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Discussion of Buffy 10.16 "Old Demons, Part 1" - Released 6/17/15 (Dark Horse)

Buffy Summers

Yataro
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Writer: Christos Gage
Penciller: Rebekah Isaacs

After discovering that the powerful demon Archaeus has deep connections to both Spike and Angel, Buffy invites her former beau for a visit. Things are awkward, and everyone is behaving just a little juvenile—but in order to beat the threat Archaeus brings, the team is going to have to overcome the past.


Source: Wikipedia
 

EVIL UU

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Well, this was not really a plot-heavy issue, certainly a set up for the next one, but the action and the characters' interactions more than made up for it in my opinion. Verdict - it's alright!

So, finally, the Buffy and Angel reunion, nobody except for some ardent fans of a certain pairing of course asked for. How did it go? Quite OK, I believe. They hugged, Angel profusely apologised to Buffy, which I liked very much and then...he learned that she's with Spike now and went back to acting like a total wanker. Sigh. You know what, Buffy's right, between Spike's rancid insecurity and Angel's thinly-veiled jealousy those two need to grow the hell up already. To me the whole Buffy, Angel, Spike scene felt awkward because of Buffy's age. No, there is no getting around it, OK? Buffy is an adult, obviously I don't know her exact age because the writers are afraid Yes, I dare you! of telling us or something but still, she's a grown woman and surprisingly enough ( or, I guess, unsurprisingly enough? ) she acts like an adult - no, really - the vampires however, still act like bloody children. I know, maybe that's the point, they're vampires, can't exactly get older and whatnot and you know what, I don't care! You take an adult character, put her in this teen fantasy paradigm and what you get is awkward, kinda like "Band Candy". Don't get me wrong, I don't blame Buffy, she was awesome in this issue, handled the whole thing very well in my opinion, vampires on the other hand? Pathetic. Petty. Beneath her. Speaking of Buffy, I loved her costume. Cute yet combat-ready, showing off her very nice legs and also, her ass looked great in those denim shorts. Let it be known that Ms Isaacs truly knows how to draw a great ass!

Spike. What, you think I'm done with this wanker yet? Just look at this conversation:

Spike: So...last time Buffy and Angel saw each other, they started shagging right away, did they?
Xander: No, not at all. There was a span of...hours.
Dawn: But that was different. They were under the influence of that magic-whatever force. (Dawnie, I love you!) Buffy's your girlfriend now.
Spike: The slayer ain't no one's, little bit. If she was...wouldn't be her.
What kind of bullshit is this?! What, was Buffy's not Riley's girlfriend? Could somebody explain this crap to me 'cause I have nothing, honestly. And don't get me started on the insecurity. Spike! Grow up, man. You've come a long way, you don't need to act like this, man, seriously.

Willow. Jesus, Willow has been getting the absolute shit kicked out of her in the recent issues - slashed, mauled, poisoned...I love it! And n-not because it's my f-fetish or anything ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) Hey guys, think you could maybe run Willow through with a sword? Also, nosebleeds, more nosebleeds pretty please! Yes, I wholeheartedly approve of this...shit kicking - if Willow's a superheroine, she needs to get her ass kicked like one! We also got to see Willow's room - very willowy. I love seeing this stuff 'cause Willow's place very much reflects her personality, the look of her room throughout the seasons closely traces her development, no exceptions here. Where's the bong though?

Xander. Look, that tosser shrink garbage better had a fantastic pay-off. At this point it's like a growing boil - disgusting, needs treatment. Similarly, Xander's and Dawn's non-relationship continues to be obnoxious. Also, there was a bit too much as you know, Bob coming from Xander's mouth in this issue but oh well.

What else? The demon looked pretty cool, I think, certainly not a pushover too, Giles was pure cuteness in that D20 dice shirt and that's about it. It may sound like I didn't like this issues but that's just me being me, in fact I liked it very much. If you're into ships and triangles you're probably going to like it even more. Anyway, I recommend it.
 
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Spanky

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eh.. it felt like to total waste to me. I mean.. really. What happened? Nothing. At all. It felt like the little preambles on the show that they had before the opening credits. There wasn't even a cliff hanger, so to speak, to make you feel like you have to buy the next one. It was lackadaisical.
 

gite63

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What kind of bullshit is this?! What, was Buffy's not Riley's girlfriend? Could somebody explain this crap to me 'cause I have nothing, honestly.
Buffy was Riley's girlfriend, but...

Episode Into the Woods

SPIKE: Look at you. All afraid I'm hot for your honey.
RILEY: Because you are.
SPIKE: Well ... yeah. But that's not your problem. Even if I wasn't in the picture, you're never gonna be able to hold onto her.

Riley puts his hand over Spike's hand that is covering the wound. He pushes his hand deeper into it.

SPIKE: Ow, bloody hell!
RILEY: Maybe I didn't almost kill you enough.
SPIKE: Come on. You're not the long haul guy and you know it.
RILEY: Shut up.
SPIKE: You know it. Or else you wouldn't be getting suck jobs from two-bit vampire trulls.

Riley looks annoyed, lets go of Spike. Spike continues panting.

SPIKE: The girl needs some monster in her man ... and that's not in your nature...no matter how low you try to go.

Spike sits back with an expression of pain. Riley paces around restlessly. Spike reaches for his bottle and begins to remove the cork again.

RILEY: You actually think you've got a shot with her?
SPIKE: No, I don't. Fella's gotta try, though. Gotta do what he can.
RILEY: If you touched her... you know I'd kill you for real.
SPIKE: I had this chip outta my head, I'da killed you long ago. Ain't love grand?

Spike tosses the bottle to Riley, who catches it and removes the cork again. He sits on a nearby coffin and takes a sip.

SPIKE: Sometimes I envy you so much it chokes me. And sometimes I think I got the better deal. To be that close to her and not have her. To be all alone even when you're holding her. Feeling her, feeling her beneath you. Surrounding you. The scent ... No, you got the better deal.

Riley looks over at Spike, takes another drink.

RILEY: I'm the lucky guy. Yeah.

Long shot of the two of them sitting together. Riley tosses the bottle back to Spike.

RILEY: I'm the guy.



Riley seems to agree with Spike.
 

EVIL UU

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So you're saying that, according to Spike, Buffy is incapable of commitment and loyalty in a relationship?
 

Spanky

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So you're saying that, according to Spike, Buffy is incapable of commitment and loyalty in a relationship?
I dont think Spike meant to imply that.. simply that Buffy being a 'girlfriend' goes against her nature. Hopefully by the end of this schlock she realizes it and says "I am not defined by my relationship" but... whats the likelihood of that happening.
 

gite63

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So you're saying that, according to Spike, Buffy is incapable of commitment and loyalty in a relationship?
Having seen Buffy's relationship with Riley, and hearing first hand how he felt that Buffy wasn't “his” (Riley didn't contradict what Spike said, he was sadly ironic), I don't see Spike being insecure as something odd, since Buffy still hasn't said she loves him. With Angel, although the promises of undying love, actually they have never been in a proper relationship. She keeps saying she “have to process things before she knows how she feels”, that she doesn't know how she feels about Angel. Hell, I'm starting thinking that all are excuses made by a person who is afraid of commitment (daddy issues). I'm insecure!

Buffy herself said “people are always trying to connect to me, and I just slip away” and “I'm terrible at everything that doesn't end with slaying. I'm not well rounded. I have lots of corners. And most of them are ponty”

Nothing to do with loyalty; she was and always will be loyal to the person she is.


But then, anyone in the Buffyverse have ever got married (one even ran away from it!); except for Willow and Tara, who seemed very committed to each other.
 

Kaleidoscope

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I liked the issue and I thought it seemed very true to everyone's character. Angel and Spike acting immaturely around each other has been a default setting since forever and although I've been fed up with it since about the second episode of AtS 5, it's there. Buffy comes off well in all this though, but it's beyond awkward for her, especially since she still has warm feelings for Angel and feels protective towards him. I'm not really surprised that Spike feels threatened by Angel, because the Buffy/Angel relationship on the show and in the comics has always been portrayed as something special, Spike's an intuitive chap, and he knows what these two have meant to each other, so he's worried and I can kind of sympathise with him on this one. For what its worth, I think that Buffy is deeply committed to Spike and their relationship, but I think that Angel will always mean alot to her as well. Angel and Spike are just going to have to learn to live with this, because feelings are feelings and that emotional connection will always be there. I think the Buffy/Spike relationship will survive Angel's visit and I hope, hope, hope, that Angel and Spike will get their relationship onto a more mature footing ! On the positive side, they're not acting as childishy as they did in Angel and Faith season 9 #19 and 20. so at least that's something.
 

The Bronze

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Bonus points for @EVIL UU for correctly identifying Archaeus as not being an Old One!

I thought this was great. I was laughing out loud at the first couple of pages. It's nice to see that the writers have a good handle on the humour at the moment which hasn't always been the case in the comics. Not surprised to see awkwardness and immaturity but I don't think there was ever going to be any thing else. I like the way things are shaping up.

I think Spikes little bit line just meant that Buffy can be a girlfriend but not owned or defined by it. Don't think it was meant to be particularly deep.
 

thetopher

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Eh, this issue was pretty okay. Pleasantly surprised that Angel didn't get hosed like last time. The Spike/Angel jealousy stuff was spot-on, they have both been petty, jealous, idiotic tools in the past when it comes to Buffy. Both of them were super-jealous of Riley.

Buffy came out of all this looking pretty good (at last...) what with her reassurances to Spike and her own secret doubts. Very mature let human/fallible. I approve.

The Buffy/Angel meeting was okay as well. Angel apologies a lot, doesn't take credit for bringing Giles back (because of the result). Basically came across as decent until he found out about 'the relationship'.
Then he turned into an idiot but Spike had already beaten him to the punch on that score many many times this issue. In fact almost every time he opened his mouth. The insecurity, the snark, the cheap shots, etc. All present and correct- very in-character.

A lot of the other character stuff was good. Giles was being all analytical in a non-ham-fisted way. He also asked about Faith which was great. Nice to know that he hasn't forgotten about her.

Willow got her ass kicked again! Yikes, but that just shows how powerful she is right? Chicks with superpowers get f*cked up, non-super-powered chicks (like Dawn) tend to do better in a fight. By my estimations Willow is the biggest hitter in the group.

I actually liked that it was mainly talk with a big fight thrown in (the demon looked cool as well). They need to address the occasion of Angel's arrival and take some time to acknowledge how big it is. We'll get to more of the badguy next time.

Plus a bit more about Archaeus, having a portal was a nice twist (didn't W&H have access to one of those? Might be nice if they had a hand in this- they've got a history with both vamps and do tend to hold grudges...) and gave him a bit more oomph as a baddie- certainly the most worthwhile adversary the Scoobies have had so far this season.
 

Buffy Summers

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Are Xander's anger problems supposed to be mimicking Nick's?

I'm wondering if someone should give Giles the same talk Riley/Sam gave Faith about apologizing to the wrong person?

I'm not sure how I feel about Buffy being okay with everything everyone's done in the past. On the one hand, it's refreshing, but on the other, would she really be okay with everything? I don't know. I am glad they didn't make everything all hearts and butterflies when Angel, Spike & Buffy reunited.

I do think Angel was sort of right that having Buffy holding Spike's hand and telling them they're a couple before they go off to fight an archdemon WAS kind of blindsiding him though. Same as Oz coming back to find Willow with someone else and no one telling him.
 
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