Review: Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season Eight (volume 1)
The Long Way Home
Let me start by saying that the idea of continuing the television show in comic form is pretty neat. (If you haven’t seen the end of season 7 there are probably SPOILERS here.) Obviously I didn’t jump straight on the bandwagon, or I’d have written this review earlier, but I was checking out my local comic store (Golden Apple Northridge) and I couldn’t resist picking up a couple Whedonverse comics.
Written by Joss Whedon, Season Eight Volume One collects the first 5 comics. Billed as a direct continuation of the series, I sat down to read, expecting to experience everything I loved about the show: humor, relationships, and lots of saving the world from demons. I’d also read Fray and Astonishing X-men, so I knew Whedon was comfortable writing for comics. Even with such high expectations, I was pleasantly suprised. Bear with me, I’ve never really tried to write a graphic novel review.
Each comic had it’s share of great battles, many larger and more dynamic than anything that was possible on TV. We get a good overview of Slayer lore. We find out what most of our favorite characters are up to. The final panel of the first three comics are spectacular full page character reveals. The fourth comic uses the last page to cinematically ratchet up the stakes. It feels like the end of this arc.
The first scene mentions and the 5th comic focuses on a subplot of there being decoys of Buffy in the wild. This will be a fun plot to follow, but in this comic it’s all lore and heart wrenching emotion. The battle in that last comic was another great example of the scale being SO much larger than would have been possible on the small screen. The last page of the comic five is painful and will stick with you, but it definitely provides closure for the volume.
I didn’t say much about the art. I haven’t kept current with comics for a while, but while I felt the art was engaging and consistent, I think it could have been a bit more detailed. I digged the colors.
If you like superhero comics, you’ll probably enjoy these comics. If you enjoyed the show, I HIGHLY recommend you grab a copy of this post haste. If you’ve not seen the show, go watch it. The comic has more spoilers for seasons 6 and 7 than the others, but it touches on things from almost every season, so I’d definitely watch the show first.