Posted by: Brian Hibbs on March 8, 2008
Let’s get right in there, shall we?
BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER #12: Here’s my $0.02 on The L Thing, from the perspective of a series-long fan. Do I believe Buffy would sleep with a woman? Yes, provided the woman is a Slayer – that was, after all, the subtext of her dynamic with Faith (especially in “Bad Girls”). However, I thought the execution here was a bit problematic for two reasons. Number one, as Chris Sims points out, the whole “post-coital reveal” really is a cliche these days. Number two, and this is something that bothered me a lot during the show’s final years, there’s no subtext or ambiguity in the Buffyverse anymore. That was a huge pet peeve for me, because the first three seasons were great at being subtle (ie: you never knew exactly what Angelus and Drusilla were up to behind Spike’s back, which left your imagination running on overtime), and afterwards everything was in-your-face-with-a-can-of-mace (I’m thinking here of the near-rape in “Seeing Red” to name just one egregious “geez, what happened to my show?” scene). It could’ve been more interesting to be ambiguous about Buffy and Satsu, to drop teases and hints, rather than pull the old Wile E. Coyote anvil-to-the-head maneuver. I wasn’t at all surprised to learn that Drew Goddard wrote that Season 7 episode when Spike’s mother goes all Freudian on him, because that’s exactly the kind of bluntness (which, in all honesty, could very easily be attributed to sensationalism) we get here. All that said, this is still a VERY GOOD issue, and Goddard deserves kudos for the abundant humor, to say nothing of the main reason I’m enjoying Season 8: new variations on canonical threats. The vampires in this issue are linked to an enemy Buffy’s faced before, and that’s precisely the sort of internal continuity mixed with innovation that makes the story even more interesting (and I didn’t even like that particular enemy when he turned up).
CABLE #1: Cable, as a character, greatly benefited from MESSIAH COMPLEX: if, in earlier appearances, he either drifted around aimlessly or played at being Robo-Jesus, he’s now a soldier with a clear mission and a nemesis who thematically parallels his own situation (after all, Bishop is also a soldier with a clear mission). What isn’t apparent by the end of the issue is where Duane Swierczynski wants to go from here, big-picture-wise: is this series set in the New Jersey of 2043 we see here? Or will Cable and the baby be jumping through time with Bishop on their heels? It could go either way, and both options have potential (though I think we need a bigger supporting cast, because Cable monologuing as the baby cries could get old very fast), but we’re off to a GOOD start. Special props to Ariel Olivetti for that look on Cable’s face when he has to change the baby’s diaper. Verily, a fate worse than death… and if this baby turns out to be Jean Grey, we can look forward to the inevitable argument where they both scream “I CHANGED YOUR DIAPERS!” at each other.
LOGAN #1: With Y: THE LAST MAN complete, I’ve been feeling the lack of Brian Vaughan in my monthly readings (don’t ask about EX MACHINA). Now, I’m not a Wolverine fan. At all. But there’s a handful of writers who can get me to check out anything they do, and Vaughan’s one of them. (Carey’s another, which no doubt explains why I feel like I’ve already passed my Wolverine quota for this year.) So imagine my disappointment when LOGAN #1 turned out to be a rather dull comic. Where is Vaughan’s trademark unpredictability? Where are the twists and turns? This issue reads like WOLVERINE FOR DUMMIES, a standard (and standardized) fusion of stock tropes I’ve seen a hundred times already. EH, because I honestly don’t care.
Postscript: The second I finished posting this, I saw that Douglas had beaten me to it.
I call the right side!