Blog Archives

Buffy and attention whoring

From my February 9th post called “Buffy pushes boundaries”:

They’re not going to go through with it. No mainstream comic has the gall to go through with something so taboo. Something is going to happen to stop it, or she is simply going to change her mind. After all, it is probably a magical pregnancy, and Angel‘s fourth season shows how that can go.

But I just don’t think Whedon will do it. This strikes me as nothing but attention-seeking. It’s clearly working since I’m writing about it, but I’m mostly setting this in writing so I can call back to it in disappointment. I want Whedon and company to prove me wrong, though. How far are they willing to go?

As it turns out, not very far. Read the rest of this entry

Buffy pushes boundaries

It’s starting to seem like Joss Whedon and company are going for shock value with the Buffy the Vampire Slayer comics. Last year they revealed that the big villain of Season Eight was Angel, somewhat possessed by an entity humorously called Twilight. Or not. It’s still kind of unclear, and it’s not at all clear how it fits into the Angel: After the Fall comic. Then there was flying super sex between Buffy and Angel. Then there was the head turning death of Giles. Ultimately we came unto the end of all magic. Read the rest of this entry

Thor: The Thunder God who Somehow Controls Lightning

Thor is by no means a great film in this day and age, but the circumstances of the movie make it a surprising one. One of my least favorite comic book characters is Thor. What fun is it to read about a god? There is little drama to be had there because even if he does there are many means for him to come back – more so than most comic book characters. I was not looking forward to Thor and have made it very clear, although I said that marketing would have problems with the movie. I’m silly. The Marvel movies are their own brand that people will give a watch at least once. Thor was an easy number one in the box office this weekend. Good for Marvel!

But the movie works, and that requires some exploration. Besides the fact that it was a movie that managed to balance its humor, action, and pseudo-drama, the movie seemed to speak to its primary audience of children born in the 80’s and 90’s. Thor and Loki were born into a generation of privilege. Their parents and the parents before them fought in wars and had to establish kingdoms or households, and the kids do not know how to be humble or ever want for anything. The results are arrogance and envy. Read the rest of this entry

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8, issue 40 – a failure and a success

The problem fans had with Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8 became crystalized to me after reading the final issue of the series. Spike has a conversation with Buffy that likens her not to her past self but to Angel, who had a history of making tough choices while Buffy merely had to find a way to beat the bad guys. Read the rest of this entry

Buffy #39 and mishandling fictional death

Fiction that is afraid to take chances is generally not worth taking the chance to read. This is a sentiment I have taken to heart after reading many of the commentaries by Harlan Ellison in both of his Glass Teat collections as well as his collection called Watching. Fiction is supposed to push the reader. Fiction is supposed to make the reader feel something. Feeling good is not the only sort of feeling that matters, nor is a completely positive outcome the only way to resolve a tale. Sometimes sacrifices need to be made. Read the rest of this entry

Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman – The best story you may never read

Meet the family! Clockwise, starting with our Byronic hero at top: Dream, Destruction, Desire, Delerium, Despair, Death, and Destiny.

The subject line makes it clear that the best story I have read this year was in the form of a comic book. Surprisingly, it is not the usual superhero comic that I read week in and week out. Spider-Man, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, X-Factor, and even Young Liars are great reads but pale in comparison to a series that is fast approaching 10 years since its last properly published issue. Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman started in 1989, but non-comic book readers became aware of his work through other sources. Stardust, Mirror Mask, Coraline, American Gods, and even his popular adaptation of Princess Mononoke all pale in comparison to his story about Dream, the anthropomorphized personification of the abstract, and his unpredictable family. Read the rest of this entry