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I found this neat essay about Tom Cruise in M:I6 that made me think about Quinn:

Cinema Sangha wrote:

Acting isn’t about pretending. Acting is about truth, and it’s about discovering the truth in yourself and presenting it through a fictionalized lens.

Tom Cruise inhabits a world very different from our own. His truth is not our truth. And I don’t mean this in some hacky class war way. I mean it in a spiritual way, he exists on a different wavelength than the rest of us. Tom Cruise could have been President – his tragic flaw is that he fell in with a bunch of hucksters and scumbags and ended up being the only person to benefit from their scam system.

When he walks into the room he brings with him this energy that is palpable and exhilarating, and it isn’t a messy ball of energy, randomly bouncing about. The energy that Cruise carries with him is focused and disciplined. Tom Cruise doesn’t not know how to do things. Tom Cruise just hasn’t learned something yet, and there’s a huge mental difference between those two concepts.

No actor has ever run with such truth and honesty.

Tom Cruise is ambition in human form. He’s the anthropomorphic embodiment of achievement. He’s work ethic made flesh. It’s not that things come easy to Tom Cruise, it’s that working for things comes easy to Tom Cruise.

In the moments when he runs, Tom Cruise is clearly in a state of singular focus, with all of his attention – all of that intense energy that swirls about him like electrical storms around a mountain top – beamed in at one spot ahead of him. This is the truest moment for Cruise, when he is all about achieving the next step, and then the next, and then the next. This is his soul on screen, a man aimed forward, launched like a missile, existing only for each pump of the leg, for each arm gracefully knifing through the air.
https://cinemasangha.com/2018/08/03/the … om-cruise/

There is nothing that Quinn Mallory doesn't know how to do -- just things he hasn't learned how to do. Yet. There is a huge mental difference between those two concepts. I think this is as true for Quinn as it is for Ethan Hunt, and I do see the mid-50s Tom Cruise character as a representation of who Quinn would be today. And this essay had me wondering, what's the difference between the two characters?

Looking at the actors, Tom Cruise's confidence is cocksure yet scrambling; he's perpetually emphasizing the strain it takes for his Ethan Hunt to pull off the impossible feat that he must in order to disable a nuclear missile or fry a bomb injected into his skull. It's not that Ethan is destined to win; it's that he's prepared to endure insane physical distress and suffering like a human crash dummy until he staggers towards victory and from MI:4 - 6, Cruise has played Ethan with a certain weary resignation to the next beating he'll have to go through.

In contrast, Jerry O'Connell's confidence is unsteady and nervous. Jerry's hypercaffeinated twitches and gesticulating indicate that Quinn isn't entirely sure he can muddle through, is less-than-sure he can survive the next round of lunacy and he takes on Sid and tries to save Daelin and wins over the Oakland Raiders with a low-key astonishment that his crazy gambit actually paid off. When Jerry runs, it's with a panicked desperation aiming at whatever direction is away from danger.

Ethan Hunt is never running away. Even if someone's chasing him, he's running to something -- a trap, a friend, a plan. His fleeing is methodical and strategic. Ethan Hunt is a secret agent. Quinn Mallory is a college dropout who can occasionally ascend to being Ethan, but even if Quinn is Ethan, Quinn is a fundamentally dysfunctional Ethan Hunt, much as Jerry O'Connell's career trajectory was a shabby Tom Cruise impersonation.

Tom Cruise's truth is in running, in his willingness to commit and plow through each step towards his goal. What is Jerry O'Connell's truth? I have no idea, maybe that's why he never became a leading man film star. What is Quinn Mallory's truth?

To me, there are two definitive Quinn-scenes: "Gillian of the Spirits" where he sits quietly with Gillian and looks at this flawed, troubled, broken, lost little girl and tells her with earnest sincerity and full honesty that that she has a gift and a purpose. On one level, he's heartening a desperately needed ally; on another, he is simply calling it as he sees it; there is no false sentiment or comfort in his words. He means it.

Then there's "In Dino Veritas" where after being absent for most of the episode, Quinn reappears and starts looking around the cave the sliders have been trapped in. The sliders regarded the cave with helplessness and fear. Quinn looks around and sees points of egress and opportunity to escape, each look granting him new information to put together a solution and a plan with Jerry performing Quinn's calculation and problem solving in silent perfection.

Quinn's truth is in looking at people and their surroundings and seeing their meaning, value, purpose and importance -- and I suspect that this is not Jerry's truth as much as it's John Rhys-Davies' truth which he imparted to Jerry as his unofficial acting coach.

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Has anyone ever seen the Netflix show Sense8?

I finished season 2 and the finale movie last week.  It's a really interesting show in that I'm not sure if it's great or if it tries too hard.  There's definitely some cool action sequence (it is the Wachowskis after all), but the mechanics of how the sensates work don't make a lot of sense and isn't consistent.  And I'm not sure they accomplished the kind of world-building that I think they wanted to do.  But visually, at times, the show looked great.  Even when the show would devolve into huge orgies, making me uncomfortable whenever I tried to watch on my iPad at the gym smile

Anyone else watch this?  Curious to know others' thoughts.

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I haven't seen SENSE8 yet, but I'll get to it. I'm a big fan of writer J. Michael Straczynski's comic books (SPIDER-MAN, THOR, MIDNIGHT NATION, RISING STARS, THE TWILIGHT ZONE, SUPERMAN EARTH ONE) and I liked BABYLON 5. I miss his comic book work; his output had slowed to a crawl for many years and then he admitted that he'd been going blind, making it hard to write, but an experimental surgery restored his sight and then he felt the need to move on from comics and film and move into prose. I'm not clear if he's staying in movies or TV.

**

I like to watch XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS and Nickelodeon's NINJA TURTLES on my iPad in the gym. The intense physicality of those shows gets me energized. I also liked watching TOMB RAIDER (2018).

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How essential is it to watch the classics when it comes to television?

My niece was intrigued by THE X-FILES and BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, both of which were important and vital fantasy shows. But is there anything either show has to offer in terms of storytelling (ongoing mythology, progressive character development) that isn't done with a more skillful touch in SUPERNATURAL and SHADOWHUNTERS? It's not because TXF and BVS were poor; later shows learned from where previous shows stumbled while growing from their strengths. I adore THE FLASH TV series on the CW but have only ever been able to struggle through two episodes of the 90s show.

Shows like THE PRISONER, BABYLON 5 and the 60s STAR TREK and DOCTOR WHO are a fascinating form of televised theatre and stand the test of time as a compelling artifact, but it is really hard to get through MACGYVER or MATLOCK in a post-CSI era.

NINJA TURTLES has had so many incarnations -- but I really can't recommend that a potential new fan read the unreadable Mirage comics or delve into the childish and repetitive and clumsy 80s - 90s animated series and the 2003 series is rather dour and slow and the movies are extremely mixed. Really, the best incarnation to watch is the 2012 Nickelodeon CG series which is visually up to date and picks the strongest elements of all previous versions.

What are the classics we can't miss and the classics we should feel free to skip? It's hard to recommend that anyone watch SLIDERS when FRINGE is available and on blu-ray; it's tough to send anyone to DAWSON'S CREEK when we've got RIVERDALE -- newer isn't always better, but older isn't always relevant.

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I'm watching Man in the High Castle on Amazon Prime.  I loved the book, and I think the show is just okay.  Spoilers for Season 3 if you're watching it too.

But the book dealt with parallel universes.  Not just in the fact that it took place in one but characters in the book were capable of traveling from their world to one where the Nazis lost the war.  The show expands on this quite a bit with more "travelers".  But season 3 moves to the idea that the Nazis want to conquer other worlds.

My problem with this is my problem with the Kromaggs.  Even if the Nazis could build a machine to travel between worlds, and even if they had the complete element of surprise...how do you even go about conquering an entire planet?  The Nazis won World War II with the help of the Japanese.  In the show, they're potentially going to be in a fight with the Japanese.

I don't know how they have the manpower to think they can take over an entire world *and* fight a war at home.  I think it's an idea that sounds scary on paper, but it's something that would be almost impossible to pull off...even once.  Let alone "the Nazis conquer the multiverse"

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Update to my last post -

They actually referenced the absurdity of the plan in the episode, blaming it on fascist megalomania.  They also made it fairly clear the plan wouldn't really work even if they wanted it to.

So props to them on that.

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After 20+ years, I finally watched Babylon 5. Started it earlier in the summer and just finished it yesterday. I wanted to know where I stood with the whole DS9/B5 debate, even though I'm not a JMS fan at all.


My thoughts:

The whole idea that DS9 ripped anything off is BS. The shows have some vague similarities, but nothing that looks as though anyone from DS9 had access to a B5 show bible and copied stuff. Some of the similarities wouldn't have even been in the early plans for B5 because they came about after major cast shakeups and changes in direction.

I think this scandal was probably great publicity for JMS and his show, so he ran with it. Ultimately, there isn't anything there.

The show itself was okay. Not great, not horrible. The writing could have benefitted from some more polishing most of the time. It wasn't horrible, but it didn't change my world at all. Season 1 was boring. Seasons 2 and 3 were the best. Season 4 was kind of a mess, and kept resolving the series prematurely (I understand why, but I'm just judging what's on screen now). Season 5 was a waste of my time, and the actual series finale (filmed a year before) felt like it could have remained a "lost episode" without much harm. The second to last episode actually felt more like the end (as did a few episodes in season 4, for that matter)

Overall, B5 is okay. I still like DS9 better, but that's to be expected, since I've been a DS9 fan for decades. But I just liked the vibe of DS9 more. I liked the cast and the interactions more. I liked the arcs more. But I acknowledge that DS9 had a huge Star Trek foundation to work with, and more money, etc. It had advantages going in.

I don't think it really has to be as either/or as fans have made this debate over the years. They're different shows. Nobody stole anything. There's no need for animosity of any kind. JMS is still not my favorite person or my favorite writer. I think he's highly overrated, but there's really not much to get worked up about here.

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I agreed with Informant on this, so I'm either having a mid-life crisis or I'm sick. (I am a bit feverish.) The only real point of disagreement -- BABYLON 5 was excellent in the era in which it was made where shows that attempted ongoing arcs, political allegory, social satire and character development tended to end up like, well, SLIDERS. Since then, the highly advanced stage theatre of the show has aged poorly and it's a product of its time.

It's strange -- Informant has actually seen more of B5 than I have, which is to say I watched maybe four episodes of the final season and then skipped ahead to the finale and have never felt the need to watch what I missed.

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Wait... I didn't have to watch season 5 in order to get my B5 street creds? Why didn't I know this before?!

I think that the show was a part of sci-fi television's evolution for sure. It, along with DS9 and The X-Files, showed that the longer arcs could succeed, and science fiction tv didn't need to be a shallow way to pass a lazy Saturday afternoon.

That said, I don't think that I would have considered the show great, even back in that time. While a lot of the show's ideas were interesting, the execution of those ideas was often sloppy. This isn't something that can be blamed on budgets or limitations of technology. It was about the decisions being made. Some of the show's huge weaknesses can he chalked up to uncertainty regarding its renewal. But many smaller cracks in the overall structure were just bad construction.

No show is perfect. Ultimately, it comes down to personal tastes and whether or not the good outweighs the bad. I don't feel like I wasted my time watching the show, but I don't think that I would feel a need to recommend the show to others, the way I would with shows that really inspire me or get me excited.

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https://tvline.com/2018/11/07/the-4400- … es-the-cw/

I really liked the 4400.  Not sure it would've made sense to do a sequel series, but I'm interested in a reboot.

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The CW needs to stop rebooting shows.

I'm not sure that The 4400 needs a reboot. Networks do similar shows all the time, and they really never work out.

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There is a certain hypocrasy in my protesting fans being obsessively pedantic, but one area of fandom that deeply annoys me -- the arguments over canonicity in spinoff materials. In this case, I'm referring to the BUFFY and ANGEL comics set after the shows ended their runs. For reasons too stupid to contemplate, comic book publisher Dark Horse only bothered to license BUFFY from FOX to do their SEASON 8 - 12 storylines. As a result, rival publisher IDW snapped up ANGEL. Joss Whedon wrote the initial issues of the BUFFY comics before having other writers come in to execute stories with his oversight.

With ANGEL -- well, they initially started with publishing stories that were set either during the run of the series or some unspecified time after, but then Whedon enjoyed the SPIKE: ASYLUM mini-series by writer Brian Lynch that he asked IDW to have Lynch script Whedon's plots for a comic book season of ANGEL. The first 17 issues were based on Whedon's outlines, at which point Whedon had to devote most of his attention to BUFFY and TV and film work and IDW's ANGEL line fell off his radar. IDW moved on and hired noted comic book writer Bill Willingham to take over ANGEL's monthly comic. The IDW line neither acknowledged nor contradicted the Dark Horse BUFFY comics.

But then a development arose: the villain of Dark Horse's BUFFY: SEASON 8 was revealed to be Angel. Fans were confused: how did this tie into the IDW ANGEL comics? Was Dark Horse ignoring IDW? As if to fan the flames, ANGEL writer Bill Willingham declared that he had never consulted with Whedon or Dark Horse, that he had no idea what was going on in their comics and he had no intention of coordinating with them whatsoever. Dark Horse fans started jeering that the IDW comics were not canon; IDW fans were hurt at their patronage being dismissed, BUFFY and ANGEL fans in general were very confused.

IDW editor Chris Ryall explained in an interview that Willingham had spoken without discussing the situation with his editors first. Ryall clarified: the ANGEL series was set immediately after Season 5 of ANGEL whereas the BUFFY comics were set several years after Season 5. Therefore, ANGEL's comics had plenty of time to catch up with the events of the Dark Horse comics. In addition, Ryall was certainly reading the Dark Horse comics and editing Willingham's material to avoid contradictions. When asked about canonicity, Ryall said he didn't see it that way: he was producing stories that explored ANGEL's concepts and characters, but he did note that characters who had appeared in pre-Whedon ANGEL comics had appeared in the 17 issues Whedon had overseen at Whedon's request.

The Dark Horse BUFFY comics later revealed that Angel had not become evil; he was pretending to be a villain to keep other villains away from Buffy and he made vague reference to the events of the IDW comics. In addition, Dark Horse granted IDW a special dispensation to use the character of Willow in an ANGEL comic storyline and Willow's guest-appearance reflected her SEASON 8 situation, a gesture to assure fans that IDW and Dark Horse were working together. Bill Willingham, however, was unapologetic for his behaviour and quit the ANGEL series in mid-storyline. Other writers finished his arcs.

Eventually, Dark Horse renegotiated with FOX and licensed ANGEL as well, conceding that their initial contracts had been shortsighted. IDW wrapped up their ANGEL arcs in a grand finale and Angel returned in Dark Horse's ANGEL AND FAITH series which made vague references to the events of the IDW series but wisely didn't tie itself too closely to those developments as those comics would potentially not stay in print. In addition, ANGEL & FAITH featured Angel in London, England -- the LA events weren't relevant to the specific stories at hand. Nothing in ANGEL & FAITH contradicted IDW.

Despite this -- the vast majority of BUFFY and ANGEL comic fans declare that the IDW stories are not canon and constantly attack the very good work in those stories as immaterial and unworthy. This despite the fact that IDW and Dark Horse coordinated their material, that Spike guest-starred in SEASON 8 reflecting his IDW characterization just as Willow reflected her Dark Horse characterization. Writer Brian Lynch is regularly mocked for featuring his original IDW characters in the Whedon-plotted IDW issues despite doing so at Whedon's request.

There has not  been a single point of contradiction between the ANGEL stories published by IDW and the BUFFY and ANGEL stories published by Dark Horse. And the motivation for this dismissal towards ANGEL's first post-show series is simply the cult of personality surrounding Joss Whedon and his lack of involvement with the latter-era IDW material has many readers arguing that it is automatically inferior. It's a really ugly side of fandom.

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As a big fan of Buffy, I offer a third option... None of the comics are canon. The Buffy comics were horrible on every level. Even worse than the final season of the TV series. So in my head, the comics don't exist. I don't care if Joss was involved. He went nuts and I don't have to buy into everything he says.

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I’m okay with this so long as you apply your view of the comics’ canonicity to ALL the comics in entirety. That’s at least consistent and reasoned and fair across the board.

215 (edited by RussianCabbie_Lotteryfan 2019-01-06 23:47:04)

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One of the guys who wrote those comics is actually a showrunner now for Fear the Walking Dead.  And previously he was with that ABC fantasy one about all the disney characters.  The name escapes me.  So there was some talent behind it but I guess it wasn't everyone's cup of tea.

edit: Once Upon A Time

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Andrew Chambliss is the showrunner you're referring to. He's a good writer. Not to denigrate Informant, but overall, the reception to the post-show BUFFY and ANGEL comics have been very warm. ANGEL #1 - 17 sold well and drew rave reviews as did the SPIKE spin-offs. The first 3/4 of BUFFY: SEASON 8 was a smash hit, the latter end was acknowledged by Whedon himself as having gotten away from him. ANGEL #18 - 22 were universally panned and #23 - 44 had very mixed reviews. The subsequent BUFFY series and ANGEL & FAITH series under the SEASONS 9 - 11 banner were well-received; the SEASON 12 finale of four issues also got very good reviews.

It reminds me a bit of the virtual seasons of SLIDERS except where each virtual season of SLIDERS existed in opposition and contradiction as unofficial products, the Buffyverse comics were sanctioned and the Dark Horse line had the involvement of the series creators and some of the actors throughout.

Like any comic book series, the BUFFY and ANGEL comics had their ups and downs. The main problem with the comics -- if you consider it a problem -- is the same problem with THE X-FILES comic books, with SLIDERS REBORN, with STAR WARS and STAR TREK novels and with most post-series media tie-ins: they are oriented towards fans. The Dark Horse BUFFY comics are about the mythology of the Slayers; the IDW ANGEL comics are very much about the mythology of Wolfram and Hart's plans for the apocalypse and Angel.

In contrast, the BUFFY TV show was about what it was like to be clueless in high school and the ANGEL TV show was about Angel as the world's oldest college graduate (as Angel after nearly three centuries of life had accumulated quite the mastery of languages, history, theology, [magical] engineering and warfare but was deeply isolated). The BUFFY and ANGEL comics did not have the wide thematic resonance of a general audience TV show and that's going to rub certain audience members the wrong way because the priorities are very different.

Buffy in the TV show was a small-town vigilante; Buffy in the SEASON 8 comics was commanding a global army. The Buffyverse felt adjacent to our world on TV, but the comics were clearly a superhero(esque) universe.

The BUFFY and ANGEL comics were prone to the absurdities of superhero comic books and that can also alienate some of the audience. The (non-immortal) characters stopped aging, remaining a year or two older than their final TV appearances even as time moved forward. Los Angeles became a hell dimension for a season. Vampires became exposed to the general public with Harmony becoming a reality TV star. Angel became a celebrity supernatural investigator and had a movie made about him.

There's also stuff that could never have happened on TV within production limits and censor restrictions. Angel got a pet dragon (the one he tried to kill in the ANGEL finale until he realized the dragon was a benign creature under mind control) and named the dragon Cordelia. That's unaffordable for TV. Giles was killed off and resurrected as a pre-teen child which wouldn't have ever happened on TV because you'd alienate the actor. Angel moved Angel Investigations to London, England, also unaffordable for an LA production. Wesley returned as a ghost, but was permanently killed off after the first 17 issues of the IDW series, but I can't see that happening on TV without Alexis Denisoff wanting to leave. Angel had threeway sex with Kate Lockley and a lady werewolf (due to Illyria's telepathy going haywire). Buffy had sex with a woman a few times and Informant had a stroke over it. Dawn became a giant.

But there's also stuff that would have been inevitable had the TV shows continued. The epic scale of the Dark Horse BUFFY comics became, at least for me, unrelatably distant from reality by the end of SEASON 8. SEASON 8 ended with magic being (mostly) removed from Earth and the Slayer line 'ending' in that all the awakened Slayers would remain but going forward, there would only be one per generation once again instead of a global army. The Slayers collectively rejected Buffy and Buffy became a semi-normal woman working in a coffee shop who hunted vampires after hours.

In a text piece in the final SEASON 8 issue and in interviews, Whedon admitted that being the general of an army was not something many young women were dealing with in their lives and he'd taken Buffy too far from normalcy. Also, Fred came back to life. That was always in the cards.

SEASONS 9 - 10 were good (I haven't read 11 - 12 yet), but suffered from having lost the Sunnydale location. Because Whedon was overseeing the Dark Horse comics as the lead writer and working with a team of writers on each issue, there's a coherence and focus and a unified voice to the Dark Horse run that the IDW comics couldn't match.

The IDW run of ANGEL had an excellent opening arc of 17 issues with various spin-offs that showed how after ANGEL's finale, Wolfram and Hart had sent Los Angeles to hell, cut it off from the rest of the world and had Angel depowered and dealing with the fallout. Issues #18 - 44, however, were a very mixed bag. After the first story-arc, a new writer, Kelly Armstrong took over only to leave abruptly after five issues, leading to her plots being abruptly truncated and dismissed.

The subsequent writer, Bill Willingham, also left prematurely, due to his anger towards Dark Horse using the Angel character. His arcs were wrapped up by another writer in yet another confusing and muddled conclusion. The subsequent writers, David Tischman and Mariah Huehner, were also suddenly cut short by FOX relocating the ANGEL license to Dark Horse.

It's strange: the majority of these issues are actually fantastic! Angel becomes a public figure and adored as the hero who saved all of LA from hell. Angel starts working with the city to police the supernatural. Angel is kidnapped by a corporation seeking to sell immortality. Angel is sent to the future in which Wolfram and Hart rule the world. But each of these arcs ends with an incoherent concluding issue where the writer who originated these plots is suddenly out the door and a multi-issue finale is now one installment.

However, the IDW run did a finale YEARBOOK issue that offered some nice notes of closure to the run as a whole. Also, there were several SPIKE mini-serieses that were excellent. IDW's ANGEL #18 - 44 are regarded by many fans as non-canon because Whedon only worked on #1 - 17, but there's a lot in #18 - 44 that are worthwhile from Kate Lockley's role to Connor joining Angel Investigations. The ANGEL & FAITH comic has built on some of that, so it is bizarre to me that Whedon fans insist that the Dark Horse comics are ignoring them.

Most of the comics have some artistic difficulties at the outset. Every time a new artist starts drawing Angel, they seem to draw on publicity photos either from Season 1 when David Boreanaz was lean and trim and youthful or from Season 5 in which Boreanaz is heavily muscled and more weathered. After a few issues, the artist finds a midpoint where they draw Boreanaz at a midpoint -- in which case the publisher might as well stipulate that Angel is to be drawn as Boreanaz in Season 3 which is where the artists end up anyway.

Every once in awhile, there will be a cover or a page where an artist uses a reference photo that's from a different year than what's used for the rest of the issue. It's distracting. The likenesses for the other characters are generally consistent except that occasionally, artists accustomed to drawing well-endowed superheroines give Buffy, Faith and Willow the wrong proportions. Thankfully, Dawn and Fred have avoided this.

Anyway. There was a very devoted readership to the Dark Horse and IDW comics with a run that spanned from 2007 to 2018 and you don't get an ELEVEN YEAR run of comic books in this extremely meager publishing market without being extremely successful. Readers should, of course, form their own opinions and it is perfectly valid for Informant to say that the BUFFY and ANGEL comics weren't good, but the Buffyverse comics were a massive hit, a sales spectacular and sorely missed by their adoring readers.

The only reason SEASON 12 is the last one is because FOX decided to move the license from Dark Horse to a publisher called BOOM! (as FOX owns a share of the latter but nothing of the former). A new licensee generally cannot make use of material created by the previous licensee (although IDW and Dark Horse were gracious enough to do so), so BOOM! is doing a modern day comic book reboot of the property.

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I can't speak for the Angel comics. The Angel series lost sight of its mission pretty early on and was a stinking mess of a series. I usually pretend that series never happened, and that Cordelia just escaped Sunnydale and lived happily ever after.

But the Buffy comics simply weren't Buffy. The themes weren't there. The storytelling style was completely different. The characters weren't themselves. Nothing about the continuation that I read felt like Buffy at all. And this wasn't just a difference in platforms, because other Buffy comics were great. And no matter how well the comics sold, I know a large portion of the TV fandom that rejected it.

The beautiful thing about all of this is that none of it is real. We can process this material however we please. I reject a season and a half of the actual series, because it was crap. When I'm feeling charitable, I acknowledge the whole series, but use my own season 8 to repair the damage in my own mind. I still enjoy Supernatural, but consider the original series to have ended with season 5, and each showrunner's stretch to be its own sequel. Arrow ended with season 2. The Flash/Supergirl musical never happened. The X-Files revival consisted of only a few episodes, each set in a different universe, unrelated to the original series.

I was randomly reading my first Buffy season 8 script the other day, because I was sitting in a car by myself for a long time and got bored, and I'd been reading this thread. Aside from some spelling/grammar problems, and maybe a few lines that I might revise if I had another pass at it, I found that I still enjoyed that script. I'm just going to choose to buy into the version that brings me joy, and ignore the one that has Dawn as a centaur, and Buffy and Angel destroying scenery while having flying/orbital sex. smile

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I think forming your own personal canon is very reasonable. SLIDERS is special in that all SLIDERS fan fiction is canon, even the one where Quinn and Wade have a fight for no reason and Wade gets shot in a robbery and Quinn writes and sings her a song to help her recover (try to imagine Jerry O'Connell singing). The STAR TREK novel fans are currently upset that a new Captain Picard series will ignore all the post-NEMESIS novels, to which I'd note that the novels continue to exist to be read and enjoyed regardless of whether or not the new series deals with them. The X-FILES comics were much more respectful of the mythology than the TV show and offered something of a conclusion to the myth-arc and I think most people who read it choose that over "My Struggle IV."

I quite like Informant's BUFFY scripts. I wouldn't compare them to the BUFFY comics; I wouldn't even consider them in opposition as much as heading in opposite directions.

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Informant wrote:

I'm just going to choose to buy into the version that brings me joy, and ignore the one that has Dawn as a centaur, and Buffy and Angel destroying scenery while having flying/orbital sex. smile

Oh, my.

Earth Prime | The Definitive Source for Sliders™

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I recently re-read all the post-show BUFFY and ANGEL comics from Dark Horse and IDW. On the whole, they were quite good with some tremendous ups and a few startling lows. They offered a nice continuation in a different medium that originated from two shows that ended just fine as they were. However, they left me with the impression that Whedon doesn't give a crap about ANGEL as a series.

Any Buffyverse comic reader should start with the ANGEL comics from IDW which are set before the BUFFY comics. ANGEL: AFTER THE FALL does a great job of following up on the Season 5 ending with Los Angeles and Angel Investigations plunged into hell. It's a great situation that brings Wesley back as an unwilling liaison between Wolfram & Hart and Angel.

The LA in hell setting feels like a new status quo to the point where the inevitable reversal is a little disappointing. The first 17 issues of the ANGEL series are a great success, but what follows is a mixed bag between three different writing teams with every different dialogue styles. Joss Whedon was not supervising IDW's output and the stories are somewhat schizophrenic, although the conclusion with #44 and the YEARBOOK is actually quite satisfying. A wobbly flight that sticks the landing.

BUFFY: SEASON 8 is from Dark Horse and completely under Whedon's supervision (with multiple writers executing his direction). It starts out beautifully. The global adventures of Buffy and her army of Slayers are splendid and full of Whedon's trademark humour and darkness. However, around the 3/4 mark, when the Slayers start unleashing Indian gods and Buffy and Angel are having orbital sex and procreating new universes, the epic scale starts to muddle the characterization. Angel is possessed by a parallel universe and kills Giles, a moment that's so unclear and confused that it doesn't land at all.

From this awkward conclusion, however, a great status quo is set up for SEASON 9. We have the BUFFY series where Buffy is trying to rebuild her new life in disgrace and failure while coping with how due to the cataclysm of Season 8, all magic is gone from reality. It's a grounded, back to basics season with some excellent character arcs. The real standout, however, is ANGEL AND FAITH, in which Angel seeks to redeem himself for Giles' death by completing every pursuit and mission that Giles ever left unfinished.

The arc of Angel and Faith tracing Giles' path through life is beautiful for both characters. Writer Christos Gage gives vivid definition to their sweet and platonic friendship that was hinted at on TV but never fully realized due to Eliza Dushku being a guest-star. Gage's snappy dialogue and masterful control of pacing and tone leads to a spectacular conclusion. He seemed to out-Whedon Whedon in converting Whedon's chatty, conversational writing into the comic book format and do so far better than any other writer in SEASON 8.

As a result, Whedon moved Gage off ANGEL AND FAITH to write the main BUFFY series in SEASON 10 and Gage brings the same excellence to BUFFY with the gang restoring magic to Earth but now struggling to work out all the new rules.

Unfortunately, ANGEL AND FAITH suffers in SEASON 10 from losing Gage. Gage's successor, Victor Gischler, doesn't write like Gage and also doesn't write like Whedon. Gischler's dialogue is subtle and minimal where Gage and Whedon are bombastic. Gischler's pacing is slow and deliberate where Gage and Whedon are driven and speedy. Gischler's humour is low-key and thoughtful where Gage and Whedon go for belly laughs.

It's weird: ANGEL AND FAITH (S9) was illustrated by Rebekah Issacs who created more cartoony approximations of Angel and Faith, but her body language and Gage's dialogue made them seem so much themselves that it didn't matter. ANGEL AND FAITH (S10) is drawn by Will Conrad who has a very photorealistic approach to likenesses, and yet, these note-perfect renderings of Angel and Faith feel like comic book approximations. Gischler is a subtle writer and Whedon's style and characters weren't built for subtlety. Gischler is a good writer, but he's the wrong writer for this book.

SEASON 8's 40 issues of BUFFY had numerous writers, but on every issue, Joss Whedon was credited as "Executive Producer." Even though Whedon didn't write all 40 scripts, all 40 issues feel like they're by the same team of voices if not a single voice. Whedon was rewriting and polishing all the scripts for SEASON 8 and SEASON 9. In contrast, SEASON 10's ANGEL AND FAITH has nothing of Whedon's voice despite the same Executive Producer credit.

Gischler revealed in an interview that he had no contact with Whedon for SEASON 10, only editors who'd spoken with Whedon. It looks to me like Whedon, busy with AGE OF ULTRON at the time, had been about as involved with ANGEL AND FAITH as he was with AGENTS OF SHIELD (barely if at all) and he either devoted his time to editing BUFFY or BUFFY as written by Gage didn't even need Whedon.

SEASON 11 is another year where Whedon's involvement seems low; Christos Gage wrote a 12 issue BUFFY arc where supernatural beings are being rounded up into camps. Over in ANGEL (without Faith), Angel and Illyria/Fred were sent into a time travel adventure; their 12 issues would not interact with the BUFFY situation at all. The BUFFY storyline was relevant, tense, taut and Gage's excellence shined with or without Whedon who didn't seem to promote this run of comics much.

In contrast, ANGEL in SEASON 11 as written by Corinna Behko had none of the TV show's quick wit or humour and the time travel storyline had Angel and Illyria visiting points in their history and avoiding any time-altering behaviour -- which led to the story-arc being a meandering, pointless affair. The tail-end of this 12 issue arc led to Angel revisiting the night he became a vampire and murdered his father and sister, but putting this emotional situation at the end left no space to fully explore it.

There was also a romance between Angel and Illyria/Fred that could have been a fascinating exploration of ANGEL's polyamorous nature (already established on TV with Darla and Drusilla) -- but compressed to an issue and a half, it was sudden, unearned and underdeveloped.

In interviews, Behko said that she received instructions to sideline the Angel character from BUFFY's stories through a time travel plot and that she worked primarily with her editor to devise arcs based on this mandate-- which indicates at least to me that Whedon had next to nothing to do with the SEASON 11 ANGEL series.

Looking back, Whedon has often seemed distant from ANGEL. In Seasons 1 -- 3, producer David Greenwalt ran the show and Whedon was more focused on BUFFY. In Season 4, Greenwalt moved on and Tim Minear took over as showrunner as Whedon's attention was on FIREFLY. With Season 5, Jeffrey Bell was showrunner.

I get the sense Whedon wasn't involved with ANGEL on a day to day basis. Despite promoting the Season 5 finale, Whedon didn't even fully write the ANGEL series finale or direct it, leaving both to Jeffrey Bell. Actor Vincent Kartheiser (Connor) said that he barely saw Whedon on set during Kartheiser's time in Season 4.

Whedon had perpetually stepped back from ANGEL, letting Greenwalt, Minear, Bell and Boreanaz control the character and series. With the ANGEL comics, Whedon was hands-off again. He gave direction for BUFFY; he gave none to ANGEL aside from taking away the best writer ANGEL ever had and moving him to BUFFY.

This has me thinking that while Whedon created and understands the Angel character, he doesn't have a strong sense of the ANGEL series. This is reflected in how the theme in Season 1 of helping individual guest-stars fell away in Season 2 as newcomer Tim Minear pushed for more of a myth-arc focused on the regular cast. This is seen in Season 4 when Angel went from a moody twentysomething to a gregarious team dad or in Season 5 when he ran a law firm.

None of these directions are wrong; they just reflect how Whedon himself didn't seem committed to any particular route. In SEASON 10, the ANGEL comic was blandly professional but lacking the strong individuality Gage brought to the title. SEASON 11's ANGEL comic was written to keep the character present in publishing but absent from BUFFY's arcs with global implications.

And for SEASON 12, there is no ANGEL series at all, only four issues of BUFFY published just before Dark Horse lost the BUFFY license. This is the finale. Christos Gage is credited with the scripts; he and Whedon share credit for the story. Whedon communicated in interviews that he was a co-writer on this one and Gage confirmed that he and Joss would agree on a plot, Gage would write the script and Whedon would revise it before it went to the artist.

SEASON 12 folds Angel back into the BUFFY cast as a supporting character. And this finale series is a great piece of work, putting a lovely bow on both the ANGEL and BUFFY saga and confronting the dark future that was shown in the FRAY mini-series which foretells death and destruction for Buffy and all her friends.

Angel has a beautiful S12 moment where Buffy, Angel and friends travel to the future and learn how the final battle between Slayers and demons played out. The future records that all Slayers lose their powers and Buffy sacrifices herself driving all demons off Earth and into hell. This leads to the future in FRAY where Slayers have been gone for centuries and what demons are present are too weak to be any serious threat. Buffy accepts her fate, but Angel refuses to play along with how history is written, declaring that he intends to fight the battle, defeat the demons *and* save the Slayers. He's spent most of his life being told to follow his destiny and all it ever did was make him realize the value of free will.

Gage and Whedon co-wrote these issues, so I'm not sure who's responsible for what, but Angel truly came alive again as a warrior surrounded by adult children, his taciturn pseudo-militarism a delightful contrast to the goofiness of Buffy, Xander, Willow, Dawn and Spike. It either confirms how vital Gage was to ANGEL -- or it suggests that Whedon fully grasps how to write Angel as a supporting character but can't wrap his head around Angel as a leading man.

It's sad that the BUFFY comic got veteran Buffyverse writers while the ANGEL comic seemed to get less experienced talent. The BUFFY title got Whedon himself and he brought in BUFFY TV staffers Drew Goddard, Drew Greenberg, Steven S. DeKnight, Jane Espenson and top comic talent like Jim Kreuger, Brad Meltzer and Brian K. Vaughan and then Andrew Chambliss (who went on to run ONCE UPON A TIME).

However, with ANGEL, Whedon selected Brian Lynch to write the IDW series because Whedon had read and enjoyed Lynch's SPIKE comics as opposed to anything specific to ANGEL. For SEASON 9, it was Dark Horse editor Scott Allie who selected Christos Gage, a Marvel Comics writer with no Buffyverse experience, to write ANGEL. When Gage proved successful, Whedon moved Gage to writing BUFFY for SEASONS 10 -- 12, a promotion that made it seem like Whedon didn't consider ANGEL worthy of Gage's time and talent -- or maybe Whedon didn't really understand ANGEL well enough to make decisions for its benefit.