• Thank you for visiting Buffy-Boards. You obviously have exceptional taste. We just want you to know that:
    1. You really should register so you can chat with us!
    2. Twelve thousand people can't be wrong.
    3. Buffy-Boards loves you.
    4. See 1 through 3.
    Come on, register already!

Discussion of 8.28 "Retreat Part 3" - Released 9/2/09 (Dark Horse)

Tranquillity

That'll put marzipan in your pie plate bingo
Joined
Mar 14, 2007
Messages
2,417
Location
Australia
Oh, hello there, gentle viewers . . . This month we revisit Team Buffy and her army of Slayers at Oz's temple in the mountains of Tibet. Among the yaks, the Slayers and Wiccan troops attempt to suppress dangerous Magicks through meditation and hard labor. Buffy embraces this new lifestyle, but not everyone is convinced that leaving Magicks behind will solve any problems: among them, a resistant Willow, a doubtful Andrew, and a concerned Giles.

For Buffy, the world has not been so peaceful . . . so honest . . . so full of feeling . . . in a long time -- too bad it's not going to stay that way!
Buffy the Vampires Slayer Season 8 #28: Retreat part 3 (Variant cover) :: Profile :: Dark Horse Comics

Opinions? Theories?
 

GrimsWatcher

Potential
Joined
May 6, 2003
Messages
121
Age
38
Location
MN
Other than Andrew (I find him annoying), I thought it was a good issue. The Xander and Dawn relationship doesn't bother me really. Not shocked, but don't care either. Hope it has a point though. I enjoyed the little character moments throughout the issue as well. Best arc since No Future for You so far. I'm scared of issue 30......
 

Tranquillity

That'll put marzipan in your pie plate bingo
Joined
Mar 14, 2007
Messages
2,417
Location
Australia
So, one thing I didn't quite get about it was how the slayers are all chanelling their magic into the ground and now they are gradually becomeing less powerful - Even Faith and Buffy. So what is the point of this? I agree that they needed to reduce the reliance on magic, or at least Willow does - but all the slayers losing their powers seems to be going a step too far unless we're going to get back to the point in which there is one slayer in all the world...

Dawn and Xander was sort of expected. They've spent a bit of time together in the comic and so it seems like a natural progression. I have no objections. Buffy's reaction did surprise me though - Was she about to go and declare undying love for Xander? Xander? That just seems weird...
 
white avenger
white avenger
I think that Buffy was just shocked to see her baby sister locking lips with someone who she had come to see as a brother. It was almost like catching your siblings in an act of incest.

sosa lola

Scooby
Joined
Nov 26, 2007
Messages
4,808
Age
36
Just read the issue. I wanna say it's my favorite so far. S8 always focused on the big picture/plot/action, and character stuff was always pushed aside. It's nice to have an issue about the characters. Apparently, it's Jeanty's favorite too for the same reason. Also, #32 will focus on characters as well.

Some said that the "man on the inside" was Cat Amy. It doesn't make sense. But I'm sacred it'll be Joss' new genius idea. I think the panels with Giles show that the mole is still not discovered, they're making us suspect Giles, which might be a mislead, or another Xander/Dawn revelation. Is this why Giles has distant himself from Buffy? Was he just using Faith to build more walls between him and Buffy? Doesn't make sense as well, since the "inside man" has to be inside. S8 makes my head spin. It had been much better when I stopped thinking and relied on reading and waiting to see what's gonna happen.

The second Oz gave Willow his son, I know that kid will be killed, which I really don't want to happen because Oz trusted Willow, and it's just gonna be too sad for me to handle.

Willow and Xander both look bizarrely happy on the last page when they realise Twilight is about to kill them all. I'm disappointed no one commented on it to Jeanty in his Q/A, I was going to, but sadly the session is closed.

I think it makes sense that Buffy is gonna notice Xander now. There are no good men at sight, she tried connecting with Satsu, but Buffy isn't sexually attracted to women. Giles is very distant from her at this point, and Andrew is, well, a geekier version of high school Xander who didn't interest Buffy. Xander now is a different guy, all mature and confident and her closest friend at this point. With her powers waning and her becoming more and more like the normal girl she always wanted to be –feeling and connecting to humanity-, I don't see what makes considering Xander as a boyfriend not making sense. Other than it not being certain fans' cup of tea. :)
 

MinwaraYana

Countess Von Drunkaton
Joined
Jan 16, 2009
Messages
3,196
Age
31
Location
Thailand/Russia
Why did they have to write scenes that look like Buffy has feeling for Xander? To make us feel bad for her? I so like Dander, but Bander is so wrong.
 
white avenger
white avenger
Yeah, considering their relationship as it developed through the first 7 seasons, Buffy and Xander in any kind of romantic relationship just seems almost like incest.
Joan the Vampire Slayer
Joan the Vampire Slayer
Agreed. Xander and Buffy are like family.
Tranquillity
Tranquillity
in a nutshell :)

AndrewCrossett

Satsu Otaku
Joined
Nov 19, 2008
Messages
2,342
Location
New York
Sineya
So, one thing I didn't quite get about it was how the slayers are all chanelling their magic into the ground and now they are gradually becomeing less powerful - Even Faith and Buffy. So what is the point of this? I agree that they needed to reduce the reliance on magic, or at least Willow does - but all the slayers losing their powers seems to be going a step too far unless we're going to get back to the point in which there is one slayer in all the world...
It was a mistake on Buffy's part, motivated by her increasing desire to "check out" of Slayerhood and leave it behind. She thought suppressing their magic would make it impossible for Twilight to find them. She was wrong, and now they're about to be attacked before they have time to "ramp up" their magic again (if, in fact, they ever can.)

They're now about to try and fight Twilight's army of professional soldiers, tech wizzes, and spellcasters armed only with firearms that they aren't trained in using, and Willow's magic, assuming she can still use it.

The next 2 issues are not likely to be happy ones for Buffy & Co. We'll be losing a character or two here, I think.
 

white avenger

white avenger
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Messages
16,036
Age
73
Location
rome, georgia
It was a mistake on Buffy's part, motivated by her increasing desire to "check out" of Slayerhood and leave it behind. She thought suppressing their magic would make it impossible for Twilight to find them. She was wrong, and now they're about to be attacked before they have time to "ramp up" their magic again (if, in fact, they ever can.)

They're now about to try and fight Twilight's army of professional soldiers, tech wizzes, and spellcasters armed only with firearms that they aren't trained in using, and Willow's magic, assuming she can still use it.

The next 2 issues are not likely to be happy ones for Buffy & Co. We'll be losing a character or two here, I think.
On the other hand, this whole arc might be the writers' way , probably directed by Joss, of reducing the unwieldy number of Slayers back to a more realistic number, say, half a dozen or so, besides Buffy and Faith. That would make for a compact, efficient strike team, something more in the order of the Avengers or the JLA (at least from the last time that I read the comics). Two thousand plus Slayers is just too powerful a force to create any reasonable Big Bad to oppose, even with the rogue faction in their midst.
 

sosa lola

Scooby
Joined
Nov 26, 2007
Messages
4,808
Age
36
Yeah, considering their relationship as it developed through the first 7 seasons, Buffy and Xander in any kind of romantic relationship just seems almost like incest.
Same can be said about Xander/Dawn. So, I don't get why Xander/Dawn is cute and Buffy/Xander is wrong.
 
white avenger
white avenger
No argument from me. Problem is, though Buffy has always seen Xander as a friend, Dawn started out in Season 5 having a "big crush" on Xander. Apparently, she's never seen the Xan man as a brother.

MinwaraYana

Countess Von Drunkaton
Joined
Jan 16, 2009
Messages
3,196
Age
31
Location
Thailand/Russia
I haven't seen Banderness in other issues before(except when they kissed in Buffy's dream). It seems like it happened so fast and only to play with reader feeling(To make you feel bad for Buffy and wonder what she's gonna do next). To me, it's impossible that Buffy would fall for Xander because they're best friends for too long. And Xander/Dawn doesn't sound wrong. Dawn had a crush on him in season 5 and it just happened again.
 

Joan the Vampire Slayer

Carpe Spuffy!
Joined
Jun 5, 2008
Messages
5,692
Age
35
Location
WA State
1. Could "what she has to do" involve killing again? Possibly Buffy? Or Xander? I know there was been talk of the possibility of her going dark again. This is probably just a alluding/re-cap of this idea - in case some fans missed a prior issue. What could happen that would be so bad that Willow would do dark again? What could be so bad that she would kill Buffy if Buffy tried to stop her? It's got to be the death of Xander. But...would Joss do that? After all, Xander is a main character.

Question: So, is the "same thing Buffy knows" the idea that Buffy will have to kill Willow in the future? I think I might be a tad confused. So, Willow knows that Buffy kills her in the future, right? Huh? Alternate realities/futures often confuse me when regarding the 'verse.

I'm more curious about the feelings Willow still obviously has for Oz. What do people think of this? It seems to go beyond the usual awkward friend/ex syndrome - she seems almost angry at Oz, or jealous of what he has (kid, wife, etc.). This is interesting considering Willow has never really shown a prior interest in starting a traditional "family" unit (as opposed to Buffy, who has alluded to liking the idea of settling down with one man, in one place, with "fat babies") and a huge theme of the show has always been how great and loving alternative families can be.

Do you guys think Willow is jealous of Oz's "straight" married life? Or is she jealous of his self-control regarding his inner wolf? (As contrasted with her inability to control the magic inside herself, her anger at having to give it up, her insecurities). This isn't necessarily what I think, but I'm just throwing it out there to see what others think.

Hasn't Joss said he has considered killing off Xander in Season 9? That's what I heard.

Now, my thoughts on this whole Dander thing... It just feels forced to me. I guess it's possible for Xander's feelings toward Dawn to have progressed from little sister to potential love interest - but I just think it's a bit tacky for Joss to go this direction right after Xander and Buffy shared that hand-holding "moment" under the tree together. Being a Spuffy by default I'm against Bander - but it all just seems so forced to me.

It appears as if Xander is going for the next best thing since he can't have Buffy - her sister. It would feel the same if Spike started macking on Dawn - creepily incestuous.

Speaking of my favorite blond vampire - with all that subtext insinuating to SPIKES in the last issue, I was sure that he was going to make an appearance. What gives? And what about the much anticipated unmasking of Twilight? I still think he's either Dracula or The Master...what do you all think he is at this point?

---------- Post added at 12:01 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:50 AM ----------

Just read the issue. I wanna say it's my favorite so far. S8 always focused on the big picture/plot/action, and character stuff was always pushed aside. It's nice to have an issue about the characters. Apparently, it's Jeanty's favorite too for the same reason. Also, #32 will focus on characters as well.

The second Oz gave Willow his son, I know that kid will be killed, which I really don't want to happen because Oz trusted Willow, and it's just gonna be too sad for me to handle.

I think it makes sense that Buffy is gonna notice Xander now. There are no good men at sight, she tried connecting with Satsu, but Buffy isn't sexually attracted to women. Giles is very distant from her at this point, and Andrew is, well, a geekier version of high school Xander who didn't interest Buffy. Xander now is a different guy, all mature and confident and her closest friend at this point. With her powers waning and her becoming more and more like the normal girl she always wanted to be "“feeling and connecting to humanity-, I don't see what makes considering Xander as a boyfriend not making sense. Other than it not being certain fans' cup of tea. :)
Wait, the kid's going to get killed? How do you figure that? It seemed like the handing over of the kid to her was symbolic, but maybe I didn't read as much into it as you did.

I don't know if I agree with you about Xander. I guess he would be a great guy for her in theory - he loves her, calls her his hero, knows her inside and out - but why would she notice him now when she never has before? I truly believe that Buffy doesn't think of him romantically. I do think their little moment under the tree was nothing more then an expression of the real, true friendship love they have for each other. I can't see them doing it on a table, tearing down a house, or compelled to have sex all day and night as a result of a mystical influence due to their passion for each other. The attraction is just not there. She knows deep down they'd be great together, but she keeps holding back and for good reason. He doesn't deserve to be her "safe" BF because there's no one else around, and she doesn't deserve to settle for a passionless relationship.

And I swear...this decision is not based on that fact that I think she was meant to be with Spike, I swear. I know her and Spike's time is over, I just don't think her future is with Xander.

---------- Post added at 12:05 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:01 PM ----------

Same can be said about Xander/Dawn. So, I don't get why Xander/Dawn is cute and Buffy/Xander is wrong.
I don't think Buffy/Xander getting together would be wrong per say - just seems out of character. Buffy and Xander are like family.

You all know I just want Spike to return :)

Regarding Dander..I don't think it's cute at all. I think it's weird, out of character, and incestuous, to be honest. I'm not sure what Joss is doing, but I know I don't like it.
 
MinwaraYana
MinwaraYana
That's what I mean, tacky moment.
Tranquillity
Tranquillity
I love this post :)

AndrewCrossett

Satsu Otaku
Joined
Nov 19, 2008
Messages
2,342
Location
New York
Sineya
On the other hand, this whole arc might be the writers' way , probably directed by Joss, of reducing the unwieldy number of Slayers back to a more realistic number, say, half a dozen or so, besides Buffy and Faith. That would make for a compact, efficient strike team, something more in the order of the Avengers or the JLA (at least from the last time that I read the comics). Two thousand plus Slayers is just too powerful a force to create any reasonable Big Bad to oppose, even with the rogue faction in their midst.
Not all the Slayers are with Buffy in Tibet... only a few dozen could have fit on that submarine. Most of the Slayers in Buffy's army are at home laying low... and then there's the 1,000+ other Slayers who aren't affiliated with her.

Plus, new Slayers are being called all the time. We don't know if a new one is called when an old one dies, but new ones are still spontaneously being created (like Soledad in "Harmonic Divergence").

The only ways to put an end to Slayers are:
1) Reverse the Slayer spell, which would probably reset things back to the "one at a time" status quo; or
2) End the Slayer mission by eliminating all demons and vampires from the world.

And killing Slayers in large numbers will only slow them down temporarily.
 

sosa lola

Scooby
Joined
Nov 26, 2007
Messages
4,808
Age
36
I haven't seen Banderness in other issues before(except when they kissed in Buffy's dream). It seems like it happened so fast and only to play with reader feeling(To make you feel bad for Buffy and wonder what she's gonna do next). To me, it's impossible that Buffy would fall for Xander because they're best friends for too long.
I guess it's more about Xander and Buffy's friendship getting stronger and stronger since S7. Like what we saw with Angel/Cordelia, sometimes strong friendships between a guy and a girl turn into something more.

Buffy dreaming about having sex with Xander shows that she have thought of him that way. The scene with him topless and sweaty in the gym and Buffy looking a little flirty, also her dropping on Xander's bed when she was tired in #20, and they're always together talking and sharing. Mind you, I don't think it's healthy, because Buffy only started to act on it once she started to connect to her human side, and Xander represents humanity, and Buffy wants to connect with humanity, hence her newfound attraction to Xander.

Personally, I prefer Xander and Buffy as friends, they're relationship is more special that way. Same thing with Xander/Dawn, I liked the brother/sister relationship more.

And Xander/Dawn doesn't sound wrong. Dawn had a crush on him in season 5 and it just happened again.
Dawn had a mere childish crush, quickly switched to Spike. Xander, on the other hand, had been in love with Buffy, which some argue -albeit only when it suits their argument- that he never got over Buffy. So, it still doesn't make sense why Xander/Dawn is right and Xander/Buffy is wrong. They're simply the same, except one has Xander in love with Buffy who's not interested and the other has Dawn crushing after Xander who's not interested.

but why would she notice him now when she never has before?
As a Spuffy fan, I'm surprised you ask this question. :) It took Buffy a while to notice Spike much less fall in love with him. When he started to change and become a better man, she started to feel for him. Same can be said about Xander. As he started to grow and mature, he became a guy that Buffy would consider attractive.

Wait, the kid's going to get killed? How do you figure that? It seemed like the handing over of the kid to her was symbolic, but maybe I didn't read as much into it as you did.
I don't know, maybe my anticipation is mistaken, but Willow's tear and her "You trust me?"... it can be a set up for badness and more tears. Joss always aims for pain.
 
MinwaraYana
MinwaraYana
Wow. I just seen some points I missed. Now I really agree with you. ;)

Tranquillity

That'll put marzipan in your pie plate bingo
Joined
Mar 14, 2007
Messages
2,417
Location
Australia
1

Hasn't Joss said he has considered killing off Xander in Season 9? That's what I heard.

Speaking of my favorite blond vampire - with all that subtext insinuating to SPIKES in the last issue, I was sure that he was going to make an appearance. What gives? And what about the much anticipated unmasking of Twilight? I still think he's either Dracula or The Master...what do you all think he is at this point?
I think Joss considered killing Xander in season 7 but changed his mind and made him lose and eye.

Yes - Where is Spike?? They don't seem to want us to forget about him (what with all the teases and red-herrings and mentions since the darn comic began!) but as yet, still no appearance. I continue to hope...
 

ubi4soft

Zamolxis
Joined
Jul 9, 2009
Messages
468
Dawn had a mere childish crush, quickly switched to Spike. Xander, on the other hand, had been in love with Buffy, which some argue -albeit only when it suits their argument- that he never got over Buffy. So, it still doesn't make sense why Xander/Dawn is right and Xander/Buffy is wrong. They're simply the same, except one has Xander in love with Buffy who's not interested and the other has Dawn crushing after Xander who's not interested.

As a Spuffy fan, I'm surprised you ask this question. :) It took Buffy a while to notice Spike much less fall in love with him. When he started to change and become a better man, she started to feel for him. Same can be said about Xander. As he started to grow and mature, he became a guy that Buffy would consider attractive.
What happened with demon magnet Xander? I really don't understand these comics. They're changing so much from the show that I feel my head will explode.:drunk:
 

Five

Magical Proficiency Level
Joined
Mar 5, 2008
Messages
367
Age
31
Location
France (Lille)
^ Well, that's an odd thing to say. Xander's attraction to demons is just a coincidence (and enhanced by the fact that demons often used him to get to Buffy, or because he was around Buffy), not a character's trait : we can't complain about it being over now, it's not "out of character" for Xander to fall for a human being !

I think Dander is really, really believable.

As someone said here, there's the "lil'sis instead of big'sis" factor. My best friend suffered for a long time from the fact that most guys her big sister rejected eventually showed some interest in her. It's not that unhealthy though, I think of it as a move of attraction : what you liked about big sis, you find again in lil'sis (both physically and mentally, since education has such a huge part in one's character) once you're kind of over big sis.

Xander and Dawn never were real family, they were friends, but not die-hard friends like Buffy/Xander or Willow/Buffy. As someone also said, we've seen that a great friendship can turn into more, with Cordelia & Angel. Sometimes you just change your way of seeing someone. Xander and Dawn had lots of respect for each other, but what they had never turned into a "big bro / lil sis" kind of relationship.

Let's remember :
- Season 5 : Dawn has a crush on Xander. It's not much, seeing as she replaces him with Spike later in the season, but perfectly believable (I know I've had crushes on my sister's friends). Xander's not interested since she's still a child and he has Anya.
- Season 6 : Well in Season 6 they don't interact that much. He keeps an eye (or two, while he still can) on her, cares about her as a member of the group.
- Season 7 : What immediately comes into mind is their talk in "Potential". He fully sees her (ok I'm stopping with the bad puns), and gets closer to her, as a friend, but she's not grown enough to be girlfriend-material.

I think it's only natural they'd get closer. Besides, they're still kind of the outsiders, not supernatural people of the group. Especially now between the hundreds of Slayers : they have that in common. We've seen them interact a lot in Season 8 (when she was a giant... doll... leprechaun or whatever, etc.). And now Dawn really is a woman, and has reached an age where their age difference really isn't one anymore, I fully understand and support the development of their relationship. I think it's really good.

But I hate the idea Buffy could be jealous. Now that would be ridiculous and badly led.
 
MinwaraYana
MinwaraYana
[No message]

sosa lola

Scooby
Joined
Nov 26, 2007
Messages
4,808
Age
36
I don't think Xander was ever attracted to demons, he gets attracted to them thinking they're human and loses interest once he discovers they're not.

But I hate the idea Buffy could be jealous. Now that would be ridiculous and badly led.
Buffy could be jealous and still not be attracted to Xander. I've seen it in real life. Buffy and Xander are so close this season, and now with Xander being into Dawn, I think deep down Buffy feels like she's losing her the closest person to her this season: Xander. It's jealousy about losing a friend, kinda like when Xander was jealous because Willow and Oz became a couple. He's used to Willow being by his side all the time, and now she's got someone new in her life and he fears they won't be as close anymore.
 

Five

Magical Proficiency Level
Joined
Mar 5, 2008
Messages
367
Age
31
Location
France (Lille)
Yes, you're absolutely right. I should have mentioned I meant "romantically jealous", as if deprived of a potential love interest.
And that's also what I meant about Xander's demonic conquests.
 

ubi4soft

Zamolxis
Joined
Jul 9, 2009
Messages
468
I was thinking about demons being attracted to Xander: insect lady, inca mummy girl, (not counting those during Willow's spell), (ex-demon) Anya, the one who tries to cut him over the hellmouth seal in S7 after which Xander ask to be gay-ed up.
 
Top Bottom