On my way to the comic store I was thinking, "I should really read Fray, huh? I wonder if it's out in TPB* yet."
*I know that's trade paperback, but I still always think PTBs [Powers That Be] -- much like I know WNGWJLEO is "We're Not Gay, We Just Love Each Other" but still always wanna pronounce it "wing-jello" or something.
And of course the store had a whole display of Joss comics and TPBs (plus The Official Firefly Companion). I bought Fray but opted not to get Old Wounds (Spike), Auld Lang Syne (Angel), or anything else.
I got the pretty girl cover, not the dinosaur fighting one.
Title [The Long Way Home]
inset pic of rising sun over horizon from space
"The thing about changing the world... Once you do it, the world's all different."
page turn -- babes in kevlar rappelling down from a helicopter in a pink&purple sky, with a small voiceover bubble: "Everybody calls me 'ma'am' these days."
"There used to be one Slayer in all the world. Eighteen hundred now, that we've counted. Almost five hundred working with us in ten separate squads."
"There's even three of me. The guys figured I was a target, set up two other Slayers to be me. One's underground, literally. One's in Rome, partying very publicly -- and supposedly dating some guy called 'The Immortal. That part was Andrew's idea. He did research on the guy, said it would be hilarious for some reason."
"Here at Command Central, not so much with the hilarious. More with the 'What the hell am I doing?'"
"It's not that different, though. Still got my demons. And I still got my Watcher."
pageturn to Xander (with his own expositiony voiceover). I much like the fanon of Xander as Watcher of sorts in Africa, but Giles had better show up as Buffy's actual Watcher. Yeah, Joss, you love your fakeouts.
Also, his first spoken line is, "You're five-by-five, Buf." That's a Faith phrase. Has Xander just adopted it without explanation, or are we gonna get story later about her involvement with him/them?
Attractive young black woman: "Yes, Mr. Harris."
Xander: "'Xander.' Renee, I told you, it's 'Xander.' Or 'Sergeant Fury.'
Reneee: "Wasn't Nick Fury a colonel when he ran S.H.I.E.L.D.?"
Xander: "I like him better in the Howling Commando days. But your nerd points are accumulating impressively."
Renee: "I try, Sergeant."
Okay, she is totally my favorite. I almost want to ask if she came with him from Africa, but that she calls him "Mr. Harris" inclines me to think she was assigned to this set with him already in an authority position here.
His voiceover begins, "I used to be in construction," which is kind of weird, but he must be refering to back in Sunnydale.
And the Buffy/Immortal retcon places Andrew as even more of a potentially unreliable narrator than he already, so Joss *could* elide the whole Africa thing and have him working with Buffy in this capacity starting right after "Chosen."
juleskicks posted an MTV interview that says:
"I thought, 'If Andrew — who was there to counsel Spike and Angel in their time of grief when they realized Buffy found a new boyfriend — created the entire scenario just to mess with them, well, I find that delightful,' " Whedon said.
monster: "Sssstupid human, I am no vampire. You think I fear the cross?"
Buffy: "Might wanna start."
redheaded Slayer: "That were a wee bit repulsive."
Buffy: "Went okay. 'Cept I feel a little weird about using a crucifix to kill someone."
redheaded Slayer: "Yeh dinno much about religion, do yeh?"
Okay, the Kendra accent is gonna get old fast.
Buffy, on the marking on the chest of one of the dead humans: "Self-inflicted. I don't think these are random victims. I think these boys were looking for a fight."
Oh, the blonde one has an accent, too -- "I tink ta forcefield was deirs, too."
ominous shot of black boots and jacket levitating above the castle in the same panel as Buffy's "That's gonna tell us what those guys are part of."
The miltary [who are fighting amongst themselves as to whether to classify her as an army or loosely affiliated terrorist cells] thinks Buffy cratered her own hometown. meh; I actively dislike misunderstandings plotlines, so hopefully this won't play out in a way that fills me with pain.
"It's like a museum down here. But no bodies, and no mystical readings."
Yay for them being aware of the existence of mystical stuffs!
Xander: "I think it's a frown turned upside down. / And then turned upside down again."
Buffy: "So you think it's a frown."
I could *hear* Xander saying that first line. Buffy, too.
Buffy: "You're a terrible Watcher."
Xander: "I'm not a Watcher."
me: [breathes a sigh of relief]
Dawn got turned into a giant, huh? (And Willow's MIA. "Has Willow called?" / "I'm sure she will soon.") And Joss totally made up "a thricewise."
That tilt of Dawn's head, though, especially the (reader's) left... I can *see* Michelle Trachteberg, which I think is so great.
And we learn that Dawn's (supposed to be) at Berkeley, and they're in Scotland. Great shot in the "I miss my home" panel. Aww, and the next panel is a closeup of her from the neck up in the breeze with "I miss my mom."
"And sex. Great muppety Odin, I miss that sex."
I am undecided as to whether I buy "great muppety Odin" as a Buffy line. Am also curious as to the choice of "that sex" as a phrase -- it implies sex with a particular person rather than sex generally.
green-clad military guy [I think the same one who wanted Buffy&co. classified as an army]: "How is that thing alive?"
guy in white lab coat: "Well, magic. Obviously. / We believe Subject One was keeping him alive. Keeping both of them alive, after the decimation."
Gen. Voll: "But... I mean, did they eat? What did they eat?"
doctor: "Best guess? / Whoever else was trapped in there."
Gen. Voll: "Insane. At least tell me they had the decency to go insane."
doctor: "Unstable, but surprisingly coherent. Subject One is the more vocal right now. Once our man underground got over his girly screaming fit, he told us her first words. 'I'm gonna help you kill her.'"
Gen. Voll: "Who compromised our intel --"
doctor: "Magic, General. You still have to learn the rules."
Gen. Voll: "There aren't any goddamn rules."
doctor: "That's sort of what I meant."
guy in brown: "Do you think she can help us?"
Gen. Voll: "What does she want?"
doctor: "Access to all our magical hardware. A weapons lab for her 'boyfriend.'"
Gen. Voll: "You can't mean they--"
doctor: "Try not to picture it. Also release and full immunity if they succeed in taking Buffy Summers down. And, well... she wants a lot of cheese."
Which tells us it's Amy, though it seems a cheap joke. Shortly after she gets de-ratted in "Smashed," there's this exchange:
AMY: Do you have any cookies?
BUFFY: Uh, yeah, w-what kind?
AMY: Any kind. Not cheese.
Anyway, we get the dramatic page turn in which it is revealed that that is her, and she looks appropriately creepy, the greenish yellow light we've already seen through the window, plus the crazed look and the bandages all over her, and the glowing ball she's holding.