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Buffyverse and Beyond - nmcil12
Season 8 - Some Thoughts on "Christian Bale Actors" Panel 
25th-Oct-2010 01:05 pm [angel, buffy, season 8, spike]
Link to Original Image:  http://pics.livejournal.com/nmcil12/pic/0003wghh


Some Thoughts on the "Christian Bale Actors" panel from "Anywhere But Here" NFFY Issues

What are some of your ideas about this image - it was a strange insert panel in the middle of "Anywhere But Here" - I take it this blond woman is suppose to represent Buffy - and the two Christian Bale actors represent two of the male characters. Within the overall theme of this issue which is, IMO, about lies, betrayals, denials, future visions and past events; this image takes on, what appears to be a very big foreshadow of events to come, unless it is used as misdirect, which I don't think it is. Two other things might be connected to this image. One is from the early, think it is the first issue, when Buffy tells Dawn that she out to go out into the moors for a walk and the other is Spike calling himself a distraction. Also, Dawn refers to Spike's ship as breathing air and Big Visual is that Xander is wearing the same outfit as one of the Christian Bale actors in this same issue. Xander also tells Dawn to be careful when she splashes him - he tells her he only has two of these outfits.

Which of the characters would you cast in the Actor's place? Twangel would be an obvious choice for the "Little Women" role, but that fits more Spike's character and Spike/William than Twangel. The character of Lawry fits the story of Spike-Buffy in that he does not end up with the woman he loved. This scenario however also fits the Buffy-Angel history. The actor for "Reign Of Fire" is a warrior/hero that is one of the leaders of survivors of the Dragon Conquest of the human world. That story is of a Origins Dragon who has been in deep hibernation for eons and awakens, finds mates and repopulate their species who proceed to destroy human society. This film involves a huge betrayal by one of their close members of the survivors when he make the choice to take care of his own family and children and goes against the rules and orders of the large family group. The consequences for that betrayal is to bring great harm to the larger group.

If we take the last part of the text from this panel - it seems like we could have a combination of Xander & Spike working to save Dawn and going of on his Hot-Air Balloon escape to safety - Spike's ship could be taken for the sphere like balloon and Dawn has referenced air already when the first all come aboard. Dawn is filled with fear and has an instinctive fear response to the ship and the bugs. What that means, who can tell. We do know that Buffy and Dawn seem to reflect the same body language of physical pain show the self-protection wrapping their arms around themselves.

This issue is also when we have the Lion Griffin appear and use the "queen is dead" phrase is used.

The panel makes for interesting speculation - any ideas.

I went ahead and rented "Reign Of Fire" - Themes of the film are excellent connection to the Season 8 series arcs. The panel of the Christian Bale actors could have various interpretations depending on which part of the story in the film you want to apply. If this film is telling us something about how things may play out in the finale - there will be some huge heroic moments, and some very tragic ones as well. If Joss Whedon does one of the conversion/rabbit hole treatments that there will also be some big turn around surprises.

The use of "Little Women" is a very interesting it could have either horrible consequences for one of the characters or it could also offer a big plot twist.

the elements that have been referenced before that I connected, right or wrong, to this panel are that Buffy tells Dawn to take a walk in the Moors at the start of the series - the totally OOC that would be CB in "Little William" doing the obscene sex waltz, gathering the horses and hard ride could refer to both Xander riding Dawn and also gathering the horses for escape and then Spike's Air Balloon Ship. Spike has also described himself as "a distraction" but the "distraction" is in direct relation to working with Buffy to take down The Master - so to me that is a good distraction. And "The Reign Of Fire" is about World Domination and the final battle - plus huge betrayal by a close member of the group. I remember that "throw out line" that Buffy used in her dreamscape with Ethan - saying she missed her dragon - that is either Angel/Angelus or Spike from ATF.

Comment by Double Dutchess

Some very interesting thoughts about the "Christian Bales x 2 panel".

I didn't give that panel much thought when I read the issue; I just assumed it was some joke I didn't "get", not having seen either Reign of Fire or Little Women (not the one with CB anyway). Now I am convinced that the panel is indeed highly significant. I think the "waltzing obscenely close in plain view" is indeed a reference to the "space frakking", and that "Little Women Christian Bale" represents Angel while the other CB is Spike (who will be providing Buffy with the means to escape). Action!CB wearing the same outfit as Xander fits in with Xander having been a stand-in for Spike before (at least in my interpretation). Also, Spike's "hell of a ride" in #37 echoes the "hard ride" mentioned here. Something this panel also implies is that in the end, she will ride off / fly away with the both of them. Or did Angel really only serve as a distraction (in line with what jeanty said in SFX)?

Excerpt from the SFX Special Edition Tribute to Joss Whedon "Georges Jeanty" Section on Season 8 - according to Jeanty "Of all the stuff that's happened in the other seasons, this, in terms of ramifications, is probably the biggest season. That's not to say anything about Angel being Twilight which was the big reveal a few months ago . These last five issues, once it starts up up again in September, will in my opinion feel like, "Wow, we thought that was the big deal." when in fact that was just sort of the denouement, and now the ending is actually something that's much, much different."

Buffy, IMHO, continues to be put into this untenable position of "Lover Dependent" and that is not an effective model for a healthy mind, heart or spirit. What works as superb metaphor can be totally destructive in a real everyday life.

Whatever is going to be the finale - from everything that is being spoken of in the final interviews - there is going to be a fundamental change in how these characters continue as a working force.

While it is totally "wild speculation" on my part, I would not be surprised is we end up having a Xander, Dawn, Spike working group after the events of Season 8. I just have one of those "gut" feelings that Buffy and Dawn are connected emotionally and physically. One of the very early interviews about Season 8 described Dawn as being infested with something like a mystical STD - that could refer to the Thricewise Demon but it could also be a foreshadow for how their connection will effect the finale.

If Dawn does have to die, I sincerely hope that she is given a heroic story that Chiron, Prometheus follows. Who knows, maybe Spike and Xander will play the role of Herakles in Season 9.

Buffy has worn that orange top in just about all the important dreamscapes - and she is clearly depicted wearing it in the "betrayal scene" which is about visions of their past - with strong implications for their future.

The NFFY arc also brings in the theme of power struggles between worlds and conquest. Faith and Giles have victory over a would be cosmic sex vessel, Gigi. Will Buffy, the other Slayer, have victory over Lion Griffin? The "Reign Of Fire" reference is a very good connection to the story that is being presented in Season 8 - the conquest of world domination and creation of world realities.

26th-Oct-2010 02:40 am (UTC)
Very, very interesting bit of speculation regarding that other Buffy fantasy threesome panel of the season. I feel like I'm not really well equipped to comment on the resonances to Little Women or Reign of Fire, though what you say about RoF in particular makes it sound very interesting as a method of reading season eight.

One thing that's worth remembering is that this is the second fantasy Buffy has in ABH. The first was Daniel Craig (most famous for James Bond, the secret agent). So I've long thought that Daniel Craig and the two Christian Bales are a commentary on Buffy's loves. But finding one-to-one correspondences with the men in Buffy's life are very hard. Craig it seems could be a reference to Riley (secret agent, the fantasy is a bit of a generic one as Willow points out, hinting at the somewhat looser connection she has with Riley), Angel (also playing secret/double agent this year, the one whom Buffy objectifies for his body during the spacefrakking in a weird, generic way) as well as Spike (blonde, physically attractive, season eight Buffy can only even think about her relationship with him if she sexualizes it; and also, she and Andrew talk about their mutual attraction to Craig in Predators and Prey, the issue where Andrew also reveals himself explicitly as a Spuffy).

For Christian Bale, my first thought was that it represented Angel and Spike, based on the way the two were associated with each other in her other threesome panel in The Long Way Home. Angel is the “romantic” one whom she waltzes closely with in plain view (which fits with Double Duchess’ point about the space frakking); Spike is the grungy action hero one she runs away with into the hot air balloon (which fits with Spike and the Jules Verne-esque steampunk ship, as you both pointed out). That the two look the same but are presented in different clothes from each other is the opposite of the Always Darkest fantasy, in which the two look different but have matching outfits.

And yet I don’t think this interpretation is the only one. For one, that the two both look the same but have completely different personalities could comment on Buffy’s thoughts on the Angel/Angelus split. (Though she does actually like both of them in this scene, so who knows?)

Your point about Reign of Fire Bale wearing Xander’s tunic reminds me that Xander mentions Christian Bale, too, in Living Doll, when he references Rescue Dawn. Xander has a big speech in NFFY about wanting to be a Ken Russel character, and he makes sure to specify which Ken Russel character he is (there are more than one possible contenders!) which reminds me of Buffy’s separating the Christian Bales out. And yes, Xander rides Dawn (explicitly referenced by her—“I was ridden hard and put away wet”), and it’s Dawn who nearly ruins Xander’s outfit. Angel and Spike (and Riley) aren’t mentioned in Anywhere But Here directly, but Xander gets to enact a parallel drama with Dawn, whose own past lovers (Kenny and Nick, an Angel and Spike parallel) are a big subject of discourse. That Xander actually enacts with Dawn the drama (with riding and hot air balloons) that Buffy imagines Reign of Fire Christian Bale enacting with her (Buffy) somewhat emphasizes why Buffy is jealous when Dawn and Xander get together. And I think a lot of the Buffy/Xander/Dawn triangle comes down to Buffy’s inability to connect with humans, and her horrible feelings of betrayal when the two ordinary humans she’s closest to find a life together that seems to exclude her.
26th-Oct-2010 02:41 am (UTC)
At any rate, I think there is real effort (possibly) to parallel Buffy/Spike with Dawn/Xander going into the final drama—at least, the early pages in 37 are several pages of Spuffy followed by a page of Dander, and the two covers of 38 are Buffy & Spike and Xander & Dawn. I’m not sure if I’d agree that Xander is a stand-in for Spike, but maybe he is insofar as Buffy & Spike and Xander & Dawn (Double Duchess’ point about how Xander rides Dawn and Spike says that Buffy is a good ride) are two big, paralleled relationships. And the split is between the Others (Buffy & Spike) and the ordinary humans (Xander & Dawn). I like to think that both relationships are actually potentially very healthy, and aside from encouraging/enabling Buffy’s bank robbery I’ve felt that Xander has behaved very well this year, ditto Spike in his limited time. I’m obviously very worried about Dawn, so I kind of love the idea of Spike, Xander and Dawn going off together having adventures in season nine. Dawn’s complete discomfort with the bugs is a real plot point, and I still don’t understand why; I’ve thought the bugs might be a metaphor for Spike, and are probably a stand-in for Buffy’s exes (Spike has that line where he confuses Bug 1 and Bug 3, which is what Buffy does between Angel and Spike in Always Darkest and elsewhere), so…Dawn is afraid of Buffy’s exes? One of Buffy’s exes (or all of them!) will harm her?

This is not very coherent, but I think part of the struggle is that the self-referentiality in season eight is so dense and so thick that there are many interpretations to each panel. I really do think that Daniel Craig probably references Spike, Riley and Angel, and the Christian Bales Angel/Spike, Angel/Angelus, and Angel/Xander; there might be one interpretation that is dominant, but I’m not sure what it is.

So the real question remains: who is the baron? (Angel-as-Twilight? Giles? The Master? The General? Twilight-kitty?)
26th-Oct-2010 10:07 am (UTC)
the only two characters who wear the British Flag are Giles and Buffy - the title of baron was first created by William of
Normandy when the conquered England and divided up the land and created barons to government the divisions. The Harry Potter Train, if I remember right had 1066 with I think a 2 before - first thing I thought of was the power struggle over the throne.

"duke, marquis, earl, viscount, baron" are the ranks in descending order.
26th-Oct-2010 10:30 am (UTC)
Interesting! But I think I remember Andrew wearing the British flag at some point...
27th-Oct-2010 02:08 am (UTC)
thanks for the correction -

Andrew also has an image of James Bond in one of the issue if I am remembering correctly. I also keep thinking that the giant sculpture head that is cut off in Twilight Land looks like Andrew. Been thinking more about the ABH Daniel Craig - Is he suppose to connect with Angel/Twangel as the Protector? Angel's whole reason for taking on "The Plan Strategy" was to protect Buffy, while he may be telling himself that it was the world he was trying to protect, his motivation, IMO, is all about Buffy. I wonder if Daniel Craig's "But I'm afraid you're turning a bit red." is a foreshadow for Buffy being directly connected to the Red Seed. With "Little Women" the sisters were always putting on stage plays which the male lead, Lawrence, wanted to join. In the dance part of the novel, Lawrence again is the connected to the primary heroine, Jo, by dancing with her, NOT in plain view, but away from all the party guest because Jo had burned her dress and could not really be with the other guests. "Little Women" Christian Bale loved Jo so many years, but she did not love him as a romantic figure, but as a brother - he ends up marrying her little sister and Jo ends up marrying a professor.

what do you think? Everything from the start of the series is so tied in with power and world rulers, starting with Buffy being called "Ma'aM" which is the term applied to the English Queen - that is also one of the first terms, if not the first of their encounter, that Angel used with Buffy.

What do you make of this new Buffy Figure with that slinky red dress sitting on the evil throne? Do you think that ties into Season 8 or is that from the TV Era?

28th-Oct-2010 10:49 am (UTC)
I think Andrew-as-James Bond was in the Jeanty cover for Predators and Prey? But it is interesting. And it's interesting that Daniel Craig gets a shoutout from Andrew two issues before Christian Bale gets one from Xander. I'm not sure I see Daniel Craig as a protector figure, but he definitely is a beefy male fantasy, so that could work. The "you might be turning a bit red" could be a reference to the seed; it also reminds me of Willow ("Red"), and this issue explicitly mentions Tara's death by Warren which occurred in Seeing Red. That last bit might just be meaningless...it's so hard to sort everything out. In this case Christian Bale would be Xander, marrying Jo's little sister (hope she makes it through the season okay). That Jo marries the professor actually could foreshadow Buffy/Spike, since Spike is being increasingly put into a Watcher-esque role as suggested by Restless--he gives the exposition, and there's also Saga Vasuki's words to Willow about "your Watcher and your vampire." The Giles/Faith subtext could actually further support this--Faith ends up with one "watcher," Buffy with another.

There is definitely a lot about the monarchy. It was most obvious in NFFY but Twilight-kitty explicitly references it again here. I wonder if it has to do with the monarchy being one of the few hierarchical power structures that frequently have women at the top?

I'm not sure what Buffy figure you're referring to--do you have a link?
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