Paperback: 136 pages
Publisher: Dark Horse (May 19, 2009)
Series: Season 8: Volume 4
Stories: Time of Your Life: Part 1, Time of Your Life: Part 2, Time of Your Life: Part 3, Time of Your Life: Part 4, After These Messages... ...We'll Be Right Back!
Sourced: Purchased from Books-A-Million
First Line: Bad day. Start out bad, stayed that way.
Mini-Review: A fun additon to Season 8 but lacking the emotional impact of the previous volumes.
Willow and Buffy head to New York City to unlock the secrets of Buffy's mysterious scythe, when something goes terribly awry. Buffy is propelled into a dystopian future where there's only one Slayer -- Fray, the title character of Joss Whedon's 2001 series, the first comic he ever wrote. Their uneasy alliance falls apart, leading to the death of a major character from the TV series, while back in the twenty-first century, the Scotland base falls prey to a mystical bomb courtesy of the Biggest Bad-Twilight.
* The first two volumes of Buffy Season Eight have combined to sell over 160,000 copies!
* Includes the highly anticipated Buffy/Fray crossover, "Time of Your Life," and "After These Messages . . . We'll Be Right Back," written by Jeph Loeb (Batman: The Long Halloween)!Review:
I think that because the last volume focused so much on character growth and had a very epic battle, the next volume in the series gave me high expectations and really enything wasn't going to be as good. That isn't to say that Volume 4 isn't fun and loaded with good time because it is, it's just lacking that amazing character building that the last one had.
I had no idea about Fray and I wish I did before I started reading this. Fray is what would happen in the future if Buffy hadn't given all potential slayers their powers. And I know that this whole time Buffy's been surrounded by butt-kicking chicks but I couldn't help but think that FINALLY Buffy is working with a professional. For me, meeting Fray was like meeting Faith for the first time. Fray can take care of herself and takes her Slayer duties very seriously. I loved traveling to Fray's world and particularly enjoyed how the writer's messed with the idea that if Buffy's world was the real one then Fray's world couldn't exist. I thought it did nicely to provide friction between the two slayers and nothing is better than some good old fashion rivalry.
I wasn't exactly sure what the whole villain was up to. I won't go into too much detail as I don't want to give anything away but I found myself very confused as the the motivations and I'm hoping it'll be explained further down the line. Seeds were definitely planted for something like this to happen in the earlier volumes but so far I haven't see anything to push them so far over the edge. I also want to mention that I've been enjoying all this Xander/Dawn time. Every since Xander's speech to Dawn in the show, I've always liked seeing them spend time together and I love that their relationship seems to be blooming.
While this volume was definitely playful, it just lacked the overall emotion to give it a lot of impact. I'll be happy when the main plot gets back on track. I want to know who Twilight is and what they are up to. I'm hoping that these detours are leading to something bigger and will connect to the overall plot.