So if you read this week’s issue, you might agree.
Joss Whedon seems to be somewhat pointing to Riley as the masked Big Bad for the 25 issue series. The amount of evidence that points towards this seems a little heavy handed so I’m betting it’s probably a fake out but here’s the facts.
1. The masked Big Bad seems to have some good prior knowledge of the slayer.
2. The military has an association with him.
3. His costume resembles that of a soldier with the body armor chest plate and boots. The duster could be the excuse for a joke about how Buffy loves a man in a trenchcoat.
4. In this weeks issue, the focus seems to fall on Buffy’s loved ones who have met ill results from becoming close to her. She lists off spending time in a hell dimension. burning up, and even LETTING VAMPIRES SUCK THEIR BLOOD.
5. The mysterious “stranger”, when meeting his constituents, lifts his mask to scratch saying, “itchy neck.”
There’s only been eleven issues so we still have a lot of story to go, and like I said, the preceding evidence seems a little stacked in favor of Riley. Hence, I believe we as an audience are being played.
My alternate choices?
1. Giles- As a former watcher he’s wrapped in the tradition of the slayer mythos. Number one rule: ONLY one per generation. He’s even begun to send Faith out on assassination missions for troublesome slayers. Twilight “knows” Buffy’s moves and considering his life revolves around girls he might say something like “just like a girl” if he went all evil. The itchy neck thing? English manners. Notice how he killed the Twilight teacher of the evil princess slayer without even trying to get any information? Also, of all of Buffy’s foes why did the Twilight General go after Ethan Rayne?
2. Andrew-Notice how he hasn’t managed his slayers very well during the series. The newest issue even features one of his gone-rogue slayers committing bank robberies. The theatrics of the masked baddy also seem very appropriate for him as well.
3. Caleb-This, like Riley, seems too easy. He doesn’t get as much attention because of the fact the things that point to him are very, very specific. Note that he also appears in this issue in flashback. I would think it were him if the chin reveal included a scar but I think big red herring.
Ben-Back from the dead and pissed.
Rack-Magicky, pissed, and flying
Professor Maggie Walsh-Knowledgeable about the slayer, ressurected by the army, and pissed off