It’s once again time for the most awkward type of post I write on this blog: Arc thoughts!
Arc 7, Buzz, was… varied. Between Alec’s backstory, socializing with Rachel, scaring off Bottle Man and his mooks, the Braylor kiss, Taylor’s confession and Brian’s unfortunate rejection, roughing it with Sophia, a couple decent fights, dealing with Purity’s rampage, the splintering of the team over how to deal with Coil’s actions, and the news that there’s an Endbringer coming to town, I feel like Buzz had something for everyone.
What I personally feel like it lacked, though, is a climax. Unlike, say, the feeling of triumph as the Undersiders dash out through the balcony door past a swarm of bugs that spell out “LETS GO”, or as Circus, Roadblock and the Travelers help the Undersiders kick their pursuers’ asses, the resolution of the Purity section of the Arc amounted to “oh, huh. well, that worked out.” It was a decent way to resolve the issue, but it wasn’t satisfying to me as a reader.
I suppose the true red thread of this Arc was not the Empire, but rather Coil. Alec’s backstory came out because of what Coil said, Rachel withdrew to the doghouse in part to avoid the others pressuring her on the matter of Coil’s offer (and the chapters could function, among other things, to show the readers what it’s like without Coil’s assistance), the Empire were targetting the Undersiders for something Coil did, the trip to the mall happened because of that, Purity’s rampage was an indirect result of Coil’s actions, then the Undersiders confronted Coil about it, and finally Taylor’s planning to leave the Undersiders because of their stance on more of Coil’s actions. Pretty much everything that happened in this Arc ties back to Coil somehow, though some things more indirectly than others.
And in Interlude 7, we learn that the Endbringers are attracted to conflict. Who’s the cause of one of the main ongoing conflicts in the last few Arcs? Turns out even the incoming Endbringer can be traced back to Coil.
The Arc title
Buzz… yeah, no, I’m sorry but I still have no clue what the title is getting at this time. Suggestions would be appreciated.
From my previous Arc thoughts post:
I’m really curious to see what Taylor does from here. Will she tell the Undersiders what she used to be planning, and come clean about her deception? How would they respond to that? Did Lisa know all along?
She’s been keeping quiet about it so far, something she doesn’t seem conflicted about. Yet, anyway.
And then there’s Taylor’s stated goal of becoming actual friends with the Undersiders – to stop keeping herself at arm’s length. I think Arc 7, Buzz, might contain a lot of bonding. And it has not slipped my mind that she wants to pursue a relationship with Brian in particular, even if it’s not necessarily romantic in nature. Ohh no, it hasn’t. :3
She did make active efforts to pursue this goal, specifically mentioning in the narration that she wanted to join Rachel at the doghouse in an effort to get to know her better, and though it led to a rejection, she took a much bigger step in pursuing Brian than I had expected.
Another thing Arc 7 might deal with is the offer from Coil. I think it’s reasonable to expect the Undersiders to accept it, but we might get to see them discuss it. Alternatively, they might accept it early in the Arc and then the narrative can go on to show what changes that amounts to in their work.
Well, they haven’t decided just yet, but we’ve seen some discussion of it, and the Arc (as detailed extensively above) revolved around Coil and how his actions affected the Undersiders and their decision.
Predictions for Arc 8
The obvious one: Much of the city’s honorable cape population will band together to take down the Endbringer.
There will probably be a lot of death and destruction before they succeed, possibly including already named characters. In particular, I’m a bit worried for Danny’s safety – Wildbow could get a lot of angst mileage from killing him off right now.
On a brighter note, I think the experience will cause Taylor to ultimately change her mind about leaving the Undersiders. We’ll also likely find out what the Undersiders ultimately decide to do regarding Coil’s offer and their existing arrangement. I’m no longer certain what they’ll decide, though I’m slightly leaning towards them accepting the offer.
So yeah! Just bring it, Endbringer… wait, bad wor–