March 2004 posts

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Spike recognising Angel ('School Hard' and 'Why We Fight') -- Abby, 14:25:56 03/07/04 Sun

Thanks to a birthday gift of the Spike character collection dvd (saving the Faith one for when I can truely revel) I was rewatching 'School Hard'. Aside from the 'You were my sire' major flaw, I was wondering how Spike 'recognised' Angel was Angelus no more, when he had spent a lot of time in close proximity on the submarine without suspecting the same. Was it that by 'School Hard' Spike had heard it on the vampire grapvine that Angelus was cursed with a soul? Or was it a flaw in the AtS writing?



[> Re: Spike recognising Angel ('School Hard' and 'Why We Fight') -- Pip, 08:16:36 03/08/04 Mon

Well, 'you were my sire' wasn't a major flaw when School Hard was written [grin]. It was long after that episode that they decided it would be more interesting for Spike's character and storyline if he was sired by Drusilla.

The retconning that was done was to say that a vampire might refer to anyone in their 'sire line' as a 'sire'. Angel is in Spike's sire line (as grandsire), so Spike might use 'sire' when he wants to emphasise that this is a major betrayal.

AtS this season has emphasised (IMO) that Angel is Spike's sire in every way but the purely technical. It seems to have been Angelus, not Drusilla, who trained Spike in vampire ways. He's a grandsire who acted as if he were the sire, so it's not surprising Spike would call him 'sire' when feeling betrayed.

I don't think Spike would suspect that Angel was 'good' on the sub. It seems to be Darla who hates souls in themselves - Spike and Dru seem to go by Angel's behaviour, not his soul. In the sub, Angel's arguments for not killing the human crew are perfectly sensible vampire-logic (we need them to get to land). Destroying the Nazi plans for controlling vampires is also good vampire-logic.

In School Hard there's no reason for Angel to have kept Xander unbitten (first clue) and Angel lets slip that he already knows the Slayer - but Spike has heard no stories of Angelus being in Sunnydale and killing (second clue). So his behaviour is wrong, in a way that it wasn't on the sub.

The caveman and the astronaut continued. Fred as the astronautÖsort of.Spoilers and spec from Shells -- morgain, 15:44:14 03/07/04 Sun

Something about Fredyria's dialogue has been bothering me. Up until the scene with Wes in Fred's lab, near the end of the episode, she speaks just like you would expect an Old One to speak. Illyria uses words and phrases like:

"You would presume to speak my nameÖ"
"Ö you have grown bold."
"It's like offal in my mouth."
[come on now, when was the last time YOU heard someone use the word "offal" in conversation?]
"The carcass is bound to meÖ"

Really, you can hear the anachronistic speech patterns in her dialogueÖ But suddenly towards the end in Fred's lab Illyria says

"Yet there are fragments. When her brain collapsed, electrical spasms channeled into my function system memories."


Since when did an Old One know about "function systems"? This sounded very "computerese" to me, so I looked it up.


Definition: A class of fractals that yield natural-looking forms like ferns or snowflakes. Iterated Function Systems use a very easy transformation that is done recursively.

Ah, fractalsÖ a link to FeigenbaumÖ Now since Shells I have been posting that Fred is within Illyria, and will become a fractal within her. I think we will find that as Illyria lives and walks in this world, and interacts with Wes, Fred's anchor to life, Fred's parts will assert themselves more and more as each experience [reiteration] changes Illyria. Like in the picture of the fractal below, her essence will infuse and change and shift Illyria's.

Someone at ASSB [truelove or leleÖ I am not sure who, so I apologize for forgetting] suggested that maybe Illyria was like a computer virus. That didn't quite sit right with me, since I think Fred is still there. Then I got to thinking, what if Fred had become, not a virus, but a computer worm.

Computer Worm (Definition)
Worms are very similar to viruses in that they are computer programs that replicate themselves and that often, but not always, contain some functionality that will interfere with the normal use of a computer or a program.
The difference is that unlike viruses, worms exist as separate entities; they do not attach themselves to other files or programs. A worm can spread itself automatically over the network from one computer to the next. Worms take advantage of automatic file sending and receiving features found on many computers.

Now in looking up this definition I came across the term "Trojan" in the same context which in computer talk is

Ö destructive program that masquerades as a benign application. Unlike viruses, Trojan horses do not replicate themselves but they can be just as destructive. One of the most insidious types of Trojan horse is a program that claims to rid your computer of viruses but instead introduces viruses onto your computer.

Now, as we know, the term comes from Homer's Iliad, in which the Greeks give a giant wooden horse to their foes, the Trojans, ostensibly as a peace offering. But after the Trojans drag the horse inside their city walls, Greek soldiers sneak out of the horse's hollow belly and open the city gates, and overrun the City of Troy, leading to its destruction.

Here we have another Greek reference. Illyria was an ancient kingdom in what is now the area of Greece that meets Albania. So I tried to find a connection between Troy and IllyriaÖ and voila!

Ancient Troy located bellow Hellenistic Daorson in Illyria
Following info is cementing even further the theory that Illyrians and the region of ancient Illyria (and pre-Illyria) was nothing more that one ancient Hellenic region for there is no doubt that Trojans were Hellenic to the core (gods, language, culture, civilization, etc.).

It is now clear that Trojans are direct ancestors of at least southern Illyrians (or close Vrygian cousins to Dardanians and Paeonians, it should be noted that Trojans called themselves as Dardans who descended from son of Zeus Dardanus.

The author notes that there was a migration from what is now modern day Turkey that is mentioned in ancient texts. Now Homer's Iliad mentions that the Trojans had allies fighting along side them at troy against the Greeks. These allies are named Dardanians and the Paeonians. There is a tribe of the same name Dardanians from Illyria. It is thought that these Illyrians either shared a kinship with the Trojans or were Trojans themselves since Dardanus was reputed to be a founder of Troy.

So I contend that Fred will actually function as a Trojan horse and defeat Illyria, by burrowing from the insideÖ asserting herself more and moreÖ taking over all of her "system functions" until none of Illyria is left.

Set and match to the astronaut...


[> Very interesting.. -- Jane, 15:59:35 03/07/04 Sun

Fascinating post, morgain. I love the idea of Fred as Trojan horse to Illyria. I noticed the change in speech pattern too, and it did make me believe that somewhere in Illyria Fred is lurking. Kind of like many of us do on this board! :) As we get more involved in the discussions, we delurk more often; my hope is that whatever in Illyria that is of Fred will become more involved and delurk too. BTW, I'm glad you delurked to do this. Made me think. I look forward to more from you!

[> [> I was just so amazed how this led such full circle... -- morgain, 16:09:11 03/08/04 Mon

I really didn't think when I started it there would be such a strong connection... that it would come directly back to Illyria.

It is almost as if the "astronaut" [linked to the computer, which was one of the BIG advances from the space program, along with Tang and Velcro ;-)] leads back to the "caveman" [ancient Illyria and Troy-- not quite prehistoric times, but ME does fudge on some of the details].

I can't believe this was all a coincidence...

[> Thanks! -- Masq, 16:07:55 03/07/04 Sun

Yep, we have a strong spoiler policy here, but I would never delete posts unless they're porn. ; )

And your ideas are very interesting! Thanks for sharing them.

[> Re: The caveman...spoilers -- Widget, 17:25:18 03/07/04 Sun

Interesting, but I think Fred is gone forever. Otherwise I agree with your theory. I think the last faint remnants of poor dead Fred will have an effect upon an old one who should have otherwise been evil, but its not the same as Fred actually being in there somewhere.

That I think, would cheapen the best Buffyverse death ever.

Memories and fragments contained in Illyria's shell that come from Fred that cause Illyria to be not so evil as she would have been does not mean Fred can ever come back.

Also, I think Illyria is NOT our big bad and so there is nothing to defeat from the inside out anyway.

Fred's just gone.

Instead, if there is something Trojan horsey going on, it is likely that this old one, influenced as it is by what was Fred, may just help team Angel fight the real big bad of this season. The old evil turning upon itself theme. But again, that happening in no way is contingent upon Fred somehow being alive and being able to take over her body.

Its kind of cooler if this old one just really picked the wrong shell to use and was impacted by it such that its personality was fundamentally altered.

Its like the time the Phoenix force made for itself a body using Jean Grey's cocooned form as a template physically and mentally--but it wasn't Jean Grey. She was in the bottom of New York harbor the whole time. But, cosmic entity that it was, it couldn't not destroy itself in order to save the universe becasue it was similar to Jean since it had used her to create its shell and in the process gained some of Jean's heroic traits like self-sacrifice.

That last point speaks to why something like Illyria could be influenced by Fred's memories and personality pattern (which I still contend does not necessarily in any way constitute proof that anything of Fred other than those memories and some character traits still exist). And also why an old one 'may' inadvertently become one of the good guys.

Which actually would mean that Fred and her soul didn't die for nothing. Which would be uber-cool. Less cool and much less powerful if its actually Fred reasserting herself..

[> [> Well, I think the point that.... speculation past Shells -- morgain, 16:17:13 03/08/04 Mon

she will act as an ally is a good one. I suspect that she will be involved with the unresolved issues of the mindwipe, which I think will cause Wes to go totally over the edge... he is teetering on that now.

Or, a more interesting scenario for me is that she is a warrior... a champion perhaps for the same kind of powers that the SPs represent. Angel is a champion for the PtBs. Both have shown little regard for humans... they are more interested in power or balancing games. It would be interesting if Illyria and Angel join forces to topple those two power bases and stand firmly for the humans, much as Angel did in Shells.

[> Re: The caveman and the astronaut Fred as the astronautÖsort of.Spoilers and spec from Shells -- Rufus, 17:39:23 03/07/04 Sun

"Yet there are fragments. When her brain collapsed, electrical spasms channeled into my function system memories."

I thought when I quoted that in a post that people would wonder what type of words were those for an Old One. That one line made me wonder what Illyria had become. There seems to be proof that the shell wasn't as empty as the term may indicate. By the end of the episode Illyria admitted that "she" felt uncertain and "she" sought out someone to help and was drawn to Wesley who admitted he may not be the best teacher available.

Ö destructive program that masquerades as a benign application. Unlike viruses, Trojan horses do not replicate themselves but they can be just as destructive. One of the most insidious types of Trojan horse is a program that claims to rid your computer of viruses but instead introduces viruses onto your computer.

The Cavemen became the Astronauts so who in fact would win when in some ways they are only fighting different forms of themselves as the astronaut is just an evolved form of a caveman. But Illyria isn't a Caveman or an Astronaut or is "she"? So the infection has an infection or a better way of saying it just may be...The Old One may have a new mind. Fred's memories have become entropy.

[> [> Re: The caveman and the astronaut Fred as the astronautÖsort of.Spoilers and spec from Shells -- heywhynot, 11:05:44 03/08/04 Mon

Fred's memories have not become entropy (disorder). Evidently that is what became of Fred's soul and innards. 52 cards spread around a room are more disordered than when they are in a stack together. Her memories are still there and ordered. They add a layer of complexity to predicting Illyria's actions, chaotic but not greater disorder, the butterfly affecting the world's weather patterns.

chaos theory:
Describes the complex and unpredictable motion or dynamics of systems that are sensitive to their initial conditions. Chaotic systems are mathematically deterministic-that is, they follow precise laws, but their irregular behavior can appear to be random to the casual observer.

[> [> [> The order within chaos... -- morgain, 16:23:57 03/08/04 Mon

Great point.

Fred's memories, experiences, stored feelings in her body [body memory], patterns in brain and body, and what Vygotsky called fossilized behavior [thinking patterns so automatic we are no longer aware of them] are all "downloaded" into Illyria... imposing the order on Illyria's feelings of lostness, isolation, purposelessness... her chaos.

[> [> [> Re: The caveman and the astronaut Fred as the astronautÖsort of.Spoilers and spec from Shells -- Rufus, 17:05:05 03/08/04 Mon

Fred's memories have not become entropy (disorder).

At this point in time, yes Fred is Entropy. That doesn't mean that Fred remains Entropy as the system achieves new order. Her memories are the starting point.

[> [> [> [> Re: The caveman and the astronaut Fred as the astronautÖsort of.Spoilers and spec from Shells -- heywhynot, 18:43:40 03/08/04 Mon

Fred is gone, she is not entropy. Her soul and innards were destroyed, whatever made them up are dispersed (more disordered). Her memories are still intact, the change in entropy (in reference to her memories) is around zero. Her memories are influencing Illyria. Illyria is not Fred. Illyria is a being unto herself but is now is in the process of integrating the memories of a human being. It adds a layer of complexity, changing the equation regarding Illyria such that her actions are not predictable based on what is known of the Old Ones. Illyria is not more disordered, she is still an ordered dynamic system (as is any living being) just more chaotic (don't know if that is the best way to put it, but hopefully people get my point).

[> [> [> [> [> Re: The caveman and the astronaut Fred as the astronautÖsort of.Spoilers and spec from Shells -- Rufus, 19:16:19 03/08/04 Mon

I use the term Fred to mean her memories and entropy to be a starting point to what Illyria will become. Illyria is no longer exactly what it was before (note that picture of the real Illyria) and the process of becoming will be the return of an order of a sort. Illyria is no longer the Illyria beloved and feared, and Fred as we know her is gone except for those few seeds she left.

Remember Darla from Inside Out in season four.......

CONNOR: You can't be my mother.

DARLA: I have her memories, her feelings. Isn't that what makes a person who they are?

What makes either Illyria or Fred what they are, is it their memories and feelings or the shell that they inhabit. Freds memories are like seeds for ideas, change. I bet that Illyria never considered that for one moment, content to think that a shell is just empty.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: The caveman and the astronaut Fred as the astronautÖsort of.Spoilers and spec from Shells -- heywhynot, 05:29:05 03/09/04 Tue

I agree with that though given the definition of entropy from physics/chemistry (measure of disorder), I would not use it to describe the starting point. Illyria that arose was not disordered. Her mind was highly ordered but like all life forms, she is a dynamic system that another layer of complexity has been added to (Fred's memories). As you said, it will change Illyria from the being she was (as will the shell itself, form and function after all). Fred's memories are a chaotic influence upon Illyria. She is the coming storm. Her nature is chaotic but it is highly ordered, the question is where does this hurricane hit land? Upon Angel & Gang? The Senior Partners? Humanity as a whole? A threat to be named later?

[> [> [> [> [> but her memories aren't intact -- anom, 09:42:20 03/10/04 Wed

Illyria tells Wes: "Yet there are fragments. When her brain collapsed, electrical spasms channeled into my function system memories."

Only fragments. Which fragments, we don't know, except for that one she plays back for Wes. "Electrical spasms" doesn't sound (to me, at least) like something that could carry anything near Fred's entire memory into Illyria's "function system." Even if those fragments do contains all of her memories, they're not intact. In fact, their going from a coherent whole to a fragmented state is a significant change in entropy.

Hmm, now I'm wondering if it was one of those fragments of Fred's memories that let Illyria recognize Wes's grief, rather than any previous knowledge of human emotion.

[> Re: The caveman and the astronaut continued. (spoilers Shells) -- Vickie, 09:49:54 03/08/04 Mon

Interesting post. Thanks for pointing out the Troy/Illyria connection, which I had forgotten. One other, very trivial thing:

"It's like offal in my mouth." [come on now, when was the last time YOU heard someone use the word "offal" in conversation?]

AND mispronounce it? I thought that was extremely odd, and couldn't make any sense of it at all. A little struggle betwixt the two personalities?

[> [> Re: The caveman and the astronaut continued. (spoilers Shells) -- Ann, 10:54:19 03/08/04 Mon

offal - noun: viscera and trimmings of a butchered animal often considered inedible by humans

but ironically chefs create the most gourmet of meals from this stuff - skin, tripe,liver, heart, brain, kidney, bladder and lungs. No waste here! The "guts" of a creature. The parts that keep an animal alive. It's *physical* essence perhaps.

I thought that the use of this word was perfectly in context with someone, an old one, who hadn't had a conversation in some years ;)I think this was another way of continueing the shell, container, submarine, space suit, Trojan horse, inner-outer lives of characters, holes/whole images this season. We were offal and now we are human. We are more than our "trimmings" and Illyria sees that we have evolved past that. A unintended backhanded compliment perhaps from someone who is coming to terms with the *physical* reality of her new world.

My first thought on hearing the word offal was of Jasmine who needed to eat people to exist and I thought Illyria may have had the same need. Yuck.

[> [> Re: The caveman and the astronaut continued. (spoilers Shells) -- LittleBit, 10:58:46 03/08/04 Mon

Initially, it really struck me that the word was mispronounced, but when I considered it two things occurred to me. First, that it was a very unusual word, as has been noted by several posters and second, that because the word is not common, pronouncing it correctly would lead to most people hearing the word "awful" and thinking that it made no sense. They just can't win, can they?

[> [> [> offal/awful, and not winning -- Vickie, 11:07:02 03/08/04 Mon

I don't know about that. The AtS viewers are pretty savvy folks (she says, winking and complimenting the room) and "It tastes like offal" is a little difficult to mistake for "It tastes awful," particularly given Illyria's antique speech patterns in that scene.

Probably some of us would have heard "offal" and some "awful," then Rufus would kindly post the quote something like thirty seconds after the show ended and we'd still be having this discussion.

Or not. "Oh-ful" jarred my ear. Your mileage apparently varies.

[> [> [> [> Re: offal/awful, and not winning -- LittleBit, 11:38:38 03/08/04 Mon

Oh, believe was very jarring. And I wasn't thinking of we savvy AtS viewers, but of those viewers that the WB expected to get (you know...because Spike is Teh Hot!) who may or may not even be aware of the more 'archaic' word.

Personally, I loved the use of the word, and wish they'd used the right pronunciation.

[> Re: The caveman and the astronaut continued. (Spoilers Shells) -- Pony, 12:30:10 03/08/04 Mon

Interesting! And it makes Fred's line that her power is to not be taken prophetic rather than ironic.

[> [> Yes.... -- morgain, 16:32:24 03/08/04 Mon

It also fits with the character of her favorite book, Sara Crewe... a little girl who never lost heart or hope, and through the force of her will, and a little kindness from a stranger, held on to her identity, and did not allow her "change in station" to bow her spirit.

Did not allow herself to be taken... "And this is my power: to not let them take me. Not me."

Wesley has become the best character of the entire Buffyverse -- Astonishing X-watier, 21:43:49 03/07/04 Sun


He went from nerd to the most hard-core hero that either show has ever seen.

Just like when Angel told him how he never really appreciated how Wesley was the one who always made the hard decisions.

He should be the guy in charge and not Angel (not that Angel is defective or anything--Wesley is just better than he is)

I would love to see a fight between Buffy and Wesley. He'd take her down in about 3 seconds (unless it was one of those bump into you on the street affairs where Wesley had no chance to plan--in which case he quickly becomes a pile of mush)...But if he knew he had to fight her, it'd be like how Batman can take Superman (and has) if he has a chance to plan for it.

Also, we've seen how well Buffy does against firearms, and so even the bump into on the street scenario could end badly for her.

He is becoming the Batman of the Buffyverse. I hope he survives the end of the show. More than any of the other characters.


[> Re: Wesley has become the best character of the entire Buffyverse -- buffyguy, 23:58:07 03/07/04 Sun

not because she is in part of my name, but i highly doubt that wes can take buffy in a fight. She has had 8 years of hardcore training, plus her innate powers that make her superior to regular humans, plus her training in various forms of fighting. Yes wes is a strapping, virile, lad and he can most probably take on a newbie like rona or kennedy but not buffy. She is way to smart and way too strong to lose to wes. The only person i can conceivably see gettin the best of buffy is MAYBE angel, but i think she could even take him, but not without a considerable fight, a la Becoming. If the "old watchers" made a girl strong enough to kill vampires and demons, i dont think a human would be much of a problem, even if he did have a chance to plan, casue i assume she's confronted every weapon and fight-style so she wouldnt be surprised.

[> [> this is an age old battle... -- Seven, 07:35:37 03/08/04 Mon

Who wins a fight between Batman and Superman? (Kinda like the Astronaut/Caveman scenario really) Some people (like myself) throw Spider-Man in the mix as well. Maybe to give Marvel a Champion or maybe because Spidey represents the alternative to the two extremes of Supes and Bats.

Here's how I always saw it. Batman beats Superman. Spiderman beats Batman and Superman beats Spiderman.

It takes a leap to not think linear in this situation. Many would think that if Batman can beat Superman and Spiderman can beat Batman, Spidey should be able to beat Superman. Not so.

Batman has proven at least twice now (in comics) that he can defeat Superman. I don't believe that Bats needs to really see the fight coming. The man is always prepared.

Spiderman can beat Bats because he's totally different. His powers are awkward and Spidey is fighting for because better reasons. I can't really explain that. The "responsibility" thing ways heavily on Parker and he is just as smart if not smarter than Wayne. His superior strength, speed, agility combined with his quick thinking would win the day.

Superman would defeat Spiderman because while Batman could come somewhat prepared (say bring some Kryptonyte with him) Spidey would have no idea. Spidey might realize that Supes is dependant of the sun and try to deduce a strategy to defeat him that way, but that, while logical, would be going down the wrong path (instead of finding Kryptonyte) and Supes would take him out while figuring out a way to block the sun (or something.)

So in all, this had nothing to do with Wes or Buffy but I would give Wes the benefit of the doubt. Anything can happen in the BV. the reason Wes would not be a favorite is because, while he has Batman like qualities, he is the shadow of Angel, another character with BM like qualities. So yeah, the star of one of the shows is the only person who would reallistically have a snowballs chance to win the fight. (ie, Angel or Buffy)


[> [> Wes & New Slayers -- Claudia, 08:34:24 03/08/04 Mon

"wes is a strapping, virile, lad and he can most probably take on a newbie like rona or kennedy but not buffy."

Considering that newbies like Rona and Kennedy were capable of taking on Bringers and Ubervamps; and were trained by both Buffy and Spike - I doubt that Wes would have a chance against them. Unless he shot them, first.

[> [> [> Re: Wes & New Slayers -- buffyguy, 09:25:11 03/08/04 Mon

yes...u r probably right...even a neonate slayer is more powerful than humans, so yeah, he'd have a tough time with them as well....and u just provved my point too...if they can take on "cavemen"-vamps (turok-han) then they'd have no problems slicing and dicing an englishman.

[> [> [> [> We're tougher than we look (and so is Wes) -- Pip, 09:51:53 03/08/04 Mon

Please don't be misled by the nancy accents and the excessive politeness. History will show you that if the turok-han had tried invading England, they'd have really, really regretted it. Whether we English were helped by neo-Slayers or not. :-D

[> [> [> [> Re: Wes & New Slayers -- Astonishing X-waiter, 16:06:11 03/08/04 Mon

Ubervamps and demons are quite stupid (generally). I mean, Wes even took out Skip. Because he is that good. But who would win has nothing to do with physical power. For all their physical power, the slayers we've seen aren't really very good at tactics, combat strategy or anything other than pummeling stupid monsters to death.

[> [> [> [> [> Precisely why at age 18 Slayers are traditionally "tested" -- Kickin' Shins, 13:52:33 03/09/04 Tue

The "test" is their doping by their watcher up and locked in a crypt or house with a crazy vampire to devour them. If they survive without their strength and agility, using their wits and smarts. Yay. If not...oh Slayer.

[> [> [> Re: Wes & New Slayers -- Laney, 09:44:07 03/08/04 Mon

"Unless he shot them, first."
That is precisely the point. He'd have, in the back. If he thinks it's for the greater good.
And remember what we've been shown of the CoW's M.O.(poison,bureaucracy, black op), I suspect that Wes (once a watcher, always a watcher), like Batman, could be quite diabolical, and not in a straight forward way like the Bringers and Ubervamps. He'd have lured them into a trap and sent them through a portal or something.
That got me thinking about the ultimate fate of CoW. I understand they are destined for murder and madness.

Anyway, could someone tell me how Batman beated Superman? What's the story there? I don't read comics.

[> [> [> [> Answer...(Spoilers for the Dark Night Returns) -- Seven, 11:18:46 03/08/04 Mon

The main story that people will refer to happened outside of normal DC continuity but the story as a whole is widely considered the greatest Batman story ever told.

In the mid-80's, Frank Miller wrote a story called The Dark Knight Returns

It was a story set more or less in the 80's but in this story, Batman had retired for 10 or 15 years and Bruce Wayne was 60 years old. (a very health 60 though). Superman was working for the President (evidently Reagen) When Batman, "The Vigalante" started to cause too much of a stir and no one was there for his support (ie, Commishoner Gordon had also retired) the President sent Superman after him. (Clark and Bruce knew that Bat's actions would lead to this, they even had a discussion)

Batman came to the battle with a tank, a suit of armor and a suprise. He told the now-one-armed Green Arrow to hide on a rooftop and shoot a Kryptonite-headed arrow in-between the two, causing Batman to wipe the floor with Supes.

However, Batman's objective was not to kill his long-time friend/head-butting partner, it was to dissapear. Bruce "allowed" Supes to "win" by seemingly killing Batman. It was planned though. Bruce took a serum to stop his heart so that everyone would think that Batman/Bruce Wayne was dead.

Even though Bats technically "lost" the battle, it was made clear that it was only because he wanted it that way. If he wanted to, he could have destroyed him.

There are two more scenarios, these in DC continuity where the situation comes up. The most recent was during Jim Lee and Jeoph Loeb's run on Batman, "Hush"

There Batman used a Kyrptonite ring to do battle.

The other I have never actually read, but I read about it.
In the Justice League book, it was revealed that Batman has protocols on how to defeat any member of the Justice League just in case, Superman included. These files were stolen and used against the team.

Hope that answers everything


[> [> [> [> [> Re: Answer...(Spoilers for the Dark Night Returns) -- Kickin' Shins, 13:59:05 03/09/04 Tue

Again results in Batman/Wesley relying on gadgets (Batman for all his athleticism is merely a gadget-hero) to best a superior foe Superman/Buffy.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Answer...(Spoilers for the Dark Night Returns) -- Seven, 14:09:14 03/09/04 Tue

But One could say that Superman and Buffy rely on thier superior strength to win. Wes and Bats rely on their superior knowledge and tactics. "superior" is a matter of opinion


[> [> [> [> [> The Dark Knight Returns: possibly the best of the series, even if it wasn't quite in the series.;) -- Briar Rose, 16:48:42 03/09/04 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> [> Absolutely. "Dark Knight" is not only the best "Batman" book, but one of the best comics, period. -- Rob, 08:19:51 03/11/04 Thu

[> [> [> Re: Wes & New Slayers -- Astonishing X-waiter, 16:03:40 03/08/04 Mon

Well of course he would shoot them first.

[> [> I couldn't resist... -- Corwin of Amber, 09:57:19 03/08/04 Mon


BUFFY: Finally, I get to beat the living crap out of you.

WES: Well, I had the foresight to come prepared.

BUFFY: To do what? Run like a girl?

WES: (unfazed) You haven't been in LA in a long time, have you?

BUFFY: Well, no...

WES: Before anything else, I want to tell you that Harmony is working as Angel's secretary.

BUFFY: (Breaks out laughing)

WESLEY: With that, I bid you adieu.

(Turns and runs some distance down the alleyway)

BUFFY: (Still laughing) See! (laughs) You're running!

WESLEY: (shouting) You should ask yourself why I'm running!

BUFFY: (stops laughing) Why are you running?

WESLEY: (grins) Satelite Death Ray!!!!

(A blinding beam of light rakes across the end of the alleyway, producing an explosion not unlike the aliens blowing up the White House in Independence Day.)

Buffy is still standing, but she now has the complexion of burnt toast. She coughs a few times and wipes ash out of her eyes.

BUFFY: Oh, I'm SOOOOOOOO gonna beat the crap out of you!

[> [> [> Re: I couldn't resist... -- angel's nibblet, 22:07:39 03/08/04 Mon


*hugs you many times*


I'm glad you gave in to the temptation ;-)

[> Disagreeing -- Finn Mac Cool, 11:03:11 03/08/04 Mon

OK, aside from the ability to take bullets and live, wouldn't you agree that Buffy and Angel are roughly equal in strength, speed, and fighting abilities? Well, that being the case, I think the fact that Wesley had such a hard time with Angelus shows Buffy could beat Wesley.

He fought Angelus with a gun powerful enough to blow off body parts and a Slayer along for the ride, and Angelus promptly beat the crap out of him without having to take a single bullet. Earlier on, he hadn't been able to set an effective trap for Angelus either, even though vampires have several usable weaknesses (crosses, sun, fire, holy water). While I think it is theoretically possible for Wesley to beat either Angel or Buffy, I wouldn't give him the better odds. So, why is it that Wes, who has had lots of experience, can't land a blow on Angelus, when Warren was able to give Buffy a near fatal bullet wound? Well, for starters, Buffy's primary concern at the moment was proteting Xander rather than stopping Warren (same reason Wes didn't tranq Angelus when he had the chance), and there's the difference between the two shows to consider: quite simply, people become somewhat powered up on Angel. Does incredible aim like Wesley's killing of Skip or 20 ft jumps of the kind Angel's fond of show up on "Buffy"? No. I think that, if you factor in the territory difference, Buffy can take Wes. Now, Wesley fighting like he does on "Angel" vs. Buffy as she fights on her own show, that could be a different story.

[> [> Re: Good Point -- Laney, 12:04:27 03/08/04 Mon

Taking into account differences between the shows, it'd actually 'simple things up so much', as Buffy would say.
- Buffy'd fight like she does on her own show against a 'human'.
- Wes'd fight as he does now, shooting 'humans' left and right and sending them through portals. If he regards them as 'bad', there's nothing he wouldn't do, souled humans or not. Of course, he must be able to justify fighting Buffy in the first place.
- I don't think Wes was going all out to kill Angelus then.
- It's unlikely that Wes'd engage Buffy in hand-to-hand combat which Buffy excels. Buffy's healing will not be fast enough if Wes pumps her full of bullets the first half chance he gets.

Wow. I can see now how people can keep the Caveman/Astronaut, Batman/Superman thing going for ... well, forever ;)
And Seven, thanks for the Bat vs Supr myths.

[> [> [> no problem... -- Seven, 13:40:19 03/08/04 Mon

Anytime I can flex my comic-geek muscles, I jump at the chance.

Although I totally meant Knight.

The Dark KNIGHT Returns. Not NIGHT.

Also a comment on the S/B -- C/A debate.

These are sort of the same argument. Brains vs. Brawn.

Most people, including DC apparently, feel that civilized man (symbolically the astronaut) would win cause that makes us feel better about ourselves.

Not saying they are wrong, just pointing it out. Also, this is what Angel's big speech is about before Wes kills Knox. "It's much better than what came before." Illyria and other powerful Old demons may be more physically powerful but they are unable to see significances; to see right and wrong. That ability allows us to make better decisions and therefore survive. The debate is so interesting.

ah, well.

[> [> [> [> Re: no problem... (but could people please watch the 5.16 spoilers?) -- Pip, 13:58:26 03/08/04 Mon

Please give warnings, especially in a thread like this, which wasn't discussing the current episode. Us European types don't get to see the episodes the same week that they're broadcast in the US. I didn't know that Wes kills Knox until I read your post.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: (but could people please watch the 5.16 spoilers?) -- 7, 21:24:28 03/08/04 Mon

I am, in all honesty, sorry for that. The thoughts in that post were off the top of my head and I never thought to check if there were spoiler warnings in this thread. (there usually are when they get to a certain length)

Again, sorry, I'll be more careful


[> [> [> [> [> [> No problem -- Pip, 02:44:27 03/09/04 Tue

It was just one of those 'Gaah!' moments, so I probably sounded more bad tempered than the actual spoiler deserved. Anyway, everyone goofs with the spoiler warnings at some point.

[> [> [> However, there is Faith to consider -- Finn Mac Cool, 14:06:33 03/08/04 Mon

We get to see her fight on "Buffy" and "Angel" several times, and she definitely fights differently. On "Buffy" it's more straight forward punch, kick, toss, etc. On "Angel", she does those leaps, dodges, and mid-air kicks. As such, I was assuming that, should Buffy fight Wes, she'd be doing it on "Angel" territory and use those same fancy skills that come in handy for dodging an enemy's aim or knocking them out before they can draw a gun.

I'd also like to point out that, when Adam pulled a machine gun/grenade launcher on Buffy, she was able to stay alive for quite some time before needing the merging spell to kick in. As such, I think it is not unreasonable that Buffy would be able to avoid Wesley's fire until his gun/s (which are usually of the handheld variety) ran out. Just another facet to look at.

[> [> [> [> I don't think Buffy would even know who killed her... -- Astonishing X-waiter, 16:22:52 03/08/04 Mon

Thats the thing, Wesley, or a character like him--would not take someone like Buffy on in a head to head confrontation unless he had to.

Taking the running down the alley script, I bet she runs right into a few claymores and no more slayer.

If Wesley went evil, he's the one guy who would realistically pose a threat to any other character you can think of from the Buffyverse. The big thing that sets him apart is that he plays to win. Even Angelus screws up because he is more interested in playing with his 'food' than eating it.

Fun dialouge.

[> [> [> [> [> Let me ask you: when have we ever seen Wes use such a strategy before? -- Finn Mac Cool, 18:14:35 03/08/04 Mon

Buffy's actually used that strategy once before, against the Mayor; I can't recall Wesley doing so. In fact, from what I've seen, his usual method for dealing with foes is going ahead and fighting them. He may use guns, some projecting swords, and once a grenade, and has definitely shown some flashes of genius, but I've seen nothing to show him to be the tactical prodigy you claim him to be.

And, in response to some other posts you've made about Slayers and bullets: yes, bullets can very easily kill them if they are hit, but Slayers are also quite capable of getting out of a gun's way. See "Primeval" and "Release" for some examples.

[> [> [> [> [> [> IITS, or, who's writing the altercation? -- Earl Allison, 05:07:02 03/09/04 Tue

Well, Wesley is indeed a viable opponent now, but wasn't in Buffy S3. Alternately, Angel was pretty well put down by a bullet in BtVS S1's "Angel" by Darla, wheras the Prince of Lies simply waded through multiple bullet strikes in this season's AtS.

Sure, Batman beat Superman, but I also think that somewhere (maybe one of the "Generations" books?) Batman admits that Superman had been holding back, and had he gone all-out, Batman (who I like as the better character, BTW) would be a red smear on a wall. But the "cool factor" lets Batman win where he likely would not -- against a superhuman alien that can at times move faster than light, nevermind even the finest human reaction time.

ANYONE with sufficient preparation time and the true desire to simply kill could knock off anyone in Buffy's or Angel's stable, including the titular characters themselves. Sure, given time to prepare, Wesely could absolutely kill Buffy, probably at little to no risk to himself, but headshots from a block away or remote detonations of explosives would make for a very short and undramatic show :)

Wesley could still potentially win in a hand-to-hand combat as well, as could Buffy. It all comes down to what the storyteller wants to show us. It's why we have such disparate scenes of Slayer and vampire abilities, from Angel's (and Spike's) near-instant recovery from being tossed through a window and falling several stories contrasted with his (Angel's) pummeling by Kendra (compared to the more severe beating he received, and withstood, from Jasmine).

It's hard to crank out a specific example that "proves" that one party could defeat the other, because of either the special circumstances in play or the special effects (or lack thereof) allowed in the shots.

Assuming everyone would be capable of fighting at their absolute peak, and is willing to kill, Wesley would be far better served fighting a Slayer from a distance, either from hiding or ambush. A hand-to-hand fight with a truly motivated and trained Slayer should be extremely one-sided unless the opponent were either superpowered, or incredibly skilled in REAL martial arts, and not the showy Slayer- and vamp-fu :) And in a fight between truly skilled combatants, it's usually over in a few seconds, since one WILL find an opening in the other's defenses very quickly due to the levels of skill involved.

Set properly, anyone with a little time and planning could knock off anyone in either series, but that makes for a boring show, so the fisticuffs and general lack of firearms (or use of them almost exclusively against bulletproof entities) play to making it more exciting.

It's why Angel doesn't run around with Morah demon blood, and Willow doesn't mass-ensoul all the vampires, despite the potential for both options -- it takes away from the dramatics.

And Spider-Man trumps everyone, because "with great power, comes great responsibility." Of course, you have to ignore the Clone Saga ...

And because Kirsten Dunst was in the movie, and also in "Bring it On" with Eliza Dushku -- so I've brought it full-circle into Buffydom :)

Take it and run.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: IITS, or, who's writing the altercation? -- Finn Mac Cool, 10:16:37 03/09/04 Tue

I will not deny that Wesley can theoretically beat Buffy. However, so far, example scenarios have revolved around Wes leading Buffy into a trap or targeting her from afar with a gun. I merely think it is appropriate to point out that Wesley rarely engages in such behavior. I do recall him setting traps on a few occasions, yes, but almost all of the characters have done the same on occasion. And I can't recall Wes ever going sniper on someone; while he uses guns, they tend to be of the pistol variety; ie, they do give him some range advantage, but hardly enough to shoot Buffy too far away for her to notice him. While I will agree that, of all the characters, Wesley is the one most likely to use these sort of fighting tactics, they aren't exactly common from him.

[> [> [> [> Dirty Tricks & Sneaky Humans -- Laney, 12:56:30 03/11/04 Thu

In Buffy Season3, Faith used a poisoned arrow on Angel, or maybe she's aiming at Buffy, I'm not sure.
I think it's fair to say that a character gone evil is capable of anything. It's hard to draw the line at what probable actions anyone might take in their morality gray zone.
In fact the only ones who have yet to resort to dirty tricks are the lead Vampires and the Gods:Glory, Jasmine, Illyria ( so far). All the humans have gone sneaky one time or another. Methinks Knox's got a point there.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Dirty Tricks & Sneaky Humans -- LittleBit, 14:36:03 03/11/04 Thu

Faith hit her target with great precision. The purpose of what she did was to poison Angel so that Buffy's (and the scoobies') attention was distracted from the Mayor.

Perhaps our definitions of 'dirty tricks' differ. I would submit (off the top of my head) the following possibilities:

In "Becoming, part 1" Angelus sends a vampire to deliver a message to Buffy challenging her to meet him that evening (also known as the 'immolation-o-gram'). He was making certain that she was out of the way when Drusilla and minions kidnapped Giles.

Also in "Becoming, part 1" Spike tells Drusilla to use her abilities to find out what they need to know from Giles, Angelus's torturing of Giles not having been successful. Drusilla takes on the aspect of Jenny in order to trick Giles into giving the information.

In "Angel" Darla bites Joyce and leaves Angel with her so that Buffy will go after him, forcing a confrontation in which she expects Angel to kill the Slayer.

Now, if 'dirty tricks' requires weapons or poisons, rather that using knowledge of a person's character in order to trick them into situations or admissions that they wouldn't otherwise get into, than I agree with your statement that "the only ones who have yet to resort to dirty tricks are the lead Vampires and the Gods." Otherwise, I think all of the lead Vampires have perpetrated them.

[> [> Re: Disagreeing -- Claudia, 13:14:44 03/08/04 Mon

"OK, aside from the ability to take bullets and live, wouldn't you agree that Buffy and Angel are roughly equal in strength, speed, and fighting abilities?"

Actually, this is not quite true. Even Angel had acknowledged in a S2 or S3 episode that Buffy was slightly stronger than him. Which is why Spike was nearly inviting a death wish, when he deliberately went up against Slayers in the past.

"So, why is it that Wes, who has had lots of experience, can't land a blow on Angelus, when Warren was able to give Buffy a near fatal bullet wound?"

Actually, Wes really hasn't had that much experience in fighting vampires and other demons. He probably had a few years on Fred; but Cordelia, Gunn and the Scoobies in Sunnydale were more experienced.

[> [> [> Slayers can't take bullets and live any more than any other human -- Astonishing X-waiter, 16:27:10 03/08/04 Mon

Buffy would have been dead without Willow's help. And if Wes had downed her in her yard, even Willow couldn't have saved her from a coup-de-grace headshot, just to make sure she was dead.

Vampires are somewhat immune to bullets, but thats why I chose a slayer and not Angelus or Spike for this Buffyverse dream celebrity death match discussion.

[> [> Re: Disagreeing -- Astonishing X-waiter, 16:17:41 03/08/04 Mon

You're forgetting that Buffy isn't very smart. And Angelus is. Buffy is a fighter--a powerful, skilled, and experienced fighter, yes...but she has no grasp of tactics, only fighting skills. And her greatest weakness is her indecisiveness.

It always takes her a good entire season to finally stop being wishy-washy and do what is necessary (even if it isn't moral or right), unlike Wesley who doesn't have time to weigh whether or not to do something, that while dirty and icky, needs to be done.

If I was a member of the troika in season 6 (I am a pretty big nerd), Buffy is dead by about episode 4 or 5. I mean the girl is so dumb that, in a town full of enemies, she always uses the same route to walk home. She's not a skilled a strategist. She's just a very tough girl and the only reason she survived her encounter with Warren was due to Willow's magic surgery.

Slayers are extremely vunerable to bullets. Just like any other human. Though they are superfast and superstrong, they don't possess armorskin.

[> [> [> Re: Disagreeing -- Joyce, 12:50:32 03/09/04 Tue

"You're forgetting that Buffy isn't very smart. And Angelus is. Buffy is a fighter--a powerful, skilled, and experienced fighter, yes...but she has no grasp of tactics, only fighting skills. And her greatest weakness is her indecisiveness."

Actually, Buffy is pretty smart. It's just that many people tend to overlook this fact. She was the one who came up with the idea to redefine the Slayer line. And both Giles and Wesley were very impressed by her tactics. I wouldn't underestimate her, if I were you.

[> [> [> Smart Buffy -- Pip, 15:22:13 03/09/04 Tue

Buffy did get good SAT scores despite frequently missing classes due to slayer duties. She's not a tactician (or a general!) because that's not her calling - the Slayer is traditionally a lone fighter. It's actually highly innovative for her to even have friends, let alone add them to the fighting group.

She's innovative; usually a sign of intelligence. That reaches a high point when she realises that there doesn't have to be only one Slayer in Chosen . But she's used innovative ideas before. Her willingness to include an unsouled vampire in the fighting team. Dumping the Watcher's Council when they become more harm than good. Even her use of Xander's rocket launcher ... all signs of someone who can think up and accept new ways of doing things.

As for the 'always taking the same route home' - what use is varying your route against a vampire? As Spike showed on several occasions, a vampire who has the Slayer's scent can track her whatever route she takes. I suspect that Buffy probably takes the attitude of 'there are dark and deadly beings in Sunnydale and I'm darn well one of them. Anything that attacks me dies.'

So, no, not a tactician. But not all smart people are tacticians.

[> Celebrity Death Match. See how much fun this is? -- Laney, 20:15:54 03/08/04 Mon

We should do this more often. Maybe someon'd be kind enough to start a new thread on Willow vs Illyria, Wes vs Giles.

Anyhoo, back to our bussiness at hand, let me say:
- Buffy is NOT stupid. She's got game alright. She killed the Mayor by luring him into confined space and blew him up. And the way she dealt with Glory was effective, overwhelming the hellgod with multiple types of attacks. Even Wes commended her strategy in defeating the Ubervamp army.
- My point ( and Astonishing X-waiter's) is that Wes now exists in a verse where true hardasses don't wear black hat. In other word, they don't telegraph their intentions and detail their plans in front of their opponents as they had them on the rope, like JamesBond villians. I'm thinking Firefly's Mal shooting a Fed agent in the head, and kicking a muscular speechifying villian (who was already shot, bound and kneeling) into a running jet engine intake. Then ready to do it again with the next captured bad guy.
- Buffy only knows the old Wes. Remember how she looked down on the Geek Trio, and how that turned out. If not for Willow's magical surgery, she'd have been dead, and the world destroyed.

[> [> Re: Celebrity Death Match. See how much fun this is? -- Buffalo, 15:16:18 03/09/04 Tue

Thing is, Wes would be eating out of Buffy's hand within five minutes of being near her. No contest.

The Interpretation of Dreams (Buffy's Spiritual Journey, 1.10) -- manwitch, 09:32:37 03/08/04 Mon

Nightmares was the first Buffy episode I saw in its entirety. Scary, hilarious, silly and deep at the same time. Cordeliaís worst fear I think still ranks as one of the funnier moments on the show. But I certainly didnít realize on first watching, or on the first several, just how much is going on in this wonderful episode.

This episode begins in Buffyís dream, and most of the episode, from early on until the very end, takes place in a dream-scape, the wacky-nightmare world of a scared child, stuck in a form of stasis. The reference of this child metaphor is once again to Buffy. She is the scared child, stuck in a form of waking coma, projecting her worst fears onto the world around her. In the opening sequence, we see Buffy walking, frightened, through the underground tunnels, and entering the mysterious subterranean cathedral that is the domain of the Master and his terrifying powers. The Master plays cat and mouse with her, and when he catches her, the little girl in pigtails freezes, unable to fight back. And as the Master moves in to bite her, she can only scream ìNoî in a futile cry of negation. The Master will bite her, and she will not stop it. At which point Buffy is awakened by her mother. Itís time to go to school.

This is reminiscent of the opening to the entire series, when a sleeping Buffy dreams of Shivaís dance of life, and of the Master and his subterranean church. The entire series opens with the suggestion that everything we are about to see is an emanation from Buffyís subconscious, bubbling forth in sleep. Shivaís dance of life is a statue that speaks to the dual nature of our existence, the relationship between our forms and the formless force that animates them. There is a life in the field of time,a mortal life, symbolized by the beating drum in one of Shivaís right hands, and there is also an eternal life, beyond our mortal form, symbolized by the flame in one of Shivaís left hands, a flame that rings the entire statue. The statue of which Buffy dreams in Welcome to the Hellmouth suggests that we are more than our selves.

Shiva is a hindu deity and is the ultimate object of a practice of tantric hinduism called Kundalini yoga. In kundalini, the yogi attempts to awaken, by meditation, his sakti, a feminine energy in everyone that is pictured as a sleeping serpent at the base of the spine. Along the spine, in the imagery of kundalini, are centers of spiritual energy known as chakras, and through various meditations, the yogi raises his sakti through these chakras, awakening the powers in each, and achieving spiritual and psychological transformations until at last, at the final chakra, sakti and Shiva are reunited in pure love and spiritual bliss.

But the first problem in kundalini is to awaken the sleeping serpent. The serpent is content to be sleeping where it is. The condition of the yogi at this first stage is a sort of spiritual lethargy, clinging to the spiritually empty, but familiar normality of his or her self-centered, material existence. The yogi must find a way to shake off that spiritual sleep in order to embark on the journey that follows. That awakening is represented by the first chakra.

In the opening episode of the season, as Luke raises the Master, he repeats, ìThe sleeper shall wake, the sleeper shall wake, the sleeper shall wake.î And in the opening sequence of Nightmares we are reminded once again that Buffy is our sleeper, and it is her task to throw off the familiar normality to which her ego clings and to awaken to the spiritual journey ahead of her. We are also reminded again that these are the images of Buffyís subconscious, these are powers and drives that are not external to her that she is suppressing, but that show themselves to her when she dreams. And in this episode, as Buffyís reality becomes a dreamscape, all of her subconscious issues will come to the fore.

And that in a nutshell is the story of Nightmares. A child, trapped in sleep, causes the realization of peopleís nightmares, projecting onto reality the worst fears people hold deep down in their subconscious. Which is really what everybody does all the time. The monsters of the world are our projections. They arenít terrifying because theyíre monsters, they are monsters because we fear them. Its nothing to do with them, but everything to do with our own disposition. As the Master says, ìwe are defined by the things we fear.î

So letís take a look at what Buffy fears, as revealed in this episode, starting with the Master. Everything we see of Sunnydale is a projection from Buffy, a landscape of her soul, if you will. She has the life she clings to, consciousness, in the daylight, on the surface. But under ground there are other places, tunnels and labyrinths that go down and down, filled with other powers, mysterious and unknown. It is the world of the subconscious, and in its depths lies the submerged cathedral of the Master. It is a spiritual chamber that Buffy has submerged, in which she has bottled up the spiritual drives and urges whose strength and powers frighten her. The Master is the personification of those spiritual powers that she fears and suppresses, and yet drive and define her. The more she attempts to hold them in, the more frightening their power, and the more they bubble forth in her dreams. The Master, in his church, speaks to the child that is the Annointed, or Chosen One. ìFear is in the mind,î he says. ìIt can be controlled. If I can face my fear, it cannot master me.î Buffy is being ìmasteredî by her fear of her spiritual commitment and the subconscious powers that come with it. The Master represents that mastery. Hence the name. He is the personification of Buffyís fear and resistance to her calling. Buffy is afraid those spiritual powers will break free and change her forever in ways she cannot imagine. And as the world becomes the dreamscape, her fears are realized. She sees the Master in the graveyard. ìIím free because you fear it,î he says to her. And Buffy is buried alive, placed under the ground, in the realm of the subconscious. Arising from those depths she is transformed into her worst fear, into the terrifying powers she has attempted to keep bottled up for so long. The point is not that she is a vampire and that vampires are powerful. The point is that she is terrified of these urges that are calling to her to make this commitment. Because she is afraid, she sees them as monsters. And if she assimilates that power and makes it part of her life, she will see herself as a monster too. But the power is not monstrous. Its Buffyís fear that makes it so. At the metaphorical level, she isnít afraid of being buried alive and becoming a vampire. Sheís afraid of surrendering herself to her unconscious, immersing herself in it, and the transformation she knows she will undergo as a result.

But she is not only afraid of the transformation, she is afraid of failing if she embarks on this journey. Why should she reap these powers if she has not sown them? Who is she to follow this path? It is this fear that is revealed in Buffyís encounter with her father. In discussing the name Luke, in my earlier post on Welcome to the Hellmouth, and the possible Biblical reference to Luke, I mentioned that Luke might be a reminder to Buffy to ìbe about her fatherís business.î Luke is the gospel in which the 12 year old Jesus takes off, leaving his parents frantic, and is found in the temple speaking to the priests. When the parents ask him just what he thought he was doing young man, he says, ìDonít you know? I must be about my fatherís business.î And it is here that it is made clear that his ìfatherî is his spiritual father, and his business is his spiritual business, rather than Joseph or carpentry. Joseph Campbell, in addressing parallels in myths from different regions and times, notes the recurring theme of what he calls ìthe father quest,î which is the quest to find out what your career is, what your life will be put toward. So in this sense, the visit from Buffyís father is sort of a visit from the personification of her vocation, of her spiritual destiny. And Buffy projects onto it her own self-evaluation. Buffy is a disappointment. She is sullen, trouble. She is unworthy. Not only is Buffy afraid of the subconscious forces she keeps bottled up inside her, but she feels she is unworthy to bring them forth. So she critiques herself. She thought that she would somehow visibly deserve to wear the mantle of the slayer, but she doesnít see it. Sheís just Buffy. A small, frightened little girl. But itís a double critique. Not only is she not worthy, but she has done nothing to make herself worthy. She has denied this career, kept it hidden, refused to be about her fatherís business. ìI sure thought youíd turn out differently,î the spokesman from her destiny says to her. Buffy had hoped so, too, but she fears she has failed.

Of course, other characters are having their nightmares realized, too, and their fears are also reflections of Buffy. Giles represents Buffyís mind, her conscious control. She fears both losing access to that conscious control (Gilesís fear of being lost in the stacks and being unable to read), and more pointedly of what happens if she surrenders it. She fears the death of the Buffy she knew. And as Buffy lies in her grave, submerged in her subconscious, her mind grasps at that conscious control she has surrendered. She should have been more cautious, she needed more time. Sheís not ready yet. Willow represents Buffyís spirit, and she too descends, this time into the basement, but still indicative of submitting oneself to the unconscious. And in those depths, Buffy finds another fear, that her spirit will be put on stage for all to see, and she will be unable to let her spirit sing. Again it is the fear that she will fail, that she is not the one for this spiritual journey. Xander represents Buffyís heart, and his fear is to be stripped naked in front of the class, just as Buffy fears that by embracing her destiny she will expose her naked heart to the ridicule of all. She doesnít want to be exposed. She wants to hide behind the masks of normalcy. But those masks can be terrifying too. Xander follows a trail of candy bars, which suggests to me that the heart, by and large, follows its impulses, desiring what it desires. But in the face of fear, when the impulse is to flee, the heart must rise to the occasion through courage and bravery. It wouldnít be bravery if there wasnít fear. Xander is attacked by the clown, the terror of his young childhood. And the significance of clowns is that they are masks that we project onto unknown powers. The powers that animate them come from far beyond and are not contained by the mask. The mask is merely a pointer to those powers. We fear the mask, but that is not the same as the powers. The heart can steady itself, stand up to the fear, and break past the mask. When Xander does this, he feels liberated. Fear no longer controls him.

And this turns out to be the cure for all the nightmares. Buffy holds herself together long enough for the gang to go to the hospital room of Billy Palmer, the boy stuck in the coma who is turning nightmares into reality. There Buffy confronts the ìugly man,î a monster conjured up by Billy that is the sum of all fears, the childish fears of the adult world, its responsibilities and its injustices. Billyís asteroid body has been seeking Buffy out, a projection from the depths of his coma, because his fears and Buffyís are the same. They are stuck in a stasis of childhood, afraid of the adult world, frightend of the mask they have projected onto it, unable to face it. But as the ugly man approaches the hospital room, Buffy, strengthened by the courage in her heart, recognizes her own power in the face of her fears. ìThere are a lot of things in this world scarier than you,î she says to the ugly man, ìand Iím one of them.î And Buffy goes after the ugly man and brings him down. And she shows that she has understood the lesson that Sid had taught her in last weekís episode, that the last act must be done by oneís self. ìCome here, Billy,î she says. ìYou have to do the rest. No more hiding.î Billy faces his fear and takes the mask off the ugly man. And the sleeper wakes.

Significantly, when Billy takes the mask off the ugly man, what is revealed is not a monster, but a radiant light that transforms the world. What we bottle up with our fear is our own brilliant potential, our own power to transform the world. Buffy is so close to facing her own fear and revealing her own radiance under the mask. Sheís had a sort of test run in this episode, and she made it ok.

Also significantly, prior to Billyís awakening, he saw himself as alone. He alone was at fault. After the awakening, he recognizes that he is not alone, he is part of a community, who must all help each other and be responsible for each other. No one is alone, except in fear.

ìLucky 19î is what the ugly man calls Billy, and so, really, what could it hurt to take a brief look at Luke chapter 19? There we find the story of a group of people expecting the kingdom of God to be revealed to them immediately, even though they have done nothing to bring it forth. And so Jesus tells them the parable of the pounds, about a nobleman who when going away to a far land to receive a kingdom for himself, left ten pounds to ten slaves, one to each. And when he returned, having gained the kingdom, he called the slaves forth and asked what they had made by trading. The first had turned his pound into ten pounds. The king was pleased and gave him authority over ten cities. The second had turned his pound into five pounds. The king was please and gave him authority over 5 cities. The third said ìHere is thy pound, which I have laid up in a napkin. For I feared thee, for thou art an austere man.î And verily, the king was most pissed off and took the pound from the slave and gave it to the one who had ten.

God, whatever we believe that power to be, does not give us what we have so that we can sit on it or hide it. We have the potentials and possibilities we do so that we might use them. To fail to make use of what God has given us is an affront to that power. We cannot expect the kingdom of heaven if, out of fear, we do nothing to bring it forth. Buffy has been given powers and possibilities, but because she is frightened, she makes no use of them. It is time for her to stop hiding, to embrace what she has been given, and transform the world. It is time to wake up.

Easily one of my favorite episodes.

The Top Ten Percent (so far)

1. Nightmares
2. The Puppet Show
3. Angel
4. Never Kill a Boy on the First Date
5. I, Robot, You Jane
6. Witch
7. The Pack
8. Welcome to the Hellmouth
9. Teachers Pet
10. The Harvest


[> Re: The Interpretation of Dreams (Buffy's Spiritual Journey, 1.10) -- Vickie, 10:23:25 03/08/04 Mon

Yay Manwitch! I've been loving your series, and this installment is fantastic.

What kind of dream interpretation have you studied? Your interpretations largely agree with mine (probably why I like them so much, huh?).

I was taught that you only have nightmares when you are ignoring messages from your subconscious. A person will have ordinary dreams (or thoughts will break through during waking hours) that will point the way. If a person resists too long, or suppresses the messages, the subconscious will not be denied. Eventually, the benign messages morph into terrifying nightmare images that wake the person up with a pounding heart. It's generally impossible to deny that such a nightmare has occurred.

One nightmare image you don't appear to consider: what do you make of Buffy being turned into a vampire? This appears to be a constant fear of hers--she seems to check her gravestone and start in Bargaining II. Certainly part of this is her fear of being buried, perhaps alive. But some of this fear is, I think, the fear of being turned into the monster.

Nietzsche said "He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster." I think that Buffy greatly fears this. She returns to this fear in season five, when she tells Giles that she doesn't feel love, and again in season seven when she refuses a second infusion of demon essence.

Her other fears are things she resists but needs to surrender to in order to grow spiritually. This fear is, I think, a good one that she should not surrender to. Or is there a downside to this resistance that I have missed?

[> [> Buffy's fear of being a vampire -- manwitch, 12:46:07 03/08/04 Mon

"But some of this fear is, I think, the fear of being turned into the monster."

Yes, but that's her fear talking again. My perspective on this is that at the symbolic level there are no vampires, no monsters. They exist only as metaphorical of some aspect of Buffy. So the Master is not a vampire come to terrorize Buffy. Buffy's subconscious is, as you say, refusing to be denied or ignored and is attempting to break free from the chamber in which she has imprisoned it. The Master is the personification of her subconscious power, the dynamism, one might say, of her unconscious. And its only because she is so afraid of that power that it appears as the horrible demon we know as the Master. Because her fear is her Master.

Contrast this with Angel, who is again a representative from the mysterious world of the dark, the underground, the unconscious. But he represents the part of it that tempts Buffy, the part that she desires. So yes, he is attractive and appealing to her, but he's also still a terrifying monster, because the depth of these powers is still foreign to her.

When Buffy becomes a vampire in Nightmares she is expressing her subconscious fear that the powers of her subconscious that she has been bottling up will break free, take hold of her, and transform her into she knows not what, and that terrifies her. She is frightened of the unknown power she will become if she surrenders to these drives that call her to her spiritual path. So she perceives even herself after that transformation (which she sees as her death, the death of her self as she knows it) as a monster, a vampire, the terrifying fulfillment of that which she resists.

This entire nightmare will be realized again in Prophecy Girl. But she will find on the other side that infused with these powers, she is not monstrous at all, but different, strong.

So I would say her fear of being turned into a vampire is only the fear of opening up to her subconscious drives, which she perceives as horrifying. At least here in this season. And so yes, I think the very point of Season One is that she must face this very fear, surrender to those powers and embrace the transformation that she knows will come as a result.

Thanks for your kind words. I have no education whatever in dream interpretation. As a student of modern european intellectual history in grad school, I had occasion to read some Freud and some Lacan, but I confess I don't much take to either. But I wasn't really reading them to learn how they interpreted dreams. Most of my thinking in this regard is probably shaped by Joseph Campbell and his interpretation of myths, which he thinks of as society's dreams. That probably means that I would be partial to Jung, although I have not read him in depth.

My parents were both English professors, so I have a reasonably solid exposure to interpreting literature. Not that I think there is a right interpretation or that I could find it if there was. I see interpretation as a creative act, much like the writing of the original piece.

[> Lovely; just a few stray thoughts -- Tchaikovsky, 10:50:41 03/08/04 Mon

If Buffy is worried about her father quest, then the episode clearly tells us, the viewer that she has one waiting in the wings. Giles' wrenching agony in the nightmare where he sees Buffy in her grave is not as simple as it might seem however. We are made to question how much of this failing in Giles is to do with his personal love of Buffy as a father, and how much is merely to do with him failing his duty. This duality is to come to play a pivotal role in the series. In 'Innocence', Giles shows presence and lack of judgement that Hank never mastered. In 'Helpless', Giles tries to play the bureaucrat working for duty but ends up expressing, in what is supposedly an insult from Quentin Travers, 'a father's love for the child'. By 'Fool For Love', when Buffy casually finishes Giles' sentence about commenting on Slayers' deaths being 'unseemly', Giles wrenchingly explains, 'I was going to say, painful' It's a perfect moment of television.

The monsters of the world are our projections. They arenít terrifying because theyíre monsters, they are monsters because we fear them. Its nothing to do with them, but everything to do with our own disposition. As the Master says, ìwe are defined by the things we fear.î

Which is not only crucial both to the season and the series as a whole, it is also the major theme of Monsters Inc.

Why should she reap these powers if she has not sown them?

On a less spiritual, more physical and psychological level, this is also one of the major feelings of adolescence- how have these changes of our bodies, our minds and our hearts become unleashed. In childhood, we did not deliberately awaken this metamorphosis, the butterfly awaking from the chrysalis, the flower bursting from the bud - and yet it happens. The latent, sleeping characteristics, present from birth, start to exert their control on our bodies and minds. And we start to grow up. Like Billy, like Buffy, and ultimately (and showing Joss' very careful complex symbolism) like The Master. For while he is in some ways the dual opposition to Buffy- Evil, Man, Old, Tradition vs Good, Girl, Young, Subversion, he too merely wants to grow up; to become what he might be, to burst out from his church of contradictions and reign on Earth. At his heart, this symbol of Patriarchy is little more than Lucky 19.

Short of saying something like If you get to Chosen I'll give you a cookie, or If you stop I'll chain myself to a railway line, I'm not quite sure how to express how much I'm enjoying these and I hope you keep going with them. They make each episode fresh.


[> [> Re: Monsters, Inc. -- LittleBit, 11:24:04 03/08/04 Mon

["The monsters of the world are our projections. They arenít terrifying because theyíre monsters, they are monsters because we fear them. Its nothing to do with them, but everything to do with our own disposition. As the Master says, ìwe are defined by the things we fear.î

Which is not only crucial both to the season and the series as a whole, it is also the major theme of Monsters Inc.]

The other (and, to me, more inmportant) message of Monsters, Inc. was that as powerful a force as fear was in the monsters' world, joy was an exponentially greater one. We saw Buffy work at conquering her fears through seven seasons, and at the end, we saw the joy on her face as she changed things.

[> [> [> Great point, Bit! -- Rob, 12:32:11 03/08/04 Mon

[> [> [> Very true -- Tchaikovsky, 02:04:04 03/09/04 Tue

The conclusion of the film is just wonderful.


[> [> Are you crazy? -- manwitch, 12:58:59 03/08/04 Mon

"If you stop I'll chain myself to a railway line,

No, no post is worth that. God, I'd give you all of them if I could, that's how much you're scaring me.

I'll take the cookie, though, if the dough is ready by then.

Giles' love for Buffy is one of the most beautiful representations in the whole series, I think. And its interesting, what you raise, that Giles becomes the surrogate father figure. In terms of the "father quest" that becomes a nice suggestion of her being inner directed, following the dictates of her own reasoned judgement, a positive evolution from the seemingly external calling to her spiritual vocation.

I always loved that moment in helpless, when Quentin believes himself to be dismissing Giles, pointing up his failures, but in fact gives him the highest honor possible and releases him from the constraints of rules and the projects of institutions.

Anyways, in the meanwhile, I will keep forging ahead. Invisible girl. Hmmmm.

[> [> [> Re: Are you crazy? -- LittleBit [giggling like crazy], 14:05:12 03/08/04 Mon

TCH is Rob's long lost twin brain brother. Does that answer the question?

[> [> Re: Lovely; just a few stray thoughts -- Jane, 00:44:31 03/09/04 Tue

I'm with you TCH! I'm so enjoying your posts, manwitch, please continue them.. If you make it to Chosen, I'll bake the cookies..I make a killer chocolate/toffee chip one!

[> Wonderful as always! -- Pony, 13:32:41 03/08/04 Mon

[> Uhmm... Are we collecting these at ES yet? If not, we certainly should be. -- OnM, 18:48:09 03/08/04 Mon

[> Re: The Interpretation of Dreams (Buffy's Spiritual Journey, 1.10) -- Joyce, 12:47:05 03/09/04 Tue

Along with "Prophecy Girl", this is my favorite S1 episode of BUFFY. I loved your essay.

[> Another Interpretation -- shambleau, 13:27:11 03/09/04 Tue

I LOVE how open BtVS is to interpretation. Reading your excellent analysis, I thought how much of it could also be used as support for Normal Again's take that Buffy is insane.

I wish that someone would try to make that case in as much detail as you have with BtVS as a saga of Hindu enlightenment. Well, maybe not that detailed, because I don't think there's as much to say about Buffy in that interpretation as there is in yours. But I do think that it's a useful way to examine Buffy psychologically and would be another twist of the kaleidoscope.

Yes, it's a darker and more pessimistic view than most people want to have of the show. But, I love being able to have a number of different philosophical takes occurring in my mind simultaneously when I watch an ep.

[> Re: -- Aliera, 11:55:11 03/10/04 Wed

Just a fly by to say how much I'm enjoying these.

[> Adding my voice to appreciation of this -- MsGiles, 13:11:03 03/12/04 Fri

You give lots of nice insights looking at the eps this way. Much enjoyed.

The trouble with Fred (spoils Shells) -- skeeve, 16:44:53 03/08/04 Mon

She's dead.
Her body has been hijacked and the mystical part(s) of her destroyed.

The only way to get her back is for someone(s) with the power to give another do-over.

The Powers That Be would seem to have the power, but they might not have the inclination.
They might want Fred around as the one least corrupted by W&H and therefore the best influence on Angel.
Asking them might be difficult, though.

Vengeance demons visit angry children.
Perhaps there is one for grieving parents, e.g. Mr. and Mrs. Burkle.

To me, the most likely scenario for getting Fred back is for Illyria to give her back.
Illyria can do things with time.
Illyria wanders around, get depressed, and goes 'home' to the Hole retroactively.
If this happens at all, 'twould almosst certainly be in the series/season finale.

There is always the possibility that Fred is dead because Amy Acker is tired of Fred or just wants to show that she can do someone else.


[> Re: The trouble with Fred (spoils Shells) -- Invisible Green, 20:06:56 03/08/04 Mon

"They might want Fred around as the one least corrupted by W&H and therefore the best influence on Angel."

I didn't think of that. Good point.

[> [> Re: Fred/Illyria -- buffelina, 08:44:21 03/09/04 Tue

I think that to be "demonized" in the world of Buffy and Angel is to be mystical, and to be mystical is to have power. And as both shows have suggested all along, it's what you do with that power that matters. Illyria has a choice of what to do with that power and it will be interesting to see what her choice will be.
Illyria has found herself in a place that is grey. But to be in a place that is grey--i.e. where conceptual borders become blurred including what is "good" and what is "bad," who one is and who one isn't--offers the opportunity for growth and development ... and also the possibilty that Fred isn't totally "gone." Since the borders between Fred and Illyria have blurred (i.e. Illyria having Fred's memories), it will be interesting to see what happens next.
I don't think that Fred is 100% gone. I think she'll be back, but in a new way. I think Illyria will have made her evolve somehow.

[> [> [> Re: Fred/Illyria -- B, 09:12:30 03/09/04 Tue

I hope they wouldn't end the series with it being all about Fred. It should be more focused on Angel.

Went all Houdini.........spoilers and speculation for Angel based upon Comic references. -- Rufus, 00:23:09 03/09/04 Tue

From Shells........

Angel: Any idea how she got past you?

Gunn: One second she was standing there then...poof!

Angel: She's a teleporter.

Wes: I don't think so, no characteristic displacement of the atmosphere around her.

Spike: I fancied...saw a blur just before she went Houdini.

Gunn: Yeah, like she was pulling a Barry Allen - Jay Garrick? Wally? Like she was moving really fast.

I found this under the information about The Flash:

Name: Jay Garrick
Base of Operations: Keystone City
Profession: Scientist
First Appearance: Flash Comics #1, January 1940

Working on an experiment in the lab late at night, Jay knocked over some heavy water and other chemicals. Overcome by the fumes, Jay lay there for hours until he was discovered by Professor Hughes. Hughes immediately rushed Jay to the hospital, where he lay for weeks in a coma. When Jay finally came to, the physicians at the hospital told Hughes that tests on Garrick indicated a highly accelerated metabolism. He said that Jay would be, "the fastest thing to ever walk the earth!" It was not long after his release from the hospital that Jay learned he could move at super speed.

Sound a little familiar? Makes me think of "The Crisis on Infinate Earths".

So, no real spoilers but maybe a hint of where a few of the ideas came from.

Crisis on Infinite Earths

COUNTLESS EONS AGO, in the DC universe, the race that would eventually evolve into the Guardians of the Universe (the blue-skinned commanders of the Green Lantern Corps) had already become one of the universe's most advanced civilizations. The Maltusians explored every avenue of science but one: Ancient writings forbade them from exploring the origins of the universe.

One scientist, Krona, dared to defy that rule. He constructed a machine that allowed him to peer back through time to the moment of Creation. Just as the answer was about to be revealed to him, a tremendous explosion ripped through his lab. The shockwaves from that explosion were the beginnings of the "multiverse" -- the splitting of the universe into countless duplicates, each on a different vibrational plane and each slightly different from the rest. It also marked the beginning of the "anti-universe," a place of immense evil and the total opposite of everything the universe embodied.

Ashamed of Krona's folly, the future Guardians agreed to shoulder the responsibility for containing evil in the universe. They punished him for his transgression, created the Green Lantern Corps to become their cosmic police force, and did their best to contain the evil unleashed by Krona's folly.

Then one day, the multiverses started to disappear...

Issue #1, "The Summoning"
The year is 1985, and the universe containing Earth-3 is slowly being obliterated by a wave of anti-matter. Lex Luthor, a hero on this world, tries to save his only child by sending him to Earth-1; more specifically, the satellite headquarters of his allies, the JLA (unfortunately, Luthor is unaware that the satellite is abandoned, and so no one is there to rescue the child from the craft). The mysterious Pariah appears just as Earth-3 vanishes, and cries out in despair knowing he can do nothing to save them. Meanwhile, the mysterious being known as the Monitor decides the time to act is now, and so he bestows part of his power on his young assistant, the woman known as Harbinger. She splits into multiple copies of herself and flies off to retrieve a select group of heroes and villains. However, one of her incarnations is zapped by a shadowy figure, apparently placing her under its power. After she brings the group to the Monitor's satellite, they are all attacked by "shadow demons." The Monitor dispels the shadows, and informs the assembled heroes and villains that their worlds are about to die.

Issue #2, "Time and Time Again"
Strange things are happening at places throughout the timestream, from Anthro's prehistoric village to the 30th century (home era of the Legion of Super-Heroes). In our time, both Batman and the Joker see a vision of the Flash crumbling before their eyes. On his ship, the Monitor tells the assembled group that the multiverse is threatened by the Anti-Monitor, his opposite number from the anti-matter universe. He then dispatches the heroes and villains to various points in history on both Earth-1 and Earth-2 to set up cosmic "tuning forks" that will keep the Anti-Monitor at bay. While the tainted Harbinger continues to plot, young Alex Luthor, who is rescued from his ship by the Monitor, is aging rapidly. Psycho-Pirate -- one of the super-beings summoned by the Monitor -- attacks Pariah, but is teleported away by the unseen foe, who orders him to obey.

Issue #3, "Oblivion Upon Us"
Earth-1's Flash sees the anti-matter wave approaching the future Earth where he lives, and he travels back to the 20th century to warn other heroes. He barely has time to say "we're screwed" before he vanishes. The anti-matter wave starts sweeping across Earth-1, and shadow demons attack the tuning forks. Our heroes fight and die defending the machines from the demons. While Earth is slowly being destroyed, the Monitor isn't sure if his plan will work in time.

Issue #4, "And Thus Shall the World Die"

The anti-matter waves continue to threaten Earth-1 and Earth-2. As the Monitor's teams try to protect the forks from attack, Pariah manages to save Lady Quark, a noblewoman and superhero on Earth-6, from her universe's annihilation. Meanwhile, the heroes on the remaining Earths do their best to save as many lives as possible from the anti-matter wave. Pariah appears on the Monitor's satellite, just in time to witness the possessed Harbinger kill the Monitor. Pariah weeps for the Monitor while Earth-1 and Earth-2 fade to black.

Issue #5, "Worlds in Limbo"
The Anti-Monitor is confused. He knows his wave has destroyed the two Earths, but he hasn't received the energy unleashed by their destruction. Meanwhile, a pre-recorded message made by the Monitor explains to Pariah and Harbinger (who is now free of the Anti-Monitor's control) that he was aware of his eventual death, and he took steps to put it to good use. He tells them that his death released enough energy to pull the two Earths into a pocket universe, safe from the Anti-Monitor's weapons. The downside is that the Earths are in a temporal flux; there are cavemen in the Batcave and dinosaurs roaming through 30th-century Metropolis. Also, the vibrational barriers between them are slowing down, meaning they'll eventually annihilate each other. Meanwhile, the Anti-Monitor gives Flash to the Psycho-Pirate to torture (the Anti-Monitor kidnapped the Flash because he is one of the only beings who can traverse the Earths on his own). Alex Luthor, now a young adult, uses the Monitor's satellite to gather heroes to help him save Earth-X (home of the Freedom Fighters), Earth-S (home of the Marvel Family) and Earth-4 (home of the heroes from the Charlton Comics group).

Issue #6, "3 Earths! 3 Deaths!"
The heroes from Earths 1 and 2 arrive on 4, S, and X to find that the heroes on those world have gone mad because of the Psycho-Pirate, whose emotion-manipulating powers have been boosted by the Anti-Monitor. Harbinger burns out her power and the Monitor's satellite by bringing the three Earths into the pocket universe. As well, super-villains start vanishing with no explanation, an occurrence that keeps repeating itself for the next couple of issues.

Issue #7, "Beyond the Silent Night"
Harbinger, Alex, and Pariah gather representatives from the remaining five Earths to explain the situation and plan their next move. We learn the beginnings of the multiverse, the secrets of the dawn of time, the origins of the Monitor and the Anti-Monitor, and the part Pariah played in causing the destruction of the universe. A strike team is gathered to attack the Anti-Monitor in his lair in the anti-matter universe. Earth-1's Superman, who reaches the Anti-Monitor's machinery first, starts to destroy it, but he is shot with a blast of energy from the Anti-Monitor. The Anti-Monitor starts to kill Superman, but Supergirl intervenes, saving Superman and destroying the machine at the cost of her own life. The Anti-Monitor escapes to nurse his wounds, and the heroes retreat as the fortress falls apart. The time distortion has ceased on the five Earths; although they are still linked, they are no longer in any immediate danger.

Issue #8, "A Flash of the Lightning"

The Anti-Monitor makes a new body for himself. We also see that the Guardians of the Universe are suffering a civil war. The Flash escapes his prison and takes his anger out on the Psycho-Pirate. He then makes the Pirate show him the anti-matter cannon that the Anti-Monitor is building. The Flash uses his super-speed to destroy the cannon, sacrificing his life to save the five remaining Earths. The Anti-Monitor, by now angry with the humans' interference in his plans, destroys his own universe so that he can absorb all its power for the final confrontation.

Issue #9, "War Zone"
The heroes continue to address the problems of the interlocking worlds. Alex Luthor, Harbinger and Pariah address the United Nations on Earth-1. While the heroes were busy on Earths 1 and 2, Earth-1's Brainiac and Lex Luthor organized the super-villains to take over Earths S, X, and 4. While the heroes and villains fight, the original Flash (Jay Garrick) asks Kid Flash (Wally West), who retired from super-heroics because his powers were killing him, to join the fight. Using Barry Allen's "cosmic treadmill" to break the barrier between the worlds, the heroes prepare to save their compatriots on the imprisoned worlds.

Issue #10, "Death at the Dawn of Time"

The battle between heroes and villains continues until the Spectre appears and tells them that the Anti-Monitor isn't dead; he's gone back to the dawn of time to prevent Creation itself. The heroes and villains agree to put aside their differences. The heroes are sent back to stop the Anti-Monitor while the villains travel back 10 billion years to ancient Oa to prevent Krona from performing his experiment, the event that ruptured the universe and created the multiverse. The villains are easily defeated by the advanced Oans and their own overconfidence. The heroes, thanks to some help from the mystical DC heroes, keep the Anti-Monitor from winning against the Spectre. Everything fades to white.

Issue #11, "Aftershock"
Clark Kent of Earth-2 wakes up and goes to work, thinking about the "awful dream" he had the night before. Unfortunately, he goes to the Daily Planet -- not the Daily Star -- and runs into Perry White and Lois Lane of Earth-1, who wonder why Clark looks so old. Clark Kent of Earth-1 shows up and covers for his "weird uncle Clark." Apparently, nobody remembers the Crisis except the heroes who went back to the dawn of time. With the help of Jay Garrick and Wally West, they discover that Earth-2 wasn't just destroyed; it never existed in the first place. Since this means that Earth-2 Superman's wife, Lois, is gone, this upsets him greatly. They discover that the new Earth is now an amalgam of the five Earths, one in which heroes existed in both the 1940s and the modern age. The heroes meet in Titans Tower to discuss this turn of events. For those whose worlds never existed, it is a difficult thing to accept. The Supermen are still discussing their respective losses when the Earth is sucked into the anti-matter universe.

Issue #12, "Final Crisis"
A small band of heroes, who were earlier dispatched to Brainiac's ship to seek his help, are shocked to find that the Earth is gone. Apprised of the situation, Brainiac transports them to someone who has the power they need. Meanwhile, an image of the Anti-Monitor appears over the Earth and declares the world will die. The sky then turns black. Harbinger gathers a select group of heroes for a final assault on the Anti-Monitor. The darkness explodes into millions of shadow demons, each of whom can kill with the slightest touch. Heroes around the world fight to defend the people; not all of them survive. Alex Luthor creates a conduit that allows the heroes to bridge the barrier created by the Anti-Monitor. Meanwhile, Darkseid is revealed as the powerful figure sought out by Brainiac and his allies. The mystical heroes channel their supernatural energy to contain the demons attacking Earth. On the anti-matter world of Qward (the Anti-Monitor's home base), the heroes discover Flash's uniform just before the Anti-Monitor declares "this is the day the universe dies." Working as a team, the heroes defeat the Anti-Monitor, but not before he blasts Wonder Woman out of existence. The Earth is moved back to its proper place in the positive universe, and Darkseid, using Alex Luthor as a conduit, delivers the coup de grace. Alex, Superboy, Superman-2 and Lois, who Alex saved from her world's erasure, disappear into a place where there is "everlasting peace." In the epilogue, the Psycho Pirate is sitting along in an asylum, gibbering about all the worlds that died.


[> Re: Went all Houdini.........spoilers and speculation for Angel based upon Comic references. -- Jean, 07:16:23 03/09/04 Tue

I only read your refernce to similarities between Illyria and Flash...But they aren't similar at all....The flash moved fast...While Illyria just slows down time notice the wave of the hand and the ripples in the air

[> [> It's still relevant because... -- Rook, 12:37:28 03/09/04 Tue

Gunn referenced the 3 incarnations of the Flash.

And another thing to note, is that Barry Allen is one of the fairly rare comic book characters to die and stay dead. A permanent death in a world where rebirth, ressurection and "false deaths" are common. It may be another hint that Fred is not coming back.

Current board | More March 2004