How do you set up a plot for BtVS when it's transitioning from a TV show to the comics? I know! You let the medium dictate your story! You use comics references of yore to drive your plot! But what comic book should you use to outline your story? Superman? Batman? No, Batman would only make sense for an Angel comic, silly fan!
Wait, you mean alignment of characterization doesn't matter? Ooooh!
How about Alan Moore's Watchmen! Universally acknowledged (and overhyped perhaps) as one of the best comic books out there. It's a must-read. So if you're too busy to write your own Season 8 plot, steal theirs, call it homage or parody or whatever the fuck means you won't get sued and don't worry about characterization snafus that may result from pigeonholing your characters into another universe's story!
Remember, just erase the names and it's all cool. *wink* Sure, the situation might not make any sense since your plot isn't arising naturally from your own characters, but Diana Gabaldon says it's cool so she must be right 'cause she's famous and a published author (for definition of published author, See: smarter than fans and holds to a higher ethical code as a creative artist).
2maggie2 had recently brought up the discussion about how godhood disconnection has been a driving point for Twangel's characterization (this is our fanwank explanation). Back when Retreat was out, that was definitely a topic on my mind and we'd discussed that way back when. Now amidst the Twilight arc, it seems pretty clear where the riff is coming from...
The connection to Watchmen has been all over the text here, so it seems they were showing Angel as Doctor Manhattan. Remember the scene in the movie (yes, I've only seen the movie! Shut up!) when Silk Spectre and Doctor Manhattan are on another planet/moon and she kisses him and gets him to remember his duty to humanity? I think it fits in well with Twangel and Buffy. Twangel is Doctor Manhattan who no longer cares about humanity and wants to be rid of its ills for a new world, while Silk Spectre!Buffy still feels love in her heart and convinces Doctor Manhattan!Twangel to return with her to fight to save the world. A world on the brink of destroying itself... until Ozymandias tricks the world.
So who is Ozymandias in Season 8 that's been manipulating Doctor Twangel into letting the world die? And is Joss just ripping off Watchmen completely or is that Meltzer's contribution?
Wait, does this mean Spike is Rorschach? The one guy running around behind the scenes trying to uncover the secret manipulations. Rorschach is a character defined by his refusal to compromise. Sounds like Spike, no? Moore said that it was Rorschach's refusal to compromise that led him to realize Rorschach couldn't survive the story. Well, Spike's already died so that's presumably off the table. He's now the character that can't not survive.
I saw someone on LJ saying that the Watchmen references appear to be mostly image based, but I see Twangel and Buffy especially echoing the Doctor Manhattan/Silk Spectre relationship.
LOOK. Doctor Manhattan when he becomes god-like GLOWS. Um, yeah. I'm thinking fandom have all been overfixating on the glow=sparkle of Meyer's Twilight. In reality, the glow=glow of Watchmen god Doctor Manhattan. Remember, becoming god-like means you glow and GET NAKED (because your body emits such powerful radiation so you cannot wear clothes). Wow, Season 8 took gods not being able to wear clothes way too literally.
Okay, yes Buffy has been pushed into almost becoming Doctor Manhattan. And there's direct imagery showing her coming closer to this ultimate godhood, but she doesn't get there. She doesn't get to the god-level where she completely loses touch because she's grounded by the love of her friends. She can always hear Xander's call, right?
Another note: Buffy is also Doctor Manhattan in that she has multiple decoys just as Doctor Manhattan can have multiple copies of himself.
Twangel on the fields of Tibet watching the soldiers die reflects Doctor Manhattan hovering over the fields of Vietnam in this clip.
"They're mortal. They have to die sometime." - Twangel in Retreat
In Retreat, Buffy gives up her Slayer powers through a ritual prayer, sending them into the Earth. To get them back, Willow and Buffy do a rage calling upon the Tibetan Earth Goddesses. The Tibetan Goddesses ran chaos upon the battlefield, killing all comers, but instead of crushing Buffy when she's caught in their grasp, they drop her forcefully to the ground. When she awakens, she floats up in the air. She can fly. This is only the beginning of her ascent with godlike powers that far surpass what the Goddesses possess. The cause of Buffy's transformation remains unclear. But the timing is explicit and is somehow connected to the Goddesses. Perhaps facing down the Goddesses was enough to trigger the transformation.
Finally in Watchmen, Silk Spectre goes to Mars to convince Doctor Manhattan to return to Earth and help save humanity (he's abandoned humanity because he was convinced his superpowers were killing those close to him through the radiation emitted from his body). On Mars, Doctor Manhattan can bend all matter to his will (just as he can on Earth but) without fear of consequences--there will be no more death from his actions because there's no life on Mars to endanger. Just like in Twilight, a brave new world constructed from Twangel and powered-up Buffy's will, where no one will die anymore because they're building a brave new world.
Wow! Your Season 8 story is humming along just great. The climax of the story has been hijacked and threaded into the Buffyverse. But wait??? You're missing a key ingredient!
So you see, this is the story of Season 8. It's called Watchmen. So if you'd like to read Season 8, go read Watchmen, then do a marathon of BtVS (don't bother with AtS since the Season 8 comics didn't bother with it either) and maybe drink a couple glasses of wine before going to bed. Say, "Watchmen is Buffy, Watchmen is Buffy..." the way you would count sheep to lull yourself to sleep and then have a trippy dream. (Suggestion: Skip the porn part of the dream and insert more badass fight scenes like the prison break in Watchmen!)
Voila! You've just created Buffy Season 8! And I bet your dreams will have better art, dialogue, characterization and plot. Well done!