Pick of the Week Podcast

Pick of the Week #140 – The Sword #9

Show Notes

In this episode, Ron Richards makes a brief return to the East Coast, Josh Flanagan makes a surprise revelation, and Conor Kilpatrick challenges a group of people to a fight. The temperature must be rising.

Running Time: 00:57:10

Pick of the Week:
00:01:20 – Ron throws The Luna Brothers some love with his Pick of the Week, The Sword #9.

00:08:50 – The art in Jonah Hex #33 was excellent, but was the story?
00:14:34 – Ron was disgusted by Buffy the Vampire Slayer #16; and then a spontaneous discussion about the TV show breaks out.
00:19:41 – Josh didn’t hate Batman #678, but he didn’t quite get it either.
00:24:19 – Ron tires very hard to find reasons to defend Astonishing X-Men #25.
00:29:47 – With The Boys #20, Josh finally gets it.
00:31:37 – If you want to know about London cabbies, Hellblazer Presents Chas: The Knowledge #1 is the book for you.
00:34:02 – Josh makes a surprise (temporary?) jump to issues with The Walking Dead #50.
00:36:35 – Everyone loved Hellboy: The Crooked Man #1!
00:37:32 – The Amazing Spider-Man #564 was a fun group writing mash-up.

User Reviews:
00:39:38 – davegraham really dug Storming Paradise #1.
00:41:02 – comicdork37 loved Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam! #1.

00:42:13 – Jake makes a plea to Josh about the merits of Mark Millar’s writing.
00:44:43 – Jon asks about fantasy creative teams.

00:47:35 – Sean (?) from Lansing, MI wants to know about grading comics.

“Night Vision”
Electric Six


Get Involved

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  1. I have my variants and a few other rare books graded, but nothing I don’t have a reader copy for so I still can go back and read it should I have the urge. So while I agree that a comic should be read and enjoyed, I still understand and suport the collecter’s corner of the market.


    Honestly, how many people out there follow a series in issues, then turn around and get the Absolute/Omnibus/Trade when it comes out? A lot.  Graded books are awesome for display too. Great conversation pieces. Though I’ll probably end up being branded as one of the "hated collectors" by some on this site, the important thing to remember is that just about all collectors, including myself, love reading comics as much as the next guy. That’s why we collect them after all.

  2. Hard to read stuff encased in plastic.

  3. Like I said, I still have reader copies. In other words, doubles from the $1 bin, Trades, etc.

  4. Hmmm, there were quite a few things that I disagree with here.

    1. Buffy. I pretty much loved this issue and I don’t think it’s much of a step down from Drew Goddard’s arc because I’m more inclined to compare the beginnings of the two arcs, which are pretty much on level ground. We’ll have to see where it goes but so far so very good. As far as the art goes, I like it but I do think that Moline’s art was much much stronger in Fray. This felt slightly rushed but I do love the energy that he brings to his art.

    2. Batman. I personally applaud DC’s frankly gutsy decision to put someone like Morrison on Batman. I agree that this wasn’t exactly the easiest issue to "get" but there are two things to keep in mind: 1) just because it’s confusing now doesn’t mean that it will stay that way. I read through most of his run before RIP started and issues that I didn’t understand the first time around made perfect sense when read together. You could pretty much hear the weird, out there pieces clicking perfectly into place. 2) I think it’s hard not to love the fact that Grant Morrison is writing a Batman story that is most probably unlike any other Batman story ever written and with a character this old, I think that there is something to be said for that.

    Oh yeah and why didn’t you guys talk about Fables or House of Mystery, two books that were easily among the best of the week. House of Mystery, especially, is promising to be Vertigo’s next big thing. It’s a really great read.


  5. I think Buffy #16 was a little overinked and not as tight as Moline’s other work..

    That said, Whedon’s said that Season Eight will end at issue 40 and season nine will start after that.

  6. @Ilash – I agree with you about Batman RIP, if you’ve been reading Morrison’s BATMAN all along RIP’s fairly easy to follow – the problem becomes, is that a good idea from a business standpoint?  And I don’t know the answer to that.

    As for FABLES or HOUSE OF MYSTERY you’d have to ask Flanagan why he didnt’ want to talk about them, he’s the only one reading them.

  7. RIP is easy to follow? I spent a lot of time this weekend re-reading issues, reading message boards & Wiki searching trying make some sense of it, and it’s still not clear. And from what I see online, there is a lot of people like me. Maybe we’re all stupid? lol.

    Good show, fellas. Josh’s reactions to Batman seemed almost identical to mine! 🙂

  8. @WadeWilson – I’m finding the events in the book easy to follow, yes. 

  9. Actually I didn’t think that this issue was easy to follow but I’m willing to bet that it will make more sense in retrospect when the story is viewed as a whole. I also think that just because something isn’t all that easy to make literal sense of doesn’t mean it doesn’t have value. I wouldn’t say that I’m smarter than those who aren’t digging RIP, it’s simply the case that I enjoy reading something this challenging, this audacious and this original, whereas I think the naysayers can’t really get past how impenetrable it is sometimes.

    And Conor, as to how smart this is from a business stand point, I would guess that a big name like Morrison is strong enough to get big sales and that seems to be case – at least to a point. But who cares about the business side of things, all I know is that we’ve gotten good, INTERESTING comics out of it and that’s what really matters.

    Of course, I’m clearly a Morrison apologist because I cannot for the life of me understand the backlash that top notch comics, to my eyes at least, like Batman and Final Crisis have been receiving.  

  10. @Ilash – The business side is very important.  If things you like don’t do well from a money standpoint, you won’t get more of that type of book.

    As for this particular issue, I’m kind of mystified that people were confused by the events themselves.  Bruce Wayne got drugged and he wandered the streets of Gotham in a drug-induced haze.  That’s a pretty straight-forward story. 

    I sometimes think that people either (a) Go into Morrison books expecting it to make no sense so they make more out of Morrison’s work than is there, or (b) Automatically dismiss everything he does as too hard to follow because that’s the brush he’s been painted with. 

  11. So has Ron only watched a little Buffy? A lot? I ask because he seems to love the book and if he does with very little exposure to the show then I might give it a shot. Is it good not having watched any Buffy?

  12. I thought Seven Soldiers was one of the best comics I’ve ever read EVER, and I have read every issue of this Morrison Batman run, and I find the whole thing incredibly random and annoying.  The only story I’ve liked that he did was the two-parter on the island with all the other Batmen.

    But the art is great.  And I concede that there always seem to be some great panels and moments in each issue.  But overall, you can keep Damien and all the rest of this.  I’ve been buying these issues, reading them, and then giving them back to the store.  Can’t imagine wanting to re-read it.

  13. I think not knowing what is real & what is drug induced hallucinations is what made this issue hard to follow. There’s a difference between a mystery & events in the plot being deliberately written as unclear, with what is imagined/dream/reality etc. 

    Also a multi-coloured Batman shouting words that (without Wikipedia etc) make zero sense to the average fan kinda throws people off.

    But I also think Morrison gets off on it. Most writers would hate reading fan reaction of "what the hell was this about?" — I reckon Morrison loves it.

  14. @conor I agree with you about R.I.P. being easy enough to follow. I think the main problem is that he’s in a drug induced haze and people just want a plot. There must be some baffling things in dream sequences and drug enduced hazes for them be effective. It’s not supposed to be literal. It’s drug crazy (and other kinds of crazy, too). Either you feel it or you don’t – I don’t think there’s very much to understand, apart from the occasional reference.

    Bruce gets dropped on the street, doped up, and he doesn’t have it all together. He sees a man who might be a ghost or a hallucination. We are not told. If you don’t know what Honor’s deal is, you’re in the boat with the rest of us. If you do know what his deal is then you are probably Grant Morrison or someone who gets to read his scripts.

    The gap between people who like this is not one of understanding. The people who like it don’t understand it any better than the people who hate it. The people who like it are just more okay with a story with a few hallucinations or whatever in it. I think if you don’t feel a drug induced haze is worth spending 22 pages on, that is completely valid. I can’t argue with you on that one.

    But that last page just go me. I didn’t even know i was a reference. It just made me feel like something big was happening, that Bruce had totally lost it, that he might not ever come out of it, but that he is somehow still Batman and despite his loss of mental stabilty he was piecing things back together. It was ragged and destorted and too colorful and all wrong, but he still looked like Batman. And so I knew he was somehow going to defeat these club of villains assholes. That’s how that page made me feel and that’s why I loved this issue.

  15. @projektidiot – Ron said on this week’s show where he’s at with watching BUFFY.

    @WadeWilson – Don’t you think that maybe the last word that was said in this issue of BATMAN will be explained in the next one?  I think it’s a pretty good bet.

  16. @conor – I understand that he said he was on S2, but then he went on to say he watched some in college. Like, started late and watched on and off till the end of the show or just watched a few, still doesn’t know much.

     It’s all pretty peripheral to the real question which is would any of you recommend  Buffy: S8 to someone who has never watched Buffy?

  17. @projektidiot – Hmmm…. that’s a tough one.  My gut says "no".  I watched four seasons of BUFFY and the first story arc threw me for a loop.

  18. @wade I disagree with you on morrison’s attitudes. He always seemed to me like he’s reaching for an ending bigger that would be possible if he just gave you a good satisying ending. He wants to lead you somewhere beyond. I just think the problem with that is that if he fails to lead you to the bigger thing, then you’re just left with a shit ending.

    I don’t think he gets off on having work that most people don’t understand. But I don’t think knowing a lot of people don’t get it keeps him up at night either.

  19. I didn’t talk about Fables or House of Mystery because I talked about other books, and I can’t talk about everything.  There were several books this week that only I read and mentioned.  Eventually, it doesn’t make for good shows to talk to oneself.  We have the forums, the comics section, the user reviews, and here to talk about books that didn’t make the show.

    We can’t do them all.  

    But here’s what I would have said.  "House of Mystery was pretty good again, and Fables was really good again."  That would have been followed, possibly, by a short explanation of the plot.  Sometimes, if a book is good, but there’s nothing to discuss, there’s no point putting it on the show.

    And that’s how we pick books to talk about.

  20. Best line of this podcast.

    Conor: I’ll fight them shirtless. Like Kirk.

  21. @conor – Who knows if the words will be explained. Reading back through Morrison’s run on the weekend, the words were used another time (issue #672) & not explained.

    @Neal – I totally agree with this – "The gap between people who like this is not one of understanding. The people who like it don’t understand it any better than the people who hate it. The people who like it are just more okay with a story with a few hallucinations or whatever in it. I think if you don’t feel a drug induced haze is worth spending 22 pages on, that is completely valid. I can’t argue with you on that one."

    I wish I read that two or three days ago, to save myself trying to "get" the issue. I guess I got annoyed reading message boards of people acting like the issue made perfect sense, when it obviously doesn’t & isn’t meant to … yet.

    The reason you said (22 page drug trip) is totally why I didn’t enjoy the issue, but I don’t wanna come off as totally negative. I have liked Morrison’s whole run, and I said the last issue of R.I.P. was the best Batman comic I’ve read in a long time. I’ll just take this as one part I didn’t like in what ends up as (hopefully) an awesome story arc.

    Maybe I’m wrong about Morrison’s attitude too, it’s just that you never see reactions of "what did I just read?" regarding other top comic writers, but with Morrison, it’s very common. 

  22. @jonpaulk: I agree, it sounds like another soundbyte for the pile. If there’s a compilation of best bits for the 150th episode (like on the 52nd episode) I’d like to see this one, middle management Red Skull, Bad room mate Black Panther and the shape shifter gender debates. Perhaps that’s something for the iFanbase to do closer to the event? (If we are allowed)

  23. I think Josh nailed the other point about R.I.P., which is the commercial angle.

    Dark Knight comes out in a few weeks and the ‘Batman’ book on the shelves for casual readers to pick up if they like the film is an incomprehensible drug-induced sub-fisher-king story.

    Even if you like where Morrison is going, commercially that has to be nuts.

    If it were Marvel, Quesada would have a ‘Batman – Dark Knight’ #1 hitting the shelves in 2 weeks time. You know it.





  24. @Josh: Dream team for Hellblazer – Alan Moore and Mark Buckingham (or Michael Lark?).

    For me dream team scenarios are just an exercise on what book I’d like to force Moore to write.

  25. That’s basically what I realized when I was sitting there.  Because under no circumstances was there another writer over Moore for any project I could dream up.

  26. ^Ha! I wrote my comment there before listening to the rest of the show. We’re on the same wavelength. (Actually, if I could force any team to do anything, I’d made Gaiman and Buckingham finish Miracleman, but that’s probably more impossible than getting Moore to work for DC again.)

  27. I just checked if Moore & Bolland ever did anything together on 2000AD back in the day (even if only a ‘futureshock’ short story) but surprisingly they never did, despite both being mainstays for a fair chunk of time.

  28. I have no idea how the tradition began but my Monday morning ritual is firing up iFanboy and doing the weekly yard work.  I’m cultivating my lawn and the boys are cultivating my comic brain. 😉


    Great episode guys!


     the Tiki 

  29. Ohhh… that stuff in Batman was about Crisis retcons.

    Of course it was.

    Heaven forfend I take a chance on a DC book without it being about Crisis in some way. 

  30. @Josh – OK, yeah, fair enough, I forget that you’re the only one who reads these books.

    @Conor – The reason I don’t care about Batman’s sales is because clearly the book is doing incredibly well. Both issues that were released in May were the only DC titles to hit the top 10 besides Final Crisis according to the May sales charts. Aside for Geoff Johns, I can’t think of anyone that DC could put on Batman that would be a bigger sales-draw than Grant Morrison.

    I do, on the other hand, care about what the sales look like on stuff like Blue Beetle or pretty much any Vertigo title outside of Fables because I realize that without the right numbers, some of my favourite books would stop existing in a few months. I can’t really say the same for Morrison’s Batman, which gets hillariously high numbers considering how many people don’t seem to like it at all. 

    As an aside, speaking of Blue Beetle I’m still surprised that none of you guys read it (at least you don’t to the best of my knowledge), especially because all three of you enjoy stuff like Invincible and Ultimate Spider-man so I figure BB should really be right up your alley. It got off to a slow start but the overall arc that took place over those first twenty-five issues is, to my mind, one of the best superhero runs to come out in a long time. It also did such a good job setting up these wonderful characters that even the last few throwaway fill in issues have been really good. 

    I know that between the three of you, you read like 5 bajillion books but here’s a friendly recommendation for yet another great one.  

  31. He was in a drug-induced hazed? I didn’t get that. I got that he woke up on the streets from a drug induced haze. I didn’t get that he was on drugs the whole day and then part of the night long enough to fabricate a costume. Wouldn’t the drugs wear off by then? Would someone on drugs have the presence of mind to be able to kick some thugs around with ease? Would someone on drugs have the presence of mind to build an elaborate costume out of some scrap cloth?

    *scratches head*

  32. @projektidiot — The first arc of Buffy season 8 was a bit of an adjustment even for people like me who had watched the whole series (possibly, umm, multiple times) because the premise — while slightly set up in the final episode — was basically brand new.  However, the book does seem to have been written for people who have more than just a passing familiarity with the series, in the sense that characters are often not introduced or called by name when they appear.  While I can understand this approach at the beginning — they probably didn’t realize how successful the book would be and were mostly marketing to established fans — I do wish they would have a bit of a recap page/pictures of the characters at the beginning of each issue, or at least when it comes out in trade.  Honestly, though, you can probably wiki the show and figure out the background pretty easily.  Or, you know, watch the show!  It’s what Netflix is for.

  33. @Jimski – No, the storyline isn’t "about" CRISIS or retcons, it’s just referencing those events as part of Bruce’s psychosis.

    @JumpingJupiter – "Yes" to all of those questions.

  34. I assumed that the Dream Team question means the team that would most likely never happen. With that in mind, I’d like to post two that I’d love, love, love to see:

    1) Astonishing X-Men – Allan Heinberg-writer, Steve McNiven- artist

    Pull Heinberg from his TV gig and put him on Astonishing. Keep it in continuity with the team futzing around in SF and have Mcniven draw the hell out of San Francisco’s beautiful scenery. Preferably, getting summarily destroyed by your typical X-baddies. Heinberg can write a great ensemble, and with the Wolverine/Armor student/teacher relationship going, he’s got another teenager to give proper voice to as well as he did on the Young Avengers (which, really, never had a right to be as good as it was).

    2) DC’s Trinity – Grant Morrison-writer, Jim Cheung-artist

    Talk about something that’ll never happen. After Final Crisis and R.I.P. I doubt Morrison will ever write for DC proper again. But, if it we could turn back time to JLA-Grant Morrison and put the best superhero artist out right now, Jim Cheung on a DC book that could possibly wrangle in the whole DC universe if it wanted to, I’d be at the LCS with a sleeping bag every month for the next issue. If Morrison pulled back on the larger picture a little and gave us the character moments between the Trinity and write some awesome big battles for Cheung to render, the teamup would be classic. Oh, and move Trinity to monthly to accomodate them.

    BTW, Dave Stewart should be coloring both books. Nah, every book by both DC and Marvel. The guy is frickin’ coloring genius!

  35. Josh said how Walking Dead felt really quick in issues. If you look at it, it doesn’t have bigger panels or less word balloons than your average comic. It’s a quick read not because there’s less there, but because every issue sucks you through like gravity next to the sun. Most comics I pause, contemplate, reread a couple balloons, stare at the art, etc. I never do that with Walking Dead. Not because it doesn’t deserve it, but because I’m in such suspense that I physically can’t. With most comics- hell, with most art- I review it as I’m consuming it. I think "It would have been better if…" or "That was awesome because…" as it’s happening. I love Walking Dead because it doesn’t LET me do that.

  36. Batman #678: I think the problem is that this story is probably supposed to take place after Final Crisis, and supposedly Final Crisis is supposed to end all this pre-Crisis VS post-Crisis jazz as to what actually happened and what didn’t, and make it all "official."


     I think DC’s closet of history is so cluttered that even Morrison and Johns are going to be able to make everything fit and make sense with a big event series and numerous tie-ins fixing up Superman, Batman, and the rest. Ah well.

  37. Hey guys, sorry if this is the wrong place to post this, but I just read this review for Batman #678 over at Newsarama. It’s the best summary of the issue I have read, & I totally agree with it, especially the last paragraph. Check it —

    Batman #678
    Review by Troy Brownfield

    The first two parts of “Batman R.I.P.” have, in my view, gone swimmingly. This issue, on the other hand, seems like more of a bump in the road as a combination of factors threw it off for me. One of the things not working for me in this issue would be some of the Morrisonian indulgences. I’m a big fan of Morrison, but the constant riffing on Silver Age stories in this one is a bit off-putting. I’m familiar with the stories being referenced, so I can’t imagine the confusion that would be present for someone who’s not familiar with those stories. In a way, it’s common to my knocks on Final Crisis #1; Morrison seems to, at this stage of his writing, expect everyone to have his vast knowledge of the history of the DCU.

    Another subcategory of the Silver Age references: is this supposed to be a tale the retrofits continuity? I know that people frequently bitch when you mention continuity in a review, but here’s the thing: if a company asks you to invest in their continuity, then it’s a fair question. So . . . is this story trying to grandfather some of those older tales back in, or is it merely using those old stories as items to feed the fever dream than the unraveling Bruce Wayne seems to be experiencing?

    I’m finding the art to be a bit of a challenge, too. I think that Daniel was fine of the first couple of parts, but his members of the Bat-family seem somewhat interchangeable. There’s not a lot of difference in face or anatomy between Bruce, Dick, and Tim, and it can make you stop and ask who’s where. The best example is early on; if you didn’t see the red bike and helmet fairly quickly, that young man could be Tim, Dick, or even Jason Todd (it’s Tim).

    Overall, I don’t think that this issue ruins “R.I.P.”. I typically enjoy surrealistic fare on its own merits, but Morrison lately seems to want to play surrealism and Silver Age referencing at the same time. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it’s wonky. Perhaps by the end of this arc, everything will make perfect sense. As it is right now, it feels like there’s perhaps a bit too much effort to make things seem strange and disconnected, rather than letting the dread and discomfort flow out of the story naturally.

  38. @Wade: Did you know you could append reviews to the comic itself (on this site) from your pull list?

  39. Yeah dude, I know. But, I didn’t write this, I just thought it was a very good summary of the issue & why so many people have a problem with it & didn’t know where else to share it with the iFanbase.

  40. I finally actually got to listen to the podcast (I need a new player; it’s a sad story, by which I mean it is such a first world problem –) 

    I feel like a lot of people are hung up on the branding of the X-books.  Warren Ellis is writing a superhero team book, which means it has wacky sci-fi ideas and snarky dialogue and either you’re going to like that or you’re not depending on your feelings about Warren Ellis writing superhero books.  So far, I’m enjoying it; I think the character interactions are fun and the premise has a lot of potential.  I don’t know what difference it makes what adjective they put in front of it.  This has virtually the same team as the Whedon series, and continues to focus on some of the same relationships — why not call it Astonishing if that helps them sell some comics?  Also, the setup for them being in San Francisco was made in Uncanny 499.   

  41. So What was wrong with Whedon’s Runaways?

    I havn’t cought up to that run yet. Is it worth picking up?

  42. I just wanted to lend my sympathy to Josh’s Millar issue, I have the same one. Buy everything, want to love it, get slightly rubbed wrong all the way through. I am liking 1985, but Kick-Ass doesn’t really.

    Also, @DoctorColossus: I am the biggest Runaways fan there is, and Whedon’s run was a rather large disappointment. Too many irrelevant new characters, a convoluted storyline, publication delays that made it near impossible to follow. Great dialog and grasp of the characters, but a miss on many other levels. And nothing happened that is crucial for moving forward. Just jump back on with Terry Moore.

  43. @ABCevie We’re not alone.  I’ve heard from many others.  Don’t buy any more.

    (I’m totally going to buy his new Image series with Tony Harris.) 

  44. Just my opinion on the Buffy TV series…  It seems like you guys actually didn’t even watch when Buffy was at the peak of its excellence.  It really doesn’t get that Need to Watch the Next Episode Right Away feel until Season 5.  From then till the end of the series it’s as addictive as Lost or Heroes.


  45. 5 Seasons is a long time to wait for something to turn awesome.

  46. I’m not saying it wasn’t awesome until season 5.  Cause it was pretty damn good through 4.  I’m saying they really don’t perfect the Season-long Story Arch until season 5. I really think that every season was better than the last.  

  47. The first college season was terrible.  That’s what drove me off the show

  48. That’s really interesting; 4 was the last season I was really enthusiastic about. The last three were weird; they were these grim slogs, punctuated with the best episodes in the history of the series. It was like a slot machine; I kept pulling the arm in the hope of that sporadic payout.

  49. I know A LOT of Buffy fans.  I know significantly more Buffy fans than I do comics fans, actually.  It is just about impossible to get any two fans to agree on what is the best/worst season/ episode/character/storyline on the show.   

    I’ve found that it’s almost impossible to proselytize for this show, or any aspect of it, anymore than it’s possible to convert everybody to your favorite character in comics.  And I think that’s cool; I think it shows that the chords ‘Buffy’ strikes with the people who really love it are intensely personal.  I love the whole damn thing, but I know that’s because what going on in my life when I was watching it made it exactly the show I needed at that time.     

    I suspect that if the show just isn’t clicking for someone, it’s not because they’re watching the wrong stuff; it just might not be their thing.   That said, Ron’s right — the end of season 2 is awesome, and season 3 has Faith.  And Faith is Wolverine played by Eliza Dushku in a halter top.  There is no bad there.

  50. I’m one of those people.  I have not, not do I suspect I ever will be interested in watching Buffy.  I’m not sure why.  Maybe it’s just been too long.  I did was Firelfly.  I won’t say I loved it, but I couldn’t look away.  I think I liked it, that is.

    Now here’s why you should all like Scalped!


  51. @josh  Well, you know, if I had run a TV discussion website in 1999, I would have felt entitled to tell people they needed to watch Buffy, because it was doing stuff on TV that no other show was doing and was clearly going to be influential in the future. 

    But I recently told a friend who loved "Firefly" and "Astonishing X-men" but wasn’t getting into Buffy that she really didn’t need to bother because almost all of the interesting ideas in Buffy made it into FF or AXM, and together those really represent Whedon’s best work.  


  52. Yeah, I never watched Buffy (mostly because I was 10-15 at the time, I think) and, like Josh, I think I do not want to simply because it’s seven seasons and that is a lot of time and money to spend on a series I currently have no grounding in.

  53. In my case, Buffy also had a social element associated with it. There was a group of us that got together every Tuesday for the viewing ritual. That’s what I think of when I watch it now.

    Then, of course, it switched from WB to UPN before St. Louis had a UPN affiliate. Oh, the things I went through to get my fix in those final years…. 

  54. @OhCaroline – "And Faith is Wolverine played by Eliza Dushku in a halter top.  There is no bad there."… I don’t think I’ve ever heard a truer, more awesome statement!

    I had the social element too, as Jimski said. When the series first started, and I got to watch it before the BBC started showing it as I worked at Blockbuster at the time and they released them early as rentals, a bunch of mates and me would watch the eps together.

    It was fun, but it wasn’t until the episode ‘Pangs’ in season 2 that I realised the show was changing, evolving into something more than just cool monsters and funny quips. That episode was heartbreaking.

    As the seasons went on there were ups (Faith) and downs (Adam), but as a whole it just refused to want to be like other shows. As soon as you got to know it, the show changed again, throwing something new into the mix (who saw a silent episode coming, seriously?).

    Just my two pence. 

  55. @eyun  I really like your assessment of the series; I agree with that wholeheartedly.  I think Faith is the best character because she was never a regular, so they only used her in stories unless they actually had something interesting for her to do; there’s no filler when it comes to Faith.  (This would be how she is NOT like Wolverine, although it would be a good way to use him).

    I also had a really personal connection to the show, but it wasn’t so much a social element.  It reran on FX when I was in grad school & TAing, so I was working a lot and not making enough money.  I’d tape Buffy every day while I was at work and come home to watch it, while I took a little break before going to my second job.  And as corny as it is – as corny as I knew it was, because I was a frigging adult – I’d be telling myself ‘if Buffy can do it, I can too!’ 

    I don’t bring this up as a sob story (this was years ago; things are much better now, thank God) but just sort of an illustration of how external things can affect how we react to a story.  I think I felt about Buffy when I was in my ’20s the way a lot of guys felt about Spider-Man when they were teenagers.   

  56. @ohcaroline – 100% agree about Faith. She basically WAS the show, as odd as that may sound. She was the title of the show (she wasn’t Buffy, obviously, but a vampire slayer nonetheless) who refused to play by the rules. And her joining the cast of Angel was a masterstroke.

    Your story was great, and perfectly sums up how there wasn’t one character that someone couldn’t relate to. Me? I’d love to have been Oz, but was probably more Xander. Luckily, I’m a werewolf now, so that worked out okay.

    For a series so based in fantasy lore, it constantly amazed me how human the stories were, but I suppose that can be said of so much great literature (Lord of the Rings, His Dark Materials, Watchmen, etc). Therein, I suppose, lies the genius of Whedon.

  57. @Eyun  Yeah, Faith’s appearances on ‘Angel’ were some of the best episodes of that show, too.  Though Wesley was probably the one whose entire arc I found most interesting.  

    (I’d ask you how you became a werewolf but I assume the only possible answer is a laconic, "I got bit.")

    Man, I hope Oz is in the Buffy comic soon!!  /random 


  58. @ohcaroline – Oh yeah, Wesley had by far the best arc of any character in Angel. And that’s not a criticism of the other characters, just proof of how well-written his character was. Fred’s a close second though…

    Aww, crap, they’re all good. Apart from Cordy, thought she got kind of a short deal towards the end there. 

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