Friday, November 9, 2007

Buffy Season 8 - Volume 1. The Long Way Home by Joss Whedon

I’m a big Buffy fan. Although not someone you could call a fanatic. I do own the DVDs, I don’t own other merchandise. You won’t catch me saying things like “Buffyverse” or “Scoobies” and I don’t read any fan fiction (although I would assume it exists and is thriving…just seems like it would be). Nevertheless, I was really excited about the Buffy comic books coming out even though I was a little unsure about how it would work. Buffy, after all, was in large part so great because of the incredible casting and the ensemble cast and I didn’t know if that would transfer to another format. Another reservation was that the last season of Buffy was my least favorite of them all. I found the new slayers annoying and would have much preferred it just be the original group. With cameos by beloved characters that were no longer on the show. Sure the series finale was fantastic, but wouldn’t it have been even more fantastic with Oz? So, in short, I wasn’t sure the continuation of a story line (as in the 1000s of slayers) I didn’t really enjoy in the first place would even interest me.

To give you fair warning there will be ***SPOILERS*** so stop reading if you don’t want to be spoiled. That’s right spoiled. Turn away now. Consider yourself warned!

I was pleasantly surprised. I still think the legions of slayers are distracting and I can’t remember who is who (nor do I even really care too), but I was drawn into the last story of one of the decoy slayers. I liked her, I loved her story, and to my utter astonishment actually wanted more. I hope we get a continuation of her story…although I fear she’s dead. We’ll have to wait and see.

The main storyline really felt as though it was an episode or two of Buffy. It starts off with the death of some sort of monster/demon which leads to the discovery of a strange symbol we know will play a large part in the rest of the story arc. Dawn has been turned into a giant, possibly for attention. There is a military organization, seemingly not connected to the Initiative that wants to take Buffy and her legion of slayers down. And then there is the reintroduction of several characters. Ethan Rayne shows Buffy around the “dreamverse.” Amy the rat/witch magically survived the destruction of Sunnydale and is wickedly angry and out to get her revenge along with her new boyfriend. Who, get this, just happens to be skinless Warren!?! Turns out Amy was watching in the shadows when Willow went crazy and flayed him. She protected Warren with magic so he didn’t die and then apparently got it on with him. He looks suitably gruesome.

And of course there is the introduction of a new love plot. Someone secretly loves Buffy. It’s either Willow, Xander, or one of the several new slayers who happened to be in the room. My hope is on Xander just ‘cause that would make it wonderfully complicated and perfect for the never allowed to be happy in love world of Buffy.

Finally, I really enjoyed the artwork in the comic book. I like that the drawn characters look so much like their actor counterparts. It helped me buy into the story.

From what I can see next up is Faith. I’m really looking forward to that!

I just read that Whedon’s now going to be continuing the stories not only of Angel, but also of Serenity in comic book format. Let’s hope he doesn’t get too many irons in the fire like he did when he was shooting TV shows.

See a preview from Dark Horse Comics.

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