I got the Buffy-and-Willow cover for Vik. Was torn for myself but got the variant cover for myself just to have proof that there was art of a woman with meat on her bones.
And having read the issue, I'm glad of my choice. (Though pose of the cover shot doesn't really reflect the relational dynamics. And I'm only sometimes a fan of the art.) I like Robin a lot. (Though, thought, name? We already have a [albeit offstage] character named Robin [Wood]. What up?) I love the slamming reveal of "You don't volunteer to be a Minder, Buffy. // You get chosen."
I'm really into the "Twilight. [...] The end, of course. Of the struggle, of the hellmouths.... The final triumph of the base humans over the demons. It's your life's goal achieved, Slayer. The death of magic. // Lies, delusions, gross simplifications ... these are what make mankind. No fault in it; your brains could not contain the horrible beauty of total awareness. You run from it, as from a predator. You escape. Even from each other."
The Buffy stuff, I am really thinking about it -- it's like Joss is seriously saying, "so much for my happy ending." Like, Dawn and Buffy can't get along, and Willow and Buffy have hurt each other too much to be truly easy, and Xander is still trying to be the glue, and the stakes are so high, and Faith is still on her own --
Like, this is the future in which everything was going to be different, and better, and no more Council and no more Slayer Alone, and now all you have is all the same shit multiplied . . ..
And, and, and! And all their current problems are stemming from who they are, what they have done, the Consequences of Thataway, to quote Finder by Emma Bull. Changing the world just means your problems have more room to grow, until you turn and face them down . . .
I am hoping, HOPING, that this is the direction season eight is going.
It would fit in with Joss's current post-Serenity work on AXM, would it not . . . ?
I'm not terribly invested in the Dawn-Xander dynamic. Yeah it's a nice follow-up to the end scene of "Potential," but whatever.
Oh, and I did like Buffy's "Wow. Your bad is way better than mine." Hi, mermaid.
I'm gonna have to reread this issue a few more times to really grok it I imagine.