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I just read issue #15 of Angel&Faith: it's a very interesting issue and, somehow, it makes me think about the Dollhouse and the major themes in all the Whedonesque works
My advice about S9 of Buffy and, generally, the comics is: be patient. 
It's a long story and it's built issue after issue. If an author wants to explain a complex concept, he needs to work slowly. In the comic books character arcs can take years before get to the point. It's a very long run and the reader needs to be patient. 
I just have one condition, of course: that Whedon will be always involved in the comicverse. If he takes off, I'm also going to take off. 
Whedon is recently very busy with all the Avengers project - good for him! - and I honestly I don't see him take a long run with the Buffyverse in comics. Maybe he will give much more space to his fellow authors, but I personally consider canon only a work under his direct controll. Everyone is able to write a Buffyfic, otherwise.
That said, I find the latest Angel&Faith issue very interesting.
I think that one of the major theme in all the Whedon's production is the struggle between big corporations, big powers and tiny people, who need to fight and rebel in order to take back their agency and their freedom. 
Dollhouse is a big example of this concept: the Rossum corporation is like a Senior Partner who wants to achieve control of the dolls and single rebellious individuals - like Echo, Ballard, Adelle, Sierra, Victor ... - fight against this much bigger than them power, to take back their agency and identity. 
It's never about another big good power who fights back, it's always about single people.
In the S8, the only one who rebels against big powers fighting is Buffy, when she destroyed the Seed. It's an unpredictable act, powered only by emotion and against every kind of big plan or vision in the play. Buffy breaks the Seed and, immediately, the war is over and big powers need to take back their stuff and get the hell out of Earth. Suddently, all the energy powering Twangel is gone and Whistler finds himself like a sailor in the bottom of the Titanic.
Unpredictable act, single person.
Of course, there are consequences and reactions, as always in the Buffyverse, and S9 is kinda dealing with them.
Let's return with the big picture guy, here: Whistler, half good and half evil breed, is supposed to mantain the balance between the two big daddies of Earth (PTB and Senior Partners) and he's conveniently used by them to maintain a certain status quo.
But the status, as Doctor Horrible will said, is not quo! So Whistler decides to make the game a little better and to play another phase in evolution.
Again, it's all about big corporations/powers/people, who decide, at some point, to change the game.
The tiny people involved? We aren't giving them want they want, but what they need. And so, Whistler is giving Angel what he need - a reason to live, a new obsession - but he's also giving the Earth a new stage of evolution. Anybody asked for this? Nevermind and have faith in the big guy.
Angel's involved as fuck in this dirty busness because he's always been a "big picture guy". In Dollhouse, we saw that is dangerous to be like Topher, to serve a much bigger corporation who might want to take control of their people, but it's also dangerous to be like Caroline, to be an idealist who doesn't face the complex reality.
Angel, in a way, is idealist, just because he believes he knows better than everyone else, but he's also a huge tool like Topher, for both PTB and Senior Partners, because he's big picture guy, he's the hero in his own story.
He thinks about great stuff like: love forever and evolution and brave new world, but he doesn't listen the others, he doesn't take care of the single individual and doesn't listen to Buffy's opinions. He loves the concept of him and Buffy together, like he loves to be the hero in his own story, and, like Prometheus, who was guilty of hybris, he's always making the ball drop.
I believe that all his trust to Whistler and all his project as Twilight is a mistake and it's a big mistake because he clearly believes even now that he was trying to do a good thing. Taking back other people's agency, Buffy's agency, and decides for them.
It's obliviously a concept so fucked up I can't even, and it's obliviously another hard stone on the whole Bangel romance, since destiny and meant to be, in all the Whedon's works, are deeply creepy concepts. 
Angel's involved with his own hero projection, he can't actually see how the real Buffy doesn't fit in the major plan. Like Whistler already knew, she's unpredicable and she tends to screw up the whole "destiny" concept. 
Big flaw in an almost perfect plan. Sorry, Whistler!
As for Angel, the only hope for him is to open the eyes he always close in the crucial moments and to finally embrace the others power and agency as individuals and maybe find a side with Buffy, Spike and all the rebels against the great, mystic Dollhouse.

 



Ps: Did I said "big" many times, right?

Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
slaymesoftly
Nov. 3rd, 2012 02:13 pm (UTC)
Well said! I particularly liked: Angel's involved with his own hero projection, he can't actually see how the real Buffy doesn't fit in the major plan. Like Whistler already knew, she's unpredicable and she tends to screw up the whole "destiny" concept.
Big flaw in an almost perfect plan. Sorry, Whistler!


So, are you saying you trust Joss (or whoever) to make this right in the end? That we should have patience with the comics? That is what I'm trying to do, although I've written a letter about this (#15) issue addressing the way the female characters are treated in the comics. I never stopped reading in Season Eight, and loyally am buying all the Season Nine issues, but I just don't know if I trust them....

Thanks for pointing me here.
kikimay
Nov. 3rd, 2012 02:17 pm (UTC)
Yes, I'm just saying that, maybe, it's all part of a bigger scheme. Here's hope and I'm giving this chance (the whole Season Nine) to make things right.
That said, I'm looking foward to a better treatment of female characters, Buffy especially.
Let's see together what happens.
tant0.myopenid.com
Nov. 4th, 2012 01:48 am (UTC)
How can you make what Angel did right? Seriously, what's your idea? Because the idea of Dork Horse writers' is retro continuation and whitewashing.
kikimay
Nov. 4th, 2012 11:47 am (UTC)
Well, I don't know! But, maybe, if something hits hard the writers heads, maybe they can do it! I just want to give a last chance. It seems fair, no?
tant0.myopenid.com
Nov. 4th, 2012 01:55 am (UTC)
So not only do you read season 9, you also bankroll it! Good god, at least pirate it or something.
slaymesoftly
Nov. 4th, 2012 04:11 am (UTC)
LOL Well, I don't fangirl anything but the Buffyverse (including AtS in that) well enough to write fanfic for it. And since in the past 10 years or so that's become something I do rather frequently, and since the seven seasons of BtVS have really been fan-ficced to death, I have selfish reasons for keeping up with whatever's supposed to be going on in their lives. If I run out of plot bunnies and things to "fix" in canon, I'm not sure what I would do with myself anymore. ;)
tant0.myopenid.com
Nov. 4th, 2012 01:26 am (UTC)
My advice about S9 of Buffy and, generally, the comics is: be patient.

Sorry, but I just don't see the point. I read comics, I am patient but season 9 has failed to deliver a single enjoyable, coherent and entertaining issue. Moreover, as far as I'm concerned, Angel is done. He's worse than Angelus, he's worse than every Big Bad from the show ever combined. Twilight, the new universe is basically a hell dimension, the winged lion even says it itself in season 8. Whistler's goal is the extinction of the human race and Angel is OK with it, he makes a decision and is ready to torture, murder hundreds of teenagers, brainwash and rape Buffy and destroy the entire human race to have Buffy, whether she likes it or not.

He's repulsive and pathetic.

He's not Prometheus. He's Pol Pot hiding in Thai Jungle.
kikimay
Nov. 4th, 2012 11:49 am (UTC)
I'm not arguing about the major wrongness of Angel's behaviour. He did the most horrible things in S8, but, maybe, if he realizes how fucked up is his whole concept of destiny and heroism and love, he can finally change. I just want to hope for the best and see what happens.
tant0.myopenid.com
Nov. 8th, 2012 01:28 am (UTC)
I wouldn't count on it. The comic spend 300 pages trying to justify Angel's actions and picture them as right for a reason. Also, vampires are dead, they cannot change.
lokifan
Nov. 6th, 2012 03:36 am (UTC)
V interesting. Especially the idea of Angel being taken in by the idea of him and Buffy as destiny, since of course Whistler told Buffy all the way back in Becoming that him and her were a surprise to the PTB, never meant to happen.
kikimay
Nov. 6th, 2012 01:30 pm (UTC)
It's unclear, because Whistler "presents" Buffy to Angel and, in this issue, he plays the sponsor of Buffy and Angel creating a new universe. I think he's on board with the whole Bangel/destiny stuff, but Buffy kinda screw his plans.
lokifan
Nov. 6th, 2012 02:50 pm (UTC)
Idk - I mean, I think as of Becoming he's probably not lying - the idea was Angel helping Buffy, not them falling in love.
kikimay
Nov. 6th, 2012 03:55 pm (UTC)
Considering this last issue, he was also cool about the idea of Angel falling in love for Buffy. I think he didn't like the outcome.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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