. This is canon" It differentiates this series from the other Buffyverse comics, which may or may not necessarily be part of the "true" continuity. Even Frey could not be considered in continuity now, since events here would change (significantly) her major backstory (retcon time). I think a lot of you Buffyhaters are just narrow little boys who are afraid to be "labeled" (read Gay) if they like the show, because of course a show with girls and vampires is somehow a niche item for girls and queers. Please! You like Firefly but not Buffy. Well River is pretty Buffy-ish, at least during the fight scenes. Look, here's the point... we watch and read this stuff because we like this man's voice and ideas. You may get one or two clunkers, but even the clunkers benefit from Wheadon's gift for character and dialogue. Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Astonishing (my god, like the only fucking X-title I've been able to stand since before the debut of that fucking abortion, Liefield). The one thing they have in common is a fresh look at tired themes. Yes, Firefly kicked major ass. Joss wasn't the first to think of "space as the old west", but he made it sing. I'm not gonna change any monds here... I'm just sayin'.

  • June 10, 2007, 12:27 a.m. CST

    hint of smegma

    by oisin5199

    looks you really kinda missed the point of the show there, buddy.

  • June 10, 2007, 12:28 a.m. CST


    by Brians Life

    Nothing is perfect, my friend. We forgive things their mistakes when they have an large amount of good qualities. This is life. Firefly was indeed good and I find that Whedon's dialogue suits the fantasy world he's creating. He litters his creations with very comic book like moments...good cliffhangers, snappy banter and interesting mythology. But ya ain't a fan. No big.

  • June 10, 2007, 12:30 a.m. CST


    by oisin5199

    I'm not clear on what messes up Fray's backstory here. You have the scythe, and there's still a lot of future to go before the world becomes like it is in Fray. And oh yeah, word.

  • June 10, 2007, 12:35 a.m. CST

    Oisin... the point of his show was idiot conversations?

    by Hint of Smegma

    ...whoops. Well, not sure I actually missed that point, Im think I hit it dead on. Brian, fantasy worlds in tv and film are fine by me - however I always found that his dialogue is what took me out of the worlds he was telling the story about. His writing is fine apart from that, like I said I found Firefly immensely enjoyable - but his dialogue is so self satisfied it really takes me out of the moment, so to speak.

  • June 10, 2007, 12:35 a.m. CST


    by oisin5199

    Ok, you can definitely tell that the dialogue on Firefly and Buffy came from the same author - but Firefly's dialogue is totally different than Buffy's, with its particular Western/Irish/folk cadences, inversions, Mandarin swearing, and almost Shakespearian rhythms. And I always love when people bag on 'witty dialogue' as if it was a bad thing (or that Joss invented it). Like we'd rather hear people talking like idiots. Or it's 'unrealistic'. 'realistic' dialogue on screen is usually pretty darn boring, if you ask me.

  • June 10, 2007, 12:36 a.m. CST

    "unrealistic" witty dialogue

    by Boondock Devil

    Smegma's right. There should have been more realism on series about a teenage vampire killer and space cowboys. I'll take that kind of writing just about every cookie-cutter drab "realistic" dialogue every single time.

  • June 10, 2007, 12:39 a.m. CST

    actually, smeg

    by oisin5199

    nice name by the way. Red Dwarf fan? If you think the show was just about martial arts fighting and vampires, yes, you did miss the point. There's this great literary invention called met-a-phor and sub-text, and oh yeah, that whole thing about female empowerment. But yeah, I'm sure the martial arts were the most important thing.

  • June 10, 2007, 12:45 a.m. CST

    Whedon's Willingness to Mock Himself....

    by Brians Life

    Just to toss this out of the things that also separated the show from the bunch was that it was willing to make fun of itself. Cordy uncharacteristically walking into the library and saying "I'm just walking into the library for no reason." Anya and Willow saying they "never really got" that "your blood is my blood thing". Anya commenting on how those Vampires always seem to pick up martial arts. I'm ranting...I really dug this show. It took more than the first season to do it...but it stuck.

  • June 10, 2007, 12:49 a.m. CST

    Yeah, you're right Oisin. It was such a deep show.

    by Hint of Smegma

    There is so much subtext in it. I mean, when the mayor became a snake - what a metaphor. Plus that time she kicked that vamp in the face then did a backflip, landed on her hands and scissorkicked the other vamp before the cyborg demon got kicked in the nuts by the tortured vampire with a soul had so many levels it was like peeling an onion. Gives me shivers just to think about it. As to the comments regarding dialogue, witty dialogue is of course no sin. However when virtually every line of dialogue is crafted in such a manner, it kind of grates after about 30 seconds. Oh, and Boondock - nice attempt at sarcasm, must have been your first. Did I say the show needed to be more realistic...? Nope, but then don't let a little thing like accuracy or indeed context to get in the way of insulting someone who doesn't agree with your Buffycentric world view. The simple point is constant overly smug dialogue takes me out of the world I'm watching when it comes to TV shows - I can buy into worlds of vampires, robots, space travel, whatever - what I can't lose myself in however is continuously twattish dialogue that gets mistaken for anything more than it is.

  • June 10, 2007, 12:52 a.m. CST

    Nerd correction

    by oisin5199

    I think it was Dawn who said that the vampires always seem to emerge from their graves knowing martial arts - season 7, episode 1. Wow, I've watched this show too many times. <p> And if anyone's ever had any doubt about Joss' intentions with Buffy and the rest of his career. Go to his speech for 'Equality Now' on youtube, where he cleverly answers the question that he gets asked ad nauseum - 'why do you write such strong female characters?' It's really a great speech, and this on the heels of his blogged reaction (on to the filmed honor killing and torture porn - I didn't think I could respect the guy more until I saw those.

  • June 10, 2007, 12:55 a.m. CST


    by Brians Life

    nerd. You're right. Damn you. (BRUCE LEE VOICE)

  • June 10, 2007, 1 a.m. CST

    ...huh wha..?!

    by Boondock Devil

    Smegma you're talking about accuracy when you honestly believe the show is just about someone beating up monsters with martial arts? Might as well just say that 2001 was just a movie about a spaceship.

  • June 10, 2007, 1:01 a.m. CST


    by GIRv2

    i stand corrected. i just went back to check on some things, and you are right... i mis-remembered how Fray got the scyth in the first place and... oh, let me just say "duh" and be done with it. :)

  • June 10, 2007, 1:03 a.m. CST

    All right, you asked for it, smeg.

    by oisin5199

    You're obviously a bit slow and easily distracted by fight choreography, but let me give you a hint. High school is hell. It's a metaphor. Parents, authority figures, older boyfriends, patriarchy, government, are all demonic from the teenage girl perspective. I always love when I have to drag this tidbit out, but look, if the show was about just martial arts and witty dialogue, would enough scholars pay attention to it to justify an academic journal that's been running for seven years, all those scholarly books that deal with Buffy's impact on feminism, gender studies, political science, sociology, religion, philosophy, popular culture, performance studies, etc., university level classes and quite a few international academic conferences? Obviously, a few people must see something in the show you don't. Sorry if it's a little over your head. Or maybe you just weren't paying attention because wifey forced you to watch it.

  • June 10, 2007, 1:04 a.m. CST

    Oh. My. God.

    by Hint of Smegma

    Boondock just compared Buffy to 2001: A Space Odyssey. That was the deep end, mate. You just officially went off it.

  • June 10, 2007, 1:07 a.m. CST

    All right, you asked for it, smeg.

    by GIRv2

    Word oisin. Word, indeed ;)

  • June 10, 2007, 1:10 a.m. CST

    Sigh. Smegma you're making this way too easy..

    by Boondock Devil

    Now who's taking someone's comment out of context? I guess I somehow invisible inked how much Buffy the Vampire Slayer and 2001 was in my last comment somewhere... I must be that good. All I was trying to say is that sometimes, just sometimes, that a movie or show has a bit deeper meaning then what you see on the screen. It's an amazing concept, I know. But having you say that the deepest meaning in Buffy was that the Mayor was a giant snake is incredibly weaksauce. Hence the whole 2001 is just about s spaceship.

  • June 10, 2007, 1:12 a.m. CST


    by Hint of Smegma

    .....if your deep subtext is that 'high school is hell', forgive me if I don't keel over in the face of your sudden revelation. Of course, it all makes sense now. The martial arts trained vampires, every sodding last one of them, were totally integral to the point and the crap dialogue was just a fiendishly clever way of showing how terrible teenage angst is. Give me a break. As to that academic journal running a study on Buffy's impact, there's also a university that runs Klingon as a language course. Even academics can be divs, Oisin. The fact that there are plenty of other divs to buy into that is no great revelation to me, sunshine.

  • June 10, 2007, 1:19 a.m. CST


    by Hint of Smegma

    Again, context sunshine. It means everything. The fact you think Buffy's subtext is remotely equatable to the levels of subtext running through 2001 is what makes me chuckle. The fact you then miss my point makes it even more of a laugh. Still, what do themes of human existence, evolution, the definition of life itself mean in the face of mopey teen self discovery? Plus on top of that, there there were the kicks. And the chops. And the wisecracks. Give me Whedon over Clark or Kubrick any day of the week........

  • June 10, 2007, 1:19 a.m. CST

    Smegma, dude, your kung fu is weak.

    by Brians Life

    Arguments are pretty shallow dude. Just sayin. Love the smugness though. Maybe I'm just baked.

  • June 10, 2007, 1:22 a.m. CST

    Oh well, I'm not trying to convince you

    by oisin5199

    Just to let you know that you're wrong and I'm okay with that. If you know anything about the show, the fights and all the stuff you seem fixated on are just genre conventions that serve as window dressing, a vehicle for exploring psychological, social and emotional themes. If you don't see it, your loss. I'm sure there's plenty of other mindless stuff for you on television today. Buh bye. <p> ps. buy the comic book! <p> that's a general announcement, not directed at you Smeg. Wouldn't want to expose you to more of that 'crap' dialogue by one of the most respected and talented tv writers in the industry.

  • June 10, 2007, 1:25 a.m. CST

    Well, as a fan of Buffy you'll be well tuned....

    by Hint of Smegma detecting smugness.

  • June 10, 2007, 1:26 a.m. CST


    by oisin5199

    not that I think Buffy is necessarily on par with 2001, but those themes you mention - human existence, evolution, the definition of life itself - have all been dealt with on Buffy (along with quite a few more specific ones with a heckuva lot more application to everyday life). They just weren't presented in a psychedelic, overly pretentious Kubrickian way. And 2001 is one of my favorite films.

  • June 10, 2007, 1:32 a.m. CST

    Season 8

    by Jinxo

    I don't think most folks issue with the term "Season 8" has anything to do with not understanding it as a marketing ploy but more with Hercules runnign with it to the extreme of speaking of it and posting about it as if it was actually a TV show, saying he's "watched" or "seen" the newest episode. If he talked about it like the comic book it would go down easier. For me I think my only problem with calling it Season 8 is that it IS a marketing ploy. Season 8 is Season 8 and canon right up until it isn't. If they somehow get another film/TV project up and running I think folks will feel free to disregard anything that happened in Season 8 they need to. And one way or another, in a few years after the hype dies away, Season 8 will fall out of people's minds. Right now it's a big deal but eventually it will be disregarded. I've read other canon and super-important super-hyped comic book TV extensions in the past and that's almost always what happens. So while I'm enjoying the hell out of them, I can't get all crazy excited about it reeeally being Season 8.

  • June 10, 2007, 1:34 a.m. CST

    Smegma throwing out the smug reference?

    by Boondock Devil

    Ummm, but weren't you the one who just decided to take the time to sit down and type "the buffyverse is a pile of shit"... yet when someone defends their opinion about why they like a show they're suddenly smug? Excellent argument there, pally.

  • June 10, 2007, 1:35 a.m. CST


    by Hint of Smegma

    The fact you think anyone who doesn't see the depth to a show that you seem to makes them wrong in their opinions might be a bit of a wake up call for you. I simply don't think the themes touted by Buffy behind all the ridiculous dialogue and fight scenes were really that engrossing - and considering the window dressing, as you call it, wasn't engrossing either it was a pretty empty shell for me. But then, as has been shown many times, Whedonites are rarely able to see anyone who don't acknowledge his 'genius' as having a valid viewpoint. I've seen deeper explorations of the human condition in Will Smith movies.

  • June 10, 2007, 1:39 a.m. CST


    by Hint of Smegma

    Statements of objective fact can hardly be equated with smugness. Let's explore this shall we? Let's see...the Earth orbits the sun once a year. Fact, and certainly not 'smug' in it's inate truth. Hmm, what next? Ok, 2 + 2 equals 4. Again, not smugness shining there, just the cold light of mathematical fact. Ok, what now - oh yeah - Buffy was shite. There you go. Hope that enlightens you.

  • June 10, 2007, 1:43 a.m. CST

    Smega so this is what you're saying then.

    by Boondock Devil

    With all of these "objective facts" means that because 'you' didn't like the show... that it's a fact that it sucked? What else do you like and not like so I can properly make sure I have all my facts straight? Yes.. not smug at all. You did enlighten me, thank you.

  • June 10, 2007, 1:44 a.m. CST

    I have no problem with valid viewpoints

    by oisin5199

    when they're presented. And here's another hint - when I talk about others' opinions being 'wrong' - it's mostly tongue in cheek. Of course, opinions aren't wrong. But when they are presented based on a faulty premise with little or no evidence to back them up, I tend to mock them a little bit. When people who are a) other screenwriters, directors, actors, and critics working in the industry, and b) scholars who are experts in their fields, go out of their way to praise the depth and integrity of a man's work, and then I compare them to somebody making dumbass comments about martial arts who clearly has no idea what the show was even about, or what it was attempting, than I'm probably gonna go with the experts. And yes, that was a long fucking sentence. Deal with it. I have no problem debating (or agreeing to disagree) with people who actually have a workable premise to their arguments. Got any, or are you just going to keep repeating yourself?

  • June 10, 2007, 1:52 a.m. CST


    by Boondock Devil

    I guess I can also take from your argument that the show was so popular was just in case SMG would accidently get naked... is that why your wife watched the show? Or did she force you to watch it for that reason?

  • June 10, 2007, 2:15 a.m. CST

    Tongue in cheek eh?

    by Hint of Smegma

    Ah. Of course. But someone who isn't 'in the industry' and who fails to see the worth of a tv show obviously so dearly loved by yourself has no valid opinion? Hmmm. Interesting viewpoint. And of course, how could I fight such a workable premise? How about with this - I have acknowledged your comments about the subtexts in the show. I simply don't think that a: the premises were that interesting, or b: that when they were interesting themes that they were well explored or that c: the rest of the show was very good. But then, as you say, I'm not a director or a scholar, so what would I know about what I like, eh? And Boondock, if you really think that the males audience to the show, indeed a portion of the female auduence, weren't watching it to see a hot girl doing gymnastics then frankly you are deluding yourself. The average 13 to 21 year old watching this tripe wasn't doing it for the oh-so-clever social commentary. Why my wife liked it I still don't, nor will I ever, understand. Now, Oisin, hope I didn't repeat myself too much for you there. Hypocrite much? Oh the depth. The subtext!

  • June 10, 2007, 2:25 a.m. CST

    Good on you, Smegma... you nailed it.

    by Boondock Devil

    "Why my wife liked it I still don't, nor will I ever, understand." As for just watching a hot girl... I don't even find SMG that attractive. Personally I enjoyed the idea that the show had some nice philosophical and metaphysical opinions about life in general and not just teen angst and kicking vampires in the junk. Again, sorry your wife forced you into watching a show you don't get... I go through the same thing when my wife watches Grey's Ananomy. I don't get the appeal of that show but I also don't feel the need to fly onto a Grey's Ananomy message board to show everybody how right I am by saying the show is shit. Oh, and Faith was much hotter than SMG. I might go watch some old episodes and hope that her clothes accidently fall off because that's why I watch I guess.

  • June 10, 2007, 2:32 a.m. CST

    actually, you are wrong, smeg

    by oisin5199

    About several things. But first, the demographic statistics showed that the average age of the Buffy viewer was 29 (not 13), and I know of many male and female fans who were a lot older than that. And btw, the hotness factor is certainly part of the marketing of the show. No argument there. In Joss' recent speech, one of his flip answers to why he writes such strong female characters, is 'because it's hot.' But then he explains how an empowered female is hot in other ways. And no, your arguments aren't valid, because all you've done is offer opinions about dialogue. It's not for you, I'm getting that. But you can't make a blanket statement about a show's lack of depth and expect to not be challenged, especially when so many people disagree with you and have written books on it, and the fact that the fanbase is so large and full of passionate people who are willing to testify that Buffy has changed their lives. It's really ok that the show's not for you. Really. <p>Now, um, why are you still here, again?

  • June 10, 2007, 3:15 a.m. CST

    I still don't get what Herc's talking about...

    by NNNOOO!!!

    ... with his "Winifred Burkle" reference. What makes "Bring me back a witch" any kind of specific nod to Fred? Or am I looking at the wrong page 10?

  • June 10, 2007, 3:22 a.m. CST

    If a show like Buffy changed their lives..

    by Hint of Smegma

    ...then I dread to think what their lives were like. And why am I here? Responding to your comments, obviously. Or should I just be a good boy, accept your little put downs and slink away so you can get the final word? Sorry, I enjoy arguments far too much. As to your comments: I didn't ever think the casting of young good looking actors wasn't part of the marketing strategy, so sorry if I don't fall off my seat there. As to blanket statements, you've hardly made incredibly insightful explanations to your protestations of depth regarding the show....I'm just never going to see in it what you do....I acknowledge underlying themes are present but again as I have said I felt that when anything interesting was brought up, it just wasn't explored in a satisfying or meaningful way to me. Depth to me is not the hint of an interesting subject, nor is it being told it's deep because you say so. Example: the exploration of unwanted responsibility, turmoil created by the struggle against it and the final acceptance of it by the morally courageous, something that's been a theme in story's including Christ all the way to Buffy. Now as far as the deep exploration shown in Buffy, it consisted of lamenting she couldn't go out shopping or boffing the boys she fancied, oh and she looked a bit mopey too when she brought the subject up. As far as individual opinion goes, neither of us is going to change the others mind. In regard to 2001 as a previously mentioned example, plenty of well regarded critics and millions more ordinary cinema lovers think it's a superb and very thoughtful film; just as many think it's pretentious codswallop. I will say however that Whedon's only valid work to me is the aformentioned Firefly, not always for it's execution but for the fact he had the guts to try something very different. He pulled it off for the most part too, and while I'll never think he's as clever at writing as he obviously thinks he is, I do think it's a shame Buffy and Angel ran as long as they did while Firefly didn't get the time it deserved. And by the way, the fact that may people agree with you means nothing - I'm sure just as many agree with me, hell, Coronation Street has an enormous fanbase worldwide but you still won't catch me praising it. A film or tv show's popularity doesn't always equate to it's actual quality, which is to me the argument against Buffy.

  • June 10, 2007, 3:22 a.m. CST

    "Winifred Burkle, Go" = Avengers Assemble!

    by Boondock Devil

    I believe Herc was saying that it was Xander's call of arms to go get Willow back. Much like when Angel sent out his team to go find a cure to save Fred when he said the same thing in his series.

  • June 10, 2007, 3:25 a.m. CST

    "Bring me back a witch."

    by Hercules

    Is just a great line that means "Save this woman who means more to us than anyone." Which is why it reminded me of "Winifred Burkle. Go." (It may not, quite understandably, remind anyone else of "Winifred Burkle. Go." But it reminded me.)

  • June 10, 2007, 3:39 a.m. CST

    The depth of Buffy

    by Boondock Devil

    This is why I dig the series. Late into it, Dawn really puts a big bow on Buffy's life. It sucks. She has all this power, she's intelligent, and probably could have really made a great life for herself but she was chosen to be the one that kills off the world's demons/monsters. Her life would be about killing things until something killed her. She'd never be able to get a decent education or job because of this life. Her family and friends will always be in jeopardy because she was chosen for this job. She'll never find someone to love because they too will probably get killed. A big pull of the series was the fact that she might have a bit of a deathwish. How many shows can you think of where your plucky heroine deep down probably wants to die? Explains her relationships with 2 different vampires.. why not love someone who's already dead? Plus there's the theological subtext of the whole show. I love the metaphysical underlinings like with her mom's death. Nothing supernatural. She wasn't killed by something magic. She just died. It was interesting to see how Whedon played off real death. I still feel like "The Body" is one of the best hours of television I've ever seen. It still strikes a chord with me today and I would think it would also lay heavily on anyone who's ever lost someone close to them. This is just a small fraction of what the show means. I hope you can understand why just saying it's about Buffy being mopey and wanting to shop seems far off about what the series really means.

  • June 10, 2007, 3:56 a.m. CST

    One 22-page comic book = 10-11 screenplay pages...

    by Prof. Pop-Cult

    Seriously, guys, if you convert a 22-page comic book to screenplay/teleplay format, it translates to about 10-to-11 pages. That's why Joss Whedon has in mind for most of the story arcs in Season 8 to be 4 issues each. 4 issues = 4 acts (plus opening teaser) of a one-hour episode. J. Michael Stracynski's Babylon 5 comic book (which only ran for 8 issues) was formatted this way, too (and, thus, it was the equivalent of only two 1-hour episodes). So when you read these first four issues of Buffy Season 8, keep this in mind. Once you do, you'll realize they together comprise the first 1-hour episode of a season premiere.

  • June 10, 2007, 8:30 a.m. CST

    Can a comicbook jump a shark?

    by Long Tooth

    I loved the series till the very end and dig the comic, but something tells me this is all some weird form of nostalgia and after Joss hands over writing chores it will turn into “Season 7” quality all over again.

  • June 10, 2007, 8:44 a.m. CST

    Haters Welcome

    by Liquid_Daze

    "Why do some people post on a thread just to bash a show/actor/writer/director?" Because it's a forum and people can leave whatever comments they like. How many people would come to this site if the majority of talkbacker comments were POSITIVE? Thanks for the heads up on the Vaughan / Faith issue, Herc. I might check that one out.

  • June 10, 2007, 10:16 a.m. CST

    To add to Boondock re: Depth

    by buffywrestling

    Good stuff there regarding Buffy's "deathwish" - suicidal tendencies can be prevelant among growing pains of the pressures of loss combined with the responsiblitity of becoming a single parent figure. Never mind the fact that outside factors are forcing you (watcher council, the scoobies themselves) to do things you don't nessesarily want to do. <p> There was also may arcs - Faith's self esteem, Xander's not being "special", Dawn's selfishness, Spike's redemption, Willow's addiction - that spoke of many things other than being mopey, martial arts and shopping.g

  • June 10, 2007, 12:57 p.m. CST

    Wow guess you put me in my place!

    by CarmillaVonDoom

    Yeah, you're right 'TheApostle' Buffy really sucks. Thanks for your insights homophobic ass-hat.

  • June 10, 2007, 1:45 p.m. CST

    'bring me back a witch'

    by NNNOOO!!!

    Aha, thanks for the clarification Herc. Agreed there. It's a great moment, classic Xander, and I love the look on Buffy's face as she walks away.

  • June 10, 2007, 3:50 p.m. CST


    by losder

    Snobbery is the public face of insecurity. I enjoyed your patronizing use of the word 'sunshine'. Next time, try 'twirly-tits'. Or 'big dick'. 'Big dick' is like a verbal judo throw. Ok, listen up big dick, here's whats what.

  • June 10, 2007, 4:34 p.m. CST

    still wrong

    by oisin5199

    "It consisted of lamenting she couldn't go out shopping or boffing the boys she fancied, oh and she looked a bit mopey too when she brought the subject up." - just this statement alone shows the guy barely paid any attention to the show and completely missed the joke. Especially about the shopping. I don't think anyone's explained to him the meaning of the words 'irony' or self-aware humor. Watch 'The Body' and tell me it's about being mopey. Or watch 'Hush,' 'the Zeppo', 'Restless', 'Storyteller,' 'Superstar', 'The Gift' and countless other classic episodes and tell me there's not literary and philosophical content. Fuckwad.

  • June 10, 2007, 5:59 p.m. CST

    Still happy

    by fatsackowind

    But for the confusion of how did the Scoobie army know to have a mirror for the coming invasion?

  • June 10, 2007, 7:25 p.m. CST


    by Angua13

    This is stupid. I can fully understand how a person may not like Buffy, but to criticize it so vehemently makes no sense to me, especially by someone who claims to have seen so much. *SPOILERS UNDERNEATH* But to more interesting anyone curious how the new twist is going to play into it. I mean the slayers aren't going to be against everyone just the people that represent us all when it comes to fighting aka the military. I find it disappointing because it reminds me too much of my least favourite season.

  • June 10, 2007, 8:49 p.m. CST


    by buffywrestling

    Is still one of my favorite episodes, one I can watch over and over. And it essentaily deals with Willow feeling taken for granted and wanting to change her role in the scheme of things. VampireWillow is meant to symbolize that change to the extremes. Heartbreaking when VampireWillow laments her situation and RealWillow can relate, "You noticed that too?" Also, some of the best lines for Rosenberg: "bored now", "I think I'm kinda gay", "Say, you all didn't take a bunch of drugs now, did ya?" Truly an excellent performance on Alyson Hannigan's part.

  • June 11, 2007, 3:30 a.m. CST

    Revive the Slayer

    by ottoalvarado

    What do the fans have to send to bring this series back from teh grave?

  • June 11, 2007, 4:59 p.m. CST

    HERC: This isn't the last Joss issue.

    by Angelus_420

    If you read the letters at the end of issue it says, "Buffy #5 sees Joss turning the focus away from the Scoobies to tell the story of one Slayer's short but profound career. Joss put a lot into this one. If it were an episode of the show, he would have directed it." (From the pics I've seen of the covers for 5 I'm guessing it's Faith)

  • June 12, 2007, 4:52 p.m. CST

    Buffy/Xander shipping theories...

    by Wungolioth

    I actually thought in season 7 that Buffy and Xander were going to hook up, simply because they were clearly becoming the Mother and Father figures in the household, and they would simply fall into it naturally over time. I think this thing in season 8 will end with Xander explaining the Mother/Father dynamic to Buffy and her realizing he's right, she will back off after that. Who knows though, Joss might just let Buffy/Xander shippers have their way.