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Taking the Initiative

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Review of chapter "Reunions and Partings" from WebSpyder
Review:
Sabertooth having such an easy time with Buffy doesn't seem right at all. While he is indeed dangerous, Buffy is at least as strong if not stronger than he is. If nothing else, the only real edge he has is natural weaponry and a better healing factor. If it was simply a case of Buffy being caught off guard, I can accept that but the ease with which he batted her aside would seem to indicate that he is much stronger than she and that simply isn't the case.
Review By [WebSpyder] • Date [17 Sep 13] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Author's Notes" from MarcusSLazarus
Review:
Nice job you’ve got here, really.

A dramatic introduction for the two teams- with ANGEL’S group being the ones to make ‘first contact’ with the X-Men rather than the Scoobies despite Buffy and Scott being related; nice change from the norm for these kind of stories.

Sinister’s plans were definitely as fundamentally twisted as his schemes ever are- advancing his own mutation by torturing others? Talk about a git-, while Dawn’s reaction to Hank’s further mutation created an effective bit of amusement in a story where the characters weren’t able to make as significant a difference as they might have liked to accomplish.

A bit ambiguous about your use of OCs like Milbury and Alexis (At least, I ASSUME they were OCs; I acknowledge that they could be from some other continuity I don’t know about), but your fundamental use of the characters as a whole generally works out well.

Keep up the great work!
Review By [MarcusSLazarus] • Date [2 Mar 10] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Author's Notes" from firedrakegirl
Review:
This is a great story! I love it!
Review By [firedrakegirl] • Date [12 Nov 09] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Author's Notes" from Dragonelf
Review:
This story was just as good as the last time I read it.

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Every time you pick up a grain of sand you
hold a universe in the palm of your hand.
- Dr. Lao, "7 Faces of Dr. Lao"
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Review By [Dragonelf] • Date [11 Aug 08] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Author's Notes" from Ansku
Review:
Good one :)
Review By [Ansku] • Date [11 Sep 07] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Author's Notes" from PhoenixRae
Review:
Oh my...by far this is the best fic I've ever read! Enjoyed the dialogue and the feeling of closeness. It's very well written indeed. :)
Review By [PhoenixRae] • Date [7 May 07] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Author's Notes" from musiclover
Review:
pretty good
Review By [musiclover] • Date [10 Mar 07] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Author's Notes" from Gryphbear
Review:
Awesome story.

Gonna check your other stories for more.
Review By [Gryphbear] • Date [8 Aug 06] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Epilogue: Decisions and Disasters" from Magus
Review:
Along with Sinister, the Sentinels seem to be another group to watch out for. I can't wait to see how you handle them when the time comes.

Paying respects to Prudence in San Francisco? I like this. So, you're placing the Whedonverse in the context of the greater WBverse, are you? If you can pull this off, it will rock. Or rather: you can pull this off, so it will rock.

The last scene with Glory was stunning. Very, very dark, but stunning. The symmetry of how Glory also feels better than she has in days really sells it.

10/10
Review By [Magus] • Date [7 Jun 06] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Fondness and Farewells" from Magus
Review:
I like Nick's realization that the fight was a draw. It's going to take more than a brief moment of discorporation and Rogue's supersonic hit to put Glory down. I had to snicker at Spike giving Nick bourbon, because it means that Spike always has some on him. Which is so quintessentially Spike.

I also like Jean's 'glowing aura.' Yay for the (quasi) Phoenix effect! And Alexis unintentionally naimg Sinister? I didn't see that one coming. Speaking of Sinister: if this story is any indication, he is being set up as the grand villain of your universe. I like that; it's a role he hasn't been given to my knowledge, but one he could excel in with the right writer. Which, coincidentally, you have proven yourself.

I laughed at poor Hung- Hank, I mean Hank's situation. As if the whole 'blue and furry' thing wasn't bad enough, he has to be naked.

But you quickly get serious, with Spike. Spike feeling empathy for Scott is very nice. He knows what it's like to be love's bitch. And Buffy and Angel both watching? Yes, yes, YES! Awesome.

Continuing with Spike: Blud Vilhelm? Damn, but I wish you weren't Jossed, because Blud Vilhelm is a deeply cool concept. Still, it might be possible to work Blud Vilhelm in with SS-Jacket-Wearing, Virgin-Party-Attending Spike. And working the Graydons into the mix, and Spike's ubiquitous Zippo? Brilliant. It really is all in the little touches.

You did a great job with the "triage" scene in the Summers house. "Controlled chaos" indeed. And Scott offering the car to AI was a nice touch.

"This man is going to make one hell of a leader, someday." Don't you forget it, Angel.

The confrontation with Sung was well done. For a moment, I was afraid that Sinister and co. had come for him themselves. I laughed at the "whine me to death" bit, because it was- well, not accurate, but close enough. A couple years later, and Dawn would have been able to back that threat up, but not at that point.

The goodbyes were nicely done. Over the course of one night, this group has really gelled. It shows here, largely thanks to your cross-section of new and old friends.

I burst out laughing at Anya being herself. I miss Anya.

"Henry the Under-the-Bed Monster" made me beam from ear to ear. This meeting is going to do a world of good for the both of them. To Dawn, this is practically one last gift from Joyce. To Hank, this is some much needed emotional validation, which he will need once he really starts to adjust to his condition.

And then some Scott and Jean love action. Aww.

The discussion between Buffy and Xavier really works. I see that canon will resume after this story ends, which isn't good- but it does fit. It isn't often that Buffy gets shown as a competent thinker without going into "General Buffy" mode, so I am very glad when I see an example of that. And a reaffirmation that Xavier has 'adopted' the Sunnydale branch of the family. Aww.

Buffy, Dawn, and Hank. Double Aww.

You're definitely going for Remy/Rogue here, aren't you? Okay. Cool. Australia? Wow, but Rogue have some punch on her.

I have to agree with the general sentiment about morning people. But the Hank/Dawn routine made me beam with joy. Yeah, they will need each other in the days to come.

A day of normalcy. That? Is very Buffy. And it is something that everyone there needs. The bit with the guitars made me grin. I'm a little surprised that you left out the effect that Giles with a guitar has on straight and bi women, but then again he was playing with others. The food thing makes complete sense. These people really know how to enjoy life, and good food is a big part of that.

Ultimate Nick Fury, huh? Nice. I like him. Is his deal with Nick only, or is all VI in on it? If the former, do Alexis and Spencer know?

"The evil pirate version of Mr. Clean." I was with Nick in the responce. Hee!

The last section brought everything together. The Giles and Buffy sequence at the end was wonderful. "his...daughter" was beautiful, because as much as he denies it (even to himself), she is.

Bravo. 10/10
Review By [Magus] • Date [7 Jun 06] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Gods and Mutants" from Magus
Review:
You certainly hit the ground running. I like that. I also like the display of Scott's sense of humour. He seldom gets a chance to display it in any medium, but he does have one. I also like Xander, Nick, and Giles engaging the minions directly. They're brave, but not suicidal.

Jean's decision to go the others' aid was both agonizing and brief, as it should have been given the circumstances. Very well done.

Speaking of agonizing: Ororo's flashback. Ouch. She won't be happy when she snaps out of it.

The bit with Spike helps set the timeline. This is after the torture, and before the brainsucking. Meaning that Buffybot has already been created. And Spike won't be safe if Scott or Angel ever find out about that.

I love how well Angel and Spike work together here. You must have predicted Season 5 of Angel, because- wow. They hate each other, but they're one damned effective team when they want to be. The thunder rumbling as they entered the fight is nice foreshadowing, by the way.

And then the weather changes. Here it comes...

The "I must be free!" is still another very well-integrated insert from the comics. You are very good at this sort of thing.

I really like how Hank knew what was going to happen the moment he was told about Storm being trapped. Again, these people know each other, and it shows.

The fight against Glory is suitably ominous. I get the feeling that you won't be finishing her off here, which means that the rest of S5 could be canon.

(Okay, okay, I've seen the titles of your other stories, but still...)

Alexis must really be something, if she can use her powers to only let Rogue access her bond to Pangor. By the same token, it clearly takes a lot out of her, preventing her from being over-powered. Nice way to do it.

I love how you're building up to Phoenix, the one being there that could take on Glory singlehandedly.

So Alexis is a magician of some sort, probably a priestess of Freya. Cool. And contacting Storm through Thor? Also cool. As was Storm's justifiable anger towards Glory. Nice way to use that particular speech of hers, by the way.

You must be prescient. That is the only way I can think of to explain how well your depiction of Phoenix meshes with X-3, right down to Glory feeling pulled apart on the molecular level. And again- nice use of teamwork, with Jean setting Glory up and Rogue knocking her down.

"Going, going, gone..." indeed. And the fight is most definitely not over yet.

10/10, and then some.
Review By [Magus] • Date [5 Jun 06] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Confrontations and Collapses" from Magus
Review:
The opening sequences here are hysterical. "Only the Cajun" indeed! Capping the whole bit off with a version of the "Remind me to drop a truck on him" bit from X-Men #1 is bloody brilliant.

Of course things quickly get serious afterwards. I like the look at Spencer; he seems to fit in well with Nick and Alexis (even if we haven't seen them in tandem yet). Glory offers a stunning bit of rational thinking, but then again- her focus is solely on the Key, and now that I think about it, most of her plans on that end were quite logical.

(Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious One? Please, no more minion talk. I don't think anything could possibly top that. Though in this case I'd love to be wrong)

Sinister is once again shown to be a first-rate strategist. Arrogant, but first-rate. He took Glory's behaviour into account! You have an excellent grasp of his character. He finally has his canon 'look,' and he's taking something from Walsh's computers? That doesn't sound good.

The Dawn/Xavier conversation is very nicely done. I like fatherly Xavier (or should that be 'uncle-ly'?). The story with Scott and the guitar is beautiful, and the 'wrecking the prom' bit is a nice nod to the X-Men novelization.

Sabretooth must be very capable of hiding if he could get past Spike. Speaking of whom- though I expected a Logan/Victor rematch, a Spike/Victor fight sounds excellent. They could well be equal matches for each other, since neither is afraid of killing.

Spencer gets more time to shine in his fight with Grey Crow. Nice. He handles himself very well, down to doing the unexpected. Is he a mutant, too?

The fight scene through Jean's eyes is very well done. You captured the very chaotic nature of combat very well. And the hint of Phoenix? Chilling, even if it was interrupted. Your idea of Phoenix must be very similar to how she was handled in X-3.

The use of teamwork was nicely portrayed. They've only known each other a few hours, but they already have it down. Great.

And then the Wolverine emerges. I love how you handled the Scoobies reaction to Logan's berserker rage, especially Xander's. Perfectly in character, since he did something similar in Ted. The cap was Logan's speech after coming out of it. That's twice you've successfully integrated comics dialogue into this chapter, but this is anything but funny. Nice job.

The fight in the holding cells was quite well done. You did a good job demonstrating Rogue's new powers, and her mental reminder that the demon's name was K'thon was great. I like how you altered Riptide's abilities. The comics version is quite definitely, but your seems to have some limits. I love the name "Sunnydale Irregulars" for the Scoobies. It fits them quite well.

And yet again, Sinister proves that he is on top. I hope you show his much deserved comeuppance someday, but right now I'm just in awe of the magnificent bastard he is.

I love the end of the Creed/Spike fight. They're coming out of this with mutual respect, and the readers are coming out of this with a desire for a rematch (and to see Spike spar with Logan. Buffy, too. And Angel, and maybe Faith...)

I like how Scott instantly took command of the great escape. Very much in character. And Adam's death scene was surprisingly moving. Very, very well done.

And again, the Phoenix begins to emerge. And Ororo is trapped in rubble. Oh boy.

And somewhere not too far away, Buffy has major regrets (perfectly in character, by the way), and Glory makes her grand entrance onto the scene. Yikes.

10/10
Review By [Magus] • Date [5 Jun 06] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Destinations and Revelations" from Magus
Review:
The Glory/Sinister scene is very well done, here. Neither of them emerges with the upper hand, and each is unnerved by the other. Yes. I like the little details, such as Sinister's physical transformation and realization of Glory's madness, and I love the minions. "Nocturnal Emissions," sheesh.

Spike and the hot chocolate in Willy's Bar is another nice touch. He would be maudlin this soon after Joyce's death. And helping out the way he did is perfectly in character.

I would love to see Jean and Alexis' faces if they were told they had it easy, singing with Cordelia. They could have had to sing with Angel.

I love the bit with Remy and Alexis. Establishing believable history is very important to both crossovers and integrating OC's, and it fits with what we have seen of Nick. Plus, the references to Selina Kyle and Simon Templar, and bringing Sean further into the mix without actually having him there. Very well done.

The next section was also very well done, but I hope you understand if I don't go into detail.

The Spike/Scrambler confrontation was very nicely done. So the chip doesn't work on mutants either? Well, well, well. This fits very, very well based on what we learned in Season 6. If it doesn't read Buffy with a cellular suntan as human...

I like your bringing in Remy's past with Sinister into the story. That fits in this context (which is likely one of the reasons you added him in the first place). Speaking of fitting in this context: the Initiative's real agenda. Yes, yes, YES. Adam is more than a match for most of the world's mutants. An army of Adam's... you're tying this to the Sentinel project, aren't you. Very well played.

I like Buffy's response to the "new" Cordy. They've all changed since graduation, and I hope you get a chance to show us that. The vision here works just like in the show, providing convenient info courtesy of the Powers That Be. I like how you keep referencing the pain Cordelia experiences with the visions; some writers would minimize it, or not go into it at all.

Nick has friends in high places. I don't know who, but the fact that you dramatized the conversation indicates that this is someone we should know. Very interesting.

The strategy session is the highlight of the chapter. From Buffy's very subtle insistence that Anya come along to the very logical deployment of the troops, it worked. Adding the threat of Glory into the mix is a little iffy on the surface, but also works ("iffy" because while none of them would want Glory getting her hands on the Key, for all Buffy knows some of them might follow the Knights of Byzantium's way of thinking). Buffy is choosing to trust them with Dawn, and that is powerful. This group is going to be well-bonded if they come out of this.

Dawn's section was the lynch pin. Rationally, having so many people step forward and offer their assurances to Dawn is over-the-top. However, on an emotional level, it WORKS, and that is what really matters. I would say that this group is already bonded (hell, they're going to be crazy-glued if this keeps up!).

Bravo!
Review By [Magus] • Date [5 Jun 06] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Reunions and Partings" from Magus
Review:
Bringing in Moira MacTaggart is a nice move. It's always good to see well-presented comics characters in movieverse stories. Having her curse at Xavier is in character, and still another one of those nice touches I mentioned.

The Marauders are indeed the demon-nappers, and that is not a pleasant turn of events for the characters. Very well-written, but unpleasant.

I like how quickly AI and the X-Men are bonding. It bodes well for their future interactions. I also like how Cordelia spilled out Willow's hacking skills. Very much in character for Ms. Chase, that is.

The bit in the lab is interesting. If the figure wasn't so clearly male, I'd almost think you were bringing Anita Blake into the mix.

Your glimpse into Anya's mind is wonderful. That's probably exactly how she thinks, right down to the love of money.

Unless you are bringing in a very obscure character, I have no idea who Nicholas Graydon is. Is he an OC?

The "whale harpoon with dynamite" bit reminds me of how the Scoobies took out good old tricky Dick Wilkins. Good times, good times.

I am unsure about Buffy's initial response to Nick. He demonstrates that he's competent, and Giles all but vouches for him, and she brushes him off? I realize that she had something major to worry about, but I don't ever remember her blowing something off because it is 'smaller' than her current concern when that concern is not directly pressing.

The description of good Doctor Milbury is suitably ominous. Very much in character with Mr. Sinister, but just different enough to be a movieverse version. Bravo.

I like Scott's hesitance in contacting Buffy. I'd be very unsure about talking with family after not talking for five years, especially after Joyce died. Still, it says volumes that he decided to go through with it anyway. I also like Scott's thoughts about Alex. Very fitting in this context.

Nicholas knowing about Glory and the Key is a good touch. Glory wasn't that secretive. I also like Buffy thinking it easy to talk to him, as long as it doesn't go too far. She plays things very close to the vest (and we know how many times that has backfired).

Sabretooth handling Buffy and Nick with relative ease is a good thing. He is that dangerous, and it works as a reverse of his attempt at getting Hank earlier on. Here, it's the good guys that are outmatched, and only Scott's arrival saved the day. Speaking of which, I greatly like how quickly the cousins reformed their bond. It was obviously very strong at one point, and having it be re-established so quickly works.

I love how you are handling Adam here. One of the deadliest foes that the Scoobies have ever faced (in fact, third only to Dark Willow and Glory), and he's being used as a test subject. Considering that this is Mister Sinister, this is awesome.

The next two sections brought a huge smile to my face. A visit to Lorne's promised, and Dawn's very positive reactions to Scott. Lovely.

Of course, the section after that wiped the smile from my face. Is Essex still tied to Apocalypse? On one hand, it does simplify things if he isn't. On the other, Apocalypse is a good villain in terms of combining the two universes, what with his immortality and all (he's had to have fought his share of Slayers in the past). In any case, his plan is classic Sinister: evolve the world, starting with himself.

I love your depiction of Lorne. Perfect. I am a quite intrigued by Alexis. She is clearly Nick's Alexis, and having her in Caritas is coincidential, having her suddenly offer to sing with Cordy and Jean is not. There must be much more to her than meets the eye, seeing-eye cat and all.

The sequence with the X'noxx (nice nod to the comics, by the way) was a standout. It's an original way for Rogue to get her extra powers, and I wonder if it will affect her attitude at all. Quite a bit of her demeanour came from Carol, after all. The paragraph in that section made me shudder. So that's how it is going to happen here. Talk about rubbing salt in the wounds.

The last section was nicely done. The sojourn at Lorne is a nice way to bring the various threads together. And the bit about Cordelia's singing voice was still another nice touch.

Bravo!
Review By [Magus] • Date [5 Jun 06] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Explanations and Mysteries" from Magus
Review:
The first sentence is great. It sets the tone for the rest of the section. The bonding sequence, though unexplained, is very well done. I shouldn't be amused that while everyone else was talking about how mutants fit into the world, Angel, Gunn, and Scott start talking cars. I shouldn't, but I am.

I like how you handled the explanations bit. It is difficult to pull it off without making it talky, but you did. Scott's reaction to the 'transformation' was a bit over the top, because he has seen Mystique, but I like Jean and the blood. It's a good thing that Jean is calm, since Scott has no idea about Buffy or Dawn yet.

The talk with Magneto was well done. That is movieverse Magneto right there, even down to the "I don't want anyone to kill you but me" bit.

Victor's talk with the boss is suitably ominous. I know who you're bringing in now, and I like it. Forget the Brotherhood- these people are the true opposites of the X-Men.

I like the Remy/Rogue talk. Without X2, there is no relationship with Bobby, so the way is opened for Rogue and Gambit, even if he is older.

I very strongly dig the little detail of Xavier visiting the Hyperion back in the day. It's moments like those that allow crossovers to work. The retelling of the "You're a dick" bit is another.

The scene where Scott gets the various bits of news about his family is a highlight of the chapter. The section itself is strong, but the "a daught- two daughters" bit pushes it into greatness. Most writers would completely forget that little detail, let alone have Xavier detect something. Bravo!

The siege of the school was suitably brief. I like that. It shows the Marauders as the danger they are. But just sending Harpoon, Scrambler, and Blockbuster? Well, it worked.

Bringing Adam into the mix is an inspired move- and the inspiration for the title, I'm sure. I know who the Doctor is, but I'm at a loss to identify his companion, unless you're crossing over more than just the Whedonverse and the Marvel Movieverse, in which case it almost has to be the Cigarette Smoking Man.

I now understand why there were only three Maruaders at the school. You've used them very effectively here. I don't see Prizm anywhere. A deliberate omission, or is he doing yet another mission for the boss?

Anyway, great job. 10/10
Review By [Magus] • Date [5 Jun 06] • Rating [10 out of 10]
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