In honor of Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s 20th Anniversary, this new series sees one avid Buffy fan take a look back at the four-year, forty-three-issue comic book “season” of his favorite television show, one story arc at a time…
The Long Way Home
Issue #1 (March, 2007) – Issue #4 (June, 2007)
Written by: Joss Whedon | Penciled by Georges Jeanty
Collected as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 8, Vol. 1 (with issue #5)
PLOT: We get a recap on the ending of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 7, and are reintroduced to the world after the Slayerization of all potential Slayers and the destruction of Sunnydale—which had the side benefit of saving the world. Buffy has grouped the new Slayers into squads (well, what do you call a group of Slayers?! Is there a collective noun?) which are considered terrorist cells by the US Military. Having decided that the Slayers represent a threat to the world, the military decides to send newly-recovered witch Amy to take Buffy out. Mystical hijinks and violence ensue. And we get hints at a Big Bad with multiple references to “Twilight,” complete with a frown-turned-upside-down-turned-upside-down-again symbol (“So it’s a frown?”)
FAMILIAR FACES: Ethan Rayne, Witch Amy, Skinless Warren
WHAT WORKS: In general, the interplay between the characters is well done and the plot seems Buffy-esque, but on a grander scale—handily available due to the new comic-centric format without the whole pesky TV budget thing to worry about.
But specifically, mention of it being a fake Buffy with “The Immortal” in Rome. I never thought that particular episode of Angel [“The Girl in Question,” S05E20 – Ed.] worked at all, with Angel and Spike chasing after Buffy upon hearing she was seeing their arch-nemesis. So learning that that was all a fake and a big joke facilitated by Andrew redeems everything.
And while I can’t claim to have needed the visual, I’m guessing that the image of a naked Angel and Spike chained up with Buffy between them (alas, not naked, though in a nurse outfit, so not bad) definitely worked for shippers and slash fans alike.
WHAT DOESN’T WORK: Nothing dramatic, but a few gripes. One, no explanation is given as to why and how Buffy and the Slayer army have access to lots of technology and funding (will there be an explanation later? Oooh… foreshadowing!). Two, Willow seems really powerful. I suppose the argument could be made that with her attempting to destroy the world in Season 6 and then effectively Slayerizing everyone in Season 7 showcases massive amounts of magical ability, but what we see in these issues did seem to be not quite in line with the character.
REVELATIONS WITHIN: Dawn’s a giant! Warren’s alive! With no skin! Someone is in love with Buffy (who isn’t me)!
SLAYER 1: …I feel a little weird about using a crucifix to kill someone.
SLAYER 2: Yeh dinno much about religion, do yeh?
BUFFY-NESS FACTOR: Mega, Mondo, Super, Hyper, Beaucoup d’, Crazy, Stupid High. This IS Buffy, just in comic format.
NEXT TIME: A decoy Buffy!