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Friday, January 8, 2010

Thanks a lot, ComicsAlliance

I don't know if there are any hardcore Joss Whedon fans that read this so the post may be irrelevant to the vast majority of readers. I don't care. I need to rant.

First, some background. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a TV show that ran for 7 seasons. Years after its cancellation, it retained a dedicated cult following, so the show was continued in comic book form. The "Season 8" comics are considered canon to the show and are all directly overseen (and sometimes written) by Joss Whedon, the man behind the show.

Season 8 has been running for 30 issues, which is about 2 and a half years. Throughout these issues, there has been a mysterious masked villain named "Twilight" cavorting about causing trouble. It's been hinted at (or perhaps even explicitly stated) that under this mask is a character we all know from the tv show. Dark Horse (the publisher) informed us that the mask was coming off in issue 33, coming in March.

Earlier today, Dark Horse released their solicits, basically a list of upcomic comic books so Comic shops can figure out ordering numbers, for April. The solicits contained cover art for issue 34, including a certain character on the cover. This lead to people asking Dark Horse in interviews if the character was, in fact, Twilight unmasked. Dark Horse eventually confirmed that it was.

Today, in my RSS feed, I see an article titled "_____ Revealed as New Buffy Villain" (only with the character's actual name) from ComicsAlliance. Without even clicking on it, I had learned the dramatic reveal. With the surprise now spoiled, I clicked through from my google reader to the site which contained a spoiler-filled article, complete with pictures, that ran in its entirety on the front page of the site with no spoilers.

It is worth noting that later in the day, after being called out, they did rename the article, removing the offending name from the title and from the snippet included in the RSS feed, though a picture was still included.

But still. Season 8 has been one of the best comics out, because unfortunately, most comics these days are fairly predictable. And the identity of Twilight is a huge plot point, that, taken the correct way (by, you know, reading the comic), would have been a HUGE shock.

They have cheated me out of the joy of a great reveal.

The proper way for a NEWS blog to handle this would have been to aknowledge that the information is out there, provide a link for those interested in knowing, but not put it there in your post, so those who don't want plot spoilers won't see them. That is EXACTLY how Whedonesque, a Joss Whedon fan blog handled it. Because the fact that it WAS revealed is news. Who it is, is nothing more than plot spoilers. A news site wouldn't post the end of Blackest Night or Siege. Why is this okay?

It's roughly equivalent to looking foreward to a movie, monitoring the movies progress throughout the whole process from script to execution over the years of development, then some jackass tells you the end when you're standing in line at the theater. I'm thoroughly disappointed, and ComicsAlliance is that jackass.

And they refuse admit their mistake. They said "A spoiler is a reveal of something that is intended to be a surprise, and they clearly don't intend this to be a surprise". Really? An identity kept secret for TWO AND A HALF YEARS isn't suppossed to be a surprise?

I have unsubscribed from your site ComicsAlliance, and I don't intend to visit again, for fear that you will ruin something else.

The moral of the story is this: Don't be an asshole.

EDIT: My rage has subsided. While I'm still upset about this awesome story being spoiled, I realize that it was just a series of mistakes all around. I've resubscribed to ComicsAlliance, as they put out far more good content than bad.


bnhall said...

Dark Horse spoiled it on Facebook and Twitter. It showed up in the news feed of anyone who was a fan of Dark Horse and they are now tweeting about it. I think staying unspoiled was impossible at this point.

Matt said...

In the age of the internet, it's kinda hard to hold the reigns on anybody anymore when it comes to stuff like this. Trying to await a new movie or episode or something without getting anything spoiled is getting damn near impossible today.

Even in movie trailers. Like in Iron Man 2's trailer they have right now. Well, I'm not sure if War Machine is much of a spoiler since the character has existed forever, but still...

Tom said...

I know how that feels dude.

Did you know Snape kills Dumbledore?