Buffy the Vampire Slayer: 15 Most WTF Things That Happened in the Comics

In 2007, Joss Whedon finally released Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 #1. The comics have been a combined effort of Whedon and other writers from the TV series, as well as some new names. Picking up some time after the events of “Chosen”, the comics introduce fans to a much expanded Buffy-verse where there is conflict with the US government, and a Slayer army stationed all over the world.

Admittedly, Season 8 was a rocky ride that felt larger than life. In its Afterword, Whedon writes “We’ve learned what you like, what you don’t… We’ve lost a few fans along the way and, hopefully, gained a few.” He added a promise that the following seasons would strive to return the series to what made it special, “the everyday trials that made Buffy more than a superhero.”

The series is currently in season 11 and delivering on all that it promised. Plus, there are some really fun new concepts and characters, like zompires, and the return of some former Scoobies, like Oz. And for the shippers, we do get to see Buffy and Angel interact again – and we finally get some proper resolution with Spike as they finally develop a mature and loving relationship.

You have to take the bad with the good, so here are the 15 Most WTF Moments, to date.

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Top 15s: 15 Times Game of Thrones Characters Got Exactly What They Deserved

Game of Thrones is a story of war, honour, and bloodlines. The struggle for the Iron Throne is a boundless bloodbath, spanning endless winters – and whether you count it a prize or a curse, no one is safe. Inspired by the tragically gory stories of past monarchs and empires and glorified using magic, fantasy, and sex; Game of Thrones is meant to do nothing if not thrill. Much of its excitement comes from that simple fact that anything can happen. Vying for the throne, characters thrive on vengeance and power. And each week, the question remains the same: who will get it next? Or, more importantly, who should get it next?

With all of the betrayal and evil-doing in Game of Thrones, the most powerful force of all is karma. Twisted as it may be, we love to watch the tide turn on those we love to hate. Similarly, there’s the odd occasion when a stroke of luck graces one of our heroes or heroines, and that can be just as satisfying. For all its tension, drama, and violence, Game of Thrones rarely misses an opportunity to give characters what they have coming to them. Here are 15 Times Game Of Thrones Characters Got Exactly What They Deserved.

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Top 15s: 15 Vampires You Would Want to Have Your Back in a Fight

Vampire lore has been an obsession of literature, art, and pop culture for hundreds of years. In the last decade or so, there has been an influx in vampires in young adult fiction, paired with an influx of young adult fiction in popular culture. As a result, the vampire routine started to feel played out, and people even started actively hating on it. Vampires have now been put in a really uncomfortable homogenizing category of teen romance, which has subsequently made it difficult to defend the many vampire stories some of us still hold precious.

Creators of vampire fiction pre the teen-craze have also found themselves looking to defend their work. To great effect, Joss Whedon’s ongoing Buffy the Vampire Slayer comic series presented a storyline in which the Big Bad was named “Twilight.” Meanwhile, Steven King and Scott Snyder embarked on a new horror comic book series, American Vampire, which cynically stated that the bloody goodness of the vampire had recently been “hijacked by a lot of soft-focus romance.”

The truth is, there isn’t one right way to do vampires. The mythology was popularized by Bram Stoker in his 19th-century Gothic novel, in which the main plot involved Dracula compelling women to fall in love with him. The romance is built into the core. And yet, that dangerous allure elicits a sense of horror that reminds us that the vampire is, first and foremost, a monster. But, whether you like them broody and romantic or straight up bloodthirsty, you have to admit – it’d be great to have one back you up in a fight.

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Image Credit: New Line Cinema

Top 9s: 9 Subtle Homages to Hitchcock You Might Have Missed in Bates Motel

Bates Motel has proved itself to be an impressively unique spin on the concepts of both the prequel and the television adaptation. Like many other film geeks, I for one was absolutely terrified to see what would be done with the iconic Hitchcock classic, Psycho. I especially wondered how they would frame it; how could a 53-year-old film about a woman-hating murderer, with a now outdated Freudian psychosis, be responsibly portrayed on television today? The idea made me so uncomfortable, that I avoided the show until its fourth season had completed.

Once I finally got the nerve to check it out, I realized this was not a simple rehashing, nor was it a thoughtless manipulation of the kill-the-pretty-girl trope that Psycho, for all its brilliance, troublingly brought about. Bates Motel is best described as a love letter to film history, and a tribute to one of its most notable pioneers. Flawlessly updated to appeal to a new audience (some of whom probably haven’t seen or do not recall its source material), Bates Motel never forgets where it comes from, or where it is. Proof of this is not only in the action-packed, plot-twist heavy, narrative – but also in the Hitchcockian cinematography, which even includes many long shots. Hidden within the narrative and cinematography are a number of obvious Psycho homages, but there are also some less obvious tributes. Here are 8 subtle nods to Hitchcock that you might have missed in seasons one through four. Beware of spoilers.

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Image Credit: A&E

Top 15s: 15 Creepy Fairytales That Could Be Horror Movies

Only in recent history have fairy tales been designated as innocent and magical childhood stories. This was in large part the doing of the Grimm brothers, who collected such tales from their homeland into the first official book of fairy tales. These original Grimm tales are much darker than the stories we recall our parents reading to us at night, and the same is true for fairy tales throughout time and all over the world. Often, these are horrific stories that are either told among adults or as cautionary tales to children who will undoubtedly have nightmares (and hopefully learn a thing or two).

Culture to culture, the stories tend to deal with very similar content. Common themes include dangerous journeys into the woods, lost children or people seeking refuge, and monsters ranging from ogres to wolves to cruel parents. You’re also pretty likely to encounter blood, body parts, cannibalism, and captivity. Many of the tales are extremely gory, and often times there are no happy endings, even for the few characters who survive. So why are we letting Disney cut away all the good stuff? These stories from around the world all have the makings of a good horror movie; or, at the very least, a disturbing campfire tale.

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Image via: Deviant Art

Top 15s: 15 Highlights From the Comics You Won’t See in Logan

With all the buzz, excitement, and acclaim for the latest Logan movie, it’s difficult not to think about it in conjunction with the many comics upon which it is based. Although the premise of the film is heavily inspired by the alternative universe Wolverine comic book series, Old Man Logan, it is also entirely tied into the universe of the X23 comic books series. What’s so interesting about the conflation of these two books, is how much creative storytelling it required, since these two stories are not at all connected and do not even take place within the same universe.

It was clear right from the beginning that the movie couldn’t be very closely linked to Old Man Logan because of the book’s reliance on Avengers characters. Instead, the movie simply borrowed the gritty realism of prominent themes such as regret, family, aging, and mortality. This was all applied to an X23 storyline, that would essentially facilitate the passing of the torch from Logan to Laura (which is, in fact, something that eventually happens in the X-Men comics).

Despite the many differences, it seems unfair to compare the movie to the books. However dissimilar, Logan offers a really powerful way to end Wolverine’s chapter. The film manages to capture the humanity of Logan and Charles by addressing the one thing that affects all of us – death. So, rather than compare, contrast, and pass judgment, I just want to visit the highlights of the great stories the filmmakers were able to draw upon.

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Image via: Screenrant

 

Top 15s: 15 of the Most Controversial Moments in Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Today marks the 20th anniversary of Buffy the Vampire Slayer! In celebration, here’s a look back on some of the craziest stuff the series had to offer.

During its seven-season run (1997-2004), Buffy the Vampire Slayer was constantly pushing the envelope. Network politics be damned, creator Joss Whedon was not above shaking things up: “Censors. Don’t love ’em.” Seasons one through five originally ran on the WB, during which time there were a lot of restrictions by which to abide. However, a show that worked primarily on the level of metaphor was able to get around a lot of things and have fun doing it. Those first seasons still got to deal with issues related to dating, parents, and abuse. Things became a little touch and go in 2000 when the series began to develop a lesbian relationship. Whedon admits some things had to be cut and kissing was not allowed, but he was dead-set on moving forward with the story-arc anyways. For seasons six and seven the series moved to UPN, where Whedon was essentially given carte-blanche. It comes as no surprise then that these seasons dealt with a even darker subject matter. Not to mention a number of heated sex scenes; even Willow and Tara got to spice things up.

Ultimately, Whedon’s desire not to shy away from controversy made for seven years’ worth of compelling TV. Buffy the Vampire Slayer entertained, enthralled, and taught us a lot about life. Today, network TV is littered with sex, drugs, and violence and viewers gobble it up. But it’s important to reflect on the history of TV censorship and progression and to pay tribute to the predecessors, like Buffy, that set the stage for anything to happen next.

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Also check out, 15 Reasons to Re-Watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Image via: Coffee and a Blank Page