First, it’s true that “Buffy” and “Angel” have sex throughout the entire issue. They do lots of stuff in lots of positions with a whole lot of skin showing….while flying.
I am going to start my review of Buffy #34 by stating two things that I want to get out of the way:
First, it’s true that “Buffy” and “Angel” have sex throughout the entire issue. They do lots of stuff in lots of positions with a whole lot of skin showing….while flying. A good number of fans were shocked by this, according to the buzz online, but I’ve always appreciated the fact that Whedon has a “no apologies” stance on sexuality while being mindful to make it meaningful and not exploitive.
Second, we only know part of the story right now. What do I mean? I mean that there are things we don’t understand yet, because we’re not supposed to yet. I’m sure much more will be clearer once we can look at Brad Meltzer’s arc as a whole, but, for now, there are certain things that just can’t be explained. There are two major questions that we can’t answer right now: what was the deal with “Faith” magically healing the wound that “Angel” gave her, and what exactly is the “Twilight” environment in which “Buffy” and “Angel” reach at the end of the issue? I could give random speculation, but I think that these questions will be clearly answered in the next issue.
So, what can we speculate about? Quite a bit, actually. We’ve discovered that “Giles” has been looking for a way to, in his words, “kill a God.” “Buffy” has evolved or is evolving into something greater than a mere slayer or human, and “Giles” has secretly been searching the world for a way to kill her. I was surprised how little attention this got from the online fan base. Sex will do that to you… especially flying sex. Still, the fact that this is where “Giles” and “Buffy” are emotionally with each other is slightly heartbreaking. Wisely, Whedon and the other writers have kept the rift between them from Season 7 fresh. “Giles” has always been the one who has known when the hard choice has to be made. He was acting on this when he conspired with “Robin Wood” to kill “Spike,” and now, with the distance between “Giles” and “Buffy” still there, he is forced into a similar situation that is far more painful. Would “Giles” kill “Buffy” if he thought it was necessary? In my hearts of hearts, I feel he would.
From what I’ve been able to gather from the slightly cryptic explanation “Giles” gives, “Buffy” is evolving into a stronger species or creature. Apparently, given the fact that slayers are part human and part demon, the Watchers’ Council has always had a fear that the scales could be tipped somehow, causing slayers to replace humans as the top species on the planet. Fortunately, until “Buffy,” the slayer/vampire balance was maintained in the earth realm. Slayers kept the vamp population to a certain level and usually died at an early age, before they could become too individually powerful.
Then “Buffy” became the slayer. This process started back in Season 6 when “Willow” resurrected “Buffy.” Although I’ve never really understood the reason, Beljoxa’s Eye states in Season 7 that “Buffy” returning from the grave was the incident that made t
he slayer line vulnerable to “The First Evil.” When “Buffy” and “Willow” shared her power, they created a race of slayers, and that was almost enough to tip the cosmic scales. What really pushed it over the edge are certain specifics. One is the fact that “Buffy” shared “her” power. Because the spell “Willow” cast focused on spreading “Buffy’s” power, it’s my theory that this is the reason she is receiving the power of the dead slayers. Because of this, “Buffy” gets her Superman abilities and becomes something more than a slayer. She has now made the human being and the vampire, even the demons of this realm, obsolete. The final piece to this is the fact that “Buffy,” despite her status as a slayer, has a habit of boinking the undead. It’s fairly unconventional for a slayer, and it’s perfect for the primal forces of destiny (or evolution) that seek to push the species consistently further. The superpowers “Buffy” has acquired and her willingness to mix demon and slayer blood, among other fluids, make her the perfect x-factor to create a new top species.
The only problem is that the universe requires balance. We’ve been told time and again that ancient demons and other realms are constantly pushing against ours, searching for a way back in. Now that “Buffy” has evolved into a super-slayer, it seems the universe will find its balance by opening earth’s portals and allowing the old demons back in. Obviously, this is bad news for anyone who doesn’t have super-slayer powers.
I will say that “Angel’s” place in this is still fairly hazy. His speech to “Buffy” doesn’t completely jive with the explanation that “Giles” gives, but the nice thing about Buffy is that the writers are intelligent enough that I assume that this isn’t an error on the Brad Meltzer’s part, but rather us seeing the different views that the two characters have. Still, it’s not explained why “Angel” has Superman powers like “Buffy” and can stand exposure to the sun. Then there’s also his curse and how he doesn’t seem too worried about experiencing perfect happiness. I imagine that there’s more to it than this, but I really feel that this is a situation similar to the birth of “Connor,” where the impossible is happening because something bigger is at work. We don’t know if “The Powers That Be” have a hand in it or not, and we probably won’t get a straight answer on that, but clearly they’ve always planned something special for “Angel.” Maybe this is it. The point is, because the universe needs to adjust to balance out with “Buffy” the super-slayer, certain impossible things are happening when necessary such as “Angel” not being burned to a crisp in the sun and the state of his gypsy curse. I’m reminded of that line from Jurassic Park where it’s stated that “life finds a way.” If the universe needs “Buffy” and “Angel” to screw like bunnies to usher in the new age, it’s gonna happen.
All in all, I’m excited by all of this. Yes, I fear for all of the characters and how these new elements will change the Buffy I know and love, but Whedon has always kept his series fluid, refusing to keep his characters in high school, in college, or even in this dimension. Like us, they must go forward, and nothing stays the same forever.
Before I wrap this up, I’ll throw out a few observations. First, maybe I’m crazy, but is that Johnny Depp’s “Sweeney Todd” as a vampire?
Next, fans of “William the Bloody” can rejoice thanks to one simple peek into the future. Soon. I can’t wait.
And, finally, I know “Angel” has already been a father but with all that f@#$ing last issue, should we be expecting a “Buffy”-shaped bundle of joy???