Buffy – Season Eight #16
“In every generation there is a chosen one. She alone will stand against the vampires, the demons and the forces of darkness. She is the Slayer.”
It’s finally time for the first review of a monthly appearing series. I chose Buffy – the Vampire Slayer: Season 8 #16 for this purpose. I know a lot of you will argue that Buffy is not a traditional comic, as it existed first as a TV show and then as a comic. However, thing I love about this series is that it manages to recapture everything I liked in the original TV series. The characters are spot on, the humor is as quirky and dark as it was, when Sarah Michelle Gellar was still kicking the vampires’ butts and the action, well let’s just say the comic allows Joss Whedon to kick everything up a notch. The comic format is ideal for the over the top scenario Joss has chosen for his eighth season of Buffy.
We rejoin Buffy, Willow, Xander and Dawn about one and a half years after the events of season seven, in which the Scoobies had to battle an army of ancient vampires that lived beneath the Hellmouth. In order to accomplish this task Willow sets free the powers that lie dormant inside a mighty slayer weapon called the Scythe, thereby giving all the potential slayers their inheritance immediately. The prophecy, which proclaims that the slayer’s powers will only pass upon death, is broken and an army of young and very powerful women is born. Spike, who finally fights on the side of good, sacrifices himself in order to close the Hellmouth for good. The resulting cataclysmic event destroys Sunnydale and in a final scene we see Buffy and the surviving members of her team ride into the sunset.
So here we are now, more than a year after season seven and we see that Buffy has managed to organize the slayers into several squads that track and fight demons all over the world. Xander has turned into a watcher stationed in Scotland and Buffy is leading one of the squads. In the first fifteen issues of the series, several characters that were regulars on the show make a reappearance, amongst them Amy Madison (the witch) who has allied herself with Warren Mears, who was saved by Amy after he was skinned alive by Willow in season six. Dawn has somehow turned into a giant, Faith is hired by Giles to assassinate a rogue slayer and we learn that the new big bad of this season calls himself “Twilight”. Furthermore we see a return of Dracula who helps the gang to return the Scythe, which was stolen by a group of Asian vampires.
Now that you know some of the things that have happened until this point it’s time to take a look at “Time of Your Life – Part 1”. I don’t want to spoil too much for those of you who are still planning to read this month’s copy, but the main point in this issue is the fact that Buffy is catapulted into the future and crosses paths with Fray, the slayer of that time. This happens after Buffy and Willow get a hot tip that they might find out something about the secrets of the scythe in New York.
Joss Whedon is back in the saddle as a writer on this story arc and that really shows. He is so perfectly in tune with the characters he has created over the years that the dialogs feel perfectly natural. We learn a few new things about the villains’ plans and Dawn’s state of being takes a drastic change. Doing a crossover between his futuristic show and Buffy is just an added bonus to this season’s strong story arcs. The pencil work of Karl Moline is good but the characters lack a bit of alikeness to their human counterparts. All in all I’m really interested to see how this series will turn out and will be back with another review in a month with #17 “Time of Your Life – Part 2”.
Reread Value 7
Overall Rating 7/10