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.