Writer: Joss Whedon
Artist: Georges Jeanty
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Plot: Imagine Anthony S. Head saying, "Previously on Buffy the Vampire Slayer"
The Slayer population of the world has gone from 2 to nearly 2,000. Almost five hundred are working around the world with Buffy's organization in squads or "terrorist cells," according to the American military. Buffy, Xander, Dawn and a passel of Slayers are currently bunked out in a Scottish castle, where the latest mission revealed a strange symbol carved out into human bodies.
Also, Dawn's a giant!
Comments: Buffy Season 8 continues as Whedon resumes the story of the Slayer post-Sunnydale. This is somewhat of a hard title for fans of the show to follow. Though it is a joy to have all the characters we love back in action, the comic seems too short. I wish it was twice as long as many plots take a while to develop, and the big payoff at the end always seems to come too soon.
There is much here to love though, the long time fan is rewarded with references from the show and details only they can pick up on. For example, it's uncanny how the character of Andrew (making his first appearance in the book) speaks just as the character did on the TV show, rambling from one nerdy topic to another. His diatribe and examination of Return of the Jedi alone is almost worth the price of admission. This is a credit to Joss' writing skills as he makes a seamless transition from one medium to another.
There's a montage with Giles overseeing hundreds of Slayers fighting, and it's nicely done. It's nice to see what Giles has been up to since the Hellmouth was destroyed.
Another treat is the way the characters continue to interact with one another. These people love each other and truly know each other, and the dialogue which rang so true to many people is clearly evident here. Xander's acerbic wit? Check. Buffy's pathos over her lot in life and her ability to blame herself for every bit that goes wrong? Check. It's all here. Joss doesn't miss a beat.
If there's one weakness with the book, it's not in the writing department but in the artwork. In particular, a dream sequence featuring Xander and Buffy looks very choppy. I am not sure if the artist was intentionally going for this look to convey a sense of surrealism, but it seems out of place, and there isn't a lot of detail, as though the sequence was rushed to meet the printing deadline. Luckily, the artwork gets better as the story progresses, right down to the amusing shot of Xander wearing a yellow shirt with ducks all over it. The pacing of the story is particularly good, moving in a frantic pace as Amy unleashes one surprise after another on Buffy and her cohorts. There's even an interesting possible new romance brewing for Xander.
Final Word: Like the song says, "We've only just begun," with Angel, Spike, Faith and a cadre of great characters yet to put in an appearance, and with an upcoming magical smackdown between Amy and Willow, like a fine bottle of Merlot, this comic can only get better with time.
What did you think of this book?
Have your say at the Line of Fire Forum!