Paperback: 136 pages
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics (December 1, 2010)
Series: Season 8, Vol. 1
Stories: The Long Way Home: Part 1, The Long Way Home: Part 2, The Long Way Home: Part 3, The Long Way Home: Part 4, The Chain
Source: Purchased from Books-A-Million
First Sentence: "The thing about changing the world..."
Mini-Review: Everything that was great about the show packed into comic form!
Show writers from TV's "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" contribute stories of slayers past who have influenced the traditions and mythologies of yore.Review:
How to review this comic has been the main question swirling around in my head. I can't really approach it as a book because they are two separate things. So then, what do I do? So I'm just going to do my best and hopefully that works out. Essentially, reading this first volume is a lot like watching the Buffy t.v. show. From the drawings of the characters to the dialog, Whedon and the artist Jeanty were able to capture what you'd expect out of a Buffy episode.
Let's start with the artwork. When I originally flipped through the book, I was a little worried about recognizing which character was which. In some of the panels, the characters looked exactly like themselves but in others, it was a bit more difficult. For instance, Willow goes dark witch in one panel and I didn't recognize that she had for a moment until I went back and really looked at it. Sometimes in the action panels, Buffy is hard to tell apart from the other slayers. But for the most part, I could look at these panels all day and see these characters that I love so much portrayed completely accurately.
I will say that sometimes I had a difficult time following which panel came next. I'm not always sure where to look or how to read them but that could be because I don't have a lot of practice with comics. However, I'll get to certain pages and just be in awe at how they were arranged. I'm coming to realize that placing the panels on the page, especially to portray action or size, is an artform all of its own and can really affect the overall feeling the reader is left with.
So far, I'm enjoying the plot that is emerging. Like the t.v. show, everyone sort of has their own things going on. The action parts lend themselves well to comic form and combined with Whedon's trademark dialog, it is easyily addictive and fast to read. I've heard some people haven't liked the two villians in the first half of this series but I find Amy to be a good villian and her resurrected/brought back/saved boyfriend Warren to be every bit as terrifying as he was in the show when he was at his worst. There is a scene where they capture Willow and attempt to lobotomized her which is just terrible. I also like that they were able to capture Buffy's tough additude in scenes where she brushes off threats and kicks butt but also give her her funny soft side by her use of language and love of hairstyles and lip gloss. I'm also happy that we got a glimpse into Buffy's subconcious and got to see that she still thinks of Spike and Angel romantically! It gives me hope for Spike!
Whedon has set up a world one year after Sunnydale where slayers are coming into their powers everyday and being trained to use them by Buffy and her group of friends. It makes the scale bigger which is something I think they had a difficult time with in television. There can be grander battles without any restraints. I also want to talk about the last episode they added in this book called "The Chain" which shows the struggles of one of the women posing to be Buffy underground. Out of all the stories, it's this one which really affected me. It tells the story of a nameless girl that gives her life fighting evil in the name of someone else. I think that because this issue ended with it, it went from being a fun sort of story to a story that stuck with me.
I'm not saying that I would have rathered this season not be on t.v. If I could have kept Buffy going, I would have. But I can say that it does translate well into comics and thus far, has been able to capture the magic that made the show special. If you're a Buffy fan and interested in finding out what happens to your favorite characters, give this comic a chance. I think you'll discover something new with every page and you'll want to find out what happens! If nothing else, watching Buffy, Xander and Willow kick butt cartoon style is worth a looksee!